How to Start Your Content Project in 5 Easy Steps

By: David Tile| Founer @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: August 13, 2014
You took the plunge and picked a content marketing firm like Nimble Media or a copywriting firm like Article-Writing to handle your digital marketing and website content development needs.
You’re not alone.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, about 50 percent of marketers outsource at least some of their content creation. The reasons vary, but most of the time, companies either don’t have the staff, the resources or the know-how – or all of the above – to handle the content on their own.

But picking a content partner is just the beginning. What are the next steps in the process?


1) Establish an editorial style guide

What’s your tone? Who’s your target audience? What keywords are you trying to rank for? These are all points that need to be discussed early in the process. Include things like your competitors and any websites, blogs or social media influencers you follow. Your new content team needs this information before they can start. Otherwise, they’re just winging it – and chances are, you won’t be happy with the final results.

2) What are your deadlines?

By the time you’ve picked a content partner, odds are good that you’ve already established the number of blog posts you’d like to publish each week, along with the social media platforms they will manage. Next, you need to establish when you’d like your posts to run. The vast majority of blog posts are published Monday through Friday, according to an analysis by TrackMaven, with 11 a.m. to noon EST the most popular time slot. So, if you publish three blogs per week, then schedule them out for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for example; for two posts, schedule them out for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

That, however, only covers when you want your blogs to go live. You’ll want to look over the content well before then. Establish a much earlier deadline, like on Thursday for the following week’s posts. That way, you have plenty of time to read over everything before it’s published, even if that means spending some time over the weekend, and it gives the content team time to make any revisions (if necessary).

3) Method of delivery?

You also need to establish how you will receive your content. Email is fine if it’s a relatively small account, but you should have a backup system in place, too. Consider using a file hosting service like Dropbox or even Google Drive. That way, both you and the content team have access to everything, and if the file(s) didn’t show up in Dropbox, for example, you should still receive it via email.

4) Time to share your passwords (gulp!)

This goes hand-in-hand with Step 3: If you want your content team to post your blogs on your website and/or handle your social media platforms, then you have to share those respective passwords. You’ll also need to give administrative access to everything if you want them to monitor your site’s analytics. Does that make you nervous? Then have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. A NDA is a contract that creates a legal obligation of privacy. That means, whoever signs it must agree to keep any specified information secret, explains Rocket Lawyer. (Everything you’d ever want to know about NDAs can be found here.)

5) Establish Billing Procedures

Finally, you need to figure out the payment schedule and procedures. When is payment due? How do they except payment? Make sure you include who receives the invoice in your company.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 


Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.