A look inside our blog process.
Are you in charge of the blogging team in your small company that’s recently dived into the social media and blogging world? We took the dive 2 years ago, and we’ve made the process as efficient as possible. We outlined the steps below. There are 4 team members that contribute to the CornerStone Dynamics blog, we post a new blog once per week – this is our blog process.
Step 1 – Content scheduling
In December (or the month before you want to start blogging), have a team meeting with your bloggers and assign general themes to each month that relate to your business. Because we’re an efficiency company, some themes that we use include: Meetings, Leadership, Empowerment, Project Management, Productivity, and Change Management. Figure out what works for your company, and assign a theme to each month. Under each theme, have the team generate a few blog topics (such as: elements of successful meetings or cost of a bad boss), we’re brainstorming here, the topics don’t have to be perfect. Topics are meant to give the team a head start when the blog writing actually starts, but each blogger should fine tune their own topic when they sit down to write it. Place all the brainstorming data in an excel sheet, this becomes your team’s Yearly Editorial Calendar. A snip-it of what ours looks like:
Step 2 – Blog creation
We have the team create their blog 1 month in advance. To standardize the process, we created a blog template that each blogger must use (good news, it’s available for free on our products page). This reminds each blogger of their requirements, and makes it much easier for me as the blog coordinator and editor.
This is what our schedule looks like:
- 1st of the Month > I send an email to my blog team advising them of the following months theme and ask that they respond to all with their chosen topic to prevent overlap. Their blog is due on the 10th of the month
- 10th of the Month > each blogger submits their blog to me. I review each blog and track my changes.
- 15th of the Month > I send an email to the entire team with all edited blogs attached.
- 20th of the Month > each blogger re-submits their final blog.
- Tuesday of each week > I post the appropriate blog. Steps for this are below.
Step 3 – Blog graphics
Images are important in a blog. So far, I’ve found DollarPhotoClub to be the best. You need to apply for a membership (found this a bit odd) but it provides their members with royalty free stock photos and vectors for just $1 per image. A huge cost savings from the other guys we were using, and the pictures are just as good. Once I’ve found my image, I upload it to www.canva.com for editing (by editing, I mean adding a catchy line and our website). Canva is great for this. Very user friendly for the non graphic designers, like me. It’s also free as long as you stay away from using their images.
Step 4 – Blog posting
Each Tuesday, I post a blog in WordPress. (WordPress is the most popular blogging tool available). Adding the SEO requirements is easy because you had your team do most of the work in the blog template (Step 2).
Step 5 – Blog promotion
Now that the blog is live, you need to get the word out. Send an email to your team and ask them to share it on their social media channels. Next, promote it on the company’s social media channels. When managing updates for your business’ social networks, I’d highly recommend Hootsuite. Once the blog is live and it’s been promoted, it’s time to organize.
Step 6 – Blog marketing organization
We recycle our blogs (every day at 2 pm, except Tuesday as that’s the new blog day). In order to do this you need to keep organized. We use an Excel spreadsheet. I populate the spreadsheet each Tuesday, adding 5 new tweets across the page all relating to the one blog (3 provided by the blogger in the blog template, 2 created by me). When I am scheduling in Hootsuite, I work down the excel page, marking each tweet I just used in a different colour.
And that’s how we tackle the world of blogging at CornerStoneDynamics.com