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How to Develop a Team Blog

Steps to Create and Manage a Successful Team Blog

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A team blog is a blog written by a team of writers. That means multiple people contribute to the blog content by writing posts. Team blogs can be very successful for standalone blogs or blogs written for businesses. However, you can't just set a group of people loose and expect your team blog to be successful. It takes planning, organization, and ongoing management to create a great team blog. Follow the tips below to develop a team blog that has a chance for success.

1. Communicate the Goals and Focus of the Team Blog

Don't expect team blog contributors to know what your goals are for the blog. You need to explain what you want to get from the blog and give them a specific topic to focus on in their writing. Otherwise, your team blog will be a mashup of inconsistent and possibly inappropriate content that no one wants to read. Find your blog niche and educate your team blog writers about it, so they understand and support it.

2. Develop a Team Blog Style Guide and Author Guidelines

It's essential that you create a sense of consistency in your team blog, and that comes through the writing style, voice, and formatting used in the blog posts written by contributors. Therefore, you need to develop a style guide and author guidelines that cover the way contributors should write, grammar requirements, formatting requirements, linking requirements, and so on. The style guide and author guidelines should also address the things contributors should not do. For example, if there are specific competitors you don't want them to mention or link to, identify those names and sites in your guidelines.

3. Choose an Appropriate Team Blog Tool

Not all blogging applications are appropriate for team blogs. It's imperative that you select a team blog tool that offers tiered access, author pages, author bios, and so on. WordPress.org, MovableType, and Drupal are excellent content management systems for team blogs.

4. Hire a Team Blog Editor

You need a single person who has experience managing people and an editorial calendar (see #5 below) for your team blog to be the best that it can be. This person will review posts for style, voice, and so on. He or she will also create and manage the editorial calendar and communications with bloggers.

5. Create an Editorial Calendar

Team blogs are better when the content is organized, focused, and consistent. Therefore, an editorial calendar helps to keep all bloggers on track and ensure the blog content is interesting, useful, and not confusing to readers. Editorial calendars also help to make sure content is published at the best times. It's not a good idea to publish 10 posts at the same time. Use an editorial calendar to create a consistent publishing schedule, too.

6. Offer Communication and Collaboration Tools to Contributors

Don't hire contributors and then ignore them. The strongest team blogs have communication and collaboration tools in place, so contributors can discuss ideas and problems and even work together on posts. Tools like Google Groups, Basecamp, and Backpack are great for integrating virtual teams. You can even create a forum for team communication and collaboration.

7. Provide Feedback to Contributors

Communicate directly with contributors through email, phone calls, or Skype to provide feedback, praise, direction, and suggestions. If your contributors don't feel like they're an important member of the team and don't feel like they're given the information they need to be successful, then you'll limit the potential success of your team blog, too.

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