It can be challenging to automate your business when content is the primary focus. After all, this is one area that needs to be dynamic and responsive in order to connect with and grow an audience.

But with careful planning and execution, it's easier than you think. In the following article, we'll be discussing the techniques and tools you need to get the job done. Let's start creating!

1. Keep Your Ideas Fresh

Getting stagnant is a danger every content creation business will face at some point in its lifespan. After hundreds of posts, it can become difficult to generate ideas without feeling like you've already done it all before.

Finding ways to generate those fresh ideas without taking up all your time is important. And fortunately, we've got a few ways you can do this.

Getting stagnant is a danger every content creation business will face at some point in its lifespan. 

kee ypur ideas fress as a content creator

After hundreds of posts, it can become difficult to generate ideas without feeling like you've already done it all before.

Finding ways to generate those fresh ideas without taking up all your time is important. And fortunately, we've got a few ways you can do this.

  • Track the latest headlines of your competition: you probably don't have the time to read everything your competitors are posting, but you can check out their headlines to see what readers are responding to the most. It's as simple as establishing a pre-set RSS feed through a program like Pocket or Feedly. This will alert you of what's happening and ensure you don't miss any major developments in your niche.
  • Study your old posts: is there a past blog or podcast that you've done that rang true at the time but has since changed due to technological, political, or socioeconomic changes? Revisit it from a new perspective.
  • Break down meatier posts: did you ever compose a user guide or perhaps a video production that touched on a topic or bullet-point that could be expanded into its own thing? If so, carve it out and build a new piece of content around it.
  • Have someone read through book reviews on Amazon and other websites for top-sellers in your niche: what do the two- and three-star non-fake reviews have to say? Assign one of your team members to browse through these selections and list out all the criticisms customers are making.

Complacency can sneak up on you the longer your content creation business persists. Don't allow it to happen. You can quickly set up the above recommendations on your own or have someone -- a staff member, freelancer, etc. -- do it for you. 

But if you do outsource, seek out a student or a fellow traveler in your niche. That'll shorten the learning curve and ultimately be easier on the budget. 

2. Hire a Copywriter

Copywriter for your business

Perhaps the biggest step you'll take if you hope to automate your content creation business is the hiring of a copywriter. When doing this, think visually as well as textually.

In other words, find someone who is versatile across multiple media. After all, more audiences are consuming audio and video content than ever before. Your copywriter should be as effective at scripts/blocking for short videos as they are for long-form consumer guides and blog posts.

Perhaps the biggest step you'll take if you hope to automate your content creation business is the hiring of a copywriter. When doing this, think visually as well as textually.

In other words, find someone who is versatile across multiple media. After all, more audiences are consuming audio and video content than ever before. Your copywriter should be as effective at scripts/blocking for short videos as they are for long-form consumer guides and blog posts.

Where to find such people? Consider posting job ads on sites like Craigslist and Indeed.

If you do go this route, the most important thing you can do is put a lot of effort into the job description. Don't just hang a shingle that says "Help Wanted: Writer!" 

You want qualified candidates, who aren't going to bother applying if it's a waste of time. Request samples and references. After all, anyone can pull a link from a reputable website and say they wrote it under a pseudonym. 

Don't fall for it. Consider finding someone online who's written something you really connect with and inquiring about their rates. This cold approach may cost more money per content piece, but it will improve your chances of getting the type of writer (and content) that you're looking for.  

3. Automate Your Editorial Calendar

An automated editorial calendar -- that is, the schedule for what you'll post and when you'll post it -- is easier to accomplish when you've got Nos. 1 and 2 handled. However, it's not going to take care of itself without a little more pre-planning. 

Consider helpful software tools like Hootsuite or CoSchedule. These allow you to plan out your posts days, weeks, and even months in advance. They also allow you to schedule your posts for automated publishing on all your social media channels.

Image Source: CoSchedule

You probably don't want to get too carried away with the long-term scheduling, though. This especially is true if you're creating content in a dynamic sector like business or politics. That's because the current "It" company or person can go down in the flames of scandal three weeks from now.

Your glowing interview with them won't be of much value at that point. So plan ahead, but allow for the rapidity of changes your content niche can bring.

4. Schedule Your Social Media Post

Successful process automation depends on how many functions and controls you can set up ahead of time. That is, what protocols can be implemented by a piece of software rather than human hands?

We mentioned CoSchedule and Hootsuite above, but it's also worth noting that Facebook and other social networks allow you to schedule posts directly from their platforms. Why do that when the other software let you handle everything under one "roof"? 

Well, it's not something we can prove with anything beyond our own experiences, and it could be contingent on software updates. But direct scheduling may have its own advantages for two main reasons: 

  • Reach throttling: CoSchedule swears this doesn't happen, but it's not unreasonable to note that a social network's goal is to get you to spend as much time on it as possible, so if you're scheduling all your posts without ever "logging on," it's possible the social network may "penalize" you by limiting your reach.
  • Tagging: sites like Facebook allow you to do this with your friends and organizations that may find your post of interest, but it's not doable on a third-party platform.

Either way, you're better off setting a future date for your post to go live. So experiment with how you do it, but don't burn a lot of calories over it. 

5. Outsource Your Graphic Design Needs

outsource your graphic design needs for your website or business

Another important step for business automation is to entrust your graphic design needs to a specialist. A few years ago, marketplaces like Fiverr were popular sources for graphic design.

But you don't have to be on such bargain-basement platforms very long before realizing it ends with bargain-basement products. Getting affordable, professional-looking help hinges on long-term connections with a professional who really understands the needs of your business. 

By using an agency like Graphic Rhythm Designs, content creators can easily submit a new design request and get it back in 24 hours. And if they have a brand profile, it's easy to get a high-quality design with as little input as possible.

6. Use a VA for Guest Post Reach

use a virtual assistant

One step content creators often miss in achieving automated workflow is outreach, particularly when it comes to landing guest posts. This rather tedious, largely manual, activity can be discouraging when you're looking to automate. But it doesn't have to be.

Hiring a virtual assistant to compile leads will take much of the guesswork out of where to submit your content pitches for widespread distribution. But do yourself a favor when hiring a VA.

Don't focus solely on affordability. You'll get better results if you hire a great communicator in the VA role. (Someone who can encapsulate the crux of a potential publishing partner into a few short sentences.)

Ask the VA to provide summaries on the types of content each publisher will take. This helps you cut out tailoring time when it comes to writing out pitches and query letters.

You may not be able to fully automate this aspect of your content creation business. But a VA can at least help you cut way back on the number of hands-on steps you have to take.

7. Get Optimized

An essential element of automating process workflow happens after the content is done. It entails three key elements: search engine optimization (SEO), media monitoring, and audience tracking (or list-building).

SEO tools like Yoast can help you analyze content for readability and keyword focus. But you'll also want to look at your online listings to make sure your keyword information and the accuracy of your information lines up across your website, online listings, and social media channels.

Google loves consistent, well-structured information that's easy to crawl. Consider turning this over to an outside agency if it's difficult for you or simply takes up too much of your time.

Furthermore, set up Google Alerts to ensure no mention of your business or author name goes unnoticed. You won't know who's talking about you otherwise. 

And last but not least, set up an on-page way of capturing email addresses for anyone interested in opting into your platform. This will automate the process of building valuable relationships that help grow your content creation business.

Automate Your Business and Put Success on Autopilot

Some content creators are hesitant about automation. They don't want to give up the control that good content often requires.

But when you automate your business the right way, using the tips and tools we've outlined here, you stand a much better chance of finding success. Good luck in your efforts, and check out our portfolio if you need any design help along the way.

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