Building scale on your editorial team is a difficult problem for any publisher to tackle.
Finding the right people, getting them up-to-speed on your business goals, and teaching them what you need takes time, patience, and money.
To scale their content creation capabilities, publishers are turning to technology by building tools that help automate some of these tasks. This speeds up the process considerably while also eliminating human error – which has plagued many content initiatives in the past. But scaling isn’t just about writing more stories at once or managing larger teams of writers—this can actually diminish quality if proper protocols aren’t put into place first. Publishers who have built scale with both strong automation and high-quality content have done so by putting the right systems in place through a rigorous process. Here are some ways you can easily scale up your content creation process without compromising on quality.
Here are some tips on how to scale content creation, especially for online publishers.
Table of Contents
1. How to scale content creation with remote teams
Make sure you have both in-house and remote writers that know their audiences. A hybrid workforce with in-house managers or writers along with a team of expert writers is a model that’s increasingly being used by publishers worldwide. As the world continues to supply more PhDs than it can provide jobs for, there is a wealth of scientific expertise that’s now available on demand. For example, if you’re a company publishing guidelines for laboratory technology, it’s imperative to have an in-house team or manager that defines the content topics, scope, and calendar. While some of the content may be written in-house, the rest of it can be outsourced from qualified lab technicians and scientists.
2. Build an editorial process
Regardless of whether you have one writer or dozens of writers, it’s important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to editorial style and engagement. If everyone understands what works best for your audience, then you’ll consistently get great results every time you create new content. You may have an in-house editorial style guide or you could use a standard style guide such as a Chicago Manual of Style or the APA style. Make sure you define who writes the content, who edits it, who takes care of SEO/keyword optimization, and who is in charge of distributing it. It’s okay for some of these functions to be taken care of by the same person, as long as the process is clear.
3. Hire subject matter experts
The benefits of hiring subject matter experts for writing content cannot be overstated. Instead of having to scale all your content needs with generalist writers, scale by hiring subject matter experts who are passionate and authoritative about the topics they write about. This will help you produce higher quality content, which will build more trust than content produced by less knowledgeable writers. Google also rewards content that’s written and verified by experts, helping your article rank higher than a competitor’s.
4. Set up an editorial calendar for all of your different verticals
Using an editorial calendar can help you manage the creation of content across different verticals. Some things to consider when developing an editorial calendar are:
- How often you will publish? Is it daily, weekly, monthly?
- Who is writing the content? Will they scale to produce more content or do you scale by adding new writers into your workflow?
- What style/tone will be used for each piece of content (e.g. casual vs professional)?
- What topics should be covered in what order?
- Are there events coming up that should receive priority coverage to help grow awareness and subscriber numbers (e.g., product launch, industry conference, etc.)?
Make sure your CMS can scale with the number of authors publishing on your site. WordPress and HubSpot are popular content management systems.
5. Scale content promotion
Content distribution is sometimes more difficult than creation. Choose platforms on which your target audience is present. Are your articles for a scientific audience or a layperson audience? For example, if you’re writing content about unique reagents for a lab protocol, you might choose to put out that content using the right hashtags, on a platform where scientists can access it easily. On the other hand, if you’re writing news that is of interest to a wider audience (such as COVID-19 vaccine research) you might publish on several channels that speak to different demographics and audiences interested in science and medicine. It is worth keeping in mind:
- What channels do you have available to scale distribution (e.g., social media accounts/channels, email newsletters)?
- Do these scale easily beyond a few promotional messages per day? Will every author be able to take on this task or should marketing or other team members help out?
- Will different authors have different audiences, and if so, how will that impact who writes what articles/videos/social copy?
- If some authors have bigger followings than others, how will that be managed over time where possible (i.e., try to ensure every author has a chance to grow their audience)?
- Do you have capacity to engage? Remember, social media distribution doesn’t just mean putting out content, you also need to constantly engage with your audience and speak to the right people.
Content can be written in one place and then distributed across multiple channels. By switching up channels based on what type of content is best suited for each channel, scale is accessible.
Recruiting producers needs to be a priority — they can set up all of your processes going forward, so it’s important to find the right people. If you’re a life science magazine focusing on the latest biotech news or results of clinical trials, hiring a science writer with a background in biotechnology is invaluable.
Kolabtree gives you access to a global pool of scientific writers, who can create content on topics ranging from gene editing to astrophysics. View experts now>>