Deb’s last post was a good one. Did you miss it? Well, here it is – Why I’m a Lazy Blogger – And How I Can Improve.
Deb noted issues with the blogroll, minimum post schedule, and time to visit other blogs. I’m big time into blogrolls so no issues there. However, I totally get her deal with scheduling to increase posting quotas and finding the time to visit other blogs. Most network or client bloggers I know do have time issues; as in there’s never enough time, not ever. There’s always something you can do to improve your blog, and often it comes down to you vs. the clock. Sadly, the clock tends to win, especially when life gets fun and tosses you a sick kid, your network shuts down due to technical issues, or a storm kicks off your power.
One thing that can help is a co-blogger. Co-bloggers don’t relieve you of all your duties, but having an extra set of typing hands can help. A co-blogger is an especially efficient way to pump up post quotas.
Recently I took on a co-blogger myself at a network blog, Tree Hugging Family. My new co-blogger was, well is, Peggy. Based on this experience, I can give you some actual examples of how this has improved my blog, along with some pros and cons you may encounter. This is a longish topic. So, first in this post I’ll cover co-blogger cons. Then in my next few posts we’ll look at pros of co-bloggers, how to find a good co-blogger, and example results of having one.
Hopefully this co-blogger series as a whole will help you decide if a co-blogger is right for you.
Negatives of taking on a co-blogger:
The blog is not just your blog anymore. I know that sounds kind of dumb, especially if your network, not you, owns the darn blog anyhow. Why should you care? The fact is, even if you don’t own a blog outright, it’s easy to get utterly attached to it; to think of it as your blog.
You have to give up some control: Depending on your personality it can be hard to accept a co-blogger. Your co-blogger is going to have a say on categories, who goes on the blogroll, and how to mod comments. If you’re a control freak, you’re going to need to give some of that control up.
You may lose income at first: Tree Hugging Family is part of the b5media network. How they roll is like this – if you’re a single blogger, you get a base plus page views each month. During the year your base pay increases. IF you’re part of a co-blogging team, you start with a higher base than a single blogger, but that’s split between the two of you, and does not increase. Plus you split page views smack down the middle. I took a minor pay cut in order to have Peggy join Tree Hugging Family – more on how that’s working out later.
I’m such a LOSER!: Taking on a co-blogger is like admitting you can’t handle it all on your own. It feels like you’re saying you need help to make a blog a success. Well, sometimes you do. If you can get more traffic, and supply better posts for your readers with a co-blogger, then it’s a benefit to take on a second blogger. When you blog for a client or network, it’s not all about you, it’s also about the success of the blog and the network team. Co-bloggers often really help the team effort.
Scheduling becomes bizarre: Before Peggy came on, I had a nice little schedule all worked out. If I posted say, 4 times a day, I’d post at 8am, 11am, 2pm, and once in the evening. Well, Peggy arrives and of course she needs to post at sometime other than 3am, and sometimes she’d schedule for 8am, 11am… and so on. In other words, unless you want a bunch of overlapping posts, you have to work together, or at the very least, check and see when the other person scheduled posts.
You may hate each other: Hate is extreme, but I’ve seen some major dislike among co-bloggers. One person does more work, both bloggers argue over topics, one thinks they’re worth more money. It can be pretty bad. Luckily, I haven’t seen this too often. Sometimes you just may not mesh. Not meshing sort of sucks too, but it’s way better than a co-blogger war. What not meshing can do is make your blog look bad overall, so it’s something to consider.
You can’t get rid of them: b5media is pretty cool in that they allowed me to say that I wanted a co-blogger, then I got to give input on who that co-blogger should be. However, even if you have a say, you may choose the wrong person, or a client may choose a co-blogger for you, someone you don’t like. I’m lucky, I adore Peggy, but if I didn’t, I doubt I could just say, “Well, fire her.” Most clients or networks aren’t just going to get rid of a good blogger because you don’t happen to be best of buddies. Barring Peggy doing something downright nutty, unethical, or illegal, I think I’m stuck with her.
Guilt by association: The right co-blogger can make you look way better. Of course, the wrong co-blogger can make you look bad. I’m a big believer of guilt by association. The blogosphere may feel big, but it’s not that big. Everyone seems to know what everyone else is up to. I don’t want to be associated with a difficult, rude, or poor quality blogger on a daily basis. If Peggy decided to insult my regular readers, write about weird off topic issues, or just make endless mistakes, that would make my blog, and by association, me look bad. I could lose regulars. I might lose pay. It could be a terrible situation. It could potentially carry over to my other blogs. At this point, I’m sure my b5 editor would step in but some of the damage might be hard to live down.
Now, as noted, Peggy is a great co-blogger – but these issues above were running through my mind when I was in the first stages of considering a co-blogger. I was concerned. That’s not a bad thing either. It’s smart to think through the decisions you make when blogging. Taking on a co-blogger is a huge step.
Next up – potential pros of taking on a co-blogger.
First though, tell me what you think some more cons of taking on a co-blogger might be, and why?