I recently began a new collaboration with a fellow Blog Trends member, Shayla from http://shay.la/, and we’re having a wonderful time answering a series of questions related to blogging. “The View From Here” appears on our blogs each Monday, and though it’s just a few weeks in, we’re hoping our posts will evolve into a regular conversation about our extremely different lives. Blog collaborations are a wonderful way to connect with fellow bloggers who share your interests, and the experience is fun and rewarding. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Work with a friend: Shayla and I met in a blogging class, and we just seemed to click. I was drawn to her blog about life in Northwestern Ontario, which is completely different from mine in Central Texas. I became a loyal reader, started commenting on her blog, and she returned the favor. We then began emailing each other frequently, bouncing ideas off each other, and I eventually suggested the idea of a collaboration. We just couldn’t think of a topic! Finally, we both realized that we should write about blogging, since that’s usually the subject of our conversations. It took a few months to figure out the logistics, but now we’re off and running, and it’s something I look forward to at the beginning of every week.
It helps tremendously that Shayla and I are similar bloggers and post on a regular schedule. She is a newspaper reporter and I was an English teacher, so we both share a love for writing and understand the importance of proper spelling and grammar. You should be well-matched with your fellow collaborator from the very beginning, and this will help keep things nice and simple. Working with Shayla literally came about naturally, as we got to know each other through our blogs and email conversations.
Find common ground: Though Shayla and I are so different, we’re both lifestyle bloggers who write about life in our towns. She’s a newlywed and I have two children, but our experiences are still similar enough that we can relate to each other. She just has to face months of heavy snow while I’m melting in the heat. That unique spin adds interest to our conversations, and we’re learning more about each other as we answer our own questions for the collaboration.
When you’re planning to work with another blogger, find something you have in common and take it from there. An initial shared interest, in clothing, cooking, or any favorite topic, can become the jumping-off point for a fascinating conversation.
Topic and frequency: Once we knew we wanted to work together, Shayla and I brainstormed ideas until we found a topic that would work. We then discussed questions to answer, what format to use, and how frequently to post. Our initial plan was twice-monthly, but we soon realized that we had so much to talk about that we could easily do it weekly. That schedule works well for us and helps to focus our writing for the week.
Find a topic that fits your collaborative goal and take it from there. The schedule and frequency of your posts will depend on your blog schedule, as well as other collaborations you may already have. As a reader, I think it’s best not to overload a blog with too many collaborations, especially in one week, because the original blogger’s voice can get lost that way. It’s fine to participate in several collaborations at once, but try to stagger them throughout the month, so your voice is still the primary focus of your blog.
Have fun!: We started our collaboration at the beginning of February, but I’ve been excited about it since last year. Working with Shayla was a goal of mine, and I’m thrilled to finally reach it. It’s so much fun to share our conversation with our readers, and I know it will spark other discussions as we continue to write each week.
Above all, a collaboration should be fun and exciting, and your readers should feel your enthusiasm, too. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to branch out, showcase your blogging skills, and possibly attract new readers along the way.
Have you worked with other bloggers? We’d love to hear your experiences, too!