A guest article by Joe Pawlikowski. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
One person can do only so much. No matter how much time and effort we put into our blogs, chances are we’ll need help somewhere down the road. Without that help, it might become difficult to grow and prosper in an increasingly competitive landscape. This means partnering with others. While a partnership necessarily involves relinquishing some level of control, it’s a worthy trade-off for most bloggers. There are also ways to go about it so that you retain as much control as you wish, while still helping yourself and others gain a larger audience.
There are two primary ways to create blogging partnerships. The first is to invite others to your blog. The other is to create a blog network. Both have their ups and downs, so your decision will depend on your blog’s current circumstances.
Building a Solid Partnership (Credit)
Partnering with other bloggers
One way to break through a blogging plateau is to combine and conquer. By adding contributors to your blog, you add different perspectives. These perspectives can add a fresh take to your own, which can entice more and more people to visit. That means more traffic, which will help you grow further.
Not sure how to go about adding new contributors? There are a few ways you can approach the idea.
Combine with another blogger. This might be the most difficult to approach, but it can also have the greatest benefits. There are dozens and dozens — maybe even hundreds — of blogs in every niche. Not every one of these can be successful. If you can identify a talented blogger who doesn’t get much traffic, you can invite him or her to join your blog. Put in front of a larger audience, his or her skills might truly shine, which will improve your blog.
It might be difficult to convince someone to leave their blog and join yours. Likewise, you might not be so keen on adding another voice to your own blog. But the benefits to both of you should outweigh these doubts. By combining blogs you get the traffic benefits of both. You might also attract more traffic, since you can produce more and better content working together.
Invite non-bloggers to contribute. Much as it might shock you, not everyone blogs. Some people just don’t have the time. Others don’t have the desire to create and maintain a blog. You can take advantage of this by inviting these people to contribute to your blog. These voices will be welcome, since they were previously unheard in blogging circles. Additionally, they will allow you to publish a greater volume of posts. That helps boost visibility and traffic.
Get contributions from many bloggers. If you want a real variety of voices on your blog, you can talk to many bloggers in your field and ask them to contribute. You might have to work out some kind of compensation, or you might need to reciprocate and contribute to their blogs. But adding many voices to yours will add to the variety and attract a larger audience. Plus, those contributors are likely to promote their work on your blog, so you can tap into their audiences, too.
Solicit guest posts. Accepting guest posts is another way to add variety to your blog. Again, the more varied your blog the more people you can attract.
Creating a blog network
While it is a much more difficult pursuit, creating a blog network has far-reaching effects. You can keep your blog and others can keep theirs, so everyone retains a level of independence. It also creates a smart grid. What is a smart grid? Electric companies use it to ensure the efficient delivery of power. You can use your smart grid to ensure the efficient delivery of ad impressions and page views.
Traffic and ad impressions do represent two main benefits of creating a blog network. Networks can combine traffic from all blogs to obtain better ad deals. They can also siphon traffic to different places within the network, which means more people will see each blog. Interlinking also creates a stronger links structure — also like a smart grid — which can help with organic search engine results. It all adds up to a more complete product that has a larger audience and higher ad revenue than the blogs could obtain separately.
There are two ways to go about building a blog network.
Blogs of a similar topic. Some of the best networks out there combine blogs that cover similar topics. For instance, SBNation combines all different sports blogs into a single network. Users can navigate among their many team and general blogs. Visitors tend to stay within the network, getting their information from multiple sites within.
This can work for many other niches, too. A network of blogs related to affiliate networking might contain sites that relate to PPC, SEO, copywriting, basic marketing strategies, analytics, and more. Blog networks of this nature can capture a large topic comprehensively. Visitors can jump from blog to blog and still see fresh information on a topic they’re interested in. It’s an effective way to capture a fuller audience.
Blogs of dissimilar natures. Just because your blog doesn’t share a topic with another shouldn’t stop you from forming a network. Many successful networks have started by combining two blogs of completely different style and substance. Take the PMC Network for instance. They have a TV blog, a movie blog, a tech blog, a gossip blog, and more. They might be grouped together under a pop culture banner, but that’s a pretty general one.
By combining loosely connected blogs, you can improve everyone’s audience. Again, PMC works so well, because many people are interested in each of those topics. When they want tech news they’ll go to Boy Genius Report. When they’re done there, they read about their favorite TV shows on TV Line. They don’t even have to type in an address or open a bookmark. They can navigate right from the top bar.
Combining dissimilar blogs might be difficult at first, but it can pay off the largest in the end. The idea is to combine topics that carry widely different audiences. Those audiences can then click around to other blogs in the network, thereby increasing everyone’s traffic. There are plenty of other growth opportunities as well, including cross-posting and cross-promoting.
Everyone’s blog plateaus at one point or another. There are a few tactics that can help you break that plateau and move upward, but each time you’ll move less and less. By combining with other bloggers, you create avenues that don’t exist for individual blogs. Combining and conquering might be your best bet to realize continued growth, higher traffic, and more revenue.