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Let a Launch Buddy Help Boost Your Blog

This post was written by the Web Marketing Ninja—a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger. Curious? So are we!

While I write blog posts, I don’t really refer to myself as a blogger. I’m just someone who likes sharing my experience to those who want to listen (or read), hoping it will help you in some way. My real passion is in sales and marketing, online and offline, and in all honest.y I’d prefer working with a designer to craft a set of optimized landing pages, or spending an entire morning massaging some email copy, than figuring out how to best communicate the result to the world.

I know that it’s a bit of a contradiction, but I write because I like helping people, and more than that, I like helping people I trust and respect. I don’t get paid for these posts; I post under a veil of secrecy so there’s no impact to my personal brand; and, most importantly, I don’t expect anything in return. And as a result of my willingness to help, I discovered something last week:

When it comes to launches, two heads are so much better than one.

Two heads…

A friend of mine—let’s call him Bob—was preparing to launch his first product of the year: an ebook. He’d reached out a couple of times to get my feedback on things like the title, cover, and interior design. A long time ago, I’d offered to help out where I could, to help him build a framework for his product launches. So as the launch loomed, we caught up one evening and went through the plans. We were able to cover a fair bit of ground in a short period, and we didn’t change the entire approach—just tweaked things here and there.

Instead of describing the what, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the why. Why did this collaboration help shape something good into something better?

  • I was able to take a first-impression viewpoint of the product and promotional messages.
  • I was able to read at the copy as someone who might buy the product, not someone who’s intimately involved in it.
  • I was able to add layers from my own experience to the launch, from a foundation that was already strong.
  • Collaboration on thoughts and ideas resulted in progressive, actionable outcomes.
  • We were able to validate or question each others’ unsubstantiated opinions.
  • We were accountable to actually put things into a documented plan.

I hope the launch goes well for Bob, and that in some way, my contributions will help him achieve his goals.

Break the isolation

One thing I’ve learned from being closer to bloggers than ever before is that while you’re a well-connected group, when it comes to launches, product development, and money, a lot of bloggers work in isolation. I’d like to see that change.

To me, launching a product is a critical step in your blogging journey—one that turns all your hard work into your reward. Having a buddy who not only brings objectivity to your approach, brings fresh ideas so something you’ve been probably obsessing over for months (or years)!

It doesn’t need to be a money thing—it’s a favor thing. You help them, they help you.

Finding a launch buddy

Finding your launch buddy is not about finding the most experienced marketer or product launch expert you can. It’s about finding someone you trust, and are happy to open up to.

All your challenges, your strengths, your weaknesses, all your commercial agreements, targets, traffic, audience, your ability to pay expenses—you need to be able to share them all. You also need to find someone who’ll respect that as the product owner, you get the final say, and someone who, when your opinions differ, will let you both move on quickly.

My anti-technology Mum, given the full picture, would be able to help you more than the best product launch expert in the world if you only gave them half the story.

So if you don’t have one already, for your next launch—or perhaps your first—consider adding a launch buddy to your team. Or have you already used a launch buddy to help perfect and finesse a product launch? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

Stay tuned for more posts by the secretive Web Marketing Ninja—a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger.

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Comments

  1. Maaike Quinn says:

    This is some great advice indeed! I’m still pretty new to blogging, so I’m not even thinking about launching anything, but when I do I sure would like to have a buddy!

    • dotCOMreport says:

      I think this advice can be applied to blogging as well. Finding a launch buddy is GREAT advice but the underlying concept is like he said ‘two heads,’ which can also be applied to blogging. Or pretty much anything else for that matter.

  2. Dear Web Marketing Ninja,

    I have a business partner and I’m so grateful for that because she an important part of this buddy-system you talk about!

    I’m just about to launch a product:

    http://blogincomeforwomen.com/

    I can tell you, that I emailed and called on as many “launch buddies” as I could to get their guidance and it helped me a lot.

    Without their support and feedback, I would have ended up being overwhelmed by all the details.

    I have to say that launching a product is far more complicated that meants the eye … especially if you are selling a course (as opposed to an ebook).

    I’ve spent weeks on details and testing links and changing things.

    That said, without the advice of key people, my launch would never have looked so great! It might almost look like I’ve been doing this for a while … but this is my first launch.

    I’m both nervous and proud of things to come when we actually fully open this for sale!

    This is great advice!

    Thanks for sharing,

    Krizia

  3. Rachelle says:

    It’s so helpful to have outside opinions. Many bloggers do work in isolation, by necessity and because of obscurity.

    It’s funny but I used to be so consumed about putting great copy out for my niche that I rarely saw the front page of my blog and kind of forgot about it. I was busy on the back end posting. Yet the first impression from the visitor is what will keep them around.

    Other people’s feedback on your blog and it’s look is essential to success.

  4. Linda says:

    This is a fabulous idea. I was just thinking about who I could get to help me launch my first product. I have a number of wonderful supporters in my industry who I can hopefully pool from to give me honest feedback.

    I think it was Naomi Dunford who said to give your pre-launched product to the dumbest person you can find, in order to see if they ‘get it.’ haha–I’ll hit up a few contacts in that category, to balance out the ‘expert’ opinion.

    Thanks for the reinforcement!

    • WebMarketingNinja says:

      ohhh I don’t know if I’d tell them that’s why you pickedthem if you go the dumbest path… Or maybe that’s why Bob chose me :)

  5. Scary Mary says:

    Good advice! Like you say it’s really useful to get a second oppinion on your work, on the same time it’s crucial it’s someone that you trust I think.. I usually turn to my husband if it’s anything I’m not sure about. I also have a fellow blogger and good friend I will seek advice at, for my soon to launched designs of fascinators and jewelery.. A little give and take, as I allready helped her out;)

  6. Beltwayboy says:

    I really like this idea and have come around with my thinking b/c I was working on stuff by myself. My question is what is the best way to find a launch buddy if you really don’t know that many people in your particular niche? Is there a good site to run an ad or do you send emails to a couple people you think may be interested in what your plan is? I appreciate any feedback you can provide and thank you for your time.

    • WebMarketingNinja says:

      I don’t think an ad is the way to go. I would spent that money going to a local conference (if you have on in your niche) or joing an online forum or community. You’ll find people you naturally jell with, and over time develop trust with.

      When it comes to building this sort of relationship, don’t start with the cap in hand approach and ask for help, always look at ways you can help them first.

      A launch buddy is different from a PR contact of partnership — so you’ll need to develop the relationship in a different way.

  7. Aaron Neal says:

    Great advice, me and my buddy did this a while back with the layout and design of my site and it helped immensely. I actually believe that it helps WAY more than just doubling the end quality of something, because like you said you’re actually getting kind of a niche specific customer to look at your stuff and give you (more honest than normal) feedback on it from that much needed perspective.

    Never really thought of it in this way ’till I read this article, thanks

  8. I would of loved a launch buddy when I started my blog to help me through the first month!

  9. For years I was a lone wolf, a fighter pilot, a star salesman off by myself. But when I looked back over my several careers, I found I was most successful when in a business partnership.

    So for the past year, I’ve been having the time of my life. We take turns producing content but then switch off to critique, proofread, act as cheerleader egging the other guy on. And it works really well. In video, podcasts, and blog posts (which always include a video and often a podcast).

    Launch buddy – you betcha! Nicely put.

    Charlie Seymour Jr
    http://CreateYourOwnLegendNow.com

  10. Anna says:

    Enjoyed this article a great deal. The tunnel vision you develop as a blogger or any home based business owner can really cost you readers or even potential business.

  11. Kiran says:

    I love your unique perspective on having a launch buddy. It would be a great initiative to launch my online venture soon :) thanks for sharing!

  12. Vivek Parmar says:

    having a launch buddy is necessary if you want to get a good start

  13. It definitely helps to have a “fresh pair of eyes” look over a project. I always get my husband to look through things for me and, even though he works in IT (so not a newbie to tech) he always gives me some great ideas that I hadn’t thought of.

    Thanks to his ideas for my blog, I added in a static “page” to my blogger blog which helps direct people to areas of interest. I also added in an About page which he said would personalise it a bit more.

    Since then the average visit to my blog is now lasting about 5 mins which is better than the 1 or 2 I was getting before.

    After reading your article, I think it would also help to get some complete newbies to roadtest it as well. Thank you

  14. Wallpapers says:

    I fully understood once you began to outline some of the reasons. I thought the main contribution had to do with bringing forth ideas from two different view points. I didn’t fully realize that they could be used for much more than that.

  15. ViSalusMiko says:

    First of all ANY advice from a ninja is excellent!

    Advice about blogging from a ninja…. priceless!

    I love the launch buddy concept and will be applying this, thank you for posting!

    ViSalus Miko :)

  16. This is a great idea. I have launched products in the past in a vacuum, with dismal results. I’m in the process of cultivating some wonderful online relationships, and you’ve inspired me to keep an eye out for a launch buddy. Thanks!

  17. Julian says:

    good advice
    teamwork always better than alone

  18. Bronzilla says:

    Thanks Web Marketing Ninja, I’m going to apply this to my blog. Getting a launch buddy to help boost my blog is a great idea! With all of my blogging buddies not once did I ever think about this.

  19. I have a new blog about new shoes story, kicks news, etc. My problem is I need writers for it. Can you write the first article in it? ;)