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The Rise of the Multi Blogger Blog – Outsourcing Content Creation

There’s something in the air today – everyone seems to be talking about outsourcing your blogging (or elements of it).

Daniel is writing about it from a perspective of outsourcing some of your non core blogging activities (like design, blog maintenance, marketing and even content creation) and Yaro is talking about his journey of outsourcing his own blog’s content creation and management.

It’s an interesting topic for discussion and something that a lot of blogs are moving more towards with numerous large blogs around the wider community moving to a group blogging model. To some extent I’ve even done it a little here at ProBlogger with the invitation to a couple of fellow bloggers (Tony and Glen) to submit articles every week or two.

I’ve also tinkered with it over at DPS where I’ve been using more and more reader submissions (from semi-regular contributers mainly).

Why would you want to outsource elements of your blogging (particularly content creation) by adding new authors to your blog? Well there are numerous advantages that immediately leap to mind:

  • fresh ideas
  • new styles/voices
  • less reliance upon you personally to drive the brand
  • introduce new skills, opinions, experiences and expertise into the mix
  • potentially increase posting frequency
  • having people in different time zones to keep things well maintained
  • gives you a break or allows you to focus on new projects

Of course for every upside there’s usually a downside to accompany it and some of the negatives of outsourcing through adding new bloggers can include:

  • more time spent on managing others and the issues that they can bring
  • motivational issues for bloggers
  • potential dilution of your own personal brand
  • risk of lower quality content
  • new voices can disenfranchise some loyal readers
  • compensation challenges – finding the right model and administering it
  • recruiting – how do you find the right person with the right ‘fit’?

I certainly don’t have all the answers to any of these issues and like most others at this stage am still finding my way with it. My own ‘outsourcing’ has been largely out of wanting to free up a little more time and a desire to add a few new voices into the mix – but I suspect we’ll see more and more blogs going the multi-blogger direction in the coming months.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Darren, that is a nice outline of the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing content. I think that as we move forward more and more blogs will integrate outsourcing into their model.

    Some people might say that this is not a good thing because blogs are supposed to be personal, that is one author talking to its readers. But in my opinion this view needs to be reconsidered, since it is associated mainly of the old idea that blogs are some kind of “personal diaries”.

    Blogs are evolving, and in the future they will probably just be another way to manage content online.

  2. Mike says:

    My wife has started helping me with some posts on my site. She doesn’t really want to commit to running her own site at this point and it really helped free up some time for me to do some site maintenance for a couple weeks. It looks like she is going to stick with it for a while which is nice because she writes about very different things than I do.

  3. Mark says:

    I am having a go at a community generated content site, I don’t know if I expect to much or if its a lame attempt but I’ve been a bit dissapointed with the response so far.

  4. engtech says:

    The one real issue with multi-author blogs is direction. Different people have different goals…

  5. shawn says:

    I’ve wondered about this as well. Particularly in trying to figure out how I would be able to design a blog and sell it to a small company that doesn’t have the resources to blog regularly. I suppose if a company was going to outsource content creation it would have to be with a person that is in that particular industry. Sure, I blog, but that doesn’t mean I can blog about anything.

  6. Friedbeef says:

    I offer up writing opportunities as an open invite on my blog. In return they get a backlink. One condition I have is that it should be something they can use on their own blog. In case I have to reject the post for any of the reasons you mention above, no work is ever wasted, and both parties are still happy.

  7. Evorgleb says:

    over at my blog Highbrid Nation we have about 9 bloggers. It works very well for us and allows us to constantly keep the site updated through out the day. We average about 12 posts a day. Of course it works because of the type of content we deliver (entertainment new). Managing so many blooger can be a hassle but over time everyone has started to fall in line.

  8. When I relaunched my site (under a big time crunch), I asked my readers to submit guest posts, with really wonderful results. It’s now a weekly feature, because everyone got so much value out of it.

    Adding additional authors is an idea I am toying with as well – thanks for bringing it up ;). The biggest concern by far for me is brand dilution… yet, I must say it certainly hasn’t watered down your blog down at all!

    Would love to hear what else you and your readers think about that one.

  9. Jonathan-C. says:

    well before i read your post i posted something about outsourcing work on my blog yesterday.. don’t know why but i guess “outsourcing” is in the air these days hehe

  10. Brian says:

    Multiple authors is something I see myself doing someday. It’s much easier in a blog like mine in which the goal is to be funny some of the time, informative the rest of the time but not really focusing on any one subject.

    I have some ideas for collaborative posts, for example, I can’t write much comedy regarding the dating scene, but my single friends can while I interject various observations. I can’t write about Mac stuff but my girlfriend can…and so on. The goal, obviously, is to produce an entertaining article that earns some real laughs as opposed to a lame point/counterpoint kind of thing.

  11. Nina says:

    Those are great ideas and this is exactly the model that we have employed successfully at Queercents. My intent was always to create a HuffingtonPost feel to it with lots of contributors and viewpoints.

  12. PanAsianBiz says:

    Was that you,Darren, who woke me up this morning with the thought of outsourcing my blog content?

    Seriously, I thought about it just this morning…came to take a look here and find that you just posted about it.

    Please…stay out of my dreams.

  13. infonote says:

    It is normal that this happens. You can focus on your competitive advantage (content), while making someone take care of interface, promotion etc.

    Blogging is following the way corporations operate. Outsurcing is just a piece of the puzzle.

  14. Chris says:

    As I move forward and start thinking about different sites that I’d like to build, I will need to enlist other people, who know more about certain topics than I do. I could write about PHP Code or MySQL Queries, but not many people are going to want to read that.

  15. Mike Panic says:

    On my newest blog, I have a Staff of writers, all friends of mine. The main focus of the site is that there really isn’t – which hurts most blogs, but the name of it is Randomn3ss.com and it has been getting a decent amount of traffic lately. The staff of writers, which is slowly expanding, help provide new and fresh content throughout the day, as we are all in different time zones. Think of boingboing.net – but with a more personal twist on it.

    Having the different writers means more exposure too, as they are all amped on promoting their own stories on their myspace blogs and their own sites, and get super stoked when people comment on their stories – so they are doing the site promotion in addition to what I’m doing.

    When I have them start out, they don’t publish a story in WordPress, only save it as a draft and then I review, edit and suggest new ideas. After doing this a few times they have free reign to publish just about anything they want.

    I’ve been very happy with the results and the quality of content produced so far.

  16. Jason says:

    I’ve owned this type of blog for a year now (as of March 1st). The experience has been great for the most part. It’s a drupal blog, and the only big problem I’ve had with it is spam. drupal doesn’t seem to have a simple anti-spam module like WordPress, so you have to dig through 300+ comments just for a real comment.

    The day someone comes up with a simple drupal anti-spam module, I think my communal blog will be more fun. As of now, the only conversations that take place are within the community, which severely hurts the regular readership.

    Besides that, we have about 1500 pages indexed that get a good bit of traffic from Google. The writers like blogging there. Life’s good.

  17. Howard Tiano says:

    I think the blog’s purpose has to be considered. Are you making money with it? Is it a soapbox for your personal views? Is it your business?
    The answer will shed some light on appropriateness, and compensation.
    Don’t the comments contribute to the content and the different viewpoints, which make it more interesting? In my view, I think the benefits outweigh the risks.

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    There’s something in the air today – everyone seems to be talking about outsourcing your blogging (or elements of it)….

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