How to Better Assign Content Writing Opportunities

If your project is in need of copy for a newsletter, blog, or social post, your first instinct may be to simply email or direct message someone from your content team with the request. But while content needs may feel like one-off tasks, this approach is a great way to get subpar results and watch things fall through the cracks. So how can project managers assign content writing in the most effective, results-driven way? Read on for our guide to getting your content right.

Selecting Your Topics

First, you need to know your content needs. Sometimes, a project requires content that’s for internal use only. If that’s the case, you’ll still need to help define your assignment and ensure it’s engaging. But if content creation is meant for outside consumption, that’s where a clear strategy will most benefit you in the long-run.

If you’re looking to assign content that will drive users to you, you’ll want to start by deciding on which keywords will bring the right audience. There are a few different keyword search engines available to help you figure out the best phrases you’ll need your content writer to include in their copy. Incorporating those keywords in the title, meta description, first paragraph of copy and alt text of any images used are some of the best ways to use key phrases.

Just because keywords are important for optimizing content doesn’t mean they’re the most important when it comes to content marketing assignments. Ultimately, if users are brought to your content via an organic search, but they feel it’s generalized, poorly written, or simply unhelpful, you’ll lose them quickly and possibly permanently. Keyword searches can help you pick overarching topics you will assign to your content writer but take this further by brainstorming unique topics that your writer can go in-depth on. Optimizing the user experience will help keep readers on your page longer, and engage them better with content, which will make your overall efforts much more worthwhile.

Organizing Assignments

Once you have content to assign, you’ll save yourself time and confusion by structuring the way you assign it. Whether you already have a collaborative project management tool, or are looking to find one that will suit your needs, using this kind of software ensures transparency and clarity when it comes to assignments, team workloads, and deadlines.

Speaking of deadlines, it is critical that you set clear and reasonable deadlines when assigning tasks to content writers. If you are unsure of how long a task might take, you can always work with your writers to better understand how many hours will need to go into research, writing, and editing a piece. You can also look for a project management tool that includes time-tracking so that if you have repeated assignments, you can track how long they take and adjust future deadlines accordingly.

It is also essential that in the assignment phase, you include all of the necessary context and details a copywriter will need to produce the best content. This includes any keywords you want your writer to use in the piece, the audience the content is meant for, the desired length or word count, and any additional information you know you need the final product to include. The more details you can provide to your writer upfront, the more likely you’ll end up with what you need on the first try.

Optimize for Results

When your copywriter has turned in an assignment, the work isn’t quite over yet. Depending on your organization, either they or you will need to review the content to ensure it is optimized to the best of your ability. It might help you to create a standard checklist for optimization that your team uses to review each piece of content before it is published. This list should include things like confirming keywords are included in the right places within the content, making sure the content is mobile-friendly if that’s a possible platform it will be consumed on, adjusting URL structures, and linking to other relevant internal content where possible. A final review of content for SEO is a great way to make sure that all of the effort that goes into creating a great piece of content has the best chance of being discovered by the right audience.

Planning Ahead

If you’re overseeing a project that needs content produced over a longer period of time, you’ll do yourself many favors by creating a content calendar. Rather than simply addressing and assigning needed content as it comes up in your project timeline, creating a content calendar at the beginning of a project’s lifecycle can help you get ahead, make more strategic decisions about what content you need created, and can allow your writers to be ahead of schedule, making them more flexible if sudden changes are necessary.

Planning ahead also makes it much easier to create a strategy for writing content that links together. Back-linking existing content boosts its credibility and optimization, so building out a content calendar that has continuity while offering unique coverage can really help.

Finally, make sure you are analyzing the success of content as it is published. If you find that certain topics draw in the most readers, look to beef up your content around that topic so you are seen as the expert. Wherever you can learn from your success and duplicate it, you should.

As you find yourself manager content writers across your projects, adopting some of these best practices will help you get the most out of their work, and keep you on schedule, with mindful content choices that play into an overall project strategy.

Bismarie Plasencia is a Digital Marketing Manager at CROOW. CROOW is a project management tool that helps creative teams unite with project managers to get work done faster and more efficiently.

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