Managing a Content Writing Team
At the Dr.U Hair and Skin Clinic, I managed a content writing team of 3-5 writers. Our general process was comprised of 5 phases.
Generation of Assignments
The types of content written by our writers included: blog posts, patient case studies and cornerstone articles. Many of the topics were proposed by Dr.U himself. However, I was also given the opportunity to contribute to this queue as well.
Initially when I started managing the writers, I would receive content that was not aligned with the targeted intent of each assignment. In order to streamline the assignment creation process and minimize back and forth communications with the writers, I issued writers' briefs which specified a summary of the background information, links to reference articles, the required keyword phrases and the general sequence and direction of concepts to be presented in the final deliverable.
Pending/ In-Progress Assignment Fulfillment
Dr.U required a specific structural format to be followed by the writers with the following required elements:
pre-researched keyword phrases, as noted earlier, based on high to medium volume search queries.
content section (headed by H2 with exact match focus keyword phrase or broad match secondary keyword phrase option) describing the patient before their procedure, accompanied by photos
content section (headed by H2 with exact match focus keyword phrase or broad match secondary keyword phrase option) describing details of the procedure (i.e. how it was performed, number of grafts, any special techniques that were used)
content section (headed by H2 with exact match focus keyword phrase or broad match secondary keyword phrase option) featuring the patient's before and after photos
content section (headed by H2 with exact match focus keyword phrase or broad match secondary keyword phrase option) featuring the patient's video
frequently asked questions section (headed by H2 with exact match focus keyword phrase or broad match secondary keyword phrase option) with questions and answers on supplemental information that would further help with the reader's understanding
free consultation/ask Dr.U button
SEO Title with natural usage of the exact match focus keyword phrase
SEO Description, an informative summary of the content with natural usage of the exact match focus keyword phrase
further reading section (H2 header)
free consultation/ ask Dr.U button
To make the structure and required elements easier for the writers to follow, I created a standard template with these required elements and H headers to use. The writers would simply fill out the template in sequence and copy their draft version and meta keywords into the appropriate WordPress fields.
This usage of the template made the writing and editing process much more time-efficient, minimizing the level of editing that was required before the implementation of this measure.
My job was to read and review each assignment submitted to ensure the following objectives:
that Dr.U's requirements were fulfilled
that the draft was factually accurate, with a logical flow and presentation of information
that the overall verbiage reflected a general APA style through clarity and succinctness, so that average readers could easily understand the information presented within the content
Factual accuracy and correct inferences could often be a major challenge, especially in cases where writers are tempted to memorize individual facts, without gaining a well-rounded conceptual understanding of the clinic's offerings and how procedures are performed to meet the final goals of the patients.
To address these knowledge gaps, I conducted video call sessions with individual writers and helped them gain a better understanding through informal Q&A quizzes. I also had them use a whiteboard, or a clipboard to draw out visual representations of their understanding of the procedures.
Re: Links and Anchor Text
The writers were also asked to include the appropriate number of internal and outbound links. However, since many of them had only a very basic understanding of SEO, it was my responsibility to finalize the choice of anchor text to use as an important on-page optimization detail.
Internal links could only have anchor text (within a broader context) consisting of a broad-match keyword phrase that the clinic wanted to optimize/rank for. This was not permitted for external links, however, as it would communicate to search engines that a different site had more authoritative information pertaining to the targeted keyword phrase.
Final Approvals and Publication
After reviewing the edited pieces and adding his own elaborations, Dr.U would issue the final decision on when to publish the content.
At the end of each month, I would receive the invoices submitted by the writers and coordinate the processing of their payments by the accounting department.
The last and final step was to document the completed assignments on a separate list.