During a brand development/blog consult with a client today, she asked:
“Should I start a group blog in which several people contribute articles?”
I’d read a post on that very topic (on Daily Blog Tips) earlier in the day. With thanks to Kyle Judkins for providing inspiration, here are my thoughts about multi-author blogging:
The bane of most bloggers’ existence is finding time to write, format, and publish new articles. And everyone knows that more articles means more indexing from the search engines, which results in more readers. Inviting a trusted blogger… or two… or more… to contribute a post on a weekly basis eases the burden on you.
Let’s face it; your perspective is your perspective. You may know a lot about your topic, but you have a lot to learn. Inviting contributions from fresh blood helps you increase the breadth of your coverage.
It’s fun to “virtually” join forces with like-minded writers from around the world. It’s even more fun to meet in person. It’s really fun when you get “discovered” and offered a job. Multi-author blogging is a wonderful networking tool. You never know what opportunities might come your way.
If you “own” your blog and bring in new bloggers, you will discover yourself taking on more of an editor or manager role. Editing blog posts and managing a blog’s overall content (as opposed to doing all the researching and writing) usually takes far less time, which frees you up to do other important stuff.
Loss of ownership.
I blogged professionally on a group blog for over a year and it’s true: you do lose a sense of ownership and control over your words. Someone else edits your work and decides whether it’s up to snuff, and your co-bloggers tend to steal – er – borrow your ideas. If you’re a control freak, you’ll be better off blogging solo.
Less quality control.
You’re the best blogger in the world, right? When you bring in additional bloggers, you risk losing some of those fantastic posts you compose day after day. Poor quality writing (especially when riddled with spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage errors) can spell disaster, so make sure to screen would-be contributors carefully before inviting them into the fold. Ask them to contribute X number of guest posts. If their writing is stellar (and if you don’t have to spend an hour editing their post), you’ve likely found a winner. Who knows, your new bloggers could end up being better writers than you!
Dilution of voice.
Have you built a devoted following who read your blog because they love your writing voice? Bringing in a newbie dilutes your voice because the focus is no longer solely on your words. But again, adding an additional blogger who has a strong voice may be just the juice your blog needs to pick up momentum.
Have you participated in a group blog? If so, please share your take on the best/worst things about multi-author blogging.
*Feel free to reprint this post on your own blog. I’ll be happy to e-mail you the HTML, so all you have to do is copy & paste, and the formatting will remain intact. If you reprint it, please include the following byline:
Laura Christianson, aka The Blogging Barista, owns Blogging Bistro (www.BloggingBistro.com), a Seattle-based social media marketing company.