It was the first time I’ve ever panicked over a blog post. Specifically, I was reviewing 10 blog posts submitted by a new writer for one of our clients. The posts were terrible. So bad that I was sure that the client would yank the account. Like I said, I was losing my….you know what.
I ended up scrapping the posts, firing the writer, and writing the lot myself. I also set-out to build a system that regularly delivered uniquely relevant content – daily.
The process is now a cornerstone of our 5-Step Blog Creation service. At the core of the process is 5 guidelines that we use to insure success. You can use these guidelines to make sure your writing process isn’t ruining your brand.
Here we go
Pay Attention to these 5 Ghost Blogging Essentials
Your brand is precious. Years ago, I sat in a big agency pitch meeting where the creative director proposed that we create a sterling silver replica of our soon-to-be client’s logo and lock it in a safe. The safe would be the central prop in our pitch. At the end, we would give the combination to the client, and tell them to open the safe…
It worked. The client instantly understood that their brand was invaluable and that we would guard it like a marine standing post in hostile territory.
Your writer should protect your brand. They must know that every word reflects your commitment to your company’s value and promise. A quality writer instinctively understands this. They can demonstrate their respect through carefully considered content that stays true to your brand.
Don’t make the mistake of hoping that a mediocre, lowest bid, writer can do this. They can’t. It’s part talent part work ethic, and part obsession. Take the time, and pay what it takes, to get the right writer.
Experience in this context, points to versatility and ability to learn quickly.
Its difficult to find single-niche writers. Instead look for a writer with a portfolio filled with assignments across diverse industries. A diverse background points to the ability to hit the ground running. This versatility comes from years writing on-point pieces, under deadline. This type of experience is valuable. This writer will be able to learn your industry within days versus months and be productive immediately.
Know Your Voice
Your voice represents the tone, values, and idiosyncracies that mark a company’s culture. Top brands can describe their voice in moments. You hear it in every communication inbound and outboound. You must understand your voice before you scale-up content production. Work with your writer to unlock your voice. You may be too close to distinguish your voice. This is where an experienced writer can draw on their years detecting and amplyfying the voice from other clients.
Add Your Expertise
You are the expert not your writer. Its unrealistic to believe your writer can write original blog posts without access to your company’s subject matter experts.
We are often asked to write blog posts based on brochures and past blog posts. We always turn down these assignments. Experience has taught us that you can’t write what you don’t know and brochures and old blog posts won’t get the job done.
We recommend identifying the subject matter experts in your company and instructing them to set-aside a couple of hours per month to work with your writer. This is the best way to insure you always publish unique, distinctive, and well-researched posts.
A.B.C – Always Be Critical
Our favorite clients are the one that are never satisfied. They exhibit the quality we have learned to respect – A.B.C – Always Be Critical. They consistently push for better headlines, better lead paragraphs, better post types, better call-to-actions. They are critical because they are protecting their brand. You should be critical too.
Do you need to be a jerk. We define “Jerk” as someone who is being critical without cause. Simply saying that a headline sucks – just because is disruptive not helpful. But suggesting different ways to write excelllent headlines is collaborative and helpful. We’ve seen that A.B.C works when you respect the writer but push for excellence.
Do This Next
Download our free Writer Evaluator and use carefully evaluate your writing team. Content Toolbox Members can download it for free here.
Not a Toolbox Member? Click here to register for free and download the Blogging at Scale Process Checklist. A one-time registration gets you access to all of our blogging and content tools. You’ll never have to opt-in again.