On today’s episode I have special guest Amy Katz talking to us about how to use collaboration over competition to grow your online business.
IE 283: How to Grow Your Online Business with Collaboration over Competition with Amy Katz
Our guest’s name today is Amy Katz, Amy is a blogger at Veggies Save the Day, where she shares easy, vegan, recipes inspired by a Mediterranean diet.
Amy started her blog in August 2015 as a hobby, but she quickly saw that she could turn it into a business and five years ago she left her full-time job and now she pursues blogging as her career.
Is collaboration better than competition?
Collaboration is absolutely better than competition.
One of the ways that Amy was able to grow her business is because she did collaborate with other people that were in her niche or complimentary niches.
Not only does it help us grow our audience faster, it’s also a lot more enjoyable and it benefits our audiences.
Instead of just having our own little audiences, we can combine forces and grow them into something really big, powerful, and meaningful.
What is the difference between competition and collaboration?
Amy likes to use the example of the vegan mini-mall in Portland, Oregon because it gives a good example of brick and mortar businesses.
It gives us an idea of how it can work for online businesses.
This mall is like a strip mall where there’s all different businesses but they’re all in the vegan niche.
Say you went there with your friends, well your friend might be interested in visiting the vegan tattoo shop, whereas I might be interested in visiting the clothing store.
So while she’s getting her tattoo, I’m trying on dresses and jewelry and then afterwards we come together and go to the vegan grocery store and the bakery.
Even though we have different interests, and there are different specialties for these stores, in the end it all brings us together and there’s something for everyone.
All of the businesses benefit because instead of being located in all different places and maybe you get to one of them on one day and then months later you go to another one, you can see everything all at the same time.
In terms of how this relates to food bloggers, even though we all have similar sounding recipes, we all have our own spin on how we do our recipes.
We can’t all be good at every single thing. So for example, maybe I have a friend who is really good at baking bread and we know that baking bread has been one of the trends that’s come out of the pandemic.
Say she makes this really good sandwich bread, well I like sandwiches but I’m not a baker and on my blog I have very good sandwich topping ideas or sandwich spread etc.
When someone is looking to make a sandwich it’s natural for them to go to her for the bread and then maybe me for the toppings.
If she and I come together and we say “hey, our audience’s need to know that they can get everything they need, not just from each of us individually, but from pooling our efforts and our skills, they can come and get everything they need from both of us.”.
So then, not only does it help our audience because they get everything they need but then it helps each of us as business owners as well.
Should you collaborate with competitors? And if so, why?
Amy thinks that instead of thinking about people in our niche as competitors, we can think of them as other business owners.
There’s nothing wrong with us all growing together, if we all improve as a group, then we also all improve as individuals.
So it is a great idea to work with your competitors and to see them as colleagues rather than competitors.
How do you collaborate with competition?
There are so many different ways to collaborate with competition.
Starting off with the smaller ways, a lot of food and lifestyle bloggers are used to seeing round-up posts and seeing requests for round-ups.
The easiest way to collaborate would be if say you’re writing an article about how to bake homemade bread and you have a few bread posts on your site.
You want to fill it in so that you have every type of bread imaginable, so you reach out to other bloggers and say “Hey I noticed you have this recipe on your site, can I include it in my post?”
Of course you link back to them so that you’re saying this is from this particular blogger and give them proper credit for it.
Then after the post comes out maybe that blogger that you included their recipe from will share that post to their audience.
There’s so many other ways, when you look at the other platforms there’s so many ways to collaborate, such as Instagram which actually has a collaboration feature.
You can collaborate through emails, like freebie swaps or mentioning your friends in the emails even if they are competition.
You can collaborate on giveaways, free or paid bundles, really the sky’s the limit because there is just so many ways to collaborate with other people, even your competition.
What was the most successful collaboration you did for your online business?
Putting together a free bundle to grow her email list is Amy’s favorite way to successfully collaborate.
It is a little bit more work but once you get the hang of it, it goes way smoother the second or third time you do it.
Amy has made many great friends while putting together these bundles and you can either do a free bundle where each person is providing a free resource.
But you can also do it as a paid bundle where each person provides something that they normally sell and you bundle them all together for a special price.
They both work great, when people ask why they would want to do a free bundle, free bundles are particularly great for building your email list.
Finding people that actually do want to be on your list, and a lot of people do say that once you get the free stuff they’ll just unsubscribe.
And of course some people will but Amy has found that some of her most loyal subscribers have come from these free bundles.
Where are the best places to connect with you?
If you are a food blogger and in a complementary niche you can email Amy at AmyKatz@veggiessavetheday.com.
Or if you’re interested in grabbing Amy’s Five Secrets to Cooking the Vegan Mediterranean Diet Way, you can also grab her free guide.
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