When Internal Blogs Fail

Why do some team blogs fail? Let's not pretend that success is a snap of the finger...

Writer's Block

Wrier's Block Many people find writing intimidating and/or agonizing. They might wax prolific at the actual or digital water cooler, but they shy away from writing down and sharing their thoughts in a longer-form medium. So we'll be honest — if you don't have at least one or two people on your team who enjoy the act of writing, then an internal blog probably won't work for you.

For the rest, you can get them over the hump, but it will take encouragement and the occasional very-direct request (i.e. "please write a post on XYZ!"). Make it easy on them, and tell them to keep things short. Sometimes that means breaking up a big topic into multiple smaller pieces.

A few tips to unlock your team:

Leadership Indifference

via GIPHY

An internal blog does not need to be a top-down endeavor — quite the contrary, it can be a great way for more individual contributors to act like leaders by lifting the team around them. But if your team (or company) leadership does not read the posts, that will send a signal to everyone else that the sharing isn't valued. Leadership has to walk the talk.

Even better is when leadership contributes themselves. For example, we have multiple companies using Jotto where the CEO shares regular updates to the company's vision and strategy. We also have product leaders who use Jotto to externalize important product goals, experiments and progress. We have design teams who use Jotto to share research learnings, where the senior designer ways in on key initiatives and insights.

Image Credits: Steve Johnson, Office Space yeahhhh