Your Content Strategy is Failing -- Here's How to Fix it
About a year into my freelancing business, I began to notice a recurring theme. Many of my clients could never seem to produce content consistently. This was true even for clients I had worked for months.
Most would hire me to write one blog or two blog posts a week. They knew they needed to be putting content out there but didn’t have the time or the desire to do it themselves.
Where Content Planning Falls Apart
But once we began working together, the process that would usually play out like this:
The client sends me a topic and assigns me a due date. I lock myself in my office with a giant cup of coffee and begin writing.
I produce a draft and turn it in by the assigned due date. The client thanks me and says something to the extent of, “I’ll cycle back once I have time to review this.”
Two weeks go by and I finally hear back from my client. They have some thoughtful comments and suggestions. I make the edits and the client seems satisfied with the final piece of content.
A week later, the client would send me a new blog post. The cycle continues. (Side note: The client may or may not have posted the blog post to their website at this point. I’ve noticed sometimes this can take weeks as well.)
Do you see the problem here?
The client hired me with many goals in mind. Some wanted to increase traffic to their website. Some hoped to become a thought leader in their industry. But none of these goals were being realized because it could take up to a month to finish and post one blog post!
I started to feel like I wasn’t helping my clients all that much. And I have little doubt they were asking themselves why they hired me in the first place.
The Problem With Producing Content
I’ve run into this problem multiple times and in general, I’ve found there are two solutions:
Loosen your grip on the editorial standards
Come up with a better workflow
Allow me to explain.
Many clients don’t want to turn over control and trust the freelancer to manage the editorial process. And this is understandable.
You’re putting your name on this blog post. It represents your company. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by putting out low-quality content. And in many situations, it may be necessary for you to review the content.
For instance, let’s pretend you‘re a lawyer and you hire someone to write a blog post about how the new tax bill could affect your clients. It may be important for you to review the blog post to ensure they got the details right. Even the best freelancer could make a small factual error.
So you may not be able to relinquish control of the editorial standards. In that case, what you need is a better workflow.
Creating a Content Marketing Workflow
Imagine this scenario:
You have a content calendar for your blog. A freelancer pitches 10 new ideas for blog posts at the beginning of the month.
You schedule 30 minutes to review their ideas and approve the ones you like.
You assign due dates for the top four. Those are your blog posts for this month.
The freelancer writes a draft of the first blog post in Google Drive.
They upload the draft to your website and save it for review.
You go in once a week, review the draft, make any necessary changes, and post it. The cycle continues.
This is a simplified explanation but do you see how this makes the entire process easier? And it saves you from going back and forth endlessly over email.
There are many tweaks you can make to this process to make it work for your schedule. It may take time to smooth out the workflow and there may be some bumps in the beginning. But over time, you’ll work out a good rhythm and save yourself a lot of frustration.
And the best part is, eventually you can bring more people onto the writing team because you have such a good system in place.
If you’re struggling to produce content consistently, I may be able to help you out. I work with B2B businesses to help them plan and execute their content strategy. If you want more information on how I work or have a question about content marketing, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.