How To Manage Your Content Writing Team The Right Way

As the manager of a content writer team, there’s a chance things might get a bit out of hand. 

For instance, even if you have editorial guidelines in place, some writers might not be able to follow them for some reason.

On top of that, you’re managing different personalities that require different approaches in helping them get the job done.

Other things will keep your hands full with your content writing team. However, getting them in order is doable as long as you have a system in place.

In this post, you will learn how to manage your content writing team so they get to submit quality work on time without any problems.

Refine the onboarding process

All your writers must uniformly produce articles and blog posts. That means they have the same format, tone, and voice according to your or your client’s specifications.

However, this is impossible unless you have shared with your team the guidelines on how to do these.

If you don’t have a process for this yet, then you need to set up one ASAP. This helps you onboard all your writers, whether old or new, to how you want things done. If done correctly, all your writers will produce consistent articles across all boards.

First, you need to lay out all the steps in a clearly defined format. 

Tools like Process Street or Trello with its built-in checklist feature for cards allow you to list down the steps writers need to do when writing the content. 

It would even be better to share a screen recording of you running down the steps of writing content. One such screen recording software program, CloudApp, let’s you annotate images as well. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  And nowhere is that more clear than trying to captain a team of content writers. Show, don’t tell to make sure your writers get all the information they need to be successful. 

Once done, you can set up a Trello board that your writers can review and access every time you start writing an article for you.

Oversee each task like a hawk

One of the most important factors managers like yourself need to instill among its team members is accountability.

You must provide them all the information to write the article, but the rest of the work must come from them. If they can’t submit the work on time despite having agreed upon a deadline, then they are responsible for not getting the job done.

Using Trello, you can set up the card containing the job description with a deadline on each. You can also take screenshots on different records and upload them using CloudApp when snipping an image is faster than restyling.

  Writers must either comply with the details of the work or ask for a longer period to finish it. Either way, this part should allow you to lay down the groundwork for the project for you and the writer to discuss and agree upon its terms.

trello

Do this for all your writers and for their respective tasks so they commit in writing to a deadline for a job to be completed by. And if they fail on holding up their end of the bargain, it’s clear that timelines aren’t being met. 

Communicate visually

There are times, however, when writers can’t finish the job on time due to reasons such as faulty internet connection, health-related issues, family-related problems, and others. While deadlines are important, you should also give writers a benefit of a doubt in these cases.

This goes both ways as well. If the client wanted some changes with the project while you’re in the middle of getting the job done, it’s best to inform them ASAP.

That’s where a messaging app like Slack is beneficial to your team. You can update each other regarding work-related issues so each one is in the loop.

The goal here is to create an open line of communication among writers without the usual distractions and multiple emails.

slack

The good thing about these apps is you can set up different channels for your team as needed be. For example, you can create a channel for a client with multiple writers. 

Also, Slack allows you to focus on your project only unlike on different messaging apps where non-work-related discussion pop off. And just like with Trello, CloudApp’s screen recorder integrates seamlessly with Slack. You can tie CloudApp to Slack by installing the integration from the Slack app marketplace. 

Set up a writing workflow

The most important part of managing a content writing team is to get people to follow the guidelines to a tee. We’re not just talking about the format and tone of the articles – we’re also dealing here with quality, grammar, and the actual content.

Therefore, developing a writing workflow is in order. This allows your team to pass off work to you that is proofread and contains actionable items and insights points in the content about the topic.

First, providing an outline for the content is important so writers can just focus on churning out great content based on the specs of the project.

I have written the importance of creating an outline before writing the article to help writers finish it faster and better. You can read it here.

You can also serve as the team’s editor if you don’t have one yet. For this job, getting help from a tool like Grammarly or ProWritingAid would prove beneficial to you. Manually editing work is ideal, but some things in the content would fall down the cracks. 

Using either tool, at the very least, consistently checks for the grammatical errors and sentence structures. You can then focus your attention on the level of detail in one’s work.

prowritingaid - how to manage a content writing team

Better yet, what I do is sign up for a ProWritingAid account and install the GDocs extension on your domain (if you have a GSuite). This way, all your writers with access to your GSuite can edit their work on GDocs using ProWritingAid. This takes out a step from your process and simplifies the workflow as a result.

Hire more qualified writers for the job

Part of your work includes hiring and screening new writers for your projects. Maybe some of your current writers are worn out from the other clients you’re working with. Or others don’t have the experience yet to take upon this demanding client.

In this case, it’s best to get the right writer for the job instead of overpromising and underdelivering with your current staff.

I have detailed things you must do to find the best writer for the job in this post.

Conclusion

As mentioned, running a tight ship with your content writing team is possible. But realize that everything starts with you as their captain.

By setting up the necessary processes and workflows to make sure everybody is on the same page, everything else will follow. Writers can then focus on producing better work for you so you don’t have to worry about reviewing and rewriting their content.