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Managing the Content Production Beast

August 9th, 2013 by

Content Production BeastProducing a website with regularly updated content is no small matter. Ask any serious blog writer or website manager in charge of maintaining the updating of a company website for customers and readers, and both will tell you it’s a second job. This is because regular generation of content takes planning, thinking, research, drafting, editing, production and responding to feedback at a minimum. And all of those tasks take up time, far more than the average person has available on a daily basis. As a result, people and businesses often hire freelance writers to pick up the difference with initial step, content production. However, it still needs to be managed.

A number of tools can be used to make content production easier for the managing person or lead. They include calendaring, team delegation, scheduling, outsourcing and similar tools. However, the tools all have the same theme in common: a coordinated effort to meet a shared goal. Coordination is key because without it, content production becomes chaotic, and readers pick up on such problems quickly.

Specifically, managing tools include:

  • Concept scheduling – Many bloggers and content managers often start with a calendar of three or four months at a time and map out what content will be posted on what days. This helps in a number of ways. It organizes the production flow, assignments now have deadlines and can be addressed one at a time, and multiple related postings can be mapped out so there is cohesion from one article to the next.
  • Team delegation or outsourcing – This approach turns over the reins of production to an external party or a separate team to worry about content production itself. Instead, the manager simply sets the goals and deadlines and the team meets the target. However, this approach also gives up the individual task control. If a manager and a team are not on the same wave length, there can be a lot of frustration in product delivery. So ongoing communication is critical to ensure content topics and goals are met accurately.
  • Purchasing milled content – Sometimes it’s just easier to buy the license to a ready-made set of content that is good to go and post. It helps meet quick deadlines and the material has already vetted and prepared in many cases for publication. However, the content is also often general in nature and misses that custom feel from a specific author or company. So this approach is often used to fill gaps versus on a regular basis. It can also be expensive over time as well when purchasing article by article.

Managing the content production beast can feel like a full-time job, but a lot of time can also be wasted by not finding the right balance between delegating and planning. Using the tips above in conjunction with each other often produces better results, especially for website managers on a schedule with a high expectation of regular production. It also gives a manager a mental break as well.

Tom L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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