Blogging and the online world can be a lonely place some days. Sure you have plenty of friends online and you can connect with just about anyone at any point in the day, but finding a strategic partner is what you really need. No one should go at it alone. I owe a lot of my success to the partnerships I have created. Banding together to create online buzz and is how you can advance your online brand and get noticed faster. Two, even three or four heads are always better than one. Not to mention, when you partner with someone you instantly double your reach and numbers.
How do you find a great partner or partners?
First you need to realize that not everyone is your competition, instead look at those people as your allies. Secondly, you need to asking yourself, “Who is your reader?” “Where else might you find her online?” “What other types of content is she looking for?”
If you have a similar content to another blog or website, chances are that their readers will also appreciate your content. I did this very early on with Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends, I noticed we had similar content so I knew we probably had the same type of reader. I also knew that the same brands were pitching us because I could see we were doing the same giveaways. So instead of seeing her as my mortal enemy, I said, “Hey, why don’t we work together!”
Nicole is based in New York and I was in Los Angeles at the time, so I knew this would be a great opportunity for both of us. It would be a chance for us to introduce our like-minded audiences to one another, and perhaps gain new readership from across the country and maybe even in between! We decided to share our contacts and bring each other into the mix when an opportunity landed in our inbox. The thing is, in the beginning there weren’t so many opportunities just landing inour laps, we had to pitch ourselves and pitching ourselves together was much more successful.
We didn’t really know each other that well, but after a few brainstorming conference calls and giving each other assignments, we recognized each others strengths and knew that we could rely on each other to get things done, divide and conquer. We got lucky. Not all partnerships just fall into place like mine and Nicole’s, but we had similar work ethic and drive, our partnership fit like a glove. This partnership has lasted for four years and is still going strong.
Partner with a blogger outside your niche.
When a group of bloggers support one another they share readership and introduce new readers to one another. Even if your content is very different from theirs, this is okay too and maybe even better! . If your reader loves crafting with their kids, chances are they might be into baking with their kids too, so a craft blogger and baking blogger could work together to come up with strategic content that complements one another. Sharing each other’s content then becomes very easy and natural. Creating your own blog collective not only increases your visibility but it’s also attractive to brands.
There is power in numbers and you can reach more of your audience by partnering.
This is why blog link ups are such a good idea, as they showcase other blogs and when you link up your content, people have a better chance at discovering you. Including each other in newsletters and featuring other bloggers is another great way to show respect and support and chances are, if you do this for them they might do something in return for you or share your content. Not every partnership has to equate to money making, there are other forms of “payment”. Bartering and blogging go hand in hand. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. This is true when working with brands too.
Expectations when forming partnerships
Know why you are forming a partnership and what you want to get out of it. Is it to increase revenue? Is it to gain more readership, e-mail subscribers, for PR and more notoriety? Expectations of the relationship should be clear and discussed up front. All this being said, never push a partnership. If it is not working and you can’t seem to get on the same page and things never get off the ground then don’t be afraid to part ways. Not everyone is suppose to work with everyone and your idea of how things should be run or split up might not be the same. Respect each other enough to be honest and call it quits. Remember, you have to do what is best for you and your business. It’s nothing personal.
Photo credit: Maria Reyes-McDavis/Flickr
Have you had success in forming blog partnerships? Share you partnership tips with us below.