How To Store, Plan And Organize Your Content Ideas

Here is a simple, inexpensive, and effective system you can use to store, plan, and organize your content ideas.

How To Store, Plan And Organize Your Content IdeasThis tutorial is part of our Content Marketing With WordPress tutorial series, which show you how to create effective content to promote your website and grow your business online.

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There’s absolutely no way around it! If you want a successful presence online, you will need to learn how to create and produce content for your website pages, blog, newsletters, product descriptions, post headlines, sales copy, social media, ads, articles, promotional pieces, news releases, customer training, FAQs, forum signatures, SEO meta descriptions, etc.

Creating and producing content requires a system. Even if you plan to outsource all of your content writing, you will still need a system, as there are many content outsourcing challenges that you will need to overcome.

In this tutorial, we show you how to set up a simple system for storing, planning, and organizing your content ideas effectively, regardless of whether you plan to create content yourself or outsource it.

Practical Tip

If you need help coming up with new content ideas, we recommend downloading our content creation guide here: Infinite Content Creation: A Practical Step-By-Step Course On How To Create Endless Content For Your Website Or Blog!

How To Store, Plan, And Organize Your Content Ideas

To get results online you need to publish new content regularly

(To get results online you need to publish new content regularly)

Let’s say that you get an idea for an article or blog post but you’re just too busy to do something with it right now. What do you do? Do you write it down on the nearest piece of paper you can find? Do you not write it down and hope you’ll remember it later?

If your approach to creating content for your website or blog is to let an idea come to you spontaneously, work through it chaotically and publish only when you feel inspired or have the time to write, you will struggle to get results online. There’s way too much competition publishing way too much information online for this approach to be effective.

Fact: Businesses that get results online publish new content regularly. 

If you are serious about getting results online for your business, you need a system for coming up with new content ideas and for turning your ideas into published content on a regular basis.

Anyone who publishes content online regularly will tell you that turning an idea into published content involves research, planning, organizing, editing, and refining points, sections, subsections, etc. Sometimes, things get in the way of the creation process or more research or information is required and ideas need to be put on hold until the process can be resumed later.

It’s important, therefore, to have a system that lets you store, plan, organize, and process your content writing ideas, regardless of whether you plan to create the content yourself or outsource your content creation.

A Simple And Effective Content Production System

Ideally, we want to start with a simple, effective, and inexpensive system that can grow to accommodate your content creation needs. There are many useful tools and apps available to help you plan and organize your thoughts and ideas. The important thing is to have a system in place that allows you to effectively:

  • Jot down your content ideas.
  • Store, plan, and organize your content ideas
  • Draft (i.e. flesh out) your content ideas
  • Publish your finished content

Let’s show you how to set up a simple content production system like the one shown below using inexpensive tools and WordPress …

A simple and inexpensive content production system

(A simple and inexpensive content production system)

Jotting Down Your Content Ideas

Great content ideas can strike any time!

(Great content ideas can strike any time!)

A great idea for an article, blog post, video, podcast, e-book, lead generation report, etc. can strike you any time and anywhere. It could happen while you’re getting ready in the morning, going on a walk, shopping, standing in a queue, on your way to or from work, sitting in a meeting, watching TV, just before falling asleep, etc.

When an idea comes to you, you need an easy tool that will let you quickly jot the idea down. This can be an app on your phone that lets you create and save simple memos, a small writing pad that you carry in your purse, briefcase, or in your pocket, etc. Whatever tool you choose just make sure that you have something handy to record your ideas on when inspiration stikes.

For example, I recently attended a small business networking event. At the end of the event, I spoke with a business owner who doesn’t have a website. When I asked him why he has no website, his reply was that he doesn’t believe a website can help him grow his business.

I was intrigued by his answer, so I asked him to tell me more. He then told me that a website is just something businesses need for ‘credibility.’ In other words, this business owner believes that having a website doesn’t really help a business grow but if you don’t have a website, prospects will doubt the credibility of your business or whether it even exists.

As the non-techie owner of a website dedicated to helping other non-techies grow their business using a website, this naturally got me thinking about how I would educate other business owners like him about the benefits of using a website powered by WordPress to generate new business leads.

As I was waiting for the lift to take me down to the car park, I took out my phone and fired up the ‘Memo’ app I have installed specifically to record new content ideas …

Use a memo app to record your content ideas

(Use a memo app to record your content ideas)

I then quickly jotted down a rough idea for an article about how to use a website as more than just a ‘credibility’ tool …

Record your content ideas immediately

(Record your content ideas immediately)

Note: At this stage of the process, it doesn’t matter if you know the ‘5 ways to do XYZ’ or not … the important thing is to just record the idea as soon as you can. I certainly didn’t know what the ‘5 ways’ were going to be when I wrote the idea down and by the time the content gets written it may end up being the ‘3 ways,’ or the ‘7 ways,’ or even the ‘10 ways’ to do XYZ or become something completely different altogether. The end result is not important at this stage, only the process of recording the idea down. This should become a habit and you need to have some type of tool or medium to help you document your ideas.

After writing an idea down, the next step is to get it into a planning system. A phone app makes it easy to send memos to yourself or to your content production system via email …

Email the idea to yourself or to your content production system

(Email the idea to yourself or to your content production system)

Now that the first part of the process is complete (jotting the idea down), the next step is to store, plan, and organize your ideas.

Storing, Planning, And Organizing Your Content Ideas

A great tool you can use to help you store, plan, and organize your content ideas is TreePad

TreePad

(TreePad)

TreePad lets you create a hierarchical structure of folders where you can store text, images, URLs, etc. If you create different folders for each section of an article or book, for example, you can then easily rearrange or organize these sections by moving folders up, down, or nesting them inside other folders.

With a tool like this, you can easily add 10, 100, or 1,000+ new ideas for content  and keep everything stored, organized, prioritized, and immediately accessible.

In my earlier example, after the content idea I sent through from my phone app via email arrived in my inbox, I then transferred it to a simple content production planner I’ve created using TreePad …

A content production planner created with TreePad

(A content production planner created with TreePad)

As you can see from the above screenshot, this is nothing more than a folder I’ve labelled “Content Production” with a new folder created for every new content idea I get.

This simple content production planner lets you easily:

  • Add content ideas with a rough working title (can change it anytime)
  • Prioritize ideas in the content production schedule (just move folders up or down to prioritize items)
  • Add rough notes and bullet point sections, play with title ideas, etc.
  • Add and save research notes, URLs of videos, images, additional references, resource links, etc.

Once the idea has been safely stored and saved in this simple content planning system, you can get on with other things and come back to it anytime it suits you to work on your idea and develop it further. When you come across new information that would be useful to add or help expand your idea, you can simply open the tool, paste the content in, save it, and continue working on it later.

This simple system lets you work on any idea you have stored, reassign its priority, archive it once you have completed and published it, or even delete it from your schedule if the idea turns out not to be worth pursuing any further.

To learn more about using this tool, see the tutorial below:

Drafting Your Content Ideas

Once you have all the information you need, create your draft content

(Once you have all the information you need, create your draft content)

Your content creation system should include having a content plan and setting aside regular time to work either on creating new content, or managing its production (e.g. outsourcing).

When the time comes to develop an idea further, open up your content planning tool and select the item to work on next. The first step of this process will be to assemble all the information and research you have gathered into a draft article, blog post, video/audio script, etc.

During the draft stage, don’t waste time worrying about things like formatting, styling, typefaces, font colors, font sizes, etc. These are unnecessary time-wasting distractions at this point. The best way to create a draft of your content is to write it in a plain text file. You can format this later.

Useful Writing Tools

Here are some useful tools we recommend including as part of your content writing system:

Built-In Plain Text Editor

A plain text editor lets you create draft content without distractions

(A plain text editor lets you create draft content without distractions)

Using your computer’s built-in plain text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Apple) lets you focus entirely on what you want to say. It also lets you create content quickly and without distractions.

Notetab

NoteTab lets you work on multiple text files at once

(NoteTab lets you work on multiple text files at once)

NoteTab is a plain text file editing tool that lets you work on multiple text files at once. This is like using your computer’s plain text file editor on steroids.

NoteTab is great for organizing your ideas during the initial draft phase. You can build your article in one open tab and paste in snippets of text like lists, quotes, research URLs, tags, etc. into other open tabs and perform a whole range of other functions while you work and assemble your content.

For more information about using this tool, see the tutorial below:

Grammarly

Grammarly - Free Grammar Checking Software

(Grammarly – Free Grammar Checking Software)

Grammarly is a powerful grammar checking tool for creating web content, reports, e-books, presentations, etc. You can install the free version of Grammarly on your web browser, Microsoft Word, etc.

After writing your content, run it through Grammarly and it will not only pick up all of your spelling and grammatical errors but also point out errors in your punctuation (e.g. wrong use of commas, double spacing between words, duplicated words, etc), poor sentence structure, style, etc.

As you scroll through each error, Grammarly shows you what’s wrong and gives you the option of automatically fixing errors with one click. You can also ignore the correction suggestions if you want and keep scrolling through to the next item.

The paid version of the software takes your content checking to a whole new level and lists advanced issues, suggests vocabulary enhancements, detects instances of plagiarism, etc.

To learn more about using this powerful tool, go here:

Publishing Your Finished Content

After you have created a draft article or blog post in a plain text file (or a word processor), you can create a new post or page in WordPress, paste in your draft content and format it using the built-in WordPress visual content editor …

WordPress visual content editor

(WordPress visual content editor)

WordPress has a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content editor that lets you format your text visually by clicking on menu buttons (similar to using MS Word).

Save your new article or blog post as a draft in WordPress until you are done editing, formatting, and checking it for spelling or grammatical errors and are ready to publish it.

To learn more about using the WordPress visual content editor, see the tutorial below:

Content Production System: 5-Step Summary

Get your content production system in place and start publishing new content regularly

(Get your content production system in place and start publishing new content regularly)

To get results online, you will need to publish content regularly. This requires having a system for coming up with new content ideas and for turning your ideas into published content on a regular basis.

In this tutorial, we have described a simple, inexpensive, and effective system you can use to store, plan, and organize your content ideas.

Here are the steps again:

  1. Jot your ideas down on a writing pad or phone memo app as soon as new ideas present themselves to you.
  2. Add your ideas to a content planning tool like TreePad that lets you store, organize, prioritize, and add research notes and additional information.
  3. When you are ready to create a draft article, blog post, or video/audio script, use a plain text editor like Notepad, TextEdit, or NoteTab to flesh out your content idea without distractions.
  4. After your draft content has been written, create a new WordPress post or page and paste your content in, then format it using the WordPress Visual Content Editor. Save it as a draft in WordPress until you are ready to publish it.
  5. After you are done editing your content and have checked it for spelling and grammatical errors (use a tool like Grammarly), publish your content.

Additional Resources

As your content production needs grow, consider installing a WordPress editorial plugin to help you plan, manage, and schedule your content. To learn more about different plugins you can use, see the tutorial below:

If you need help coming up with new content ideas for your website or blog, check out our content creation guide below:

We hope that you have found the above information useful. Now you have a simple, inexpensive, and effective system for storing, planning, organizing and turning your content ideas into published content.

How To Store, Plan And Organize Your Content Ideas

(Source: Pixabay)

In addition to original images and screenshots used in this article, these images were also sourced from Pixabay: New Idea, Inspiration Strikes, Draft Content, Content Summary

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Disclaimer: This site has no association with WordPress, Automattic, or any of the WordPress-related products promoted on this website. We may receive affiliate commissions or financial benefits from sales of any third-party services and/or products mentioned on our site. All images and descriptions sourced from product websites are the copyright of their respective owners, comply with all license terms and agreements of use are used solely for illustrative or training purposes.

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Why Is Outsourcing Content Like Ruling The Seven Kingdoms?

Join your favorite Game of Thrones characters and embark on an epic journey to explore the challenges, myths, and facts of content outsourcing …

Why Outsourcing Content Writing Is Harder Than Ruling The Seven Kingdoms*** Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t watched all Game of Thrones  episodes, then I suggest keeping your eyes closed while reading the article below! ***

Hey there! Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode. Let me tell you where things are at …

So … I’m binge-watching GoT and losing the PLoT because this is eating into “work on my business” time.

As I watch many complex webs of intrigue unraveling on the screen, a complex and intriguing thought about the web is unraveling in my head:

“Could I outsource the writing of this article to someone else?”

Yes, this article … the one you are reading on the web right now!

Could a freelance writer create this article for me and free me up from doing the work?

A free lancer

(A free lancer)

In theory, yes. Digital sorcerers say anything can be outsourced.

An outsourceress

(An outsourceress)

In reality, however, content outsourcing is not as easy or as simple as many experts make out. You may end up battling to find a good writer and there’ll be many trials and combats you’ll need to overcome.

Finding a good outsourced writer can be a trialing experience

(Finding a good outsourced writer can be a trialing experience)

Look … I’m not here to argue for or against content outsourcing. Let’s not take any sides just yet …

Are ya still with me?

(Are ya still with me?)

Instead, I invite you to come with me on a journey … a quest, if you will, to explore the challenges businesses face outsourcing content and to try and separate fact from fantasy and myth from reality.

Our journey begins on a stark digital land in the House of Gottarun …

Most of us are 'too busy' taking care of business ... but winter is coming!

(Most of us are ‘too busy’ taking care of business … but winter is coming!)

The Challenges Of Outsourcing Your Content Writing

Most businesses I know say they are either “too busy” to write content for their website, or that writing is not “their thing” …

I'm not cut out for this type of work!

(“I’m not cut out for this type of work!”)

Most businesses wants things “done for them” so they can focus on other things. This includes adding new content to their websites on a regular basis.

Hence, content outsourcing.

Outsourcing can help you realize your vision

(Outsourcing can help you realize your vision)

According to most outsourcing experts, all you need to do is visit a freelance site and you will find many writers eager to bid for the opportunity to write your content.

Let’s call them sells-words

Outsourcing can help you get ahead!

(Outsourcing can help you get ahead!)

A sells-word will not only ghost write your content, they’ll also happily transfer all their rights to you and agree to remain forever faceless afterward.

You'll need to view lots of profiles to find a perfect fit

(You’ll need to view lots of profiles to find a perfect fit)

Thousands of ghost writers await to do your bidding.

So … why not just hire a sells-word to do the work for you?

Well … why don’t you come with me and let me show you the things no one ever reveals to a client about content outsourcing …

Are ya ready to face the truth about using faceless ghostwriters?

(Are ya ready to face the truth about using faceless ghostwriters?)

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Saves You Time

So … here I am on another night’s watch and I’ve hit a huge wall. Things are going round and round in my head and I am feeling challenged because I want to outsource the writing of an article dealing with the challenges of outsourcing the writing of an article.

If I had magical powers, I’d wave a wand over my head, say “freelancis writus a qualitis postus” and the article would be written just like that. But, alas, I’m just a muggle

A Google muggle writing a bloggle!

(A Google muggle writing a bloggle!)

Oops … sorry! Got my channels mixed up. Fact and fantasy are starting to blur already! Now … where’s that remote?

Ok, then … before I can give someone else the work of writing my article, I’ll have to spend time writing up a brief describing what it’s about.

Next, I have to find a writer who can create the unique article I have in mind. Finding that special someone takes time. I may need to search all of Websteros until I find the right one.

Many will pledge themselves to the task ... but will they deliver the goods?

(Many will pledge themselves to the task … but will they deliver the goods?)

Then there’s the learning curve. Before I can hire someone, I may have to go through several tutorials and guidelines on how to set up a client account, how to create projects and post assignments, how to select bidders, pay writers, resolve disputes, etc.

Welcome to the 'Quick-Start' section on how to hire a freelance writer!

(Welcome to the ‘Quick-Start’ section on how to hire a freelance writer!)

After finding a potential candidate, I’ll then need to spend time interviewing the writer to make sure that they understand what I need and training them on how I expect the article to be written.

Before I can do all this, however, I need to have already spent time planning my content marketing strategy. For my article to be effective, I need to have a clear picture in my mind of things like what my business is about, who my target audience is, what they are looking for, how I can help them, etc.

Otherwise, how will I communicate to the writer what they need to communicate to the audience?

Finding a good writer is hard. Finding a good writer who can also read their client's minds may take a little longer!

(Finding a good writer is hard. Finding a good writer who can also read their client’s minds may take a little longer!)

So … before I can even outsource the writing of this post to save myself time, I need to have already spent quite a lot of time getting things done, like:

  1. Have a clear understanding of what my business is about and a content plan that will help me achieve my business goals and objectives.
  2. Learn how to use outsourcing sites, write project descriptions, post assignments, evaluate bids, select, train, and work with writers, etc.
  3. Learn how to manage the outsourcing process to make sure that I get exactly what I need done and delivered to my specifications.

Hold it!

Hold … it!

Hol … it!

Ho … it!

H … it!

Hit!

Hit!

Hit the brakes for a moment …

If I’m “too busy” to write this article myself and I want someone else to write it for me, are you telling me that now I have to go and spend way more time learning how to outsource it to someone else than if I just wrote this dang article myself?

This doesn’t sound like outsourcing content to save time actually saves time, does it?

Who will create eunuch content for me?

(Who will create eunuch content for me?)

Well, not for one article, of course!

If I get a whole bunch of unique articles written, however, then maybe I can save time later on down the track with outsourcing, but I need to invest a lot of time into the outsourcing process first before this can happen.

Which brings up another challenge …

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Saves You Money

Look … I really like everything I have written so far. If a sell-word had written all of this instead of me, I would be a very happy client right now.

Yes, yes ... I'm very happy with all I've got so far!

(“Yes, yes … I’m very happy with all I’ve got so far!”)

What I’ve written so far, however, is already more than 1,000 words … and I’m not even close to finishing this article yet.

If I paid someone else to write this for me and they only charged me $0.10 per word (which is really cheap for a good writer), this article would already have cost me well over $100 to write.

Ouch! Over $100 … and that’s just for the words! 

The cost of outsourcing content can get out of hand very quickly!

(The cost of outsourcing content can get out of hand very quickly!)

Outsourcing content can quickly end up costing an arm and a leg.

Now … if you were to hire me to write this post for you, I wouldn’t even get out of bed for $0.10 per word.

Nup!

(Nup!)

I wouldn’t even do it for $0.25 per word …

Still Nup!

(Still Nup!)

If you forced my hand, put a knife to my throat and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse … like, say, $0.50 cents per word, then I’d probably say “good lord … ok, sure, I’ll do it!” …

Beware of content writers offering cut-throat rates

(Beware of content writers offering cut-throat rates)

But my fee would not include things like:

  1. Step-by-step instructional screenshots …

Give till it hurts

2) Images with witty captions …

This has been draggin' on for way too long ...

(This has been draggin’ on for way too long …)

3) Or internet-breaking viral memes …

Internet-breaking viral meme

(Internet-breaking viral meme)

We’re now about 1,300 words into this article. Even at $0.40 per word, you would already owe me over $500.

If you wanna play ta win, you gotta pay yer debts!

(If you wanna play ta win, you gotta pay yer debts!)

Most people I know would choke if they had to pay over $500 for an article.

You may not get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get!

(You may not get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get!)

Personally, I need to post at least one article every week on my website. Why? Because I know the power of content. I know how competitive things are online and what will happen to my business if I stop publishing content.

Content is powaaaaaaahhhh!

(Content is powaaaaaaahhhh!)

So … if each article costs over $500 to write and I need at least 4 articles every month, that’s over $2,000 per month just for plain, text-based articles. Most small business owners I know would choke, gag, splutter, crepitate, crackle and croak if they had to pay this much every month to keep their business alive.

Stop publishing content and you'll literarily die!

(Stop publishing content and you’ll literarily die!)

Sourcing images, screenshots, videos, infographics, etc. for your content are all an additional cost.

Yep ... all those extras will cost ya!

(Yep … all those extras will cost ya!)

Now … if I’m going to pay hundreds of dollars for an article, then the content better be epic.

I'm not paying for this pile of horse graddakh!

(I’m not paying for this pile of horse graddakh!)

Which brings up the next challenge …

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Delivers Quality

Content is the currency of the Digital Information Age. Content is what helps your business gain more exposure online, ranks your website higher in the search engines, drives more targeted traffic to your site and delivers you more leads, subscribers, sales, customers, etc.

Content is King

(Content is King)

If I am going to outsource my content writing to someone else, then, the quality of the content needs to be something I can be proud to put my name to and stake the reputation of my business on …

Never compromise on content quality!

(Never compromise on content quality!)

In fact, if content is the only weapon I have to stand up to heavy competition online, then it behooves me, the business owner, to source outsourced content of the highest quality possible.

Your competition doesn't horse around!

(Your competition doesn’t horse around!)

So … in my quest to find a content writer, I can’t just settle for any writer, I gotta find me a really good one.

Don't just saddle for any wridda, make sure ya getta good'un

(Don’t just saddle for any wridda, make sure ya getta good’un)

But … what makes a good quality writer? What is good quality content? Is it good grammar? Good spelling and punctuation?

Is price even a factor? Let’s see …

So far, our journey has taken us to a fork in the road, where we can either:

  1. Save money and use writers who charge cheap, or
  2. Pay money and use writers who charge more.

Does either option lead to high-quality content?

(Does either option lead to high-quality content?)

Take a look at my ‘internet-breaking viral meme’ again …

Internet-breaking viral meme

(Internet-breaking viral meme)

Look … I’m not here to diss content writers, but having experimented with both types of outsourcing options, I can tell you that publishing poor-quality content on your website will kill it good and keep it dead.

I sense the winter of discontent has arrived

(“I sense the winter of discontent has arrived”)

Thinking about the problem, anyone who finds your website won’t hang around long.

Hanging participles and dangling modifiers

(Hanging participles and dangling modifiers)

Certainly not for low-quality content that reeks …

What is dead may never rank on Google

(What is dead may never rank on Google)

Buying cheap content, then, will almost always guarantee poor-quality content.

The bare bones of outsourcing quality content

(The cold hard facts of outsourcing quality content)

Now, please tell  a client … regardless of the price a client pays for a client’s content, how can a client tell if the content is any good? What does “good” content even mean to a client?

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds ...

(For it is by self-forgetting that one finds …)

I don’t care if I like the article. I also don’t care if I think the content is good, or well written, or grammatically correct, or even if a plethora of sentences have been voluminously imbued with big fancy words.

Sure, it’s good to have good content that’s grammatically correct and written proper, but I must remain faceless and devoid of all ego in this process. Who I am, what I like and what I think doesn’t matter.

What matters is what my target audience thinks and likes. If they think the content is good and they like it enough to act in some way that will help grow my business, then the content serves its purpose and that’s good.

Gra'mar Dohaeris - All content must serve!

(Gnaritar Dohaeris – All content must serve!)

If the content doesn’t achieve anything, then how well or poorly it is written, who I buy it from, and how much I pay for it is meaningless.

SEO optimized & Copyscape certified articles  ... only a handful o'clams!

(“SEO optimized & Copyscape certified articles  … only a handful o’clams!”)

Which brings up the next challenge …

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Delivers Expertise

Businesses in all niches and industries have developed specialized knowledge and use unique terminology, jargon, slang, colloquialisms and, acronyms to communicate information about their products, services, technologies, tools, processes, solutions, etc. Some even seem to speak a language that’s entirely all of their own.

Where's my article on quantum computing fabrication of multi-qubit processes?

(“Where’s my article on quantum computing fabrication of multi-qubit processes?”)

No matter what business you are in and what products or services you sell, if your content is too generic, no one will buy into it and you will lose credibility, so don’t outsource your content writing to people who know nothing about your subject …

(You know nothing!)

Without whining too much about it, this adds to the challenge of finding a good writer who has expertise or knowledge of your business, niche, or industry …

I know things ...

(I know things …)

For argument’s sake, then, let’s say that we find someone who knows how to write good and who also knows their stuff when it comes to the subject being written.

This leads to the next challenge …

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Engages The Audience

A content writer may charge reasonable rates, write well, and be very knowledgeable about what they’re being asked to write.

For your content to be effective, however, it also needs to engage your audience.

How do you get your content writer to write content that your audience will want to read?

How will you captivate the hearts and minds of your audience?

(How will you captivate the hearts and minds of your audience?)

How do you ask your content writer to write something so compelling and engaging that whoever reads it will naturally want to share it with everyone they know without having to resort to subliminal marketing tactics like using scarcity or offering bribes to make your audience take action?

Just so we are still on the same page, if I want my reputation to remain unsullied, then I have to find someone who not only knows how to write well and knows stuff about my business, but is also skilled at writing content that will engage my audience.

Use killer content to engage your audience

(Use killer content to engage your audience)

Let’s face it … for articles, adverticles, or even listicles to stand out from the crowd, your content’s gotta have some balls.

You may need to go through an army of writers to find the 'ballsy' ones!

(You may need to go through an army of writers to find the ‘ballsy’ ones!)

If finding writers with mad killer skills who can write content that will grab an audience by their eyeballs isn’t already painful enough, here’s where things get even more challenging  …

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Provides Value

If your content provides no value to your audience, then what’s the point of outsourcing it?

Sansably put m'lady!

(Sansably put m’lady!)

To provide your audience with valuable content, the information must benefit them.

Delivering information that your audience will find beneficial is no piece of cake!

(Delivering information that your audience will find beneficial is no piece of cake!)

How, then, will your writer create content with information that will add value to your audience and improve their lives? An outsourced writer has no idea what your audience looks like, what they want, or what they are looking for. They don’t have an insightful vision about your business. They can’t see what you see in your mind’s eye. They can only write things based on the information you give them.

What are your audience's pain points, dreams, and aspirations?

(What are your audience’s pain points, dreams, and aspirations?)

It’s frightening, really, when we stop to think what outsourcing effective content involves.

Looking at the bare bones of our story so far, if I’m too busy to write my own content and I want someone else to ghost write it for me instead, then I need to find a way to save time without taking up more of my time and look for a reasonably priced, good quality content writer with expertise and knowledge of my business who can write engaging content that will benefit and add value to my target audience …

Looks like the bare bones of content outsourcing need a lot of fleshing out!

(Looks like the bare bones of content outsourcing need a lot of fleshing out!)

Outsourcing content suddenly doesn’t seem to be as easy or as simple as everyone else makes it out to be, now, does it?

But we still have one more challenge to overcome …

The Challenge Of Outsourcing Content That Delivers Results

To know whether your content provides your audience with value and helps you achieve your goals, you have to be able to measure its results.

Is your content making you dough?

(Is your content making you dough?)

You can get an idea of the quality and expertise pf your content by measuring things like how long users stay on your site, asking for feedback, etc. You can also get an idea of its engagement and value by looking at indicators like page visits, clicks, social shares, comments, signups, purchases, etc.

To know and measure all of this, however, requires doing planning, developing strategies, and implementing systems and processes before any outsourcing takes place.

Improve your results ... make more dough!

(Improve your results … make more dough!)

Most businesses do no planning and have no strategies, systems, or processes in place to create and manage their content, or to measure and improve their results.

Half of them don’t do it because they don’t know how, half of them are “too busy” to invest the time, the other half dislike documentation and procedures, and the rest don’t do it because they can’t see how it all adds up.

You'll need a plan, strategies, and systems to get Syrio's results

(To get Syrio’s results, you’ll need a plan, strategies, and systems)

Without a plan, strategies, systems, and processes to make sure that your writers create and deliver content that meets your needs, expectations, standards, and specifications, how will you measure and improve your results and achieve your goals?

Look … I don’t want to deflect the subject here, but now we’re getting to the pointy end of the business …

Getting to the pointy end of the business without deflecting the subject

(Getting to the pointy end of the business without deflecting the subject)

Many businesses bend the knee to their writers because they have no content plan, no defined content goals or objectives, no content marketing strategy, and no systems to manage the outsourcing process or measure and improve their results.

These businesses are wholly at the mercy of their writers. For many, outsourcing means finding a writer who will work within their meager budget, handing them a list of keywords or topics in good faith and then hoping and praying that they’ll end up with something that makes them happy.

Spare a thought for the poor souls who live without content

(Spare a thought for the poor souls who live without content)

If you want results, your writers must ‘bend the knee’ to your vision and follow your plan, your systems, and your processes, not the other way round.

Wri'tar dohaeris - All writers must serve

(Scriptar dohaeris – All writers must serve)

Content Outsourcing – Who Wins Or Dies

Everyone is dying to get to the top. Competition for subjects, followers, prophets, and profits is fierce and leads to endless raging battles fought on many fronts and across many domains. The rewards of power, dominance, and control go to the few while the casualties of this war go to the many.

Everyone is dying to get to the top

(You either win or you die!)

I’m not talking about Westeros. I’m talking about building a successful presence online in the new global digital economy, where the only true king is content, content marketing is the game that gets you to the throne, and what you publish online dictates whether you will win or die.

These guys thought their content nailed it

(These guys thought their content nailed it)

So … how do you win the game?

First you need a plan. A content plan.

Everyone’s got a plan.

Need a plan? A master strategist can lend you a hand!

(Need a plan? A master strategist can lend you a hand!)

Whatever business you’re in, expect to meet plenty of competition. You’ll come up against lots of tough players along the way.

Some competitors will seem to disappear for a while and then keep coming back …

Keep an eye on your competition. They may just be going through a bad patch!

(Keep an eye on your competition. They may just be going through a bad patch!)

Some will have a striking style and charm audiences with unadorned passion and some will build a massive presence online by publishing an eye-gouging mountain of content …

Plain unadorned passion can outperform a mountain of content but beating volume with style can be tricky to pull off

(Plain unadorned passion can outperform a mountain of content but beating volume with style can be tricky to pull off)

Some players will have deep pockets and access to more resources in their little finger than all other competitors combined …

Gaming the system is a digital crime!

(Gaming the system is a digital crime!)

Many players will look for ways to manipulate results and game the system. If this is your plan, then I beg of you … don’t do it! Just when you think you’re getting somewhere, you’ll get a stark reminder that there are no shortcuts to the top of the digital ladder.

One last shortcut to top off a well-executed but poorly planned strategy

(One last shortcut to top off a well-executed but poorly planned strategy)

Let’s face it … even your sells-word has a content plan. They make money with your content. Their results are guaranteed. They know how much time they’ll invest and how much money they’ll make working for you …

I'm a sellsword, I sells my word!

(“I’m a sellsword, I sells my word!”)

So … everyone’s got a plan!

What about you?

If you’re “too busy” to write your own content, how are you going to save time and money outsourcing content if you have no way to control quality, ensure expertise, create engagement, provide value, and improve results?

Without a plan, strategies, systems, and processes for creating and managing your content, how are you going to increase exposure online for your website, drive more traffic, and generate more leads for your business? What’s your plan to stay one step ahead of your competition?

Competition? What competition? They're all dead to me!

(Competition? What competition? They’re all dead to me!)

Content Outsourcing – Separating Fact From Fantasy

I started this article wondering if I could have outsourced its writing to a freelance or professional content writer.

Now I’m not so sure …

Look, I get it! This is my baby and no one else is going to invest as much time or put in as much care and effort into it as me …

The best person to take care of your content may not be apparent

(The best person to take care of your content may not be apparent)

Or maybe, and this is highly unlikely, I’ll find a jolly good egg who’ll do it as a labor of love and not charge a kingly sum that will be the death of me!

Not a snowflake's chance in hell this is gonna happen!

(Not a snowflake’s chance in hell this is gonna happen!)

I have now come to the end of my night watch. As I turn off the TV and prepare for a new busy day ahead, all I can do is reflect on the fact that I am still left with an unresolved dilemma.

Look … I know that this has been a free spirited journey of pure and adulterated fantasy and that while I’m still “too busy” to write and publish content on a regular basis, I ain’t got a snowflake’s chance in hell of outsourcing something this fantastic to a freelance article writer. Not on my watch and not on my budget.

What kind of article, then, could I realistically expect to get if I were to outsource this article to the best content writer I can afford?

Well, here it is and it’s the best I got …

The 7 Kingdoms Of Content Outsourcing

Just when you thought that business was getting tougher, along came the Digital Age to put up another huge wall in your path. Online competition now stands between your business and your chances of surviving and staying in business.

This wall, however, is not impregnable or insurmountable. According to many digital experts, all you need to overcome the challenges of fierce online competition is to have a solid content marketing plan that can help you reach a whole new audience of consumers.

Having a strategy for publishing regular content online, it seems, is the key to gaining a competitive advantage and staying ahead in the digital game.

But what if you’re too busy to write your own content? Then you will probably want to look at outsourcing. Keep in mind, however, that outsourcing also has its fair share of challenges. To help you overcome these challenges, we’ve put together a list of the seven areas of content outsourcing you’ll need to focus on.

1 – Save Time

Outsourcing is all about saving time. You can save time by going to sites like Freelancer or Outsourcely and finding writers who will create and deliver you the content you need.

Before you hire a content writer, make sure to invest some time learning how to use the site. Following the site’s guidelines for posting new assignments, selecting bidders, paying for completed work, or even resolving disputes will save you a lot of time.

2 – Save Money

If your content writing budget is tight, using a freelancing website can work in your favor. Freelancing sites attract many freelance article writers looking for work who will bid against each other for the opportunity to write your articles and blog posts. This ensures that prices are kept reasonably low.

Additional ways to save money with content outsourcing include making sure that writers stick to an agreed word limit, requesting multiple articles per assignment (e.g. ask for bids on getting 10 articles written instead of one), and offering the winning bidder the opportunity of ongoing work if they agree to keep their rates low and prove themselves to be consistent and reliable with their assignments.

3 – Quality

People will judge your business by the quality of your content. High-quality content can help your website rank well on search engines, drive more targeted traffic, and generate new leads for your business, so make sure to work only with quality writers who have a proven track record.

In addition to making sure that your content meets your brief and addresses the topic, it should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. It may take you some time to find a good quality writer, but the long-term benefits to your business are definitely worth it.

Tip: Ask to see samples of their writing.

4 – Expertise

As well as publishing quality content, make sure that writers have expertise and knowledge of your subject and familiarity with your niche or industry. Your writers should know the specific terminology, jargon, or acronyms used in your field.

Your content should reflect the expertise of your business and help you build credibility and authority online. When selecting a potential article writer, therefore, make sure to ask about their background, experience, and familiarity with the subjects they will be asked to write about.

Tip: Giving potential candidates a test assignment will help you evaluate their knowledge, expertise, and suitability for the role.

5 – Engaging

Your content needs to engage your audience. Online users have short attention spans, so make sure to use a compelling title or headline for your articles and keep the content focused at all times on the needs and interests of your target audience.

Tip: Consider adding images, videos, and social sharing buttons to your articles to help increase user engagement.

6 – Value

As Warren Buffet says, “price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

When outsourcing your content writing, therefore, try to look beyond the price and choose writers who will add value to your content by delivering information that will benefit your readers and help to improve their lives.

Tip: Make sure that your writer understands the benefits of your products or services.

7 – Results

The purpose of publishing content online is to help you grow your business. Aim to create content that will not only drive more targeted prospects to your website but also convert traffic into results (e.g. leads, subscribers, sales, or customers).

Make sure to use compelling headlines for your articles, keep the content interesting and engaging to your audience, and always include a call to action. This could be asking readers to contact you for further inquiries, click on a link to buy your product, or sign up for your newsletter.

The Digital Age brings businesses many new challenges and opportunities. One of the challenges of consumers going online to research and buy products and services is that businesses face increased competition for their eyeballs and wallets. On the other hand, it’s become easier to outsource content to reach more consumers with websites like Freelancer, Outsourcely and many others.

Focus on the seven areas described above when outsourcing your content and you will attract a more targeted audience, keep them engaged longer on your site, and experience better results online.

A final tip: When you find a good content writer, make sure to retain their services by keeping them busy writing new content for your business.

Do you need help coming up with new content ideas for your business, website, or blog?

Infinite Content Creation is a practical step-by-step course on content creation. Download the e-book from Amazon or sign up here to receive the entire 120-lesson course via email.

(Article = 937 words. Image below not included)

The 7 Kingdoms Of Content Outsourcing

(The 7 Kingdoms Of Content Outsourcing)

A Note About Images Used In This Article

Images used in this article were taken from Game of Thrones or from websites created and owned by HBO, the copyright of which is held and controlled exclusively by HBO. All trademarks and registered trademarks present in GoT images have been used here for illustrative purposes only and are proprietary to HBO, the inclusion of which implies no affiliation with this website. The use of GoT images in this article is believed to fall under the fair dealing clause of copyright law. HBO may request the removal of its images at any time. If they do, however, this article will become incredibly dull and boring, but hey, Valar Morghulis, right?

More ghoulies

(More ghoulies)

Other images used in this article are the copyright of their respective owners, or have been licensed from iStockPhoto. The map illustration was modified from this image. I assume full responsibility for all bad puns used in the creation of this article.

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Grammarly – Free Grammar Checking Software

Grammarly is a powerful FREE grammar checking tool that helps improve your content writing by correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.

Grammarly – Free Grammar Checking Software

Grammarly - Free Grammar CheckerIf you write articles and blog posts, create digital information products like e-books, reports, or any kind of written documentation, then you will want to make sure that your content is free of grammatical errors and misspellings.

If you can’t afford to hire a full-time proofreader or editor to make sure that your content is published error-free, then here’s the next best thing …

Grammarly

Grammarly - Free Grammar Checking Tool

(Grammarly – Free Grammar Checking Tool)

Grammarly is a powerful FREE grammar checking tool that helps to improve your content writing by correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes while also catching contextual errors, improving your vocabulary, and suggesting style improvements.

The software’s online grammar-checking algorithms have been developed and are regularly maintained by linguistic technology experts.

You can use this software to check your articles, blog posts, reports, e-books, or any kind of written documentation.

To install and begin using the software, go here: Grammarly

How To Use Grammarly

To use Grammarly, just install the software on your web browser, Microsoft Word, or on your desktop …

Install Grammarly on your web browser

(Install Grammarly on your web browser)

Once installed, the tool lets you check your content anywhere online, including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and WordPress …

Check your content for errors

(Check your content for errors)

If writing a post on WordPress, for example, run your post or article through Grammarly before publishing to make sure your content has no errors …

Check your posts before publishing for errors

(Check your posts before publishing for errors)

Important

If you don’t see the symbols when checking your content, make sure that you have enabled Grammarly for your site …

@@@

(Make sure Grammarly is enabled)

Also, to use some of the features, make sure that you’re logged into your account …

Make sure you're logged into your account

(Make sure you’re logged into your account)

If you can see your Grammarly dashboard, you’re logged in …

Grammarly Dashboard

(Grammarly Dashboard)

To check your content for errors inside applications like Microsoft Word, make sure that the tool is enabled …

Use Grammarly with MS Word

(Use Grammarly with MS Word)

Grammarly will begin scanning your document for errors. Depending on the size of your document, allow a few minutes for the scan to complete …

Grammarly scans your documents for errors

(Grammarly scans your documents for errors)

After the scan is complete, the tool’s menu bar will display the number and types of errors found in your document …

Grammarly scan results

(Grammarly scan results)

A screen opens up next to your content where you can view the critical errors and advanced issues the tool has found after scanning your content …

Grammarly displays the number of issues found in your content

(Grammarly displays the number of issues found in your content)

To view and correct issues, click on the error counter and Grammarly will scroll through your content until it finds an issue. You can fix critical issues with the free version of the tool (repairing advanced issues requires upgrading to the premium version).

Grammarly not only catches all of your spelling and grammatical errors, it will also point out errors in your punctuation (e.g. wrong use of commas, double spacing between words, duplicated words, etc) …

Fix punctuation errors

(Fix punctuation errors)

Grammarly scans your text for common and complex grammatical mistakes, spanning everything from subject-verb agreement to article use to modifier placement, missing articles, weak adjectives, repeated words, etc …

Delete duplicate words

(Delete duplicate words)

Work through your content to fix all mistakes in your sentence structure and style …

Fix mistakes in your sentences

(Fix mistakes in your sentences)

As you scroll through each error, Grammarly shows you what’s wrong and gives you the option to automatically fix errors with just one click.

To correct mistakes, just click on the suggestion …

Click on suggestions to correct errors

(Click on suggestions to correct errors)

You can also ignore the suggestions and keep scrolling through to the next item or scroll back to view previous items …

Ignore suggestions to continue checking for issues

(Ignore suggestions to continue checking for issues)

The premium version of Grammarly takes your content checking to a whole new level, allowing you to repair advanced content issues, view suggested vocabulary enhancements, detect instances of plagiarism, etc.

As you can see, Grammarly is a powerful and essential tool for content writing. Once you begin using it to improve your content, you will not want to publish articles or blog posts again without first scanning for grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.

To learn more about Grammarly, go here:

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