It happens to the best, most well-intentioned of us.
You start a blog for your website to help boost your marketing goals, and you begin writing often. But writing on the daily (or even on the weekly) can become quite taxing when you’re also running your own business, especially if your blog is helping you find more of that business.
You then decide to bring some writers onto your team. With the (wo)manpower to fuel dozens of articles a month, without necessarily relying on your own personal time investment, you’re working your way toward becoming a content-producing boss and killin’ your marketing strategy.
Until you realize there’s a big issue you need to solve: How do you find a consistent, cohesive blog voice when you have a team of writers?
And who’s the only person to solve it? You. (Or at least it feels that way.)
So now you’re back in the writing pen but as an editor, and you’re back to going through every piece of content that goes live on your site, because you are the quality control. Since you’re still also running your business, that might mean you’re reading drafts while you’re lying in bed about to go to sleep, because that’s literally the only free time you have.
Sounds exhausting, right?
You’re not alone, and there are ways to fix it. And one of those ways is finding a content manager.
If you’re asking yourself if you need a content manager, and it’s 3 a.m. and you’ve just finished reading the latest draft of that new post for your blog, then you probably needed a content manager like yesterday.
But if you’re on the fence, here are a couple of telltale signs that you may or may not be going through right now that’ll help you figure out if bringing on a content manager would help solve your problems.
Entrepreneurs wear many hats—CEO, CFO, and most likely, Director of Marketing. You likely have others you’re working with—an operations manager, an accountant, or a marketing specialist (or if you’re lucky, a whole team of writers).
Except maybe you only have two of those three on your team, which makes you the Director of Marketing and the marketing specialist.
I’m going to pause there and just take a few breaths for you—that’s a crap-ton of important things to manage, and I’m already stressed out for you.
If you are your own marketing team and running everything else, you’re definitely splitting your time between (too) many responsibilities. And as Ron Swanson wisely told Leslie Knope, “Don’t half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
By finding a content manager who can help you get all that marketing material up and out onto the interwebs, that’ll leave you to whole-ass the things you’re best at with your business. You’ll have so much more time in your day to make connections with new clients or source new products to sell on your site, or whatever inspired you to build your business in the first place.
Plus, you can train your content manager to be extra-keen on your stylistic preferences and brand guidelines, so they’ll make sure any piece of content written for you or your business’s blog is consistent with the voice you’re going for.
Remember when you told everyone at the start of the new year that you’re going to post once per week? Maybe twice a week?
Then you looked at the calendar and it’s the end of the year, and you’ve only published two posts.
Maybe, more specifically, you have no energy to commit to writing about what you need to write about for your business’s blog. That’s completely understandable—it’s exhausting to run a business and still have the stamina to write a 1,000 word post about something that you care about (or wish you cared about … but really, all you care about is sleep).
Without that energy, it’s nearly impossible to think of and create a strategy for what you publish. If a burst of energy hits you at 11 p.m. on a Friday, and you choose to publish your post after a quick read-through, then that’s how it goes.
Either way, you know that you want to write a lot, or there are a lot of things to share on your business’s blog, but seriously where does the time go?
It can be shameful to admit when you haven’t been able to live up to the goals you’ve set for yourself, especially when it comes to maintaining your professional brand. Not to mention, if your blog is bringing in a lot of organic search traffic, it’s not a great thing if you aren’t publishing consistently (or at all).
And it can sometimes feel even more shameful if you are the reason you haven’t been publishing, because you’re just too darn busy to edit and review all those blog posts from your team of writers that you hired. That can feel pretty crappy.
There’s plenty of reasons why a blog is quiet. If you can identify that at least one of those reasons is because the blog relies on you and your bandwidth, you may want to think about bringing someone on who can help make your blog loud again.
Content managers can often do a wide array of things: keep your writing team organized, help you think of post ideas, edit and publish posts consistently (or manage the editors and proofreaders too), and most helpful of all, ensure your marketing goals are achieved by looking at the analytics.
If that means you want to publish twice a week, your content manager will do everything in her power to get those posts live on your blog and looking pretty and polished, which makes everyone happy. (Side note: There’s nothing more satisfying to a content manager than seeing posts go live!)
Let’s say that you’ve managed to build up your marketing team a bit. You’ve likely found a writer or two to help you build the content for your site.
But, as you’ve come to experience, coordinating things with writers (or artists, or creative types) is often like wrangling cats: It’s mostly a lot of chasing around, hunting down first drafts or asking for revisions.
“Where’s that post we talked about last week?” “Can you fix this before it goes live?” “Haven’t heard from you in a while, and we need to publish this tomorrow …”
Writers always mean well (or at least, I’d like to think that), but sometimes they can be difficult to get a hold of, especially when you need them to respond.
They’re probably great writers, but if you’ve started finding it to be more of a pain to communicate with them, it’s probably time to find someone to coordinate those exchanges for you.
One option, of course, is to use an executive assistant (or virtual assistant). However, a content manager can take care of an additional task for you: They can make editorial calls on your behalf, helping get the drafts from writers and giving them a first look to make sure they’re on par with your other posts. They can also delegate out posts for you (another major time saver).
An additional benefit of having a content manager on your team is that you have someone functioning as a mediator if things start to get tense. If you’re not happy with the quality of the writing on your blog, your content manager can communicate feedback to the writers for you, ensuring that both parties are happy.
Think about all the time you’d save not having to email writers—sounds great, doesn’t it?
One of the biggest clues that you may need a content manager is that you’re dividing your attention between two pretty important things: building your business and building your brand.
When it comes down to it, you need your business to have a brand. But if you’re spending all your time trying to figure out your brand, while not actively trying to grow your business, you’re likely not spending your time as wisely as you could. (It’s simple economics!) And unfortunately, both of those things end up suffering.
A content manager can help you beyond simply making sure that posts go live on your blog. When working with someone who has content management experience, you’ll find they likely also have a bit of experience with strategy, too. (And if they don’t, then find yourself a content manager who can also function as a content strategist.)
Sure, content strategy is only one aspect of your brand. But you can have a conversation with your content manager to ensure they’re coming up with post ideas that closely align with what you want your brand image to be.
One more person on your team, especially someone like a content manager, can take those ideas you have and use their energy to make it happen. It’s not something you even have to worry about if you find a trustworthy content manager. They’ll make sure you’re writing posts with purpose and sharing content that matters while staying true to the ideas you want to see.
When you’re at the point where your business is beginning to suffer from not having extra help on hand, you’re likely in a spot where you can’t grow much more if you aren’t able to scale your team.
This should be the biggest wake-up call to look into hiring a content manager who can help you out on the marketing side of your business so you can focus on the things that you’re best at whether that’s selling a product, speaking at events, writing books, or consulting with clients.
Don’t let yourself go another sleepless night trying to review posts for your blog when there’s plenty of content managers eager to make sure that happens for you.
Julia Hess graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Master of Arts degree in English. She has worked as a college writing tutor and instructor, a contractor at a major tech company, and a freelance editor and writer. An avid podcast listener, Julia provides editorial feedback, consultation, and detailed show notes for CYC’s podcast, Writers Rough Drafts.