I know you have been working diligently to build up a steady stream of blog posts on your website. But how do you grow your audience outside of your customers and loyal fans?

Cross promote your business with another through blog posts.

Cross promoting your expertise through a blog post is a great way to gain visibility and new customers. Here’s your go-to guide for how to do it.

Look for a business in a similar field – You want to link up with a business that makes sense. If you are a home flooring company, don’t go out looking to work with a florist. There is no connection between businesses, which means the partnership will be useless. What does make sense? Reach out to a carpet cleaning company. Home flooring + carpet/flooring cleaning = match made in heaven. These two businesses are not directly competing against each other, but do have customers who could use either company’s services. This will help expand your visibility and will lead to new customers for both businesses.

Do your research – Before you get your heart set on a certain company, you need to investigate. Do some digging. Check out their website. Do they have a blog? If they do, look at what they are posting. Is it good content? After reading their blog posts do you feel more inclined to work with them, or go running in the opposite direction? You need to make sure the company you would like to work with is on your level. If their content is less than satisfactory or they have no blog at all, move on to another business. Have you looked up the business on Angie’s List or Yelp? What are people saying about this company? If it’s good, move forward, if not, keep looking.

Create original content – Once you have contacted the business and have agreed to work together, it’s time to come up with a blog post. Do not, under any circumstances, just take an old blog post from a year or two ago and send it to the other company. This will actually negatively impact their SEO rankings since Google will identify it as duplicate content.

Either come up with an original article which will benefit the other company’s customers, or rewrite an old post you think would serve their customer base well. And when I say rewrite, I don’t just mean the intro paragraph. Rewrite the entire blog post. That’s an order!

The same goes for the your “swap partner.” Make sure they are writing something new for you.

Be upfront about edits and final approval – After you have created your blog post you’ll need to send it to the other business and vice versa. You need to be very clear about edits. Grammatical mistakes are fine to fix, but rearranging paragraphs and sentences to sound the way you want them to in a blog post which isn’t yours is not cool. Not cool at all. Set ground rules and guidelines before you exchange blog posts.  If the content isn’t appropriate in its current form then send it back and ask for rewrites.  Always give the author the last look before publication.  And request that on your post too.

Cross promote the posts in your newsletters – Here’s where the benefits of cross promotion kick in. When you link the blog post in your newsletter and link to the other company’s website, you will be giving your customers a trusted referral. If I see a business I trust promoting another business, I know the other business is legit. So when your blogging partner links to your blog post and website in their newsletter their customers will know you are a business worth looking into.

Promote each other on social media and encourage others to share – Don’t just limit yourself to sharing the blog post in your newsletter. Promote the post on Facebook and Twitter and tag the business to it. Get other people to comment and share too. The more you can help spread the word about your cross promotion, the more likely it is you’ll be able to do it again. Just make sure the other business is sharing the love as well. This process isn’t a one-way street. For it to be mutually beneficial, you both  need to put in the effort.

Having another business share one of your blog posts helps build your credibility as an expert in your industry. It will also help you grow your audience and potentially your customer list. Plus, if things go really well between both businesses, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a partnership for future promotions or contests.