You’ve been trying to produce blog articles for your business’ blog on a consistent publishing schedule. But it always falls behind, and never seems to pack a punch. Why is that?
Probably because you need a blog article production process (or a better one!).
If you can get your team to execute the same step-by-step process to produce a high-quality, educational blog article to help your business’ marketing efforts, then it becomes infinitely easier to keep your blog’s publishing schedule up and it’s quality consistently high.
This is a guide to helping you craft a better blog article production process. It is loosely based on learnings my team and I had while growing Audience Ops, a sister company to ProcessKit, which offers done-for-you blog content as a service. Whether you’re outsourcing content or producing it in-house, having a process in place will help it succeed.
In this Blog Production Process Guide, you’ll find:
- Access to our blog article production process template kit for ProcessKit
- The key steps in the process of going from idea to published blog article
- The people who are involved in producing your blog content (whether you need to hire some folks, outsource some parts, or do it yourself).
- How to custom tailor your blogging process to your unique style and areas of focus
- Next steps to implementing a better blog article production and publishing process for your business.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Get your blog article production process template kit
Our blog article production process template kit for ProcessKit includes a tried-and-true step-by-step process, plus our pre-configured custom project type for blog posts, along with a set of custom fields to help your in-production blog articles move along in the process.
Not using ProcessKit yet? Not a problem. You can open your free trial today and give your blogging effort more efficiency with the help of this process template kit.
Key steps in the process of publishing a blog article
When you read a really great article published on a business’ blog, it might seem like it was created on whim, and went from idea to published in just a matter of hours, by the hand of one person.
Well, that’s far from how most business blog posts are actually produced these days. In fact, most are created over several weeks and are worked on by several key people who run a very specific process. That’s how they achieve a consistent level of quality and stick to a consistent publishing schedule.
Every business blog has it’s own flavor, of course. Maybe you want to focus on customer case studies, or how-to articles, or technical tutorials, or a more product-focused blog. That’s totally up to you!
Regardless of what the topic focus is, you should implement a more standard production process to guide how every blog article moves from idea to published and promoted.
Here are a few of the key steps in that process:
Starting a blog article: Topic research
The real quality in any blog article doesn’t happen during the writing phase, but actually much earlier than that: During the topic ideation and research phase of the process.
Your team should have a go-to source of topic ideas, or ways in which they come up with new topic ideas. What goes into this will vary based on the type of content you publish. But it should be documented and followed every time.
There should be multiple people involved in giving input into which topic(s) are most relevant and interesting. A good practice to get into is to come up with a few different topic ideas, then pass them around to different people on your team and put it to a vote for which one they’d each want to read. That’s a good indicator of which topic to go with for your next blog post!
Of course, you’ll probably want to incorporate some SEO keyword research, competitive research, and your target customer persona data into how you decide on your blog topics. It all factors into this critical decision step in your process.
Writing the blog article
Whoa there… Before you dive head first into writing those paragraphs, it’s best that you start with an outline. Not only does an outline help the writer stay focused and create a better structure, but it’s also a good early direction that someone else in the process can give input on, so that everyone is sure this blog post is heading in the right direction.
With the outline in place, the full article can go through its drafting stage (and all the little things involved in that, such as linking, images, optimizations, calls-to-actions, and more).
Then it’s onto copyediting. It is best to have a separate, dedicated copyeditor to proofread the blog article before it moves along in the production process. Writers can (and should) self-edit their work, but a professional copyeditor can really bring the level of quality up to the next level.
At every step of the way, you’ll want to ensure that this process is being tracked, in two ways:
- The people who are directly involved in creating the blog post need checklists to ensure they’re not forgetting any of the little details—and there are many!
- The stakeholders (others in the company, the founders, clients, whoever else should be looped in!) need a way to know that the next article is on track, and also what it’s about so that it can sync up with any other PR or marketing work that’s going on.
Whichever tools your team is using to manage your blog content production process, it’s important that your system supports those objectives. ProcessKit provides views into all of those levels of progress, and it also has a robust Zapier integration so that it can sync up with any other software you might be using.
Blog post publishing & promotion
With the blog post having gone through its drafting and copyediting phases, it’s ready to be set up and scheduled for publishing.
Ideally, an assistant or someone else on the team will be responsible for all the legwork involved in taking a written article and preparing it for publishing. There are a ton of little things that need to be carefully handled. These include proper formatting, linking, tagging, categorization, SEO optimizations, images, scheduling for publishing and more.
Alongside the blog post itself, there will be other related pieces to publish. These might include an email newsletter to announce the new blog post, and a batch of social media posts to help promote it to your audience.
These pieces should follow a similar process, fully integrated with the blog article process, including careful scheduling so that those pieces go out immediately after your blog post goes live.
You don’t want a Tweet to publish with a broken link because the blog post hasn’t published yet. Talk about a process breakdown!
The people involved in producing blog content
Most companies start by having a founder or someone internally handle all of the work of ideating, researching, writing, editing, and publishing their own blog content. But that quickly becomes unsustainable.
Sooner or later, you’ll need to hire dedicated people or outsource some parts of it. The people involved in a well-rounded blog production process include:
- A content strategist / production manager. Someone to help direct strategy but someone who can also oversee the process and publishing schedule.
- A professional writer who specializes in writing business blog content for the web.
- A professional copyeditor (this often a slightly different skillset from a writer).
- A designer to create custom graphics to support the blog content.
- A technical assistant who handles the set up, scheduling, and publishing details.
Custom tailoring your blog content process to fit your style and focus
You don’t want to simply rip off what your competitors’ blogs are doing, or produce blog content solely for the sake of ranking in search engines (though SEO optimization is certainly one benefit of producing a quality blog).
With that in mind, here are a few questions you might consider as you work on custom tailoring your blog content production process to your specific needs:
What type of blog content should we produce? Case studies, how-tos, tutorials, feature highlights, industry news, expert interviews… There are a number of ways you can go. Depending on the type, this might impact the steps in the process required. For example, some content types may require arranging and scheduling interviews.
Which steps can be handled in-house vs. outsourced? In most cases, a company will handle the big-picture strategy and metrics tracking pieces in-house, but outsource the production legwork of writing, copyediting, and publishing. Oftentimes, there should be a process for how you work with your outsourced vendors on content production.
On what schedule will we publish? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Daily? Monthly? This schedule matters a lot in terms of how you plan out the time requirements and due dates for every task in your production process.
Next steps to implementing a more sustainable blog article production process
Ready to finally ramp up your company’s blog content? Then its time to put your blog content process into action.
Start by using our blog article production process template kit for ProcessKit. This free kit for ProcessKit users has everything needed to implement a more sustainable process for the production and publishing of your blog content, including:
- Our step-by-step process template (fully editable, easy to customize or use as-is)
- Dynamic date rules built into every process step
- A custom project type which be used for every new blog post
- A set of custom fields that make it easier to keep track of all the pieces that go into producing a blog article.
Haven’t started using ProcessKit yet? Fear not. You can start free trial now so you can get your businesses’ systems in order (starting with your blog article production process!).