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Blog Wise Tip 6: Build a Productive Team

“Have you ever merged together four different companies with four different partners, and employees from one company and another company?” asks Brian Clark of Copyblogger.net. “Oh my goodness, it was quite stressful.”

But, he adds, now that the transition’s complete, “It’s amazing to me, what we can do.”

All of the bloggers we spoke to as we researched Blog Wise extolled the virtues of team work—even when the team is your readership, as in the case of solo blogger Leo Babauta’s collaborative writing project, The Effortless Life.

But all of them emphasize the importance of clear communications within the team.

Brian explains that before his group’s merger, “I had all these smart people that were partners, and they were in separate companies and they weren’t allowed to talk to each other, if you will, because there was no profit motivation.

“I saw that the only way I was going to get to where I saw as a possible future vision, was to put all these smart people together so that they all had a stake in each others’ future.”

Our bloggers point out, though, that a philosophy of team collaboration needs to be underpinned by the right tools.

Like many, Darren finds digital collaboration tools helpful. “Every ebook [we produce] has its own folder in Basecamp, and I can tap into that and get pretty much any document I want along the way,” he explains.

Bloggers like Abby Larson of stylemepretty.com and Heather Armstrong of Dooce, whose spouses also work on their blogs, use tools like Google Calendar, and clear, close communication, to ensure that their husband-business partners know what’s going on at all times.

When you add shared responsibilities like children to the shared responsibility of a blog, communication is critical. As Abby says, “because the site is so dependent on both of us … we realize that we both need to commit equally to our family.”

Do you work with others on your blog? What approaches do you use to make your team as productive as possible?

Tomorrow: bloggers’ favorite productivity tools and systems.

About Georgina Laidlaw

Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for problogger.net. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I love the idea of teamwork, and you can look at yourself as a member of other people’s teams by becoming a regular reader and commenter. Even if you’re an unofficial team member you can still learn a lot and help people out. You can also help readers of your blog to form their own team as well as joining them to yours, offer them the chance to run their own project on your blog or help them to promote a product they’ve created.

    I recently helped a reader of my blog move his website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, I’d say he’s definitely a member of my blogging team and I’m a member of his tech support team now! Though we could definitely have done with using a few tools beyond just email ;)

  2. Sadie says:

    This is a great article. It’s so important to realize we can’t do it all alone!

  3. Justin Mazza says:

    I am a lone blogger but I do collaborate with a team when it comes to making new eproducts. If and when the time comes where I need some help with my blog then I am all for working together as a team.

  4. Cubik Rube says:

    Nice article… thanks !

  5. Bill says:

    Wow! Sonia you are so inspiring in order to build a significant team you need to find the right people especially if you are working in a High-Tech place.If you are a servant leader who balances conflict effectively, then your team will be strong.

  6. Anne-Sophie says:

    I am working with my husband. He doesn’t blog on my website, but he does most of the design work. It’s not always easy when you have different opinions, so communication is key and remaining constructive and not getting personal is critical. You need to remind yourself that you’re both working for the best outcome and that this is not a personal issue. But, all in all, teamwork is amazing and never fails to get the best results.

  7. I think working in teams not only helps you accomplish more through greater productivity, but also makes your ideas seem more of reality when you are just beginning. If someone else is out there working on your idea, in addition to yourself, your idea already has a physical presence in reality. I think this helps me tons when I am trying to create something I’ve never done before, which happens a lot in blogging.

  8. Mike says:

    This is so true! Sometimes we need to be able to focus on helping our teams in order to get help from them. When this happens, a lot of miracles can take place and we can see some of the benefits from promoting a team environment in our own work places.

  9. Guy says:

    As a designer that works with several teams on their e-projects, I find that digital collaboration tools are essential for keeping everyone communicating and productive. Anytime I join a team without one of these tools in place (relying on email instead), it’s the first thing I suggest we implement. Whether it’s Basecamp (for those who can afford it) or Minigroup (my preferred) .. these tools are essential for getting the job done.

  10. I agree with Guy. Digital collaboration tools are essential for keeping everyone communicating and productive. Promoting a team environment leads to great benefits and an amazing team!

  11. Google Calendar is simply amazing for keeping multiple teams and projects organized, one of my favorite Google products along with Docs.