So you’ve been running your blog for a few years, and have a stable audience. They read all your posts and interact in the comments. Maybe you’ve even built up friendships with some of them. But you want to widen your audience.
Many bloggers in this situation consider partnering with another blogger. This way, you can introduce your audience to their blog and they can introduce their audience to yours. You can work together on more comprehensive blog posts and start creating a website with a significantly wider scope.
This may be exactly what you need and it has worked for many other bloggers. However, before you take the leap, make sure you know everything about your potential partner. The last thing you want is to partner with someone who is not who they say they are.
Here are the 3 steps you should take.
1. Do a background check
First off, you should do a background check. What is a background check? A background check essentially provides comprehensive research on someone else’s past. You can find out if they have a criminal record, if they are on the sex offenders registry, and a lot more information that is not as alarming but can prove crucial in your decision.
One aspect you may look out for is whether they have a bad credit history. You’re not their landlord, so if they have a black mark or two it’s not necessarily going to matter. However, if they have a long track record of bad financial decisions, this can impact your own finances down the line, especially if your blog is monetized or you sell merchandise.
Partnering with someone is ultimately a business decision, and you should treat it with all the weight it deserves.
2. Social media matters
In today’s world, a reputation can fall apart in seconds. One tweet from years ago can cause people to “cancel” you without a second thought. Recently, a Parklands shooting survivor found this out when his Harvard acceptance was revoked after screenshots of a document in which he typed the n-word emerged – from when he was sixteen!
You can carefully curate your own social media presence, but it’s more difficult when you’re partnering with someone else. They may be perfectly good people, but try and do research into their social media history. There might be an incriminating tweet or Facebook post from years ago that could damage your reputation by mere association.
Some background checks will do social media investigations as well.
3. Assess their readership
Finally, one more potential problem is a toxic fanbase or readership. You can’t control who reads your blog, but you can implement rules for reader engagement. If someone says something mysogynistic or bigoted, you can delete their comment or block them from commenting altogether.
If the person you are considering partnering with has a toxic following, you may want to steer clear. The blogger themselves may not be the problem, but they haven’t shown their readers what behavior is acceptable to them.
The last thing you want is your readership to feel alienated because of the behavior of someone else’s readers. See what their engagement is like on their current blog posts and make your decision accordingly.