We believe the basis for delivering great content is much more than awesome writing and a keen eye for editing. It’ s a process. Of course, good writing and editing are necessary for captivating readers, but without a solid content strategy operating behind the scenes, you won’t be making the most effective use of your content.
With that in mind, we thought we would give you a look at how we produce content.
Q: How do we plan our content?
A: Content is laid out in a monthly editorial calendar, organized within a pre-determined schedule. These schedules vary for each client, for example, a client who has opted for eight blog posts a month will receive two posts a week on set days, such as every Monday and Friday.
Q: How long does it take to produce?
A: When it comes to planning monthly content, we like to start early. From initial brainstorming to posting, the entire process generally takes about ten weeks. So, topics for a given month would be planned out and organized well ahead of schedule - allowing for plenty of flexibility. For example, posts for the month of March would be planned at the beginning of January.
Q: Why does it take so long?
A: We like to deliver to our clients in a timely manner without stressful deadlines. After we plan their calendar (which generally takes about a week), we send it to them for review and final approval. We like to give our clients a week to go through the topics we’ve drafted - giving them plenty of time to ask questions or make changes. We then work with them to refine any details and/or adjust the calendar as needed.
Q: What’s the strategy behind the topics we choose?
During calendar creation, we take into account the client’s buyer personas and draft informative pieces to reflect the interests of those personas. We also make sure to include more generalized informative topics as well as lighter pieces. This creates a balanced content plan.
Content typically falls into three "buckets".
The first is educational content for home buyers. People considering buying a new home have dozens of questions they need to find answers to. We wrote an entire ebook about this called Navigating The Home Buyer's Journey. You should definitely have a read through it.
The second bucket is builder-focused. So this is content about new showhomes, new standards, new communities, promotions, quick possession homes, amd other news or announcements. Basically anything that is related to the builder and their products would fall in this segment.
The last bucket we refer to as "fluffy" content. This is content around holidays, events, decor trends, and other lifestyle pieces that would be relevant to your buyers. The purpose this content serves is mostly for entertainment purposes, but it does a great job in building brand awareness as this is the kind of comment that's most commonly shared by your prospects.
We also constantly analyze the performance of our content. Specific topics are strategically planned for days when they’re likely to get the most views and engagement.
Q: Who does the writing?
A: We work with a dedicated team of writers. We want our clients' tone, personality, and personas to be represented in the best way possible and we vet our writers accordingly.
This is yet another reason why we plan so far in advance.
After we receive approval on the editorial calendar, we give our writers a full week to research and draft a client's content. We then take another week for editing the piece to make sure it's factually accurate and is in the voice the client wants.
Q: Are our clients responsible for editing?
A: While we do a series of in-house edits prior to sending a piece for approval, we do encourage them to do edits themselves should the need arise. For this reason, we give our clients two full weeks to review and approve blogs before they’re due to be scheduled.
Q: When do we schedule our blogs?
A: Blogs are scheduled four weeks prior to their posting date. This gives us plenty of leeway in the event a change needs to be made. We then start the process all over again for the next month’s calendar.
As you can see, great content is backed by a great strategy and a proven process. This allows us to plan, develop, and deliver the best to our clients on time, every time.
Amanda's passion is the written word; she loves a good story. Her primary role is to oversee overall content strategy. This means she comes up with new and original content ideas, content schedules, oversees the writing team, edits, proofreads - all of it!