You know blogging will have a positive impact on your business but how do you keep coming up with ideas?
If you want to keep things fresh on your website, then consider collaborating with people and brands offering services and products that complement what you do.
A few weeks ago I did a poll on my Facebook group – you can join here – asking for the areas where people needed support and one of them was how to collaborate.
These five tips explain how to find subjects your readers want to learn more about first and foremost, how to go about finding people to collaborate with, plus different styles of collaborative posts.
- Write about things that interest your audience
There’s no point in going to the trouble of finding someone to collaborate with, interviewing them, writing the blog post, formatting, publishing and promoting it if no-one’s going to read it.
First, think about your clients and what they’re interested in. What would they find helpful? What concerns do they have when it comes to their pets? If you’re not sure, ask them.
So for example, one of the ladies on my Blogging for Pet Businesses beta test Jenny Harris runs a luxury cattery, The Great Catsby.
Jenny knows her audience love their cats and don’t mind paying a little more to know they’re happy and many are women – Crazy Cat Ladies.
During the course, the group were challenged to find someone to interview. She chose Farah Radford, founder of the Cattitude subscription box for cats and their owners.
This was purrfect (sorry) for her audience and you can read the interview here:
2. Bring in experts to answer your client’s questions
If you’re doing a good job of running your pet business – of course you are if you’re taking the time to read this – then it’s likely your clients come to you with their problems.
You might not be able to answer them, but you want to help. If you have a network of experts to call on, you’re able to do this.
Kirsty Skeates from Fit4DogsUK hydrotherapy in Hull helps dogs recovering from injury, and often owners are told they need complete rest.
She was regularly asked how to keep dogs entertained on house rest.
As Kirsty was part of my Blogging for Pet Businesses pilot, she asked trainer Suzanne Gould who was also on the course to help.
Suzanne runs Edinburgh Holistic Dogs and wrote this as a guest post.
Kirsty was able to help her clients. For Suzanne, the benefit was a link to her website, and another page filled with really helpful content which potential clients can see if they search for her.
3. Find businesses that complement what you do
Do you ask each new client where they discovered you? Collaborating is a way to win referrals and often from places where you’d least expect it.
My friend Suzanne and I were chatting and I asked where she found her dog sitter. It wasn’t online or on social media, but a recommendation from her travel agent when she booked her holiday.
As a pet sitter or boarder, you could do a guest blog on a local travel agent’s website about taking the stress out of leaving your pet behind with a checklist of what to look for in a pet sitter.
The travel agent could do a blog on your site giving a checklist on what you need to do to take the stress out of going away on holiday.
You build a mutually beneficial relationship and what better person to refer pet sitting clients to you than the person they book their holiday with?
Do things that your competitors don’t do to stand out. Think outside the box when it comes to collaborating.
4. Create timely, relevant and helpful content
I’ve talked about media diaries and content planners before in this post where you create blogs around awareness days and other dates in the calendar.
Think about what pets face at Christmas, Easter or the Summer Holidays. They might be stressed while travelling, have extra visitors at home or owners might be anxious about the hazard of chocolate.
Then find a local service provider who you can talk to for expert advice. They reach your audience and it’s most likely they will share the content, so you reach theirs.
It’s helpful and shows your clients you care.
If you’re a walker, you could speak to a behaviourist for their tips on how to best manage the holidays, or a groomer for summer grooming tips to keep them cool.
If you’re a groomer, you could speak to a pet sitter about preparing pets for when you leave them behind.
Also consider awareness days and how you can create content around those. National Dog Photography Day is coming up on July 26th founded by Kerry Jordan. You can read it here.
If you run a dog business of any type, you could ask a local pet photographer to collaborate and share advice on taking photos, or go one step further and hold a photoshoot for clients.
5. Celebrate things pets and owners can enjoy in the area where you live
How often do you see content shared about the place where you live online? I’m always seeing posts about dog friendly places in Newcastle. People love them.
There is nothing stopping you from doing the same. Is there something really special for dog owners in your town, city or village?
Look at BuzzFeed where you’ll see posts like 21 Quirks Geordies Don’t Realise Are Weird which go viral each time they go live.
Regional content – posts that celebrate the area where you live – are popular because they’re relatable.
They’re things people from that place understand and know to be true and this makes them shareable.
You can create something like this but with your own pet slant.
Like 10 best dog friendly pubs in York, Inside Newcastle’s Cat Cafe or Is the Central Bar in Gateshead the UK’s most Dog Friendly Pub which I did earlier this year.
Each business in the collaboration is likely to share, as are the people from your area who are in your audience.
I hope that’s given you plenty to think about when it comes to collaborations and how they can fit into your content marketing mix.
There’s lots of options and while it might seem like a bit of a faff, try to look at the benefits.
It increases awareness of your brand, you help your customers, you can show some of your personality and you’re building that know, like and trust that brings people closer to you.
Finally, put a call to action in each post and at the end. Mention products and services you offer. Tell the reader they can join your mailing list like I’m doing now!
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If you’d like more tips on copywriting, my new Blogging for Pet Businesses course is launching again in July.
You can register your interest by leaving your e mail on the link here or send me an e mail, firstname.lastname@example.org