Starting a blog is a lot like getting a puppy. The first few days, you give it all of your energy and truly enjoy interacting with it. But then, reality sinks in: puppies are expensive and require food, exercise, and consistent care. Blogs need the same level of attention and energy in order to become a valuable asset to your brand’s family.
Feeding your blog (and your community) with high-quality content is essential, but it can be difficult. So, how do you get more content? The answer is simple: You must motivate your employees to write. After all, who knows your brand better than your employees? If you look closely enough, you can find content in product development, sales, marketing, and even at the executive level. Here are some tips to help you motivate your employees to write for your company blog:
Create a content calendar by collaborating with people from all departments. In order to ensure executive buy-in, show the C-suite folks that you’re passionate about it from the very beginning. Ramp up staff support by enlisting their help in creating the content calendar. Sales and product development team members are a great place to dig up great content ideas.
When pitching or discussing the blog, cite specific numbers to illustrate the benefits of blogging. If your team is driven by data, share details about traffic, time on site, pages viewed, and conversions. People love to see what effect their work has, so be open about your results whether they’re positive or negative — either way, your team will know you trust them enough to value their input.
Incentives are good, but not great. Offering monetary incentives for every published blog post can lead to issues; it’s hardly scalable and tends to create a larger number of low-quality posts. Instead, offer blogging as a personal branding opportunity, recognize top authors in company meetings or newsletters or consider offering a less traditional incentive, such as small amounts of PTO for each blog post published.
Hold workshops and provide feedback to team members during work hours so that they understand the project is valuable to the company. Don’t require employees to write outside of work because very few people will be interested in participating. You may even go to the extreme of revamping all job descriptions to reflect the fact that each employee is a content creator in some capacity.
To keep writers accountable, get to know how they communicate most effectively: do they prefer an in-person reminder, or is it best to write their names in bold on a content calendar that is sent to the entire staff? If your company is small enough, you should be able to get to know each writer and their tendencies personally. If your writer base is enormous, you should have one person specifically working on blog administration in order to help your strategy run smoothly. (Often, blog administration can be lumped in with social media, video, and other various marketing tasks.)
So, next time you’re faced with the question “Mommy, can we get a blog?” think carefully about the responsibilities before rushing off to the nearest computer to pick out the cutest theme. Keeping up with a blog (and a dog) can be difficult, but it's worth the investment. Keep your employees motivated and excited about writing, and your blog will become one of your brand’s most trustworthy companions.