Behind the scenes: Our Content Writing Process

Content writing process

In the last 30 days, my team has written and published over 75,000 words!

That’s a 10X increase in the productivity of our content marketing.

There are two reasons for this exponential growth: Process and People.

There’s no doubt my team has stepped up their game up during our 90 day challenge.  And you can’t become more productive without people who are willing push the limits!

But, the biggest change we’ve made has been to our overall process.

In our recent Behind the Scenes posts, I’ve shared how we’ve improved our content planning. You’ve also seen our project management upgrades.

Today, I’ll take you behind the scenes of our content writing process. And I’ll show the steps and tools we’re using to write 10 times more than we ever have before.

Content writing process

Step #1 – PowerPoint outline

Trying to create 90 days of in-depth, information-packed content has put a bit strain on my team. We’re a small group, with a lot of projects going on in addition to our content marketing. So we’ve tried to find simple ways to exact efficiency anywhere we can.

One improvement we’ve made is to create a comprehensive content outline in PowerPoint.  The outline helps focus our video production, and it also guides our writing process.

Start with the video script outline

Step #2 – Create a post shell in WordPress

Once our video is done, we move our PowerPoint outline into WordPress. We use the outline to create a shell for our blog post.  This shell serves as a guide for our writers when they go into WordPress to start crafting our posts.

Enter the video outline into WordPress

Step #2.5 – Transcribe our video using Trint

For some of our posts, we use Trint to transcribe the audio from our video footage.

The transcriptions aren’t perfect.  Sometimes I fail to enunciate my words. And other times the video narrative doesn’t translate directly to the written word.

Also, Trint thinks my name is “Just Sour.” I’m not sure if this is on me or the transcription robots – but either way, I now have a complex about saying my own name on camera.

Trint

For posts like our Tools of The Trade series, Trint helps us cut a lot of time out the content writing process.

Step #3 – Build a strong post and comprehensive narrative in WordPress

This stage is where copywriting plays a big role. My raw video footage, our outline, and the transcriptions are helpful.  But none of those things are substitutes for strong creative writing.

Our copywriters have to dig in and turn each of our videos into a story and a tutorial.  This process can be grinding. When you’re churning out an average of 2,500 words a day (across blogs, emails and social media), you have to find ways to keep your writing efficient.

Build strong narrative & comprehensive post

Hemingway Editor

It’s hard to avoid wordy writing when you’re blogging about topics like cross-domain tracking or AdWords budget optimization. Hemingway App helps us our keep our prose simple. This Editor allows you to see how clear your writing is while your working.  The Hemingway App has cut down our editing time down by 75%.

Step #4 – Ad images to posts

Writing without images is boooooring! Super boring!! So even though we create a video for each post, we want to make sure we still have plenty of pictures.

Each post needs a feature image.  We also try to add helpful screenshots for all our tutorials.

Here are a few tools we use to help us pack our posts with images:

Canva

We use Canva to create feature images.  Canva allows you to store image templates. These templates save us loads of time!

Create featured image in Canva

Tinypng

Nothing slows down a page load speed like big images. We compress all our blog images using TinyPNG.Step 3- Reduce file size with TinyPNG

CloudApp

Google Analytics screenshots aren’t exactly the most exciting images. We use CloudApp to create simple annotations and helpful text callouts.

Step #5- Email lists

We use in-content calls-to-action (CTAs) to help grow our email lists. These opt-ins also help us segment our lists.

We send Analytics emails and posts to people who want to know about Google Analytics. PPC emails to people who want to learn about AdWords.

And, we send 90 day challenge emails to people who we’ve tagged as having Ginormous Brains! If you have a superhuman cerebrum, feel free to opt-in to our 90 day challenge email list.

Write email to 90 Day Challenge List

In all, we maintain about seven weekly email lists. So emailing tacks on another 300 to 700 words of writing for each post and video we produce.

Step #6 – YouTube optimization

Before we publish our videos, our writers chop up another 5,000 character post for our YouTube descriptions. Being thorough with our video descriptions helps our YouTube SEO. And it gives us another opportunity to add links to our courses, email lists, blogs, etc.

Add YouTube Description and Titles

How has the 90 Day challenged helped our content writing process?

There’s nothing like pressure to make you adapt. Writing a new blog post every day has definitely forced us out of our comfort zone.

This process has been kind of like a grueling hiking expedition. You scale the first steep hill quickly. Then you come down the other side, only to find yourself in a valley, looking up at another mountain.

There are highs and lows. There are days packed with great results. And there are hours devoted to content that falls flat on its face.

It’s pure determination that keeps us going. Also, a dose of constructive ignorance helps us block out anything that’s not related to our goals.

We are still going strong. We are getting better and learning more about our team and our process every day.

And that’s why you challenge yourself. To find just how much you can accomplish we you get rid of all the excuses!!


This post and video was episode 43 in our 90 Day Challenge digital marketing series.

To get access to all 90 videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. YouTube will send our subscribers weekly emails about all the videos we published over the past week.

Want to know about each video and post as soon as it comes out? Sign up for 90 day challenge email newsletter. The newsletter will be the best way to make sure you don’t miss any of the content.

About the Author

Jeff Sauer is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker and Teacher based out of a suitcase somewhere in the world. Formerly of Minneapolis, MN and San Francisco, CA.