Become a Content Marketing Productivity Master: 21 Tips from the #CMWorld Community

  • 2. We can’t stop time. But we can learn to use it more effectively. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Tired of never getting through your to–do list? If so… you’re in the same boat as practically every content marketer we talk to. Fundamentally, the secret to feeling more productive is to have a plan for what you need to accomplish and stick to it. It’s easier said than done, for sure; but by implementing efficiency techniques, streamlining certain processes, and taking advantage of a few time-tested tricks, content marketers can increase their output while reducing the frustration, stress, and misdirected efforts that can often take them off track. Take a look at 21 of the most helpful tips the #CMWorld community had to offer during our recent Twitter chat on productivity. 2


  • 3. 33 It’s counterproductive to waste time on content that isn’t going to help your business achieve its goals. To maximize productivity, start with a strategic analysis of how relevant and valuable the effort is likely to be for both your brand and your audience. Mike Myers says he uses a simple flow chart to determine where content marketing will be helpful (and where it won’t) because, like with dessert, it can be hard to know when to say no.  I start by asking: “How relevant is the project to my market — i.e., clients and prospects?” —Roger C. Parker  Make strategic decisions. Know when something requested won’t add enough value. Prioritize, and suggest alternatives when possible. —Danalynne Wheeler LEAD WITH YOUR STRENGTHS — AND YOUR STRATEGY1
  • 4. 4 FOLLOW YOUR STRATEGY WITH A PROACTIVE PLAN2 Every strategic idea needs a plan to bring it to life. With advanced preparation, you can take some of the guesswork out of the content creation process, making it easier to stay focused and productive.  Successful content marketers choose topics in advance. They identify themes they can create content on in the upcoming months. Planning is key. —Roger C. Parker  Plan what to say & how. Create a title optimized to catch readers & search engines. —Joanie Eppinga
  • 5. 55 Content creation is as much an art as a science. Though you should definitely have a plan, it’s also helpful to be flexible and leave room in your process to take advantage of inspiration when it strikes.  Make notes all the time. They’re the seeds of content to come. You can’t harvest tomorrow unless you plant today. —George Stenitzer  Balance sticking with strategy (and saying no to what doesn’t fit) with the potential to explore new possibilities. Always keep the “learning mindset.” —Anne Janzer LEAVE ROOM FOR THE SPARK OF CREATIVITY3


  • 6. 6 FOCUS ON AUDIENCE NEEDS4 Content is created to spur an audience to action, so your productivity ultimately depends on how well your efforts are is suited to meeting that goal. Keep this in mind and you will never waste valuable time on efforts that miss the mark.  First, you have to understand your market and their needs. This provides focus. —Roger C. Parker  It’s all about knowing your audience. Knowing whom to talk to directs your decisions about what you do and don’t need to say. —Adam P. Newton  Outsider, a New York agency, suggests that content creators ask questions like, “Does this provide value to my audience?” “Would they share it?” Viewing your content from the audience’s perspective will help you figure out which projects may not work — even if they seemed like a good idea to you at first.
  • 7. 77 It’s hard to be productive if our minds are being pulled in a million different directions. Even small side projects can wind up derailing productivity in a major way, so it’s helpful to determine right from the outset what’s worth your immediate attention, what can be put on the back burner for a while, and what can be indefinitely postponed.  Roger C. Parker recommends starting out by asking, “How urgently do my customers or prospects need the information?” Then ask, “Is the project practical for me at the present time?” After that, if a client asks me to do a different task, I ask: “Which of our current tasks do you want me to put aside?”  Ronda Bowen says that looking at past performance of content helps, too. If you know a certain topic tanks in terms of page views, there’s no reason to continue to create content on that topic. SET PRIORITIES, AND DON’T GET SIDETRACKED5
  • 8. 8 BUDGET YOUR TIME… AND USE IT EFFECTIVELY6 Effective time management means devoting adequate attention to your content without allowing your efforts to take over your entire working life.  Successful content marketers run marathons, not races. Time management is essential. Manage your time as carefully as you would manage your money. —Roger C. Parker  Set aside blocks of time to draft your content without being interrupted by meetings or chats. —Sarah A. Parker  While planning is important, Mael Roth advises that sometimes you need to set yourself on “get it done” mode: “At some point it’s ‘learn by doing.’”333
  • 9. 99 Just as deadlines can create a sense of urgency for specific content projects, keeping a calendar of those projects can help you mentally plan and prioritize your day-to-day efforts — and hold yourself accountable for their completion.  Scheduling is key for productivity. —Cara Shannon  Lisa Masiello recommends being methodical and keeping a calendar, as she feels it’s easy to become distracted without a schedule.  Social media analytics vendor Union Metrics suggests drawing up a quarterly content calendar and working backwards from the deadlines you set in order to ensure time for drafts/your approval process. KEEP A CONTENT CALENDAR7
  • 10. 10 KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO8 No one likes to have to turn down a content request from a client or supervisor, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil in order to make good progress on current priorities, continually deliver on your content’s promises, and maintain your sanity.  Strategy is key. If a project doesn’t align, it’s not worth your time. —Angela Hursh  I cringe when clients try to pump out as much content as possible and skimp on quality. A content effort should be more than a checklist item. —Brandon Seymour  Many times marketing should say no to change. Don’t let your boredom of a tagline/ topic divert the oil tanker. —Nick Kellet  If there isn’t a compelling story [in a particular content idea], I find the exit. —Kip Meacham
  • 11. 1111 One of the easiest ways to become more productive is to get rid of repetitive or unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that are bogging down your efforts and replace them with more efficient techniques. Even if it takes some extra time to implement and adjust to the change, streamlining your processes often pays dividends in terms of productivity over the long-term.  I implemented a written request form for content projects. [This] creates accountability & saves me from 20 [rounds of] revisions. —Danielle Poupore  I use Mindjet’s MindManager to organize ideas, keep track of projects, and easily track influencers and ideas. And every content marketer needs a graphics program to create images for blog posts and social media. —Roger C. Parker  We use a lot of distraction-free writing tools to encourage the process, as well as an editorial calendar to plan it all out. —ClearVoice  Erika Heald asserts that collaboration tools like RedboothHQ, Kapost, Evernote, and Google Drive are key to her daily productivity. CREATE EFFICIENCIES WITH NEW TOOLS AND STREAMLINED PRODUCTION PROCESSES 9
  • 12. 12 FREE YOUR MIND10 Productivity isn’t always about going “heads down” into a project. Instead, experiment to discover what ideas and processes work best for you.  Stay curious and open to new innovations and marketing concepts. Set aside time to ‘study’ those who are doing it right. —Crowd Content  A large part of marketing productivity comes from understanding the machine of the internet and the psychology of people —Nick Kellet  We write down all of our ideas before dismissing any. —Kitterman Marketing
  • 13. 1313 Good writing is just as much “nurture” as it is “nature.” Set good habits right from the start of your content creation efforts and you’re practically guaranteed to become more productive as you progress.  Cultivate the habit of short, frequent working sessions rather than long, tiring sessions. —Roger C. Parker  Our best productivity tips are early mornings, strong coffee, and a separate window for social media, to avoid distraction. —Outsider (a NYC agency)  Try working at times when there will be fewer distractions. For example, @SparkerWorks has considered getting started earlier in the day: “Nobody bothers you in the early morning!” —Sarah A. Parker CULTIVATE EFFICIENT WORKING AND WRITING HABITS11CMS (444
  • 14. 14 HOLD YOURSELF TO DEADLINES12 Deadlines help you set clear parameters for your content efforts, and can create a sense of urgency that keeps you focused and on-task during the content creation process.  Deadlines definitely help with productivity! Sometimes it’s hard to get started if there is no goal in sight. —Wyzowl  Consider creating mini-deadlines for the various tasks required for each project. This can help you create a sense of urgency and pace your progress. —Roger C. Parker
  • 15. 1515 Content creation takes dedication. If you want to earn the loyalty of your audience, you must hold yourself accountable for delivering on what you promise — even when the process gets challenging or you run into a stumbling block.  To be a productive writer, make yourself write. Good ideas often come after you’ve gotten started. —Anne Janzer  Every successful content marketer I know reads and writes daily. —Patrick Hayslett PRACTICE SELF-DISCIPLINE13
  • 16. 16 AVOID BEATING YOURSELF UP OR GETTING FRUSTRATED14 It’s not easy for writers to create something that’s “just right,” so it’s natural to stumble with phrasing or get stuck on an idea once in a while. When the words just aren’t flowing, don’t be afraid to take your time and clear your mind — and know that you can always make changes down the line.  Give yourself permission for that bad first draft. Don’t edit as you write — it will only slow you down. —Ronda Bowen  If something’s really not working, give yourself permission to step away. Come back to it tomorrow. Work on something else. —Sarah A. Parker
  • 17. 1717 A trick some writers use to structure a content effort is to write the ending first, then craft the rest of the story so that it leads to the intended conclusion. Starting each project with your desired results in mind can reduce the need for time consuming revisions and rewrites throughout the process.  Develop your positioning first so that the content will communicate the desired marketing messages. —Samuel J. Scott  I’ve begun asking project requesters to tell me how they plan to use content. No sense making something to sit in a drawer. —Danielle Poupore START WITH YOUR DESIRED RESULTS AND PURPOSE AND WORK BACKWARDS15
  • 18. 18 MAKE CONTENT CREATION PART OF YOUR ROUTINE16 Just like good habits make good writers, regular routines can help those writers mentally prepare for creating quality content—and for staying the course, even when other priorities start to compete for their time and attention.  Show up. Turning up at your computer consistently is the best way to be successful. —Ronda Bowen  Brainstorm, outline, write, write, write, proof, have someone else proof, edit, & promote! If you get stuck, take a break, and then go back. —Aya Fawzy  I look for easy parts of the post to write — such as lists or easy topics — to build momentum. —Roger C. Parker555
  • 19. 1919 If you find yourself working on a complex topic with a lot of ground to cover, or are struggling to find the right flow for your discussion, try creating a simple outline first. Organizing your thoughts in this way can help you see which points are essential and which ones can be left out, as well as how to structure the conversation in the most logical way.  Map the journey. Know where you’re starting, ending and [where] you’ll stop at along the way. —Jeremy Bednarski  First, I take notes by hand & organize a rough structure. Last thing is proofreading. Then proofreading again. —Danielle Poupore  Start your writing with an outline. Then write everything down as quickly as you can. Lastly, edit, edit, edit. —Heidi Cohen  After outlining what you are going to write and why, just get words on paper/screen. Don’t edit, just do a “brain dump.” —Traci Browne NOT SURE WHAT TO WRITE? TRY CREATING AN OUTLINE17
  • 20. 20 USE THEMES TO BUILD A SERIES OF RELATED CONTENT18 Another way to handle complex topics is to break them up into small, manageable bites. Start by coming up with a list of relevant themes, and then create a series of related content pieces that you can that you can distribute on a regular basis.  Series are about brevity. Series turn complex ideas into snacks. Series also multiply the SEO value of one big idea. —Nick Kellet  A series can be a great way to get started. It gives you a theme and a goal to build off of. Feels less daunting every week. —Kitterman Marketing  A blog series can help with productivity in that (hopefully) you can map it all out ahead of time. —Jeremy Bednarski  In terms of productivity, having an established series is really helpful to me. It’s great for when I’m stumped on topics. —Christina Grieves666
  • 21. 2121 Content doesn’t always have to be original to be powerful. At times, it’s more productive to use the content you’ve painstakingly created and focus your time on ways to repackage it in a new way, or for a new platform.  @crestodina writes, “You need to view content as atoms you can recycle & rearrange in different ways.” —Roger C. Parker  It’s just so easy to do. So many resources and potential for data and info overload. Curate, collate, focus. —Jacob Henenberg  Break up mega-topics into edible chunks. Use customer questions to guide series topics. —George Stenitzer REPURPOSE THE WHEEL, DON’T REINVENT IT19
  • 22. 22 KNOW WHAT TO SPIN OFF OR RECYCLE, RATHER THAN REJECT20 If an idea starts to lead you in a different direction, don’t switch gears right away. Instead, tuck it away it somewhere safe, and then come back to it after you’ve finished the content effort you are currently working on. If the new concept still seems valid when you revisit it, you now have a ready-made topic on hand for your next content effort.  I’m a narrow-minded content creator. If anything remotely veers from my main idea, it goes in queue to become its own piece. —Patrick Hayslett
  • 23. 2323 When all else fails… you are probably working too hard. Sometimes it’s best to just step away and take some time to clear your mind before returning to your content creation. You may even come up with a new idea or two when you give yourself a break, rather than trying to force creativity when you just aren’t “feeling it.”  When I’m finished, I put the post aside overnight. I need to proof it from a fresh perspective. —Roger C. Parker  Even a 5-minute break can help. Ever do find-a-word puzzles? Great for improving visual acuity. —Joanie Eppinga  Step away & do something physical that you’ll see immediate results from: Clean a coffee cup, wipe down a counter, stretch. —Sarah A. Parker TAKE BREAKS TO AVOID MENTAL FATIGUE21
  • 24. 24 THANKS FOR READING! Want more ways to increase your productivity without losing sight of your priorities? Download our collection of useful templates and checklists to make the content marketing process easier. And don’t forget to join our #CMWorld Twitter chats every Tuesday at 12 Eastern to learn from our fabulous content marketing community and share your own tips for success. Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every September, and Content Marketing World Sydney, every March. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. CMI is a 2012, 2013, and 2014 Inc. 500 company. Learn how to create a documented content marketing strategy, a key component for improving overall content marketing effectiveness.

10 Χρόνια Global Management Challenge Ελλάδας

10 Χρόνια Global Management Challenge Ελλάδας PDF Print E-mail
Φέτος το Global Management Challenge γιορτάζει 10 χρόνια επιτυχημένης διοργάνωσης στην Ελλάδα!Μέχρι σήμερα 8.100 φοιτητές έχουν ζήσει τη μαγική εμπειρία του GMC, 75 οργανισμοί και επιχειρήσεις έχουν συνεργαστεί ενεργά με το GMC και έχουν βοηθήσει τους φοιτητές στα πρώτα επαγγελματικά τους βήματα, 46 Πανεπιστήμια, ΑΤΕΙ και Κολλέγια, από όλη την Ελλάδα και 21 Εκπαιδευτικά Ιδρύματα του εξωτερικού έχουν εκπροσωπηθεί στο διαγωνισμό και 4 κρατικοί φορείς (Υπουργείο Παιδείας & Θρησκευμάτων, Υπουργείο Ανάπτυξης & Ανταγωνιστικότητας, Γενική Γραμματεία Νέας Γενιάς, Ειδική Γραμματεία Ψηφιακού Σχεδιασμού) έχουν υπάρξει αρωγοί της εκπαιδευτικής πρόκλησης του διαγωνισμού στην Ελλάδα.

Ακόμη, 7 διακριθέντες φοιτητές έχουν λάβει υποτροφίες πλήρους φοίτησης στο Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών (MBA International) και στο Πανεπιστήμιο Πειραιώς (MBA TQM), 37 Laptops, SONY Vaio, έχουν προσφερθεί στους διακριθέντες φοιτητές και 26 εκδηλώσεις σύνδεσης των φοιτητών με τον επιχειρηματικό κόσμο έχουν διοργανωθεί στο πλαίσιο του GMC Ελλάδας.

Συνολικά 9 αποστολές της Ελληνικής ομάδας, έχουν εκπροσωπήσει τη χώρα μας στο Διεθνή Τελικό με 1 Ελληνική Ομάδα, την ELPE-compass να κατακτά την 5η θέση διεθνώς το 2012!

To Global Management Challenge Greece συνεχίζει δυναμικά την πορεία του στην Ελλάδα, προετοιμάζοντας τον 10ο Διαγωνισμό Ελλάδας Global Management Challenge, που θα ξεκινήσει το Φθινόπωρο του 2014 και θα κορυφωθεί τον Απρίλιο του 2015 με το Διεθνή Τελικό που θα πραγματοποιηθεί στην Πράγα της Τσεχίας.

Δηλώσεις των Συνεργατών και Φίλων του GMC Ελλάδας για τα 10 χρόνια επιτυχημένης διοργάνωσής του!

Από τον επιχειρηματικό χώρο:

“Το Global Management Challenge είναι ένας διεθνής θεσμός, που δίνει σε νέους ανθρώπους την ευκαιρία να γνωρίσουν από κοντά τον κόσμο της επιχειρηματικότητας, να κατανοήσουν τις αξίες και τις προκλήσεις της, να αναπτύξουν στρατηγική σκέψη και δεξιότητες, να κάνουν περισσότερο ενημερωμένες και συνειδητές επιλογές σταδιοδρομίας.

Ο Όμιλος ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΠΕΤΡΕΛΑΙΑ στηρίζει με συνέπεια και υπερηφάνεια τη διεξαγωγή του διαγωνισμού στην Ελλάδα. Οι εξαιρετικές συμμετοχές και οι επιτυχίες των ελληνικών ομάδων, όλα αυτά τα χρόνια, επιβεβαιώνουν την αξία αυτής της επένδυσης. Ενισχύουν τη δέσμευσή μας στη στήριξη και την ενθάρρυνση των άξιων νέων ανθρώπων, οι οποίοι προσπαθούν, διακρίνονται, φιλοδοξούν. Πιστεύουμε ότι σε αυτά ακριβώς τα παιδιά, οφείλουμε να παρέχουμε κάθε δυνατή ευκαιρία και βοήθεια, ώστε να πρωταγωνιστήσουν στην ενδυνάμωση της ελληνικής επιχειρηματικότητας, αλλά και συνολικά στην ανάπτυξη της χώρας μας.”

Ευάγγελος Στράνης, Διευθυντής Εταιρικών Σχέσεων Ομίλου ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ ΠΕΤΡΕΛΑΙΑ, 2014

“Η συμμετοχή στο διαγωνισμό GMC θεωρούμε ότι προσφέρει στους συμμετέχοντες φοιτητές μια δυνατή εμπειρία σύνδεσης με τον επιχειρηματικό κόσμο, εμπειρία πολύ χρήσιμη για να αποκτήσουν μια πιο στρατηγική προσέγγιση της λειτουργίας μιας εταιρείας. ΗJohnson & Johnson Hellas Consumer SA, ήταν χορηγός 3 ομάδων στον φετινό διαγωνισμό! Μέσα από αυτή τη συνεργασία, είχαμε την ευκαιρία να γνωρίσουμε ταλαντούχους νέους που επέδειξαν ιδιαίτερο ενδιαφέρον για τις επιλογές καριέρας που μπορείς να έχεις σε ένα μεγάλο οργανισμό που δραστηριοποιείται επιτυχημένα τοπικά και παγκόσμια σε καταναλωτικό, ιατρικό και φαρμακευτικό κλάδο. Οι φοιτητές φιλοξενήθηκαν στις εγκαταστάσεις μας, και ήρθαν σε επαφή με ηγετικά μας στελέχη που μίλησαν για τις προκλήσεις των ειδικοτήτων τους και τις ικανότητες που χρειάζονται στο σύγχρονο επιχειρηματικό περιβάλλον. Για εμάς, η συμμετοχή στον διαγωνισμό δεν είναι απλά μια χορηγία αλλά η καλλιέργεια μιας συμβουλευτικής σχέσης καριέρας μεταξύ εταιρείας και φοιτητών!”

Έρρικα Λαμπριανού, HR Director Johnson & Johnson Hellas Consumer SA, 2014

“Το Global Management Challenge αποτελεί μία προσπάθεια να φέρει τους νέους κοντά στην επιχειρηματικότητα και τα πανεπιστήμια κοντά στις επιχειρήσεις. Κάθε τέτοια προσπάθεια είναι καλό να στηρίζεται και να προωθείται από όλους όσους έχουν τη δυνατότητα να το κάνουν. Τα 10 χρόνια του διαγωνισμού αποδεικνύουν με τον καλύτερο τρόπο ότι στην Ελλάδα υπάρχουν πολλοί άνθρωποι που στηρίζουν τέτοιες πρωτοβουλίες, νέοι που έχουν όνειρα, πανεπιστήμια που κάνουν αξιέπαινη δουλειά και επιχειρήσεις που συμβάλλουν στην ανάπτυξη της επιχειρηματικότητας στη χώρα μας. Εύχομαι κάθε επιτυχία τόσο για το διαγωνισμό, όσο και για τους ανθρώπους που συνεχίζουν να δημιουργούν με στόχο ένα καλύτερο μέλλον για τη νεολαία μας και κατ’ επέκταση για τη χώρα μας.”

Γιάννης Κουτράκης, Area HR Leader, South East Europe, IBM, 2014

“Μέσω της συμμετοχής στο Global Management Challenge, οι φοιτητές έχουν την ευκαιρία να δοκιμάσουν τις θεωρητικές τους γνώσεις σε συνθήκες πραγματικού επιχειρηματικού περιβάλλοντος. Το περιβάλλον αυτό σήμερα χαρακτηρίζεται από αυξημένη αβεβαιότητα και πολυπλοκότητα. Δεδομένου ότι, ως Accenture, η αποστολή μας είναι να βοηθάμε τις επιχειρήσεις να βελτιστοποιούν τις επιδόσεις τους, κατανοούμε πόσο σημαντικό είναι για τους φοιτητές να αποκτήσουν εμπειρία στη διαμόρφωση στρατηγικής και στη λήψη αποφάσεων, βάσει ρεαλιστικών σεναρίων.

Στα δέκα χρόνια παρουσίας του στην Ελλάδα, ο διαγωνισμός Global Management Challenge συμβάλλει σημαντικά στην ουσιαστική εκπαίδευση των φοιτητών και στην καλύτερη προετοιμασία τους για τις απαιτήσεις της αγοράς εργασίας. Εύχομαι ολόψυχα ο διαγωνισμός να συνεχίσει να εξελίσσεται, γιατί πρωτοβουλίες όπως το Global Management Challenge μας επιτρέπουν να αναδείξουμε τη νέα γενιά managers.”

How To Run A News Site And Newspaper Using WordPress And Google Docs

By Lauren Rabaino on Jun. 17, 2011 – 10:08 AMComment

A former colleague of mine, William Davis, understands what a “web first” workflow is, and has made it happen through software at his newspaper in Maine.  The Bangor Daily News announced this week that it completed its full transition to open source blogging software, WordPress. And get this: The workflow integrates seamlessly with InDesign, meaning the paper now has one content management system for both its web and print operations. And if you’re auspicious enough, you can do it too — he’s open-sourced all the code!

The video embedded above is a screencast from Davis, which outlines the new editorial workflow.

A truly web-first workflow

  1. Reporters and editors compose all stories in Google Docs. Using labels and native commenting, the stories get sent through the editing process.
  2. When a story is ready to publish, it gets sent from Google Docs to WordPress with one click.
  3. In WordPress, editors can publish the story to the web, then set up a print headline and print subhead.
  4. The story then appears in inDesign, where print designers can lay out the print newspaper.

“WordPress drives both our website and our print edition — you can’t put an article into the print edition of the paper unless it’s been put into WordPress,” Davis, the online editor of The Bangor Daily News, said.

No more copying and pasting, hallelujah!

Prior to implementing the new system, The BDN was using an ATEX system called Dewarview for print and a proprietary Web CMS called Creative Circle.

“We would have to copy and paste from Dewarview to Creative Circle, and our bureau reporters didn’t have access to Dewarview so they would have to e-mail their stories in,” Davis said of the clunky, disconnected workflow.

It’s basically free

Rather than having to pay a licensing fee to a company that runs your content management system, what The BDN has set up is essentially free to run. Of course, there were upfront costs involved withpaying freelancers to help write the plugins, and each month the website has to pay hosting fees, but the rest of the tools they use are free for everyone. WordPress is open source software that anyone can download and use. Google Docs is also a free product if your organization is small enough.

You can do it, too!

The beauty of open source is that everyone can contribute freely to the source code, making it that much more stronger and useful. Because Davis understands this, he’s open-sourced all of the software he used to build the new system and documented most of the other processes involved (liketransferring archives, for example). The only real hurdle goes beyond technology — you’ll have to get your whole newsroom to adopt the process.

“A lot of what took us so long to roll this out has been because of the complexity of the site, not the complexity of the setup. We started using the system in September and slowly moved over desks until they were all on Google Docs,” Davis said. “What was really time-consuming was rebuilding our site, which is incredibly expansive and has a lot of moving parts. We’re open-sourcing most of our work, so I really think it’d be pretty simple for another paper to adopt the same workflow.”

Davis said that for him, adoption was mostly pain-free.

“The reporters here understand what we’re trying to do and why it’s important to get the news out as quickly as possible,” he said.

Ready to get started?

If you want to take a stab at your own similar setup, here’s the baseline set of plugins to install:

  • The Zoninator, which allows you to order content on your website by hand instead of chronologically.
  • Edit Flow, which allows you to manage your workflow within WordPress through custom roles, statuses, and a ton of other features.
  • Co-Authors Plus, which allows you to set multiple authors per post.
  • Media Credit, which allows you to natively set the credit for images, instead of including the information in cutlines.
  • CP Redirect, which allows you to remap URLs from your old site.
  • XML import, for importing your archives into WordPress.
  • Docs to WordPress, which allows you to send your Google Docs to WordPress.

Correction: An earlier version of this post said that advertising was integrated into the web system. In fact, that process is still in the works.

Full disclosure: As I mentioned at the start of this post, William Davis is a former colleague of mine from CoPress, where we worked together virtually in college to help transition college newspapers to open source software.

How To Conduct A Content Audit

You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are — and columnist Rebecca Lieb’s process for performing a content audit will help you determine just that!


A content audit is the cornerstone of content strategy, which governs content marketing. The aim is to perform a qualitative analysis of all the content on a website (or in some cases, a network of sites and/or social media presences — any content for which your organization is responsible).

Why perform a content audit, which admittedly is a painstaking and exacting exercise? Lots of reasons.

First and foremost, an audit helps determine if digital content is relevant, both to customer needs and to the goals of the organization. It can help answer important questions: Is content accurate and consistent? Does it speak in the voice of the organization? Is it optimized for search? Are tools and software, such as the content management system (CMS) up to the task of handling it?

Essentially, an audit helps assess needs, shape content governance, and help determine the feasibility of future projects.

Create A Content Inventory First

Start by recording all the content on the site into a spreadsheet or a text document by page title or by URL. Organize this information in outline form, i.e. section heading, followed by sub-sections and pages.

If it’s an e-commerce site, these headings and sub-headings might be something like: Shoes > Womens Shoes > Casual Shoes > Sandals > Dr. Scholl’s. An informational company website’s headings might look more like: X Corporation > About Us > Management > John Doe.

Content strategist Kristina Halvorson recommends assigning a unique number to each section, sub-section and page (e.g., 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc.). This can help tremendously in assigning particular pieces of content to the appropriate site section. Some content strategists also color-code different sections on spreadsheets. It gets down to a matter of personal preference, as well as the size and scale of the audit in question.

It’s also highly recommended that each section, sub-section or page contain an annotation regarding who owns each piece of content, as well as the type of content: text, image, video, PDF, press release, product page, etc. Is it created in-house? If so, by whom? Is it outsourced (third-party content, RSS feeds, blog entries, articles from periodicals)? Who’s responsible for creating, approving and publishing each piece?

The resulting document is a content inventory.

Conducting The Content Audit

Once you’ve created a content inventory, it’s time to perform the content audit. This will essentially involve digging into the quality of the content.

As you go through the audit, it’s helpful to assign a grade or ranking to every page – e.g., a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “pretty crappy” and 5 being “rockstar fantastic.”

Following are the questions you should be asking about each piece of content:

1. What’s It About?

What subjects and topics does content address? Are page and section titles, headlines and sub-heads promising what’s actually delivered in the on-page copy? Is there are good balance of content addressing products, services, customer service, and “about us” information?

2. Is It Accurate & Up-To-Date?

In other words, is the content topical? Are there outdated products, hyperlinks, or outdated and/or inaccurate information lurking in nooks and crannies of the site? As mentioned above, localities, employees, pricing, industry data and statistics and other information change over time. In addition to checking for factual accuracy, content that is outdated should be identified as “update/revise” or “remove.”

3. Does It Support Both User And Business Goals?

Many stakeholders feed into a company’s digital presence: senior management, sales, marketing, PR and customer service (to name but a few).

Different divisions may be trying to achieve varying goals in “their” section of a site or blog, but fundamentally all content must very gracefully serve two masters: the needs of the business and the needs of the customer.

This means, for example, that calls-to-action must be clear, but not so overwhelming that they get in the way of the user experience. The content audit grades content on its ability to achieve both of these goals while staying in balance.

4. Are People Finding And Using The Content?

This is where web analytics comes into play. What types of content — and what pages in particular — are the most and least popular on the site in question? Where do users spend time, and where do they go when they leave? Are they taking desired actions on a page? What search keywords and phrases bring them to the site?

It’s not enough that content is simply there. The data can reveal what’s working (and what’s not) and help inform a strategy that supports more of the types of content users prefer.

5. Is It Clean And Professional?

Is page copy consistent in tone? Are spelling, punctuation and grammar consistent and correct? Are abbreviations and acronyms standard? If the site has a style guide, is it being followed? Are images captioned in a consistent manner, and properly placed/oriented on the page? Do hyperlinks follow any predesignated rules (e.g., open a new page in a separate browser window)?

6. Is Content Logically Organized?

Does the site contain tacked-on pages that don’t follow navigational structure? Does the overall navigation make sense? Are there redundancies, such as a site that includes a “Personal Finance” section in the top-level navigation, then again lists that section in a sub-menu under the heading “Money & Careers”?

7. Does The Content Have A Consistent Voice?

Every brand or business has a distinct voice that expresses its personality. Serious, irreverent, scholarly, authoritative – all are valid, but the tone, language and mode of expression must be a fit and must be consistent with the brand. This step evaluates the content’s tendency to spill into multiple personality disorder.

8. Are Basic SEO Elements In Place? 

Review the page’s title, keywords, metadata, headings and image tags.

Are target keywords and phrases used on the page? Are page descriptions and metadata employed appropriately? Are images and multimedia files captioned, and is metadata employed to make them search-engine friendly? Are headlines optimized for search?

Search engine optimization begins and ends with content, so evaluating to what extent content conforms to best practices in search is an essential part of an audit.

9. What Content Is Missing?

Conducting a content audit focuses so much attention on what’s there that it’s often too easy to overlook what’s not there. An essential step in any audit is therefore to identify weaknesses, gaps and content needs.

A site may be rich in information on how to order, for example; but, are issues surrounding shipping and order fulfillment adequately addressed? Is the press/media section strong on press releases, but weak on photos and video offerings? Does the company blog address company issues heavily, but general industry trends not at all?

What’s missing speaks volumes about the forward direction of a content strategy.

Use Your Findings To Identify Needed Changes/Actions

This is where the rubber hits the road. It’s not enough to produce a giant spreadsheet. The goal is to define gaps and problems, as well as to identify strengths, and develop specific recommendations for improvement.