Don't Do It Yourself

How to Coordinate Staff Writers

As you build your successful blog, and as you establish relationships with staff writers, you will need to coordinate their efforts. A lot of the time, this means putting together some sort of editorial calendar. At the very least, it might mean discussing topic ideas ahead of time. You also need to figure out a publishing schedule that makes sense for your blog. This is especially important when you have multiple writers.

When are You Publishing Your Writers' Work?

One of the first things you need to do is figure out when you plan to publish each writer's work. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a set schedule of when that writer's posts go live. This has worked well for me with a number of my clients. They know exactly when a specific staff writer's work will be published.

As a result, it also has the effect of setting a flexible deadline. As long as your writer has his or her post in three days before it is set to go live, it can make a difference. Your writer doesn't have to keep a hard deadline, but he or she still knows when posts have to be completed. With many of my clients, I write on specific days. Most of the deadlines are a bit flexible, so I am able to be off by a day or two if my schedule needs to be switched around.

Talk with your staff writers, and find out when they prefer to submit their work, and what works best for them. Get into a groove with a regular schedule from reliable writers, and you'll always have content when you need it.

Topic Ideas and Staff Writers

When you have more than one staff writer, you run the risk that some topics will be covered more than once. I have a few clients who don't worry too much about this, and a quick search of the site helps me get an idea of which topics have already been covered recently. However, it is a little easier when topic ideas are assigned. There are a couple different ways to do this:

  • Brainstorm regularly with each writer individually, and assign topics every week or every month. You can make sure that each writer covers topics that your other writers aren't taking, and you can make sure that the items you want covered are given priority.
  • Ask the writer to submit topics for approval. This way, the writer can cover what's interesting to him or her, and you can choose which ideas you like best. Then, your writer can cover them at his or her leisure.
  • Set up a spread sheet allowing writers to claim ideas. As a writer, this is one of my favorite ways to get topics and coordinate. You can use Google Docs to set up a spread sheet that all your writers have access to. You enter your ideas (and due dates if you want), and your writers can claim topics to work. This way, everyone can easily see what they are responsible for. You can use a similar topic claiming process with sites like Basecamp to manage your writers.

Coordinating your staff writers is an important part of building your successful blog. You can create an editorial calendar and assign topics to writers, or you can take a more informal approach, but the important thing is that you make sure that there isn't too much overlap, and that your blog has regular content.

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