Can you easily find information on any of your published works? What about the Amazon link for your first book? What day you published a certain blog post? What about the link to the podcast episode you were a guest on last year?
If you said no to any of these, you need to create a master list to help manage your content. With this one list you have access to every piece of content you create. This enables you to create a marketing strategy for your content while also helping you manage your intellectual property.
What Is A Content Master List
A master list is a listing of all the content you have created or been involved with. Needless to say, the earlier you begin creating and adding to one, the better, but it is never too late to start.
To be most effective, your master list should be searchable and easy to add to.
I find a spreadsheet easier to work with but a database or text document may work for you.
What Goes On A Content Master List?
The content that you create or are a part of creating. This is not just the books you write. It also includes blog posts, podcast episodes, YouTube videos, guest posts, short stories published by others, and so on.
The information you need to keep track of may vary depending on the media, so consider different sheets or sections for different media. Since I use a spreadsheet, I prefer a different sheet for each. Here’s some examples:
Blog posts – title, url, original date of publication, date of updates/revisions, date published elsewhere (Medium, LinkedIn), url if published elsewhere, shortened link (if using a link shortener).
If you do an audio or video version of your blog/articles, you need to keep track of that information as well. Link to where it is hosted, date published, etc. You may want to add with your post info, or keep a separate list for audio and video. Play around with it to see what works for you.
Podcast/YouTube episodes – same basic information as blog posts, but also include a link to the corresponding blog post/transcript if there is one.
Guest posts, articles, short stories published by others – again, same info as your posts, plus name of publication, editor/owner name, and WHEN RIGHTS REVERT BACK TO YOU. Consider adding the social media handles of the blogger/publisher so you can tag them when you share the link.
Podcast interviews – episode title, number, podcast name, host, link and the host’s social media handles so you can easily tag them when you share the episode.
Books – of course! However, this one is going to be complex if you publish wide and in multiple formats. In fact, consider keeping a separate sheet for each book. What you need:
- Date of publication
- if additional editions/revisions, add date of each
- link to each online retailer
- if use Book Funnel, include link to that page as well
- link to each format
- video trailer
- cover – artwork
- box sets it is part of
Here is a look at the Master List and how I use it.
Do I Really Need This?
Yes!! First, this is your content. Having the information in one place lets you easily create and implement a plan to market your work. Even if it isn’t content you have the rights to, such as a podcast interview, you want to share it with you list and on social media, and the master list gives you a place to keep track of it.
Second, much of this is your intellectual property. You need to have a way to keep track of it so you know what you have. If you have sold any rights, you can add that to your master list to keep track of what is yours, what you have sold, and if/when rights revert back to you.
The topic of intellectual property is huge, well beyond the scope of this article. To begin to get a grasp on it, please read the series of posts Kristine Kathryn Rusch is writing. She sees a change in the writing business with a focus on intellectual property and licensing. Read Rethinking the Writing Business Part One, then follow the series by clicking on the Business Musings category at the top of the post.
This can all seem overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of content. So start small. Pick one thing, blog posts or podcast episodes, and work through them first, then move on to the next. The main thing is, just start.
As you begin adding to your master list, you may realize that you need to change things around. Maybe it makes more sense for you to put all information about a blog post together. Maybe it makes sense to keep audio information together and separate from the written version information.
Do you have a master list to manage your content? Is it up to date? If you don’t have one, will you start one today?
I’ve got a blank spreadsheet template set up you can download. When you join my list, you get access to everything in my Author’s Resource Library. You can download the spreadsheet and edit it to suit your needs: move columns around, switch sheets, delete columns that don’t apply, and add ones that do. Customize it to suit your needs and career. Just enter your email address below.