The working duties of a content manager often vary significantly, e.g. you may either write content for corporate social media, maintain a blog, or develop a content strategy. So, your day may be more or less challenging. In this article, I’d like to share my story, a story of a content manager who works for a digital marketing company, promoting its brand.
I usually write two 800-word blog posts per week and a 1,500-word article per month. One of the blog posts is basically a catch-up of everything important discussed during the week at the office and in online passion communities. Another one is an expert opinion towards one of the aspects of online marketing and content strategy. I also prepare and share core messages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Another my task is editing and proofreading content of inside and outside contributors.
9 o’clock is a perfect time for brainstorming ideas for my next copy and managing my editorial calendar in Trello. I try to get the most of the silence in the office during the early hours. So, I usually ask myself 3 questions:
- 1. What is the most urgent thing I should do today?
- 2. What is not urgent, yet important to reach the long-term goals of the company?
- 3. What tasks should I delegate to others, e.g. outsource a part of work, ask my colleagues for assistance, consult with experts?
It’s very important for me to avoid distractions and focus on the strategically vital stuff.
Then, I check emails and updates on social media and respond to them. Since an average number of business emails sent/received per day per user is far more 100 in 2016, according to this study, I don’t check inbox constantly, using messengers for urgent tasks and updates. For some time, we’ve been using Facebook Workplace, which is a convenient tool to communicate with my colleagues during the day.
Also, at the first half of the day, I curate and edit contributor blog content from internal and external contributors. We accept both copies from our team and external bloggers (if you would like to contribute, please write your email in the comments below, and I will be in touch with you to discuss the options we offer). As it appears, in-house content writing has significant benefits, as compared to outsource:
- • The author understands the brand, which makes a difference.
- • I have more control on what, when, and how it is written, e.g. I often help to draft an outline, select data, etc.
- • It’s easier to make changes if necessary.
Sometimes, however, we want to employ a different mindset on a specific topic, so outsourcing becomes my choice. Also, I try to consider all the suggestions from bloggers and specialists who offer their content to us. Sometimes, they send to us copies that fully meet our needs. Besides, this helps us stick to the editorial calendar and allow our personnel to devote more time to other tasks.
Later in the day, I scan the news for digital marketing to keep myself educated on the latest happenings. I use these ways to keep myself updated:
- 1. Read professional as well as fiction.
- 2. Follow expert blogs: I follow the Moz blog, Hubspot blog, and SEMrush blog.
- 3. Check out the online courses.
- 4. Watch TED Talks.
- 5. Follow discussions on corporate chat.
I’m a fan of online learning, so from time to time I study interesting topics on Coursera. For instance, they have a great specialization “Content Strategy for Professionals” which is designed to help organizations and individuals communicate their stories and reach their strategic goals both online and offline.
Around 2 PM, I have a long break or arrange meetings with colleagues. Taking breaks helps me avoid burnout and increase productivity. Actually, I don’t have a breaking habit, but I’m working on it. Under the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations, I try to take 5-10-minute screen breaks every hour.
Some part of the day, I spend working on preparing content pieces and sending them to design. Sometimes, it takes more time to edit and proofread a copy than to write a draft. I also have to be cautious to meet the deadlines and think about the time required for designers to prepare infographics, illustrations, and slides.
I follow these principles to make my writing sound smooth:
- • More means less, so delete everything irrelevant to your topic.
- • Keep your audience in mind; don’t presume that they know what you’re talking about and explain the basics.
- • Double-check the links, data, facts, etc. before publication.
- • Ensure that your text is structured in a logical manner, e.g. chronologically, by subject, in order of importance, etc.
- • Check the tone of your writing, delete slang, jargon, and unprofessional vocabulary.
- • Write your introduction last, as it’s never late to compose this piece of writing.
- • Manage your time wisely and don’t hurry, yet never wait until the very last moment.
Before I leave the office, I check emails and respond to the most urgent ones following the simple rule: everything that you can complete in 10 minutes, do it right away. It’s important not to postpone small things or else they may form a snowball of unsolved tasks pretty fast.
In the evening, I do sports and walk my dog.
I believe that exercising makes me smarter and helps to
- • Increase energy,
- • Improve memory,
- • Sharpen focus,
- • Enhance mood,
- • Increase productivity.
I read something or watch videos to get inspired too.
So, I basically spend my working day thinking, planning, researching, managing, writing, editing, proofreading, analyzing, and studying. With 1440 minutes per day, this seems a lot, but I enjoy what I’m doing and have a great team to support my efforts.