I've been on all sides of this rapidly-expanding publishing frontier. I've been an editor in chief, a programming director, a chief content officer, a chief digital officer. I've created content for brands, I've created it for publishers, and I've created it for myself. I've hired great people and I've fired not quite great people; I've quit triumphantly and I've been politely hustled to the curb. I haven't yet been frog-marched out in handcuffs, but it's probably coming.
And the most important thing I've learned, across all these varied experiences, is that publishing success is science, not art. The difference between success and failure is not luck, though it must seem like it to those on the sidelines. No, success follows a path that goes something like this...and you skip a step at your peril.
• Distill communication objectives from your business goals. What can publishing solve?
• Understand your readdressible target audience as well as you know your friends.
• Define your authority to publish. What do you want to say that your audience wants to hear?
• Develop a perfect process to create wheelhouse content.
• Produce, publish, and promote...in that order...analyzing metrics to guide all efforts.
• Build brand and audience assets consciously and obsessively over time.
Publishing that is founded on a brilliant idea, anchored in realistic trackable business objectives, targeted skillfully to the right audiences, and put together by competent and motivated people properly incentivized, succeeds...and little else does. In a world of infinite options, good content is not remotely good enough. Content has to excel in every way it possibly can: It has to be exactly what readers/viewers want and need, inserted exactly where they are at exactly the right time.
So...that's what you have to do. Anything less, and you're wasting at least some, and possibly all, of your time and money.
The way to get to the far side of the thicket of publishing options is to start at the end, by imagining exactly where you want to be. Then work backwards to define the stages that will get you there, then the work you'll need to do to reach each stage, then who you'll need to hire or retain to accomplish it. (Most businesses hire first, and define the job later. Most businesses fail.)
Whether you're looking for a little bit of guidance or a whole lot of production help, let's schedule a meeting or a call.