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The Ins and Outs of Managing a Blog

Managing a blog, wait, strike that. Managing a successful and engaging blog or site could be someone’s full time job.  To pump out the amount of high quality content that’s necessary to span the interwebs, to find new writers, moderate comments, and figure out all of the analytics behind your efforts is no small undertaking.  Hell, just ask our favorite person, Ms. Cali Harris (@Caligater) how much time and effort she puts into making TCM’s content tick.

When you’re tasked with managing blog content, as well as overseeing other internal and external communities, how do you handle it all?  Perhaps there’s some quality resources below for you to try.

Q1) If you have a multi-author blog, how do you manage that team? Name Tips/tricks/metrics

jac_bot  I think w/multi-authors, having photos w/author bios is a MUST! Want to see who’s talking

JGfromOC  having a content management system – even a crude one via an Excel editorial calendar can help manage the team’s efforts.

JGfromOC  (cont) for me, having a plan and structure with goals and measurement in mind is key to executing a multi-author blog.

vargasl I am a creature of process. I like a calendar with routine. People post on same day every week/month. Helps with deadlines

KellyLux  We have a lot of bloggers, most who are remote. We do regular meetings via G+ hangout. Works really well.

KellyLux Our bloggers have to commit to two posts per month, and we have 2 monthly submission dates. Schedule based on timeliness, etc.

KristenDaukas Editorial calendar plugin w/WP helps. Notes section helps. Google docs

InfamiaRocks A1 use a style guide to ensure a common voice.

MaddieRuud We have an editorial schedule with designated spots for engineers’ technical posts, guest posts, etc.

econwriter5 I’ve found focusing each month on a theme to be helpful in keeping content cohesive with the overall message/audience.

econwriter5  Email with few month’s of topics, and then “gentle” reminders.

MichaelDeLongSF  I use an editorial calendar in Basecamp and manage the blog itself through WordPress.

leximaven I manage multiple authors but am the main point of contact for publishing & final proofing. Tip is working ahead of schedule.

paulettebleam Give credit to those who deserve it. If one person is the lead writer, give the byline to them & “contributed” to others.

comfactscom It’s important to have clearly defined expectations and best practices. And any kind of system to keep authors accountable

vargasl Yes, with content. I find that is helpful in the education / training process. Also, great for generating and expanding content.

vargasl A calendar is only one element of architecture. I recommend reading Content Strategy at Work by�@mbloomstein.

Q2) How do you onboard new bloggers?

corecorina  New blogger onboarding for us depends on their involvement: we have guests who email submissions vs writers who upload.

Shananigans5 Creating relationships is key, I work on forming relationships w/ bloggers first before ever asking for wrk from them.

JGfromOC  Just get them writing. Train them through letting them get in the trenches and develop content.

vargasl . Give new bloggers sample content for tone of voice. If writing is not a strength, offer to pair them w/another person to assist

KellyLux  We provide new bloggers w/ instructions on how to set up acct and avatar, provide them w/ style guide and invite to FB group

JcReich43 You need to make sure new bloggers familiarize themselves with all aspects pertaining to your brand: voice, content, tone, value.

jamioetting  I try to have individual phone conversations with all our new contributors. Great way to get to know them

MichaelDeLongSF  Onboarding = sharing editorial guidelines, open line of communication.

jac_bot Structure is always important. Make yr expectations clear from the beginning – nothing is more exasperating than a flaky boss

mbhahn a new blogger must be able to take criticism too, if they cant write an opinion people wont like / they cant blog or be trained

paulettebleam  For us, we post on @Sumazi. 🙂 But it’s all about knowing their time availability, writing experience, & if they know tech.

vargasl Not only do you need to consider post creation, but if and how the blogger will respond to comments. Plan ahead.

KellyLux Absolutely the editor is most important person on the team. Bloggers have to be reminded to upload images, insert tags, links etc.

corecorina Please don’t confuse ’employees who have spare time’ with bloggers. Blogging is writing, writing is a skill many DO NOT possess.

Q3) Where do you get ideas for content? Any follow recommendations for blogging experts?

catykobe Great ideas for content come from all over. Twitter chats & bug reports are a few of my fave sources

vargasl  Ideas come from FAQ, trending cmty topics – have one big topic/month and develop in-depth content week/week.

cusecomm  Keep a writing journal for blogging ideas come at all times write them down develop the ideas then write.

chrisnunn  it seems this is industry specific. I work for a B2B so being on top of acquisitions, changes, shifts, news is paramount.

AlyssaHenry Ideas for content can come from team meetings & discussions, interviews, timely news events, products or blogger experiences

corecorina I have a strategy for content development to address world vs. community vs. personal topics. Keeping it fresh/relevant is key

jocelynaucoin Content ideas live inside community. Get in the heads of people by building relationships and organically hit content gold

TheMiddle Ideas can be plucked from all over: personal experience; lists; peers; recent events; trends; popular keywords; coversations

thelaurenfiles I’ll also keep an ear out at ALL times for users who are using our product in cool ways and ask them to guest post for us.

paulettebleam  Events, new features, reactions to articles, things happening w/in the team. Some of the best blogs show off the team.

vargasl  I like to find ideas for content outside of the bubble…Discover and National Geographic Magazines are great for me.

Q4) What are the best tools for managing a blog? editorial calendars/plugins/etc.

CourtneyCormier  my google reader! I stalk loads of tech blogs and am constantly getting updates on the latest studies

ansleyjo  for us in the #multifamily housing industry, Multifamily Insiders is a great tool. A lot of influencers contribute.

Mitch_M  Plugins are the best because you can protect your blog & do so many other things. For WP, the best feature is pre-posti dating

jessicamalnik  Two words: Google Spreadsheets. Best tool to create content calendars imho.

corecorina WordPress w/ jetpack analytics, Google Cal for editorial/content, G+ hangouts for collaboration, Twitter/FB to chat with team

ansleyjo  Regator is a great hub for finding blogs as well.

leapingwoman for blogging expertise i like @lizstrauss founder of #SOBCon (Successful & Outstanding Bloggers)

econwriter5 @Livefyre for managing blog comments. @Engagio for managing social comments.

Q5) Do you invite a lot of guest bloggers to contribute? Why/Why not?

lauren_bubser We run several blogs. Only on 1 do we have guest bloggers. I find it hard to coordinate everyone’s schedules & keep track

lauren_bubser Also need to be able to find reliable and credible guests

Mitch_M  Only on one blog do I have lots of guest posters; for the others, rare or never. I think purpose should determine it

MaddieRuud  We do invite guest bloggers, but also encourage our users to interview each other for our blog.

corecorina We have ‘celeb’ guest bloggers who can’t contribute regularly, and any reader can submit a contribution, but we don’t solicit

JcReich43  Guest bloggers can be tricky; need to be sure that you have read their work before and that it’s a good fit for your brand.

mbhahn  but allowing other to post blogs is a good idea, it gives content a different voice, writing style and point of view

corecorina Hard to hold guest blogger accountable for their post, and deadlines do matter. But some guests bring SEO value you can’t ignore.

vargasl Guest bloggers are great, but you need someone to manage content / frequency. Once you set expectations, must follow through.

CourtneyCormier  and speaking of guest bloggers, any tech bloggers interested in guest blogging experiences let me know ;

MichaelDeLongSF  Offering guest blog oppys is a great way to engage volunteers and give superfans a deeper stake/position in community

*This post taken from the #cmgrchat topic on Wednesday, June 6th at 2pm EST.  All companies and resources mentioned are not endorsed by TheCommunityManager.com.

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.

1 comments
abdallahalhakim
abdallahalhakim

Great questions and answers. Definitely will bookmark it for future reference. Also, thanks @econwriter5 for mentioning Engagio (www.engag.io) in one of the answers!!