about the client
Vocal is a blogging platform designed to discover and support content creators across the web. As a brand, Vocal wants to provide both the tools and the community that helps creatives gain publicity and funding. The Vocal platform serves everyone from niche content writers all the way to filmmakers, musicians, and artists.
I was hired to write a process page for Vocal to help content creators using the platform learn how they could recycle their old content for their audience without breaking the platform’s rules on duplicate content and republication.
Planning the Article
Getting to Know Vocal
When I took this job, I didn’t have a deep understanding of what Vocal actually did, so my first task was to perform a little preliminary research around the brand.
This is something that I often do for clients so that I can get a better understanding of their target audience. I’ll subscribe to emails, find them on social media, and do my best to figure out what they are all about from the perspective of a potential customer.
In Vocal’s case, I actually joined the platform as a user and started to read the content produced by users while paying special attention to the layout and format that creators on the platform (my target audience) would be familiar with while reading the article that I produced.
Fact-Checking Best Practices
After gaining a better understanding of the audience, I dug into Vocal’s support archives and dug up any policies around content duplication and reproduction. This helped me get a better understanding of the rules that Vocal already had in place so that I wouldn’t recommend anything out of alignment with the brand.
With those basic checks in mind, I conducted some additional research on the platform so that I could see how current users were recycling their existing content. With a platform like Vocal, where thousands of users are competing for attention, it’s a fair bet that someone has thought of a creative way to keep eyes on their content.
I figured (correctly) that a handful of users already had a system for recycling old content. It was my job to figure out what they were doing, normalize it, and share those tips with the rest of the platform (within the appropriate guidelines, of course).
Writing the Content
Threading (and Revising) the Needle
I’m a stickler for processes when it comes to writing content. I like to conduct all the appropriate research first and seek any necessary approvals before moving onto the next step.
With Vocal, I presented a content outline to the project stakeholders, and we met to refine the finer points of the piece. I explained what I’d learned from viewing other users and presented what I considered to be the next best steps to proceed. With their help, we reached an agreement on the production guidelines, and I wrote the draft.
After the draft was complete, I met again with the Vocal team for feedback and final thoughts. Like many of my clients, the decisionmakers in this process had a pretty good idea of what they were interested in and provided excellent feedback to help me shape the piece during the second round of revision.
I finalized the piece based on their feedback and submitted everything for final approval.
The content went live a few days later.