Consider blog collaboration to spotlight new voices.
One of the questions we get asked most often from our clients is who should be writing their company blog. Should it be one person, such as the CEO, or should it be a blog collaboration, featuring staff of various positions? This question isn’t an easy one to answer, and largely depends on the blog’s goals and vision for the future.
There is a lot to consider before deciding on a single writer or blog collaboration. For example, how will posts be scheduled during a vacation? Who will edit the writing? Will there be an approval process or fact checking? While we can’t make the decision for you to go it alone or include a team of writers, we can help you understand the benefits of collaboration and what to consider even if you are writing solo.
Blog Collaboration: How to Pick a Writing Team
If you’re considering having a team of writers contributing to your blog, it may be difficult to decide who to invite to write. Do you have any employees who have volunteered to help? Do you like their writing skills and style? If not, think of staff members who may be good candidates. They must be strong writers and interested in collaborating.
Ask staff members from different departments to contribute. A hospital, for example, may want to consider a writing team that consists of staff from administration, human resources, maintenance, and patient care. Including these different departments ensures that various topics are shared, creating a more dynamic blog.
There are some things to consider before undertaking blog collaboration.
It would seem that the more contributors to one blog, the better, right? Well, the answer is both yes and no. The more people involved in any project could mean that there’s more room for error and balls getting dropped. However, with proper management and follow through, group projects can be rewarding and successful. We’d like to recommend process planning before the writing begins. Here are a few things you should consider before beginning a collaboration.
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- Will there be an editor of everyone’s writing, or will there be a peer editing process before publication?
- Similarly, who will be in charge of fact checking – the author or editor?
- How often is each person expected to produce posts?
- When will all posts be scheduled?
- How will vacations be handled? Are writers required to turn in posts before taking vacations or will another writer cover the assignments?
- Who is involved with planning the editorial calendars – all authors or just one?
- Who will be involved in blog analytics – all authors or just one?
- How much work time should be set aside for each post?
- What happens if someone on the writing team isn’t pulling their weight or is writing subpar posts?
- Who can decide what type of media is included in each post?
- Who decides on what content gets posted? The individual authors or majority rules?
- Who will handle breaking news posts?
Once these questions are answered – or at least considered – it’s time to set expectations with your writers. Be sure the blog goals are communicated clearly and every writer is aware of their deadlines and how the process works. Come up with a style book or even a fact sheet explaining responsibilities and due dates. Is there a point person writers can contact with questions? If so, be sure to list their contact information on the guideline.
Blog Collaboration: How to Pick an Advisory Team
Do you plan on being the only writer on your company’s blog? If so, create an advisory team to oversee blog development. At BuzzFarmers, we regularly rely on our coworkers for assistance and advice. One of my coworkers recently proofed a post of mine to find out that I had misspelled an important proper noun.
We all put a lot of effort into fact checking our own work and double checking our grammar, but often that extra pair of eyes on your work can only make it better. I personally would much rather someone proof my work and correct it than publish something unedited and with errors. If you’re looking for an advisory board, you can turn to your staff, coworkers, or even board members for help. Be sure to choose individuals who are familiar with online writing. Hearing others’ opinions and what content works for them (and also what content isn’t working) can help the blog writer with both content creation and brand alignment.
Blog collaboration influences content, as well.
Whether you’re writing as a team or writing on your own, here’s one thing to keep in mind: The conversation cannot be all about you. A blog is a great place to write about people in your trade or other companies you admire. Better yet, incorporate interviews on your blog! Including interviews is a way to introduce new people to your customers and keep the conversation fresh. If your company was a bookstore, we might suggest posting interviews with authors or people in the publishing trade. Your readers will appreciate learning about other individuals in your industry, and the collaboration between interviewer and interviewee will make for a memorable blog post.
Are you interested in blog collaboration, but concerned your staff aren’t your ideal writers? We’re always here to help out. All you have to do is contact us!