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A good content workflow makes your publishing process a lot more effective. This article will outline ways you can organize the work of your content team and create a workflow that simplifies content production and distribution.

Defining your target audience from the get-go makes for a good content strategy. A clear vision on your readership can help in creating a matching writing style, and it determines your content's substance as well.

Your strategy will include, at a minimum, important keywords, a description of the buyer personas you are targeting, and tips on content distribution.

Once you've planned your strategy, you'll need people to implement it.

Start by building a team, and help each team member understand the goals of your strategy. Also explain the steps and tasks involved in the publication process.

In that process, to ensure an effective workflow, you'll need to watch out for approval chains, which get out of control when responsibilities are not defined.

You might get around the chain reaction of approvals for your content if you're a small-scale operation, but it becomes more and more crucial to avoid them at larger corporations with complex mechanisms for communication.

The more time is spent going back and forth with making changes and approving content, the less time you'll have to actually create it. In the end, your readers will suffer, as will your content, reputation, and the business itself.

An effective workflow starts by assigning the tasks within your team. The specific steps will vary from organization to organization, as will the number of people involved. Only large companies are able to assign an individual team member for every task. That said, even a smaller blog could benefit from defining workflow.

Here is a list of steps you'll need to take and responsibilities you'll need to assign among various roles.

1. Find your niche topic to write about

This seems self-explanatory, although it's important. The team member who is responsible for it should have access to resources for keyword research, social media channels, and forums related to the topic.

2. Get the idea approved

Draft an abstract based on the first step, and pitch it to decision-makers. Once it's approved, your task will be a little easier.

3. Create a first draft based on topic research

You might want to get collaborators involved for in-depth articles to speed up the process and figure out a good storyline.

5. Create visual content

Get the graphic designer involved. If your team doesn't have one, you can outsource this work. Or you can use stock images (a good resource is

6. Review the content

Approval is the job of content managers; they (or people they assign) need to fact-check, look for copyright issues, and decide whether the content meets the standards of the business or publication.

7. Proofread

If you can't afford to hire a team member, outsource proofreading. Even if the writer is otherwise a good proofreader, he or she would have read the content so many times that errors will inevitable sneak in.

8. Publish—on your website or other medium

9. Promotion and distribution are at least half the job!

Some people tend to forget this step. Ideally, a social media manager and other employees will share the posts on suitable channels in addition to sending it out to subscribers. Don't forget to measure results using tools, such as Google Analytics.

10. Update it once in a while

Older posts, in some cases, generate more traffic and leads than new ones. Which is why it's a good idea to regularly review and update older posts that are still visible for searchers.

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If you have a smaller team, the job still has to be done, and the responsibilities and steps remain the same; they just need to be taken care of by fewer people.

Your own systems and workflow will differ, and you'll need to refine your own to meet your own standards and requirements. Just get started and continually experiment to perfect your content workflow.

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Peter Szanto is founder of SpringTab, a digital platform for auto-personalized content publishing.

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