I know that feeling. Content planning sucks.
You just don’t wanna look at it anymore. It’s wearing you down. As tempting as it may be, you shouldn’t hit publish. Seriously, don’t do it, it’s not ready for your readers. It needs editing by someone else.
As annoying as it is, you usually don’t see your own typos or mistakes. It’s not because you’re stupid though. There’s science to this, ya know.
Turns out we all lie to ourselves. Tom Stafford at the University of Sheffield has been studying typos.
In his research, Tom found our brains tend to generalize and swap out words. We switch words that aren’t right and replace them with those we’d expect to be there. Weird, right?
The ‘psychology’ you meant to write? Yeah, you spelled it ‘pssychology’. Oops!
The reason we don’t see our own typos is because what we see on the screen is competing with the version that exists in our heads
Tom Stafford, University of Sheffield
If your article does manage to creep its way past the editing process, your readers are likely to pick up on the mistake. It’s because they’re reading it for the first time.
They don’t know about the idea you’re trying to portray yet, and they’re not the ones that’ve been writing it all week.
Work as a Team When Crafting Content
Writing in a startup team is no easy feat. Your teammates are super busy, and you don’t want to distract them.
But getting their input could take your mediocre piece of writing and turn it into a masterpiece. In the long run, this means more leads for your business. It’s a big deal.
Sure, to begin with it’s tough for someone to sit there and rip your work to shreds. It sucks, but you get used it. You need to get used to it. You’ll become a better writer because of it—I know I have.
A strong editorial team can help fine-tune your company’s voice and actuate your communication goals
Molly Dee Anderson, Yesler
If your startup is going to succeed with content marketing, you’ll need to be ruthless. You can only publish the best version of your writing. Any less, and people won’t come back to read more.
Having a community of people coming back for more is super important. Don’t let your ego take center stage, ok?
Use a Workflow for Better Content Ideas
By using the power of a workflow, it’s easier for you and your team to collaborate. Having an ‘ideas’ stage at the start of the workflow means there’s less pressure to come up with high-quality suggestions. You and your team know that post may not make it to a draft, and that’s ok.
Having everyone contribute ideas makes sense because everybody has their own areas of expertise.
IDEO—a design agency famous for their brainstorming—insists you be sure not to discard anyone’s idea. While it may not be polished right now, it could lead to something great further down the line.
You never know where a good idea is going to come from, the key is make [sic] everyone feel like they can say the idea on their mind and allow others to build on it.
We’ve got over 30 ideas on our Kanban right now and most of them won’t ever turn into drafts, but the only reason this post has been published is because I looked through them and picked one out. I didn’t feel like writing this piece a month ago, but now I feel it’s a good time.
Make sure you have lots of ideas in reserve, too. Without them you’ll need to take time out to think up blog topics, and that’s time you could be spending actually writing.
Hillary Weiss is a content crafter from Brooklyn. She keeps a swipe file handy so she can keep working even when inspiration is nowhere to be found.
Your swipe file is the perfect resource for those moments when ideas just aren’t coming and those moments when that perfect project comes around, when you’ll have just the thing tucked away and ready to build on.
Hillary Weiss, Crew
Hillary uses her notes app and a word document to keep all her favorite ideas, quotes, and graphics in one place when content planning. When it’s time to get some work done, she can take a look at these swipe files. She can pick bits she thinks may help her make her content go from OK to awesome.
When inspiration doesn’t strike, it’s good to have options. They help you light the match again.
Keep Your Team Updated
If you’re the content manager for your startup, you’re busy enough already. It’s tough coming up with all the ideas all the time. So it’s your job to:
- Sort through everyone’s ideas
- Find the best person to write each post
- Follow up with the writer or guest
- Get a draft written
- Edit the article (or get it edited)
- Add in graphics, quotes and/or a video
- Publish on schedule
That’s a lot of work to get done, so having a team that’s there for you is better than one that gets annoyed every time you mention the company blog.
Make your teammates part of the process, and keep them updated at meetings. Keep your blog open to your team contributing. By using workflows, you can make the process easier for everyone involved.
Use the Power of Workflows
Knowing where in the process each piece of content is helps you get a clear overview of your editorial process. Having the ability to set a post status as idea, draft, ready to edit, or ready to publish means you and your team won’t get confused.
Here’s an overview on the role of each status.