You can threaten your blog team, which is somewhat effective considering that this post was drafted, edited and published within two hours of receiving this message: “We need blogs, this means ---->YOU." But for those that need a more gentle reminder, an idea to expand upon, or the confidence to set their ideas free, you might need to do a little more nudging.
Here are some tips to encourage your staff to participate on your company blog:
- Don’t make them think. Provide a list of topics. If you have some ideas, as the content manager or other role that is responsible for the company blog, please do share them with the team. Maybe you read about something on Twitter earlier that you think people would want to know more about. Or you might point out what blogs have been getting the most feedback recently and that someone could expand upon. Make a list of topics to pass around and have people “sign-up” for the specific topic they would like to share ideas on. Here’s a great resource from @copyblogger with 50 Ways to Find Great Blog Topics.
- Let them write about what they love. Who wants to write about something they aren’t passionate about? Content contribution does not have to strictly align with job roles or titles. Make sure topic suggestions are broad enough to include items of interest for everyone on your team of writers. For example: a graphic designer might prefer to write about smart phone apps for creative social photography, rather than lengthy (boring) design tutorials.
- Address them individually. You can be particularly persuasive by crafting a personal request that will trigger motivation for that person specifically. For example: “I overheard you doing a training session today on press releases. While it’s still fresh in your mind – would you mind writing a blog for us? We could use the content and we haven’t posted about press releases in a while. We would love to hear your thoughts!” Not only will the person have a topic, they will likely find it difficult to say “no” since you’re asking them directly. In a pinch, don’t be afraid to make it a personal favor - whatever it takes to get the content.
- Give them a template. Below is an example template that might help to make the process less daunting for writers, whether they are blogging veterans or emerging authors. In addition, here are 26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts from @smexaminer to share with your blog writing team.
- What is the problem/situation you’re addressing? This is your topic.
- What inspired you to write about this problem? This is your introduction. Start telling your story.
- What is your recommended solution to the problem? Create simple steps in outline format while writing your post.
- What are 3 points to back up your recommendation? Use examples when you can.
- What is the takeaway? Start by addressing the problem and then work through the solution(s).
- Add a compelling graphic or two to visually demonstrate the topic.
- Save the title for last, so it doesn’t limit your thought process. Describe your post with a catchy and intriguing title AFTER you’re finished.
- Make sure to credit the person/article/incident that inspired your blog and give proper photo credit.
In this controversial blog, If Your Team Hates Blogging, You Need A New Team, the author goes so far to suggest that if members of your team don’t want to blog, then they must "hate their jobs". Most of the commenters defend those that don’t care to blog as simply not "seeing themselves as good writers." We’re not suggesting that people don’t like their jobs if they don’t want to blog. Some people are merely intimidated by fear of error or judgment and for what they think are not-so-good writing skills - which is why you should encourage potential contributors with the tips above.
So, content managers, help your team with these tips before dragging out the guillotine ;)
Free Conversion, SEO & SMO Guide for Blogs