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Pulling teeth? How to persuade people to contribute to your blog or newsletter

If you’re writing an entire blog or newsletter yourself, here are our top tips on motivating your colleagues to help with content creation.

Whether you work in a commercial or academic setting, so many of us are given the task of writing the newsletter or keeping the blog up to date. People like research assistants, administrators and marketing officers are often given this responsibility. It’s often with the promise that others will help, but that help doesn’t always materialise! So if you want people to be queuing up to write you a newsletter article, try out some of our pointers.

Get organised

Building engagement is building a relationship: over a period of time, you’re increasing trust, awareness and interest in your activities. People’s inboxes are already full, so it’s only regular outreach that will get your reader’s attention.

With that in mind, creating a schedule for your blog with reminders can be helpful. If you work in a team, you can have the schedule on a team calendar, and assign everyone a slot on the schedule. That way, you share the responsibility – you may still have to remind them though!

Try and have some material in reserve, so that it can slot in when needed. This is harder work initially, but pays off in making the process less stressful later. Whenever you have an idea for an article, write it down, and if someone complains that they don’t know what to write, pitch them an idea!

“Print” deadline

Even when there’s no need for a firm deadline as there might be with a newsletter going to print, setting the submission deadline helps focus peoples’ minds. If you get a late contribution you can always sneak it in, telling the author that it’s so good you just had to include it!

Reuse and recycle

Look back at social media posts, papers or articles you’ve written in the past. As long as it isn’t copyrighted, it can serve as inspiration for new content, looking at from a different angle or speaking to a different audience.

Remind people of the benefits

If you see people rolling their eyes when you ask them again for a contribution, try and sell them the advantages of getting involved:

  • More exposure for them and their work
  • Links to their online profiles or email addresses
  • Ammunition for their next performance review

Remind them that you’re open to helping them next time they need a hand.

Encourage people to show off

Often we don’t want to showcase our achievements, but people find it a lot more comfortable if they’ve been specifically asked to! If someone’s doing some great work, suggest that it deserves a wider audience.

Play chat show host

If some people are reluctant to put pen to paper, why not interview them? Not an intimidating grilling, but a casual chat about their work. Do a little research beforehand so you’ve got a few questions up your sleeve. Ask if they don’t mind if you record the conversation on your mobile, then you can transcribe it later. Interviews make a change from the usual articles too, making for a nice variety of formats in your newsletter or blog. You could even get a colleague to interview you!

Guest posts

Ask guest authors to contribute, in return for a link to their website. This can lead to a reciprocal blog post from you (you can repurpose some of your existing material). They get some exposure outside of their audience and you get some great content – it’s a win win!

Resort to bribery

Still no luck? Everyone’s got a drawer in their desk that’s full of freebies that have been acquired over the years. So offering a little prize for the first contribution you receive doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank.


Being in charge of the newsletter or blog can be wearing and frustrating if you’re doing too much of the work, but hopefully these tips will start to lighten the load.

Of course, you can always get the experts in – contact us to see how we can help with content creation.

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