Ready for a longer-term commitment? Find a blogging buddy and create a partnership for mutual support and growth.
Are we at Day Eleven already? Time evaporates when you’re having fun. The comment threads for Blogging 201 assignments and The Commons are filled with lively conversations and tons of support as you experiment with your blogs and share the results. It’s wonderful to see bloggers helping each other and new friendships beginning.
Now, we want you to think about taking a friendship to the next level, so you’ll have that support once Blogging 201 ends. We know commitment can be scary, but it’s time.
Today’s assignment: find a blogging buddy. If appropriate, plan to publish guest posts on one another’s blogs.
Note: If you don’t see guest posters as an option for your blog, that’s totally fine. Blogging 201 is designed to help you think about new ways to build your brand and grow traffic — there’s no such thing as a mandatory assignment. You can find a buddy to lean on for feedback and support, minus the guest posting.
Why do this?
- Because your blogging buddy is sure to tell their friends and followers about their guest post on your site, bringing you some potential new followers and maybe even a traffic bump. The natural cross promotion boosts both blogs.
- Because collaborating spawns post ideas you can both use to fill out your editorial calendars.
- Because it’s always more fun to do something with a friend — especially a naturally community-oriented activity like blogging. You can laugh, make mistakes, teach one another, learn, and have fun supporting each other along the way.
When two heads are better than one
At The Daily Post, we enjoy working with guest posters: Rarasaur, Andrea Badgley (who’s since joined us as a Happiness Engineer!), and Vincent Mars have all done creative writing challenges. Ben’s guest photo challenge blew us away. Dominic Stafford and Nomadruss have written great guest posts on street photography and photographing people.
Why do we invite them in? They have one thing in common — they’re excellent at what they do and, they’re willing to share that talent with the world. We’re only too happy to have them aboard.
We learn a lot from them; each of them challenges us to think differently about what we do. Our readers win in discovering new bloggers to follow, and they benefit from the expertise of a valuable new perspective. Our guest posters gain new fans and followers, and a traffic boost from posting on a different platform.
Still not sold? Read this. (Go on, we’ll wait for you.)
Where to find your buddy
Not sure where to find your blogging buddy? Here are some ideas to consider:
Pro Tip: There are many paid guest blogging opportunities, which you can find on sites like ProBlogger; that type of guest blogging is more like freelance writing than just lending your voice to another individual’s blog.
The Commons is a great place to start. You’ve already been posting questions and participating in discussions with others. Has anyone been especially helpful to you? Is there someone you have good rapport with, or whose blog you admire? Think about contacting that person. Don’t be shy! If you feel a connection, chances are they do, too.
Have you commented on one of the Blogging 201 assignment threads? Has someone offered words of support and encouragement? This person might be a blogging buddy waiting to happen.
Do you have a follower that comments thoughtfully on your blog posts — that person who always takes the time to ask a good question, start a meaningful discussion, or just has something witty or insightful to add to the conversation? Think about reaching out — your thoughtful commenter might just become your blogging BFF. If there’s a blog that always brings out the best comments in you, that’s another place to start.
What’s the best way to reach out?
Discretion is nine tenths of the law (or something like that). If you’re comfortable reaching out on The Commons, feel free. Otherwise, we recommend contacting them privately — perhaps by visiting your potential buddy’s blog and contacting them via their contact form, if they have one, or an email address they list. If they don’t have a contact form, comment on one of their posts. If you don’t shoot, you don’t score.
First date ideas
You’ve got a buddy and are basking in the warm glow of new friendship. Now what?
Start by familiarizing yourself with your buddy’s blog — read their last few posts and their about page. Poke around any other links. Next, get things going by just seeking and giving feedback. Is there a question you asked on The Commons that didn’t get much response? Is there something you’re still not sure about? Your buddy is the perfect person to ask.
Once the post is live, spread the word of your partnership: use their Twitter handle when you promote the post, or tag them in a Facebook update. Twice the social networking means twice the love.
Now, explore whether guest posting will work for the two of you. You’re familiar with one another’s blogs — what can you each add? Is there a perspective or idea you’d love a guest to explore? Toss some ideas around. You’ll also want to work out some boundaries; even if the guest blogger is a close friend, it’s useful to establish things like length, style issues (no foul language, no real names, photo citations, etc.,), who will respond to comments, and how much say you’ll have over each other’s posts. (For what it’s worth, The Daily Post’s rule of thumb is to edit guest submissions as little as possible.)
If you’re not going to guest post, you can still be helpful buddies. Promote each other’s posts on your social networks — we know you’re looking for more content to share. Link to them in posts, or from your sidebar. And of course, keep using one another for candid feedback and moral support.
Share with the class
Have you already got a blogging buddy? First, get another one. Second, share your blogging buddy origin story with us. How’d you meet? Do you post on one another’s blogs? How has the relationship been helpful? Your experiences are invaluable to others just starting out.
Ready to buddy up? Head to The Commons.