12 ideas for recruiting company bloggers

Plus, three key factors you should consider during your planning process.

Where will we find people to write our company blog?

This is a common question that companies face. Ideally, someone from your organization should write your company blog, but it can be difficult to find an employee who loves your brand, cares about your customers, and enjoys writing.

Before you search for contributors to your organization’s blog, consider these three factors.

  • Provide supporting resources, including a project manager, an editor and a technical resource. This is particularly important when employees blog, because you need to allay their concerns about their writing.
  • Be prepared to pay for quality content creation, whether by your employees or by outside professional writers. Understand that if a staffer writes for your blog, it has a cost, specifically the employee’s hourly wage.
  • Have additional writers for backup in case of emergencies and vacations.

Here are 12 types of individuals who can write content for your company or organization’s blog. Each option has positive and negative features. You’ll have to weigh these options based on your situation.

1. Employees . They should be at the top of your list, because they know your brand and your products. They can come from any area of your firm, not just marketing, communications/PR or senior management. Depending on who’s involved, they may also know your firm’s stories or provide useful insights regarding your products.

2. Customers. They have the advantage of understanding how your products solve their problems and how they can be used effectively. Don’t overlook the potential in spotlighting one customer each week to tell his or her story.

3. Suppliers or distributors . Depending on your business, these two company-related groups can provide individuals who understand your product offering and have a motivation for spreading the word about it. The caveat is that you must take care that they don’t write for your competitors at the same time.

4. Bloggers in your niche. These writers understand your field and the art of blogging. They may be willing to write for hire. You’ll need to carefully define what they write for you and how it should differ from their own blog on the topic. Alternatively, you can approach bloggers who cover related or different topics. Bear in mind that you’ll need to supply them with the relevant information and that their posts may require additional research time.

5. Experts in your field. These professionals have the benefit of being well known and able to write about topics of interest to your audience with little editorial support. They can also provide their opinions on important issues for your readers.

6. Members of industry associations. These professionals bring an understanding of your field and the issues facing your customers.

7. Trade publication writers. You can find these individuals writing for the trade publications in your category. They’re writers who understand the editorial process. Due to their knowledge and journalistic experience, they require less support in terms of outlining content. Some may require time to get the hang of a blogging voice.

8. Conference speakers and presenters . These individuals have street cred in your field and may be interested in building a broader base of followers. Of course, you need to talk to each person individually, as your competitors may be involved. If you can’t attend the conference, use their website and slide-sharing sites to gather insights and contact information.

9. Social media mavens knowledgeable in your category . If your firm is active on social media platforms, search for the terms you want to cover on your blog. Participate in Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups and other relevant interactions to meet people. Don’t overlook older formats such as a list serve or a discussion board. The benefit is that you can see what a person’s hot buttons are and how well they’re respected in your field.

10. Your PR, advertising, marketing or search agency . They know your products and your brand. Further, they have the creative expertise to develop engaging content for your blog. The concern is that they may be too promotional for a blogging audience.

11. Freelancers . You can tap into a variety of job posting boards, from LinkedIn and Monster to venues that target freelance writers. In addition to the advertising cost, these options require combing through résumés and writing samples.

12. Local university students. Although students may be less expensive than other alternatives, they may not understand your brand or the industry. Further, they may require additional supervision that can add overhead, requiring more cost and time.

A variety of resources can help you find great bloggers for your company blog. It’s important that you find people who have a good feel for your product, customers and writing.

Is there anything that you’d add to this list? If so, what is it?

Heidi Cohen is president of Riverside Marketing Strategies. Follow her on Twitter @HeidiCohen.

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