Poaching Writers and Blog Network Ethics

One of the big plusses of the Internet is the ability to hire people from across the globe and have them work for you remotely. As a blog (and blog network) owner, I tend to take it for granted that I can, at any point in time, contact any of my bloggers and get them to write something on a particular topic without leaving the comfort of my office (or indeed, home).

The downside is that in the absence of any physical connections (they don’t come to the office to work for you every day), it’s a lot easier for other blog owners and blog networks to approach them. I’m not saying that it makes it easier for bloggers to leave – not at all, loyalty extends beyond borders and physical proximity – but with the access there’s a much greater chance of:

  • You not finding out about the exchange until its too late.
  • The poacher finding out the details of the arrangement from your writer and offering them a better package, perhaps something you can’t offer at the time.

Recently, a blog owner in my network forwarded an email conversation he’d had with a major retailer in our niche. They were interested in having him come on-board as one of their columnists. He’s saying no, but when you start discussing pay packages and everything the only thing a blog owner / network owner can count on is loyalty.

Which brings us to the question for the day: What do you do to keep your employees / network members loyal to you / the network?