A while ago, Brennan Dunn challenged Andrew to document Krit's standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Why bother? (👈🏻 This might've been our reaction, too.)
Turns out, SOPs help:
- Organize and track details
- Reduce team stress and cognitive load
- Increase employee efficiency
- Promote consistency
- Hold team members accountable
When Brennan put it like that, creating SOPs seemed like a no-brainer.
Since then, we've been intermittently documenting and collecting the various ways we do things at Krit. We call this collection of "how we do stuff" documents the Krit playbook.
Here's a sneak peek at one of the pages from that playbook.
Quick guide to the content below
Our playbook currently has 9 sections including Hiring, Sales, Project, Clients, and more. The excerpt you'll read in a minute is from the Content Marketing section of the playbook.
Here's what the Content Marketing section looks like as a whole (a grayed-out section means "not started yet"):
We're sharing the "Managing blog content ideas" page below, which is about brainstorming and choosing a topic for the blog. It covers the gap between "here's how to think about content strategy" and "here's how to outline and write a post." And it exists to streamline finding and prioritizing ideas each quarter.
We start every page in the playbook with a tl;dr style overview, and the overview for this one is:
- Overview: Where to find the most relevant ideas for blog posts and how to prioritize the ideas you have.
So, that's what you're getting into today. Enjoy. 🙂
Excerpt: Managing blog content ideas
Brainstorming content ideas
Contrary to popular beliefs, great content ideas rarely fall like ripe apples from a tree. They take a bit more work than that. When you need to scavenge an idea, there are three great places to look: our customers, our team, and our audience/community.
1. Customers —The best place to find blog ideas is our customers:
- What are their most pressing pain points or frustrations?
- What do they ask during sales calls?
- What major triggers or decision points do they hit on their journey to us?
- What do they ask throughout the design and development process? (Where do they seem stuck or confused?)
- What parts of working with us routinely challenge or confuse them?
- What do they need to know to make the most of our work? (How can we help them not just love saddles, but horseback riding too?)
Addressing any of these bullet points is usually worthwhile.
2. Our team — A great secondary source of ideas is our own team:
- What do team members wish our customers knew about design, development, products, or product management?
- What common questions or complaints are they hearing?
- Where is the most friction during roadmapping, design, or build?
- What are clients routinely misunderstanding?
- What original data or stories (case studies) can we share with the world?
- What do we do in a unique way or what have we created a unique process for (e.g. roadmapping)?
3. Audience/Community — A third place to look for ideas is our audience and community:
- What new topic is just breaking ground and widely misunderstood?
- What old topic or approach is undervalued or underrated?
- What's a commonly accepted belief that we don't agree with?
Choosing a specific idea to write about
Thanks to the sources above, we usually have a backlog of blog post ideas in Slack, airtable, or our heads. This means coming up with a topic is less of a challenge than choosing one that makes sense for our audience and strategy.
Generally speaking, we want to prioritize topics that:
- align with our current strategy
- provide value to potential customers (e.g. a direct answer to a sales question)
- are a new addition to our library of content
- won't expire quickly
Use the flowchart below to evaluate the topic you're considering:
If your topic passes the flow chart, make sure you can also answer these four "why?" questions before you write about it. (Bonus: these questions will help you start or clarify your outline!)
- Why does this need to exist?
- What will it do for readers? If something like it already exists and is readily accessible, how will you make this write-up more valuable?
- Why would anyone read it?
- Is our audience interested in this piece? If so, what about it is interesting enough for them to give up 15+ minutes of their day to dive in?
- Why this topic?
- Does it connect back to our brand and strategy? Does it fit the overlap of where we're experts and what our audience cares about?
- Why now?
- Is it seasonal? Has there been a spike in interest? Does it relate to an agency update? Why should it take priority over other ideas or planned pieces?
If your idea passes the flowchart and you can clearly and confidently answer each of these questions, you've likely got an excellent starting point, and it's time to start working on it.
Questions about generating & selecting content ideas? Ping: Laura Bosco
Last updated January 27th, 2021.
And that's it. That's our quick quide and standard process for coming up with and prioritizing ideas. From there, team members can hop into the "Writing a blog post" process, which covers these items:
How's this going overall, and what does the team think of it? We're covering that in another post soon. 😉
In the meantime, if you want to see other snippets from our playbook, let us know which snippets over on Twitter, over at @builtbykrit.