The thought of launching, growing, and sustaining a business blog strikes fear in the heart of many already busy marketing managers. Despite all the well documented benefits of content marketing, there still remains the very real fears about what it takes to manage a blog, about starting something you can’t keep up, or running out of ideas, or getting distracted by other projects, or not realizing significant ROI, or…or…or.
But the remedy for fear is often truth. The truth for you and most marketing managers is that you don’t have to manage a blog alone. The truth is that you’re likely surrounded by many experts at your company who are more than qualified in creating some level of content that can be used for your benefit.
Here are five ways to develop and inspire a team of content creators who can help share the load of blog writing with you.
If you want to start sharing the blog writing load with others, then from this point forward only hire qualified writers at your company. That doesn’t mean everyone you hire must own a bachelor’s degree in English or be a published author. But make sure he or she can write more than 140 characters at a time and string together sentences without sounding like a middle schooler.
Give each candidate a writing assignment as part of the hiring process and see how they do. If you’re really looking to share the load, create an editorial calendar (see more below) and assign a different post from the calendar to each interviewee. If you’re lucky, you’ll have several months of content written before you even fill the position. (Just be sure to let each candidate know you’ll own all content they create.)
If hiring new team members isn’t in the budget or current strategy—and won’t be for some time—then turn your attention to your current team. Maybe some staff members can write, and you weren’t even aware. Or maybe some members want to write, and they have no idea you’re looking for their expertise.
Make sure it’s known that all members of your company are encouraged to create and contribute blog content. Then, clarify that writing copy for the marketing department can also be personally beneficial to each employee by:
It may seem like a nice idea to ask for as much content as possible by asking for people to write as much as possible — two, three, four times per week. But there is no evidence that producing more frequent blogs translates to more traffic, and ultimately more sales. Instead, focus on producing the very best in-depth content better than anything else in the industry.
When trying to manage a blog that we want to be successful, it’s critical to define how your business will measure success and ROI. If not, you risk investing a mountain of time without the returns you expected. What is your blog intended to achieve? Greater organic search traffic? Social shares? Audience feedback? Inbound links? New leads? Based on what is selected, it will help you and others write with the end goal in mind. Then, look to continually optimize based on these metrics over time.
Content must be meaningful for the reader to keep coming back. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is not creating an organized content calendar and sticking to it. It’s important to create a content calendar, post often, and weave in industry-relevant topics or current events to make content fresh.
The beauty of creating this type of rhythm via an editorial calendar is that it creates a sense of accountability among your team. It also ensures all contributors have optimized keywords, added CTAs, and edited their blogs by a certain time and date. This way, you’ll have a consistent stream of content your readers can get in sync with.
As the marketing manager, you’re the person everyone will be looking to for guidance and leadership. Be that model of how and why to create quality content and others will follow.
Still looking for help when it comes to setting up a content strategy that succeeds?