You may not realize it, but how you organize your content creation process makes a huge difference in your productivity. A simple example of this is the person who sits down in the morning to write the day’s blog post. They have no idea what they’re going to write about, what the goal is, and where they’re going to get their information. The blog post takes much longer than it should to write.
Conversely, the business owner who has an editorial calendar that includes the topic idea, a brief outline, monetization strategy, goals, and a publication date will likely be much more productive. Organize your systems well enough and you can still procrastinate on your content, write it the day it’s due, and still only spend a few minutes on the task.
A simple editorial calendar is a list of the dates you want to publish each piece of content. You can create an editorial calendar for the week, month, quarter, or even an annual calendar. You can create it on a simple calendar tool like Microsoft Outlook or Excel or you can use project management software like Basecamp to establish deadlines. And if you enjoy pen and paper, then grab a printable calendar.
You can take the basic editorial calendar and make it more useful by adding the following information.
- Article Topic
- Key Points/Outline
- Data/Information Resources
- Monetization strategy
- Goals for content
- Call to action
- Embedded links
The more you can predetermine about your content, the easier it will be to write it. When you have the topic, structure, research and goals identified, it can literally take you just a few minutes to create your content.
Let’s talk a minute about monetization. Each piece of content that you publish whether it’s PLR, Video, or content you’ve written should have a goal. What do you want it to achieve? What do you want readers to do?
In many cases, you simply want people to read the content and click on a link to make a purchase or earn you a commission. You want to monetize the content. There are many different ways to monetize your content. Plan ahead and you can craft your content to fit your chosen monetization tactic.
- Ad Placement – You can use various plugins or widgets to integrate advertisements right into the body of your content. For example, EmbedAds, http://wordpress.org/plugins/embad/, is a WordPress plugin that gives you control over where and when your ads are displayed.
- Promotional Offers – Does your content lead into a click to a sales page or a promotional offer? You can include that offer right in the closing of your content or create your own promotional advertisements or messages and embed them with a widget or plugin.
- Subscription – Do you have a membership site? If so, you can motivate subscriptions by providing a teaser or a portion of an article and making the rest of the content available with a paid subscription.
- AdSense – Google’s advertising plan for publishers, https://www.google.com/adsense/, is still alive and strong as a monetization model for many online businesses.
- WordPress Plugins – There are also plugins you can install on your WordPress site that identify keywords and attach relevant links to those keywords. Skimlinks, http://wordpress.org/plugins/skimlinks/, and Amazon Auto Links are two examples of this type of monetization plugin.
Not all content needs to be monetized. However, it is an important consideration when you’re planning your content, choosing your topics, and establishing goals.
#2 Note Taking Systems
Tools like Evernote and OneNote have already been discussed. These tools allow you to
- Save your ideas – for example a brilliant content idea that came to you during your morning walk
- They can be accessed anywhere – Evernote and Onenote both have mobile applications that link to your account. No matter what device you’re using to take notes and capture ideas, you can access them from one single account.
- Search by Keyword – Note taking tools make it easy to find things fast. You can search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images. No more shuffling through papers on your desk to find your lists and ideas.
Note taking applications aren’t for everyone. If you find yourself using pen and paper more often than a device, that’s fine. The important step here is to create a system that works for you. Some people find a three ring binder is the perfect system to take and organize their notes.
#3 Project Management
If you utilize contractors, for example ghostwriters, editors, graphic designers or virtual assistants, then a project management system will be valuable for you on many levels. There are both free and paid Project management tools.
For example, Google Drive can be used as a project management tool. It has a calendar and document system that you can share with specific people – even if they don’t have a google account or Gmail address.
There are also WordPress plugins for project management. For example, WP Project Manager, http://wordpress.org/plugins/wedevs-project-manager/, lets you assign projects, create lists and milestones and upload files.
Basecamp is an online project management and collaboration tool, http://basecamp.com/. If you’re looking for a tool to help combine communication and project management with your contractors and you want to organize your content, a project management software or service can be a big help. You can use the milestone feature to schedule content creation and publication. You can upload relevant documents, for example, your outline and monetization tactic, for each piece of content. And you can use the system to document your results as well.
Create an organization system that supports your personal work style. You may enjoy organizing everything digitally or you may have a file cabinet that Martha Stewart would be proud of. A system must support you to follow through and actually use it. And that brings us to the last step in the content process – publishing.