5 Reasons For and Against Making Your Blog Multi-Author
This is a guest post by Kyle Judkins. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
I have been blogging for over a year now, and during this time, I came to a point where I wanted to expand my blog. The problem was that I just didn’t have enough time, as I have a full time job as a market researcher outside of my blog. This lack of time led me to the decision to hire writers for my blog. This wasn’t any easy decision, and it raised lots of questions. How would I pay them? Would it just add more work? Am I fit to manage other writers?
All of these questions were hard to answer, so I did what most people do. I just started blindly hiring writers with no roadmap in place. I was going with a straight trial by fire. It took some time and patience, but I now have a great system in place and am really glad I expanded to a multi-author blog. In this article, I’m going to tell you about the benefits and drawbacks of having a multi-author blog.
I figured it best to give you the good news first about have multiple authors on your blog, so you don’t just read the bad news and be scared off from attempting this drastic change.
1. More Articles and Content for Your Blog
I have never been a blazing fast writer, and I have a full time job. These things together make it near impossible for me to get more than 2 or 3 quality articles done a week. With only a limited number of articles per week, quick expansion of audience and article portfolio was out of the question.
Multiple authors have allowed me to ramp up the number of posts per week, and it allowed me to keep up posting consistency. If I went on vacation or took a break before, the blog sat stagnant. With extra authors, I always have a nice stock of articles just waiting to be published.
2. Expand the Topics Covered
Much to the dismay of many bloggers out there, I am a Windows guy. I have been my whole life and will continue to do so. I run a tech blog, so I would love to write about Mac software and hardware. However, I have no experience in that arena, so any articles I may have tried to write would have come off as uninformed and low quality.
In my search for authors, I made sure to find a few that used Macs in order to expand my blog’s coverage into that area. This helps round out my articles and gives me a little more variability and flexibility.
3. Increased Network
One thing that I didn’t think about at all when hiring writers, was how it was going to change my network. I never realized that you are not just hiring writers, you are hiring new marketers as well. I’ve had writers submit articles to social media sites and link me on their blog. This does nothing but attract more readers and get Google to like my blog that much more.
5. Become an Editor
My undergrad degree is in industrial engineering. That’s about as far away from journalism as you can get. Needless to say, I’ve never been the most swift writer, but I have polished my skills and been really impressed with my progress over the last year. However, I still don’t have amazing writing speed, so crafting a great article takes me some time.
Editing articles takes FAR less time for me. I am very open to all types of writing styles and articles, so skimming through someone else’s article and correcting grammar and formatting errors goes much faster. Becoming the editor has been great for me, as I still get to put my spin on things without having to spend so much time on research and writing.
5. Management Experience
Before have a multi-author blog, I had never been anyone’s boss. Being the boss has provided me with some great experience that will translate into the real world. I know that it isn’t exactly the same as face to face managing, but I still have to assign tasks, resolve conflict and communicate goals and objectives clearly. I firmly believe that these experiences will help me in my future career wherever it may take me.
Now that I’ve gotten you excited about expanding your blog, I’m going to give you the other side of the expansion story. The next five reasons are going to focus on the downsides of running a multi-author blog, because not everyone is going to find a solution to their blogging issues by changing to a multi-author blog. Let’s get right into the reasons of why you may not want a multi-author blog.
1. Loss of Control
In a multi-author blog you are still the final approver of content, and you can reject whatever you want. You could also demand all of your authors to write only about this topic or that topic, but I have a feeling that most people won’t like to be told exactly what to do or what to write about. If you don’t give your authors flexibility, someone else will.
Writers will write in a different tone or style than your own, and they will write about topics that may not have been your first pick. I was a little bit of a perfectionist before I hired authors, but I had to drop that mindset quickly and let go of my control over everything. If you want everything to be done a certain way, having multiple authors may prove to be a challenge.
2. Loss of Voice
This goes back to the fact that other authors have a different writing style than your own. This may help or hurt your blog, as you may have built up a strong audience with the way you write. You can still edit posts to make them sound more like you, but there is a fine line between just editing an article and rewriting it. It can be hard to keep the blog as just your own, because future readers will see many authors. This takes the focus off of you and could be a deal breaker for certain bloggers that want their blog to just be their own.
3. Become an Editor
This was one of the reasons to have a multi-author blog, but that was due to the fact that I am not a writer at heart. If you are a natural writer and really love crafting articles, becoming an editor could be something that provides you with little reward or excitement. Moving your time from the creative side to a more administrative role could be very hard and boring for many individuals and cause them to lose the passion they once had for their blog.
4. Become a Manger
This, again, was a positive in the previous list. The truth is that managing people can be challenging and down right frustrating at times. People have different personalities and ways of expressing their feelings. Dealing with people can be great, or it can be like babysitting.
Also, turnover tends to be fairly high, because you probably won’t have all the money in the world to pay your authors to keep them around. Training and constantly dealing with new people can get really old after a while.
5. Share the Wealth
If you hire authors, you have to pay them (well, most of the time). This starts to cut into that revenue you were building and were so proud of. Going from $100 a month back to almost nothing, because all of it is going to authors is a very hard thing to swallow. You may not see how the increased articles will yield increased revenue in the future. It is an investment, and some investments never pay out.
I am a big fan of running a multi-author blog and have gotten lots out of the change, but there are also many reasons to not take on this expansion, especially if your blog is very focused on your thoughts and opinions. Let us know what you think about multi-author blogs in the comments.
This is a guest post by Kyle Judkins, owner of LostInTechnology and the recently launched UpYourSocial.
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22 Responses to “5 Reasons For and Against Making Your Blog Multi-Author”
Well, my blog site actually has plenty of authors.
I don’t hire or offer them, just they want to be a volunteer.
If your blog get a high traffic and quality content, you probably don’t need to hire or pay anyone to write for you. For example this dailyblogtips.com has hundreds of post written by guest. I really admire.
A good read on this subject is found here: http://is.gd/3kwW5 – by Jeff Atwood
Really interesting point about how by hiring writers you are hiring marketers also.
I’d like now to hear the pros and cons of multi-author blogs from another perspective – that of the writer, deciding either to write for someone elses multi-author blog or deciding to go it alone.
I’m plodding away alone at the moment, which is fine, but wonder if looking for other writing jobs would be a worthwhile step forward…
While it is advantageous to have multiple authors, I feel that the authority and passion can only come from a blog owner. I would even work for two whole days to get a single article up and am extremely particular about the format of the article, the amount of info that article carries with it etc. And secondly, when you write more and more, the quality of your writings improve, even without taking conscious efforts. And thirdly, every article is going to represent the site that carries them. At least in the beginning, I feel writing solo is better.
Weird i was actually about to share my blog with my friends good thing i didnt
I experienced the ‘Loss of Voice’ problem.
It wasn’t really a problem but I lost interest submitting posts
because the author who recruited me and I have very different
I don’t believe in publishing posts that’s about 4 pages long!
I told him it wouldn’t work but he learned the hard way. That’s after I almost abandoned his site 🙂
I am also a writer on a Multi-Author blog and it is fun!
As you said, it really helps in expanding topics. I have to write only what I am best at. This improves posts.
However, loss of voice is a major issue. Splitting earnings is a bit hard but then it can be easily covered since you have more content(and in some cases, more people promoting!)
Between, you missed #4 after 3 in advantages! Both Management and Editor points are #5!
I will be happy to run a Multi-Author blog on New Media Bloggers blog, but it’s a little different concept and should be a lot of fun!
i see the advantages is getting more weight in my opinion!
I have just opened my blog for guest posting and have had a few people signup, but no one has submitted anything.
I do understand that some signup and then forget about it. You have to know when to and when not to.
Thanks for this interesting read 🙂
Blake @ Props Blog
Great guest post. One of my favorite blogs switched to a multi blogger format about a year and a half ago. At first it was weird as a reader because I was so used to his branding and enjoyed his writing.
The advantage was everyday I checked his site, there was content which meant I ended up checking back daily. He reported that even on days when authors I didn’t really like posted, his traffic remained consistent.
This is a great breakdown from someone with experience. After reading this, I don’t think I’ll turn Props Blog into a multi-author blog for the time being, but I will probably be open to it in a few months.
I would like to try this, and I am open to guest posts. However, I would set the criteria for any guest writing on my site. The different voice I don’t see as a problem, rather a benefit much the same as a magazine.
The primary directive I would insist on is, remain on topic. I have a very narrow niche, and this is a blog not yet three months old.
As far as absolute sharing, a actual multi-author blog, I wouldn’t do that. I see far too many problems that could easily ruin that, at least for me.
Very good post. Thank you.
Your Idea sounds good but your some topics which you have mentioned at last those are more powerful then the starting of your post.
Everything can lost by multi author blog.No one can believe on you and on your voice.Your identity can spoiled in a short span.
Money wise it is good.More content means more crawling by search engines and more posts can indexing.
Anyways,It is depend upon the person and their thoughts how they manage their blog.
I write most of my blog posts, and my wife writes some periodically. Our blog teaches grandparents about cool technology. I have been fortunate to have several bloggers accept my invitation to write a guest post, since it’s a topic many grandparents are passionate about. I cannot pay them, but reward them with links to their sites and help them promote their site on social networks, digg and StumbleUpon, etc. So a friendship is formed where we help each other.
It would have been nice to include something along these lines which is writers who re-post their material on your blog and vice-versa.
A nice timely analysis, thanks! My blog has a little broader subject matter than most, and I have been thinking of brining on other writers as experts in specific areas. It could be a nice way to establish authority and daily posts make for a very strong site.
Thanks for the post.
I have often thought about sharing ownership on some of mine and after reading this i will be in a better position decision wise.
Thanks your sharing.
But for most bloggers, it is impossible to become a multi-author blog, right?
A good article.
When being the sole author in our blog, it is easy to build a brand around ourselves.
When introducing new authors, we should try to shift the focus from us to the blog.
If this could be done successfully, we would not lose readers’ interest.
I invite only guest posts in my blog but have no idea for making it a multi-author blog.
@GetBrowser It is hard to get to a multi-author blog, but I hired my first author about 8 months after I started my blog. It requires a lot of work and giving up revenue, but it is possible for anyone to get there.
Good article and some good points to note. If you get writers with a similar writing style to yourself then having a multi-author blog could work and keep working. Personally I would prefer to write a blog on my own to keep it simple.
Well our blog is a multi author blog. But I think we don’t lose our voice because our readers knows that there are 5 of us there. Considering the fact that it is a corporate blog, so its a mix of personal and professional voice.
I believe that a multi-author blog is very controversial topic.
It doesn’t suit everyone. Some might prefer to keep the blog personal, others wouldn’t..who knows? It depends solely on the blogger himself.
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