In a previous post, we learned about whether you should add blog contributors or not. Assuming you have considered to add blog contributors, you have to learn about managing the team of bloggers. It is not easy, not at all.
Best Ways to Manage Blog Contributors
Here are some time-tested ways:
(1) Create, Format, Secure, Share & Update Excel Sheet
I strongly urge you to use Google Drive’s Excel sheet for managing and storing data for blog contributors. You have other paid project management tools but start with Google Drive. For every blog contributor, make an excel sheet and share with the contributor.
Since you can create sub-sheets in one excel sheet, add sub-sheets for the following:
- Instruction manual
- Blog Posts Written (with name, published link, word count, main and secondary keywords)
- Payments (received and pending)
For additional security, you could password protect the sheets.
If not Google Drive, use Dropbox. Both are equally effective.
(2) Make Blog Contributors aware of your Goal
Once the blog contributors are finalized, do a Google+ Hangout or a Skype conference with them to discuss the blog goals. Here, you need to share the purpose of the blog, targeted audience, the kind of content to write and topic creation methodology. Motivate the contributors to share their thoughts and if feasible, incorporate them on your blog.
The idea is to make the blog contributors a part of the team and not just an isolated content creator.
(3) Instruction Manual
The instruction manual you will share in the first step should contain two important things -
- Style Guide
- Author Guidelines
- Style Guide: While every writer has their own writing style, it will be good to share a specific style guide for the blog contributors to follow, if you want. The style guide should be about expected writing style, linking requirements, formatting, SEO instructions, image copyrights, duplicate content guidelines, permalinks and language (grammar).
- Author Guidelines: Here, you could specify the number of contributions expected every week or month, writing approach to follow, understanding the targeted audience, self-linking policies, avoiding plagiarism, author bio writing criteria, social sharing tasks (if any) and others.
Do not ignore this instruction manual. It helps avoid problems later on.
(4) Maintain Quality Control
This might seem like an additional task but it is not. It is important to read every blog post contributed before it goes live. If you are good at this, it won’t take more than 15-20 minutes per post.
At a later stage when the blog is growing and time is less, you can hire a quality control manager or an editor to do it for you.
(5) Set an Editorial Calendar
Either create a calendar manually and share or if you are using WordPress, use calendar plugins to assign date / time to blog contributors. This will help to avoid repetitive topics, assure blog publish and keep the blog contributors adhere to time.
These are the basic ways to manage blog contributors. What is your opinion on them?