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Co-blogging vs. Going It Alone

30 Jul 2013
***Edit - From all the comments and discussions I have decided not to get a co-blogger just yet but instead a new guest reviewer who has the potential to become a co-blogger if things go well. If you are interested you can find more information here - Who Wants To Be My New Guest Blogger? ***

So as you all know I run this blog by myself. I have a guest reviewer called Hannah who posts a review every few weeks or months but other than that this blog is entirely me. Going it alone does have its benefits, mainly total freedom and control over the blog but it gets exhausting. Sometimes there is just no time to write posts, and other times blogging leaves me with no time to read. I have managed to keep the blog running at its best so far but I worry that the standard may start to decrease especially as I have two more years of University left and each year comes with more work.
 
For these reasons I have considered getting a co-blogger. I know several people who share their blog with another person and they all seem to love it. Some of the biggest and best blogs are ran by two or more people (eg. Cuddlebuggery and The Young Adult sisterhood) and I would love to make my blog better than it is now. On the surface co-blogging sounds perfect: someone to help with big blog decisions, share ideas with and make the blog bigger and better.
 
However, I worry about the downsides of co-blogging. Like everything in the world there will be downsides, otherwise no one would blog alone! First of all there would be the fact that I wouldn't be able to do anything on my blog without taking them into consideration, and they might disagree with things I really want to do. I also worry about losing my blog's identity. Everything I write has a similar style (simply because it is written by the same person) and if I bring someone else in with a different style then you guys, my followers, may like it less. My biggest concern would have to be possibly falling out with my co-blogger. What if everything just didn't work out (possibly ruining the blog in the process) and after a huge argument I decide I can't work with them anymore. That would be an awkward situation as though the blog is mine they would have partially made it theirs and a bad co-blogger break up would be much worse for the blog than me never getting a co-blogger in the first place.
 
Before I started my blog I was interested in becoming a co-blogger at a pre-existing blog. The only reason I didn't is because I couldn't find anyone looking for a co-blogger that I thought I would fit in well with (until the day after I started my blog that is). I could see only benefits: blog already designed and ready for me to start posting, already has a reputation so I wouldn't have weeks/months of blogging to no one (luckily I managed to skip this anyway) and if it didn't work out then I wouldn't have lost anything, just gained experience of how a blog works. It is different now as I created this blog from scratch myself and I feel like I will be giving a stranger joint custody of my "baby".
 
What I would like to know is if you run a blog with another person then what are the good and bad elements (feel free to anonymously comment)? If you blog alone, why have you chosen to not have a co-blogger? Also I would love to hear from someone who did co-blog but stopped for whatever reason (again feel free to comment anonymously).
 
Would you be interested in seeing someone else reviewing and posting here at Bookish Treasures? If I choose to take on a co-blogger what should I be looking for? Is their anything in specific I don't do / I am not that you would love a new co-blogger to be? Funnier reviews, more serious reviews, videos?
 
This blog is made for YOU to read so therefore I care about what you think :)

12 comments:

  1. I for one am not a fan of co-blogging. I originally started my blog on my own and it stayed that way for over a year, when I went into my third year at university I just couldn't keep up and got a co-blogger. It was the best and worst decision I'd made. The best because if I hadn't done it I would have still wondered about co-blogging when times get hectic, the worst because it just didn't work for me. I am far too controlling over my blog. No matter how long we co-blogged I still saw of it as MY blog, not ours.

    The good thing was that I met an incredible friend to share books with and we are still great friends, and she helped me out so much taking on the indie review requests that I just didn't have time to read.

    But the bad? I just got more and more frustrated. The more we went on the more I got angry and hated having a co-blogger, there wasn't much communication and we were both posting what we wanted when we wanted so a lot of posts got 'lost' where nobody was seeing them. I personally did the majority of the work with my co-blogger just posting reviews/blog-tours for indie books that kind of thing and when I would put all of my hard work into a post I would get comments from people saying that it was a great blog and (co-blogger) had put so much work into it. I am not a selfish person who wants credit where credit is not due but when I had done it all and wasn't even mentioned it made me so damn angry and when I finally plucked up th courage to discuss this will said co-blogger she was feeling the same.

    For me it is MY baby, I created it, I paid for the custom design, I have out my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into it and because of that I am far too controlling over what happens on my blog and what gets posted and when. Co-blogging just doesn't work for me, I can't share something that I have worked so hard for and feel that it could be messed up when I'm not online.

    I'm glad I got a co-blogger as it completely showed me that I can't co-blog. We parted on good terms, I helped her set up her own blog and now we are both much happier. For me, and the kind of person I am I cannot co-blog so would have to vote going it alone all the way even if there's a few busy months when you can't post anything.

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  2. So I have been on both sides. It was out of necessity when blogger flagged my blog as spam and took it down for 2 months. I was desperate to find someone that I could trust to help me out. So someone offered and I joined her blog. But I never felt like it was my blog. Sure, I had administrative power there, but ultimately the design and everything else came from her and I felt like I was just a guest. For me, going it alone is much better. The before mentioned pairing lead to a terrible experience with my co-blogger. She was not truthful about so much stuff and I got dragged through the mud for stuff that didn't even involve me. I have two guest reviewers that post on my blog, but I put their posts up after they send me the reviews. I don't have anyone at this time that I really feel like I could have that kind of relationship with. I have lots of blogging friends and I get along great with them. However, like you, I feel like a fall out could cause undue stress and just make things awkward. It already did. I lost all my Facebook page followers because of it and had to start from scratch. Plus, as I said, I got pulled into stuff that did not even involve me and could have potentially caused me to have a terrible name as a blogger. Sure, I'm busy and sometimes I just want to scream that I even have to put a blog post up, but I think I've worked it out: I don't put up more than two posts a day (unless I come across something that I absolutely must participate in) and I try to do a few days ahead if possible (although sometimes when I sign up for blasts and stuff I don't get the stuff until the night before it's to go up).

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  3. I've often wondered about this myself. I only started book blogging a little over a year ago, and it was more as a hobby than as a vocation, or just as a way to get review books, and a lot of my early reviews were for books I already owned. To be honest, in those early days, I wondered why I hadn't just gone hunting for someone already established and looking for a reviewer or co-blogger. In fact, if certain bloggers who I love had invited me to, I may well have joined ranks and given it a go. After all, blogging is a lonely business whilst you're still trying to get folk to realise you're there. And even now, as my own life and my writing schedule is becoming more hectic, I probably consider just seeking out a decent blog looking for reviewers and joining them as a guest poster, at least once a week. Especially with a blog tour for my latest release about to kick in for the next month, and knowing I'll also be pretty busy during the month after that also. The only thing that stops me from doing it, is wondering if it'll work out, and being proud of even the small steps I've accomplished with my own blog so far. Plus, all of the blogs I'd like to join ranks with are on Blogger instead of Wordpress, and Blogger and I have a kind of hate-hate relationship, which would leave the blog owner to have to post everything on my behalf--which might be considered unfair, if they're looking for more input, you know?

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  4. I don't think I could. At times I've thought about it, as if I had a co-blogger then the blog would churn out a wider range of posts and would hit a bigger audience. But my blog is MINE, you know? I can share things (hell, I have a sibling - you have to learn to share), but I can be a bit of a control freak at times - I know how I want my posts to look, the different fonts and formats I like, the kinds of books I want to spread the word about. Sharing my blog would mean being more lenient on these kinds of things, and if I actually didn't like what the co-blogger was doing...well, there wouldn't really be anything I could do about it, because it'd be their blog too.

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  5. Taking on co-bloggers was the best thing I have ever done. Ever.

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  6. I have considered this also, and can see the benefits and concerns from both sides. It is hard going it alone, especially when you work full-time and have a family, or go to University, as you do, but it is fun to. My biggest issue is that I have so many books to review. I have seen some blogs that have guest reviewers, and that is something I have considered. It would alleviate some of the pressure of getting books reviewed in a timely manner and enable you to accept more for review, yet still give you the control over the blog itself. It is something that has just been a thought, but you have me thinking about it even more now.

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  7. I was bummed when you had already started Bookish Treasures, but I'm such a fan of your blog now I'm kind of glad it happened that way!

    I started my blog with a co-blogger because I knew with my work load I probably couldn't handle it. In fact, it was a great relationship and we each did things a bit different but it all worked out and she was a great friend. I miss Alison and I wish I had her back, but her lovely little girl is so much more important than a blog.

    After getting used to the blog as mine alone and not getting any decent responses when posting for a co-blogger, I have to say I like going at it alone. I have Mary now, who like Hannah does for you, sends me reviews and I post them on her behalf. I also have my new feature with Jack from The Book Stop who's been a great guest blogger. I would probably still like another reviewer like Mary (who is fantastic). And I would be open to a full-time co-blogger if I met the right person.

    That said, with all the rubbish that just happened with my new reviewer, I think I might wait a while...

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  8. I'm really tempted to take on co blogger but due to the reason you mentioned above, I won't do so. Further more, my blog is my baby, if I can't post ~I can't post but if somebody else messes things up, it'll result in a fall out and things will go downhill from there.

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  9. I just got a coblogger, and so far I am loving it. We are making an effort to communicate well about schedules and who wants to do what and I feel like it helps push me to be more active. I can see where some people have a fear of falling out or disagreeing. but I think it's all about communication and being honest. I don't just go in and change her posts, but she asks my opinion and I go in and highlight or add comments and ask what she thinks of the changes. SHE gets to choose the final product. Yes our reviewing styles are different. But everyone has a different writing style, and even a different reading style. She reads contemporaries- I don't. Having her around means that now there will be contemporary reviews on OUR blog to share with our followers. I think the only thing that has gotten to me so far is the question of the blog design. She asked if I wante d to change it. But I just paid to have my blog revamped in January so i'm not ready to let go yet :/ I think she understands, and I do plan on changing it in the future and making it something that we both agree on. I want her to feel like it's OUR blog, even if it was " my baby " to start with.

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  10. Never had a co blogger in my book blog before but I have a co blogger in my food/fashion blog. My book blog is much more successful than the other one that I share with my friend. I for one have lesser time to manage another blog and she on the other hand rarely post. We are close friends and i guess we had no problems in running the blog because we like same things and agreed on most things. The only argument we had is pushing thw other to post a new food review already as we neglect it so much. I guess the positive thng on having a coblogger is havng someone to bond it with and help u with it. As for me, my friend and I wanted to have a food/fashion blog on our own because we bond over it. But my book blog is my own and even if she loves books too, i thnk i'm with Kay on this one, i only want myself to have the control over my blog since i started it by myself and put on so much stuff on it. :) hope everything works for u :)

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  11. Great discussion topic! I'm not close to considering getting a co-blogger at the moment, but as I'm not working full time or studying them I'm not struggling too much to find the time to blog myself. Obviously I know there will probably be a time where that changes and I can't dedicate as much time so I may have to consider this. The idea of letting someone I don't really know in on my blogging would be too hard I think. I think I would go to friends first (I have a few in mind who I could ask) and if they weren't up for it then I'd just go it alone and see what happens :) If I have to cut back, I have to cut back. Great reading other people's experiences in case I ever need to make this decision!

    I think having a guest reviewer is a great compromise (I love reading Hanna's reviews!) and seems to be working well for a lot of people :D

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  12. Well, I have had two co-bloggers. A little background, the first one I just took on because I needed help, but it was still on my old blog. It worked out okay, but we didn't talk a ton and it was a great experience but it didn't work out.

    In the long run, I had a friend (Kate) who I had been talking to since first blogging. We did a lot of blogging stuff together, hosting events and whatnot. We talked about starting a combo blog, but neither wanted to give up our own blogs.

    Then, when my other coblogger didn't work out, we decided to take the plunge. Kate started working on a new blog for us, being more of the design guru and I love that we work together on the same blog now. I don't miss my old blog at all. Sure, it was hard giving up followers and whatnot, but Kate and I work well together. Both of us are always on Google Chat and always talking. It feels weird when we haven't talked for a few days.

    I also like that we have our own busy times of the year, where the other picks up the slack. We get really ahead in the summer and winter breaks and then we keep up how we can.

    I feel like I haven't really given you any advice, but I feel like you're better off with someone you really know and have done events with or whatnot. But if not, start small like guest reviewers, try them out and see if it works. I probably have an unusual situation unless you have a blogger friend who is feeling the same wear like Kate and I were.

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