If you publish content for an online audience, it’s easy to start with a high-quality content stream. Especially if you hire more than one writer in a round of recruitment. The excitement of a new project keeps people going.
But like any other person, writers can hit a plateau, get burned out on the subject matter, and quality can decrease over time.
So how do you avoid that?
What is a surefire process for maintaining consistent quality?
That’s what we’ll talk about in this article.
Procedures Matter The Most
To maintain consistent writing quality, the most important thing you need are clear and easy-to-execute procedures. With comprehensive content workflows in place for every process that a writer can go through (research, writing, editing, publishing), your writers have a step-by-step plan they can follow to avoid drops in the quality of articles.
This ties back to where quality drops come from. Familiarity with an article template, experience, or even burnout can make writers skip corners, willingly or by mistake. If doctors used to do it before international standards for medical procedures, you can bet your writers will too.
Because it’s so easy to forget to cover something.
In a team of experienced writers, you can expect your employees to:
- Research an article topic
- Research the main and secondary keywords for said topic
- Write an initial structure
- Write the first draft
- Edit the article for grammar, style, flow, and even SEO
- Add multimedia content to the article
- Upload it in the backend of a site
- Promote it to a mailing list or social media page
And throughout that entire process, you need them to be analytical, creative, maybe even work under pressure, and use a ton of different online tools to pull it all off.
Without clear procedures, it’s easy to skip a step.
So the fastest way to maintain consistent quality is to analyze your writing and publishing processes, and create workflows that cover anything a writer might need to do.
Content marketing platforms make it easy for you to create and share these procedures. For example, in DivvyHQ, you can create a workflow for developing blog posts, and then as new blog posts are planned, the workflow gets created and individual tasks are assigned to applicable team members automatically.
Example Blog Workflow – DivvyHQ
Lastly, consider the types of content you usually produce. If you want to make sure your team can keep pumping out quality content, you can create workflow templates for the most common content types.
For example, if you often roll out new case studies or “X vs Y” articles, you can create a general structure for articles of that type, and general guidance for approaching each section. It can boost your employees’ effectiveness, and it’s a great way to maintain consistency in your content.
Another important thing to keep in mind are on-page optimizations.
If you use tools like SurferSEO, Ahrefs, or have specific guidelines for images, it can make it easier for your writers to create quality content consistently. With SurferSEO, for example, they don’t have to research LSI keywords and search suggestions manually, in different tools.
Rather, they just have to include the recommended SurferSEO keywords, in the right amount, get a green tick for the article, and they’re (almost) done with on-page optimizations for an article.
Image guidelines are also important.
If an article has images of all shapes and sizes in it, it will probably not look good on all platforms. So we recommend you create clear guidelines for what is the ideal shape, size, and image type for your site.
Onboarding The Right Way
Formulating procedures for your business is only the first step in maintaining consistent quality. It’s also crucial that you communicate these procedures with your team and onboard new writers properly.
For starters, if you don’t have any workflows, writing checklists or content templates in place, we recommend you involve your current team in the process of creating them. It can be extremely helpful in training anyone that will join your team along the way. Your existing writers know the steps for every article type, so you’re able to rely on their experience.
Besides that, aim to create a knowledge center, especially if you have varied content types and site widgets that writers need to work with.
No matter how dedicated or passionate a writer is, and regardless of how many procedures they have at their disposal, they can still hit a slump if they’re working on the same type of article for months on end.
Doing a CRM review, for example, can be exciting the first 2 or 3 times, especially if the writer has some background in customer relationship management.
But if you fast forward 3 or 4 months into the future, and the same person is reviewing their 30th CRM, they can hit a plateau. Writers are people, and redundancy can decrease their productivity, and their creative juices.
So aim for robust content rotation among your writers. Have them work on different projects occasionally, or you risk a drop in content quality.
Automation Can Help
Content writing is intrinsically creative. Even if there already are bots writing news, content writing is, for the most part, still a “human” activity.
But that’s exactly why automation is key to maintaining consistent quality. If you can automate the tedious parts of content creation (like publishing, checking the site’s uptime after a new category is created, or helping writers promote their content with SMM and email marketing tools) you’ll give more freedom to your writers.
They’ll have more time to focus on the creative part of content writing, and in turn, there’s a higher chance you’ll maintain consistent quality in your articles.
It’s a simple principle. But it works because it helps your employees be as efficient as possible with their time.
Plateaus Are Not Tragedies
Let’s say you didn’t take these precautions, and your writers have hit a plateau. Your content quality is decent, but not flawless.
It’s not the end of the world.
Updating articles, in fact, is a natural part of content creation for an online audience. You’ll need to do it anyway at some point.
So if your writers are struggling to output the same quality, communicate this clearly, and get them involved in the process of overcoming the slump. Go through the steps we outlined today, and create procedures for updating articles as well.
And from that point on, you’ll be able to maintain consistent quality in your content.
Like any other job, being a writer can get tedious. If you’re in charge of a team of writers, however, this shouldn’t scare you. As long as you:
- Formulate healthy and comprehensive procedures
- Onboard team members effectively
- Employ content type rotation
- Automate tedious tasks
You can overcome any plateau your writing team might have and be sure that maintaining consistent quality in your content will be a given moving forward.
If you feel like an entire overhaul of your content production is in order, you can check out these 21 examples of successful affiliate sites. Analyze their content and look for things that could inspire you to improve your content production.
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