We are building a content project: a team - a chicken or an egg?

    19.18 KBIf you read somewhere an analytical article with the words “content is the most valuable resource of the Internet”, think before you rush to explore this niche - is it because it is valuable that few people can get it? Think, after all, there are other niches - services, affiliates, and more. If you firmly decided to work and earn money on the content resource, then this article is for you.

    In this case, when I say “content,” I mean primarily the texts. It just so happened that my main earnings throughout my professional life were texts in one form or another. For five years in this area, I have passed positions from a freelance writer and an ordinary newsreader to a project manager, editor-in-chief and media consultant. And accordingly, I have gained some experience, or rather, practical advice that I would like to share. A couple of materials will be filled with topics, and there, if there is interest, you will prompt the motives for continuing.

    Ab ovo

    I would like to start my first article on the construction and organization of content resources with the main thing - the project team, the so-called journalistic team.

    When working on a project or analyzing someone else’s business, it was common to see business plans where the “content” part was written according to the principle of “1) we hire so many people / we pay so much money; 2) write so many articles and news; 3) ... 4) we get such and such attendance (profit!) ”There is a huge difference between what is meant by this ellipsis and what it is really necessary to fill in when working on a project.

    UPDThe article was well received, and will continue. But I write very slowly, so there is an idea to record a podcast on this topic. But I’m not a podcast even once, although I can "speak". There are those who want to help with the technical side of the issue? My contacts are in profile.

    How does it happen

    It is usually assumed (it is important to clarify that hereinafter I will mean “usually” projects in which texts are an important component, but there are no real professionals in this topic, and the concept is determined by a person of almost any level of competence, education, literacy) ... - so, it is usually assumed that a certain number of texts in itself magically ("...") transforms into a certain number of readers. An indirect evidence of the prevalence of such a misconception in Runet is the number of sites in which texts are hidden behind the line of “article” in the menu - except for purely cases where people will read texts, they don’t really count on it, sincere conviction that when he sees the word "article", the user will certainly go to this page and start reading.

    In fact, Cap suggests, it’s all simpler - for a person to take some action, he must be interested in him (and to appreciate interest, he must understand what awaits him if he clicks here or here - but let us use this topic. about interest.).

    What is "interesting"

    Interesting texts are primarily interesting authors. Here the majority of content projects, especially content projects “with ambitions” break off. They write a beautiful concept, draw up a business plan, rent an office and hire designers with programmers to pile a pretty shell, and begin to look for people who will fill it with content. And it’s good if they are trying to get an editorial office, and not just looking for freelance.ru volunteers who are ready to write “100 rubles per thousand characters without spaces”. This example is already from the category of clinical, but real nonetheless. Been to such startups. When I voiced how much a really good text costs, they looked at me with horror: how, for some letters, how many grandmas to take? The fact that around these letters is their whole beautiful project and should be built,

    But consider a more normal situation: when the project manager, himself also not necessarily a media specialist, understands that a team is needed, and begins to form it. What are the pitfalls here?

    The first and the main one - even if you collect on a “headhunter” 5 people who can write coherently, without errors, and even work in some kind of media (maybe even not for long, in very good ones), this will not mean yet that you have a journalistic team.

    How to build a team

    This team, which can rightfully be called an editorial office, is united by an idea. In the broadest sense - as a way of perceiving the world and conveying our feelings to the reader, common values. If you noticed (and if you have favorite publications that you read for at least 3 years in a row - you noticed), each good publication has its own language of communication with the reader. It happens that almost the entire editorial office is replaced, and the founding fathers of the language actually leave - and the tradition remains. This is formed over the years. Or - if the project was initially taken by a team of like-minded people.

    And this is the most important, in my opinion, conclusion of this article - for which I sat down to write it: the best content project is one that is based not on a concept, business plan and cool second-level domain, but on a team that wants to do it. That is, from the point of view of an investor who does not understand anything about this topic, giving money under the “concept” should be dumb, no matter how glossy it is. Money must be given for people. This is an ideal option. What if there is no such option, but the project needs to be done?

    Need an idea. A very important point that many editors miss is the formation of a well-thought-out editorial policy. Even the most general document - what we write about, what we don’t write about, who our reader is, what language we speak with him - is very important. Gradually, in the working order, it will grow into layers - in addition to “what we write”, “how to write” will appear, up to the rules for writing texts and building phrases, and other working moments. These rules can be formal - in this case, they need to be written down at the concept stage, and to recruit people for them (is it necessary to talk about the professionalism of the headhunters who must perform this work?). But more often it’s still an unwritten code, the carrier of which can be only one person - the editor-in-chief of the project. Those. if you’re not ready to sit down and formulate even the most general and formal requirements for redpolicy, and even more so are not sure that your girls, yesterday’s graduates, something-there-and-today-managers-in-staff are able to find suitable ones for these requirements people, it’s better to find the chief editor. One. Which would suit you at least at the level of human understanding and an adequate way of thinking. And then entrust the rest of the work to him. It would seem obvious? Well, yes, large and successful projects started just like that - from relatively fresh, take the same " Which would suit you at least at the level of human understanding and an adequate way of thinking. And then entrust the rest of the work to him. It would seem obvious? Well, yes, large and successful projects started just like that - from relatively fresh, take the same " Which would suit you at least at the level of human understanding and an adequate way of thinking. And then entrust the rest of the work to him. It would seem obvious? Well, yes, large and successful projects started just like that - from relatively fresh, take the same "Slon.ru , which he built - and built! - Leonid Bershidsky. But at a lower and simpler level, from which many nowadays glorious projects have begun - not always. Again, examples of “editorial offices” where “content managers are sitting” "And they even write something, but there is no chief editor before their eyes. In some rather big projects, they don’t appear for years, the collective mind takes over the leadership functions (if the" content managers "are ready and able to compose it), and the management at all. The second editor is a trash, but it happens.

    What to choose

    Summarizing: so, there are only three scenarios for organizing content projects:
    1. ideal - there is a team, a unique journalistic team, and an idea that they can take up;
    2. possible - there is an idea, there is a good media manager (editor-in-chief), ready to assemble such a team from scratch and form a unique journalistic team, which is described in the previous paragraph.
    3. usual - there is an idea, there is just a manager (maybe very good in some other, but not the media sphere) and, to the best of his abilities, he types a team that makes a project.

    The third way is the most common, but not a dead end. It is quite possible that the team will grow together, the editors will grow, and the project will succeed. But - here you need to understand this moment - the chances of such an outcome are at best one to nine. If you understand this, then everything is fine - but how many managers will risk writing in the business plan "... and in one case out of ten - profit!"? But in reality, this is exactly what is happening - for one well-launched content project, with an application for a strong hearty, or even a grand media sphere, there are dozens of sites that have closed or eking out the miserable existence of “another content project”.

    And paragraph 3) of the above scheme, "...", for such projects, content is not filled with the magic formula -> readers, but with the purchase of traffic, jeans, gray and black seo, contextual advertising, affiliate programs and other things common for a lot of resources . What ambitions are there.


    I plan to continue on the topic of building news feeds, talk a little about articles and prices, copy-copy and how to cook them deliciously, organizational aspects of building editorial offices and, perhaps, the main thing - how to write. But this is already in the following articles. Ask questions, seek help and advice.


    The text is large and was written in the same breath, so thanks in advance for pointing out the little mistakes and achyatka - only in PM, pliz. You can write to kraynyak by mail :)

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