The editorial calendar just confirmed it; it's already my turn to write another blog post. Here at Kuno, many of us enjoy writing, but with a new website and new service launching, plus lots of client work that takes priority, my usual blogging team has shrunk. When that happens, or you don’t have a sufficient number of bloggers to start with, it is difficult to produce enough content to reach your marketing goals. This got me thinking: How can companies encourage everyone to participate in blogging?
It isn’t easy. Not everyone enjoys writing as much as I do. And, let’s face it; everyone is Busy with a capital B. So here, we discuss how to establish an all-inclusive blog team at your company.
First, put the word out that all are welcome to participate, including your marketing and sales teams, of course, but extend the invitation to your customer service reps, senior management and even those out in the field. These different perspectives are what will make your content shine. Make sure those who communicate most with your buyers are highly encouraged to blog since they know what customers want and need.
To keep everyone on the same page regarding content standards, create a company-wide style guide. Make sure each blogger is aware of your buyer personas, preferred topics and editorial process. It is also helpful to provide successful posts as examples to emulate.
Then, your marketing or content team can serve as editors to smooth over grammar and punctuation issues and ensure each post coincides with the company’s voice and tone.
It is important to be open minded when it comes to forms of content; don’t insist on 500 words from everyone, but, instead, let employees contribute videos, infographs, presentations or other creative blogging methods.
If blogging has not always been a part of your colleagues’ job descriptions, it may be difficult to convince them to start blogging (read: adding more work to their plate). That is why it is imperative you spell out the benefits of blogging on an individual basis. Explain that blogging can further careers in several ways:
Once employees start blogging, it can be difficult to keep them blogging, though. Instead of just giving them a pat on the back for a job well-done, show them, and the entire team, how well they did using numbers. For example, give a quick presentation with the three blog posts that received the most page views, comments, inbound links or lead conversions. This way, everyone can see how their blogging efforts are directly related to the company’s marketing goals.
Or take it a step further and reward employees in some way, even if it is a quick shout out at an all-company meeting or in your internal newsletter.
If you want to make things interesting, consider setting up a small blogging competition for your team. Imagine you have a product launch coming up and really want to drum up some conversation regarding the topic. Why not hold a contest to see who can write a blog post about said topic that gets more than 50 views? Put a gift card or small bonus up for grabs and chances are employees will be anxious to participate.
There are certainly pros and cons to incorporating an editorial calendar into your blogging strategy, but for your company blog, I’d highly recommend it. Not only will an editorial calendar help keep your topics balanced and fill any gaps, it also keeps your employees accountable for the content they have committed to. Be sure to include deadlines and allow enough time for revisions.
The above-mentioned con of editorial calendars is usually that they don’t leave room for change. To combat this, be sure to remain flexible; just because something is on the calendar doesn’t mean it needs to be set in stone.
While these are steps for getting started with a blog team, many challenges often arise. Check back next time when I discuss common challenges of editorial teams and how to overcome them.