Dramatically Improve your Blog Quality
without breaking the bank or going crazy!
If you’re a blogger I’m sure, like me, you spend way too much time thinking about your blog. Analyzing your content. Stressing over details like plugins, titles, visual content, and social sharing. The struggle is real. There’s a super crowded stream of blog content. So, how can you dramatically improve your blog quality without going crazy or broke? Find a blogging partner!
As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one. Although my blog is a single author blog, I work with a blogging buddy, Rebekah Radice. The traditional thinking of “don’t share ideas with your competitors — keep all the secrets to yourself so you can be the best” is small thinking.
I’m here to show you that this is the wrong approach to grow and improve your blog.
Rebekah and I have been working together on our blogs for several years in a variety of different ways. We share things we learned, give advice and support each other every single week with our blogs. Sometimes we set goals for ourselves or even challenges to push each other and ourselves. I just saw a stat that said the average blog post gets shared an average of eight times. Eight!
We’ve worked together sharing ideas for promoting our posts on social media and tried many things that didn’t work. Overall, I think our ideas have been a win! These are what the most popular blog post sharing looks like from our blog sidebars (orange is Rebekah’s blog and pink is on mine):
Staying motivated and on-track with your blog content can be a huge challenge. Working with a partner can hold you accountable for consistently publishing content. It’s greatly improved the quality on blog and content and I think Rebekah’s as well.
I’m not advocating sucking up to influential bloggers. They’re busy building their own blogging business and have most likely built a blogging support network of peers already.
A blogging partner is peer-to-peer mentoring and should be an equal relationship. The first thing you need to do is to find someone else that’s in approximately the same place you are blogging with their blog. Rebekah and I were both blogging for awhile before we connected so we had some experience and we both had worked on establishing our social media platforms as well.
Qualities to look for in a blogging partner
- someone you trust sharing your ideas with — this will grow over time
- someone with about the same social media platform as you
- someone in your blogging niche that will understand your content
- a positive, motivated person that is interested in growing
How you can create better blog quality with a partner…
1. Review blog topics and titles with each other
Each week we informally discuss our blog topics and touch base. Because Rebekah and I are both so busy with social media management for clients (ya know, the things that bring in the Benjamins), we both write on the weekend and publish on Monday morning.
We have similar styles for our blogging process and start with a working title and build out from there. The title could change in the process, but 95% of my titles stay the same once they are crafted.
Some tools that we use in our blog title process:
If we’re stuck on a title and only have a vague idea for a blog post, it’s blogging buddy to the rescue. We both throw out ideas and we always come up with something great. We’ve both come up with great ideas for each other’s blogs.
Give up the idea that keeping ideas to yourself will make you better — you can be exponentially better by working with another blogger.
2. Get feedback on your designs
Getting a second opinion on your design and graphic creation can help a lot! Sometimes you get so deep into the project that you miss something.
We’ve honed our own personal design styles working together and giving each other suggestions. It was a long process from idea to building the brands that we have today.
3. Find a partner you can be honest with
Being open to new suggestions means that you need to listen with an open mind as well as feel comfortable giving and receiving honest feedback. While I would never say, geez that sucks! I would say maybe you could use more of the blue you used last week or suggest a different font so it’s easy to read.
There’s a skill to giving positive critique and you want to work with someone that will help you grow — not bring you down.
4. Get moral support from a blogging partner
Rebekah and I both have amazing, supportive husbands. And they don’t want to talk about our blogs all the time. Shocking, I know! Getting support from someone who gets it, knows your struggles, and can offer guidance is invaluable.
Having someone listen when you have a blog post doesn’t do well or a plugin crashes your site can help. Moral support can keep you motivated and inspired.
5. Build your social sharing network
Working with a partner also helps your social sharing on your content as you would naturally share your partners blog content and they would share yours. Rebekah and I don’t have an agreement for anything specific — we just support the heck out of each other’s blog content because we like it and our social media followers like it too! So it helps us both. See the reoccurring theme?
6. Swap ideas for social media promotion
Writing great blog posts means nothing these days without a strong social media promotion plan. We have solid promotion set up for our blogs and even wrote a two-part blog series on our blogs to share our ideas.
One tip from Rebekah “Use Instagram to support all of your marketing efforts. Have a blog? Post an image with a call-to-action directing followers to your website, share a quote or tip from your post, or simply notify followers that you have a new post up and direct them to your blog.”
One from my post: Make sure your Facebook page is attractive and optimized. You should change your cover photo occasionally for the seasons or for different marketing campaigns to keep your page fresh.
7. Location doesn’t matter
Rebekah and I met online in a Facebook course years ago. She lives on the West Coast and I’m on the East Coast. Find someone with a similar passion for your niche and the distance won’t matter.
8. Celebrate success together
The best part of a blogging buddy is having someone who is excited about the small and large successes of your blog. It’s not easy to be a successful blog but finding a partner is the best way that you can increase the quality of your blog content and maintain your sanity.
I’m extremely grateful to have a blogging partner.
Instead of looking at everyone as your competition, find a blogging partner and be open to sharing ideas. I think you’ll see that you get more back than you give.
I hope this gives you some ideas to work with a partner on your blog. Finding the right person will make a huge difference!
Originally published at pegfitzpatrick.com on November 16, 2015.