Call it what you want: alliance, partnership, JV – all roads lead to Rome.
The topic of the day is to find ways to increase your website traffic through alliances with other bloggers that benefit all parties involved.
This works no matter what stage your blog is in, how much perceived authority you, as a blogger, have, how big your readership is – the only thing that matters is VALUE.
You don’t think you have much value to offer to other bloggers?
Well, what about your readers? Do you provide value to them? There you go.
We all have something we do better than the other blogger, know more about something than the next guy – we all have something to offer that someone else might want or need.
And if you still think you have nothing, then, quite honestly you’d better close up the shop and go home now.
So, working together with other bloggers to achieve the greater good…
Why would you want to do that to begin with?
Benefits of Alliances
1. Gain access to a new audience
Ideally, you want to partner with someone who has some fresh ears to hear what you have to say.
For instance, if you take a look at the comment section of a potential partner and you see all the same people commenting on their blog as on yours, this might not be the most productive “traffic borrowing” partnership.
2. Promoting each other
Whether it be social networks, each other blogs, email lists, promoting your partners and being promoted in return is a huge benefit not to be overlooked.
3. Promoting products
Word of mouth advertising has always been the best endorsement you can get for any product.
Partnerships can be a powerful way to spread the word about your new product.
Profit sharing, as in affiliate marketing, or giving your partners’ audience a special discount works even better.
4. Creating social proof
Being connected with influential bloggers will cement your reputation as the one to pay attention to.
Ways to Create an Alliance
Now that we know that the potential benefits of a partnership are huge, it’s time to learn what exactly we can offer to each other to create a win-win for everyone involved.
1. Links / Mentions
One of the easiest forms of collaboration, it happens to be one of the most effective ones as well.
It increases website traffic by exposing your links to respective audiences and creates quality in-content link building.
Not to blow my own trumpet, but you can see the examples of me promoting other bloggers and you, my readers, all the time and quite honestly, I love doing it.
I’ve benefited greatly from it through creating more traffic from the mentioned blogs, as well as more comments – at the very least from the bloggers themselves :), from being mentioned on their blogs in return, from referral business even, like consulting clients, blog audits, etc.
2. Promoting in a post
Every once in a while, I like to highlight specific bloggers and the interesting projects they are currently working on like I recently did with Alex Whalley’s 30-day Unique Article Wizard Challenge in this post:
I didn’t do it to get Alex to write about me – truly, but what it did was created an even stronger professional bond as well as built up a personal friendship, not to mention that Alex does mention me a whole lot in his fabulous scribbles on his popular blog.
3. Guest posting
Yes, I can hold this note for a long time.
Imagine you’d like to network with a blogger who seems to be simply unapproachable because of his/her strong reputation in the blogging community. The kind of blogger you really would love to get to know better, in other words.
You can’t and shouldn’t just send them an email, however nice it might be, introducing yourself and letting them know you are after a piece of their attention.
Of course, not.
But submit an awesome blog post, start commenting on their blog, and sooner than later they know who you are and you are on an email basis with them. Sweet spot to be at.
4. Introducing each other
That happens all the time.
You know someone I want to know? Requesting an introduction is in order, assuming, of course, that I already networked with you, linked to you, and am on a first name basis with you.
Twitter is great for that, by the way.
Just recently Gail Gardner from Growmap.com thought that I should definitely be introduced to Donna Anderson from WhiteHatWriting.com, and within minutes of that idea the following tweets were sent out:
Now, thanks to Gail, Donna and I have become each other’s fans – who knows where that relationship will take us in the future!
5. Swap ads
Simple enough, yet with a twist.
Find a blog with an untapped audience!
Don’t just go to a blogger you are already sharing the readership with. Find someone whose content doesn’t compete, but rather compliments yours.
Then approach them with the idea to swap ads and “exchange” traffic.
6. Offer your freebie as a bonus
Know someone with a great product and think your freebie will make a great bonus to it?
Everyone loves a good bonus and as long as it’s not in competition with the product – naturally, this should be an easy deal to make.
Get some bloggers with great newsletters together and start promoting each other on a thank you page your new subscribers will see right after they sign up to your list.
“…I think you’d really love to check out these newsletters I subscribe to and know to provide tremendous value:…”
8. Product co-creation
Yes, everyone wanting to make any serious money online needs their own product at some point.
Having hard time with that idea? Have no clue how to even approach it?
Partner with someone who is in the same boat – two heads are better than one.
Better yet, find someone who already has an idea or is in some stages of development of a product, but needs your expertise to make it complete.
Think outside the box on this one.
9. Special discounts
Have a product already?
Offer a special discount to the readers of a particular blog.
Exclusivity is still a hot commodity and will guarantee to bring you red-hot traffic ready to buy.
10. Run a contest.
This one is definitely better done with a partner or two – less work, better results.
The really hard part is attracting some strong sponsors; connections are the key here. However, if you’ve done the initial steps listed above and already positioned yourself as an authority figure in your niche, that shouldn’t be a problem.
The best part about blogging contests is having the contestants promote YOUR blog to THEIR followers and readership.
As you can see, the benefits of alliances and partnerships speak for themselves.
No blog is an island and your networking abilities are simply crucial to your online reputation management and ultimate success as a blogger.
These 10 ways should give you plenty of food for thought.
Just remember to think outside the box and be smart about how you approach the “unapproachables”.
What did I miss? Comment to show me that you’re alive!