Without a quality control process in place for your content team, mistakes and inconsistencies can easily creep in, damaging your reputation and bottom line. It might seem like a challenging task, but in reality, adding a quality control step (or steps) to your content creation process is easy to do and will save you money, time, and authority.
This guide will give you 8 simple ways to establish an elite quality control process for your content and editing team.
Table of Contents
1. Define Your Expectations
For a quality control process to be perfect (and why strive for anything less?), make your expectations clear as early as possible. It can be challenging for even the most established editors to achieve absolute uniformity and perfect quality at all times, and it’s even harder when you have teams of different skill sets and backgrounds.
When you clearly define the editorial needs of your brand or clients, you’ll be able to create a budget and process that falls in line with your goals, and your editors will know exactly what’s expected of them. This also prevents wasting time and money on unnecessary editing work.
To do this, the head of the content or editorial team should meet with key stakeholders to discuss and decide your quality needs and build an editorial process to match. Next, you should clearly relay this information to the editorial team.
2. Create Detailed Style Guides
Your brand voice is how you show off your brand’s personality.
If you don’t have detailed style guides, you can’t expect consistency, and you can expect errors.
Your style guide – whether it’s a style guide for your brand or your client – should be in-depth and include details about grammar, tone of voice, formatting, word choice, and more. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
With a clear style guide in place, you’ll eliminate the chance of errors being made due to gaps in your editors’ knowledge
3. Maximize Editor Engagement
If you’re working with freelance editors, especially if they work remotely, you might find that they’re not as incentivized to produce top-tier work and meet your content goals seamlessly. Freelance editors might feel that no one will notice the odd lapse in quality here and there.
This is a common challenge faced by businesses that take on freelancers. A practical solution is to keep your freelance editors as engaged as possible.
- Include them in your in-house team by inviting them to meeting
- Bring them onto company channels and tools
- Update them on any changing client needs
When a freelance editor feels like a valued part of the business – and they should – they’re more likely to produce a better edit that is aligned with your editorial goals.
4. Give Regular Feedback
Giving your editors feedback about how well they’re doing in the quality control process and how closely they’re meeting the style guide will help you catch any inconsistencies before they become problems.
Feedback can be given in a variety of ways, so choose what works best for you and your team.
Some examples include:
- Feedback left in comments on documents Regular catch ups
- Rating systems (this should only be used for large editorial teams)
This ensures that each of your editors understands what they’re doing well and where they can improve. Giving feedback also helps to keep your editors engaged.
5. Delegate Quality Control
If you have a large team or your business or clients have complex editorial needs, delegating quality control to a handpicked group of your best editors can really help.
Pick some of the most talented and reliable editors on the team to take on the role of reviewer. These reviewers should be great at communicating, sharing ideas, and responding to feedback.
By delegating quality control to a few key people, you’ll be in a much better position to scale without sacrificing quality. This means that mistakes and inconsistencies will be noticed, and your editors will be better incentivized to produce a top-quality edit.
6. Prioritize Effectively
Some businesses incorporate quality control steps with the best intentions, but they include inefficient and ineffective techniques, such as using a one-size-fits- all approach with every client or type of content.
Instead, ensure that the most important quality control steps per client or content type are communicated to your editors and prioritized.
Create checklists for your writers, editors, and reviewers to fill in after they’ve carried out their work. With the most important quality control steps being prioritized, your editors won’t be wasting their time, and your editing process will be streamlined.
7. Provide Ongoing Training
Ongoing training is one of the most effective ways of making sure that standards don’t slip, and everyone is up to date with changing guidelines and best practices.
The more creative you get with your training, the better your results will be. Pay your editors for their training time, incorporate prizes and bonuses, and create a comfortable environment where editors can share their knowledge and ideas with ease.
When you invest this time into your editing team, you’ll see the effects.
You can expect your editors to produce higher quality work, be more engaged and loyal, and keep up to speed with the latest rules and trends.
8. Listen To Feedback
Encourage feedback from the people who are carrying out the quality control process – they’ll know best about what’s working and what isn’t.
Taking the time to speak with your editors about what they think of the processes in place will reduce editor turnover and give you a unique glimpse into any problems and bottlenecks that could already be arising. Make sure your editors know that these feedback sessions are a safe space in which they can voice their concerns.
Getting and listening to feedback doesn’t have to be a lengthy task. Instead, schedule regular feedback sessions with your editors and a dedicated point of contact. This could take place every week when you first set up your quality control process and every month after that.
Establishing a quality control process doesn’t need to be a big upheaval for your team. If you plan it properly, you can set it up smoothly.
For your quality control stage to work well, make sure you’re clear about your expectations from the beginning, give your editors detailed style guides to work from, and create checklists that prioritize the most important steps of the content journey.
Another crucial step is listening carefully to your editors because they’ll end up understanding the quality control process better than you do. If they have concerns about aspects that aren’t working, potential bottlenecks, or ideas about how the process can be improved, listen to them.
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