A solid content calendar is critical to the success of your company's content marketing program. And there's no one better to prepare that content than your employees. They know the information your customers want to know, and what kind of questions are being asked of you. Blogging is also a great way to keep your employees on top of industry news and trends.
Unfortunately, actually getting your employees to write those blog posts can be like pulling teeth. Even assigning blog posts to specific employees often doesn't help. Too often they struggle with motivation, with structuring their posts, and with writing something that doesn't require multiple rounds of revisions.
Here's how to get your employees to blogging with the passion of the most ardent influencer.
Motivate Your Employees With These Tips
If you're not a blogger by nature, it can be daunting writing something that the whole world might see. Here are some simple tips that will inspire your employees to set fingertips to keyboard.
Know your audience. It's an oldie, but a goodie. If your employees know exactly who they're writing for, it's that much easier to craft a blog post that lands the way it should. Encourage your bloggers to pick an audience they're comfortable writing for - or to challenge themselves by writing out of their comfort zone.
Start with a great headline. Sites like BuzzFeed are pros at this. Encourage your employees to think viral when it comes to headlines. A quirky, catchy headline can provide impetus for the rest of the post. Plus it's more likely to drive views and shares.
Link to pop culture. Watched a great season finale? Have a song stuck in your head? Pop culture can make for a great basis for a blog post - and it'll help draw in a larger subset of readers as well.
Have fun with formatting. Writing a long-form blog post can be intimidating. Encourage your employees to break it up with bullets, headings and multimedia. It's much easier to write a post that feels like a series of tweets than a lengthy missive worthy of the New Yorker.
Highlight sound bites. Encourage your employees to highlight tweetable, quotable moments in their posts. This will help them write with impact - and may just get the post shared more widely.
Lean into structure. Great blog posts have a zingy heading, a captivating introduction, a series of supporting paragraphs, a solid conclusion and a compelling call to action. School your employees on structure and encourage them to write with it in mind. This will make life easier for them and for you.
Write what you love. Writing what you know is a start, but writing what you love is much more effective. Have your employees pick topics that appeal to them, and you'll be far more likely to end up with great, timely content that's delivered before the deadline.
Manage the Process With These Tips
While the best motivation comes from within, there's plenty you can do as a manager to ensure that the whole process goes smoothly. Here are some tips to ensure that those blog posts keep on coming.
Don't impose deadlines. Imposing deadlines from above can stress out employees and make them more likely to miss a deadline or draft up something last-minute. Instead, make the process about milestones - and allow them to set their own deadlines.
Make it relevant. When blogging is something that feels extra to your regular job duties, you're not inclined to prioritize it. Encourage your employees to write on topics relevant to what's going on in the office or your industry. Events, product releases, commentary on think pieces and case studies are all great topics for blog posts. Plus they'll motivate your employees to get writing.
Get them involved. Host regular brainstorming sessions with your staff to go over potential topics or themes. Bouncing ideas off each other can be a great way to see what interests your employees and what kind of direction your blog should take. Structure has its place, but keeping it organic can often be the way to go.
Show the value. If your employees don't see the value in blogging, they'll opt for procrastination every time. Take pains to make a business case for your blog. Maybe it's driving traffic and leads, matching a competitor's offer or aiming for syndication in a major publication. When your employees see that blogging matters, they'll be more likely to prioritize it.
Send calendar reminders. Log publication dates in your project management software or email service, and ensure that your employees get a heads up when their topic is coming up for posting.
Have a pipeline. Missed deadlines will happen. Always aim to have a couple of pieces waiting in the wings just in case so that you don't have to worry about a gap in your calendar. Scheduling content is the way to go.
Download Our Handy Blogging Checklist
At StellaPop we're big proponents of checklists. They keep us on task and on deadline, and they help us ensure nothing gets missed or overlooked.
That's why we created the Ultimate Blog Writing Checklist. If you're ready to get your employees in the blog writing groove, share it with your bloggers, and watch your content calendar fill up with high quality, shareable content. Happy blogging!