Blog & Community Management w/ Lisa Dougherty @BrandLoveLLC of @CMIContent #VCBuzz

Blog & Community Management w/ Lisa Dougherty @BrandLoveLLC of @CMIContent #VCBuzzLast week we chatted with @_Sians, Editor of @TweakYourBiz and today we are gaining even more insight into multi-author blog management and community building!

Please meet Lisa Dougherty @BrandLoveLLC of @CMIContent!

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About Lisa Dougherty

Lisa is a creative marketing leader with over 18 years experience. She is doing Blog & Community Management of @CMIContent, the hugest content marketing resource out there!

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn, Facebook

Questions we discussed

Q1 For how long have you been managing @CMIContent editorial and community?

I’ve been managing the @cmicontent #blog for almost 2 years. The content marketing community is the best!

Who else manages a multi-author #blog and for how long?

Q2 What are @CMIContent editorial standards? How do you encourage contributors to stick to it without hurting anyone’s ego?

@cmicontent’s editorial guidelines are here. We have strong blog guidelines.

  • Post/share them.
  • Include what your tone of voice is and what isn’t.
  • Include examples.
  • Offer specific feedback if topic is good and post is written well.
  • Send examples of top-performing posts.
  • Be kind but honest. No need to nurse an ego.

That’s so nice to hear. Thank you!!

Just because a post is not a great fit for our blog, doesn’t mean it’s not a great post. We need to stay true to our mission.

I always feel so bad sending rejections. Sending examples of what performs well on the blog helps guide the writer.

Q3 What are the biggest mistakes you saw @CMIContent contributors making?

  • Blindly submitting a post w/o doing any research on the site.

Editors can tell when you haven’t read their #blog guidelines. Easy way to find blog guidelines: search “site name + contribute”.

  • Fail to follow site instructions for pitching.

It can make an editor wary of working with you.

  • Biggest mistake contributors make is too much brand or self-promotion.

Promotional content will turn off an editor.

  • Be patient.

Because of the amount of submissions/emails a busy #blog gets, give the editor a week before following up.

I usually send examples of posts with similar topic so the author can see what’s been covered. New angles are welcome!

I prefer email to Twitter so it makes it easier to follow up

Q4 For writers wanting to guest blog for a new site: How to write an irresistible article for your editors to be impressed? Which efforts do you most appreciate as a multi-author blog manager?

  • Is the post prescriptive?
  • Targeted to experienced enterprise marketers?
  • Are there loads of examples/screenshots?
  • Did the author read through recent posts to get a sense of the type of content that’s published?
  • Did author take time to check out our About Us page to personalize intro email?
  • Or does it say “Dear blog”?
  • Humanize yourself!
  • Did author review the blog’s technical elements?
  • Send in requested format, images, Bio, Gravatar? It makes it easier to process.

Q5 What tools would you recommend blog managers use? What tools make your life easier?

Love Gmail Lab’s Canned Responses for emails I send over and over again. Life-changing productivity hack! Also use Gmail Lab’s Boomerang to schedule follow up emails. It works great and saves my sanity.

A simple tool like Excel for your editorial calendar makes a blog manager’s life much easier.

@cmicontent uses Dropbox and Google Docs for editorial team collaboration. Makes editing process easier.

Couldn’t live without @buzzsumo & @trackmaven for social shares + performance + opportunities.

Love @google Page Analytics Chrome extension to see in page link performance: LOL More Google!

@cmicontent uses Disqus to monitor conversations + control spam on the blog.

Q6 How do you keep @CMIContent contributors engaged? How do you encourage them to promote the article, reply to comments, etc.?

@cmicontent team promotes posts 2. Our social queen @moninaw drafts tweets 4 social platforms so everyone can spread em around.

Yes. Both myself and @cmicontent social.

For crowdsourced & posts w/ featured authors, we include pre-written tweets in preview emails 2 help w/promotion.

Regularly promote author’s articles on my personal social media channels & tag authors.

Email authors so they know when they have their first #blog comment. An active community is key to engagement.

Q7 When dealing with multiple authors, how to keep yourself accountable and productive? What’s your productivity routine?

To stay on top of my inbox, I tackle the majority of emails 2-3 times a week for a defined period of time.

Our editorial team meets weekly to conquer our submissions queue and deal with concerns.

Prioritized blog submissions we know are going to work and schedule them first.

Always work ahead to save your sanity. I try to schedule posts at least 4 weeks out.

Always have a backup plan in case a blog post falls through last minute or editing process is taking too long.

Make go/no go decisions early in submission review process; limit feedback to posts we know will work.

Yes! Since we plan 3-4 weeks out, I have backup post ready to go.

If the post doesn’t need much editing, usually about a month or so since we schedule out 3-4 weeks. More like 4-6 weeks due to editorial review.

The posts that do the best are actionable/how to tips that enterprise marketers can walk away with.

Our previous blog management chats:


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