This is a Standard Operating Procedure for Content Creation and Management. This post was originally a Google Doc – if you want to read the Google Doc instead (and Make a Copy) feel free to do so.
You should have arrived here via the KW Research SOP – if you didn’t, you should read that document before you proceed with this one, or it may not make much sense.
Grouping and Prioritizing KW Concepts
So, you’ve completed your KW Research and you’ve got your Target KW Concepts and their respective Add-ons in your copy of this spreadsheet.
The next step is to organize and prioritize your KWs so that you can produce content guidelines that are extremely easy to follow. You can then write the content yourself based on these guidelines, or you can pass them to your writers.
The articles we are writing are longer and more in-depth resources. 1000 words at a minimum – 1500 is a good target.
- First, you’ll need to separate your KW concepts into articles, and those articles into groups of keywords. Keywords should be grouped together based on common themes, IE a single group will be a sub-section of an article.
- Go to ‘Kw Groups and Priority’ on the spreadsheet
- Copy your list of Main KW and the relevant KW Concepts over to this sheet from ‘KW Target & Addons’.
- Begin grouping your KWs concepts together. If you feel like you’re lacking enough Add-on KW concepts to structure a high quality piece of content, you can go back to Keyword Planner Tool, put it on ‘Only show ideas closely related to my search terms’ and put some of your KW concepts in. This should help you with coming up with more Add-on KWs concepts to target.
- It’s not completely necessary to fill out all the information here – but it doesn’t hurt to do so. I’ve filled out the volumes on all the KWs but not the other information. The more competitive the KW your targeting is, the more detail you should put into this sheet (so that you have a clearer knowledge of which KW concepts in any given batch warrant more focus).
- After you’ve grouped your KWs together, you’ll need to prioritize your KW Concepts by separating them into Primary, Secondary, and Supporting categories.
- Generally, an article of 1000-1500 words will have 2 or 3 Primary KW concepts
- There can be 3-5 Secondary KW concepts.
- There can be 10-20 supporting KWs – it largely depends on how broad your article topic is. I would be wary about including too many supporting KWs though, because sometimes writers will think you want to include all of them as ‘exact match KWs’ rather than KW concepts and you’ll get back a garbled mess of an article.
You can see my groupings and prioritization in the example sheet. I also added a couple more super LT KWs that fit well into this overall article.
Creating a Content Outline
Why designate Primary, Secondary, and Supporting KW concepts? It’s so that you can create an outline that is crystal clear for your writers (or yourself).
The first thing you should understand is what the 3 Tiers of KWs mean:
- Primary KWs will be mentioned (in Natural Language, not KW stuffing) in the Title, Primary Header, and Meta Description of the page of content, and each will have its own Section and subheader.
- Primary KW sections of the content should have at least one outbound authority link, at least two images (with an appropriately optimized file name and alt tag), and either a video, a quote block, or a table. These are the most ‘resourceful’ sections.
- Secondary KWs will get their own sections and sub-headers, but don’t need to be included in article headers, titles, or meta descriptions. They should also have at least one image, and one external outbound link, but they don’t need to have additional media in their respective sections.
- Supporting KWs will each get a couple sentences at most, and if possible should have an external outbound link.
You need to be able to communicate these requirements clearly to your writers while emphasizing that you do not want exact match KW stuffing.
Your content outline should be precise, going over exactly what you’re looking for in terms of ideas that need to be covered and article structure.
Here’s a template that you can use with your writers – it’s an example of what I might give a writer (who presumably knows French and English) Keep in mind that this template can definitely be improved – it’s up to you to tweak your content outlines for the level of writers that you have so that they produce content that satisfies you.
A lot of people think that they don’t need a system for managing their content creation. While this may be true for small-scale content creation, if you’re looking to scale up your sites with large amounts of outsourced content, you will need a robust content management system to keep up with everything.
- There are a number of options here – you can use paid tools for managing your content creation.
- We want to keep this process as low-cost as possible for those of you who are less experienced, so we just use yet another google spreadsheet.
- This spreadsheet is relatively straightforward – share it with all your writers and ask them to update it so you can track their progress on new content.
- Without this kind of content management system, it’s impossible to scale content creation.
- You also need to provide links to your completed KW research sheets and content outlines so your writers can refer back to them easily when needed.
This is probably the trickiest part of this process. Good writers at reasonable rates are hard to find – and when you do find them, they often disappear once better paying work comes along (and who can blame them?)
It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not looking for the next Stephen King. You need good content, but you don’t need outstanding content.
There’s no real hard and fast method to finding good writers – it’s a lot of trial and error. That being said, here are a few tips:
- The platform doesn’t matter as much as your process. There are good and bad writers on every outsourcing/writing platform – Upwork, Textbroker, Freelancer – all these platforms have some good writers on them. It’s not about which platform is the best – you need to develop a platform that screens good writers from bad.
- There’s a section in this NHD article about finding good writers for reasonable prices on textbroker
- Another place
- Always ask for samples. Reading a 1000 word sample is worth your time if it means you don’t end up with an article that’s so bad it needs to be rewritten.
- When posting jobs on platforms like Upwork, I usually include an unusual request somewhere in the middle of the article – for example, I might include one sentence that says ‘When you reply to this job posting, please include the word “Orange” in your reply. If you don’t, you will not get the job” – this basically filters out anyone who doesn’t carefully read instructions.
- If you find a good writer that you like working with and does a good job consistently, it’s worth trying to keep them happy. Even if they ask for a higher per-word rate – sometimes it’s worth it if you factor in the time you would spend looking for a replacement of the same quality.