I was honored to be a guest over at #BizapaloozaChat yesterday to chat about all kinds of collaborative content including guest blogging, expert roundups and many others.
Here’s what we were talking about for you to catch up in case you missed the event.
Q1: How do you feel about content that contains tips, interviews, from experts? Love it or hate it – why?
IF they are done right, expert roundups can be GREAT for both the readers and all the participants (not many people know / care to make them right though!)
The initial idea is beautiful: Every expert brings the best tip, piece of advice, tool, etc. to the table and a reader can find of those on one page
Therefore I generally say that I LOVE interviews, I LOVE personal stories shared by people and I LOVE how readers generally relate to them
Q2: What is content collaboration?
Content collaboration means involving other people in creating your content. At @MyBlogU we treat the term very loosely: Even suggesting a content idea is some sort of content collaboration
We like to say that one head is almost always worse than many (as cliche as it may sound) but that’s the essence of content collaboration: Getting others to help you with content creation
For example, you can ask people to complete the survey and use the survey results in your copy, you can ask fellow group member share their favorite tools and include those tools in your content
Any form of collaboration usually makes your content better, as well as strengthens your relationships with those who help you or who you help, which is the beauty of the concept
I talked about different types of collaborative projects here.
Q3: In what ways is collaborating on content creation easier than doing everything yourself?
In so many ways: It’s like doing anything yourself… Almost always it’s easier when you get help
First of well, no matter how long you’ve been in a niche you are likely to be missing some angles, ideas or perspectives: Other people will open your eyes on so much in your industry
Therefore I like inviting people from outside the niche: To get some fresh insight into something I am involved with daily. Stepping away from what you are doing and looking from outside is the best way to brainstorm
Also it’s always great to feel you are not alone: It’s a great way to motivate yourself to keep moving forward.
Q4: What are the benefits of content collaboration?
Like I said, the biggest part is the feeling of community which keeps you inspired and motivated. when I know someone else was helping with content, I feel much more motivated to make it a success
Of course there are more tangible benefits: Participating influencers bring their followers when they share the content they helped create and are credited in
Participating experts bring more depth and quality into content as well as a better variety of insights
All of that makes your blog much higher-quality and builds community which brings returning traffic, subscribers, etc.
Q5: What are different types of collaborative content – what kinds of content is ideal for collaboration?
There are LOTS of types: Really your imagination is your only limit! I’ve seen text interviews, Twitter chat interviews, podcasts, video interviews, animated GIF group roundups, etc.
You can put together books and whitepapers, Slidehshare slideshows, graphics, and so much more
I guess look at your and neighboring niche and do something NO ONE else does and you can most definitely involve others into creating that too!
Q6: Where can you find people to feature in your collaborative content?
Obviously, they should start looking around their already built contacts (people they interact on Twitter, bloggers they read regularly, people who comment often on their blogs…)
Collaborating on content is a great way to strengthen already built connections because nothing makes people closer than creating something together
To extend your circles, look at @MyBlogU: It’s very easy and straightforward. You can basically ask for any help there, from contributing to your blog roundup to connecting you to more experts in any niche
Also, look who tend to contribute to other blogs in your niche and reach out to them to (if you like what they do)…
Q7: How often SHOULD you do collaborative content – is there such a thing as too much collaborative content?
Depends on what type of collaboration we are talking about here… If it’s generally about helping and get help (brainstorming, proofreading, finding new angles), collaborate daily!
If we are talking about actually CO-CREATING content, I’d say one project a month is the most one can actually handle. Co-creating takes lots of time (especially if you do it right and you should!): Reaching out, following-up, formatting, research, etc.
Plus, if you invite too many contributors, your blog may lose its style, and your readers may get tired of seeing too many faces… So target quality rather than quantity!
Q8: What are some typical mistakes folks make when they are trying to collaborate on content?
Trying to do too many of roundup-type articles: They see one work well and they try to do them again and again. Experts will just get tired of answering and readers will get tired of seeing the same types of articles again and again
Not doing enough to nurture those connections that result from those collaborative articles. It’s not really about the content you create, it’s about the connections! Bloggers publish the piece and move on, never doing anything to build those connections further
Not putting enough effort in trying to stand out, coming up with original topics, new formats, good questions. Funny, how many people actually miss the point here! People don;t write content for you: It’s still your article you are going to publish on your blog!
Q9: What tools or processes are great for keeping everyone on task when working on collaborative content?
- My favorite collaborative tool is actually Google Docs: So fast, reliable, nothing to install, you can comment and respond to comments – LOVE IT!
- I do use @MyBlogU for any collaborative project I am doing: It manages follow-ups, reminders and auto-notices whenever anything is late or scheduled. Very good for productivity.
- I have listed a few more tools here including @MindMeister @Cyfe @CoSchedule and more
Q10: If you’re asked to contribute, what should you do to get the most visibility?
Firstly, of course try and contribute an actually valuable thing: Something that once helped you, your WOW moment, your actual memory. Don’t try to fake being authentic!
I always try to contribute something actionable, something readers can go and try right away. I usually list some useful tools and give clear steps what to do there: Getting people act means catching their attention
Don’t be too shy to provide screenshots, images, even cool visual quotes: Visuals always stand out and help!
Do engage: Comment and share when the article goes live and connect to fellow featured experts! Again, it’s all about connections so use every collaborative piece as a priceless opportunity to connect!