Behind The Scenes: How a Help Scout Article Is Made
At Help Scout, one way that we deliver on our values is through our content — specifically, by making it helpful and trustworthy.
Before I joined Help Scout, I was already a reader of the blog because I found it valuable to my work running a customer service team. Now that creating new Help Scout content is my job, I work to maintain that same level of quality.
Watch this five-minute video for a behind-the-scenes look at how an article goes from an idea in Asana to a published piece (at least the way I do it). You’ll also learn the top three mistakes I make every single time!
My 5-step process
Research: Collect information, answer questions, and read around the topic.
Outline: Turn the pile of “all possible information” into a structured argument.
Write: Turn the outline into prose, add links, and perhaps re-order the content.
Edit: Edit first for content accuracy and effect, then for grammar, style, and tone.
Publish: Take a Markdown file and a custom image into our CMS and turn it into a live web page to be promoted, measured, and maintained over time.
Items mentioned in the video
Southern cassowary: Australia’s heaviest flightless bird (sorry, emu, you’ll have to bulk up).
Asana: Our content folks use this project management tool to connect internal and external authors, editors, product marketers, and designers so everyone knows what is needed.
Obsidian: Obsidian lets me turn a folder full of Markdown text files into a knowledge base. I use it for daily planning, note taking, and as a personal CRM, in addition to storing information and ideas relating to customer service.
Ulysses: A Mac/iOS-only writing application that I have used for years. I love its clean interface, sheet-handling, and export options.
Focus: This website blocker can stop me from getting distracted by apps or websites, and it can run Pomodoro trackers that help me get work done. I have let go of the feeling of personal failure I used to feel when I needed this help. Now, I just love using it.
Ludovico Einaudi’s Divenire: This is my current “it’s time to write now” song. There are no lyrics, which is essential to me, but it has some nice dynamic changes throughout so I always feel like I am making progress.
Help Scout’s style guide: Our content principles, voice and tone, and house style are published online.