A year back, Melissa delivered nine tips for newbie bloggers and her post resonated with both green and seasoned writers as it bounced around boards and various social media platforms. At that point Melissa was running the blog by herself.
I entered the fray and hoped to inject diversity and renewed energy to our burgeoning website. Since I was just starting out as a blogger I was devoted to holding my own with my talented wife.
Despite her head start, I vowed to bring sustenance to World Winder and value to our new blogging partnership. I wanted to incorporate my own style while working to develop a collaborative enterprise. As I’ve recently learned from our experience at the blogger convention, TBEX Europe, an increasing number of couples are working together online. So here are nine tips for better blogging partnerships. If two heads are better than one then four hands must be better than two.
Edit each other’s work
If you’re aiming for quality blogposts, then each individual one takes time. They entail planning, writing, re-writing, manipulating photographs, tagging, categorizing, internal linking, scheduling, and promoting. The task can be overwhelming and sometimes the actual writing gets lost in the shuffle. If you have a blogging partner then you should be editing each other’s posts. Sometimes you just need a fresh eye to catch a typing mistake or spruce up an anecdote. That second perspective often makes a substantial difference.
Complement your strengths and weaknesses
Ten years ago Melissa was completely impatient when I’d take my time to shoot photographs. And back then I was known as a computer jinx. We learned from each other and former weaknesses have become common strong points. Now she spends more time with photography and I no longer cause networks to crash by simply hitting a keystroke. Take an inventory of each other’s skills and figure out ways to improve them.
Form a Publishing Schedule
A publishing schedule is a schedule that you try your best to stick to. Many experts in the blogosphere list a publishing schedule as an important habit. When you are working on your own, life has a way of getting in the way of your website. But if you have a blogging partner then it should be much easier to make a schedule and stick to it. Choose how many times you want to publish per week, split up assignments, and then follow your calendar.
Social media times two
Using social media effectively is an integral component for increasing a blog’s reach. With two people working together it is much easier to stay on top of it. But remember, it’s not enough to send out a double shot each time you post. Make sure both partners are looking for valuable contacts and resources online. We’ve found complete strangers online can be better mentors than anyone assigned to work with us in our prior professions.
Develop unique voices and content
Melissa once applied for a job with a well known website that sought to have writers speak in the same voice. That concept horrifies me. One of the best aspects of working with a blogging partner is that it gives your website multiple perspectives. Having two scribes means that you can each create your own voice and bring a diverse audience onto your URL. In addition, you can each experiment with content. I have my Photo Friday feature and create videos, and Melissa writes about wine tasting and finding vegetarian meals around the world. Create diversity not carbon copies.
Respect each other’s opinions
We are living in a digital era and people are becoming accustomed to saying whatever they want and believing their opinions are always correct. People lose lifelong friends because of opinions expressed online. Many people no longer respect each other’s beliefs due to the autonomy of the typed word. When working with a blogging partner make sure to listen to each other’s ideas before shooting them down. Melissa and I chose to leave lucrative careers in order to travel for fourteen months and work together 24/7. The only disagreements we’ve had stemmed from not hearing each other out.
Learn to take and deliver criticism
While editing each other’s work and dishing out opinions it is important to learn how to take and deliver criticism. True partners understand that the most important goal is to move your business forward. If you are on the receiving end of criticism, take it in, try to see things from your partner’s angle, and refrain from saying something hurtful back. If you are delivering criticism, make sure it is necessary, attempt to phrase things in a less hurtful way, and be prepared for any negative consequences.
Think three steps ahead
This is a phrase I’ve used for years and now Melissa and I have incorporated it into our business plan. Sometimes it feels like we think ten steps ahead. Know where you are now with your website and brainstorm where you want to go a year or two down the road. If you plan on making money on your website, decide if you want to use advertising, create e-books, or attend blogging conventions. Search online for blogs that win awards and use them as models. It is much easier when you have a partner to bounce ideas off of and share the burden.
Separate during networking events
When Melissa and I attended the TBEX convention last month we were separate as often as we were together. We separated during breakout sessions so that we could attend different presentations and get the maximum amount of notes. We separated at lunch and dinners in order to connect with other bloggers, DMOs, and sponsors. We separated when we went to parties and even at blog trips. If you are working together then you’ll be together plenty as it is. Many at the convention were impressed that a married couple would separate in order to make more connections while on the Costa Brava. But we’ve been separating at social events since we started dating, so it comes naturally to us.