To create a powerful online presence, your blog needs to ooze authority. It should position your company as a thought leader in your industry.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to publish high quality content to your blog frequently and regularly.
Crowd Content makes it easy to feed your blog with fresh, relevant content that engages your audience and bulks up your online presence. The best part is, when approached correctly, most of the process can be automated.
The following guide will explain a complete method for setting up an automated blog schedule at Crowd Content. The guide focuses on reducing management time and maximizing content quality.
Here’s the 5 step program in a nutshell:
- Develop Your Content Strategy
- Create an Initial Content Schedule
- Select Titles
- Place Your First Order
- Use the Previous Writer Tool
Step 1: Develop Your Content Strategy
Before you start creating any content, you want to ensure your content strategy is focused and that it makes sense for your target audience.
Focus on a Niche
You will have more success if you publish content that relates to a specific, well-defined audience. If you are a business, this audience may match your target customer.
As Shane Snow describes in his article on Mashable, readers are more likely to subscribe to “hyper-specific publications” opposed to generalized or mainstream publications.
For example, instead of focusing your blog on marketing, you could be more specific and blog about content marketing. Your content will speak directly to a set of readers interested in content marketing and your chances of attracting repeat visitors increase.
Expand in a Controlled Way
After you gain a strong following in one niche, you could slowly add a few more categories to your blog to incrementally attract new audiences. Your new categories should be related to your initial niche.
Continuing with the original example, your next categories after content marketing might be email marketing and social media marketing.
Step 2: Create an Initial Content Schedule
Choose a Frequency
Decide on how often you will publish new content to your blog. This frequency will vary based on your budget and your audience’s appetite for content consumption.
It’s great to publish one post per day if you can, but even twice or three times per week can draw a good following.
As you gain momentum and see that readers are sticking around, you can start to increase your frequency.
Select Days of the Week to Publish
Regardless of your frequency, your publishing schedule should be consistent from week to week. If you’ve decided on publishing content to your blog 3 times per week, think of publishing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Whatever you decide, stick to that schedule every week. Consistency helps build expectations with your audience, encouraging readers to come back for the next post. As Darren Rowe from ProBlogger says:
“[Regularity and rhythm] is important as it helps their readers to know what to expect and to align themselves with your rhythm.”
Step 3: Select Titles
You have a couple options for selecting titles. You can either include a list of titles in your order instructions or you can allow the writer to create the titles for each blog post.
Ideas for Choosing Titles
There are a few strategies kicking around the web for how to best select titles for your blog posts. Read this article from Brian Clark at Coppyblogger for some great ideas on writing magnetic headlines. Make sure you check out the links he includes at the bottom of the article.
Earlier this year I wrote a blog post called How to Build a Keyword-Rich Content Calendar. Check it out if you are looking to base your titles off a list of keywords to enhance the SEO benefits of your content.
How to Include Your List of Titles
Paste your list of titles in the Instructions for Writer area and include instructions on how to use the list.
The easy way is to just have your writer go through the list one by one, crossing off the titles as he goes.
If you want to get more creative, you could have segmented lists for each day of the week. This is useful if your days of the week are themed.
How to Let the Writer Create Titles
If you don’t have a predefined list of titles, let the writer create her own title for each blot post. In this case, you may want to give some guidance to the writer by clearly defining what the overall niche of your blog is.
For example, if the niche you selected in step 1 was content marketing, you could simply ask that all titles be related to content marketing.
The important part with selecting titles is that you make it clear in the instructions how you want to writer to proceed.
Step 4: Place Your First Order
Now that you’ve built your foundation by developing a strategy, creating a schedule, and choosing a method for generating titles, you can place your first order.
Sign in to Crowd Content and Click “Create Order”
If you don’t have a client account at Crowd Content, sign up here for free. You only need to deposit money when you’re ready to start placing orders.
If you already do have an account, sign in and bring up a new order form.
Complete the Order Form
Fill out all the content details in the order form as you normally would. Remember to include a clear description of your title strategy from step 3.
You also want to keep in mind that any information you specify here will be included in every scheduled order going forward.
Because of this, ensure that your instructions are general enough to make sense for future orders. For example, you don’t want to include a bunch of information that only applies to the first title on your list.
Exception: You actually could include order specific information at this time. However, only do this if you plan to go back and remove that information by editing the scheduled order. You would want to edit before the next order in your schedule is placed.
Set Your Schedule
Under the pricing options you will see the Recurring Order Schedule section. Click Yes to view the content scheduling tool.
IMPORTANT: The schedule only specifies the days that your order will be placed. It does not mean that your order will be ready on that day.
Your turnaround time from placed to ready status will depend on your maximum word count for the order. An estimated turnaround time will show in your Order Summary on the right.
Because the turnaround time is estimated, let’s be safe and always add an extra day to it when creating our schedule.
For example, if, in step 2 of this guide, you decided to post to your blog 3 times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and your estimated turnaround time shows 1 day, you would set your schedule to Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.
This means your orders will be placed every week on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, giving you a 2 day cushion before every publish day.
Keep Your Account Funded to Keep Your Schedule Going
Upon placing a scheduled content order, your Low Funds Notification is automatically set. This means that you will be notified by email whenever your level of funds falls below a certain threshold.
This notification can be managed by hovering over the “House” and clicking on Low Funds Notification. From here, you can also set a custom threshold to whatever amount you like.
We recommend keeping this notification on to avoid schedule interruptions. If the system detects that you don’t have enough funds in your account to place the current order, the order will not be placed.
Step 5: Use the Previous Writer Option
To really lock down the style and tone that you want, use the previous writer option.
Review Your First Few Completed Blog Posts
You may want to see a few completed orders before you decide on what writer you want to stick with. Or, you might know right away that the first writer to work for you is perfect.
Either way, you eventually want to lock down a writer that will keep writing your scheduled orders going forward. By doing this, the writer will get to know your brand and your blog’s needs. After a few weeks, he’ll be fully immersed in the same mind frame that you are, delivering great, engaging content to your blog every time.
How to Use the Previous Writer Option
Once you find your writer, you need to sign in to your Crowd Content account and edit your scheduled order.
To do this, view the Project that your scheduled order belongs to. Your scheduled orders will be at the top of the page.
Click “Edit” on the far right of the schedule you want to select a previous writer for.
At the bottom of the order form, click Yes to view the Advanced Options. It will ask you if you want to use a writer from a previous order. Select Yes.
A list of all your previously completed orders will appear. Select the order that you felt was best written to suit your needs.
Save these changes by clicking SAVE CHANGES and then CONFIRM CHANGES on the right.
After doing this, all future orders will be placed with the same writer who completed the order you selected in the previous writer option.
This basic 5 step guide should get you on the right track to powering your blog with Crowd Content. Once you are up and running, most of the process is automated other than implementing a few tweaks here and there.
Although the system is designed to be as easy as possible, we recommend putting in some work up front to develop your content strategy (step 1), create an initial schedule (step 2), and select titles (step 3).
The quality of the content you get from your writers will depend highly on how well you plan and execute those three steps. Know what you want and be clear about communicating it within your order instructions.
After you see success with one schedule and lock down a writer for the long term, consider adding another schedule and eventually locking down another writer. This will add more content to your blog and it will also add a new voice and perspective to it. When done right, this adds value to your blog and beefs up your presence.
If anyone has questions about this guide, please contact your account manager or post in the comments section below.