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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.
- Ralph White, expert entrepreneur coach with over 2 decades of experience
- Lee Ann Farmer, a time management/CRM specialist with an expertise in relationship management
- Bonnie Landau, a web designer and online marketing expert
- Mary Mullenhoff, a fitness coach with expertise in sales & marketing
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 Design, 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.