Many thanks to a Fluent client, Trevor Jones, Director of Marketing and Product Development at GWI, for authoring this guest post on business blogging. Whether your goals are brand awareness, improved search engine rankings or lead generation, or a combination of all three, blogging is arguably one of the most effective tools for accomplishing those goals. The biggest challenge is keeping up with generating fresh, relevant and useful content, particularly for professionals focused on billable hours. Take Trevor’s advice: ask for help, invite guest bloggers and share the workload with your team.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re already involved in business blogging and understand why your organization should do it. Now that you’ve started, how do you sustain the effort over the long term? How do you keep it fresh and interesting?
One of the very first things I would do is get help creating content, starting from within your organization. When building your blog, get other people from other areas of your company writing early and often. Include the company owner, technical people, service people, and financial people if you can. With the GWI Blog, I try to keep my own contributions to the blog below 50% of the total and honestly, I wish it was less.
Be forewarned, most of the time it’s not an easy process. Everyone in your company is busy, and not everyone places the same priority on publishing consistently and on time as you do. There are some things you can do the help motivate people, but since that may not be fun for you, I’d like to cover WHY you should get others engaged before explaining HOW to motivate them.
Why You Should Involve Coworkers in Business Blogging
- Spreading the workload. You were thinking this, so let’s get it out of the way because it’s not the most important. Yes, having others write articles means you won’t have to write them. What you will have to do is edit them. In my company, I also end up copying content from a Word Doc into WordPress as well, testing links, and choosing and inserting images.
- Gain a Fresh Set Of New Ideas. If the rest of your team is involved in writing articles, they’ll also be engaged in the process of coming up with new ideas.
- Keeping things interesting. No matter how interesting a person you are, having a variety of different voices and perspectives contribute to your company blog can make it more interesting for your readers. Envision yourself as a publisher making an interesting magazine. You want a variety of articles written by a variety of people.
- Targeting key personas. It’s very important that you have a developed idea of who you are writing your content for. Smart marketers develop buyer personas, imaginary people that have the traits of decision makers, gatekeepers, and key influencers in an organization. Once you have them, try getting the closest equivalent in your company to blog, including IT, finance, or administrative roles – if they’re effective writers this could lead to very well targeted content.
How To Get Coworkers Blogging
- Get management on board. Before you ask employees to start writing content for you, make sure you win the support of management. Your campaign to get more contributions will never get off the ground without their blessing, and they can help you motivate the team.
- Ask for help. People are naturally motivated to help friends and co-workers. Many people will pitch in if you just ask.
- Make sure they understand the business value. Often coworkers say that blogging is always on their to-do list, but never rises to the top. Make sure they know how blogging impacts web traffic and sales, as well as how important it is for you to be on a regular publishing schedule. They’ll be more apt to prioritize the work if they accept that it’s necessary and have a deadline.
- Give them credit for their work. People like to be recognized for their contributions. At a minimum, make sure their name is on the page as the author of the post. Even better, mention them in social media posts promoting the article, list their bio on an authors page, or set them up for Google Verified Authorship so their name and face shows up in SERPS as the author.
- Show them the value of their unique perspective. People may be concerned about the quality of their writing, or think they can’t do as good a job as you can. Make sure they know that their perspective is unique and different and will make the blog more effective for your business.
- Start with their ideas, but have a topic for them too. The more ownership an employee has in an idea the more motivated they’ll be to write the article. That said, you don’t want the lack of an idea stop them from writing, especially early on.
So get out there and get some help with that content! There are a few other strategies for getting the help if this isn’t enough, including next time’s topic: hiring outside writers.