10 Things I Learned About Multi-Author Blogging in 2010

in Tech

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?

2. Cheerleading

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!.

4. Royalty

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.

10. Invitations

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.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Leave a Comment


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Prasenjit @ Easy Ways to Make Money April 30, 2011 at 1:29 am

A small typo in point 5. I suppose it should be thoughtful not throughtful

Justin Germino January 8, 2011 at 5:55 am

In the words of Homer Simpson “It’s funny, because its true”. I especially found the #1 bullet the most frustrating in my own multi author blog journey.

Anita December 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Fab post Sarah 🙂

I love being a part of the Birds On The Blog Family. My husband and I have been looking at what we have enjoyed, valued and been thankful for during 2010, and one of the major highlights for me, is being involved with BOTB. Thanks Sarah xx

Rajesh@Hack Facebook Account December 21, 2010 at 7:44 am

I loved your post throughout, but 8th point was so touchy!!! You’re really doing a noble and kind thing. Continue with your work guys. I wish you all the success in upcoming 2011.
Really impressed by your work.

Sarah Arrow December 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Thank you Rajesh, we think it’s worthwhile too.

Isabel Rodrigues - Pro Blogger Journey December 21, 2010 at 1:00 am

Having a good team is so very vital. If different people share views on a blog it does make a hell of a difference. Lots of quality and unique content will always boost the blog.

Sarah Arrow December 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I am very lucky to be blogging with some excellent writers, talented authors, former journalists and women with a passion.

Richard December 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I can imagine that there are a lot of pros and cons to running a blog with several authors. The hardest part has got to be coordinating. It’s hard enough to get a group of people to decide where to go for lunch, much less coordinating the running of a blog. But the support system must be really great.

Sarah Arrow December 22, 2010 at 4:54 am

The co-ordinating is the easiest part, extracting the content is a different story entirely though 🙂 We now have a weekly deadline for the content, as I expected (initially) for people to remember when to post…

One of my MA blogs is managed solely by email, Birds is done using Facebook, and another is done via Skype. Each editor finds what works for her and uses it to their advantage. The logistics is easier than you think 🙂

Tia Peterson December 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

One of the biggest benefits of the multi-author blog is that it’s essentially a magazine. It’s much closer to actually publishing than traditional blogging. The site takes on greater authority, and with more posts being published more often, the search traffic has the potential to be higher.

Sarah Arrow December 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I am so excited for you Tia, that in a few days times you will turning the Biz Chicks into a fast moving magazine style blog 🙂

Madav December 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Sarah! great work !I think the community is much important in blogging success.Building a community around us will definitely help to grow further.

Anyway thanks for sharing such unique articles.

Betsy December 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

I can see where this could be a good thing. I have never done this before but have thought about it. You make it sound more appealing. It is nice to have someone else write it out for you so you can make up your mind with all the facts laid out for you. I do not have the time I use to have and this would allow me to continue what I really enjoy doing.

Sarah Arrow December 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

Thanks, I hope you take them up on their offer soon, you don’t want to miss out.

Ida Horner December 20, 2010 at 8:21 am

It has been a fantastic year indeed in the world of Multi author blogging. You have been a great leader Sarah and support with Africa on the blog. I have certainly learned a lot from these multi-author blogs, I have gained new friends too

John@Hypertransitory.com December 20, 2010 at 7:45 am

Very cool post, Sarah. I’m going to look into that Studiopress for an upcoming site I have in mind.

You’ve got an impressive blog and writing style, so I definitely want to learn from you.

Thanks much for posting and have a great day!

Sarah Arrow December 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

Thanks John, I suggest you get the all singing and all dancing package, as they have a large range of stunning themes. We use the Magazine theme, they have several others including one called Lifestyle that I was strongly attracted too.

They make the site very visual and engaging.

RinatisDinoro@SmartAboutThings December 20, 2010 at 9:10 am

I think I will accept to do this only when I know pretty well the guy who is inviting me. IT doesn’t feel right to give what you got to someone whom you don’t know or trust…

Suzan St Maur December 20, 2010 at 6:57 am

Great blog, Sarah! It just shows you what you can achieve with a good team and a good team leader. And you don’t mention it, but didn’t I hear that BirdsOnTheBlog has been named by Forbes as one of the top 100 women’s business/social blogs in the world?

Sarah Arrow December 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

Thanks Suze, yes we made the list 🙂 what a day that was, showing what we can achieve together 🙂

Patricia@lavenderuses December 20, 2010 at 8:38 am

Hi Tia & Sarah

What an inspirational post. Sounds like your multi-author blogging experience is really working for all those in your group Sarah.

I’m looking forward to what Tia has for here in 2011. My own experience since beginning blogging a few months ago; has been the blogging community being very generous with help, encouragement and affirmation for me and my small niche blog.

Excited about what 2011 will bring. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Sarah. Really enjoyed the post.

Patricia Perth Australia

Sarah Arrow December 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Hi Patricia
Thanks for your comment, the blogging community I have found is tremendously supportive, at every stage you are at.

Tia Peterson December 20, 2010 at 7:25 am

Can I just say that I LOVE the name Birds on the Blog? Seriously, it was destiny that ‘bizchickblogs’ and ‘Birds on the Blog’ would collaborate at some point!

Sarah Arrow December 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

It was a last minute choice the name. We had a popular TV show that was making the name Bird become associated with women again. So we decided to ‘take it back’.

It is indeed destiny 🙂

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