Get a Blog Buddy

13 Ways a Blog Buddy Can Help Your Blog

Blogging, like other forms of writing, is a lonely business. You’re alone in front of your computer screen while, deep down, you really want to be the kid on the playground with whom everyone wants to be friends. One way to conquer this sense of you against the social media ecosphere is to get a blog buddy.

4 Reasons you need a blog buddy

Like having a running buddy who gives you a reason to get up in the wee morning hours to train because he’s dressed and waiting for you, a blog buddy keeps you on track.

  1. Blog buddies give you an outside perspective. Everyone needs this because you may be too close to your blog to see the poor English, sloppy word use and other mistakes you make.
  2. Blog buddies provide a partner who can relate to what you’re doing. While your spouse or best friend may try to be helpful, most likely, their good intentions miss the mark since they don’t have blog expertise.
  3. Blog buddies are a sounding board. They know how to help or can brainstorm a solution with you.
  4. Blog buddies offer a support system in an otherwise solitary experience. They cheer you on to succeed so that you don’t crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head!

13 Ways a blog buddy helps your blog

Here are thirteen ways a blog buddy can enhance your blogging experience and keep you on track. Depending on the strengths that each of you has, all of these suggestions may not be relevant.

  1. Provide human interaction. Treat the relationship like a coaching session or a one-on-one with your boss where you’re forced to focus on the work at hand. Blog buddy communications should take place in real time. Turn off the social media, television and other distractions. If possible, meet in person for a coffee at least once a week.
  2. Create an editorial calendar. Discuss your upcoming posts, related content and other promotions like a staff meeting.
  3. Brainstorm column ideas. Every writer can feel like there’s nothing left to write about. I call it the Blank-Blog-Post-Syndrome. Having someone to generate ideas with is useful. (For blog post ideas here are more tips.)
  4. Write guest posts. If your subjects are similar, write guest posts and cross-pollinate your audiences. Remember, your goal is to provide excellent material for others so they will visit your site.
  5. Review each other’s posts. No matter how well you write, don’t under-estimate the value of an outside editor.
  6. Critique design and other non-text elements. Get feedback on these aspects of your blog. Are they consistent with your brand and related content?
  7. Analyze search optimization to ensure that you’re maximizing your potential. While this tip may be too technical, it’s worth including since at a minimum you should be focusing on a set of keywords.
  8. Provide technology insights. Realize that this tactic may require more specialized skills than either partner has. That said, you may be able to exchange tips and plug-ins.
  9. Develop blog marketing plan. Don’t overlook the importance of flogging your blog to build traffic.  This requires a plan with appropriate strategies and tactics to ensure that you blog achieves your goals. A variety of approaches is needed. (Here are some suggestions to build your audience.)
  10. Help build blog comments. Blog buddies can comment on each other’s blogs. Of course, it’s a good idea not to over do this. Further, the comments should be more than “great post”.
  11. Expand your network. Think of it as being at a party with each other’s friends. You want to introduce them to people who might want to talk to them.
  12. Assess blog metrics. Determine which measures are important for the blog goals that you’ve set. Use an analytics package to help you track your progress.
  13. Hold you accountable. If you’re working by yourself without an external manager or coach, you’re liable to lower your goals and output.  Having someone check that you’re on track can be useful especially when other factors like work and family are screaming for your attention.

Partnering with another blogger who is at roughly your level of blogging experience can be useful since it provides a sounding board and a support system. A blog buddy can help keep you inspired even when your early results aren’t as stellar as you hoped they might be. Among the places to look for a blog buddy are current and former colleagues, acquaintances from twitter chats, and people from social media gatherings, classes or meetups.

Do you have a blog buddy? If so, how has it helped you and your blog? Would you please add your suggestions to the comment section below?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Tip of my hat to Delia DeLisser who inspired this post.

Check out Problogger’s approach to Blog Buddies

Photo credit:  Svadilfari via Flickr

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