Build Your Blog With a Little Help From Your Social Media Friends

5 Ways to Build Your Blog With Other People’s Content

Does blogging ever make you feel like you’re hamster who can’t get off the running wheel? If so, take some advice from Joe Cocker who got help from The Beatles when he sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  In this version, Joe Cocker gets help from Queen.

When it comes to blogging, there are times for one reason or another that life or business eats into your writing time. Or you may need help from the blog’s inception. At these times, it’s useful to get help you’re your social media buddies to develop content.

Before you approach your social media friends for help, consider how you want to integrate their content and voices into your blog. To this end, assess your blog’s goals, target audience, brand, content strategy and marketing to determine how you want to use guest posts. Here are five elements to consider before you invite a friend to help you blog.  While you have to ask yourself what will this writer bring to my readers, remember if it’s only about you, no one’s going to help you. Also, it’s helpful to have guidelines for them.

  1. Topics. What areas do you want to each guest blogger to cover? Does he appeal to one of your marketing personas?
  2. Strength of writing. Does the writer have a similar voice or a style that compliments yours? Is it at a similar level to yours? You don’t want to have a poor writer. Alternatively, you don’t want a writer so good that he’ll make your work look bad.
  3. Influence. Speaks to reach of writer. Will this writer bring new readers to your blog? Check writer on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as well as Klout.
  4. Focus. Does the writer have something to add to the conversation? Is there an overlap in your audiences? Can the exposure to your audience enhance his reach?
  5. Brand. Does the writer enhance your brand? Does helping your blog help the writer?

Once you find social media colleagues who meet your criteria and are willing to help, here are five ways to integrate their content into your blog with limited input from you.

  1. Use writers as regular blog feature. Make guest posts an on-going feature that appear on a consistent basis, such as every Saturday. You can ask a different person for each column or have a regular stable of writers who rotate.
  2. Create on-going interview as an on-going column. You can have a set of 3-5 regular questions and up to five targeted questions. It can be done via email or phone.
  3. Develop a short video conversation. Act like an on-site journalist (even if the video is created from the comfort of your computer.) The benefit is that if you have too much content you can post it on YouTube.
  4. Collect input for a group of individuals. These columns are useful since they provide a broad range of perspectives.
  5. Provide man-in-the street input regarding a conference. This can be very useful to gather insights into the trade show.  You can develop this as regular feature for conferences.

Regardless of whether your friends provide an occasional post or contriubte as an on-going feature, it’s great to get a little help from your friends.

Are there other types of articles where you could use a little help from your friends?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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