Most experts agree that collaboration in business provides greater accomplishment. As a blogger, and in today’s world where even the traditional aspects of work have shifted online, collaboration is almost inevitable. The downside of this quick digitization is that one often doesn’t have face-to-face contact with other colleagues, some of whom could even be sitting behind a screen in another country. With this lack of human interaction, efficient online collaborations play a vital role in boosting success for any business, especially that of blogging.
While there are many factors that contribute to increased productivity in the blogging world, effective collaboration is definitely one of the most important due to the nature of the blogging field. Here are some tips and tools for bloggers for effective collaboration:
4 tips for improving collaboration
Learn how smart people collaborate for success. Here are four tips for improving collaboration. You can yield greater results by implementing these collaboration tips.
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Establish Communication Protocols
Collaborating becomes a lot easier when it is structured and simple. Having centralized communication procedures in place will help from an organizational standpoint, also saving you from having to engage in a lot of back-forth with fellow participants due to misunderstandings. For example, if you are a blog editor, have a detailed set of guidelines on how you would like people to submit guest posts, addressing common FAQs within the guidelines themselves to avoid lone queries regarding the “how” rather than the “what.” Determine in advance how often you will be available to reply to emails and make your turnover timeline clearly known so as to not get spammed with follow-ups.
Have Clear Guidelines
Not everyone collaborating on a project is equal. Often, contributors are extremely slow, or worse, unreliable. With this in mind, it’s important for you to develop clear guidelines for expected responsibilities as well as consequences and back-up plans if someone is unable to perform adequately. Building in accountability is especially integral for internal collaboration, where employees tend to get lazy thinking that someone else in the group will pick up their slack. Removing non-compliant and non-team-players early on is much better than having to do so when deadlines are just a few days away and stresses are high.
Give Credit Where It is Due
Give praise and affirmation often when they are due. Make a pointed effort to praise everyone involved in a successful project, for their particular share of the work. If other contributors see the positive effects of collaboration, they will be motivated to effectively collaborate as well. In turn, this will help boost productivity and achieve success.
Have a Security System in Place
One of the more worrisome aspects of collaboration is that many people have access to your files and documents. With open access, security risks multiply, especially if important information were to fall into the wrong hands. It is therefore vital to make sure that you have some basic security protocols in place while collaborating. Choose secure passwords and encourage collaborators to do the same if they ever need to set their own passwords. When it comes to sensitive information, make sure to give read-only access so that others cannot copy this information or save it for themselves. Following easy security practices when it comes to logins, passwords, and access to files will save you much time and worry in the long run.
5 best tools for online collaboration
Now that we’ve covered some general tips on how to effectively collaborate online, let’s take a look at some diverse and effective tools to help you execute these methods.
Even though most people are already familiar with it, an article about collaboration really wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the beloved Google G-Suit at least once. Simple, intuitive and versatile, the G-Suite is a tried and tested tool for collaboration in any form. Whether you to need to create documents, work together on account spreadsheets, or even share presentations, G-Suite is perfect for most team functions. Storing information online, with the option of offline editing too makes the G-Suite’s applications handy to use even when traveling and/or working remotely.
Slack acts as a virtual chat room, for all those moments when face-to-face interaction is not possible. It allows you to set up meetings, engage in conversations, save comments of importance, instantly share files and organize things by tags and hashtags in an accessible, always-on forum. For bloggers especially, having a way to reach contributors in remote locations and overseas is integral. The conversation archiving search features are very useful on days when contributors need to refer to notes and guidelines. The office collaboration website says it best: “Slack brings all your team’s communication together, giving everyone a shared workspace where conversations are organized and accessible.”
This project management tool works on the premise that individuals are assigned specific tasks. Tasks can be part of group projects, have detailed sub tasks, and can be “followed” by any and all individuals who want to monitor progress. Tasks can also be made private and re-assigned an indefinite number of times as they progress along. It also integrates with tools like Google Drive, allowing you to quickly attach and archive Google Drive files. Asana has a tagging and calendar system that is intuitive and easy to use, making project management an absolute breeze for blog managers and editors.
Appear.in is a godsend when it comes to collaborating over video calls. Even though you may want to, it’s not always possible to see your team’s pretty smiling faces, especially since blogging tends to involve a lot of remote working. appear.in is the next best thing. This video conservation app allows up to eight people to converse in a private chat room via video, with no logins or downloads required. To top it all up, it’s completely free to use.
Mindmeister is a mind-mapping tool that comes with many other collaboration functions and features. It’s great for a brainstorming session, and to create tangible maps to showcase ideas and concepts and how to go about executioning them. While at first it may feel a bit odd to organize ideas through mapping, you need to give Mindmeister a chance. You’ll soon find it is a great collaboration tool that truly keeps the creative juices flowing.
In today’s day and age, collaboration is not a luxury, but a necessity. Whether it’s with fellow bloggers, your own team, editors or site managers, having some basic collaboration protocols in place will only advance your business’s success. And with these general tips and tools for collaborating, you should be off to a great start!