In the effort to expand your company’s content, it’s important to engage nonwriting subject matter experts (SMEs) in the strategy and content development process. They can often have market insights and content ideas that can really speak to your customers’ needs based on interactions from sales, product development, or customer service.
Yet engaging nonwriters to help produce content or contribute to the company’s blog can be a challenge. Here’s a closer look at five strategies to help your company’s nonwriters become active.
Mine Their Experience for Topic Ideas
Have your writer, content strategist, or marketing manager meet with these SMEs to mine their experience for topic ideas. Ask questions such as:
- What are the most frequently asked questions you get from customers?
- What problems are customers using our products to solve?
- What are the most common pain points your customers face?
- What objections do you encounter during a typical sales process?
- What topics do you wish you had available to share with customers and prospective buyers?
- Are there issues that you could highlight around how our company differentiates from the competition?
Interview SMEs as a Unique Voice on Your Blog
Another way to include diverse stakeholders in your business as a presence on your blog is to interview them. This can be accomplished in a number of different formats, from Q&As to video interviews. Keep the pieces short enough that they do not create a burden on the person who is participating, and make it easy for your audience to digest. Anchor each article or blog post around a unique insight or topic that your expert is uniquely qualified to speak to. In the case of highly knowledgeable SMEs, consider developing a multipart series that could be published over time.
Pair Them with a Ghostwriter
If the idea of writing is too overwhelming for your nonwriting staff, consider whether a ghostwriter could be the right resource to help them overcome their concerns. Hiring a ghostwriter makes it easier to widen the pool of contributors to your blog with a focus on making it easier for individuals to contribute, whether they come from the executive suite or sales. Work with the ghostwriter to define what the collaboration process will look like. For example, will the ghostwriter interview the SME, work from a predefined outline, or suggest and fully draft topics that the byline author can review and edit? Consider developing a few different potential approaches to leverage throughout the ghostwriting process depending upon your contributor’s preferences.
Offer Editorial Services
Sometimes, SMEs are interested in writing their own contributions, but their writing style is a roadblock to accomplishing this goal. Another strategy that can be useful in engaging diverse contributors is offering editorial services. Editorial services can function at three levels:
- Developmental editing. With developmental editing, you offer consultations on topic ideas and help the contributor to frame or even outline the piece.
- Line editing. Line editing helps smooth over the rough edges in a contributor’s writing and ensure his or her blog post conforms to company guidelines.
- Copyediting. If you have contributors who are proficient writers but who need another set of eyes, consider copyediting. An experienced copyeditor will review content for grammar, spelling, and factual errors before the post goes to publication.
Creating processes that make it possible for a wide range of contributors to participate in your company’s blog will increase the quality of what you publish and attract a wider readership. From working with your team to develop content ideas to encouraging active submissions by providing editorial services, investing in a process that makes it easy for nonwriters to blog can pay dividends in your long-term content strategy.