The following is a guest post by Sarah Arrow of Birds on the Blog, for the 10 Things I Learned in 2010 series.
2010, what a year! I can hardly believe it will soon be over. 2010 has seen the deluge of marketers hit Facebook. Even the Queen of England set up a fanpage! The UK had it’s first mummy blogger conference and we (we = me and my blogging friends) dipped our toe into the multi-author blogging pond. 2010 had a lot of firsts for bloggers, some of us started to blog for the first time but many more stopped blogging. It can be tough blogging on your own.
Let me chat some more with you about multi-author blogging. You see, you don’t have to blog on your own. For some reason or another you made that decision to blog alone. At some point, maybe already you will reach out and start guest posting and networking with other bloggers. Multi-author blogging is like a guest posting frenzy with some awesome results.
10 Things I Learned About Multi-Author Blogging in 2010
1. Herding cats
People will tell you it is easier to herd cats than get a group of people together and blog together on a regular basis. Those people have never tried it. I’d rather work with a group of talented bloggers than herd the cats. In fact I don’t know anyone who does herd cats? Do you?
When you partner up with other bloggers to work together you become cheerleaders for each other. That means helping promote each others content, encouraging the weaker bloggers with comments and bookmarking the odd post. Now a lot of people were initially skeptical as some of our blogging team were a little weaker than the rest. As they have improved, so have the comments and discussions around their posts. People can only improve if they are with smarter people who show them the way. Cheerleading and supporting works well for multi-author blogging.
3. Dark Arts
Yes, some magic is essential when multi-author blogging The magic of plugins, the magic of themes and the magic of content. In 2010 I learned the magic that is the premium theme. How my blogging life was empty before I discovered Studiopress themes! All of my multi-author blogs sit in the ‘Magazine’ theme with a little bit of customising. Premium themes truly are magic. The magic becomes a dark art when you start adding in a few plugins. The whole of our multi-author blog would collapse into dust without the Editorial Calendar plugin. Scheduling will take over the editors life, make sure your editor is well rewarded!
Editor’s Note: The upcoming BizChickBlogs is also using Studiopress, the News theme, customized, and the Editorial Calendar plugin has saved my life throughout this 10 Things I Learned series. Get it!.
I read many blogs on a daily basis that swear content is King and grammar is Queen. I also read a fare few blogs that are well written, well thought out posts that generate no comments or interaction. Promotion is needed as well to spread the message about your blog post. It may not be as important as the King or Queen but it does hold the content together and help it spread further. It helps to cheer-lead each other, it helps to be supportive. More so than worrying about where a comma should or should not go. These things are important but lets put them in their place and not worry too much.
5. Promoting others
Multi-author blogs are power at promoting others. They are strong promotional tools for reviewing products and can add a little creativity to your blogging. Reviewing items to blog about means learning about balance and to write in a way that is throughtful and considered.
6. Gaining fans
I never realised it but multi-author blogs gain many fans. Not just Facebook fans but raving advocates who talk about your blog and what you do. It started with a bit of a laugh when we were spoken about slowly though it has changed, talk now has a tone of awe. People ask how we did it, people copy us and people talk about us in a good way. Wow. I wasn’t expecting that.
7. Becoming a community
In 2010 I learned to drop the barriers a little. We decided that we would accept guest posts from people who have never blogged before. Community means everyone, it means letting them share their thoughts and feelings about being a woman in business. It meant we attached our name to the work of other women who needed an opportunity.
8. Becoming mothers
Yes, in 2010 all of our bloggers became mothers. Our revenue was small. So we decided whilst it was small we would use it to help fatherless twin girls in Uganda. For $9 a month these girls get an education. They are our girls, we take an active interest in their development and Ida Horner visits them. Blogs can change the world, small steps, small ways = big impact.
9. Life gets in the way
We learned that blogging together makes us a strong team.
When one of our bloggers went for major surgery we were routing for her, when two had babies we celebrated. When one lost their partner, we cried. It shows in our blogging. Life and blogging become blended and we shared it. One of our community shared the diary of her brain tumour. From diagnosis to treatment to recovery. We show other women that we can do it, we can work and be mums. We can work when we are incapacitated. We can throw ourselves off of tall buildings to help others. Even when we are severely disabled.
Martha Stewart invited us to a party. Martha Stewart… How did we get on her radar? Who knows? But we did and we crossed swords briefly with Stephen Fry. We made up and he called the post …’a fine blog x’. Yes a kiss. I’ll never wash again 😉 Big invitations, it led me here to this community and now I’d like to extend the invitation – come and party with us. Come and blog with us, with Tia and Biz Chick Blogs. Don’t blog on your own, you really don’t have to.
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