You should start out by asking “Do I even really need a blogging, partner?” Are you able to create enough content on your own and do the external promotion required to grow your blog? If you can support a blog without the need of a partner, definitely take that route. However, a partner may be essential to complement your talents, promote your blog, and handle some of the extra work that goes with a successful blog. If that is indeed the case, you should follow this checklist to see if you and your partner can effectively work together.
You should review each of these items listed in an open and honest way with your partner before you commit to the blogging partnership.
- Absolute Trust
Of course, this is the most important! Without trust, absolute disaster is sure to ensue.
You don’t want to be asking “did my partner write her post?” or “will he properly edit his post?” “is my partner only looking out for themselves?” You should know without a doubt that your partner will stick to any agreed upon plan in advance so you can focus on your activities and not whether or not your partner will do theirs.
- Complementary Skills
If the both of you are great web designers and terrible writers, you might have a bit of a problem moving forward. Too much of the same skills and you lose some of the benefits of a partnership. Now, the skills don’t need to be as diverse as web design and writing but you want to bring in a partner that will complement you and help you in areas you may be weak. If your promotion skills need help, bring in someone that can be strong where you need the most support. That is how the best partnerships are formed.
- Good Communication
Failure to communicate ends relationships and partnerships. With today’s technology, there is no excuse for not keeping your partner up to date. Let them know when posts are done or if you are doing some external promotion. Keeping open lines of communication is paramount.
- Work Habits
Do you ever feel like you’re doing more than the other person? This can quickly cause tension in any partnership. It isn’t necessary to work the same hours, but you need to feel as if there is a fair division of labor.
- Shared Goals
Where are you taking this blog? If you and your partner have different ideas, this isn’t a good match. It’s like a couple where one wants to get married and have kids and the other doesn’t. Make sure you have a shared sense of priority. To take this one step further, discuss what happens if goals require adjustments along the way.
Things can change in a hurry. Is your partner willing to roll with the punches when necessary? Or are they hard headed and only willing to do it their way, as they see it? The early stages of blogging can be rough with many changes necessary in a short time and having someone unwilling to change with the tide can hurt the partnership and the blog.
- Decision Process
There should be a clear decision process on any decision that impacts the blog. How you promote yourself, how you respond to others, the type of content you post, external offers – there should be a clear decision process with a check and balance thrown in to keep everyone happy.
- Strong Execution
You can have the actions you and your partner need to take but if you’re not taking them, there lies a serious problem. The ability to execute with conviction is a necessary trait in a good partnership.
- Written Partnership Agreement
It doesn’t have to be a legally binding, 100-page document. Simply have something that says you agree to operate a certain way, by certain guidelines. This gives you something to refer to if you ever need to and can keep the partnership from devolving into an ugly relationship.
- Planned Exit Strategy (if you need it)
Inevitably, partnerships do go bad. Having an exit strategy in that event is almost necessary. Does the partner get anything? Are they required to return anything? What happens to old content? All these sorts of questions and scenarios should be agreed upon in advance, so there is no doubt what happens later.
Partnerships are one of many ways you can take your blog to the next level. But you need to find a good match and these 10 points provide an excellent screening process to see just how good of a match this can be.
Are you currently part of (or looking to start) a blogging partnership?
Have you run into any problematic scenarios?
Let us know below!