How to Handle a Crazy Content-Production Calendar
Besides my regular guest spot at Entrepreneur, I also contribute regularly to other sites like Social Media Examiner and HubSpot -- all while keeping up weekly content production on both my Single Grain and Growth Everywhere blogs.
That’s a lot of content, so it’s no surprise that I’m frequently asked how I manage to keep up such a prolific content calendar on top of my responsibilities as CEO.
The simple answer is that I don’t do it alone.
If you’re looking to expand your own content production efforts but aren’t sure how to find the time in your busy calendar, check out my tips for being everywhere and managing a crazy content production schedule:
1. Repurpose your content to other types
If every piece of content I created was text-based -- blog posts, whitepapers or ebooks -- there’s no way I’d be able to maintain the kind of presence I’ve cultivated. And that’s why, if you look at the kind of work I do on Growth Everywhere, you’ll see that I’m also a big fan of creating content out of interviews.
Not only are interviews easy to promote (since you’re able to leverage your interview subject’s audience as well as your own), but they’re super simple to make. Instead of spending hours agonizing over word choice or the best approach for complex subjects, you just have a conversation. And that’s it.
Even if you do decide to keep most of your original content in text form, you can still lighten your load by repurposing your written work into other content types. As an example, I’m a big fan of creating “post bonuses,” which are basically PDFs that highlight key points in my posts while also driving email newsletter subscriptions.
Of course, that’s not your only option. If you’ve got one blog post, you can turn it into an infographic, an audio or video clip, an email campaign blast an ebook and more. LinkedIn Pulse is another one of my favorite tools for getting even more mileage out of my writing and infographics.
2. Outsource, outsource, outsource
Outsourcing is a critical part of maintaining an intense editorial calendar without compromising your ability to do your day job.
Here are a few of the different people that make up my editorial team:
My blog editor. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to hire a blog editor up front who can handle proofing content, loading it into my websites (or submitting it to guest publishers) and scheduling everything for me. If you’re planning to hire for this role, look for someone who’s highly trainable. Then, nail down your process for how you’ll handle nitty-gritty tasks using a screencast, fine-tune the responsibilities as you go along and then let the editor handle the rest.
My writers. Hiring good writers can be challenging. So far, I’ve seen the best results going through Problogger’s job board. It’ll set you back $50 a listing but the caliber of the writers and editors there is much higher than on other sites.
My video producers. Apart from my writers and editor, I work with both a video editor and a transcriber to help polish up my interviews and make them as accessible as possible to viewers. These kinds of gigs might seem like they’d be expensiv, but thanks to sites like Guru, Elance, Casting Words and Scribie, they’re actually pretty affordable.
3. Hire smart
When I’m hiring outsourcers, one of my favorite tips is to hide a very specific instruction inside the copy. It could be something as simple as emailing me an application with a certain message subject line or as complex as answering a question on marketing strategy.
I’m not just doing this for the answers, although those can be pretty enlightening as well. I’m doing it because I want to see who can follow instructions. If candidates can’t handle simple details in the application phase, their work is going to be no different.
It’s also worth mentioning that the more you want to expand your content strategy, the more up-front capital you’re going to have to invest. That doesn’t mean you should skimp on rates, though. Pay market rates to avoid ripping off yourself or the people you hire because the old axiom is true: You get what you pay for. Happy workers leads to better project outcomes, which will make you a better content creator overall.
Eric Siu is the CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain. Single Grain has worked with companies such as Amazon, Uber and Salesforce to help them acquire more customers. He also hosts two podcasts: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere, an entrepreneurial podcast where he dissects growth levers that help businesses scale.