Why My Content Has a Better Future than Yours

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Content Inventory Template

In Content Strategy 101 I mention something called a content inventory. Sounds boring, right?

Don’t tune out quite yet, a content inventory is a tool that most people ignore. And as a result they are ignoring the future of their content.

Content is an asset, and should be treated as such. If you run a store selling diapers, you would keep an inventory of every single stinky (well…hopefully clean…) diaper you have.

You should be keeping an inventory of your content as well.

By keeping a content inventory I know what needs to be edited, deleted, updated, etc.

And that is why my content has a better future than yours. Unless you stick with me that is…

What is a Content Inventory?

A content inventory is simply a list of the content you own.

Why is a Content Inventory Necessary?

A content inventory gives you a visually viable “snap shot” of your content.

This helps you  match your goals with what you actually have.

Millions of people use WordPress to create, manage and organize their content. While it is an absolutely incredible platform, it falls short when you have to take a look at your content as a whole.

Visualizing your content in totality isn’t hard when you have 5 total posts. But what if you have 100? Or 500? It get’s a little harder to decide what needs to be updated, deleted, etc, without a tool to simplify the process.

How Do I Make a Content Inventory?

Creating a content inventory is simple.

For my content inventory I use an Excel Spreadsheet to list all of the data I deem critical about each piece of content.

Of course, creating a content inventory can become a really labor-intensive task if you have hundreds of pieces of content and haven’t even thought about keeping track of them yet.

That doesn’t make a content inventory any less necessary…quite the opposite in fact.

If you don’t want to undertake the task of creating a content inventory for yourself from scratch, check out my services page. We can work together and make it happen for you.

What do I include in My Inventory?

This is really up to you. You know your content best and you are best suited to decide what metrics are important for you.

At the very least you should include the Title, URL and Date of your content. You might also want to include an index # for each piece of content for easy referencing.

For my personal content inventory I include the following:

Content Inventory

  • Index #
  • Title
  • Format (Text, Video, etc)
  • Access (Public, Private, Member, etc)
  • Content Type
  • Source (URL)
  • Date Posted (Original date content went live)
  • Last Updated (Date the content was last updated)
  • Tags
  • Category
  • Internal Links (This is where the Index # comes in handy)
  • Owner (Who is responsible for the content…so far it’s all me :) ).
  • Notes

Giving Away My Competitive Advantage…

To get you started I am giving you as much of an inside look as anyone can possibly give.

Enter your email below and you will get the actual content inventory I use for Content Strategy Hub.

You can use it as a template for your own content inventory, or just to see exactly what I’m doing.

11 Responses to Why My Content Has a Better Future than Yours
  1. Philippe Moisan

    Hello Eugene,

    Very nice information on the subject of dealing with content. I am always wondering how best to make my content accessible fast. I will keep your post as a reference.

    Philippe

    • Eugene

      Thanks Philippe. Glad I could be of help!

  2. Why My Content Has a Better Future than Yours | Content Marketing Journal | Scoop.it

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  3. Rieke

    Hello Eugene,

    thanks to your provocative post title “Why My Content has a Better Future than Yours” I landed on your page here. You are absolutely right with creating a “personal content inventory”.
    Everyone should start with this from the beginning as during time a lot of information will fall into the fantastic oblivion hall.

    Rieke

    • Eugene

      That’s absolutely true. I already know things I will need to go back and edit in a few weeks. I have other blogs where I don’t even want to think about editing because I never had a content inventory. I guess its the accountant inside me :)

  4. SL

    Hi Eugene, great tip for content strategy. You can’t have one unless you can organize it properly. Great way to look at the overall picture and adjust appropriately. Thanks for sharing!

    I was wondering if you’d be interested in sharing your articles with like-minded content marketing strategists? I am building a content marketing community to showcase everyone’s expertise in this field.

    Please send me an email if you have any questions and I can share further details with you. Thank you for your consideration.

    Cheers!

    -SL

    • Eugene

      I got your email earlier, but haven’t had a chance to look into it in detail. I’ll definitely get back to you.

  5. Chris Richards - Mindnod.com

    Hi Gene.

    I must admit, I had this nagging feeling that there was something I wasn’t doing regarding my blog. Thanks for pointing this out I will certainly do something about it now.

    • Eugene

      Hi Chris,

      It has seriously made a huge difference for me just to be able to see everything in one big snapshot. I’m not really a very organized person by nature. But I have made it a point to organize this because it is so important. Content is the main asset of the online world.

  6. [...] Why My Content Has a Better Future than Yours [...]

  7. Alan | Life's Too Good

    hmmm – I agree and did start doing this (i.e. recording content in a spreadsheet list – including ‘pipeline’ content not yet published but it feels very time consuming. It feels more naturally just to evolve a blog. But I do see what you mean Eugene and will probably go back and ressurect that tool which I both started and gave up on quite recently.

    For me the pipleine idea is just as important if not more imnportant than the history as you can then use the same tool to capture ideas for future posts and to co-ordinate your content not just on your own blog but e.g. guest posts and other media too (not that I have much of that yet, but you get the idea),

    thanks for the kick up the backs1de ;-)

    Alan

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