Corporate Blogging for SMBs: How to Get More Employees to Contribute to Your Company Blog
Lots of small and medium-sized businesses have figured out that a corporate blog is good for business. The potential benefits of a well-run corporate blog include:
- Brand development
- SEO traffic and valuable links
- Ongoing inbound leads
But buy-in is one thing. Actually creating and publishing new blog content on a regular basis is another. Maintaining a regular publication schedule is a struggle for everyone, but it’s especially difficult for SMBs with their smaller budgets and smaller teams. You might not have a dedicated copywriter, and if you do, that writer is probably being pulled in multiple directions – writing copy for your email campaigns, landing pages and so on (oh, hi, to-do list!).
A good way to make sure that you’re regularly publishing new content on your blog is to enlist the help of employees outside your marketing department. This distributes the burden and workload among more people and brings a greater variety of voices and topics to the table. So how exactly do you get them to do that? Obviously, everyone is busy, and it’s all too easy for people to say “That’s not part of my job.”
Here are four ways to get everyone at your company involved with content production for your SMB blog.
1. Make it Easy for Them
For people who don’t write every day – and even for people who do, really – one of the hardest parts of writing is coming up with an idea. Make writing easier for your coworkers by feeding them a topic, so they can skip the brainstorming part and go right into production. Here are some ideas for helping them out with topic selection:
- Turn it into an interview – Ask your coworker five questions – responding to an interview is much easier than writing a blog post from scratch. (They don’t have to think about organization or write an intro or conclusion!) For example, you could ask a VP or your CEO to make some predictions about the market in your vertical in the coming year, or ask someone on the product team about upcoming features.
- Feed them a prompt – Make it super-easy for them by telling them exactly what to write about – give them a topic, a title, even a sketchy outline.
- Crowdsource it – Ask everyone in a department or even everyone in your company to answer one simple question or a provide a tip, then turn it into a list.
2. Offer Incentives
Let’s be real – sometimes the only thing holding your coworkers back from contributing to your corporate blog is the nagging feeling that blogging isn’t what they’re getting paid for. Content is important, and good content doesn’t come free, so get approval to offer a small reward when someone in the company contributes to the blog – it could be as simple as a Starbucks gift card or as enticing as a $100 bonus.
3. Flatter Their Expertise
Make sure your coworkers know they don’t have to be an expert in writing or marketing to write a blog post for the company blog. Ask them to write about whatever they’re best at. The founder/CEO of a startup could write about how they secured venture funding … your graphic designer could talk about the fundamentals of design for an e-commerce site … a customer service rep could write a case study about a creative way that a client used a product. Make sure the topic is in their wheelhouse and encourage them to show off their expertise. (And assure them you’ll give the writing an edit so they can focus more on making it interesting.)
4. Turn Work They’ve Already Done into Content
Remind your coworkers that they don’t have to create something out of nothing. They can turn work they’ve already done into a blog post. Almost anything can be a case study, provided that some technique or lesson can be abstracted out so others can act on it. Did your in-house SEO implement a cross-site change that boosted rankings? Ask her to write out what she did step by step. Did your UX manager create a customer survey? Webinar slides or an internal presentation can be turned into text. The possibilities are endless!
If you’ve found other ways to get more people at your company in content creation mode, share them in the comments!