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How I Use Asana to Organize My Content Marketing
We recently published a post about the benefits of productizing your services. By creating defined, documented, and repeatable processes for the services you deliver, you’ll save yourself time, a lot of headaches, and make it possible for you to scale your business and even outsource the work to employees or contractors.
This idea of productizing your service processes can be easily applied to your internal tasks, too. And, in fact, if you plan to scale your business up, it’s essential that you create documented, repeatable processes for everything you do to run and promote your business.
Today, I want to talk about one big marketing task that can overwhelm our schedules when not documented and streamlined: content marketing.
Even if you are the only person in your company handling content strategy plan (or even if you’re the only person in your company, period) setting up a system will make your life easier and make your content marketing more effective.
Plus, if and when your business grows and you want to outsource some of your content marketing tasks, having a documented system in place for your content plan will make the transition incredibly easy. You’ll thank yourself later, I promise.
We’ve implemented an entirely documented process – from idea to published – for our content marketing here at Jobson Studios, and (even better!) we use the free version of Asana to make it all work.
In this article, I’ll use blogging as an example, and show you step-by-step how we keep everything organized.
Step one: create a new project in Asana, and make it a Board
If you don’t have an Asana account, hop on over and create a free account before you get started.
Once your account is up and running, create a new project and title it Blog Schedule, or something like that. Make sure to choose the “board” option (instead of “list”). Like this:
Step two: map out each step in your blogging editorial process.
I’ve created the following steps for our process:
- To Write (this is where I stash all my blog post ideas that I know I want to create a post on. Everything in this column is still in the idea stage).
- To Edit (this is where an idea goes once it has been outlined or a first draft has been written. Everything in this column is in progress and will be moving toward publishing soon).
- To Schedule/Publish (this is where a post goes once it has been fully written and edited. At this point, it has been assigned a publishing date).
- To Promote (this is where a post goes once it’s been published – or scheduled to be published – and now needs to go through our post-publish promotion steps).
- Complete (to tidy things up, posts that have gone through the initial promotion period after being published are moved to this column).
You can get as nitty-gritty about these stages as you’d like. Maybe you’d rather have a column for posts that have been outlined, posts that have a rough draft written, and posts that are ready for a final edit, instead of just one “to edit” column. Do what works for your you!
Step three: create a blog post template task
Under your first column, where all blog posts will start their journey, create a new task and name it “TEMPLATE”. You’ll be building out your blog post creation process in here so you can copy it for every post.
Inside this task, create a subtask for each step in your editorial process. Don’t leave anything out. Even if it seems like an obvious detail to you, having it documented here will make it super easy for an employee or freelancer to take over down the road. And even if you never outsource, it will act as a reminder so you never skip a step when you’re in a hurry.
Here are the steps I have outlined in my blog post template task:
- Write outline
- Write rough draft
- Edit draft
- Proofread + finalize content
- Create blog post graphic
- UPLOAD TO WORDPRESS:
- Load “blog post layout” from Divi layout library
- Set Divi Post Settings to “Full Width” + “Hide Post Title”
- Insert + format text content
- Add images where noted
- Set Featured Image
- Edit Yoast SEO Title + Meta Description
- Set Social Share settings inside Yoast SEO
- Schedule to publish
- Share on IG
- Share of FB
- Share on LinkedIn
- Send a quick email to any experts quoted/mentioned in the post with a link to share
- Share with email list
Here’s what it looks like inside Asana:
When I add new blog posts to my board, I choose the “TEMPLATE” tasks and make a copy of it. I replace the name of the task with my blog post title/idea and place it in the appropriate column (usually the “To Write” column).
Assign tasks & set due dates
Make sure to assign blog posts and/or tasks to someone – even if you assign them all to yourself.
If it’s just you running the content marketing show, you can assign the entire blog post to yourself. If you have employees or freelancers handling certain parts of your editorial process, you can assign just those subtasks to them.
Also, decide at which point in your process a blog post will be assigned a due date. For me, I like to remain flexible up until the “to schedule/publish” stage. This will probably change as I bring more team members into the content marketing process, but for now, I enjoy the flexibility of working on the posts that feel most inspiring to me. Once a post has been written and edited, I move it over to the scheduling column and give it a publishing date. This allows me to build up a queue of ready-to-publish posts, and I know what will go live when so I can plan promotion activities like marketing emails and social media posts.
Use attachments to keep everything organized
For each blog post that moves from the “to write” column over to the “to edit” column (meaning, it turns from idea to an actual document with either an outline or a rough draft) I attach the Google Doc right to the Asana task.
This makes it easy to open your Asana Blog Schedule, click on the blog post that you’ll be working on, and open the document quickly. This will come in even more handy if you outsource any of the writing, editing, or scheduling to someone else, as they won’t have to hunt around for the content in order to complete the tasks. I also attach all images that go along with the post so those are easy to find, as well.
Perfect + Repeat
You can use our Asana blog editorial process as an example and create a system that works best for you. Then, once you’ve perfected it, apply the process to other areas of your business (we use a variation of our blog post process for our email marketing, social media, guest blogging/publicity, as well as client projects.)
Having these documented process in place will save you so much time (if you don’t believe me – try it out for just one week!) Even as a one-person business handling all of these tasks yourself, creating a structured process allows you to get all of these little tasks out of your brain so you don’t have to burn up energy remembering them. And, as your business grows, you’ll be prepared to make the transition gracefully.