Outreach, relationship and community building are vital parts of growing any audience, online or off, for profit or hobby. To evoke any response from visitors to your site or consumers you have to be able to serve, prove trustworthiness and provide value at all stages of a lasting relationship. That is why collaboration is so powerful and social networks, for the most part, have been so successful because their functions rely on what drives human beings to action; building relationships. A majority of the most successful blogs and businesses in the current new media age have one thing in common and that’s a focus on serving their community while embracing and collaborating with peers to increase the value of their content within their niche. An approach focused solely on self gain won’t last for the long run since relationships are not built by taking but giving.
Therefore, collaboration is a powerful practice for vastly improving the quality of whatever it is you’re offering your audience and community. Whether it’s advice, commentary or products and services. Partnering with the right players in your niche can have an astounding effect on your business as you align yourself with the success of others and through sharing resources, your experiences and opportunities are multiplied.
Evaluate the success of various blogs across the web such as Social Media Today, Smart Passive Income and BrainyMarketer (which is fairly new and has grown a great deal in short time span) for example, you’ll see that community building and collaboration were and still are integral to their success. Through pooling resources with other bloggers, conducting interviews and communicating directly with their audiences with a real focus on relationships, they have found what works.
As you contemplate on kicking your blog into the next gear, try to identify opportunities to collaborate with other bloggers to create content that better serves your audience. In doing so, here are a few tools that will help you make the most out of your experience for maximum impact.
Hosting meetings and webinars online are powerful for taking your ideas to an audience separated by geographical boundaries while keeping the experience personal and intimate. Keeping team members engaged and contributing requires that you create a culture of trust and reliance on each other towards achieving common goals and ClickMeeting is a premium product that supports this very well.
Through features such as audio/video presentations, desktop sharing, recorded meetings and allowing for connections from absolutely any device with an internet connection you’ll have the tools necessary to build strong long distance relationships and collaborate in an effective and interactive manner.
Trello is a delightful collaboration tool built to bring teams together in the most intuitive and user-friendly manner possible. The app uses a card-based system for keeping your ideas and “to-do’s” as simple and straight-forward as possible. This systems helps users to perfectly visualize all stages of work that needs to be accomplished without digging deep into the details. This means that problems can be solved quicker and work completed faster.
It uses a simple drag and drop system which is used to move task / information cards from column to column and people are assigned to each card by dragging their profile picture onto the card.
Also, touted as one of the best mobile and tablet collaboration apps on the market, the mobile experience is smooth, has a easy learning curve and simplifies collaboration where many other tools fail.
Freedcamp is a free, secure and complete collaboration tool built for more than simply assigning tasks. Backed by an open source community, the web app enables you and your collaborators to get things done with a focus on discussions, assigning tasks, adding responsible users, setting timelines and milestones, collecting and reviewing feedback and the ability to create multiple workspaces for an unlimited number of projects.
It’s a simple web app that provides a distraction-free experience that not only works for teams but even for the individual blogger with a need to keep work and ideas organized.
Coogle.it is not your average collaboration tool but is a simple yet powerful mind-mapping app to help individuals and teams plan and get complex tasks done cohesively by merging and visualizing itineraries and scope. Coggle.it is amazing for bringing large scale ideas together to help envision how each step, task and stage connects with the mission as a whole. Whether you’re trying to plan upcoming blog posts, visualize how a year worth of online activities work together or assigning tasks to team members, the app serves well.
The design and features are very intuitive and easy to understand; making planning, collaborating and recording thoughts as seamless as writing on a sheet of paper.
Evernote is a note-taking / collaboration tool that can be very useful for the team that deals with a torrent of content. It’s a curators dream as the app excels at facilitating the collection of all kinds of media via the web browser from websites, your mobile phone’s image gallery, voice notes, video, and practically any kind of media you can get your hands on via any device.
Although I don’t consider Evernote the most powerful collaboration tool, it is particularly useful for large teams of bloggers and other types of content curators who collaborate on large volumes of information. The app facilitates managing large amounts of data with a well designed archiving and document sorting system. Excellent for individuals and large teams of content creators.