We all know, when it comes to running a successful blog, content is king. Posts must be informative and engaging and give the readers something to think about, something to share, something that impacts their lives… if even for a small moment. But, where do you get the content?
Ask for content
At, This Dish is Veg (TDIV), we simply ask for it. There’s a plethora of people out there who want to contribute their thoughts and ideas in the form of a blog post – whether it’s a product review, an opinion piece or simply a general article offering advice or sharing a funny/happy/sad story. This is a particularly ideal situation when you do not have the budget for staff writers. Volunteer writers bring their own voice to the mix, which is especially appealing when trying to reach a broad audience with varying views. Bringing on a team of volunteer bloggers gives you access to a wide variety of content and allows passionate people, who may otherwise not have the opportunity, a stage where their words are heard by your customers, clients, donors or readers.
Managing the volunteer team
Once you have access to volunteer writers, proper management is key. It’s important to have a staff member who oversees the team and ensures articles are assigned, received and properly edited.
When managing our team, I give all our volunteers access to a spreadsheet (Google Drive) that is updated daily with a long list of blog ideas (and links to sources, when needed) to help guide the content. To grab an idea, volunteers switch the idea to “Working” and add their name.
Once written, articles can be submitted using several methods. Volunteers can simply send you a document or you can allow access to your blogging platform. However, if access is allowed, posts should be saved as a “Draft” – not immediately posted. Often volunteer bloggers do not have a writing background, therefore it’s important that articles are edited prior to being posted. Additionally, you need to ensure the content matches your mission.
Show your appreciation
Of course, it’s imperative that your volunteer team knows how much their work is appreciated. They are taking time away from their everyday life to add a voice to your blog (and give you that all-important content). Of course, nothing beats a genuine “Thank you,” but volunteer articles should always include a byline with the name of the writer, a brief summary and links to social media accounts and/or a website.
So, if you have a blog but are lacking in posts, maybe it’s time to ask your followers for contributions. Your audience will benefit from the fresh content, original themes and unique voices.