📝 How to Scale Content Development

Content creation is the lifeblood any successful blog. Yet, many marketers and writers struggle with developing high-quality content on a consistent basis to meet the demands of their target audience. In fact, one study found that almost two-thirds of marketers across for-profit and non-profit organizations find it difficult to develop and implement a scalable content strategy.

If this sounds like you, it is time to start focusing on ways to keep outputting high-quality content, especially if you realize traffic growth and engagement are becoming stagnant or declining. That’s where scaling your content development comes in – producing more without compromising on quality so you keep attracting readers. How do you do that? Below are some tips to get you started.


1. Assess the deficiencies

Is it that you don’t have enough content writers on staff or you are finding it difficult to come up with suitable topics to write about? Are your current articles failing to have the impact you are looking for in terms of communicating your brand offerings and getting engagement? Is SEO falling short? Maybe you are having problems with all of the above. Whatever the case, it is important to figure out your content marketing deficiencies. Once you have an idea of the problem, it becomes easier to design a solution that will bring you your expected results.


2. Create a content plan

Having diagnosed the problem and the corresponding solution, the next step in scaling your content development is to come up with a suitable plan that will help you to implement the solutions you found. A detailed content plan gathers all the necessary components needed to create the type of content you want, for the time you want it, and the volume. It removes the issue of trying to figure out what to write about, which is a common problem faced by many marketers.

In addition, it allows everyone on the team to know their role in the content development process and be always aware of what comes next. It also helps you better prepare content for upcoming events, holidays, and observations (Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day etc.), that may be of importance to your target audience. Finally, a content plan also includes realistic goals and objectives and includes deadlines that help to keep you motivated.


3. Break down the process of developing content

Whether it is writing an article, building an infographic, or even creating a video, developing content is never just a single step. When writing a blog post, for example, it usually involves the following steps:

·       Finding a suitable topic

·       Creating a headline

·       Researching keywords

·       Outlining the draft

·       Writing and formatting the post

·       Proofreading and editing the content

·       Picking suitable visuals to accompany the post

·       Assembling and publishing the final edit

·       Promoting the post

As you can see, there are a number of components that goes into producing a single piece of content. Identifying and breaking down the steps allows you to formulate a basic algorithm for content creation that you can use over and over again. Moreover, if you have a content development team, breaking down the steps makes it easier to delegate the different parts of the process to the right team member. With content production running like a well-oiled machine, it becomes easier to scale content development.


4. Develop a content calendar

This step goes hand in hand with developing a content plan and makes it possible to organize your strategy into manageable chunks. It also allows you to outline what should be accomplished on specific days and keep track of what is happening when. You can divide up your content calendar based on the different steps in the content development process mentioned above. For example, you can designate specific dates for brainstorming, keyword research, graphic design, publishing, social sharing, etc.

You can attach each team member’s name to go with their corresponding task. Creating a content calendar is rather simple using tools such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, or by using scheduling apps such as Trello or Asana. You can also download pre-made content calendar templates through Canva or even use a physical calendar.


5. Decide on what to outsource

As you become more organized, deficiencies in your content development process will likely become apparent. These deficiencies will have to be addressed if you are to scale content development to any useful degree. Quite often, you will realize you need help to meet content deadlines and get to the point where sufficient content is consistently being delivered. This is where outsourcing comes in. Outsourcing parts of the content development process frees you up to focus on executing the long-term strategy and lessens the time it takes to roll out each piece of content.

Deciding what to outsource can be tricky, since you may want to keep a tight control over the quality of the content being produced. As a general rule, you should outsource the steps that take the most time. In many cases, the part you should outsource is the content creation step. If you are looking to publish a blog post, for example, the step of actually writing the content should be outsourced, as it will take the most time. Finding the topic, choosing the keywords, proofreading/editing the copy, and publishing the post will all take less time but will generally require your input, so these can be done in-house.


6. Find competent freelancers

Reaping the benefits of outsourcing relies on the skills of the people you are outsourcing the work to. A well-written blog post or graphic, for instance, means you will spend little time proofreading and editing, and can go on to publishing almost immediately. If you, however, receive something that is poorly written, designed or researched, a lot of time will be taken up trying to revise and fix. To prevent the latter, you want to find competent freelancers at rates that match your budget. There are a number of platforms you can use to find competent freelancers. These include UpWork, Fiverr, TopTal, etc. You can also ask other bloggers who publish high-quality content in your niche to refer freelancers that they use.


7. Review and update your content plan

Once you have a well-working plan in motion, it will become easier to scale your content development. Be sure to review your plan at regular intervals (every three to six months, for instance), so you can identify weaknesses and come up with solutions that will keep your content output on track with your audience growth.

If you are just starting out, you probably won’t be writing more than one or two posts every other week. But as your readership grows, so will the need for more content. Having a suitable plan to scale content development will, therefore, become necessary at one point or another.

Until next time,

—Casey