Herding Cats: Bringing Sanity to a Multi-Author Blog
Cats have always fit the definition of independent spirits. They do whatever they want whenever they feel like doing it. Training a cat to obey directions can feel like a waste of time because they will yield their freedom to no one.
Hiring several writers to provide content for your small business blog can feel like herding cats. Many writers value independent thinking and it can be a challenge to get them to adopt a uniform voice without the right structure in place. Still, running a single-author blog is not always a practical content solution. Working with multiple writers provides many channels for generating fresh content.
How can you hire blog writers and then manage a team of bloggers without losing your mind?
Use an Editorial Calendar
Flying by the seat of your pants is not a good method for generating content. The results will always be inconsistent at best. An editorial calendar can make it easier to work ahead. Having a calendar in place reduces stress for you and your bloggers. It also enhances the quality of each blog post. You can assign topics, give each writer feedback, and have content prepared well in advance of each deadline.
Create a “Write for Us” page
Recruiting quality blog writers is simpler when you put together contributor guidelines on your blog. Writers naturally want to write for successful blogs where they can get exposure and will be drawn to your blog as it grows. Creating a page of contributor guidelines lets you outline exactly what you want in content and helps you answer any questions potential contributors might have when they check out your blog.
Streamline Your Editorial Voice
Working with multiple bloggers is good for generating content. Having too many editors, on the other hand, can be like having too many cooks in the kitchen. You need to have a single editor who oversees content production for your blog in the beginning. This will make it possible to streamline your editorial voice so a consistent style can be found throughout each blog post. You can add more editors as the blog grows, but it is important to establish a clear editorial voice from day one so no confusion exists about your expectations.
Communicate With Your Writers
An open channel of communication must exist between you and each writer. This includes sending out canned response emails to prospective new writers, offering feedback on posts from current writers, and answering questions regarding payment and other issues. Nothing can sour a working relationship faster than a lack of communication. If you keep a door open for communication, you can identify and retain good writers.
John C is a professional writer and editor who has written articles and blog posts for dozens of websites and publications for more than a decade. His current goal this summer is to branch out into the exciting world of fiction writing.