Spoiler alert: growing a blog is tough work. You spend hours writing posts, editing images, and promoting your site. And while some days the hard work pays off, other days you wonder if there are more than three people reading.
So what can you do? How can you start bringing more traffic to your site? In addition to the standard social media outreach (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter), probably one of the best strategies to increase readership is through collaboration with other bloggers.
Yep, collaborating with bloggers provides you with a wonderful opportunity to meet others in your niche, share ideas and strategies, and gain exposure to each other’s audiences. It’s really a win-win situation all around.
I know for some people (myself included!) taking that first step to contact another blogger might feel intimidating. And this is especially true if they’re someone you admire. But just remember – by and large the blogging community really is that: a community.
So whether you’re struggling with traffic, you hope to reach a wider audience, or you simply want to meet others in your niche, I encourage you to make that gesture and reach out.
“But Paula, I have no idea what to suggest! Where do I even start?”
Don’t worry, I have you covered; this post offers strategies on how to find potential collaborators as well as my favorite collaboration ideas. So read through the list, find what sounds most “doable” for you, and get started!
In fact, I’d like to issue you a challenge.
This week, I challenge you to reach out to another blogger. Chose a strategy from below, take a deep breath, step out of your comfort zone, and initiate that conversation. Who knows where it might lead?
Are you up for the challenge? Great! Let’s do it.
Collaboration Ideas for Bloggers
How Do I Start?
Before you begin contacting other blogs with your collaboration ideas, I recommend first considering these few suggestions below. Doing so will help ensure a successful collaboration for both you and your partner(s). And it will likely enhance your chance for future projects as well!
Who Is In Your Niche?
I can’t stress enough the importance of reaching out to those in your niche. Remember, you’re hoping to make connections and gain readership. If you write about fashion, and you’re guest posting on a Whole30 blog, you’re not targeting the right audience. So get to know the active players in your niche, and reach out to them.
Who is an Authority in the Field?
If your blog already has some traction, and you’ve established a decent following, you might consider contacting a bigger authority in the field. Such collaborations offer you further opportunities to observe, ask questions, and talk strategies with someone who has a lot of experience.
If I had a crochet blog, for example, I might reach out to LeftinKnots, which is a fantastic blog that offers free patterns every week, and (not surprisingly) has an engaged audience as well.
Similarly, if I wrote about learning languages, I might reach out to Effortless English. Because A.J.’s program was established in 1996, he has both valuable knowledge in the field as well as a loyal following.
Before emailing these bloggers directly, however, I first recommend making contact through social media. Think of it this way; do you often walk up to complete strangers in the grocery store and ask them if they want to collaborate? Probably not. The same is true online.
So take some time to engage with and get to know these bloggers. If you loved their latest blog post, share it on your Facebook feed. Reply to their tweets. Comment on their Instagram. Chat with them in a Facebook group. In other words, share the love. As I mentioned before, blogging is a community, so get to know one another!
As you dive into the process, it’s also important to think about accountability. And this is especially true when you’re engaging in a major collaboration. Can you count on your parter to stick with it? Chances are, if you’ve done your research, highlighted a blogger who posts regularly, engages with her audience, and produces quality work, you have nothing to worry about. But it is important to consider nevertheless.
(Additionally, if you’re branching out further afield, and you’re working with a new company and/or there’s money involved, make sure you fully understand the process. Twine suggests making a contract, and even provides a guide to collaboration rights. Similarly, Kingsley and Napley highlight the importance of professional negligence laws and understanding how they work. While the chances of you needing to use either of these options are slim to none, it’s helpful to have them on your radar nevertheless.)
Collaboration Ideas for Bloggers
Once you’ve identified potential collaboration partners and you’ve established a relationship, it’s now time to reach out. Look over the suggestions below, choose the one (or more!) that sounds like the best fit for your blog, and get started!
Guest posting is probably one of the most popular collaboration ideas for bloggers. And not surprisingly, it’s also quite effective. Essentially, guest posting is the process of writing an article for your partner’s website, and/or having them write one for your’s.
This is a fantastic strategy for growing your audience, because you have the opportunity to share your writing with an entirely new audience. And in return, you get great content shared on your site as well. No wonder guest posting is so popular; it benefits everyone!
Conduct An Interview or Maintain An Interview Series
I don’t know about you, but I love reading interview posts. It’s such a fun shift from the standard one-voice blog post, and it offers your readers a bit of variety.
Even more fun is creating a themed interview series. Let’s say you’re a fitness blogger. Each month you could interview a different fitness trainer to share their latest routine or workout strategy. Again, this drives more readers to your blog, offers variety and valuable information to your current readers, and helps you make connections.
Write a Collaborative Post
This is a fun strategy if you’re working on a post that has different approaches or points of view. I was reading a finance blog recently, which featured this type of post. It was quite enlightening, because each author offered their own strategies for effective saving, and by combining their knowledge, they provided a treasure trove of resources for both of their audiences.
Create A Roundup
As a reader, the blog roundup is one of my favorite kinds of posts. Why? Because it provides me with several fantastic resources all in one place. I find this strategy used a lot on food blogs: Christmas cookie roundup, Whole30 Roundup etc. But that doesn’t mean other bloggers can’t use it, too!
If you have several blogs that you love, create a themed roundup post spotlighting all of your favorites! Some examples might be:
- 10 Best At Home Workouts
- 15 Best Self-Care Resources
- 5 Best Motivational posts for the Monday blues
Host A Giveaway
This strategy is quite popular over the holiday season, but it’s certainly an effective technique all year round. Essentially, each person involved in the giveaway contributes something to a prize pack: this can be a physical product, but it can also be a free class, your latest eBook, etc. Then, using something like Rafflecopter, you collect entries and select a winner after a set period of time.
If you’ve participated in a giveaway before, you know that this is a great way to engage with – and reward – your readers. Plus, it’s FUN!
Interested in even MORE suggestions? You got it! Click here to get a complete list of 20 collaboration ideas for you to use today!
Also – if any of YOU would like to collaborate, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Leave me a message below, or send me an email at paula [at] imbusybeingawesome [dot] com. I’d love to work with you and grow our communities together!
So tell me – will you take up the challenge? Will you reach out to a blogger and start the conversation? Which collaboration strategy will you use? Have you ever collaborated with bloggers before? Let me know below!