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How to find writers for your blog

Finding writers for your blog: my tips and examples

Last month I was featured as the special guest for a Content Marketing Institute #CMWorld chat – a huge honour for me. I was invited to share my tips on how to find blog writers and contributors, based on my experience running the Nonprofit MarCommunity blog over the last four years.

#CMWorld chat is not specifically for nonprofit bloggers, but many of my suggestions would work for you. So in this post, I recap a few of the chat questions and share some of my tips and tweets. If you’d like to see the fuller view of #CMWorld participant responses, you can review the April 11 Storify summary.

Here are my tips for finding writers for your blog

What do you need to have in place?

Before you start seeking out blog contributors, you need to know exactly what your publication is all about and what you are trying to achieve with it. This will help both you and your potential authors to establish fit and create consistent content.

From the very beginning of the Nonprofit MarCommunity, my vision was to support those responsible for communications at a nonprofit organization. And since it’s not my area of expertise (and it’s well covered on other blogs), I planned to steer clear of fundraising-focused topics.

I believe that every multi-author blog needs to have documented and easily accessible blog editorial guidelines. They will save you so much time, and they also communicate your professionalism and commitment to quality content.

How do you kick-start a multi-author approach to your blog?

Before launching the Nonprofit MarCommunity, I contacted smart communicators I knew professionally and asked them to write posts on specific topics. This meant that on day one, we launched with a substantial library of quality content, immediately giving visitors an indication of what they could expect in the future.

This also helped potential contributors to see the blog as something they would want to be a part of.

Are roundup posts a good idea?

Roundup posts bring together insights from a group of experts or community members. I use roundup posts periodically, usually inviting community members to answer a specific question. Here are a couple of roundup post examples:

Many people who use roundup posts are looking for the benefit of expanding the reach of their blog, so they try to attract and invite “influencers.” This is smart, but I’m also mindful of the idea that we all have something to offer, so I shared this tip:

How can you get the most from subject matter experts?

There are many ways to work with subject matter experts as blog contributors. Your blog editorial calendar should build in some of these different ways (see tweets below) because not every subject matter expert will be a good writer and many won’t have time to contribute full posts for you.

Where can you look for blog contributors? How do you keep attracting them?

As I mentioned above, my advice is to kick off your blog with some personal outreach. Then, set up a system for ongoing outreach to potential contributors. For example, this might look like conversations you have at networking events or conferences, periodic calls for submissions on social media, and outreach to your LinkedIn connections. It’s all about keeping your blog top of mind and extending invitations to blog on a regular basis. Many people will be happy to have been asked and very willing to contribute.

It’s all about keeping your blog top of mind and extending invitations to blog on a regular basis. Many people will be happy to have been asked and very willing to contribute.

Once your blog has been established and starts to build a base of readers, keep an eye out for community members who would make good contributors.

I have done all of the work described above over the years, but now I rarely even need to ask for submissions because I get enough high-quality pitches from both new and returning contributors.

Having said that, since you’re a moflow reader and valued member of my community, I would love to hear from you. If you have experience with a topic and want to help your nonprofit marcom peers, pitch me your post ideas! Start by reviewing our blog editorial guidelines and then get in touch with me.

And if you’re looking for help with all of the planning aspects of starting a new blog, check out my course, Start a Better Nonprofit Blog.

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Posted May 2, 2017 / Filed under Blogging / Leave a comment