I’m really excited today to announce that I’ve just hired Georgina Laidlaw to help with content development and strategy here at ProBlogger. Her official title is Content Manager.
Over the last year, I’ve become increasingly aware that I need to begin to expand my team to cope with the load of running my business.
ProBlogger itself can be a handful to run at times, but add into the mix my biggest blog — Digital Photography School — and other projects (TwiTip, ProBlogger.com, Third Tribe, a Book), plus the other bits and pieces that I do, and I’m increasingly finding myself up against it to get everything done to the level of quality that I wanted.
As a result I’ve begun to look at making a couple of strategic hires to enable me to increase the quality of what I do and also to free up some time for other projects that are coming.
I’d already moved some way down the path of hiring people to help carry the load previously (although I haven’t really written much about it):
- Lara Kulpa will be familiar to some of you as she’s helped with some of the admin tasks here on ProBlogger (comment moderation and other admin), and has managed the ProBlogger.com forums and edited Twitip.
- I also have Simon Pollock (my brother-in-law) managing the community at dPS.
Both are part-time and work remotely (Lara’s in the US and Simon in the UK).
Why a hire a Content Manager?
As mentioned in yesterday’s video, content is of primary importance to me and it’s something that I obsess over. It has been central in whatever success I’ve had, and I see it as extremely important going forward.
For the first four years of ProBlogger’s existence, I wrote almost every post. The only times I really handed over posting to others was when I took vacations. However, in time I began to accept guest posts and have even hired semi-regular writers.
I did this partly to lighten the load a little (to allow me to focus upon other aspects of the business), but also because I found that by including the voices, views, skills and experiences of others, the site became more useful to more people. I can take one approach to blogging and have certain skills, but I lack other areas of expertise.
As a result of this increased featuring of others on ProBlogger, a number of things happened:
- I started getting more submissions for guest posts. When you feature one guest, post you can open a floodgate for others to approach you about writing. There have been weeks when I’ve fielded 20-30 guest post submissions (and I usually only feature two or three).
- I found myself working more on editing than writing. This shift has happened on all of my blogs. While having others write for you takes a load off your writing work, it means you spend more time editing their work, talking to authors about topics, liaising with authors about post formatting, and so on.
All in all, I’ve increasingly felt sidetracked by these tasks. They’ve taken me away from my own writing, but also from more strategic tasks (such as developing a more thought-through editorial calendar, building my community, and developing other projects).
Managing writers is important, but editing and managing writers isn’t my strength and it has become increasingly apparent that it would be logical to get some help in this area.
Georgina Laidlaw has come recommended to me from a number of people that I respect. She’s worked for some great sites such as Melbourne’s SitePoint (who I’m increasingly working with) and WebWorkerDaily.
As part of the process of this hire, Georgina has also written a number of posts here on ProBlogger. Her work received a lot of positive feedback and it demonstrated to me that she “gets” what I’m on about here, and has the ability to connect with the ProBlogger audience. She’s also fast, efficient, and just in the process of sorting out this position has given me some great ideas.
Georgina is also local to me. While I’ve worked with remote workers before there’s something that appeals to me about hiring someone local. Georgina and I won’t spend a lot of time in person, but having the ability to get together and knowing she’s in my timezone will be great.
What does a Content Manager do?
To be honest we’ve ummmed and aaahed about the title Content Manager quite a bit. I’m not sure it is completely accurate, but for now, it’ll do.
Georgina will be taking on a number of rolls here at ProBlogger including overseeing, editing and managing writers (guest posters and regular writers), writing some posts of her own, editing my posts (I know that will please some of my more spelling-obsessed readers), and working on some other projects (for example ebooks, newsletters, and others).
One of the goals that we also have with this new position is to widen the topics that we write about. There are some categories and topics that haven’t been touched on a lot lately here on ProBlogger. Having Georgina on the team will enable us reengage with some of those topics. This will also mean a slight increase in the number of posts each week (don’t worry we’re not going to go over the top).
What about Darren?
A number of people on Twitter yesterday asked me whether this means I won’t be blogging as much on ProBlogger. The answer to that is I’ll still be here as normal. This is my blog and you’ll continue to get regular posts from me.
You might see a slight increase in posts by others, but I intend to maintain my own posting levels (currently around four or five posts a week).
All in all I’m really excited about this development and hope you’ll join me in welcoming Georgina into the ProBlogger family.