Motivating Staff to Write Articles

When I was an on-air personality for a major broadcast company, it was mandatory that all personalities maintain a show blog.  Daily articles were recommended but weekly articles were required.  It was especially difficult because everyone wore so many hats.

It’s best to talk to your staff and let them know the mission and why they are blogging.  Overall, the mission is to increase the awareness of their show, the station brand and to make more content that can be shared among the P1 and P2 listeners.  This is called your “content development strategy”.  More site visitors = more revenue from advertisers.

Motivating Your Staff

Like the photo above from Office Space, even when the staff knows the why it can still be difficult for them to contribute.  The inevitable excuse can range from “I have no time” to “I am still working on it”.  Or, it might be because they “just don’t care”.  However, its funny how when you add an incentive with it, everyone can somehow find the time.  Like magic, peoples schedules suddenly free up or that post they have been working on for 2-3 weeks, is finished the next day.

Lets face it, many people are not motivated unless they are compensated for their time. Which is understandable. If someone is going to take time out of their day or work on something at night or on the weekend, they should see some gain from it.

Before we get into the different ways you can encourage employees to contribute content, it should be said that you should set standards to keep only high-quality content that is being produced. Offering incentives for every published blog post can lead to issues; it’s hardly scalable and tends to create a larger number of low-quality posts. Best practices should always be implemented like a minimum word count, linking to other posts on the site, writing about topics that haven’t talked about, adding relevant images/videos, etc.

Now lets talk about the different ways you can go about motivating your staff to help contribute to your content development strategy.

Performance-Based Incentives

This is a fun way to add incentives to employee contributions. The goal behind this type of incentive is that the better your content performs, the better the incentive will be. Performance-based incentives can be number of comments, number of ReTweets, number of Facebook Shares, number of unique visitors, time on site, etc… This will encourage employees to take the extra time to create higher quality content, because the metric for compensation is performance-based. Creating a pay scale that correlates with performance would be a way to compensate each employee.

Monetary Incentives

Probably the most used and easiest incentive program would be to simply pay an employee for each blog post they write. Typically between $25-$50/per post is a good range to start with. Of course you can have different pay levels depending on the effort that was put into the post.

PTO Incentives

What employee wouldn’t like more paid time off? Giving employees additional days off or the ability to leave early one day, can possibly arm you with more content than you know what to do with. An idea would be for every blog post you write, you accrue a certain amount of additional PTO time. You can also wait until the end of the month and the person will the most posts written will get a day of PTO next month.

End of Year Prize

Sometimes the previous incentives I mentioned only work in the short-time and do not fulfill the companies long-term plans for content creation. A way to motivate employee for the long haul is to have a long-term incentive program. One idea would be to give away a vacation for 2 that can be redeemed by the winner at a time that is convenient to them. Another idea would be to give away gifts at the end of the year for the top contributors. You could also try a raffle where each post you write gives you an entry into the end of the year drawing.

There are different versions for each of these that you can implement.  Like the website as a whole performing better that it did the same month last year, etc.  Regardless of the method you choose, incentives are a great way to motivate your staff to perform better.

Jim Sherwood serves as chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects.

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