Many clients at Crowd Content are now using the schedule feature to automate their content creation process. If you have a blog or other ongoing content project, read through this guide for some tips on setting up an automated schedule and keeping it going efficiently.
Basically, you want to follow these 5 best practices when placing scheduled content orders:
- Schedule Orders Ahead of Publish Dates
- Generalize Your Order Instructions
- Manage Titles Effectively
- Lockdown Your Favorite Writer
- Use Multiple Schedules
How Does the Schedule Feature Work?
Before we get into best practices, let’s quickly recap how the schedule feature works and where to find it.
The schedule feature allows you to set up recurring content orders. You can find it by signing in to your Crowd Content client account and clicking “Create Order”.
Near the bottom of the order form is a section called “Recurring Order Schedule”. If you click Yes, the schedule feature will open up and you’ll see each day of the week listed.
From there, it’s pretty simple. You just select the days of the week that you want your order placed on. After you submit the order, the schedule will be live, and that order will be placed each week on the days you’ve specified.
1. Schedule Orders ahead of Publish Dates
It’s important to know that the schedule feature specifies the date your order will be placed. It does not mean that your content will be ready on that day.
Because of this, you want to set your scheduled dates well ahead of your desired publish dates (if you have publish dates).
If your content orders require a lot of research and time to create, give yourself lots of time by setting your schedule dates up to 3 or 4 days ahead of your publish dates.
2. Generalize Your Order Instructions
With a scheduled order, the same set of instructions will be sent to the writer(s) every time it is placed. Because of this, you need to think of your scheduled order as more of an overall project brief and not a specific order for one piece of content.
For example, if you have a blog about social media marketing, you may want to use language like below in your instructions:
We need 3 blog posts per week about social media marketing. We are a marketing agency so please create content that would be interesting to our clients and our potential clients.
Please view the example websites listed below for blogs that have content similar to what we are looking for…
The key here is that we are not requesting one specific title or piece of content. We’re explaining the overall project and listing guidelines that will apply for every post going forward.
“But I want to specify my own titles,” you say. Check out the next tip on title management to see how you can do it!
3. Manage Titles Effectively
Managing titles with an automated schedule can be tricky, but here are a few tips to simplify the process.
You basically have two options:
- Let the writer(s) create their own titles and topics
- Specify your own titles and topics ahead of time
If you want the writer(s) to create the titles as they go, then you simply need to state that in your order instructions. Something like the following would do:
Please create your own titles and topics as you go. Please make the titles exciting and interesting to the social media marketing community.
If you want to specify your own titles, try this approach. Generate a long list of titles ahead of time. You might have a bunch that you’ve already thought of or you might want to do a brainstorming session with your team.
Either way, you want to end up with a list of 10, 20, or more titles.
Add this list of titles to your instructions for your scheduled order. State that you want the writer(s) to go through them one at a time and cross them off as they go.
IMPORTANT: When taking this approach, remember that you will need to “re-load” your titles every so often. For example, after 15 of 20 titles have been written, you will want to repeat the title generation process again and then add the new list of titles to the order instructions.
To add the new list of titles, go to the Project that your scheduled order belongs to. You will see the schedule at the top of the page. Click Edit. Add the new list of titles (delete the used ones if you want) and then click Save Schedule.
TITLE GENERATION TIP: Can’t think of any titles? Place an order to the crowd for 150 words asking the writer to generate titles around your topic. For example: “Please create 20 – 30 blog post titles around the topic of social media marketing. Each title should be around 7 words long and be in ‘how to’ or ‘top X’ format.”
4. Lockdown Your Favorite Writer
You should look at your first couple orders as a bit of a testing period. You don’t know the writers yet, and you’ll probably have a few different writers complete your first couple of orders.
However, once you see a completed order that you really like, you can easily request to use that same writer for all your scheduled orders going forward.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to the Project that your scheduled order belongs to
- Click Edit on the scheduled order (to the right)
- Go to the bottom of the order form and click Yes to view Advanced Options
- Click Yes to use a writer from a previous order
- Select the order that you liked and click Save Schedule
After doing this, all future orders for that schedule will go to your preferred writer.
5. Use Multiple Schedules
Some clients want to use 2 or 3 different writers for their blog. This gives their blog a few different perspectives and can help increase the frequency of new blog posts being published every week.
To use multiple writers, you’ll want to use multiple schedules, too. Simply create a schedule for each writer.
Make sure that the “previous writer” selected for each scheduled order is correct. Name each scheduled order differently so you can identify which writer is doing the content.
It’s easy to automate your content creation efforts if you use the schedule feature and follow these best practices. If you run into any problems or have questions, get in touch with your Client Account Manager. They can help you get started and provide assistance along the way.
You might want to check out the articles below, too, for related advice: