8 Steps to Creating a Successful Multi-Author Blog for Your Nonprofit
One of the biggest questions that nonprofits have when starting a blog is “How can one person possibly continue to publish interesting articles?”
The answer to this question is, you don’t. And this is precisely the reason why many nonprofits like Oceana and The National Wildlife Federation have multi-author blogs. (The other great reason to have multiple authors on a blog is that you get a wider variety of opinions and ideas which your readers will love.)
But how do you effectively manage a multi-author blog?
Eight Tips for Managing a Multi-Author Blog:
1. Create unity with shared goals and guidelines. The most important factor will to creating a successful multi-author blog is to have a very clear goal. You need to be clear about what your blog’s message is, what you want readers to do once they read a blog post, and what the mission of the blog is. The more specific and inspirational your goal is the better.
2. Create author guidelines. Authors should be clear about the keywords you want to be targeting, word length, and format of the blog. An example of the guideline would be: “Posts should be no more than 300 words. Each paragraph should have no more than 2 sentences. An image should open the blog post. Posts should end with a question.”
3. Assign one editor. You want to assign one person to be the Editor of the blog. The editor should have editing rights to all blog posts, and should have the ability to publish all blog posts. The editor is also in charge of the blog calendar, and reporting back to all authors on results (post views, back links and other stats).
4. Allow appropriate access. You want to use a blogging platform that allows for various levels of user rights. In WordPress for example, there are 5 different roles from administrator all the way down to subscriber. Authors should be set up as either Contributors or Authors. The editor should be set up as either editor or administrator, depending upon whether the editor is also the blog administrator. These various users roles help create unity among all authors, and prevents someone from breaking the blog.
5. Stay organized with a calendar. Each author should be assigned the same time every week for publication of their blog post. Like you, they are also very busy. Assigning a consistent publication time, allows them to better prepare their blog post. If you’re using Word press for your blog, you’ll want to use the editorial calendar plug-in (Watch this video for more info.)
6. Stay unified with a Facebook Group. To keep all blog authors up to date on topics and other issues, create a Secret Facebook group to share important information. (These groups cannot be found in searches, and non-members can’t see anything about the group, including its name and membership list.) Authors can share topic ideas with each other, notify the editor when the draft is complete, offer praise and encouragement, and give valuable feedback to each other.
7. Report back to each blogger. As with most endeavors starting is easy, but continuing is difficult. Authors need constant encouragement and feedback on how they’re doing with their blog posts. The editor should be sending an occasional e-mail of thanks, as well as useful feedback in the Facebook group. (Facebook users can be tagged in comments.)
8. Keep Bloggers Engaged With Friendly Competition – Another way to keep authors motivated is to create some friendly competition. In the Inspiring Generosity Facebook Group, Ifdy (the editor) posts Google Analytics stats in the Facebook group each week. What’s occurred naturally within the group is a sense of friendly competition, which motivates everyone (Alex always has the highest numbers).
Multi-author blogs can be very successful, especially if you include some of your biggest fundraisers. Following these 8 tips will increase the likelihood of success and enjoyment for everyone involved.