A lot of writers come into the blogging world, ready to move mountains with their written words. A lot of writers come into this ruthless environment, hoping to make an impact. An impact in their readers’ lives, on society and its norms, to bring a piece of relevance to the already saturated web… But the biggest problem with these dreams is that not all of them will be met from the get-go. When I started blogging, I was sure that my writing alone was enough to reach all corners of the world. But it wasn’t. I soon learned that I needed to collaborate with my peers and optimize my posts for that dream to come true.
Rajat, a lifestyle and technology blogger, reached out to me one day and asked the million-dollar question; how do you choose which bloggers to collaborate with? What I love about this question is that it forced me to think a little harder about what seems to be a simple thing, but really isn’t. Just what is it that you need to look out for?
Here is the checklist I use before I collaborate:
Is their niche similar to yours?
When it boils down to it, bloggers will not get too far without the community. We need to build relationships with our peers to learn and grow together. I learned quite early in the game that because you come in with a clean slate, it is your peers’ audience that will eventually be yours. It is also the blogging community that will support you most. For this very reason, I hopped right onto the collaboration train with very little thought.
It didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t the best approach. While blogging should definitely be fun, there needs to be a little bit of logic to the madness for both sides to benefit. By this I mean, does it fit into the host’s niche, or is it relatively close? Will their readers receive the post well? Just to illustrate this a little further, let’s use a finance blog and a makeup blogger. Would it make any sense for a blogger that covers finance to feature a post about makeup? Of course, there may be a handful of readers that wouldn’t mind reading this information, but it would be confusing for most. Before you agree to collaborate, please compare your niches.
What is the quality of their blog like?
One thing I always do before saying yes to a collaboration request is to check out the blogger’s site. Most times, their content is very interesting and in line with the standards of my blog. Other times though, I struggle to understand the point of their articles. When we refer to the quality of the blog, of course we mean the grammar, profanity, religious slandering, etc. But above and beyond this is the way they are able to convey their message.
Even if you work diligently with a guest blogger, you need to think about the aim of hosting them. Is this to drive more traffic to their site? If the answer to that is yes, would your readers still trust you if you sent them to a blog that they couldn’t read or relate to? I am all for bloggers supporting bloggers, but at the end of the day, you need to consider what type of support you can offer without misleading your readers.
Will your SEO ranking tank if you collaborate?
This isn’t a problem for everyone, but I would urge you to consider it. After finally understanding just what SEO is and how it impacts the ranking of a blog, I think twice before proceeding with a collaboration. You would need to ensure that the guest post that you feature does not take away from what took you months to build. However, before you start turning people down, you need to figure out just what it is that you want for your blog.
When I started looking for sponsored opportunities, I came across one big problem; domain authority. If you are registered to Get Blogged, you probably know just what I am referring to. For everyone else, this is basically a score that search engines use to determine the ranking of a site. I would be lying if I said I knew what went into it, I just know it is important for sponsors. Most would prefer blogs with a Domain Authority of 10+ but you can be lucky to find other paid sponsors with a lower score. After all the research I did, one main thing stood out; if you want to improve your domain authority, improve your SEO.
Do they research their posts or just provide opinions
So this one isn’t really big on my list, but it is still on there. Most of the information I provide on my blog has a basis, either personal experiences or research. If I were to host a guest blogger, I would need to know if the main message they are trying to convey also has solid grounding. Now I know many writers just like to share creative content, and that’s okay. Personally, I wouldn’t have a poem posted on my blog because that is just not my style. I also wouldn’t have someone post a research paper on GWS.
Using the makeup blog as reference once again, you wouldn’t want someone writing a post about how great glue is for your eyebrows. What is the basis behind this? Have they looked into the ingredients and given good references? At the end of the day, your readers are your clients and they trust you. Do not just host a post if you do not agree with the details.
Is their blog following the correct guidelines?
Another thing that may not be as relevant to most bloggers, but really should is the use of Copywrite data. This could be as simple as using a picture that was downloaded from a random site and does not have the proper licensing! I got two great tips from collaborating with two of my blogging friends Jan and Olivia. Jan makes sure to give her references and provides pictures that she has the right to use. I loved this, it made me feel comfortable to host her post. As for Olivia, she mentioned that she does a quick Google search to make sure that the text is not plagiarised. Another golden buzzer if you ask me!
Whether you choose to collaborate with another blogger, that decision will have a weighting on you. What you want is for the outcome to be positive for both you and the guest writer. Use your sound judgment and trust your gut. It isn’t rude to say no because support can come in different ways.