Web marketing isn’t a solo endeavor. In fact, the entire goal is connectedness: businesses to prospects, brands to brand advocates, people to people. If you have a blog, you can start connecting from the very beginning. Here’s a blogger collaboration guide to get you started:
Note: If you’re already doing some blogger collaboration, check your activity against this list. How many of these ten points have you got covered?
It’s more fun to make things together! Working with another blogger helps keep it interesting. Also, you can take on bigger projects when you split up the responsibilities.
1. Guest blog for each other.
Guest blogging is the most obvious and common type of blogger collaboration. When you’re the guest blogger, the shared audience and links are great for both social media and search optimization. When a guest writes on your site, they take some of the writing and promoting work off your plate. Useful: How to guest blog like a champion
2. Interview each other.
This is a fast, easy way to create content and to diversify the viewpoints on your blog. Email questions to a collaborator, then copy and paste the answers into a post. Or get on a Google+ Hangout, have a short candid conversation on a relevant topic, then use the video on one or both blogs. Example: Jane Boyd’s 45 Conversations
These next few go together. It’s a mini-plan for coordinating topics, posts, timing and links.
3. Select complementary topics.
Find a collaborator in a related industry, but not a competitor. Now pick a topic that you’re both passionate about.
4. Plan the timing of posts.
Once you have topics aligned, now you can line up your publishing calendars. Either time the publishing to be the same. Or post one after the other as a response.
5. Link between your articles.
When you link between your posts, you share referral traffic, and you might even help your search engine rankings.
Example: In preparing for an event, I teamed up with Lennie Rose to create content on each other’s sites. Using the topic from the event, we each wrote top ten lists, then posted them on each other’s sites (yes, we’re also guest blogging). For of the the ten days before the event, we each added one tip to the list on each other’s sites, then tweeted the links. Here are the final posts: 10 Content Strategy Tips on Big Ooga, 10 Content Strategy Tips on Orbit.
6. Make introductions.
If you have a connection that could be useful to your collaborator, make the introduction. This could be to editors of blogs, journalists, thought leaders, event organizers, or anyone who might be able to help.
7. Attend (or host) events together.
Going to events with someone else is always more fun. You’re certain to like at least one person there. You’re also more likely to meet people if your collaborator already knows a few people.
Better yet, host an event with someone else. You might find yourself speaking to a room full of people, half of whom you’ve never met. Great!
8. Comment on each other’s content.
First, make sure you don’t miss anything! Subscribe to their newsletters. Keep them on a special Twitter list or in a Google+ circle. Or get serious and use an RSS feed or Google Alert.
Now read and comment. Yes, you’re busy. But slow down and be a good collaborator. Take five minutes to read and two minutes to leave a thoughtful comment. If you’d like them to comment on something you wrote, send a personal email inviting them to give their input.
9. Push each others content through social networks.
It’s fast and easy to share, like, retweet and +1. Consider sharing on networks where they are less active (LinkedIn? StumbleUpon?). This will help them reach a new audience.
10. Find an “accountabili-buddy.”
To keep yourself on track, find a like-minded blogger and meet with them on a regular basis. Update them on your publishing calendar and bounce ideas off of them. Soon you’ll find all kinds of new ways to collaborate.
Example: I meet with Tim Frick weekly. We drink coffee, share ideas and conspire on content. After just a few months, we’ve worked on posts, shared connections, and created an event called Content Jam. Now we’re planning a book!
Ok, collaborators, give yourself one point for each of the above points. Let’s see how well you did…
|Score||You are…||You should…|
|0 – 1||…alone in the woods||Get out more!|
|2 – 4||connected, but not actively conspiring||Reach out to like-minded bloggers.|
|5 – 7||good at bringing people together||Meet for coffee, brainstorm.|
|8 – 9||a pro networker and good at teamwork||Try bigger projects, larger groups.|
|10||a champion collaborator!||Pass along your skills to others.|
Have an example of great collaboration? Want to share an idea? Interested in collaborating? Let us know in the comments!