Friday, November 23, 2012

Ten Tips for Co-Bloggers

So as you know, Umbrella Dreams is a book blog run by two teenage girls who share the posts written. As co-bloggers, we sometimes share conflicts between what to post, when to post, and how. I'm pretty sure all co-bloggers share this problem.

That's why this post is written --- to help you have a better co-written blog.

Tips from Sarah and Nicole

1. Make a Schedule. Between two different people, their schedules probably vary a little bit...or a lot. For organization, me and Sarah share a schedule we both can access.We make a draft in a our posts section, write out dates and type in ideas for posts each day. To seperate both our thoughts, we color-code stuff --- blue for Sarah and pink for me, Nicole. So whenever we have an idea for a post, we check that draft and look for dates. To make sure we both see the schedule, we usually type out a funny, different title for the draft. Of course, make sure you don't accidentally publish that draft... (other options beside the posts section is available; you can make a schedule on Google Docs too)

2. Subtly give credit to whoever made something. I think one of the biggest problems is that people want to take credit for their work. Between me and Sarah, it's not that big of a problem, though our habits both tell us to write our names on everything. On our template, we have a small section next to the date where it tells who had posted it, but it's not the same for all blog designs.

If you guys both want credit for your work, don't selfishly hog the spotlight by spamming the page with your name. Instead, make a simple signature to tell your identities. And if your partner had created a page, give credit to them and vice versa.

3. Edit each other's works. To me, the most important part of co-writing a blog is that you guys have each others' backs. When I write a post, I usually keep it as a draft until Sarah checks it. I make sure that happens by changing the title.

Example: You're writing a post about cliches. You have already titled the page "cliches." To make sure your fellow co-blogger edits it and likes it, change the title to: Cliches (____ please read this). On top of the page, include what you want to know from your co-blogger. When he/she reviews it, have them write a small note at the top and change the title to Cliches (I read it). But P.S. Remember to delete all those extra notes later.

4. Work together on meme posts. Sarah and I do the popular "Waiting on Wednesday" and "In My Mailbox" posts. WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking Spine and IMM is hosted by Kristi over at the Story Siren. Because me and Sarah usually post once a day, no matter who posts, we usually share the memes. I do half of it and she does the other half. That's why we end up with two books on on the WoW and more than multiple for the IMM. To make sure both co-bloggers add to the memes, we usually change the title and tell that person in advance on the schedule calendar.

5. Agree on blog design. People judge books by their covers. People also judge book blogs by their templates. That's why it's important to have a blog design you guys both like. If you guys are having trouble deciding, compromise on what template. Maybe if your co-blogger likes blue and you like pink, you can have a blue background but pink headline text.

6. Agree on how to write posts. I'm one of those really serious people about blog organization, which is funny because my room, locker, and house are a mess. But nonetheless, me and Sarah keep a template on how to write our reviews. That way, each review is the same as another and follow a format. Not all co-bloggers might need this, but Umbrella Dreams tend to have the same format for all IMM posts, another format for all WoW posts, and another format for all reviews. That way, no matter who writes it, all posts are same. Again, that's probably just one of my weird tedencies and Sarah's just a really good friend to follow it.

7. Compromise on ideas. A lot of people blog by themselves. It's probably easier that way, because you don't have to compromise on ideas, but it's also (in my opinion) a lot more fun to co-blog with a friend. So if you are co-blogger, keep in mind everyone's tastes are different, so work together with your partner to create the dream blog. Make sure you both know what posts are due, what to put on your sidebar and etc..

8. If needed, take a break. This rule also interacts with Rule #10, as it is very important to have fun. If you ever feel stressed out with blogging or really pressured to write good posts, don't be afraid to take a break. Have a co-blogger fill in on your posts and make sure to leave a note in the schedule.

9. Get to know each other. Take the time to know your co-blogger! For Sarah and I, we've known each other for 4 years, so we have conflicts but we forget them easily, since we both know each other's personality. Make sure you to connect with your fellow co-blogger.

10. Have fun! Blogging isn't a chore! Put some humor into your posts and don't be afraid to try something new!(:

Lastly, if you guys are blogging and want me and Sarah to take a look, we'll be happy to! Leave the link below!

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