Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blogging with R & N: Co-Blogging

Blogging with R & N is a new feature over here at Say It with Books where I'll be talking with you guys about my experience as a blogger. Rachel will be occasionally joining me and together we'll share the best and the worst of the blogosphere.
-------------------------------------------
I've been seeing a lot of bloggers going on  hiatus, worrying about blogging slumps and  freaking out about that never-ending review books pile. A lot of them seem to be taking on co-bloggers to help manage the workload. So today I'm hoping my experience of taking on a co-blogger will help people decide if co-blogging is for them or not.
When I started this blog back in November I did a lot of research to make sure that blogging was something for me but I had no idea it would be so consuming. It started out as something that I did just cause I was bored but now it's practically a routine. If I'm not reading, I'm blogging and when I'm not reading/blogging I'm thinking of blogging/reading. Yep. It's a vicious cycle. 
I made the decision to switch from blogging solo to co-blogging back in March
So why did I make switch?
Way to many review requests, way too many social networks, way to many books to read, way too many mails to respond, way too may blogs tours  and so little time.
I was  starting to look a little like this.....
So now that I made the switch am I glad I did it? Hell Yes.
But of course it's not all sunshine and rainbows because  if so then everybody would be co-blogging right?
So what I can do for you is give you a breakdown of the pros and cons. Maybe it'll make the decision easier for you to make. Or maybe it'll make you think twice.
--------------------------------
1. You can FINALLY have a life that is not consumed by blogging.
One of my worst nightmares is that if I go offline for the weekend my blog will disappear into the deep dark place where all abandoned blogs go to die (did I mention that I was dramatic? Oh well, add that to the list).
Pre-Rachel I couldn't take a mid-month break because I was having a reading/blogging slump. But post-Rachel I can actually do that without freaking out that my blog's going to crawl into a well and die.
I don't have to whip out 3-4 posts a week now. I can read books at my own pace and review them when I feel comfortable because I know I have someone that I can rely on to keep the blog alive when I'm not feeling up for it.
Knowing that someone's has your back and will cover for you when you decide to take a spur of the moment hiatus is an amazing feeling. 
2. “Two heads are better than one.
Whether it's promoting blog posts or coming up with new ideas it's always better to have a helping hand. Both Rachel and I have our own social media networks so it's twice the number of tweets, twice the number of pins, twice the number of connections on Goodreads and twice the number of Facebook shares! End result=Double the exposure. And I have the stats to prove this, after I took on a co-blogger I could clearly see a spike in the blog traffic.
Shared responsibilities is definitely a perk too. Now I don't have to juggle all the bazillion tasks involved in blogging single-handed-ly! 
3. “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” 
Both Rachel and I have our shared loves but in some ways we are completely different. This shows clearly in our posts-our reviews have distinct tones. I feel that having two voices on the blog adds depth and insight. 
The monthly chat reviews that we host is a an example of this-Both Rachel and I read the same book and share our thoughts in the form of conversation.
Collaboration and creativity are related. Seriously, Google it. Having two voices gives us the chance to brainstorm and come up with ideas that we normally would not have thought of. 
4. You get to meet your book soul mate. Well, at least virtually.
And you get also fangirl over ...non-book-ish stuff like this. Ahem. No judging. ;)
-----------------------------------------
But like all things co-blogging has it's downsides too.
1. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory-sometimes too many voices can become one huge mess. Everyone has an opinion and there's gonna be some disagreement at some point. I feel that differences in opinions can be worked out but of course that all depends on whom you pick to be your co-blogger.
2. Losing control.
This was  is my biggest fear.  When I started out Say It with Books was a YA only blog.  Although I do read NA books I have kept it away from the blog because I wanted younger readers to be comfortable on the blog. But after Rachel became a part of the team we have been doing NA books too. And to be honest, I'm not entirely comfortable with the change.
But we have sorta worked things out so now NA books are now allowed as long as the covers/content is not too racy. 
I'm still in charge(Rach hasn't begun her rebellion yet) so yeah for all those control freaks like me out there, don't worry! ;)
Yep. Rach you've been warned.
3. MINE.
The previous point goes hand in hand with this.
I tend to get a little territorial. 
Okay fine. I tend go all psycho chick when people touch my stuff. So sue me.
This is where things get a little ugly. I hate it when things don't go the way I want to so when I see something like incorrect formatting I tend to get a little ummm....vocal and then 10 minutes later I'm apologizing for being harsh. 
Thank god for patient co-bloggers like Rachel who put up with my mood swings! So yes, if you're absolutely OCD-ish co-blogging is probably not the right choice for you.
4. Trust Issues
Conflicts are messy so I try my best to avoid drama across the blogosphere. Anyway sometime back there was this whole issue about a blogger who allegedly was involved in plagiarism and the co-blogger(who was completely innocent)  was dragged into this mess. It wasn't pretty.
So it's definitely better to keep these things in mind when you pick your co-blogger because you especially if it's someone you don't know personally.
-----------------------------------------------------
I think I've covered pretty much everything but feel free to let me know if I've missed anything in the comments.
At the end of the day, remember do whatever feels right for you. 

So what do you think? 
Have you ever been a co-blogger or taken up co-blogger?
What's your stance on collaborative blogging? Do you think you could do it?
Do you think Say It with Books is doing it right?

Need More Help? Check out these related posts:

Hugs,
Nuzaifa :)

20 comments :

  1. Great post! I've never regretted asking Alix to blog with me... I think she's made my blogging experience even more awesome and I benefit a lot from having someone else to brainstorm ideas with. I'll be the first to say that she's completely awesome! But I do understand what you mean about MINE MINE MINE syndrome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Novel Idea is definitely an example of co-blogging done right. LOL, I'm glad I'm not the only one with syndrome! :D
      Here's to awesome bloggers-Blogging would be a lot less fun without Rachel!
      Thanks for stopping by,Paola. :)

      Delete
  2. This is such a great post! I briefly considered taking on a co-blogger earlier this year, and even asked a couple of people if they were interested, but then ultimately decided that I'm more comfortable on my own. I guess I'm just too much of a control freak, and don't think I could deal with having to works things out with someone else on a regular basis. But I do see the appeal. :)

    Also this sentence --> "If I'm not reading, I'm blogging and when I'm not reading/blogging I'm thinking of blogging/reading." Story of my life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand your side of the story too,Sam. Especially for someone who has been blogging for a really long time sharing your space can be TOUGH.
      LOL,glad to hear I'm not the only one! :D
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. Great topic. This is something that I have been considering since I do have other demands on my time that affect my ability to read/blog as much as I'd like. Thanks for including links to similar posts too! I'm not that much of a control freak but it takes me a little while to really feel comfortable interacting with someone regularly and I would worry that they would feel like I was stand-offish or just not very social. I wouldn't even know how to go about finding a co-blogger. How did you find yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand because I'm not the most social person but trust me, once you start fangirling over books you automatically connect with your co-blogger. :)
      As for co-blogger hunting, try Goodreads(that's where I stumbled across Rach)! :D

      Delete
  4. Oh great post! I actually have never considered co blogging, but that's because I'm not feeling the stress of going solo yet :) I know it's a bit hard, and sometimes I do get disappointed when I go days without posts because I have neither the time nor the ideas, but I just don't think I'm gonna be able to handle entrusting my blog to someone else. I'm obsessive compulsive like that XD I don't think I'm a selfish person, but my blog has been personalized to suit my needs, and I think I'm going to miss doing things my own way if I do get one. So yeah, co blogging sounds great, and it's convenient, and kudos to the people who co blog, but I don't think it's for me :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have definitely touched on our negatives and positives as well, as I also took on a co-blogger around... February, I believe. I absolutely love Bec, I think I really got lucky in the fact we get along so well and are great friends now. You are so right about the control factor, I like to dictate everything so I needed a more passive person rather than another dominant one. I've actually been thinking about adding on another co-blogger because I'm still swamped! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved the fact that you shared both the positives and negatives about co-blogging.I've sometimes thought about taking on a co-blogger but lol like you I get territorial over my space. Also my reading varies across genres and I've never wanted my blog to be just about one genre. I also like doing my own thing.I've worried about not posting every single day or coming up with other stuff, but then I'm just like "I do my own thing and I do it for myself." I do agree that blogging can be consuming and sometimes you just have to take a break from it, but I think it's also something that lets you improve your writing skills too.

    Great Post Nuzaifa :).

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'll have to add that I'm a perfectionist as well... probably OCD with it, lol. I'm starting to think that's my main reason why I haven't resorted to co blogging... though I am considering it (probably with a real life friend) if I can't balance blogging and everything else.

    ~sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    ReplyDelete
  8. All the things that you've listed in the cons are the reasons why I am not keen on having a co-blogger. I just don't think that the pros could outwin all the cons.

    Pro #1: If it's consuming me too much, I can always go on hiatus. I can always reject requests. I can even make a break from reading books. Yeah, I might lose some followers along the way but I believe that you have to look out for yourself first. So this can't really be my reason to take up a co0blogger.

    Pro #2: Agree. But I still couldn't shake the cons in my mind.

    Pro #3: Agree. But not enough to shake the cons in my mind.

    Pro #4: I can still gush about books with my readers.

    Excellent post, Nuzaifa. I love how you tackled both the positive and negative sides of getting a co-blogger. Surely, this post will help a lot of bloggers. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I actually started up my blog together with someone I know in real life, and I love it! There's definitely a lot less pressure with two people working on the blog (although I do post more often, 3 weekly posts to her 1). I guess if it was someone I didn't actually know, though, I'd definitely have trust issues :P

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post Nuz. I was asked to be a co-blogger before I started blogging and was tempted. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised I wanted my own blog where I could just do things my way. I suffer from MINE syndrome too so I think I'm better off on my own. Exhausted at times but in control and proud of what I've done so far all own. And yes sometimes I have to say no and turn things down but that is OK too, I know my limitations better now.
    I think you and Rachel work really well together though so it was a great move on your part.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post! My friend and I started our book blog together so we have been co-blogging since our book blogging beginning. It has been great having a sounding board and support system but it does get complicated with our different schedules to coordinate everything that we plan to post together. So far it has worked well though and since we still haven't killed each other I think it will continue to work :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ah that picture basically describes me! Although, even now, i have way too many everything, yet i still don't think co-blogging is for me, i like ''working'' on my own although i get lots of lovely help from my wonderful blogger buddies. i'm glad it helps you though and great post.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

    ~ It Was Lovely Reading You

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am so much of a control freak that I can't even commit to ad sense, because I don't want it to promote things that I don't like.

    I think that if I were to co-blog that I would have to shut down my blog and join up with someone else. I just don't think that I could share my baby. I actually considered doing this during a slump.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think about this a lot too for the same reasons. Blogging has taken over my life so completely sometimes that I just find entire days passing because of it. I like the idea of having another blogger there to help promote and improve my posts. Plus what you said about meeting your bookish soulmate. Wouldn't that be awesome? Maybe one day I'll get over the territorialism; I think that's mostly what's driving me to not post an ad for a co-blogger...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Having a co-blogger sounds nice, but it's definitely not for me. For the past ten years (even though friends and family would claim it had been like this all my life) I've been incredibly possessive about my stuff. I spend time on my blog and if someone decides to mess it up or doesn't format a post the way I want, the argument is sure going to happen. I just wont feel secure. Especially with what you said - if you don't know your co-blogger personally, there might be problems. I read about the whole conflict where a co-blogger plagiarised from other blogs and it was ugly. I wouldn't want to be dragged into something like that.

    But sometimes having a co-blogger seems like so much fun for other people! There are times where I wish I was less of a control freak and found myself a co-blogger, but... nah ;D

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have two blogs & the first one started with a co-blogger and it just didn't end up working out. Things got very messy, very emotional, and it was hard because she was a friend I had for many years and our friendship is just never going to be the same.

    This is why I have to really emphasize being HONEST with your partner and working hard together and also not being afraid to be up front. This is where it all went wrong the first time. Instead of working as a team, I think it felt like it was us versus each other and I'm not sure why that happened. But then again, when you are not on the same wavelength, bad things happen.

    With RBR, I work so well with Magan though. We have a great friendship -- she is one of my best friends and we do trust each other. We are not competing, we work hard to make things look good and sound good and it's true, we come up with our best ideas when we are talking to each other and working on something as a team.

    I love working with her, and I know that not every partnership ends up working this well but I do know that it can. Even if you are afraid of giving up control. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes you need someone to keep you in check. :) Great topic!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think if you can find the right person, co-blogging is a fantastic idea. It's really hard to manage a blog day in, day out…

    Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete

Words are powerful - Please use yours wisely.

I read and appreciate all comments, so do feel free to leave some comment love! :)