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August 18, 2017

Managing a Blogging Team

by Donna Huber

Keeping up with a daily publication is a lot of work. Thankfully having a team that shoulders at least some of the work helps lessen the stress. I have a great team of writers at Girl Who Reads and I have learned a lot over the last couple of years of managing a team.

Recruit Great Team Members

If you are thinking of expanding your blog to include multiple writers, then you need to recruit great team members. To be successful. it really comes down to the people you surround yourself with.

So what should you look for in a team member?

  1. A commitment - for my reviewers I ask for 2 reviews a month, they have always exceeded that number. By setting this expectation I can judge how committed a reviewer will be. You will be counting on this person to submit regular content so you want someone committed to providing that content.
  2. A passion for books - You want someone who shows excitement about discovering new authors.
  3. Some basic writing skills - I always ask for a writing example, but I'm not looking for a masterpiece. Some of it is for me determine how much editing will need to be done on a review. Having a team is suppose to help me manage the work so I don't want to create more work for myself. But what I'm really looking for in a writing sample is if they can state their opinion and support it. I've seen "reviews" that are nothing more than a restatement of the plot. That's not what I want.

Where to find team members?

When I'm looking for a new team member I usually post an announcement on social media. Recruiting from your own readership is a great place to find team members. They are already familiar with your style. For my features writers, I usually turn to my author friends and offer them a spot or ask if they have anyone authors that might be interested.

Give Guidance, Set Expectations

Once you have recruited your team members you need to give guidance on what you want and that starts with setting expectations. I've already mentioned the 2 reviews per month. I also set deadlines for submission. Since I do most of my blogging on the weekend I like for contributors to send in their articles by Friday.

I also created a style guide that provides information on structure and tone for articles. It also has information on how to write titles, the size of images, the use of headers and lists, etc.

Speaking of images, you need to make sure your contributors understand the proper use of images found on the web. Some of my contributors find their own images and others leave it up to me.

The thing to remember when bringing on team members is all the stuff you didn't know when you started blogging and then share what you have learned with them.

Your team members will only be as strong as you make them. You are the leader and you need to give the tools to succeed.

Express Your Appreciation

Most book bloggers aren't making enough money to pay contributors, so expressing your appreciation is important.

If you are making any money then you should consider expressing your appreciation monetarily. I do end-of-year gift cards from my affiliate earning.

Another way to show appreciation is to take an interest in their lives and what they have going on. Life gets busy for all of us. When my contributors are feeling stressed by life, battling an illness, or have a family emergency, I'm quick to tell them not to worry about the blogging stuff.

No one likes to feel like they are being taken for granted so be sure you aren't taking your team for granted (and make sure they know you don't).

Have Fun!

Blogging should always be about having fun. So don't stress yourself out. Adding team members will add a bit to your workload in terms of coordination and scheduling. It will take a little while to find what works best for you so start small with only adding one team member and give it a few months to find your groove.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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