September 8, 2011

How to create a successful multi-author blog

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Photo by J.D. Lasica

Nonprofits benefit from diversity of voices & points of view

John HaydonOne of the biggest questions that nonprofits have when starting a blog is, “How can one person possibly continue to publish interesting articles?”

The answer is: You don’t. And this is precisely the reason why many nonprofits such as Oceana and the National Wildlife Federation have multi-author blogs. A second great reason to have multiple authors on a blog is that you get a wider variety of opinions and ideas that your readers will love.

But how do you effectively manage a multi-author blog?

Tips for managing a blog with multiple authors

1Create unity with shared goals and guidelines. The most important factor in creating a successful multi-author blog is to establish 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, the better.

2Create 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 two or three sentences. An image should appear at the top of the blog post. Posts should end with a question.”

3Assign 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).

4Allow appropriate access. You want to use a blogging platform that allows for various levels of user rights. In WordPress, for example, there are5 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 user roles help create unity among all authors and prevents someone from breaking the blog.

5Stay 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 WordPress for your blog, you may want to use the editorial calendar plug-in. Watch this video for more info.

Read the rest of this post over at  Inspiring Generosity.John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.

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