How Content Partners Can Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy

September 11th, 2014

badge-guest-post-FLATTERIn my previous Convince & Convert post, I explained how to research potential partners and expand your target audience by getting your content in front of their readers.

Managing Editor, Jess Ostroff, added an awesome comment at the end of that article:

“I think some people are afraid to ask for help from other content creators. They see it as invasive, pushy, or they’re not confident enough in their own content to be willing to share it.”

I completely agree with her. She went on to say:

“Maybe a follow up to this would be how to tactfully engage with content partners, write something that’s really of value to your partner, and turning those cold leads into warm ones as you mentioned.”

That’s what I’m here today to help you with. After all, what’s a blog named “Convince & Convert” without some useful tips on how to convince and convert potential guest blogging partners?

The guest blogging process is very similar to both the sales and support process. Even if you’re not the best salesperson or great at supporting people, you can still close these content marketing partnership requests at a high rate and keep them alive and thriving.

Now that you’ve found your potential content marketing partners, follow these 10 tips to make sure you all get the most out of the relationships:

1. Be Studious

Read, read, and read some more. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour to read your partners’ posts every day for at least a week. You’ll get an idea of who they’re talking to, what they’re talking about, the problems their readers have, and how they help them. Get a feel for their voice and the buyer persona. You want to mimic that with your articles.

Read the comment sections of articles to find out if you can have intelligent, relevant conversations with these readers. If you find yourself getting confused, you may want to consider looking somewhere else.

2. Be Attractive

Like the male bird of paradise, you can’t attracting new partners without shaking your tail feather a little.

Make sure that you’ve got some credibility in your respective the community. Make sure your blog is professional looking and stocked with quality content. Be active on social media and build your networks so you have a decent amount of followers and engagement. Bring something to the table that you can pitch to the potential partners instead of just making a one-way ask.

3. Be Creative

Have a unique proposition that sets you apart from the rest. Do something different or unexpected that gets their attention.

Maybe a quote from the great Hunter S. Thompson will do the trick:

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”

Try sending a well-thought-out, creative video message using Vine or Instagram. That’s sure to get their attention!

Remember: Do your best to stand out from the clutter and be creative.

4. Be Helpful

Prepare to do as much of the legwork as possible while minimizing the amount of time and effort your partners need to commit to the relationship. This also refers to the content you provide.

The articles should be helpful in nature and should address a topic that you’re an expert in. The more authority you have on the matter, the larger the audience you’ll receive.

5. Be Brief

When it comes to guest blogging and content marketing as a whole, time is money.

Professional content marketers spend a lot of time reading and writing. It’s a very time-consuming job. The last thing you want to do is send them a novel of an email explaining why you should be a guest blogger.

Efficiency is key.

Prepare your email. Neil Patel has created some wonderful templates for you to use when reaching out to potential co-marketing partners.

Now that you’ve seized the opportunity, make sure you hold up your end of the bargain by following these tips:

6. Be Diligent

Work hard. Don’t give anything less than your best with your content. You want this relationship to last, so don’t end it before it even starts. No one likes working with a slacker.

7. Be Punctual

Perpetual tardiness is a pet peeve of mine. It’s immature. Don’t be late, and don’t rush your work. Write every guest post as if it’s your best one (and maybe last one) ever, because it could be. Correspond in a timely manner.

Don’t get caught procrastinating. Set a plan and stick to it so you’re not struggling to finish up.

8. Be Accountable

Proof everything. Keep your promises.

You’re not being micromanaged here. This is all on you. If you can’t deliver on something, expect to deal with the consequences. If word spreads that you’re unprofessional and/or unaccountable, you might have to kiss your guest blogging days goodbye.

On the other hand, once you prove your accountability, more doors will open for you and your authority will continue to grow.

9. Be Valuable

Explain the value your partners will get from you and explain what their audience is going to get by reading your content.

Don’t create extra work or chores for your partners. They should be as minimally involved as possible. End the guest blogging process with your new partners feeling as though you’re an extremely valuable asset to their business. Don’t make them feel like they’ve wasted their time.

Follow up a couple weeks after your post goes live to see how it’s doing and discuss how you can improve next time (if you’ve followed these tips, there will be a next time).

Start brainstorming new article topics and ways you can help them out. Don’t fall off the face of the Earth. This isn’t a one-and-done situation. It’s an ongoing relationship that can continually bear fruit if nurtured properly.

10. Be Promotional

Make sure you promote the heck out of all your guest posts via social media and email. If your audience doesn’t know about your guest content, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t leave it up to your partners to promote your posts alone.

If you can follow these tips, you’ll be able to build your audience and authority while maintaining your relationships with your content marketing partners. You can also use BoostSuite to find and engage with partners who will promote your business.

Do you have any other pointers on how to tactfully engage with content marketing partners? Or have a content-partnership-gone-wrong horror story you’d like to share? Let’s hear your comments!

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