Here’s how to manage a multi-author WordPress blog with efficiency…
The average blog is typically maintained by the owner alone, while publishing the occasional guest post by external contributors.
While any blog can certainly grow without help from others, it’s no secret that you can expand much quicker by allowing for other contributors to publish content regularly.
That said, this strategy can also slow down your progress if you don’t manage co-authors (or guest bloggers) properly, as you might spend more time correcting their mistakes than anything else.
Today’s article focuses on managing a multi-author blog and growing it at an accelerated rate as a result. This goes for both guest contributors as well as regular / paid writers.
Benefits of a Multi-author Blog
Faster blog Growth: More content equals faster expansion. Multiple authors can also give your blog a boost if it’s gotten stale over time.
More potential revenue: More content may also mean more earning opportunities. Having more quality content (in addition to effective call-to-action strategies) can greatly increase the odds of email signups, ad revenue, affiliate income, and more.
Become an authority: Imagine a blog with hundreds of high quality articles, all working toward the same goal of helping the reader. Becoming an authority takes time and effort, but it can be achieved efficiently with the help of additional contributors.
A Word of Caution
First and foremost, keep in mind that both sets of contributors can bring their own rewards. Allow me to explain…
Guests can quickly fill it with an abundant amount of content while helping you stay connected for any given business opportunities down the road.
However, accepting guest contributions generally means that your blog won’t follow a cohesive voice. If you’re very particular about presenting your brand in a certain way, then this probably won’t be the best option.
Paid authors, on the other hand, can create a more predictable publishing pattern and resolve the aforementioned issues more efficiently.
A regular author will also adapt to your overall guidelines, which means you’d spend less time training them or providing feedback.
What kind of workload are you planning to give co-authors? Remember, there are a lot of moving parts to publishing a high quality article…
Do they have to come up with their own titles? If so, must they be SEO-optimized? Do they also need to find their own images?
And perhaps most importantly, are you responsible for proofreading each piece? If not, then each writer must clearly possess enough skills or you should otherwise hire an editor.
All of these questions must be answered before opening your blog to multiple authors.
Determine your desired publishing frequency: This is important because it allows you to determine how many people you’ll bring on board and/or give you an idea of just how much you’d be spending.
Publish Detailed Guidelines
This typically comes as a page called ‘Write for Us’ or similar, although this is more ideal for guest bloggers.
If managing paid contributors, a page called ‘Guidelines’ may be more suitable as it implies your blog isn’t just open to anyone.
This is where you mention every rule writers must follow, such as:
- Overall voice / tone
- Acceptable topics
- Word count requirements
- Images / links requirements
- Submission process (must authors register, or send you an idea via inbox?)
Keep this page succinct, as writers will occasionally come back to make sure they’re following all instructions.
Managing Submissions and Payments
You want to make sure co-authors are paid on time or that every assigned article has been properly handled by guest authors.
A simple spreadsheet (using Google Sheets) is typically enough to keep track of these things. For example, create various columns detailing each author’s name, article title, word count, whether it’s been published, and payment status (if applicable).
You may otherwise rely on a WordPress editorial calendar such as:
Other Tips & Recommendations
Remain available and approachable: Co-authors want to feel confident in knowing that you’re always there to give them a hand. This is a partnership, after all (whether they’re paid contractors or not).
Be sure to occasionally communicate, ask for feedback, or let them know you can be reached with anything regarding the blog without shame or fear.
Reward and acknowledge: Put simply, don’t just give co-authors a generic title like “Blog contributor” or “Guest writer.”
Acknowledge their value by prominently displaying their byline, bio, picture, social media links, and whatever else they wish to advertise within reason. If you’re paying contributors, the occasional bonus payment always goes a long way.
Meanwhile, Keep Growing…
Lastly, let’s remember that having contributors and editors doesn’t mean you get to sit back and relax. It just means you can now focus on promoting the blog further.
The more you focus on these tasks, the more your co-authors benefit from the added exposure and any other possibilities that may come their way.
Can you share other strategies to manage a multi-author blog efficiently?