Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We Co-sign on Co-blogging

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 with 32 comments
It's been a little over two months since I started blogging here at The Starry-Eyed Revue. I think it’s time to talk about it! Co-blogging has sort of blown up over the last year or so. I’ve seen so many bloggers give up their blogs to move to others, or just add bloggers to theirs. A last ditch effort to keep things going? I’m not sure, I think for some it has been. And maybe some do it now just because it’s what all the cool kids are doing. (Yup, we are cool now!)

We totally co-sign on this whole co-blogging thing, and here's why:





When I started blogging with Jen, I was kind of at my wits end. I’m a working mom, and running a blog alone is hard. Really hard, and I was doing a horrible job of it. I was so overwhelmed, that it wasn’t fun anymore. 2 months later and I can honestly say that I’ve never been so happy blogging as I am now. Not even when I first started.

I think compatibility is a big part of this. Jen and I are so similar it’s almost creepy at times. We have the same priorities, and I think that’s very important in a co blogging relationship. Our families come first, always.


Some things I love about Co-Blogging...

-Not having to post everyday! This was the hardest thing for me. I don’t think I ever posted on my own blog every day. It was just too much. We split the week up, we both get 3 days to post whatever, and one day that we post together. It’s worked out so well, because I can actually schedule ahead!!!

-Our friendship. I’ve always considered Jen a good friend, heck we’ve been talking to each other for years, but working with her has made us even closer.

-Early access to posts! It’s the ultimate co blogging perk. I thought it would be weird having access to each other’s drafts, but it’s not at all.

-Planning discussions and joint posts. It’s much more fun when you have someone you can bounce ideas off of. Plus, buddy reads lead to joint reviews, and we recently reviewed Open Road Summer together, that was a lot of fun to do.

I think one of the hardest parts about co blogging for me, was giving up my blog and moving to Jen's blog. From day one, Jen has always made me feel like it's ours, not hers, and I love her for it. It made the transition seamless for me. Joining The Starry Eyed Revue is one of the best decisions I ever made. I would make that decision over and over again.



If you'll remember, I probably looked about like that chick this time last year. Last summer, my sister had offered to co-blog with me and post a few times a month to help alleviate some of my stress, but that never really took off. Not blaming her, but I should have realized beforehand that that partnership was never really going to work...past experience and all that. So, even though her name still appeared on the blog, Mendy wasn't really doing anything. It was all up to me again. And somehow, I was managing to post at least once a day, almost every single day.

Move forward to January of this year when April and I were talking on Twitter about being overwhelmed with the blogging thing. She mentioned wanting to co-blog with someone else but not wanting to deal with some crazy person. I'd actually been wishing I had a legit co-blogger but didn't have a clue where to start. 1) My blog is my baby...how do I just let go of the reigns and give power like that to someone that I don't know (or barely know), that I can't gripe at the way I can my sister? 2) I'm a perfectionist. How do I accept that someone else isn't going to blog the same way I do? 3) Do I really have the time to train someone on the ins and outs of my blog?*

I was on the verge of burn-out and April just didn't have the time to run her own blog anymore. So, when she said she'd actually been considering joining up with another blogger, I thought, this is my chance. I know April. I've known her for three years and we actually have a lot in common. We talk frequently, and I know I can be completely honest with her and vice versa. And she was already running a blog, so I won't have much to show her that she doesn't already know. So, I jumped at the chance...I didn't even give myself five minutes to consider all the possibilities, as I am usually wont to do. I just asked her. And unbelievably, she said yes.

And here we are, two months later, loving blogging again, probably even more than we did in the beginning of our solo journeys into this community. Because we've already got our foot in the door. We're bringing our combined knowledge and our combined friendships together to forge something even better. And I'm loving every minute of it. Having someone else to bounce ideas off of, to take up the slack on a week when I'm not feeling it -- and I try to do the same for her, even though she's never as behind as I am -- and being able to just read as I see fit instead of sticking to that meticulous reviewing schedule of mine...it's all made this experience so much better.

When I started blogging three years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. The friendships I would make. The connections with publicists and publishers. The external pressure to post new and unique content, besides regular reviews. But I was missing out, letting it all get to me...not appreciating my own hobby anymore because I didn't have the time to make it mine like I did in the beginning. And then April comes along and gives that all back to me, almost immediately. From the moment we added her name to the blog, it's been ours. We both put a lot of work into our reviews and discussions, and I think we both get so much from doing this together now. Looking back, I was actually pretty lonely, doing this all on my own.

There are reasons for bringing on a co-blogger and then there are REASONS. I regret nothing. In fact, this is definitely one of my better decisions when it comes to blogging. And I think it calls for a happy dance.


*The funny thing is, my friend Lisa is going through the same thing right now. She needs help and wants to bring on a co-blogger, but she's asking herself these same questions. And then she posed the questions to me, knowing I'd already been through this twice now. So, I told her a few things that I've found to be true:  patience and honest are key; remember that you were friends before and you'd like to keep that friendship even if you're not co-bloggers till the end of time; allow your co-blogger to have her own voice so that the blog feels like hers, too, and that she's not over-stepping any of your boundaries; and know your strengths and weaknesses and recognize them in your co-blogger, too.

Co-blogging has definitely been on an upward trend, but I don't see that as a good or bad thing...it's just a truth. We're not the first ones to do it, and we won't be the last. And we're certainly not the only ones talking about it.

Do you blog with someone else? Are you considering a move in that direction, and if so, what are your REASONS? If you're a solo blogger, what are your thoughts on co-blogging? Do you think other solo bloggers need to band together in solidarity? Is this a passing phase or is the co-blogger a permanent fixture in the community?


32 comments:

  1. I started out blogging with a co-blogger!! IT ROCKS. I love that you can bounce post ideas off someone else and they can read your posts and see if you're totally nuts (I usually am, let's face it). I've seen a rise in co-blogging around lately and frankly, it is rather awesome. You get bonus goodness from one blog. Buuut, I do think it's important that the co-bloggers are super compatible. Because otherwise it feels weird to be reading posts on the SAME BLOG that contradict each other (I've read that before).

    You guys are awesome together! I LOVE THIS BLOG SO MUCH.

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    1. Lol, I have seen those blogs. Where the bloggers have completely different taste in books. It is for sure weird. :)

      I love your blog too!!! you and our sister are adorable. :) And your gifs always crack me up.

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    2. Haha...April and I are both kinda nuts, so it works out well for us. =) I think she picked the perfect GIF because we are INSANELY compatible. Like, it's scary how much we have in common, how alike we are in all facets of our life.

      And I love your blog, too, Cait! I love that you and your sister are able to make it work and adorably so. You can tell you guys have a lot of fun doing it. :D

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  2. Lovin' this post, ladies!!

    Jen, you've been wonderful with all of your advice. <3 Day 1 is a success!! :D

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    1. Yay! I'm glad I could help! I saw your post this morning, but I wanted to wait until I could really visit before I stopped by. Congrats again! I hope you love co-blogging with your SIL as much as me and April do.

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    2. Oh yay!!! You're the Lisa! Best of luck to you and congrats. Co blogging is kinda awesome. :)

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  3. I know I'm an oddball but I don't particularly care for Co-blogging although I certainly follow a couple blogs that operate with multiple bloggers. However, those all tend to be blogs I have an established relationship with. Again just my opinion but I like knowing whose posting each and every time I visit and sometimes the co-blogger isn't even compatible which makes it doubly worse. One particular blog I followed was 90% Dystopian/Science Fiction. That blogger wanted to expand her fanbase so she recruited someone who mostly read chick books ie contemporaries and romance. It didn't work for me and it made me downgrade significantly how I visited that blogger. When the bloggers match in genres they like and personalities (like you guys) its much better and can make that blog much more tolerable to visit. I just know for me it isn't something I'll probably ever do on a permanent basis.

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    1. Yep, it's not for everyone, but that's not a bad thing. I honestly never though I'd have a co-blogger when I first started all this, but with April here now, I'd never go back to blogging on my own, unless she just didn't want to do this anymore.

      And I can see where co-bloggers with entirely different personalities and likes would be weird and leave you with a bad taste. April and I actually became friends over our love of sci-fi and fantasy and though we've each branched out a bit in the three years since, I think that's ultimately still one of our favorites.

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    2. Lol, I remember when you commented on my welcome post. I thought, oh no! this will be the one I'll have to impress. :o)

      When co blogging first became a thing, I thought, no way. but then as I got more and more backed up it started looking appealing. I'm so thankful Jen asked me to join her.

      I feel the same about bloggers who aren't compatible. Jen and I have always had similar book interests. I was a little worried about that, because we often read the same books, but I think our review style is different enough that it doesn't create a problem when we both review the same books.

      It's definitely not for everyone. Thank you for stopping by with your opinion! And I love your avi btw. That shit is creepy as hell.

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  4. Awesome blog! I found you through the Notebook Sisters. :)

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    1. Awwwe, thats great!!! I love their blog. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I've never really considered co-blogging, but some of my favourite blogs are co-blogged! I love when co-bloggers share a similar style, but you can tell their voices apart.

    I think I'm just too much of a control freak to ever let someone else manage my baby, but I've often considered having someone who regularly guest-posted.

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    1. I get the whole control freak thing. I was kinda like that early on when I first started blogging. Then I didn't want any control anymore! lol. :)

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  6. I blog with Stephanie at Chasm of Books and so far it has been a great experience. We both work well together and it gives some flexibility for posts so that there is still content going up regularly. It's great to have another person to come up with ideas together :)

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    1. It really is great!! So glad it's working out for you as well! :o)

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  7. I'm so glad its working out for you ladies and that blogging is fun and do-able again.

    I am part of someone's blog, but I am more an associate than true partner mostly b/c I don't share the expense or the blogging no-how. Shari needed help to make her goal of posting every day and offering a wider spectrum of reader taste under the vast genre of Romance so I started out just submitting reviews to her of a handful a month. Then it expanded so that I still submit everything to her, but it might be guest posts, interviews with authors, tour stuff, feature stuff and more along with my reviews. We sound off against each other, plot special stuff, and share our plans, but ultimately it is still her blog and I follow her rules (which I am totally on the same page with).
    We have several things in common in our reading taste, but we have several things that are very different too (i.e. she hates 1st person POV and I don't mind).
    We are going on our second year together this month so I'd say what we are doing works.

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    1. Thank you!

      That is so great that it works for you! the best thing for both of us is having posts go up everyday, without having to pull our hair out to make it happen!

      And congrats!! 2 years is impressive!

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  8. I'm so glad this has been working out so well for you both!

    I agree that it can definitely be a struggle to keep up with blogging and real life. I suffer from that a lot. I had to take a step back and realize it is okay for me to not post every day. I've probably slowed down to 3 a week. That's my aim and I'm okay with that for now. Maybe someday I'll think about co-blogging for myself. :)

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so happy blogging here.

      That's about what I was at too with my own blog. 2 to 3 posts a week. But then if Aubrey got sick, I was screwed. No time to get anything up. I never scheduled posts, it was always last minute. Now Aubrey got sick this week, but no worries.. I'm scheduled out by a few a weeks.

      If you ever do start co blogging, good luck!!! and keep us posted!! :o)

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  9. I always love seeing posts like this and the comments because it's great to see everybody's experiences and how they like a certain situation. Like everybody else, I'm so glad that this has been working out extremely well for the both of you! It's really satisfying to make a decision that you go back and forth on and then realize later that it was WELL worth it. Maybe someday there'll be a coblogger in my future...someday far. I like all the benefits that you said, but I think the big thing holding me back is the worry and stress of how it'll work out and decisions and everything. But it does seem fun!

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    1. Awwe thank you!! :) It really was well worth it, and I think that both of us were ready for a change. Maybe it wont ever be for you, and that's cool too!

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  10. My opinion is pretty simple: People should do whatever feels right to them. I was letting my blog stress me out, too, a few months ago when I was so busy--you know the story I won't repeat myself--but I just came to the realization that it was silly to put so much pressure on myself. Blogging is my hobby. Simple as that. Once I released some of that guilt and stress, I felt so much better. I personally will probably continue to blog solo. I love my little corner of the interwebs and would hate to give it up.

    I think co-blogging is pretty awesome for those it works for. I've really enjoyed your joint discussions and reviews, and Jen, it does seem like you are much happier now that you have less pressure. I can certainly see some major benefits to co-blogging and imagine we will continue to see it more and more.

    I'm so happy that it is working so well for the two of you!

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    1. that is a pretty great opinion! I've always tried not to let the stress of blogging bother me. I've always read and reviewed want I wanted too. I just started to get burnt out becuase I was barely posting, and working my ass off to do so, and it just became work. bleh. And you're right. Blogging is a hobby. At least that's how I feel too, so when it became work it was time to make it fun again.

      I've also noticed Jen seems happier now as far as blogging goes and it kinda makes me squishy inside knowing I helped with that. :)

      And thank you soo much <3

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  11. +JMJ+

    I have my own blog and am also part of a group blog for an online book club. So I guess you could say I'm a part-time co-blogger . . . except that the group blog is so informal that if I only comment on everyone else's posts and never write my own, that would be okay with everyone else. =P

    I think I'd love sharing the blogging experience with a like-minded friend (who is also different enough for me to keep things interesting), but I'd probably want to start a new blog with him rather than letting him join my existing one. Because what you two have done requires a lot of trust and I don't know if I'm equipped for that! On the other hand, that's kind of a lame move. There would be more growth if I let go of a "brand" that I've considered "mine" for years, letting someone take an idea I'm emotionally attached to where I alone could never have envisioned.

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    1. I've always wanted to be a part of a book club!

      lol, yeah it does require a lot of trust and it's not lost on me just how hard it must have been for Jen to give it to me. It makes it all the more special. I think the fact Jen and I have been friends for years helped.

      First and Foremost, this will always be Jens blog. She built it from nothing, and made something amazing out of it. I've watched her do it over the years, I started my own blog within weeks of her starting the Starry Eyed Revue. I'm invested in it. I'm late to the game, but this blog is mine too now. I love it, and it was hard, oh so hard to give up my own, but this is my home now! lol She's been the much more successful blogger over the years, so it only seemed natural that I join her. I thought about still posting on my own blog, but I wanted to be able to just give my 100 percent here. I'm so happy with that decision. :)




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  12. I've never co-blogged, but I think it's definitely a great option and something I would be open to exploring later on down the line on my lifestyle blog. It gives readers variety and like you ladies mentioned for bloggers, it helps to prevent you from being so overwhelmed. It's a win-win situation.

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    1. Definitely a Win Win!!! I hope you try it someday!

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  13. My co-blogger and I were good friends in college always discussing books and tv when we could fit them into crazy schedules. One random day a couple years after college I asked her, hey do you want to try blogging and we have been running with it ever since. It has truly been fantastic :) We talk a lot more now too! It is nice though because when one of us is swamped with school or life in general we have the other one to lean on. I am so glad you both are loving the experience! Keep up the greatness :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

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  14. I love this post you guys!
    I've actually been really thinking about co-blogging. I started a new blog and even though I love it, it really takes away time from everything else. Who did you guys go about co-blogging? Like how did you find each other? I'd love some help :)

    Melissa @ Ever So Mela

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    ReplyDelete

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