Our company has recently been exploring cross-blogging opportunities, and we’ve had some success doing so. In fact, just this morning, we sent off a draft of a blog we will be sharing with a local landscape designer for her e-newsletter. Throughout this process, some issues have arisen — mostly relating to protecting and enhancing our brand strength/recognition.
There were times, for instance, when we passed on an opportunity to participate in another company’s blog because the inviting party did not understand our message/brand. Some of those sites were just collecting other bloggers in the field of remodeling, and they didn’t have any real connection to what we do. One example was a “Do It Yourself” website that helps homeowners do their own home remodeling. That’s just not our message. It’s not what we sell. Another example was a blogger who wanted to post what we felt was a sexist message. Again, not something we wanted to participate in. We felt that cross-blogging with these sites would not have been good exposure, and could have even damaged our brand.
Of course, we don’t want to limit ourselves to the narrow approach of working only with companies that are very similar to our own, but we do look for partners who have a complementary product/service line, personality and target market. Just as, say, a professional chef might look to share her blog with websites specializing in city living, parenting, food allergies, food associations and professional organizations.
Finding the right partners for these relationships isn’t an exact science, and we don’t have a checklist for making good choices when cross-blogging. But we do have a keen eye for protecting our company from risk.