Your Guide to Creating a Content Marketing Team and Workflow Plan: Introducing the Content Cake

Sure, you can do content marketing willy-nilly.

You can publish random topics at random times. You can write whenever you feel like it, and target keywords you haven’t researched fully. You can promote posts sporadically, whenever you have time.

But what will you get out of all of that, really?

Honestly? Probably a big fat load of nothing.

The truth is, all of that effort most likely will go to waste.

Unfortunately, it’s how a lot of marketers and business owners approach content.

They don’t fully commit. They rely on a haphazard effort that ultimately doesn’t move the needle.

It’s why 90.63% of all web pages get ZERO traffic, and why 95% have ZERO backlinks.

Because you need a content marketing process plan behind it all to ensure your content WORKS…

  • So it doesn’t fade away into nothing.
  • So it doesn’t earn zero results.
  • So people actually read it.
  • So it grows your brand instead of sucking the life out of it. 🧛‍♂️

But how do you create a content marketing team and workflow plan that results in amazing content?

I’ve got the answers. 🙋‍♀️ Follow my NEW framework, called the Content Cake, to put your process together. 🎂 This is the plan I use in my business, for my clients, and what I teach in my Content Transformation System for executing, publishing, and distributing amazing content.

And the Content Cake is just the tip of the iceberg. 🗻

content marketing process

If you need the complete set of instructions for creating a content marketing process plan…

Get our ALL-NEW Content Hacker™️ Content Process Blueprint. This in-depth digital pack will show you exactly how to construct a winning process that produces winning content, including workflows and swipe-able custom-build ClickUp Content Space templates (worth $1,800!) we’ve tested and refined, for managing your content calendar and team.

Let’s get into the explanation!

Watch Me Explain: Creating a Content Marketing Team and Workflow Plan from the Ground Up

What Do You Need in a Content Marketing Process Plan? 4 Stages

As you know, content marketing seems to have approximately one billion pieces, and it’s not always clear how they should fit together.

What stages do you need to plan out? What information do you need to know about your audience, your brand, and SEO? What kind of people power do you need to execute content? How/when should you promote it?

Defining your content marketing process essentially means writing your own guidebook to these disparate pieces and how they should connect to ultimately produce ROI-worthy content.

Then, with your process and workflow documented, you have a blueprint to follow to guide your content creation forever.

But, what if you’re not sure how the process should be set up? What if you’re confused about the best order, tasks, and workflows?

That’s why I created my NEW concept called the Content Cake. It illustrates my own simplified content process and workflow – and the one I teach in my mentorship program – as a layer cake created from the ground up:

the content cake - content marketing process plan by julia mccoy and content hacker

Want the entire blueprint to constructing your own content marketing process? You’ll find it inside my all-new Content Hacker™️ Content Process Blueprint, including all the stages, workflows, tools, and even ClickUp templates for managing your writers. Get now.

Why a cake?

Because like baking a cake, to be profitable with content marketing you need to execute the right steps in the right order. There’s a process and specific ingredients you MUST include.

As you can see from our layer cake, a complete content marketing team and workflow plan need to be created with four distinct stages.

Stage 1: Ideation

The first stage, Ideation, is the base layer of the Content Cake.

This represents the strategy behind each long-form content piece you publish. In the ideation stage, you answer these questions:

  • Where do I pull topic ideas from?
    • Your customers’ interests, problems, and concerns
    • Your brand story and differentiation factor
    • Your sales goals
  • How do I map those topics to keywords for SEO?
    • Do keyword research
    • Use the right tools with the right data

Then, with a vetted topic mapped to a researched keyword, you move on to the second layer of our Content Cake: Writing.

Stage 2: Writing

The Writing stage is where the bulk of content creation happens. This includes not only writing the actual piece but also:

  • Researching facts and data to support your points, interviewing experts, etc. – any action that adds credibility to the content.
  • Editing the piece for spelling, grammar, accuracy, brand voice and tone, and correct formatting.

The Writing stage can take up to a week depending on who’s doing the writing and editing. For example, the same person can both write and edit the piece, but they’ll need to give it time to marinate after writing so they can see it with fresh eyes for editing.

Stage 3: Approval/Publishing

Stage 3 of our content marketing process plan is the Approval/Publishing stage.

Approval is all about getting the “okay” to publish the content piece from whoever is in charge, or whoever is the last word on your brand’s content. That could be you, the brand owner, or it could be someone you trust who’s directly under you, like a content manager or editor.

Publishing is about getting the piece live on your platform – usually your blog/website – and all the tasks that go with it, including:

  • Creating a blog draft in WordPress
  • Correctly formatting the content for the web
  • Scheduling the post for the right day/time

Stage 4: Distribution/Promotion

Last of all, the fourth layer of the Content Cake is Distribution/Promotion.

Fittingly, this final layer features candles on top that represent “lighting the candles” on your content piece as you present it to the world. Essentially, you’ve inviting people to consume it and enjoy it, just like a delicious piece of celebratory cake. 🍰

happy birthday

That’s exactly what content distribution and promotion do. You’re reaching out to offer slices of content cake to people who matter. Whether that’s sharing the content link on social media, sending out an email, or mentioning it in your other content, you’re trying to get it out to a wider audience.

What Tools Go Into the Creation of Your Content Marketing?

Stage 1: Research Tools

Our favorite SEO research and discovery tool for the deepest and most accurate data is Semrush. At $100/mo, it’s not cheap, but it’s the only tool where you’ll be able to see everything at-a-glance, including what you’re ranking for and the opportunities that exist for keyword rankings.

semrush and content hacker

Another favorite tool we have for the research and discovery phase is KWFinder, clocking in at below $30/mo. It doesn’t give you the in-depth positions and ranking history for your site that Semrush does, but, it gives you excellent data on new keyword opportunities.

mangools kwfinder with content hacker

Stage 2: Calendar Tools

Our favorite tools to manage the content calendar include Airtable, and when you want to create assignments for your contractors from your content calendar, we recommend and use ClickupGet our Process Blueprint to swipe our exact ClickUp templates (our Systems Expert was paid over $1,800 to build these templates for our high-ticket clients!).

Stage 3: Platform Publishing Tools

We recommend WordPress as one of the best platforms to build your own site and publish content from. This is how we’ve grown 100,000 visitor streams/month (through our own WordPress sites). WordPress is a platform where you can build a site that is truly your own, capable of handling large traffic streams and any functionality you want to grow into as your business and website grows. Just make sure you get a great web designer and don’t try to build it all yourself from scratch.

Learn more about why you should build a WordPress site in our blog.

Need help building a great site? See our website and branding services.

Stage 4: Promotion & Distribution Tools

We love ConvertKit for email deliverability, and MeetEdgar for social media scheduling.

I’ve tried many, and ConvertKit is of the BEST tools out there for email scheduling and marketing (simplest and the most functionality), as well as automations like sequences and triggering those sequences to the right segmentation of your list.

convertkit with content hacker

MeetEdgar is the only social media tool out there that allows you to schedule and recycle content. I’ve used it for nine years straight, and it’s one of the best social media schedulers that allows you to get your content far and wide. You can set schedules for different accounts, and attach categories to those schedules. Then, just add content into the categories, and MeetEdgar will send content out over and over again to your social networks. 💥

meetedgar with content hacker  

See the tools mapped to the stages of content creation inside our Content Cake:

content cake by content hacker explained

Ready to Create Your Own Content Marketing Process Plan (Your Content Cake)?

That’s it. The Content Cake is baked, assembled, and ready – but the process doesn’t end.

Instead, at Content Hacker we stay deep in the creation and production phase. At any given moment, a content piece is always in the works. (We’re always dusted with flour and have the ovens on!) 🥣

Ultimately, this keeps us 2-3 months ahead of our content calendar, so we’re never scrambling for content.

And that’s exactly what your content marketing team and workflow plan does for you.

It keeps you ahead.

It keeps you accountable.

It maintains your content quality.

It grows your brand, consistently and constantly.

See how that works?

Ready to simplify and streamline your own content marketing process plan? Need a framework and guidelines to help you do it?

We’ve built something that will tremendously help you.

It’s all here–in our Content Hacker™️ Content Process Blueprint.

Get your copy of our all-new Content Process Blueprint. It includes the complete process I use to manage my content marketing, step-by-step, PLUS the templates to get it all done (a swipe-able ClickUp Space you can use to run your entire remote content creation team).

Every stage is outlined, broken down, and mapped out with the tools and processes you’ll need to get it done.

Grab your copy of the Content Process Blueprint. 🎉 See you inside!

content hacker process blueprint

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.