I presented on the topic of Effective Blogging at our user conference last month. When I finished talking about who you should get to blog, I asked the question, “Do any of you have difficulty getting your authors to contribute content?”

man standing out in the crowdHands around the room flew up fast. I wasn’t entirely surprised though.  Getting good content is an issue many web managers face. Volunteers are somewhat hard to come by.

If you are managing a website or a blog and are having difficulty getting the content you were promised, this post is for you.

Gather the best writers for your content

With your content strategy in place, you should have an idea of the types of content you will need to create. The next step is distributing the work.

Look to your team members that are already sharing content. Whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, or a personal blog, many people are already socially active. These individuals would be most inclined to contribute.

Give authors a reason to write

You have now identified good candidates to contribute to your blog. The next step is a little bit trickier and you will need to get creative.

Not all of your selected content creators are going to be champing at the bit to start another task. You may need to provide some incentive. Here are a few thoughts:

  • butterflyHave a contest among your team. Award a monthly “social butterfly” sticker or roaming trophy to the most commented/shared author.
  • Offer a day off! Who wouldn’t spend an extra few hours creating content to get a whole day off work?
  • Remind them of the best incentive, opportunity for growth.  Promoting and growing your organization and their personal brand at the same time should be very satisfying.

Make it fun!

Working as a team is always more fun. Try a post that is co-authored by two of your staff members. Or, you can create a multi-part series of articles that a whole team can contribute to.

Align writers with content that suits them best to make creating content more enjoyable.

  • Include designers in the creation of visual content like a virtual tour or photo gallery. Your post will have more appealing visuals guaranteed.
  • For a specific online course’s landing page, you might want a subject matter expert, a professor perhaps, to provide the content. An editor can review for voice and tone after the content is submitted.
  • Do you need case studies? Ask the project leader to create the case study. Case studies should provide a clear description of how you provided a solution, not marketing fluff.

Make it easy!

Is your software easy to use? Whether you are using SiteExecutive, Wordpress or any other software to manage your site, you should take all the steps you can to make it easy for your authors to use.

  • Content creation / editing forms should be user friendly.
  • Implement a workflow that is simple.
  • Submission, review and notifications from workflow should provide alerts.

Have you provided training?training class

  • Create a training plan for your software.
  • Provide basic training on web writing.

Do your authors have the resources they need?

  • Content Templates make it easy for authors to create the content.
  • Web writing tips and best practices save you lots of editing resources.
  • A calendar of expected due dates removes the fear of running out of time.