5 Content contribution guidelines to keep your writers motivated

A content strategy is more than just ideas and tactics thought up and written down. It takes a team of marketers and content writers working every day to keep it alive and kicking.


Radka Uhlirova

Published on Oct 10, 2017

Each contributor needs to maintain a unique voice (while embodying the voice of the brand), enforce content standards, meet deadlines, and produce great content. 

After a while, that routine can slow a contributor down and impact their motivation levels—particularly when the publishing process isn’t as smooth as it could be.

We’ll take a look at five different guidelines you can deploy to help your writers stay on top of their game. 

#1 Streamline workflows

The quickest way to grind your team’s writing output to a halt is to have a confusing or invasive workflow process. Depending upon who’s managing your writing team, you may have designed a process that isn’t conducive to actually getting content published.

For example, if writers need to obtain an editor’s approval every time they want to brainstorm ideas, edit existing work, or make some structural changes to an approved idea, that’s the kind of workflow that only serves to frustrate. 

Instead, give each writer the space and privacy they need to work, and then let them hand off their work to the relevant person when it’s ready for the next step in the publishing process. 

Moreover, ask yourself if there’s a way you can simplify the tasks surrounding content production, so your writers can focus on actually writing instead of resizing images or setting links to open in new tabs. 

#2 Offer growth opportunities 

It’s important to keep your content producers feeling energetic rather than stagnated. You’ll want to make your team members feel like an actual part of your organization, not just another number. 

One way to make them feel valued is to offer opportunities for growth, both within your organization, and from a skill development perspective.

You can do this by providing access to regular training and courses, or even paying them to learn new skills. For example, you could purchase access to writing courses that your writers would benefit from. 

Other ways to encourage professional and personal development include:

  • Create a monthly or yearly education stipend for writer investment in the form of courses and books.
  • Invest in tools like Grammarly to help writers self-edit their work and improve the quality.
  • Encourage the development of related skills like SEO, copywriting, and content marketing.

#3 Foster team collaboration

Most employees want to feel like they’re part of something bigger. They want to feel like their work is valued, and their contribution is actually helping drive the business forward. A solid way to do this is through simple communication and feedback. 

Whether you have a physical office or you run a digital workplace environment, use collaborative tools like Slack, and deploy a CMS with collaboration features so writers can ask quick questions and get back to work, instead of relying on team meetings, email, or voice calls. 

Also, encourage a positive work culture by allowing time for fun activities in the office and organizing team bonding events.

#4 Set clear goals and expectations

The quickest way to have an aimless team of writers is to ask them to create content without a set goal. 

Attaching each piece of content to the overall vision—which should be all part of your content strategy—can help your writers feel a sense of larger contribution. However, make sure this is also tied to practical deadlines and expectations. 

You probably already have an existing workflow, but make sure your writers have a sense of how the process works. For example, inform your writers that you like to have every piece of content ready one week before publication, as this gives editors enough time for edits, feedback, and time to make the post shine without putting too much stress on anybody in the process.

When it comes to feedback, be constructive when things are going wrong, and throw in some praise when things are going well. 

#5 Use an author-friendly CMS

Finally, having a content management system isn’t enough to streamline your workflow. In fact, some CMS can even make writing more difficult. With that in mind, be sure to use an author-friendly CMS that actually improves the experience and workflow for your content contributors. 

The more steps there are in the process of writing a post, and having that post go live, the more frustrated your writers will be, especially if they’re involved in every step of the process. 

Chances are, the writer’s on your team just want to write. They want to write passionately and efficiently and anything that stands in the way is just a barrier to doing what they love. 

To ensure that your chosen CMS is going to help your content contributors stay focused and happy, run it through the checklist below:

  • Does the CMS allow you to determine user permissions, so your writers only have access to the parts of your back end necessary for posting and uploading content?
  • Does the CMS have a user-friendly content editor, with formatting tools and previews?
  • Does your CMS support collaboration and workflow management so your team can work together efficiently?

Keep your contributors happy

If your contributors are happy, the content they produce will bring in the views, shares, likes, and retweets. The five guidelines above could be drafted up into a formal document, or they could even become part of your existing content strategy

Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve used to improve the motivation levels of your writers and marketers? Please share in the comments below.

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