Managing a content team can be challenging.
If you’re the manager-cum-editor of the team, you will know how time-consuming it is to juggle different tasks — from brainstorming content ideas, checking and approving titles, editing the content, and even rewriting poorly written content, the process really seems complicated.
There’s no concrete workflow on how to streamline content creation to publication as our approach may differ from one another, but there are many ways on how to make the process easier and simpler for anyone in the team to understand.
While we usually rely on notes, emails, and whiteboard notices, streamlining your content process would be easier to accomplish if you’re going to use a project management software. For enterprise businesses, it is recommended to take HubSpot, but if you’re a small team or a small business, Trello is the best alternative to managing your tasks.
Trello is a project management tool, but unlike any other tools in the market, Trello is known for its simplicity. It’s easy to use — you can organize and manage projects through this platform in a breeze. Simply swipe left and right to see each step of the process.
In Trello, simply create a Board that will hold all the tasks in place. Imagine it as an online corkboard for your tasks. Then, create a List that will hold relevant tasks; each task will be presented as a Card. Technically, there’s no limit on creating lists and cards. You won’t need that much but isn’t that convenient for large-scale content management?
Despite its simplicity, it’s packed with features that make it easier to manage. You can add tags, reminders, notifications and alerts, images, and even attachments to each Card. That way, you can concentrate on each task without misplacing any detail needed for each task.
If you’re unfamiliar with how Trello works, here’s a great tutorial video on how to set up your own Trello board.
To effectively use Trello as a project management tool, you must define each step that you undergo during the content creation process.
Again, organizations have different processes than the others, so it’s better if you would sit down with your team and create a flowchart to lay out your process.
It may seem old school, but a flowchart can help you define different focal points of your strategy.
This is a sample flowchart of a content process for blog posting, specifically for freelancers. We have different Boards set up for different teams as we manage multiple clients at the same time, so that’s how we keep everything organized.
After clearly defining each step in the process, we now look at what tasks are involved in each step. On the other hand, we sometimes create Boards for each step of the process, then assign lists of tasks to each person accountable for that task list. It is your prerogative to select either one of the ways to delegate and monitor tasks in Trello.
After listing out each task under each list, we proceed to delegate the cards to its respective project participant. We discuss and agree to the deadlines and deliverables, along with checklists that go with each task.
Defining a goal and target audience. We determine what kind of content appears on the blog by studying our intent in creating the blog. Are you targeting people only looking for information? Are you looking forward to target people with buying interest? If you clearly define what the goal of your content is, you know what to expect from the content, and what the tone of the content should be.
Brainstorm content ideas. With the information you have, align your content topics with your goals and target audience. Research about what your competitors are writing about, what topics are rattling the Internet or anything you’re an expert on. Suffering from a writer’s block? Here are some tools that can get you started with your content ideation:
HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator (https://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator)
Answer the Public (https://answerthepublic.com/)
A list of 103 blog post ideas (https://optinmonster.com/50-blog-post-ideas-that-you-can-write-about-today/)
Builtvisible The Content Strategy Discovery Tool (https://builtvisible.com/content-strategy-helper/)
Classify each idea in its proper format. A blog post isn’t the only form of content that you can use. Here’s a list of 15 types of content that you can use. There’s always a better form of content that can be more valuable as a marketing tool for your company.
Opinion post (a.k.a. “Rant”)
Research and original data
Now that you’ve classified each topic, we prepare a content calendar to align the theme of our blog posts or other content to our marketing strategy.
Here are some Trello board inspirations for a unique content calendar for your blog — best of all, you can copy it and edit it for use!
Editorial Calendar from Trello – https://trello.com/b/mo04wOm4/editorial-calendar
ReadWrite Editorial Calendar – https://trello.com/b/u9Mb1sqn/readwrite-editorial-calendar
Digital Posting Schedule – https://trello.com/b/aC2tvnE9/digital-posting-schedule
Content Planning Calendar – https://trello.com/b/zRqGQVlr/content-planning-calendar
Afterwards, it’s time to create your content!
Since content can be created in different ways, in this blog post, we will focus on creating blog posts.
Create an Outline. We always ask our writers to create an outline first before proceeding. It helps us separate the wheat from the chaff — from this point forward, we start assessing the quality of the content, not by the time the writer finishes it. It saves us from the headache of rewriting, or worse, scrapping the content and wasting manpower hours on such tasteless content. Also, at this point, we try to correct the format by making sure we add subheadings or try to do bulleted lists, if necessary. We do our best to create better content that is valuable, and not just some added fodder for SEO purposes. Audience first, SEO later.
Writing the Blog Post. We coordinate content creation through Google Docs for real-time submissions. It makes our jobs easier as we oversee their current progress in creating content. On the other hand, it’s safer to use since all the files are stored in the cloud. No more panicking when the electricity goes out and we haven’t saved anything.
Editing, Optimization. As we’ve said, we always put the audience first, then we apply SEO later. We don’t over optimize blog posts. What we usually do:
Add relevant images like photos, charts whenever necessary, and other illustrations to get our point across
We try to link back to our previous posts, whenever necessary
We link to authority sites, and to sources, we quoted in the article.
Before we give the go signal to publish the article, we make sure we covered everything that the article needs to be more valuable.
Uploading it to your CMS. We ensure that the format stays the same, that the code is properly implemented, and there are no broken links in the content or other oddly formatted text. If needed, you should create a page template for skyscraper content, something different from your ordinary blog post. If you’re uploading a blog post or skyscraper content, make sure you have images to accompany the article. If you’re uploading an infographic, an introduction and a quick summary of what the infographic is about will be sufficient. Are you sharing a video or a podcast? It would be helpful for both human and search engines if you add a transcript to accompany the rich media content. Make sure to indicate that as a checklist on your Trello card!
Publish now or Scheduling. Do you need to publish it now? Or is it scheduled for another day? It is important to tag this in your content calendar, whether you’re prepared to get it published or not. On the other hand, make sure if you need to place in tracking links to…
Share it on Social Media. And you’re done! Take another quick look and check if you got all the blurbs right. The message that you post on your social media accounts should be like what you want to convey in your content.
Plan your content thoroughly; don’t just pitch in ideas, work your way until the whole content flow is complete. There are different tools that you can use if you’re stuck in a rut. After running through your content ideas, classify which ideas are better in another format, other than a blog post. Remember to consider your content editorial calendar so you plan on time.
Once you’re done planning, it’s time to create your content. We recommend creating outlines first before you have the content written to avoid unnecessary edits. Once you’re done polishing the content, submit and publish! Don’t forget to share it over your social media accounts!
We know it’s such a strong statement to say, “Trello Your Way to Success”, but we all know for a fact that project management indeed helps in making sure everything gets done faster and easier. A good content process makes it easier for you and your company to deliver the content you need to publish.
About the Author – Sarah McGuire is a Digital Strategist for LSS SEO in Toronto. She takes an in-depth, hands-on approach to startup social business strategy. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and marketing communications.