Several of us working on Please Share have written lots and lots of blog posts over the years. And, as anyone in technology marketing can attest, content creation – in particular blog posts – is an important tactic in a company’s overall marketing strategy.
Those not familiar with the inner workings of marketing departments probably haven’t put much thought into what goes into publishing blog posts. For all they know, blogs just magically appear a couple times a week.
But the reality is much different. When managed effectively, creating a blog post is a choreographed art among different stakeholders.
We thought we’d take a few moments to analyze the anatomy of a blog post, sorted into three distinct buckets: pre-production, production and post production.
Companies tend to maintain an active blog calendar outlining the topics they’d like to cover, the proposed author, and rough delivery dates. Forward-looking calendars can span from a few weeks to several months.
Once a topic, author and deadline have been identified, the blog will enter its “pre-production” phase. During pre-production, the author will brainstorm about the topic, conduct research, look for supporting statistics/sources, and identify keywords (or industry trends) that he or she wants to focus on.
Pre-production typically ends with a rough outline – an unordered list of bullets is not uncommon – and an expectation of when the first draft will be delivered.
The production phase is where the rubber meets the road – where those rough bullets points begin to take shape. For people who aren't natural content developers, this process can span from simple to painfully slow (i.e.,severe writer's block). Add in other work commitments and blog production schedules can easily go awry.
Depending on the topic and the author’s domain expertise, the production phase usually includes more in-depth research, interviews with subject matter experts and fact finding – in the form of supporting arguments and/or statics.
Assuming the research is finished and the author’s thoughts are aligned, the writing process commences. According to Orbit Media, an average blog posts take 4 hours to write. In my case, the writing process usually transpires over the course of several days as it’s valuable to take a step back and review the draft with a fresh perspective.
Near the end of the production period, the author will submit his or her draft to a company’s content management team (or person), where it will go through several rounds of editing before it’s officially signed off on.
The post production process involves tying supporting pieces of information together, publishing the blog and distributing the content. The supporting “pieces” of content typically include:
- Metadata (focus keywords, categories, page titles and descriptions)
The components come together in a content management (CMS) tool like WordPress where the blog can provide and scheduled to be published at a certain time and on a certain date.
These supporting pieces may seem like an afterthought but they are critically important to the success – in terms of search engine optimization (SEO), readership and engagement – of optimizing each blog post.
Post production also involves preparing the content for distribution on specific channels. For instance, preparing Tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook updates as well as for internal communications portals and email lists.
Once everything is ready, the final post production step is to publish and distribute the blog.
Hopefully, it’s clear now that blogs just don’t magically appear. In fact, each one requires quite a bit of work from a team of people – easily a day or more for each post when you consider the three phases.
If companies go to this level to produce a single blog post, it seems that a logical step would be to ensure that each post is shared as far and as wide as possible.
There is no better option for companies than relying on their own employees to help in this process – they can easily extend the reach of each content asset much further than a company can by itself.
But the process for sharing blogs (and other content) must be extremely simple and straightforward. At this point in time, there is no faster and easier way for companies to encourage their employees to share important content than by using Please Share and its Slack app.
If you’re going to dedicate so many internal resources, as shown in this anatomy of a blog post, investing a few dollars more in Please Share should be an easy decision.
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