Organizing the Content Process
Why should you care about developing a system for your content efforts? The best answer is that everyone benefits, even those who are not directly involved in the process.
Of course, if you’re a solopreneur who doesn’t use freelancers, you can probably get away without documenting anything. But the moment you bring on another person, you need to let her know how things are done so that she doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
Examining the systems needed
You can begin by focusing on what’s involved in putting your content system together. No magic is involved. As with any project you create, you need to know what the tasks are, how to get them done, and what your budget constraints are. It’s important to make sure that everyone on the team understands how you deliver quality content using the highest standards.
It’s also critical to give all team members the opportunity to make suggestions and improve procedures. In fact, even those who are not actual team members can benefit from understanding the content process. You should welcome anyone who is interested in learning how he can assist or support your efforts.
Determining Roles and Responsibilities
When it comes to the average workplace, sometimes it’s hard to know who is in charge. People often assume the mantle of authority even when they have no real power. But before you determine who is in charge, it’s important to know how decisions about the project will get made.
Managing the Workflow
Developing an efficient workflow is a vital part of the content system. When you document your systems, you help yourself and others learn the process. You also make it easy for others to spot mistakes.
Using an editorial calendar
Would you schedule a trip without looking at a calendar? Probably not. So why not use an editorial calendar when scheduling your content? If you wonder whether a calendar is necessary, you’re not alone. Some content marketers don’t want to be bothered with establishing one and keeping it current.
If you’re a solo business operator or have a very small team, you might think that a calendar is overkill. Think again.
Documenting Your Policies and Procedures
Documentation isn’t considered a very exciting topic, but it’s certainly a very necessary one. Documenting your content strategy can mean the difference between the success and failure of your project. This is also true of documentation for your systems and procedures. You need to ask several key questions about your documentation on an ongoing basis.
In larger organizations content managers are different from the editor, who ensures that the content meets its goals and doesn’t violate any company policies. A content manager has a more strategic role. She is responsible for knowing about the personas and the data collected about customers. With that knowledge she maintains the taxonomy and determines what topics and formats of content should be created.
Editorial guidelines are critical for any publisher. They explain to everyone concerned what your goals are for publishing. The guidelines tell your contributors who your audience is and what you want them to get from reading your content. It also explains the approval process so that writers know how their work will be evaluated
Obviously, documenting what authors need to know about writing content for you should be available in a style guide for authors. The type of style guide you provide for your in-house writers will be extensive and will also include specific information about your CMS, if you have one.
The content system administrator makes sure that the CMS is functioning and will refer to the CMS documentation when necessary. He also keeps social platform guidelines with the details about formatting content for other channels.
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