It’s not about your blog. Or brand, in that case.
The charm that grips your audience and the efforts that bring in gold to your business – who does that? You may have guessed who I’m talking about. You’re a human, after all.
Yes, the pack of individuals who sweat for success, and put-in their talents so that optimistic graphs show up in your growth reports.
They do it for you. Sure, they get their checks. But they put in a lot of passion and time.
The strength of your business’s face
Your business has a face. If you’re like others, marketers and businesses, you call it a brand. But that face - the brand or image. Whatever you call it, is backed up by the strength of your team.
What you have are storytellers and marketers
Every individual in your team has a story. They have failed. Lots of times, and learned. They’ve had their share of glory as well. Spending years doing their stuff has taught them some lessons. They have something to share, and the world deserves to hear from them. But that can only happen when you make them speak. Know what’s the best way to do that? Make them blog. Ask them to speak up.
The underestimated idea of team blogging
So you have a writer, great!
Maybe he sits in a corner hitting the keyboard and pumps out words like a god.
If he’s lucky enough, you’ve blessed him with an editor. But what about the other brainiacs who are brimming with their own experiences and expertise?
Look closely and you’ll know – that’s where your potential lies. Your treasure chest.
Everyone in your team is an asset. An underestimated yet darn powerful maven.
The exact reasons why team blogging is necessary
- It allows members to share skills relevant to their arena
- Your team learns to communicate clearly – to your audience
- Your team contributes to your content marketing success
- You create content for a versatile audience
- You cover several topics from the guys who know their thing inside out
- It connects your readers with you at a personal level
Those are the outcomes.
They only occur when your team blogs.
When it doesn’t, you don’t get them.
It’s a mistake to not use team blogging as a part of your existing inbound marketing strategy. You can’t be too ignorant.
You know what it can do for you. At the same time, you need to learn how you can do it.
Here are 10 right ways to do it.
1. Set them free
Rules bind people. Get it right.
Firstly, ask your team members what their interests are, and what they’re willing to blog about.
Allow your team members to express. Don’t conceal them. In fact, ask them what they’re passionate about.
This will help them step out of their shell and actually inspire them to blog.
Maybe they might not have blogged in the past, but you can inspire them to do so. Listen to them.
Initially, prepare them to do it their way. You can fix the rest later.
When you act too strict, you snatch their creativity and make them feel like bots.
Take it easy.
2. Teach them
They aren’t born writers. Maybe they suck. But the fact is, everyone improves after starting. Improvements take time and nurturing. Not everyone in your team will know how to punctuate bulleted lists or the meaning of juxtapose and exquisite - be cool with that.
Firstly, figure out what problems your team is facing. After all, they aren’t making mistakes deliberately.
Ask them what obstructions they’re facing and try to resolve them.
Once you come to know about their imperfections, teach them appropriate practices and solutions. Simple, eh?
3. Organize a structure
Things get wild.Chances are, if you don’t set certain rules or frame instructions, your team start doing everything randomly on their own. This can get crazy. And you won’t be in a state of blaming them – because you never told them what to do. They’re only doing what they know. Innocent humans!A small team can be easy to manage without giving any detailed instructions.
But when you have lots of people on board, you cannot afford a mayhem breaking out.
The best way to avoid this is to have a discussion with your team to decide the conventions and practices everyone agrees with.
Then document your decision in a plan which every team member can refer.
This way, there won’t be any inconsistencies on your blog and you won’t have to worry about your team members rambling aimlessly.
Here are some solid way to do it:
- Create a team blogging document or handbook everyone can refer to
- Set up certain instructions to follow. Like, before publishing, while editing, or when handling social media accounts. For instance, using certain hashtags on twitter, etc.
- Stick an on-page SEO list in their cubicles they can always glance at
- Provide them with a list of resources they can refer to learn
- Ask them to keep a list of brainstormed ideas
There are lots of creative and practical ways to doing it. Find out what suits your team the best based on its size and capability.
4. Hire an editor
Bear with it. Not everyone is a writer. That’s why you need editors and proofreaders in your team. They’ll polish the raw drafts into graceful masterpieces.
If you have a small team, then cross-read your posts to combine your perspectives and arrive on a final conclusion i.e. publishing-ready post. Even if you think your team doesn’t make mistakes, it does.
They get so used to their writing tone and style that they don’t progress and … get stuck. So stuck that their mistakes become almost invisible to them.They don’t even notice them.Your editors fix that.
5. Create a workflow
Who writes the draft? Who suggests the right SEO keywords? Oh, and what about the images?What - who’s doing what - when. Argh. Darn. Chaos can be obvious.
Sure, all are doing the tasks they’re responsible for, but no one knows what’s happening and what they’re supposed to do.
That’s when you realize you need to do something about it – you need to create a workflow.
Here’s a quick sample workflow:
- The team selects a topic
- The writer finishes the draft
- The graphic designer is notified about creation of related graphics
- Editor scans and rewrites it to create a final draft
- SEO team optimizes and publishes the final post
- Social media manager is notified about mentioned influencers and newsletter content
A workflow needn’t be a strict concept either. It’s there to help your team carry out their tasks without losing their minds.
“Relax, everything is perfect. You can be at peace. Your team is doing great,” a good workflow says.
6. Use collaboration tools
You need to connect.
Yes, you can conduct meetings and have frequent conversations, but that can be unproductive. You also need to consider the guest contributors, freelancers or any remote workers in your team – how would they interact?Decide a medium where everyone can hangout. An online tool, social platform or collaboration software.
There will be a lot of information exchange and knowledge sharing – but that happens at the cost of loss of time. Right tools help you prevent those ‘time leaks.’
Here are some suggestions:
Find an ideal collaboration tool and stick to it. Some examples are Slack, Trello, Ryver, etc. Have a common file sharing location which every team member can access. Google Drive or Dropbox, for instance.
Decide the sources from where you are likely to get your media files and related requisites, such as stock photos or graphic icons and keep them handy – that helps.
Overall, find a way to spend more time completing tasks, rather than creating long chains of conversations.
7. Develop a system
When there’s a system, you don’t need to think, because you follow some pre-planned steps.
“What’s a system exactly?” you might think.
Well, the collective steps you take are your blogging system. Even if you’re blogging randomly and following a certain pattern – then yes, you have a system. Though, a messy one. For instance,
- You decide to use custom images instead of stock photos on your site – that’s a rule.
- Your whole team collaborates using tool you’ve all agreed upon and nowhere else – that’s another rule.
- You schedule your monthly posts altogether for a social media channel – that’s a cool rule.
There’s a lot more. Creating a system for your team is a perfect way to cut the chaos that might arise in near future.
Note: It becomes easier to create a system when you understand your brand and culture.
8. Divide tasks
Team blogging is supposed to be a team effort. Don’t crush a few members of your team with the burden of managing a hundred overwhelming tasks for everyone – instead, divide them. Let every team member do what he’s capable of doing. Not everything, but whatever comes under his skillset.
This might mean conducting brainstorming sessions, asking team member having varied skillsets to help others out, teaching your team about new tactics, and so on.
For example, the designer who cannot write long posts can explain his content to writers, who would in turn create a script for him.
The social media nerd who doesn’t know about sales process can ask the sales team to give him a brief of their work, so that he can create relevant posts.
Ask them to help each other out.
9. Set timelines
Timelines for publishing, posting on social media, creation of new content by members or assessing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be quite helpful.
Doing this not only keeps the flow smooth but also gives you time to think upon strategies you could be implementing.
Weekly or quarterly timelines give you time to analyze your performance and iterate your current practices, giving you enough space to experiment.
Here’s how this idea works: You do a set of tasks for a certain duration within the timeline and observe the outcomes, and then you experiment in the next timeline – this helps you discover which of your actions are working for you.
10. Give them a strong purpose
Tell them why they’re doing it. Your team members shouldn’t feel like you’re stacking up blogging into their existing chores – after all, you’re doing it for a decent cause. Tell them why their contribution is important and make them realize their worth.
Let them know about how they can add-up their efforts to your company’s achievements.
Team blogging isn't merely an option to your content marketing efforts but rather a potential opportunity to leverage your online presence and a way to strengthening your brand perception.
Are you using team blogging on your website? How do you effectively execute it? Tell us in the comments.