Collaborative Blogging For Those Short on Time

Blogging has become a mainstream method for reaching out to potential customers. But many small businesses do not have the time to invest in a regular blogging routine. So how do you capture the opportunities it has to offer if you don’t have the time to participate?

Find complimentary colleagues

Look within your industry and put together a group of 3-5 complimentary colleagues. They should offer services that compliment your own but do not compete. As a group you should be able to offer a complete package to your potential customers.

For example, I participate in the Possibilities Unlimited blog, which is comprised of a consortium of businesses coaches. Their blog pulls together knowledge from:

All four of us are entrepreneurs, and we have extensive experience with sales growth and business management. Together we have created a blog that allows us to share our expertise without having to write articles every day.

Who should manage the blog?

As the creator, you should be in charge of the blog. You should be responsible for inviting writers, which also means you have the right to let a writer know when it’s not working out. Style and publishing calendar would be under your control, so you will be able to optimize it for your business message.

At the same time, you would be responsible for technical upkeep. If you pay a developer to assist with this, it is fair to ask the contributing bloggers to pay a portion of the upkeep.

How should I brand the blog?

It’s not a bad thing to brand the blog separate from yourself. Simple Web Toolbox was created by Landau Digital, but we have branded it as its own entity so that people who do not work for us can also write for us.

Choose a name for your blog that fits the umbrella theme. For example, the Possibilities Unlimited team has a marketing message about “winning in the game of business“. Their blog is called “Consulting2Win“.

How do I invite writers?

Before you begin to invite writers, it’s a good idea to put together some guidelines for participation. These guidelines should include:

  • Description of the blog theme and the topics it will include.
  • How often they are expected to write.
  • Meetings or conference calls they will be expected to participate in.
  • The topics you want them to cover.
  • The length of articles you expect.
  • Any formatting or graphics you will require.
  • The submission process (do they input it themselves or send it to you and you will input it).
  • The promotional activities they are expected to provide (i.e. Twitter, facebook, email newsletter promotion, etc.).
  • Links expected from their website.
  • Explanation of what the distribution would be if money is made.

What if it doesn’t work out?

Just like any business, you will have to manage this group like employees. Having guidelines gives them an understanding of expectations. If they do not fulfill the requirements for participation, you need guidelines for what should happen next.

For example, if somebody misses their copy deadline more than 2 times, will they be asked to leave? Or would that be an indication they cannot write so frequently so you would reduce their articles per month and bring in a new writer? It’s up to you to determine the guidelines that will keep everything running smoothly.

Do you already have a collaborative blog?

We’d love to hear your ideas on what works in a group blogging situation and what you have done to make it a success. Please share your ideas in the comments.

5 Responses to “Collaborative Blogging For Those Short on Time”

  1. Nice post. I like the idea of separate blog from your initial brand so that others can also contribute to it. But at the same time am wondering if it would not be beneficial to keep the two together.

    Oh the stress of being caught between a rock and a hard place.

  2. Bonnie Landau says:

    Thanks, Robert. In all my reading about blogging, one of the things that stuck in my mind is separating your blog from your business gives you an option down the line to sell the blog, if you want of course. Once it creates a reputation of its own, then it becomes a commodity separate from your business. Of course, if the purpose of your blog is to promote your business and gain new clients, then that isn’t the right approach.

  3. Aw, this was a really great post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get anything done.

  4. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. […] Collaborative blogging for those short on time from Simple Web Toolbox […]