Gini Dietrich

Pros and Cons of Co-Authoring a Blog

By: Gini Dietrich | June 9, 2011 | 
76

It’s Facebook question of the week time (clap, clap, clap)!

This week’s question comes from Alex Wood.

He asks:

“Hey Gini, happy Friday from Australia! I have a blog Q for you (and anyone else who feels like chiming in) Q: Are there any truly successful blogger ‘partnerships’ out there? I mean, two ppl working together on the one blog with the one vision. Sure, more hands, more contacts, more content = great! But I’m I just realized I’m about to start a blog with a colleague/friend and… well… I can’t think of an example of a similar blog or the potential issues they’d face. Am I missing something?? Alex”

I answer the question, from a Spin Sucks perspective (back when 18 or more of us were writing), in the video below (or click here if you can’t view it in your Reader).

And then I talked to bloggers who co-author: Edooce, Develop Socially, HMA Time, Social Media Examiner, and 12 Most.

Following are their pros and cons.

Edooce (Patrick Reyes and Bryan Willmert)

PROS

  • Provides different viewpoints and styles to the reader audience…keeps it fresh.
  • Not having to worry about being the only one to come up with content.
  • Learning from each other’s experiences and different backgrounds.
  • We have our own blogs, too, and co-authoring this one spawns creativity for our individual efforts.
  • Uses both of our networks.

CONS

  • If you’re trying to build your personal brand, does it harm that process?
  • Finding time to collaborate (we both have full-time jobs).
  • If we have dry spells at the same time, the blog sits alone.
  • People confuse us for each other all the time. (GD: Clearly. You look so much alike.)
  • It’s hard to pronounce Edooce: “ed oo c.” (GD: I think I said it wrong in the video.)

Develop Socially (Samantha Collier and Justin Brackett)

PROS

  • Because of our different industry backgrounds we complement each other and bring different subjects/ideas to the table.
  • Our different backgrounds also bring different networks of people together to create a blended community.
  • When one of us has an “off” day, the other is usually having an “on” day.
  • We split/share the workload of maintaining a blog. We can both take on writing, getting guest bloggers, doing back end stuff, etc.
  • It’s great having a sounding board to bounce ideas off and get honest feedback.
  • We both share the wins and cry about the losses.

CONS

  • Living far apart and in a different time zone.  We can’t just get together to have a long discussion about the day-to-day stuff.
  • Both of us have separate side jobs that leave little time to discuss how to develop the blog.  It’s hard to move forward when we don’t have time to chat and figure out the next move.
  • We’ve never met IRL so we don’t know one another 100% yet.
  • We haven’t had a disagreement yet but this could be tricky. We both have agreed to be very open and honest and communicate.

HMA Time (Abbie Fink and team)

PROS

  • Sharing the responsibility with others to provide valuable and timely content.
  • When done correctly, it adds a variety of voices to similar topics and has the opportunity to be seen by a much larger audience.

CONS

  • Logistics — determining whose turn it is to post something and being sure that content is posted regularly based on a shared schedule.
  • Conflicting views on particular topics, however, this may actually be a pro as it would likely lead to good conversation and lively debates.
  • It may make it difficult to “brand” the blog based on a particular style or personality.

Social Media Explorer (Heather Rast and team)

PROS

  • Learning from others in a closed-group setting. We use a Facebook Group to share ideas or ask questions of one another so we gain a level of intimacy there. The central blog cog binds us in a way.
  • Professional push. Many of the authors I write alongside are people I hadn’t “known” (in the social media sense) before the group blogs were formed. Upon meeting the SME writers I was immediately taken back by their talent and diverse backgrounds; I’m in very strong company.
  • Introduction to new readers, thinkers, detractors.
  • Cross pollination. Since I began contributing to other blogs, I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” new people through comments on posts and tweets sharing links of posts.
  • Adopt different style, topics, tone/voice than on own blog.

CONS

  • Commitment. I write regularly for three blogs (including my own) and semi-regularly for three others. I’m a very organized person but even with my penchant for scheduling I find it can be a race to the wire to submit a post on time.
  • It can be onfusing/frustrating if communication is poor.
  • Left to tread water if there’s no community owner/driver.

12 Most (Sean McGinnis and Dan Newman)

PROS

  • You don’t have to carry all the weight alone.
  • Even though there is some significant overlap between our two networks, there is a substantial number of connections that are unique.
  • We each bring different viewpoints, skill-sets, and expertise to the table.

CONS

  • No matter how hard you try, multiple authors means multiple voices. It’s MUCH harder to speak with one coherent voice.
  • With your own blog, you can make all the decisions. With a co-authored blog, you need to collaborate, which takes longer and requires more communication.
  • One person often does brunt of the work.
  • If your partner/co-author is named Sean (GD: Hahahahaah! I had to leave that in!).

Do you co-author a blog? What are your pros and cons?

What are the pros and cons of the co-authored blogs you read?

 

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She also has run, built, and grown an agency for the past 14 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.