Blogging Employees

Over the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with quite a few companies ranging from 1-200 employees in an effort to implement a culture of content marketing. With each of these companies and their content, we’ve always had 3 major goals:

1. Produce as much content as possible

2. Produce content that truly answers consumer questions and has value (quality)

3. Produce content that gets great results from a search standpoint (SEO/SCM)

With each of these critical goals, there has been one truism that stands out more than any other:

The greater the number of employees that help produce content, the more success the company has.

This makes perfect sense to most folks, but it begs a critical question, one that CEOs and Chief Marketing Officers are asking quite a bit these days:

Should blogging and content marketing be a required duty of employees?

Ahh yes, a very important question indeed.

But to cut to the chase, my answer is quite simple:


Now that we’ve gotten that part of it out of the way, let’s talk about why. Here are 10 reasons to chew one, and I’d love to hear yours.

10 Reasons Blogging and Content Marketing Should be Required of Employees

1. Sheer numbers:

With the content arms race in full effect, the battle to take the content hill is pretty fierce, especially in industries that are on the cutting edge of marketing practices. This being said, the more (good) content, the better the results.

Unfortunately, for many businesses, even larger organizations, the marketing falls on the shoulders of just a few. To give you an example, I spoke to a company this past week that had hundreds of employees in “sales,” but less than a dozen in “marketing.” Crazy, huh?

But what would happen if this same company converted those hundreds of sales professionals into bloggers and content marketers? What would happen if each viewed themselves as a teacher with something very valuable to share to the world?

I can tell you what would happen: They’d blow up.

Hopefully, I’ll be telling you exactly how they blew up in about 12 months (once I get done with them ;-) ), but the days of this organization having no connection between sales and marketing is quickly coming to a close, and the results will be profound. Just think of it this way:

If a company has 100 sales people, and each writes(or helps write) one blog article every 4 months, how many total articles per year would that equate to?

Yep, 300, and that’s without causing a major burden on any singular person.

Now granted, I know most companies don’t have nearly this many employees, but even 3 employees contributing content on a consistent basis can work miracles in terms of generating more traffic, leads, and sales from content marketing.

The bottom line is “Insourcing” works. Do it.

Segue Blog

Companies like Segue Technologies (client) are leveraging their rich employee base to establish consistency, diversity, and quality with their company content.

2. Diversity of thought and subject matter

What happens when only a few in the marketing department are the ones producing most of the content? I’ll tell you:

Everything starts to sound the same.

The opposite occurs when employees are producing content. Depending on the clients they deal with, the questions they answer every day, and the area they specialize in—there can be an incredibly vast array of diversity of content when multiple employees from multiple parts of the company are utilized to share their knowledge, stories, and experiences. I’ve seen this occur over and over again and it’s always one of the biggest surprises of management to see just how diverse their employees truly are.

3. Sales presentations and communication become much better.

This is one of the biggest secrets to blogging and content marketing that no one really talks about nor fully grasps until they’ve actually done it.

When I was selling swimming pools, I noticed the days I wrote blog articles about the industry and my products, my sales presentations were always crisper, stronger, and more on-point. This enhanced communication is simply a byproduct of putting your thoughts to pen (or video, audio, etc.) and distilling to the world exactly what you think and feel.

Now that I’m a silent partner in the pool business and writing/yapping about marketing all day, my ability to communicate in this arena has skyrocketed. But this was only made possible from countless hours of forcing myself to take the thoughts that were in my head and putting them down on paper in a way that was convincingly clear.

Simply stated, writing has a dramatic impact on verbal communication.

Blogging and Sales

When I was still a pool guy, writing about my industry and products sharpened my sales presentations and communication greatly, as is the case with any salesperson who blogs and produces content.

4. Employees pay much greater attention to the content.

Just like any sports team, club, charity, etc.—those that participate are always the biggest advocates. The same applies to company’s content marketing efforts. In fact, if employees are assisting with the content, they are way more likely to share the content via their social media channels, talk about it, use it within the sales process, etc. This benefit alone can be worth its rate in gold.

5. People are now emotionally invested.

This one is similar to #4 but there is something very magical about seeing your name next to an article, an eBook, a whitepaper, etc. The majority of employees for companies big and small around the world do not currently see themselves as teachers, nor realize the value of their words and knowledge. This all can change the moment they put their name next to a piece of content and thereby take ownership.

As I’ve discussed many times here on TSL, my friends at Block Imaging get amazing participation on their company blog from dozens of employees, much of which carries over into their belief in the company’s mission and what they’re doing.

6. If it’s not required, they won’t do it. Nor will they take you seriously.

I’ve literally seen this time and time again. I have some clients that refuse to require a set amount of content from employees. With almost every single one of these, the employees don’t produce what has been “suggested” of them. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had clients (generally a CEO or CMO) tell employees, “This is who we are. This is what we do. It’s part of your job.”

Whenever this approach occurs, the production rates area generally 200-400% greater than the companies that simply “nudge” versus the requisite approach. Yes, the requirement method may not sound utopic, but it’s no different than any other job duty and expectation.

And one other point about this: When employees sense that management are not truly “all-in” with content marketing, a domino effect generally occurs, causing others to see it as “just another program” that will soon be terminated or drift off into the sunset as so many other “great ideas” before it.

7. Everyone is a teacher. It’s our job to help them realize that.

The profession of “teacher” is one of the most respected (although under-appreciated) in our society. With such a title comes pride—the pride of knowing you have influence for good on others. Content marketing, done right, is the pinnacle of teaching in my opinion. Simon Sinek often teaches about happiness in the work place, and the fact that most folks are so very unfulfilled when it comes to their “purpose” and “mission”. By taking the “teacher’s” approach of content marketing, many employees will find a sense of pride and purpose they never previously felt—something that can have a tremendous overall impact on the company morale.

8. Individual brands are built.

Companies that truly see the “big picture” want their employees to develop personally and elevate their individual brand and worth. As you might imagine, content marketing is one of the best ways these employees can do just that, and further develop themselves as thought leaders within their respective fields.

Wegmans Blog

Companies like Wegmans have done a tremendous job tapping in to their rich employee knowledge base, building individual brands along the way.

9. It’s impossible to know who will be great until you get started.

I’ve worked with companies that started their content marketing efforts off with a small percentage of their total employee base, only to realize later on that they missed out on having some of their most talented teachers, writers, and communicators participate in the blog and content marketing efforts.

Without fail, there is always a diamond in the rough just waiting to show his or her talent to the rest of the company, and world for that matter, by embracing the content marketing opportunities.

10. It eventually becomes a culture.

Yes, the company blog and content marketing efforts may start off as a “program” to most employees, but eventually, it will become a culture, especially if everyone is actively engaged and made aware of the victories that come from all the content that has been produced. Although few companies have truly reached this point, I’ve seen it happen more than once, and when it does, the results on each individual and the collective group is a powerful and lasting one.

HubSpot blog culture

In many ways, HubSpot was a pioneer in the blogging space because they tapped into their many employees to produce a prolific amount of content, the result of which is a true “culture” of education and a brand that is known to be one of the premier teachers in the inbound marketing realm.

Letting them Participate in a Way that Suits Them

On a final note, if you do decide to require your employees to write blog articles and produce content, I’d suggest you give them as many ways to do this as possible. Generally speaking, there are 3 methods of employee content extraction:

1. The employee writes the post

2. The employee makes a video post

3. The employee is interviewed by someone who then turns the information into a blog post and acts essentially as a ghost writer.

By allowing employees to choose one of these three methods, you’re much, much more likely to get full participation, as you have now overcome any potential obstacles/excuses that may have impeded a significant amount of work and progress. Also, a Chief Content Officer (anyone that can write well and understands the brand message) is a critical component of catching, filtering, and planning this entire content strategy, something I’ll discuss much more of at a later time.

When all is said and done, the choice you make with your company’s content marketing and blogging efforts is an individual one, but hopefully these suggestions are enough to have you consider a full-blown cultural implementation.

No doubt, this stuff works, it’s just a matter of getting the work done.

Your Turn

So what’s your take? Do you think employees should be required to do this? Why? Give us your thoughts, I’d love to know your experiences with this important subject.


55 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Employees SHOULD be Required to Participate in Blogging and Content Marketing

  1. Marcus,

    I’m just starting to get into this with my team. Some people are very resistant and I’m allowing that for now. But to others it’s addicting… They’re coming to me with ideas and pictures and all kinds of stuff.

    The best part is… We are starting to provide a much more accurate picture of our internal culture than when it was just me pumping out content.

    “Required” is a word I balk at a little just because of my nature. But I think that great leadership can inspire staff “Desire” to participate that’s much more powerful.

    Great thoughts buddy.


    • Ryan Aspy


      This topic is something Marcus and I have talked a lot about over the last year or so. And this whole thing of getting buy in from / requiring it of the staff is definitely one of the more difficult issues. I really like the insight you’ve provided here. There’s always a good/better/best way of doing anything. While “requiring” it might be a good way of doing it, inspiring a team to buy in through leadership would definitely be the best way of doing it. However, in my mind that leads us into an even bigger problem. I started my career in the Air Force, and had the opportunity to work under some great leaders that were truly inspiring people. I now have 5 1/2 years in corporate america, and most of the “leaders” I’ve run into in the corporate world don’t quite meet the bar I was used to in the Air Force. So, how does a company depend on leadership where true leadership is hard to come by?


      • Ryan,

        I know exactly what you mean by less than inspiring leaders in corporate america… and truthfully I don’t have a great answer.

        However, I do think the mobility of today’s workforce and entrepreneur/solopreneur revolution has given power to employees they’ve had before. Especially “Linchpin” employees…

        Leaders who don’t want to lead or are incapable of leading can be bypassed by either going around them, shining brighter than them or leaving and joining an organization with a leader that inspires.

        Not easy or perfect by a thought.



  2. This is great food for thought. While I don’t disagree that more content providers yields benefits, I think a company that mandates everyone to create needs to make consistency of voice a priority. No, everyone does not need to sound the exact same. But yes, some consistency is needed to make sure that one company isn’t sounding like 50.

  3. Excellent point Marcus,

    I think the way you explain it makes a ton of sense.

    However, I’m worried about how employers will roll this out on their employees.

    Have you noticed the people on the side of the road holding up a sign for their restaurants?

    Their body language is always like they’re hating life.
    You can tell the boss made them do it.

    They thought they would be making deli sandwiches now they’re hold a sign.

    So now the boss will make this guy write a blog post?

    I think your idea is good but managers out there could misuse this.

  4. I think involving others in creating content is a great idea for all the reasons you indicate. It is important to have someone qualified act as editor and make sure the writing is good and the content meets the quality bar. I think requiring people to contribute has to be done gently and realistically. People are busy and probably stressed enough. It could cause a lot of resentment if they are burdened with producing content–especially since it’s not everyone’s strength. It would have to be done carefully with realistic requirements set. Personally, I’d prefer to see a good incentive approach, instead.

    • Absolutely Neicole. A CCO (or thereabouts) is critical to this whole thing. Otherwise, there end up being a lot of fish out of water ;-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by my friend!


  5. I think the participation of employees is incredibly important for larger companies. A lot of times, employees feel like there just there to do what they’re told. It’s not a good feeling, but being able to participate in something adds a little more value to each employee.

    As you said, developing an internal culture can go a long way. Look at Google! Companies that grow and get to know they’re employees skill sets, capabilities, etc., and having them participate in creating content for the company brand is HUGE!

    Sad that a lot of companies don’t follow a model like that though.

    As far as being required… I don’t if that should be the case, but more of an option to participate I think would be viable.

    For those that don’t want to participate, it’s easier for upper management to see where they stand as far as supporting the brand as a whole. At least that’s what I think.

    • Jonathan, great stuff.

      The reason I say “required” is purely based on the different strategies I’ve used with a multitude of companies. Those that just “put it out there” always seem to get less results. But those that help employees buy in, teach them about it, push them, make it fun, etc—they get the best results every time.

      Thanks for stopping by man,


  6. Marcus, timely post. My first full-time employee, a second designer, starts on Friday. Creation of blog content is one of the requirements of the job. That may be a little easier to pull off in my industry, as getting a landscape designer to talk about our field is like asking a doting grandparent what the grandkids are up to.

    A few folks have raised a question above that I know I’ll be working through myself: how do we maintain consistency as a brand? Part of what appealed to me when I hired Nicole is that we’re different personalities and she’s strong in the areas I prefer not to focus on. How do I capitalize on these differences without creating dissonance? It’ll be a challenge but one I’m looking forward to.

    • Here is the thing Dave: What is consistency of brand? In other words, you’ve hired this new person.She is going to be talking to people all the time. As is, her communication will be impacting your brand everyday.

      I think brand consistency is impacted by every form of communication, certainly not just in a blog or social media post.

      But ultimately, there does need to be a filter– a brand master if you will. And I’m sure you’ll play that role nicely my friend :-)

      Great seeing you man,


  7. As always you’ve got so much more than ‘just another list post’ here Marcus. (Love #3 – wish others really had to read/write more, would improve communications across the board. ) Not only do you have solid thought-out reasoning, but solutions too. I’ll start there – the objections – and your solution to let employees do it their way:

    1) Interview. Maybe some folks aren’t comfortable writing or on video; maybe they need a little help – have them a) be interviewed and/or b) interview someone else.
    2) Visual. Maybe a video or maybe a picture or collage; give someone a camera and see what they come up with, w/ a little help on the words.
    3) Reuse and Recycle. Maybe it’s a pitch, a white paper, or a presentation that they put together – and have a little help repurposing.
    4) Their kind of ‘social.’ I’d never require them to share company info on their personal networks; even to be social – if they don’t want to tweet, they don’t have to. It’s about their comfort level and what they can bring their own way.

    Plenty of ways to get people involved – and ITA that it’s in a company’s best interest to do it. Got a new product coming out – well then who better than the R&D team that designed it or the Customer Service team who got the idea out of client engagement, who better to tell that story?! (With some guidance, help from the communications leadership of course).

    My caveat – keep it FUN. If it’s too much of a chore, too much like work it’ll show in the writing or interviews, it’ll be forced and contrived. In the end you want employees participating not b/c they have to, but b/c they see the benefits and want to be part of it. FWIW.

    • Davina, LOVED this comment. Seriously, LOVE it. The companies I’ve oversee do this always seem to have that one person that knows how to make it “fun” as you say, and it’s a huge part of this.

      I certainly don’t think management should be slave drivers when it comes to content marketing, but like you said, we should look for every opportunity to help the team get involved, in a way that suits them best.

      Thanks so much my friend :)


  8. Agreed across the board, Marcus. I wanted to focus on one that I agreed with the most, but each point is so important.

    I may have missed it, but I’d say spreading it out among many people also makes it much more likely that you’ll sustain it. By relying on one or a few people to be the face and voice of your brand, you are putting yourself in a difficult position. When the day comes that that person (those people) leave (they will), you’re screwed. But if many people are contributing and no one has full control, you never miss a beat.

  9. Hey Marcus,
    I think a big part of writing content is demonstrating your knowledge and expertise to visitors to your website.

    If your employees have great knowledge, insight and advice they can share then they certainly should be creating content!


    • Yeah bud, that’s essentially the way I see it.We pay them to communicate with customers all day long in other forms, so why not the content marketing method too?? Let’s use that knowledge for even better good to the end user!

      Great seeing you man,


  10. You know I’m going to chime in on this one. YES and NO. Required- I disagree with you on that, Marc. From years with a certain credit card company, forced participation does lead to anxiety and resentment. Part of the “culture” we endured was being forced to participate in the most ridiculous team-building nonsense you can imagine- and penalized financially for not “embracing” it. Your #3 up there (interview) would be good for those that are more introverted. People are what they are and you can’t make them be a cheerleader, when its not in them to be so.

    Also, from my days working for a certain swimming pool company, I can say with 100% accuracy that not everyone is a good or even passable writer. Unless they have a totally awesome secretary who can correct spelling and grammatical errors, some need to put the pen DOWN and step away. ;)

    That said, and since I am a party of one, I would LOVE to have a more diverse perspective from different artists on my site and it is absolutely vital to the growth of a business, whether practical products or luxury items (art!), to offer differing writing styles and perspectives to keep readers engaged – and to build a strong, trustworthy brand.

    • Very balanced answer Jenn, I get your point totally.

      Obviously, if an employee simply can’t communicate in any form, or has too much anxiety, then that’s where the CCO (editor) can step in and make the decision not to push that person. Generally speaking, when I say “employee” in this case, it’s anyone that talks to customers on a consistent basis or at least has knowledge that could help a customer.

      But if the CCO facilitates those that struggle, and is a good interviewer, than those that stink at writing can still have a voice and feel good about it.

      “Requirements” are part of work in most companies. Whether it’s what time someone shows up, certain rules to follow, quotas, etc. I know the word itself sounds to some folks too pushy, by I see it as common practice in almost every organization in the world, just in different forms.

      Thanks so much Jenn for you great thoughts,


  11. Hey Marcus,

    Agreed, and well said. And it has to be fun, or made possible to be fun. There’s a creative side in all of us, and as long as management recognizes and embraces that, I believe everyone can produce content.

    How do you suggest a solopreneur produce content that doesn’t start to sound the same all the time? (in regards to point #2 above) Different forms of content – text, video, interview, infographic?

    Keep rocking,

    • How do you mean by “the same” Jason? In other words, do I always sound the same? Do you? I think sounding the same is a great thing, assuming it’s a solid voice that attracts viewers/readers..and I don’t think different forms of media are a must either. It’s nice that we mix it up, but I don’t think it’s at all requisite to big success.

      As always, great seeing you my friend.


  12. Hi Marcus

    I love your enthusiasm, but boy, this is a real uphill battle.

    I think your third option for implementation is the most practical approach – use a writer or editor to interview those who can’t or won’t write. It’s a good idea to have an assignment editor anyway just to stay on top of everything, but getting everyone to produce content is going to difficult.

    But what I think is most important here is the culture aspect. If you have regularly scheduled staff meetings to generate content ideas from everyone, I think you can create an educational culture and a great deal of enthusiasm from everyone.

    One more point if I may. Large companies have a distinct advantage with social media. When your company produces a new post, if you get everyone in your company to share that post on their own social networks, you can build a following pretty fast.

    • Hot topic! @ Bob McCarthy – here’s where it gets tricky. If those employees do not share posts, are they then a bad employee? I think when blogging becomes the required norm, it seems natural that integrating personal social media outlets becomes mandatory too- and that is crossing the line. With my new job, I absolutely refuse to discuss my job outside of work hours, no if’s and’s or but’s about it. I share what I choose in my private time, not what is mandatory in someone else’s.

      • Great point Jennifer

        I agree that requiring people to use their social media networks to spread the word is not a good idea.

        I just know that whenever Hubspot produces a new ebook, I hear about it on LinkedIn from a whole bunch of Hubspot employees. Of course, LinkedIn is more of business/professional network. It probably doesn’t happen as much on Facebook which is more of a personal platform,

    • Good points Bob. Without question, this isn’t easy. It takes visionary management, good people, and organization. But at the same time, isn’t that always a requirement for companies wanting to do big things within their industry.

      I think this is also why, no matter how big content marketing gets, less than 10% of all organizations will be willing to do what it takes to make this work.

      Again, good seeing you Bob,


  13. Great post, Marcus. And a question: how do you deal with the folks that want to edit everything? I’m not talking about typos, but the agonizing process of polishing adverbs? Or editing to speak in a “corporate voice.”

    I’m always for letting people have their voice and often have found when we do that, we tend to attract new people to the content. I’m not advocating dumping a list of key words entirely, but I do think we shouldn’t strive to stick to them all the time, but rather let loose now and again. What say you?

    • Frank, this was a great question my man. I always lean towards allowing the employee voice to be heard and come out, even if that means it’s not “quite as good.” I’m not saying that quality shouldn’t be decent, but the companies that over-edit stink at this, I’ve seen it time and time again.

      Content marketing is NOT a perfectionist-built industry–that much I do know.

      Thanks again bud,


  14. This is a true case of killing two birds with one stone. Bravo.

  15. Forcing employees to contribute content can go both ways. If the content is monitored at least you can get a chance to review the quality of work. Otherwise, employees who are forced to complete a task they’re not interested in or isn’t part of their job description is risky business.

    • Monitoring, editing, and filter are huge aspects of this Camille, no doubt. Plus employees need to see the vision, and they need to have fun!

  16. Hi Marcus,

    The content officer would be a tricky job. What if one employee excelled at writing and developed a following. And no one else did. If these employees were in sales and worked for commission, this might hurt morale. Plus is blogging done during business hours or at home? Will people be paid for extra time? Is the company allowed to view everything people write before it is posted? Some more food for thought.

    • I see what you’re saying Mary Jo, but the issues a content officer would face here are similar to any type of manager in any organization. There will always be high and low performers.

      As for compensation, I’ve had companies that managed this in a variety of ways, and will actually be talking about this in the future. The best option I’ve seen though is that employees are given a set amount of time each month to produce their required content.

      And btw, just because something is written, doesn’t mean that it will be published. That’s why the CCO must be a gatekeeper and brand manager throughout this process.


  17. Great post Marcus,

    This is something we have been trying to do here. But he have not forced “required” on anyone yet. (though I like the idea)

    I think there are certain positions that transfer more easily into this role of being able to be a content producer than others. But having a ghost writer essentially solves the problem AND if done properly, and if that post is a success, you get additional buy in from that person. So maybe, at some point, they will do it on their own.

    Also, you have the challenges of time. A lot of businesses have employees that are maxed out… no extra time. In some agency models, like ours, client work, client posts etc come first. So figuring a way to make them want to either do these on their own time, or creating some internal motivation to have them squeeze out content on the clock is needed.

    Anyway, we could go on and on for this topic.

    Going to share this around the office!


  18. I think the problem with mandatory employee posts are that they are prone to individual ideas not necessarily shared by the company. If, however, the company puts limits on the variety of content, the content itself will suffer which would defeat the point in the first place.

  19. Great article. Bridging the gap between sales and marketing is no easy task. This is one of the best ways to do it. It will help sales people become true Marketing Consultants and drive sales leads. At the same time it builds the value of and exposure to the organization.

    • Exactly Doug, the moment they start producing content that gap gets much, much smaller in a hurry. :)

      Keep up the great work bud,


  20. Great post, Marcus! My team consists of 10 ppl and only 3 of them are copywriters. Their job is to produce content on daily basis, but at the end of the day they are not specialists in every field.

    Now I’m trying to implement this method among the team, so the developers, design guys and sales team can contribute as well.

    In about few months I’ll create a post with the results and share it with you guys!

    Thanks again, Marcus!

    • Miroslav, I’d LOVE to hear about those results. Good luck!!


  21. I think if you have a one strong team then you can complete this type task easily…But must be carefully choose your every member for fulfill your goal!

  22. Makes me wish I had some employees. As an individual, who only gets online after ‘normal’ work, it can be difficult to say anything articulate. I can sometimes make time during the day for a bigger web related job. But most of my blogging, commenting and site editing is done at about 10pm. But I suppose an employee can do this during work hours or as minor overtime.

    • I feel your pain Darragh, as I’ve been there as well.

      If the days were only 36 hours long…. ;-)

  23. Yes, I agree cent percent when you say there is something magical about seeing your name in the byline. I think most people blog just to taste this magic, and that includes me

  24. I like your answer to the question should salespeople be required to blog. Or at least contribute content. “Yes”

    As a test I posed this to the “sales manager” of the company I work for and he didn’t get too excited, just as I expected. But he agreed to “send and email” to the sales folks asking them for five simple questions their customers asked them. Only four of about 20 responded and only two of those had legit questions.

    I didn’t expect much of a response on this initial test but it did confirm my thoughts. That last quarter of an inch surrounding their brain is pretty thick.

    My answer is also, Yes.

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