Content, the tools and tips from a strategist (part 1)
How to keep the overview so others can excel in the production
What are the indispensable tools, tips, and tricks for a content strategist?
Notice, this is not a hack how-to guide with the nitty gritty tips on content production; this is about how to keep the overview so others can excel in the production.
Why it matters
Nailing the content assets is one thing. Doing it over and over again and having content contribute to your business is something else.
How to get from campaign-based thinking to a more strategic approach?
Below you find a list of the tools I love and use daily.
- Rule 6
Notion is a free tool that I use for content planning. As planning becomes complicated over time, keeping an overview of your storyline, content themes, and individual posts is essential.
Read more on ‘Content planning made easy’
I use Notion for three things
- Content themes and tags
I have divided my storytelling, my ‘All things content’ nerdiness, into four buckets (themes) with corresponding tags. This is to keep track of my self-chosen balance over the themes.
- Planning newsroom and socials: posting asynchronously
I use the template ‘Blog Editorial Calendar’ to keep track and the overview of the planning of my content and posts over the days and weeks. With this matrix, I have the overview of the individual content item published on www and socials; I publish asynchronously on the channels and re-use content
- A place to keep ideation
If you have a bubbly mind like mine, overflowing with ideas, you need a place to store them. Writing them down on a piece of paper means I’ll lose them. Using my little black book means I forget them. And creating drafts in my CMS gives me anxiousness. Now I enter the idea as a blog post in Notion and don’t enter a publishing date.
This is professional newsroom software used by big brands. And I absolutely love it.
- Idiot proof, creating a blog that looks stunning has never been easier
- SEO optimized by design, the tool does the work for you
- Great support team; you just got to love the experts in the support team that always take the extra step
I can go on and on; the best thing is to have a look yourself. For that statistics, you can implement GA, they also got some basic functionalities that are just perfect for my needs.
If you want to know any more details on working with PressPage and an honest review, drop me a DM. For the record, I’m not affiliated, just a fan.
We all love and hate Canva. The best thing I did was to get the pro subscription. You can use Canva to create stunning assets. I use it for design consistency and fast production with my own templates.
- Consistency. In Canva, I have set up my own design style guide and formats, including sizes. In this way, I’m consistent in all content assets, including my blog content visuals, 1:1, 1:2, or 2:1. Having consistency in formatting and sizing results in accessible and easy-on-the-eye content.
- Fast production. It can be quite some work as I create the visual assets for each channel individually. Setting up templates and processes speeds you up. Nowadays, it takes me between 15 and 30 minutes to create all assets for the blog header, blog content, social preview, LinkedIn header, Instagram story, Instagram feed, and Medium.
For my visuals, I use Pexels.com.
Use it as intended and to its full potential. We all have been flirting and playing with it for a few months. Here's what you need to know and what I learned to get the most out of it. Keep in mind it's still me who has the brains and does the strategic work. Good to keep in mind when using ChatGPT
- No new insights or strategies
- Conversational design Chatting with ChatGPT is where the magic is created. Notice that it’s already in its name.
- Know when to use it and when not
Read more on ‘ChatGPT, your wingman’
Next to asking ChatGPT for translations, synonyms, wordings, or different ways of saying, I use DeepL. The best translation tool I ever used.
I prefer the app over the web-based version.
Yes, these are the little notebooks. I love the version with the dotted lines that give me visual freedom to sketch and play around on the pages and let the creative juices flow. Having lines kind of limits my creative process.
I draft every blog on paper first before turning to Word to start the writing. Using pen and paper makes me more creative in a natural and weird way.
Read more on my content process and ‘how to shorten your time to market’
Last but not least, I frequently apply Rule 6. That’s as much as don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Have some fun, play, and flirt around.
If you’re having fun, doing what you love, and love what you’re doing, it resonates in your content.
Food for thought
I hope these tools and tips help. If you have anything to add, please don’t be shy and drop me a DM.
Keeping an open mind with an inquisitive curiosity is magical.
Test and learn, learn and test. Use what’s useful; drop it when it’s lost its value. Simple as that.
Enjoy the ride.
More tips, tricks, and tools are in part two — the second list of the tools I love and use daily.
- Grammarly Pro to improve my writing
- Pexels for visuals
- Data analytics to discover what I can re-post
- Distribution, why and how I post a-synchronously over multiple socials
- A night of sleep, a little patience goes a long way