Having a blog is advantageous for any company, but the challenge is sourcing quality content for your company’s blog. Fortunately, each one of your employees is a great candidate for the role of blog article author. This, however, is something your employees may resist for a number of reasons. So then, how can you get employees writing blog articles? Let’s take a look at some keys to help you create a culture of writing in your company.
13 keys to get employees writing
1. Send clear and specific briefs
When briefing employees on writing for the company’s blog, it is important to be clear about what you expect from them. Being vague about what you expect will only give you one result – no articles. Be specific in your briefs. Tell them exactly what requirements the article needs to fulfil. One thing that helps is providing a blog article template, as well as a standard blog briefing document which highlights unchanging requirements, such as all articles need to be more than 300 words long.
2. Provide subject content options
To get employees writing, tell them what to write about. It sounds so simple, but think about it… if someone were to brief you “write about anything” versus “write about “your favourite product from the company”, what would you choose to do? I’d choose to write about my favourite product because I don’t have to try to think about a subject. Even better than that is providing a variety of subject content options so that each employee can choose something that interests them most.
3. Be flexible
If someone wants to write about something that is not one of the subject content options you provided, but is still in line with the blog’s overall purpose, then allow them to do so. Being too regimental will not get employees writing. Being flexible is more likely to inspire employees to write.
4. Communicate boundaries
Being flexible is important, but allowing an employee to use the company’s blog as a platform to share their poetry does not make sense. Blog articles do need to fall within certain boundaries, and these need to be effectively communicated. For example, each one of your blog articles ideally needs to relate to one of your company’s core products or services. This helps to keep your company’s blog focused.
5. Offer guidance and be approachable
Acknowledge that each one of your employees has different writing experience, so make yourself available to provide guidance. For some, writing a blog article is a daunting task so being approachable will give employees the confidence to ask questions and get their articles done.
6. Indicate deadlines and make them reasonable
Telling an employee they can send you their article “whenever” is not a good idea because they will just hear the “never” part of that word. Providing realistic, reasonable deadlines will help employees to effectively plan their articles. Don’t make the deadlines too tight otherwise, you’ll end up with no articles or ones of poor quality. Don’t make them too far in advance either as procrastination and forgetfulness will set in.
7. Allow for freedom of voice
One way to get employees writing is to give them the freedom to write the way that they want to write. Everyone has a different writing voice, and shutting that down will not inspire employees to write again for you. Articles may need to be checked for spelling and grammar, but it is not necessary to edit an article so much that it loses the author’s voice.
8. Dangle some carrots
To get employees writing, find out what would motivate them to write. Perhaps it’s chocolate? Money? Gift cards? A day or an afternoon off? It might be different for each employee, so you might need a unique strategy for each employee. Also, remember to not only motivate for quantity but quality as well. Yes, they get rewarded for providing an article (quantity), but they should also get rewarded if the article does exceptionally well (quality).
9. Supply feedback and encouragement
What happens after an employee submits an article is important. Let them know you’ve received it and thank them for it. It’s also important to let them know what you thought was great and provide tips for the next one. Supplying feedback and encouragement will certainly increase the likelihood of them submitting another article.
10. Publicly acknowledge and reward
When the article gets published, do your best to publicly acknowledge the author’s efforts and encourage the company to read their work. It is also important to publicly reward the authors as this not only inspires the author to write more, but it also inspires other employees to write too.
11. It starts from the top
Employees will follow their leader’s lead, so if their leader is writing articles then they will be more motivated to do so themselves. If the leaders are just telling the employees to write articles, but are not doing it themselves, then the blog will struggle. Make sure you have all company, department and team leaders on board to ensure the success of your company’s blog.
12. Reiterate the benefits of writing
Writing blog articles for the company’s blog is highly beneficial for every employee. Not only will each employee’s writing improve (a valuable business skill), but as they write they will learn and grow. You want your employees to learn and grow, don’t you?
13. Include it as a requirement in their contracts
If all else fails, it might be an idea to include writing an article into employee’s contracts. If professors have to publish research then maybe company employees need to publish articles?
If you can get your employees to buy into the long-term vision for the company’s blog then you’re set for success. Get employees writing blog articles and you will see how it will not only benefit the company but also them as individuals. Happy individuals make a happy company.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other great ideas for motivating employees to write blog articles.