Gamifying Content Creation: How To Encourage Non-Writers To Write

gamifying content creation

As every Chief Content Officer knows, the hardest part about running a content marketing program is developing enough content. Fortunately, getting more people from your organization involved can help not only with volume, but in developing diversity of voice and expertise. The problem is, convincing self-proclaimed “non-writers” to write is easier said than done. Whether you’re asking the C-suite or entry level employees, excuses will run rampant, from “I just don’t have time,” to “I don’t know what to write about,” and pretty soon the task of filling an editorial calendar turns into a painful chore.

One way to encourage employees outside of your department to participate in content production is to introduce an element of competition. We recently spoke with four content managers who have successfully implemented content-based competitions at their organizations. Here’s how they pulled it off.

Create A Point System

Kari Rippetoe, Content Marketing Manager at Search Mojo

Rippetoe notes that contributing content is actually required of all employees at her agency as a way to show their own individual expertise. “Having said that, we do have an internal reward point system that allows staff to give each other points for a job well done — which can be spent on a variety of prizes. I use this every month to reward those who have the top 5 blog posts with the most traffic. This helps to incentivize them to keep writing good content.”

Focus On Personal Growth

Ross Hudgens, Founder at Siege Media

“One of the best ways to incentivize people to write is to enable personal growth,” Hudgens says. “Many companies won’t allow you to use your own Twitter or link to your own site, but I find that if you let someone attract Twitter or Google Plus followers as a ‘hook’ to writing, the incentive goes up. Not only do they help the business, but their work actually improves their visibility online, which will be something that sticks with them forever.”

Compete For Bragging Rights

Ryan Kulp, Marketing at ShuttleCloud

Ryan Kulp works at ShuttleCloud, a startup based in New York City. While he writes 90% of his company’s content, he notes that, “For us, the best motivator is bragging rights. Who can get the best press mention? Whose post gets tweeted or shared the most amount of times? Even looking at stuff like our Google Analytics’ real-time traffic data is a huge thrill after sending a newsletter or blog post to 15,000+ subscribers. That type of recognition keeps us fueled to write more.”

Build An Actual Game

Frank Eybsen, Co-Owner at OnClick Marketing

“We actually gamified a team of workers to become awesome writers,” Eybsen said. His team worked on a piece of software for a company that was more technical in nature, and thus called for internal staff write content rather than relying on ghostwriters or freelance writers. The problem was, the writing wasn’t actually getting done. “The first couple of months brought a lot of frustration on our part as the client’s writers clearly had no interest in writing,” Eybsen said.

As a solution, Eybsen decided to turn the software they were working on into a game that would encourage writing. “The tool was being built for internal use and included an extensive badge, leveling and reward system. We had an artist on Elance create a ton of strange badges of all kinds of things a user could accomplish.” The badges also came with real world rewards, like Starbucks gift cards.


Have you gamified content creation at your organization? Share your stories with us below.