When my sweet friend Susannah of Feast + West asked to share a guest post during my maternity leave, I immediately thought she had the perfect insight to share with you. When I think of Susannah, one of the things I always think of is how many fun blog collaborations she’s hosted and I’ve been able to be a part of. I know collaborating with other bloggers can be intimidating and even impossible to know where to begin, so I asked her to share some insight into her process of putting together these collaborations! I hope you enjoy her thoughts and advice!
Blogging collaborations are one of the single best ways to grow your audience, traffic and SEO. It’s also a good way to get some experience and work with new people. When I first started blogging, I learned early on that working with other bloggers was important for growth.
I’ve done all kinds of collaborations, from planning a local holiday party with a blogger friend to staging an outdoor dinner party photoshoot to coordinating giant recipe blog hops with giveaways and sponsors. The opportunities are as limitless as your imagination.
Madison asked me here to talk about how I put together these sorts of things, and really, it all starts with an idea. So here’s how I do it:
Like I said, you need an idea first. This part is easy. Start with an idea for a blog post, or be inspired by something you see on Pinterest. Or take something you really love and make it into a bigger project. For example, I love popcorn, and I could just share a popcorn recipe on my blog. But, I took it one step further and I got together a group of bloggers to share creative popcorn recipes over the course of a week. Go crazy.
Figure out how you will collaborate on that topic. Here are a few ideas to get you started — pick one or a few!
- Coordinate a group giveaway
- Post a series of themed posts on one day
- Post a series of themed posts during one week
- Plan an event
- Stage a photo shoot
- Host a challenge
- Record a podcast or video or webinar
- Find a partner.
If your project is going to be bigger than 10 people, you might consider asking a friend to help you. It’ll take some of the heat off of you, plus it will be nice to have someone with whom to figure out logistics and bounce ideas around. It could be a good friend or someone you’ve never worked with before but who shares your interest.
Make a list of all the things you need to get done and their deadlines. That could be something like:
- finding potential collaborators
- emailing potential collaborators
- pitching sponsors for a giveaway
- setting up giveaway
- set up group Pinterest board
- designing graphics
- writing emails with collaboration instructions
Not to mention your part of the collaboration — making your project or recipe, photographing it, writing your blog post — or posts! Next, figure out who can take on what. Divide the tasks based on your schedules and skills.
- Be clear and confident.
I can’t emphasize this enough. I have learned that you can’t be vague or wishy washy or ask a big group for their opinions. (Trust me on that.) Don’t let the group take over — you’re the leader! They like you enough to sign up for your collaboration, so be confident and be clear. Phrase every instruction very carefully, and make things as easy as possible. I am a big fan of Google Docs for group projects.
- Be available and flexible.
On the day or week your collaboration goes live, be on call. That’s not a good time to be on vacation! (I was a participant in a giveaway that took place while the host was on vacation, and there were a ton of problems. It was horrible!) Of course you can still live your life, but make sure you are available if any problems arise so you can hop on them quickly. Also, if someone needs to bow out, be OK with that. Life happens. Your collaboration will be great regardless, and you can always reschedule.
So there you go — that’s how I do it! Blogger collaborations can be a lot of work, but they really pay off in spades. Plus, once you’ve done one, the next one will be a lot easier! You can do it.
Have you ever hosted a blog hop? How’d it go?
For other ways to collaborate with bloggers, check out this post!