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I Do: Tips for Co-blogging with Your Spouse

This guest post is by Mr. Broke Professional: the husband in the husband/wife team behind Brokeprofessionals.com

“I think you need to rewrite that last paragraph,” she said. “And this time, maybe try to be just a little more concise.”

She said it gently. Yet the words stung. She could tell I was a little hurt, so she tried to smooth it over.

“I really like this blog post. I think it is going to be well received by our readers.” I patiently waited for the “but.” And after a moment or two it came.

“But … the only thing is (and please don’t be upset) maybe you should also work a little more on the title before hitting the Publish button.”

This was a new criticism and I did not expect it. Again it hurt. I do not particularly like being edited, by anyone. “Anything else?” I asked with more than a hint of sarcasm.

“Yeah, when you’re done with that can you help me set the table? Dinner is almost ready.”

So goes life when you blog as a husband/wife team.

Note that I’ll use the term “spouse” in this post, but this word is being used to mean any type of relationship.

Advantages of blogging as a husband/wife team

There’s a lot to be said for blogging in partnership with your spouse.

Time

The one resource all bloggers can agree they need more of is time. Unfortunately it’s also the most finite of resources. Partnering up with at least one other co-blogger is great because you can, in theory, accomplish twice the amount of work. For example, while one of you is working on the creative portion of your blog, your co-blogger can work on blog promotion.

When you co-blog with your spouse, as I do, it’s even easier to communicate. You’re probably always together anyway, so even dinner can become an impromptu brainstorming session.

Not feeling guilty about the blogging “time suck”

Another advantage of co-blogging with your spouse is that it’s a great way to spend a lot of time on your blogging hobby without feeling like you are alienating your family. I feared in the beginning that my wife would start to resent my blog, but instead I turned her into a blogging co-conspirator.

Honest feedback and criticism

My wife and I can be (sometimes brutally) honest with our criticisms with one another because we have been together for years. We are in sync and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I understand that she finds the creative process more engaging than blog promotion, so I try to pull more weight with promotion and online networking.

Much like real life, as bloggers your spouse and you will tend to form a complete unit, whereby you can as a team rise well above the level of skill and/or success that you could ever hope to achieve individually.

Improving your blog’s voice and perspective

Our blog has brought us closer together and we can sometimes incorporate our marital dynamic subtly into our blog. We have blog “debates” or use in-jokes that are, hopefully endearing to our audience and different from what they generally read in most other personal finance blogs.

You can leverage your relationship to maybe create a more unique and valuable experience for your audience.

Motivational benefits

Like an exercise program, a book club, or a diet, it can be very motivational to have a blogging partner—someone who can push you, and keep you inspired and working towards the ultimate goals of your blog. It’s also helpful if that person is someone you do not want to let down.

There are nights when I don’t want to follow our posting schedule, but then I think about how we’re a team. Also, having someone else around to pull half the weight means that I have not yet come close to burnout, despite the fact that we both have demanding day jobs and keep a daily posting schedule.

Challenges of blogging as a husband/wife team

Like any partnership, blogging with your spouse has its challenges.

Creative control issues

You need look no further than examples of various movie star couples that have broken up after working together on a movie project than to know that working with your spouse is not without its potential traps.

For some, the whole purpose of starting a blog may be to escape a job or family, or to simply have something all their own. Once you partner up with a co-blogger, whether the co-blogger is a friend, a stranger, or your spouse, you will no longer possess 100% creative control over the blog.

For example, once I wrote a post that was, in hindsight, really quite weak. It was weak because it was a subject only I really cared about, and it was outside the scope of our niche. My wife pointed this out, and I have to admit I begrudged it for a little bit, even though I knew deep down she was right. The opposite scenario has occurred as well. This creative collaboration can benefit the blog, but it’s still a challenge for the individuals involved.

The stronger personality may take over

This is the Fight Club Rule in effect. Essentially, and as with the rest of your marriage (or in any relationship, really), the stronger party may hijack creative control, and thus alter the intended direction of your blog.

This is not an issue that affects us personally, but we definitely have some friends in couples who could not, in our opinion, function as a 50/50 blogging team. This is particularly devastating if the less visionary or talented partner is the one who is more desirous of control.

Fear of honest criticism

I realize I previously listed open communication and honesty as a likely result of blogging with your spouse, but I can also imagine scenarios where even married couples are too nice to be honest about whether material is right for their blog or not—and the kind of friction that might result.

Jealousy

There have been times when I’ve been jealous of one of my wife’s posts going viral or getting more comments—particularly if my posts have been in a prolonged slump. It is only normal to feel a twinge of envy under such a scenario, and it is one of the possible occupational hazards of working with any partner on a blog.

The blog becomes consuming

I fear I have the blogging addiction much worse than my wife does. I am sure there are times when she wishes we could just relax without worrying about furthering the blog. The solution, of course, is to set some boundaries. That said, if you figure out how to properly establish such boundaries, please let me know, so I can try to establish some as well! My wife would be forever indebted to you, I’m sure.

Are two heads better than one?

The important thing, of course, is to have fun and to allow the co-blogging experience to bring you together as a couple. The major thing to avoid is burnout induced from working together. If you ever need a reminder of what not to do, turn to this post or, if you’re desperate, watch the movie “The Getaway” starring Alec Baldwin and his ex-wife, Kim Basinger.

If you establish the right boundaries and you both find a passion for blogging, then your co-blogging experience can be both beneficial to your readers and to your marriage.

Have you ever co-blogged? What was your experience like? If you haven’t co-blogged with a spouse, would you consider doing so? I look forward to reading your responses.

Join our husband/wife blogging team as we discuss life for the overeducated and underpaid, along with what we have learned about blogging thus far, over at Brokeprofessionals.com.

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Comments

  1. The best part of my marriage was editing my x husbands copy for the papers. He once disagreed with me on a front page spread for the weekend and it was sent back by the editor with the comment that it was not up to his usual standard. He didnt argue over my editing again.

    Like everything in life if you dont have the odd critical friend it can be abit of an ego trip and blogging can be a little one sided and rambling.

  2. Too bad I’m not married…lol

    Anyway, it’s good if you could do a join blog with your wife as you could spend quality time together or spend the time arguing on what to be posted :)

  3. Mario Monk says:

    My wife is a pro in niche I blog about. So I never had doubts inviting her to help me.

  4. Great to hear about this blogging partnership. When my husband and I work together on projects they are always better than what we could do individually. Our blogging partnership consists of him serving as my IT department! It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to have an idea and turn to him to institute it or to troubleshoot problems. I wouldn’t have a blog without his half of the partnership, and although he isn’t interested in writing for the blog, he likes helping to make it happen. It’s really his as much as mine. Yay teamwork!

  5. Helen says:

    Ouch… a very timely post for me as my other half and I are currently working on a new blog that we plan to launch together in April. I think the issues around control and being able to take criticism are definitely more pertinent when your co-blogger is your partner.

  6. I depend on my wife to catch problems with my blog posts. Her suggestions are almost always improvements.

  7. Interesting posts…so what do you do if you don’t have a spouse and you still want to benefit from this awesome association? Simply join a mastermind group in your niche. This way, you’ll not feel overwhelmed when things don’t go your way and you’ll have the privilege of working with people that are interesting in you and your blog…
    To successful alliance in blogging…
    Tim

  8. I can’t imagine blogging with my husband as I’m too much of a control freak. I do bounce ideas off him though and this can be good.

    What I really liked is the link you gave to “100 Things We Have Learned Since We Started Blogging” which is a fantastic article and a great one especially for newbies to bookmark and revisit as needed. Long but a very useful read.

    Thank you and good luck in your joint blogging endeavors :)

  9. Mike CJ says:

    Good to meet you – we too are a husband and wife team of full time bloggers!

  10. MoneyCone says:

    The best part is it improves communication. Actually this is quite fascinating and a great exercise couples!

  11. Brad says:

    are you hiding a mic in our closet? I think my wife and I have had that exact conversation! We have been blogging together since we started last year. We have had our share of the negatives, but I think the positives far outweigh them for us! Many of our readers have really enjoyed our “call and response” method offering both a husband and wife perspective that wouldn’t be available if we were not blogging together. Yes, our “voice” is a bit different, and our writing style changes, but I think it works for us!
    The biggest challenge we have had is dealing with criticism. I find it much much more challenging to deal with the criticism of my own post then when someone is criticizing one of hers! I have to be very careful in a response not to take out my frustration.
    thanks for your post!

  12. Howie says:

    Mr. Broke Professional,

    Did your wife and you begin blogging with relatively similar skill sets to bring to the table? For as much as I’d love to integrate my wife into my blogging endeavors, I just feel that there would be a tough learning curve for her (even though she is VERY smart), there are just many tips, strategies, tactics, and nuances to learn before becoming truly proficient at blogging….I’d love to ‘train her’, but there’s always the possibility that she may just not ‘like it’ as much as I’d hope she would.

    I’d certainly love her to help out a bit, that’s for sure.

  13. Pamela says:

    My husband has been a great help to me. He is willing to proofread all my posts and has provided some technical guidance when working with photographs (something I’m terrible at).

    But when we read each other’s writing, we have to be very clear about just what kind of help we’re looking for. Neither of us takes criticism well. So stating up front “I’m wondering if this argument makes sense but don’t feel you need to go into detail. Just tell me yes or no.” Or “Just check the grammar and spelling, I’m pretty happy with the content” saves a lot of pain.

    My husband just wrote a guest post for my personal blog and I think it will be the first of several. Perhaps we’ll end up being team bloggers someday ourselves?

  14. My fiance and I have several blogs betwean us, but we only share one. His blogs are about campaigning and the organisation of politics. In addision he’s got af blog about whos who in danish politics with some of his friends. My own “professional” blog is for my woters to follow my work and epinions as a local politician.

    The blog we share is absolutely con amore. It’s a foodblog, where he does all the heavy coocking and I supply with desserts, cake and snacks. It has brought us closer in cyberspace life. And to some ekstent it has actually helped me stopped being envyous when his blog did better than mine, in terms of clicks, becouse our joint venture is much more fun and popular than all of our other blogs:-)

    Creatively we are defenetly better together than seperatly.

    It’s in danish, but url is: http://www.grydeklar.dk – it means “oven ready” in danish

  15. There are a number of couple food bloggers who are doing really well!

    Thanks for the great post.

    Krizia

  16. Basant Singh says:

    As you said, two heads always better than one. At times I talk to my spouse for ideas & proof reading. Also, together we enjoy the journey…

  17. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the insight. I don’t blog with my husband, but he does take a creative interest in the direction of the blog and he critiques posts if I ask him to.

  18. Jeff Goins says:

    Great tips here. Thanks for the honest representation of the ups and downs of a husband-wife co-blogging team. I’ve experienced some of these, and you’re right on. I like a lot of the positives you mentioned, especially not feeling guilty for the time suck. Thanks!

  19. This is a interesting article, the idea of co-blogging can bring you two together. It could be, it seems blog will change our life, no, it already.

  20. Rohit says:

    I am not married yet and I don’t know if I would find a blogger girl to love. But having your spouse as your co-blogger is very much exciting.

    There are always advantages and disadvantages with co-blogging in general and co-blogging with your spouse is no different. The biggest advantage is that you spend most of the time together and thus more communication. It is also great if you have the same financial goals. The trick is to have a spouse that is 80%(or more) just like you, same tastes and goals.

    One thing I can’t stop thinking is about your love-life. How far is it affecting you?.

  21. Elton Sites says:

    Your spouse will greatly help on helping you improve your blog. Since your spouse can criticize and say everything about your blog to help it improve. I once asked my wife what would be great to post in my blog, she said “Post our family picture”. Then I made a post about my family and a lot of people liked it.

  22. I’m pretty sure my husband doesn’t even read my blog, let alone write with me! I think it’s a great hobby to share, but I’m the control freak like Marie. I’d have trouble letting him hold the reigns! On the other hand, like Pamela, I do bounce ideas off of him, and he’s often helpful in coming up with ideas, but he’s not a writer and the details aren’t important to him. That’s okay by me!

    I wonder how it’s affected other areas of your marriage, too. The time suck is the one place where I’d feel better if we were blogging together – I’d love to have the time together that I spend on the blog!

  23. I’ve previously wondered about the benefits of having a blogging partner and hypothesized that it would probably work quite well. There’s some things that I as a man would be uncomfortable writing about (or that would just seem odd) and in these circumstances it really makes sense to have a woman cover those issues. Women also have the potential to spot things men don’t, and vice versa – no way Steve Jobs would have been able to call the iPad as such had he listened to the opinion of at least one woman.

  24. My wife and I run our own graphic design business.

    She also chirps in from time to time with comments on my graphic design blog.

    The thing I especially love/hate is that they give you their feedback unfiltered. There is no bull.

  25. My husband and I run a business and a blog together & found this wildly amusing. Thanks for the great read.

  26. My wife and I have been working together for more than three years developing our online interior design business. Since she provides the content and the interior design advice (she is a licensed interior designer in Wellington, FL) and I work on the back-end, the professional relationship has flourished. However, we have certainly had our moments (usually egos getting in the way).

  27. Peonia says:

    I’m co-blogging with my husband and that’s a very educational experience.

    We learn a lot from our mistakes, successful results, new challenges.

    I think it’s the best way to blog.

  28. George hpg says:

    Lol, now i’ll have to find a spouse to blog with me. It certainly would make things more fun.

  29. I really liked the intro. :) I’m glad that you guys are able to work well together on such a time consuming project.

  30. Joe Kawano says:

    Well, I’ve never officially co-blogged, although my wife just came to me this morning and said “I want to write a guest blog post for your New Technology Geek blog!” And then she, being an avid follower of ProBlogger, sent me this article. I think a healthy marriage should be able to stand any degree of communal shared activity…that’s why it’s a marriage!

  31. Tamar says:

    Hubby and I co-blog. I am the writer. He is the copy editor. The blog also started as a partner to our YouTube videos (www.YouTube.com/Tamar1973), which we also do as a team–I write the script and do my thing in front of the camera while hubby films it and does the post-production editing. It van be a great hobby to share but you truly respect the other person for it to work.

  32. Loved your post! My husband and should blog more together. We operate separate ones as of now.
    A lot of what you said I also point out in my book. I recently published
    Soulmate Proprietors: How To Run A Business With Your Spouse And STAY Married. I would love to feature this post as a guest post on the book’s blog.

    Great points made!

  33. Wendy says:

    My husband and I started a blog together (partyof4blog.com) a couple of months ago, and it’s been a great experience. The premise of our blog is that family life should not be incompatible with a life of adventure and self-fulfillment, so it’s natural that we’re writing it together. In that spirit, we’re daring each other to live our dreams this year. The effect on our relationship has been incredible, as we’re nurturing and encouraging each other’s adventurous projects and endeavors.

    I have wondered where to find other “mommy and daddy together” bloggers, so I was grateful to find this post. Great tips, too, for avoiding the potential pitfalls of co-blogging. Thank you!

  34. Michael says:

    My girlfriend and I both have blogs, and we’ve been thinking about doing some blog posts together. I’m looking forward to it evenmore so after reading this post. There’s a lot of good tips in here.

  35. wow! love your post man! :D Hm…but about your problem about your blog Eating up almost all your time and thoughts every moment of every day, well, i would suggest that you guys do the solution we made^^ what we did was in a week, there would always be this one day where in THE DATE (STRICTLY) CAN’T BE MOVED NOR can it be REMOVED no matter what the reason is. well, unless someone got hospitalized or any of those seriously rare reasons like that. and for example, you guys chose Sunday. so, that means that every Sunday, your computer will be ABSOLUTELY off limits to both parties(to make it fair of course) then, that day, you are both also PROHIBITED TO SPEAK OR EVEN THINK ABOUT ANY BLOG OR IDEAS OR PROBLEMS! (be STRICT ABOUT THIS).Instead, TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE, like.. maybe your kids or your love life? or maybe try to just relax together in a coffee shop near by/attend a concert/ walk around the park? / exercise together/ watch a movie or you can even have a movie marathon! (JUST MAKE SURE YOU LET GO OF EVERYTHING FOR A DAY) there are so many fun activities for couple relationship improvement! just make sure that what you guys choose to do would be SOMETHING YOU BOTH REALLY LOVE TO DO(except anything connected with blogs or computers) or at least enjoy to do ^^ hm. or you could also GO OUT ON A DATE(being married doesn’t mean that you are too old to date. you can never be old to date! remember that! ;) ) then, you do this every time that “Sunday” comes, and as for the other days, you can definitely blog like you usually do ;) ^^ a day without blogging in exchange for a lifetime of happiness because you have a very close and happy family is not a bad trade! ;) i mean, just think about it… would you rather choose to work on your blog/s until Sundays and as a consequence, lose that closeness and warmth that you’re suppose to have and feel with your family/wife/ girlfriend/ boyfriend/ husband? or would you rather try what we did and give up JUST ONE DAY in exchange for a united, peaceful, happy and fun family life full of love and warmth? you choose . SO MOVE NOW! Or feel all the REGRET LATER when you can’t change anything anymore because you decided to give up your family/ loving spouse just because you didn’t want to give even JUST A WHOLE DAY ESPECIALLY FOR THEM/ HER(removing the existence of your blog for a whole day). choose wisely(think about the long run if you must) thank you!^^ and GOOD LUCK!^^

  36. Brad says:

    I have been trying to get my other half to start/join in on some of our blogs without any luck. Hopefully after I drop this article in front of her I can get her on side!

  37. Megan Clouse says:

    Thank you for pointing out some key points in co-blogging! I’m 1/2 of http://www.thecardiganandcook.com (I’m the cardigan) and it’s been an interesting dynamic to share this new blog with someone else.