– Someone on the internet –
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together
One of the things I love most about being a blogger is having the opportunity to collaborate with other content creators. Seeing an idea come to life through joint effort is exhilarating and I love it. Here at Jenna’s World view you don’t even have to ask me twice to collaborate because I’m always up for it.
If the topic is on brand, I’m happy to throw my two cents in. At the same time, if I come up with an idea and there’s room for others to contribute I’ll always be down for that. Another reason I love to collaborate is because it gives everyone involved to chance to reach new audiences. Some of my past collaborations have led me to other amazing opportunities. Working together with your creative peers will help to boost to your brand and increase your online presence.
The not so good stuff
With all the good things that come with working with other content creators there can be some complications too. Unfortunately, this is the stuff that make collaborations extremely difficult. In hindsight, you would think that bringing people together to collaborate would be easy as one two three. But I’ve been in this game long enough to know this is far from the case.
I decided to put a quick guide together to help content creators collaborate more effectively. I’m writing from a bloggers perspective, but the advice can be tailored to other creatives too. I’ve also made sure to include advice for the person hosting the collaboration and those contributing.
How To Collaborate Effectively For Hosts
If you have a blog post idea or an upcoming project that requires contributions here are some top tips to help bring the vision to life smoothly.
First Things First
Be clear on what it is you’re looking for before sourcing contributors. When you’re clear on what it is you want to do and why it will be easier to communicate the requirements of your project to those contributing. Once you have the purpose, aims and objectives down create a one- page document on Canva that briefly outline what you’re looking for. If that’s too technical for you then could always send out a simple tweet. Please see two examples of what I’ve done in the past below.
Flesh Out The Requirements
Once you’ve received your desired number of contributors it’s time to discuss the requirements of the post/project. This way there will be no blurred line’s and everyone will be on the same page. When you put your requirements on the table early on contributors will be able to decide whether they can commit to them or not.
- Create a 1- page guidance document that covers everything from what it is you’re looking for in greater detail to submission deadlines. This guide will give contributors a better understanding of what it is you want and what is expected of them during this collaboration. Important things to include here – Plan the timing of posts, word limit, where to submit their contribution, what images are being used, social links, promotion schedule etc.)
- Alternatively you could create a live working document via Apple pages or Google docs and invite contributors. This way you’ll be able to include the guidance info as well as allow others to add their contribution in real time.
Post Project Promotion
Another key thing to make clear to all contributors is what you expect from them once the post/project has gone live. This is where things usually go left. What I’ve noticed is creatives are excited to contribute but that energy goes out of the window once the project is live and it’s time to promote. I’m not sure why this is but I usually find people will retweet my promo tweet once and go about their day. For me personally I prefer contributors to let their network know about the collaboration as well as support promo material I put out.
To avoid any drama it’s important to agree on a promotion schedule for your project. I’ve collaborated with people who’ve ghosted when time came to promote on the socials. As a result it is now a requirement for contributors to promote 3x a week for the first two weeks of a post going live.
Deadlines & Check In’s
When working with others put in place a submission deadline for all contributions. This way they have a date to work towards. Sometimes contributors can forget and I totally understand because I’ve been there before. Life can get hectic especially if you have an ever growing to do list. Check ins are a great way to see how contributors are getting on before the official deadline.
However, check ins can be extremely time consuming especially when you’re working with a handful of people. On a few occasions when I’ve had to chase others their submission have come back rushed. Which has then resulted in me not being able to use it in the final project. As of lately if a contributor misses the submission deadline, I rarely follow up with them. In saying that please set a realistic submission deadline that works for all parties involved.
Comments & Feedback
I wrote a guest post for Kelle over at itskellesspace.com and a few weeks later she came back to me with feedback. In addition to this she also told me to check out the comments under the post as I received lots of great feedback. This was the first time this has been done and I thought it was such a great touch. I now do plan on doing this going forward.
It’s important to give contributors feedback about their contribution to a post. Whether the feedback is positive or negative it must be communicated. As the person hosting the collaboration it is your duty to ensure you do this. Also it’s great practice and lets the people involved know what worked. If you plan to start doing this be sure to let contributors know to expect feedback from you in due course.
How To Collaborate Effectively For Contributors
Here is some advice for those contributing to other’s projects. It’s important as contributors to be on point this way you can increase your chances of working with a brand again.
Do you have the capacity?
As a blogger you can sometimes go down this dark hole where you’re chasing new opportunities. There is nothing wrong with this, but it can get a bit crazy. Then before you know it you’ve agreed to contribute to multiple projects on top of your own creative commitments.
Before you agree to collaborate on any projects ask yourself whether you have the capacity to do so? Don’t rush into an opportunity as you’ll end up biting off more than you can chew and then not be able to deliver. It’s not a good look and it will make you appear unprofessional and unserious about your brand. Think before you say yes! Never be afraid to decline if you don’t have the capacity to do so.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t make sense to you. The worst thing you can do is to run off into the wind with your uncertainty. Get into the habit of asking questions. It’s always good to have clarity and understanding before you start any project.
Give it your best shot
If you’ve agreed to contribute to a project, please give it your best shot. Sadly, in the past I’ve received some submissions that were not so great. As a result, I was unable to include it in the final blog post. Unfortunately, things like that have put me off working with certain bloggers again. If you commit to something and then you don’t deliver to the standard it doesn’t look good on you or your brand.
If your heart isn’t in it please leave it alone
As a blogger knowing when to turn down opportunities will save you from a lot of hassle. Please only involve yourself with projects that you care about. After while you’re going to get sick of attaching your names to things that you don’t have no real interest in. Freebies, money and clout can only satisfy you for so long. Only commit to contributing to things that genuinely interest you. It’s important that you collaborate with others for the right reasons.
My Top 7 Favorite Collaborations
I genuinely hope you’ve found my tips helpful. Please don’t forget to share this with your creative buddies and pin this post on Pinterest. Below I listed my top 5 blogs collaborations of all time.
If you would like to collaborate with me please do get in touch by sending an email to [email protected]
Please note this is a sponsored post in partnership with Femme Luxe