When developing and implementing a content plan for a small business or startup, you will need the help of a dedicated writing team to help turn your plans into reality. However, this will only bring about new challenges that you will have to overcome as the team leader or manager for this project. For one, you will have to deal with the different personalities and writing styles of each member in your writing team. This is normally a good thing since writers normally put their imprint onto the posts they write, but this could also prove to be a disadvantage if they are inflexible to curb either quality to the benefit of the project. You may also have to deal with writers working remotely or at home. Because they won’t attend to the office as frequently compared to full-time employees, the way you will approach them regarding the writing will be different as well. Given all these obstacles, you must find a way to stay on top of writers with their output and ensure that they post content that is in line with your plan. More importantly, it is your duty as leader to keep them motivated and inspired so they can develop into becoming better writers moving forward. If you are having these problems, below are management tips and advice to help your writing team become a strong unit intent on meeting your content plan. Hire the right people If you are in the process of looking for candidates who will fill in the writer positions in your team, you need to lay down the requirements that each applicant must meet. For instance, they need to have the mastery for the tone of voice you want for your content (conversational, business-like, etc.) Also you may want to mention prerequisites in your job search such as knowledgeable in SEO, knows your industry, and has sample works to show for, the latter of which is arguably the most important one to request from candidates. Once you have filtered out the possible writers for your team, you can screen them by running a writing exam. This is where you request them to submit an article for your website or blog. Provide them the topic and guidelines to follow for their benefit. Once you receive the article, you can decide whether to take them or not. You can also try a paid trial period for the writers to see if they are fit for the job. You let them produce the articles and see if they can commit to the deadlines and produce quality work on time. Also, if the new writers will be working in your office, gauge their personalities and see how they interact with their colleagues. All these factor will come into play once their trial period is over and you determine whether they will be hired long-term or not. With regard to finding these writers, aside from the regular job search sites, you can reach out to outsourced content writers for the position. Below are some sites where you can find candidates for your company’s writer position. Fiverr – For only $5 for every article, the site lets you find freelance writers how can get the job done at low costs to you. While it is normal for people to associate low rates with poor quality, there are ways to find the best writer at Fiverr for your job such as reading testimonials of clients for top-rated writers and the duration on how long it takes for them to deliver the orders to their clients, among others. Bid4papers – An essay writing service like Bid4papers is a smart way to outsource your content. The site offers options to the type of content you’re looking for, as well as a money back guaranteed clause so you can return the unsatisfactory article you ordered from them. Skyword – If you have the budget to pull off brand storytelling through your content, then Skyword fits the bill. The branded content this site provides is geared to increasing your brand and reach out to your customers more effectively. Set up a project management tool as your central place of communication Whether you work within an office or outside it, having a central place where your team can manage the tasks in your project more effectively is a must. This is where project management tools come into play. Team members are assigned specific tasks to complete with a deadline attached to it so they can be more accountable with their responsibilities to the team. Also, the tool can be used by your writers as a platform to make suggestions, comments, and concerns that will help build the team and make it tighter as a unit. Below are some tools that you may want to consider using for your collaboration. Trello – This free project management tool make use of boards and card to identify your projects and tasks, respectively. Add members, drag and drop cards onto the boards’ lists, and attach members, text, images, and other files on each. Asana – Another free tool similar to Trello, Asana makes it easier to collaborate with your team members from anywhere. Its interface is less visual compared to Trello but is more text-based and flowy, which some will find much more pleasant to use. Flow – Aside from the similar feature it possesses with the aforementioned tool, this project management tool is awesome because it lets you separate full-time writers from freelancers for easier team management. CoSchedule – If you’re running a WordPress site or blog, downloading this plugin lets you control an editorial calendar where you can input all the upcoming articles assigned to each writer. Using this makes it faster for writers to track down the content and write them from their dashboard. Create an editorial guide Instead of telling your writers the guidelines they must follow every single time they write their posts, you can simply draft an editorial guide that lists down all the things they need to know before writing. Identify the factors in writing posts that they should pay close attention to (tone of voice and style guide, among others). Save the file and upload it online so they can simply refer to this whenever they need to refresh themselves of the guidelines. This will also make the job of your editor much easier, since s/he will have an objective basis on how to approach each article when reviewing it. As a way of making writing much more fun for your team, you can assign points for writers who have not made any mistakes based on the editorial guide for the articles they wrote for the whole week. At the end of the month, the writer with the highest points will get a prize for his/her efforts. Build a team Since you want to build a writing team, you need to form processes that will allow writers to grow as part of your team. Aside from the fun tip mentioned above, you can do peer reviews so other writers can evaluate each other’s posts before they go to the hands of the editor. This will allow them to get to know their writing styles and perhaps learn from each other as well. Another way of doing this is to hold weekly forums or chats where writers and editors discuss the progress of the articles to keep everybody up to speed with the project’s completion time. By providing them with the big picture, they will be able to understand the role that they play in the group and give them a purpose to do better. Lastly, make it a point to do something together as a team at least once a year. Spend a day together doing team building activities to strengthen the bond and make each other feel that they are part of something special. Final thoughts Making a more concerted effort of managing your writing team by way of finding the right people, making the process much more efficient, and nurturing the relationships of each other in the group, you are able to implement your plan and produce the results you need for your website or blog. Images: “Image of business people working with papers at meeting/Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. 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