Making and scaling content development can be difficult without a clear and well-organized process for developing content.
In the previous calendar year, Ahrefs’ marketing department at Ahrefs published more than 150 articles along with 30 short videos. Although reaching those figures is a challenge for a small marketing team but they managed it without sacrificing quality. How? Through a process method of development of content.
In this article we’ll explain the basics of content development and why it’s so important and how you can create an effective process for developing content in just seven steps:
- What is content development?
- The importance of a content development process
- seven steps for a secure process of developing content
But before we dive into the steps, let’s define the term “content development” and discover its importance.
What is the term “content development?
Development of content refers to the amalgamation of various steps in the whole lifecycle of a piece of content, from the moment of conception until distribution. It includes steps such as gathering information about the audience, brainstorming as well as planning, editing and much more.
You may be able to mix up content development and strategies for your content but they’re not the same thing. The latter is focused on the overall goal and strategy for your content.
But, a solid process for developing content is a crucial element of any strategy to develop content.
Why is it crucial to have a content development process?
I can understand why making and implementing a content development process might be intimidating. This is why I have listed three key advantages to why an established process for developing content is essential for all those interested in content marketing:
- Scale content more quickly Knowing exactly the amount of time and effort needed to produce different pieces of content will allow you to plan and allocate resources more efficiently.
- Align content to business goals The content development process makes sure that every piece is developed in keeping the overall objectives of the content and business in mind.
- Enhance efficiency by having a defined procedure reduces the amount of work needed at each step of development.
Seven steps to building a strong process of content development
There’s no universal model that can be applied to all content I’ve narrowed this process down to seven essential actions that anybody can follow to develop a content creation procedure for themselves. Let’s dive into it.
1. Understanding your market
It’s simple. In order to create content that is a hit with your intended audience, you have to be aware of them. There’s only one way to do it.
If you’ve ever conducted a market study in the past, you’ll already have plenty of data about your prospective customers. Here are some ways you can utilize it to come up with content ideas:
Examining your competitors’ most popular content development
When you look at the most popular content of your competition You can quickly determine the kind of content and subjects your audience is interested in studying.
You can utilize Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to locate the most popular pages. Enter the URL of a competitor’s blog and then go to the top page report:
The pages you are seeing now are the most effective pages on organic traffic.
Conversations with customers
Before you start working on any piece of content speak with your current or potential customers to find out what they are facing and what they believe your product will improve their lives.
Nothing can compare to the insight obtained from speaking with customers.
For instance example, at Ahrefs there are a lot of our clients are part of an exclusive Facebook community. Through analyzing the conversations, the queries being asked, and conducting polls we can get a better knowledge of the kinds of subjects we could write about.
Using audience intelligence tools
With the help of tools for audience intelligence such as SparkToro With the help of tools like SparkToro, you can quickly find the social media accounts that your targeted followers follow as well as the websites they frequent as well as the hashtags they utilize and much more.
You can make use of this information to come up with innovative content suggestions, locate ways to distribute your content, and so on.
2. Make sure you understand the goal of your content development
Every piece of content must be able to serve a specific objective. It doesn’t matter if it’s driving organic traffic, creating an image of thought leadership, or increasing product use.
The setting of an objective allows you to monitor the correct metrics that determine the quality of your content. It’s impossible to judge the content in a different way.
For instance, in this blog post, one of our objectives is to be within the top 3 spots for the phrase “content development.” Thus we’ll track this keyword with Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker.
Here’s an excerpt from an Ahrefs article outline that provides the angle, the goal, and the unique selling aspect. This will help us create original content while keeping the goal in mind.
3. Content planning
There are a lot of content ideas you want to explore. However, you should begin with just a handful. Here are some metrics to consider when deciding on priorities:
- Potential for business
- The Traffic Potential (TP)
- Keyword Difficulty (KD)
Potential for business
To draw the attention of the right people and increase engagement, you should be sure to write articles that highlight the product’s capabilities as an answer. To help you build your business Here’s the scale that the Ahrefs team utilizes:
The simple act of targeting a phrase with an extremely high volume of searches isn’t enough. It is important to consider the overall TP as an article can be ranked for thousands of keywords. For instance, the phrase “how to water a snake plant” has an estimated keyword volume of 700 However, its TP is nearly five times that of the search volume (at 3100).
However certain keywords could be popular for search, However, but the TP may be relatively low.
KD offers an estimate of the effort required to rank a keyword within the top 10 positions on SERPs on 100 points. In addition to the difficulty, Ahrefs also estimates the number of backlinks needed to get to the top of search results for that specific keyword.
The less score of KD scores the easier it is for you to be ranked high for the term quickly.
However, it’s good to make sure you target all relevant keywords that you’d like to achieve in the near future — even in cases where you think the KD will be high. This will allow you to know the situation and continuously improve your ranking as you add new content to your content or add hyperlinks for it.
Search intent that matches
The creation of content that matches the search engine’s intent is crucial.
The search intent will be what’s the “why” behind a particular search query. It is related to the type of content, the format of the content, and the angle of content.
It’s crucial to match search intent since Google is determined to give users the most relevant results for every search.
Possible to understand the intent behind a search by looking through the top-ranking results for a specific keyword. Best to make sure you are doing it by using the SERP overview area of Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer since you’ll be able to observe all relevant metrics in the area as well.
For instance, the purpose of the term “content marketing examples” is to show posts that include:
The purpose behind the phrase “install windows 11” is mostly instructional videos:
Making a calendar of content
I can’t stress enough how important it is to plan ahead and monitor the creation of content. That’s the reason why the schedule for content comes in.
A content calendar provides you with an overview of your planning of content and also which pieces are on time or delayed.
At Ahrefs the content is generally scheduled one to two months ahead. You can however design it in accordance with your preferences.
If you’re looking for a platform to build a content calendar on, you can try Notion, Trello, or Airtable. These are among the most well-known platforms used by content teams.
4. Creation of content
Every person approaches content creation in a different way. There is no standard procedure for this. However, there are several strategies you could use to simplify the procedure.
Create a content style guide
A style guide for content documents outlines the rules for content on a specific website. This aids in the enforcement of guidelines for uniformity and improving communication.
This is particularly helpful in the event that you outsource the creation of content to freelancers or agencies. For instance, prior to making this post, The Ahrefs team provided me (an outside contributor) with the following information:
- Contributor Guidelines (this describes the different methods of writing).
- Blog Writing SOPs/Guidelines (for making an outline, format, and so on. ).
It is not necessary to design each piece of content from scratch. The majority of content pieces that you make are of a specific type, e.g., list blog, video, tutorial or guide, etc.
For each kind, you could design a template you can make the basis. Start creating the content. Here are some blogs post-template templates to help you.
SOPs (standard operating procedures) are documents that outline the specific steps you need to follow within your company for the creation of content. So, for instance, you could develop an SOP to publish videos on YouTube or write headlines for your blog.
Making SOPs is a great way to increase the efficiency of the group and is beneficial for employees who are new. It’s also helpful for those who work with a variety of external agencies and freelancers who create content.
In a recent presentation about “scaling content,” our director of content, Joshua Hardwick, spoke about the three S’s of the creation of content:
- Systemize This means that you have set an established process for publishing content, starting at the stage of ideation.
- Standardize – Create SOPs for various tasks. Joshua’s own words say “You require SOPs. They’re essential to your life.”
- streamline – You need to think of how to make everything better.
Feel free to look through his slides from the presentation on this page.
5. Feedback on your content
To make sure that each piece of content you publish is error-free and conforms to the guidelines for content, getting external feedback and editing is required.
As creators of content, It can be difficult to identify errors in our content. This is why someone else’s critique is crucial. Your work should be viewed with the eyes of other experts.
Based on the frequency at which content You can employ editors to edit your content to outsource editing or employ peer editing.
The Ahrefs team ensures that every article is scrutinized by another member of the team. So, they highlight things such as logic loopholes, slow flow, unclear information or poorly formulated sentences, and other such issues. Now, they’re also acknowledged as contributors to the conclusion of the article, along with the author.
Furthermore, at Ahrefs they have a content editor on staff whose duty is to proofread each post, ensure it is aligned to the style of the company, and then add it on WordPress and then to update internal hyperlinks.
It is also possible to share content with different people from different roles (e.g. sales, product) or even industry leaders and contacts to gain an outsider’s perspective.
To make sure you achieve your content goals simply creating content isn’t enough. It is essential to be able to implement an effective plan for the distribution of your content implemented.
Also, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. How you modify your approach is dependent on the goal of the content.
For example, if you’ve created a data-driven study with the objective to get links from publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur, your content needs to be seen by journalists or contributors–whether it’s via a cold email, or social media platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, or paid advertisements.
The distribution channels may be classified into earned, owned, and paid channels.
Some examples of channels owned by the company include:
- Blog or Website
- Email list
- Your social media accounts are on platforms
Some examples of channels that earn money include:
- The Facebook group and the Slack communities and Facebook groups
- Twitter mentions
A few examples of channels that are paid are:
- Twitter Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Native advertising via platforms like Outbrain
There are many ways to promote your content, and these are just a few popular examples. There is no need to restrict the distribution of your content to those channels. For instance, you could make use of emails to reach out and contact influential people in your industry who could have an interest in sharing content.
An unexplored method to make more value from your efforts to distribute content is to concentrate on the repurposing of content.
Repurposing content is the process of taking an item of content and transforming it into various formats.
Through repurposing content, you immediately unlock a variety of distribution channels and audience segments to who you can market your content.
If, for instance, you transform a blog post into a video format, you could post it on video-sharing sites such as YouTube and TikTok. A common tactic Ahrefs has employed to its advantage on YouTube is to reuse popular blog posts into YouTube videos.
7. Monitoring results
One way you can know the extent to which your website is reaching the goals you have set is to monitor it.
For instance, to monitor web traffic, you can utilize Google Analytics. So, Similar to that, if your goal is to increase organic traffic, you should utilize the Rank Tracker to track keyword rankings traffic, as well as search visibility.
Here’s how to start:
- Start the Rank Tracker and enter the keywords:
- The next step is to specify the place. You may choose one or more locations.
- Then, all you have to do is to click “Add keywords” to submit your request.
- That’s it. You’ll now be able to monitor your keywords, along with metrics like average position traffic, distribution of position, and many more.
It’s a fact that creating and the process of developing content significantly aids in the creation and scaling of content more quickly.
The kind of content you create Certain steps will be more important than others. But, it is important to not skip every step because each is important in its own way.
Got questions? Contact me through Twitter.