By Amanda Maksymiw published June 6, 2011

5 Keys to Motivating Your Employee Bloggers

A corporate blog is often a foundation for any successful content marketing program.  The blog itself can be an insightful resource for your current and prospective customers, provide material and ideas for repurposed content, and increase site traffic.  The benefits of spreading the blogging responsibilities across the entire organization can be crystal clear, but often times it may be challenging to keep motivation high, especially for those outside of the marketing department.

Here are some essentials that have driven results in our corporate blogging program.

Put one individual in charge of the blog

The blogging administrator encourages all bloggers to consistently participate in and communicates any news about the blogging program.  Essentially, the blogging administrator:

  • Develops the overall plan
  • Gets buy-in from the CEO or president of the company
  • Works with the other employees on meeting their goals.

Hold regular training sessions

New marketing efforts that encompass the entire organization typically begin with some training, but the training shouldn’t end there.  It is important to have additional training sessions throughout the year  to keep your bloggers comfortable.  Key training topics may include:

Share the results on a regular basis

Continually remind everyone of the impact and progress of your corporate blogging program.  A regular report can keep the importance of blogging top of mind and hold everyone accountable.  OpenView has set up its corporate blogging program so that almost every blogger is required to submit a blog post each week.  As a result, we send an email every Friday that shares the following information:

  • Critical blogging statistics such as the number of page views, unique visitors, click through rates, and amount of search engine traffic, among others
  • Number of page views per blogger to help accountability and highlight bloggers that are doing well (and not so well)
  • Number of  target posts per quarter or year per person versus the actual number of posts per quarter or year
  • Update on the rankings of our targeted keywords
  • Number of new leads or leads converted

Hold retrospectives or progress reviews throughout the year

A regular meeting outside of your training meetings either with the entire organization or representatives from each department could also boost motivation.  This sort of meeting can help identify issues and ultimately shape future training sessions to improve the program overall. During the meeting, the blogging administrator should lead the discussion around the following questions:

  • Are the topics of the posts relevant to your business objectives?
  • Are you seeing a gradual increase in visitors, page views, and time spent on the site?
  • Does the design quality of your blog reflect your company’s culture and style?
  • Are your bloggers formatting their posts correctly to engage the audience?
  • Are you using the best keywords possible to attract traffic through search engines?
  • Are your blogs optimized for search engines to the fullest potential?
  • What is your Google ranking for each of your targeted keywords?
  • Do you have an effective strategy for releasing content regularly and consistently?
  • Are you marketing your blog in the best ways possible (social media, influencers, newsletters, etc.)?
  • Are your bloggers truly writing to your target personas?

Tap into your employees competitive side and hold a contest

I have written about blogging contests on CMI before, but when it comes down to it, contests are always a great way to boost motivation and excitement.  I have previously shared an idea for a weekly contest before so here is an idea for a monthly contest:

Keep track of the number of page views each blogger has every week, which bloggers land in one of the top three spots each week, and the number of posts each blogger writes throughout the month.  The three bloggers with the most page views and most posts wins.

If you decide to hold a contest like this every month, determine an appropriate prize.  Some examples could be a bottle of wine, a Kindle, an afternoon off, or a free lunch.

Just a quick note:  You may consider having a blogging contest every month until motivation and excitement remain high.

Do you need more tips for running a successful blogging initiative?  OpenView Labs has packaged a complete guide to help all companies start a corporate blogging program (Note: This requires registration). This eBook includes an introduction to corporate blogging, checklists and quick start guides for each person responsible for kicking off a successful blogging initiative. The eBook features unique tips from content marketing experts Ann Handley, Jonathan Kranz and Joe Pulizzi. Get your copy today by visiting OpenView Labs.

Author: Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda Maksymiw is the content marketing manager for Lattice Engines, a leader in B2B sales intelligence software helping Fortune 5000 companies sell smarter and achieve a 6-14 percent increase in sales productivity within one year of deployment through Intelligent Targeting, Contextual Conversations and Measurable Execution. She is responsible for setting and managing the company's content marketing strategy including creating, producing, and publishing engaging content. Follow her on Twitter at @amandamaks.

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  • http://www.marketingtrenches.com Tracy Gold

    Amanda–great post! We had a similar post over on the Marketing Trenches blog a little while ago. We also suggested to make sure each writer knew they would have an editor, making sure all departments know the strategy behind the blog, and as you wrote, letting people know the performance of their posts. 

    • http://blog.openviewpartners.com/blog/the-open-marketer Amanda Maksymiw

      Tracy,
      Thanks for sharing your link and great tips!  We have noticed that our bloggers seem a little more at ease, knowing that someone will review the content before going live. 

      Best,
      Amanda

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  • Lenox Powell

    Great post, Amanda! I especially like “Put one individual in charge of the blog,” and ”
    Share the results on a regular basis.” Great stuff!

  • Ksaxton

    Amanda, you should check out the new Compendium feature -Content Compass. It includes a leaderboard to show whose blogs are viewed and shared most frequently. The goal is part competition and part showing what content is engaging.

  • Anonymous

    Amanda,

    Great post! I am the community manager for the Networking Exchange Blog at AT&T (http://neblog.att.com) and we have actively put a handful of thesee practices into our program. To date, sharing results with the group of bloggers has been key. People want to know how much his/her content was viewed . I love your last point on tapping the competitive side of your employees. To have a successful corporate blog ongoing it is key to continue “the momentum” that the employee bloggers had when they first started participating.

    Thanks for sharing some great content.

    Sam Sova
    AT&T Community Manager

  • Alan Grainger

    This is a really useful post if you are in charge of getting people motivated to write a blog. From experience it can often be difficult to get people who aren’t generally involved in marketing to want to participate but it is often these people who have the most important things to say (people who work on the operational side for instance).

     A lot of the time it can be difficult to give them the confidence to write as for many it will be the first time they will have done it since school. I think once they have that confidence then it will make the rest of the process far easier.

    Really interesting post, thanks for sharing.
    Alan

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