By Heidi Cohen published December 15, 2010

How to Keep Bloggers Engaged

One of the biggest challenges for any blog, whether it’s corporate, group or personal, is to keep the momentum going. Let’s face it: writing, which is at the heart of blogging, is hard work and it takes motivation to continually produce new content. If bloggers don’t have an internal motivation propelling them forward to compose content, the blog tends to be challenged.

To keep your blogging team on track and producing high-quality content here are three tactics to adapt to your company’s specific needs. (For help on your corporate blog here are nine tips on getting started and here are some insights on how to organize your blog team.)

Set blog goals and related metrics

Track blog goals and metrics that are integrated with your company’s business and marketing objectives and translate these goals to measureable factors. Train bloggers to understand your blog analytics so they can understand how well their posts are performing. While many bloggers may not want to deal with the data and trend lines, it’s up to you to make it real and useful, not onerous. The benefit is that bloggers will want to see how their columns are doing relative to their peers and push themselves to produce better material.

Among the elements to track are:

  • Amount of content created includes the number of posts written.
  • Content effectivenesscan be measured in a variety of ways including:
    • Pageviews. How many times was the content read?
    • Social media shares including Facebook, Tweets, StumbleUpon, etc. How broadly was the information distributed?
    • Email-a-Friend. Was it shared with others via email? (Note this tends to be a low number but it’s worth having the option to remind readers to send to others.)
    • Comments. Bear in mind that readers don’t always comment. It’s a good idea to include a question and call to action. It’s a good idea to get bloggers to respond directly to each comment.
    • Business related actions such add to shopping cart, add to wish list and purchase.

Here’s more comprehensive list of content marketing metrics.

Incorporate blog responsibilities

Because blogging requires an ongoing commitment, individuals should have blogging included in their job descriptions. While it may be possible to get a few employees to volunteer some time to jumpstart your blog, to keep it going this work needs to be part of their job or your blog will wither. To this end, it’s important to have the following:

  • Create corporate guidelines so bloggers know what’s acceptable and what’s not.
  • Get senior management buy-in, involvement and feedback. Don’t overlook the importance of an occasional comment, call or email saying ‘great post’ or ‘thank you for your support.’ This can go a long way to keep employees engaged.
  • Have human resources involved to ensure that blog participation is incorporated into the bloggers’ jobs and objectives.

Celebrate your bloggers

Recognize bloggers and make them feel special for the work they’re doing because it’s important.  Here are some ideas:

  • Create a special author blurb with a photograph or other creative image and short bio of each contributor to appear at the bottom of each post. [To see how Content Marketing Institute presents its contributors, please check at the bottom of this article.]
  • Develop a special author’s page containing the blogger’s photo, bio and links with short blurbs for all of his or her posts. [For an example, here’s how ClickZ lists my columns.]
  • Include bloggers on your blog’s About page.
  • Give bloggers credit in company tweets by referencing their Twitter handle when promoting their posts. This may require special programming.
  • Mention posts with the blogger’s by-line in your marketing emailings. Also, link to the blogger’s author page.
  • Highlight bloggers on your company intranet to give them internal recognition.
  • Spotlight your bloggers on a company bulletin board. It’s also a good place to ask for additional input for your blog.
  • Reward your bloggers. This can include a recommendation on an employee’s evaluation, a bonus or a small incentive like a gift certificate. The goal is to show your appreciation.

Like any other company or group effort, to keep your bloggers engaged, you need to get—and keep—them excited and motivated to perform well. Among the factors that help to achieve this are measurable goals, management buy-in and special recognition for their work. Unlike the rest of their job, blogging requires that content creators put part of themselves into their work – which is not necessarily the case with many jobs. Therefore, it’s useful to provide additional incentives in the form of recognition.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? If so, please do so in the comment section below.

Author: Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is an actionable marketing expert. As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, Heidi works with online media companies and e-tailers to increase profitability with innovative marketing programs based on solid analytics. During the course of 20 years, Heidi has obtained deep experience in direct and digital marketing across a broad array of products including soft goods, financial services, entertainment, media entities and crafts-oriented goods. Heidi shares her actionable marketing insights on her blog. Find Heidi Cohen online at Twitter @heidicohen, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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  • http://www.webtechuniverse.com Dave

    Heidi, another great post! It’s another fine illustration that your staff/people are your most valuable asset! Nothing smarter than showcasing your best strengths & people!
    Thanks, Dave

  • http://www.webfadds.com Scott Frangos

    Hi… great post, and I like how you tie in metrics. My advice on that is to set up a special report in Analytics for “engaged blog readers”, plus tie that back into dollar value goals to track ROI. – Scott