Join Dayna Rothman for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing and editing, part of Content Marketing Foundations (2015).
- Now that you have a solid plan in place, you have to start writing and editing to actually get that content done. Writing content can be extremely hard work. Building a repeatable process helps. So let's take a look at some steps to take in order to build that repeatable process so that your ensuring all your written content is consistent, on brand, and that it's engaging. So step 1, find a subject-matter expert. You need to determine who in your organization knows about your topic.
And then you can schedule a "brain dump" and record. A "brain dump" can be thirty to one hour session, whether in person or over the phone, where you're asking that subject-matter expert various questions about the topic. Essentially, having them do a "brain dump." If there is no subject-matter expert, be prepared to do the research yourself. Step number 2, create an outline. Creating an outline is extremely important to keep you organized and on-track with your content creation. Make sure you include your thesis in this outline.
Your thesis is the point that you're trying to get across with your particular content asset. Make sure you set up your different sections, particularly if it's an e-book. And then socialize your outline to people outside of your content team to make sure that what you're writing about makes sense and it's the right thing. Here's an example of an outline. Note that it has the title, it has the different parts, an explanation of what the different parts might be, and some links so that you have places to reference when you need to go write the full piece.
Step 3, write your first draft. This is arguably one of the most difficult parts to content creation. Make sure your thesis is clear. Make sure the thesis is clear up front and that it's clear throughout your document. And also make sure you're constantly referring back to your main point. Break your content up with H1s, H2s, and other headers. You can find these in your word processing program that you're using, like Word. It's important to break your document up in this way so you know where each section lives.
Use lots of bullets, lists, and numbers. This is an important for scan ability. Not that your reader won't necessarily read every single word of your document. So by using bullet points and lists, it could be easy to scan. Make sure you have an intro and a conclusion. You want your document to flow. So here's an example of a first draft. As you can see, it's broken up into sections and it also has numbered lists. This makes it easy to follow and easy to scan. Step number 4, always review.
This is an extremely critical part of content creation. The more people you have review, the better off you are. So typically have 1-2 people review each draft, more if you have the ability. Each person will generally catch different mistakes. Refer to a style guide. Make sure that you have a style guide created that goes over tone and brand and that you're always referring back to that. Always copyedit for grammar and structure. You want to make sure your content is grammatically correct, and you want to make sure it's structurally sound.
And then always edit for content and concepts. Make sure you going through the document to determine what makes sense and what doesn't. And then use Track Changes in Word and commenting for optimal editing. This is definitely recommended, particularly if you have more than 1-2 people writing the document and reviewing it. Let's take a look at a review example. As you can see, there's a lot of editing in this document. We use Word and Track Changes to edit within the document.
And then on the right-hand side, you can see a variety of comments from different team members. This is important for collaboration. Step number 5, write a second draft. Once you have your first draft created and you have all of your edits, incorporate all of them. Read over it an additional 1-2 times to ensure that it's a final copy. And then make sure all your stakeholders have seen the copy. Make sure everybody knows that the content is correct and everybody that needs to has signed off on that content. And once you have your final draft, then you're ready to send to design.
The course explores creating a content plan, choosing content types, and developing an editorial calendar. It also explains how to write, edit, and design content, as well as choose the right mix of content and curate it for maximum impact, and closes with tips on measuring the impact of your content marketing efforts.
This course is part of a Learning Path approved by the American Marketing Association.
Gain the skills you need to become an AMA Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) in Digital Marketing by using the industry-leading courses and resources in the Learning Path. Take the AMA certification exam to show that you have what it takes to lead the digital transformation.
- What is content marketing?
- Hiring a content marketing team
- Creating buyer personas
- Developing a brand voice
- Setting goals
- Creating a content plan
- Writing, editing, designing, and curating content
- Promoting content on various channels
- Tracking performance