The Rise of Co-Bloggers

I’ve been a part of the book blogging community for about 3.5 years now and so I’ve been able to observe the ways its evolved and changed along the years. There have been a lot of changes as with anything! Lately I’ve seen one thing seem to be more on the rise — something I had never really seen happening back in the day. This post isn’t an opinion on whether or not I LIKE or DISLIKE this change. Just an observation that it’s happening more and more and some musings on to maybe why?

So, I’ve noticed that there has been this surge in blogs, that started out solo, seeking out co-bloggers (I’m not talking about blogs that STARTED with a co-blogger but solo bloggers seeking a co-blogger after a while). I see a new tweet about it at least every couple days. I’ve seen lots of success in this and I’ve met some lovely people who have joined on as co-bloggers and it give a good opportunity for someone who perhaps doesn’t want to run a blog all by themselves. I’m not saying anything about adding a co-blogger as a good or a bad thing — just merely observing that it happens more frequently than it used to. Sure, when I started, there were tons of blogs who were collaborative or a partnership — they started out that way. But I really only saw on occasion a blogger wanting to take on a co-blogger to divvy up the load. Now it seems it’s all the time.

I don’t know the reasons and can’t speak on behalf of those who have done this/are contemplating it but here are my observations and thoughts (which I know could be totally not true for all people):

I know in some cases it’s because they want to have a partner in crime to do this with. They’ve felt like something has been lacking or they’ve seen a great duo/team that makes them want that. Or maybe a friend wanted to join!

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However, I have to wonder if it’s the pressure that’s out there now that wasn’t AS heavy when I was a newbie that is making people search for co-bloggers. There have always been pressures in book blogging but I feel like it’s gotten even crazier. There is so much we feel we need to do and keep up with. SO many new responsibilities. So much reading to do. The ARCs. This pressure (I don’t know where it came from) to post every day. The monetizing of blogs. etc. (Not saying these things are bad at all).

Many blogs, when I started and especially WAY before I started, were a lot of people’s personal reading journeys and so they posted when they wanted to and there weren’t all the things that there are now (which these NEW things aren’t bad at all).  It was more about the person than it was about this building of a brand so to speak. And that’s not to say that there isn’t a personal touch to blogs these days, because there totally is, but there is a lot more about building your blog as this brand/running it as such– a thing that just isn’t on the rise in ONLY this community. There’s a lot more of being methodical about review copies and churning out lots of reviews. More opportunities for book promotion and author interaction on blogs. Being consistent and getting traffic so that in turn you get opportunities and ARCs and ad space. Etc. Etc. Again, NOT BAD THINGS. I just see the rise of these things and the rise of people seeking co-bloggers and I wonder about the parallels and if all that pressure is to blame.

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I think all this is contributing to burn out and lots of pressure and people feel like they can’t keep up on their own. I see lots of bloggers saying they are stressed or burnt out (I’m guilty!). I’ve contemplated taking on co-bloggers or regularly guest contributors because of reasons like this but, as it is a personal decision, I chose to not go that route and just let myself not post when I can’t. To take breaks. To scale back. That was my choice and I know so many successful blogs that have taken on co-bloggers and it was like the piece of the puzzle was missing for them! For me, it just would never feel right because this is like my cozy little home on the internet where I might not take the trash out for while, forget my manners or feel compelled to burb the alphabet in my underpants. And I like it that way. Plus, I’d be a terrible blogmate after building this solo for all these years.

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My thoughts are more to do with WHY more and more people are seeking co-bloggers rather than if it’s a good or a bad thing because, to me, it’s a very personal decision and there isn’t a wrong or right way to do things.

So I’m curious what YOU all think! Especially those of you who HAVE taken on co-bloggers or are thinking about it. What were the reasons behind you doing so? Do you think it was pressure/blogger burnout/wanting to share the load? Or were you just wanting to have a fun partnership like other bloggers that are in the community? Because seriously I am always jealous of Estelle and Magan and the way from the start they’ve had this fun partnership of someone to always bounce ideas off of and have fun with.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I’ve done guest post where my non blogging friends write reviews ever once in awhile. But other then that it’s just me. I post when I want too and I try to space it out. Because worrying about posting all the time can be stressful and I would rather be having fun with blogging. You know? Not make it a chore and burn out.

  2. I use to be part of a multi-member blog; in fact I came up with the name and was a founding member, but by the 4th month I was posting reviews more than the others and handled a lot of the blog maintenance, etc. For me, it was easier to go on my own than be part of a group that obviously had no interest in helping me with reviews (in fact one member said no one told me to take on the review requests no one wanted, but then again there wasn’t a set of rules of what to do in those cases) or branching out (one member only wanted to post cover reveals and promo blitzes because that was the easiest thing to do and she hated writing reviews). There was also constant complains about how limited their time was (funny thing is they’ve started a blog tour business). What should have been a fun venture wasn’t. I envy the blogs that make it work because having 7 blog members, you would think the work would be evenly distributed. I wouldn’t go that route with seeking a co-blogger because I’ve been burned once. Do I wish at times I had someone to brainstorm with? Sure, but I bounce ideas off with a non-blogging friend.

    Here’s the thing-I think most try to be super bloggers because of the competition (ie ARCs, follower numbers, etc) and most forget why they started to blog in the first place. It’s okay to take time off and not feel guilty about posting. Scale back if needed and no one is going to judge. If you lose a subscriber, then that’s their problem not yours.

    • I created and still work on a collaborative blog (The Broke and Bookish) and it’s been going pretty strong for 3.5 years. There are always learning curves and ups and downs but for the most part it has been an easy thing. We have a pretty solid plan in place these days. So sorry yours didn’t end up well! Multi-group blogs from the start are hard but some work well and I guess others don’t.

      I would agree..there’s this pressure and we all feel the need to post so much and keep up with everything and that’s something that I’ve also seen rise so, for me, I see the rise of co-bloggers and the rise in pressure in the book blogging community and I just wonder if it doesn’t reflect each other!

  3. I don’t really mind – or rather, it doesn’t bother me if bloggers take on co-bloggers. I actually think it’s a rather smart strategy that will keep a blog updated frequently, and have fresh perspectives and ideas (hopefully).

    • Oh me either — this post definitely wasn’t about whether or not people do. I am more just curious if the rise in people seeking them out (something I hadn’t seen much back in the day) is because of the rise in pressure in the blogging world these days. I definitely think it’s a good strategy as well if you want more fresh ideas and to be able to not post as much when you are busy — if that’s the route you want to go.

  4. Well, if I can find a perfect blogging partner, I’d definitely co-blog. It’s much easier and with more than one person behind your blog, your should see it grows faster. A huge blog out there rarely have one person behind it because it takes too much work and if blogging isn’t your day job, you would definitely got burned out.

    Granted, some people like their blog as it is. Huge blog isn’t for everybody and it is perfectly okay if you want to blog on your own. It also has its good site because if you are the only blogger, your personality would shine in every blog post.

    • But see that’s the thing…back in the day even the most successful blogs only had one person behind it. I had not seen a lot of solo bloggers to start who then sought out co-bloggers. It’s a very new thing in the blogging world and I think as it’s gotten more “competitive” and bloggers are given more opportunities that a lot of the blogs so there’s a lot of pressure to be all things and do all things — something that wasn’t as prevalent before.

      I guess it depends on what you define as successful, too! I personally don’t agree that only the most successful blogs have co-bloggers. I don’t even think that’s true in other niches (I read a lot outside of the book blogging world). By stats and followers and what ARCs I get you could say I’m “successful” and it’s only me hear running this…but I think I don’t judge my success by those things — more so by the meaningful interaction I have here and the loyal readers and the definite voice that has resonated with my readers. I find success in the emails from my readers telling me how I recommended them a great book or how they took an idea from me and used it for their classroom. I guess it just depends how you see success — Idk.

      Thanks for your thoughts! I do think that a lot of the “bigger” blogs out there DO seem to be taking on co-bloggers and I do think it is because of this pressure to keep up with everything. I think we are all burning ourselves out for sure!!

  5. Good topic, doyke! I haven’t been around very long, but even since I started my blog, I have noticed this for sure. I think it definitely has to do with pressure– people get a new job, or they go to college, have kids, etc and they can’t keep up with expectations, regardless of whether that means their own or their readers. I tend to fluctuate a bit when it comes to post frequency. If I’m reading quickly or have a random idea I post more, but that isn’t always the case and I NEVER blog ahead. My life just doesn’t allow it.
    I think the idea of co-blogging is tricky. For some…. it is amazing— it seems like each person is an arm to one body and it is seamless– I’m looking at Rather Be Reading! But for others it seems the 2 voices are so different it doesn’t blend well at all. So I guess it comes down to what works. :) I don’t personally think I’d ever want a co-blogger. I like having my own personal little space on the internet. I do like co-features from time to time.

    • Yes I definitely think the external pressure is a factor too! I was thinking solely of blogging pressure so I didn’t even think of that! Good point! Lots of us are venturing into new areas in our lives and blogging can’t be giving the same amount of time as it used to be. So I think when those things happen it’s either that people stop posting as much or they take on a co-blogger and I def think that is all a personal preference! I think that pressure to blog is there and a lot of people don’t want to have their blog quiet (I’m so guilty of this) for a huge chunk of time…thus the co-blogger!

      I share posting habits with you for sure! I was happy last week because I got two days ahead (a review & TTT) and then I just did nothing and I’m back to where I was haha.

      Yeah and I’m with you. I know it definitely would work for me but there are some great examples of solo bloggers who gained a co-blogger that turned out really well (Judith & Ellice and April and Allison to name two off the top of my head).

  6. Hi Jamie. I really like this post because I am new to the blogging scene. I started in April 2013 as a way to talk about all the things I love, books, music, etc. and wasn’t sure about how this all worked. I agree that I wouldn’t be able to co-host a blog. Maybe it’s the middle child in me but I have shared all my life and want something just for myself. Also, I agree that it seems like many blogs I have come across are doing everything they can to be out there and on top. I don’t think it is a terrible thing because we would all like to be compensated for all the work we put into the blogs but it can cloud the purpose of the blog in the first place, at least for me. I started my blog also because I was unemployed and searching for a new beginning in my life and I have to keep reminding myself that it is more of an outlet and friend and not get all worked up about “popularity”. But I would be open for a guest post because I think many bloggers have great things to share and say. :)

    • I definitely think it’s about what you want! Sometimes I envy people with a writing partner and other times I’m totally okay with this being my own little space — even when I feel the pressure to crank out reviews or what not.

      Oh for sure! We all put so much in to and our blogging niche is the least compensated out there. I know so many food bloggers, fashion bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, etc. etc. that make actual money doing this. Book bloggers largely do it for nothing (and obviously ARCs are decent compensation haha). I know what other blogs make and pretty much nobody is making a living on this — myself included. I pay for BEA with what I make, my hosting costs and other blog related things. Definitely no living here. I wish we all could be compensated more because we all do put an insane amount of time into all of it! BUT ..there are drawbacks to that..people become more fiercely competitive, it becomes more about the brand then what you intended, etc. Double edged sword! We already feel the pressure and if people were able to make big money I think the book blogging community would drastically change!

      I also started my blog in a period of underemployment 3.5 years ago! It was the best decision ever! I think you have the right mindset! let this be a fun journey and interact with the community! And I also love guest posts too!

  7. There’s certainly a lot of pressure involved in blogging now, and I think for those of us who aren’t trying to monetize, a lot of it is self-imposed. I post every day, and a few weeks ago I had to stop because I was getting settled into a new job and simply didn’t have time. I told this to one of my readers on chat and she said no one would mind, and my response was “but my stats always go down for a long time after I take a week off…” But, of course, there’s ZERO benefit to me in reaching a certain hit count or pageview number, other than personal ego. (I don’t request ARCs very often, so not getting them is hardly painful, and I don’t have ad space.) But I *have* considered asking for a coblogger simply for the sake of keeping up with this standard that I’ve set for myself based on nothing.

    Then I realize I’m being ridiculous and let go of the notion, but somehow it always comes back.

    • I DEFINITELY agree with the self imposed notion!! Especially for myself. I’ve gotten better with it. The thing is..even with monetization (I’ve spoken with a lot of other blogs about it) I know that I make a “decent” amount compared to others….but that’s nothing at all. Nothing to make a living off of like a lot of other blogs in other niches. So it’s not really like us book bloggers (maybe a couple are) are making enough for the time we put in it. It’s really all about the passion and probably the ARCs in most cases.

      I’m with you though – I’ve been trying to scale back a little bit. I used to post every day and then I got burnt out so I try to post 4-5 times. I’ve even thought about going down but then, like you, I’m like BUT MY STATS. BUT THIS. And then I’m like…what the heck!! I’m very secure in my place here in the blogging world. WHY do I care?? It’s not like it’s really going to be impact my relationships with publishers nor will I think my readers are really going to abandon me…sooo why do I put that pressure on myself??

      Ah everything you’ve said is so me too!

  8. I would never take on a co-blogger. I guess why some people would, but I couldn’t do that. I started my blog as a personal thing and if I had a co-blogger I feel like I’d be inviting them into my personal space, which creeps me out.

    Plus I can get REALLY anal about post formatting, SEO, and post content. I’d be compelled to review every post made by a co-blogger before it went live, and if I didn’t like the post I wouldn’t want to publish it, which would make things SO AWKWARD!

    But it might be different for me if I STARTED a blog with the intention of doing it with other people. Then I’d start out with a totally different mindset.

    • Yeah I totally get why people do it but I couldn’t either. I would have a hard time maintaining control yet still inviting them to be a part of it. They’d probably hate me so much haha. I’m VERY particular even though my blog is pretty laid back..if that makes sense haha. It’s okay because it’s the way I do things..so bringing someone in would mess with that juju after doing this by myself for 3.5 years.

      And yeah I agree with you..I think when you start out with a coblogger it’s totally different! I’m just so curious if this new trend to ADD co-bloggers after a certain amount of time is because of the pressure that has also risen in book blogging.

  9. So when Ash and I started our blog neither of us had any idea what the blogging community was like but I think we are now both grateful that we have each other to split some of the load. Blogging is a lot of work. I feel like it takes up a SIGNIFICANT chunk of my time and our blog isn’t even one of the popular ones! I can’t imagine doing it myself. But having a co-blogger isn’t cake either. It takes a lot of coordination and communication and you sacrifice a bit of your personal preferences. I can’t just make decisions about the blog without consulting Ash and if she’s against them then that’s that. So I definitely think a lot of the decision has to do with the pressure of blogging and cranking out more books, bringing in more traffic.

    • You guys started out from the beginning as a duo yes? There is really so much to consider with a co-blogger which is how I know that I’d be TERRIBLE about having one after 3.5 years of doing it solo. I’m always so curious about when people add on after a while of being a solo blogger if it’s hard — how much say do you give them? What if you don’t like something they did? etc. etc. It must be a bit easier having already started with two so both of you feel like it’s your own.

      Question for you (since I THINK you started out as a duo from the start) but did you already SEE the pressure when you were thinking about it? Is that why you guys decided to do it together? Or did you just want to do this fun project together? Or both? And who’s idea was it? I’m so curious!

      • We did start out as a duo. It was actually Ashley’s idea. I think I found out about Goodreads from her, joined around May and we were both reading a ton and talking about books. Then in December, she emailed me saying “Hey what do you think about starting a book blog?” and I was like “Sure!” and by January we had one haha. I don’t think either of us had any idea how book blogging really worked and we didn’t know about the pressure until after we started but knowing what I know now I am glad I have her. I think it works for us tho because we aren’t both control freaks. Ashley is way more mellow than I am about the whole thing and I’ve relaxed a ton since we started blogging. We’ve kind of settled into a sort of routine and it sorts of just works.

  10. I’ve noticed a rise in co-bloggers as well and am intrigued by it but I honestly never really seem to regularly check into blogs that have co-bloggers because it’s hard to keep straight who wrote what and like/disliked this and that in the long run and I think it’s important to know that in case I run into them at a book event or something. So I’ll check those blogs occasionally but for some odd reason I can’t explain, it’s just too overwhelming reading a bunch of blogs with two or more regular bloggers.

    That said, I do have a friend who posts on my blog once in a blue moon because she doesn’t have her own blog but it’s very rare. I cover books, TV, movies, and music on my blog so I can totally understand people who co-blog to try to cover it all. But I don’t mind trying to cover it all, plus I want my blog to be MY blog, so I suppose that’s why I haven’t sought out co-bloggers.

    That said, after almost six years of blogging on my own, I want to continue that but I also want to figure out a way to take blogging to a new level where it’s more interactive, more collaborative with all bloggers not just two or three but I’m having trouble figuring out the execution of this.

    So, in a nutshell, I think co-bloggers are definitely onto something and I applaud anyone who can successfully co-blog!

  11. I’ve definitely seen a rise in co-blogging requests on Twitter. It seems like I see a new one every day. I think it is because of the pressures to post every day. I know at times I can get stressed out with things and I look at my stack of review books and sometimes want to just crawl into bed and never wake up. LOL. But I personally could never take on a co-blogger. Maybe for my meme posts or discussion posts, but not for my reviews. I’m pretty picky about my reviews and how they are written. Plus I always wonder what if my co-blogger liked a book and I didn’t? Then it’s being advertised on my blog as a great book when maybe I didn’t feel that way. I wonder how co-bloggers handle this.

  12. I LOVE my fellow bloggers but……. I’m that kid that you worked with on class projects who either A) took over the project or B) sat idly by biting their tongue because they WANTED to speak up but didn’t want to step on any toes. I actually bounced an idea of a book blog off of my friend before I started but never once thought about asking her to be a part of it hahaha. I like having my blog as my own project because personally? For me, a co-blogger would add more stress to my blogging than relieve stress. I like being able to come up with my own features, write reviews and move around my schedule whenever I want, not having to consult when I say yes to other things… I feel like in my life, I’m always walking on eggshells around people because I like being that people-pleaser. Having to do it with my hobby would take away that specialness for me! I’m willing to take on a lot with my blog but I can also dial back whenever I need to. I love collaborating on projects with other blogs but I like being selfish with my own little space on the interwebs!

  13. I’ve thought about it a lot, simply because it’s been very hard for me to keep up with posting a lot…but like you, I feel like my blog is my personal home on the internet, and I’ve become more relaxed about just letting things slide sometimes.

    The other thing is that I feel like I wouldn’t put out a call for co-bloggers if I needed one. I would much rather find the right fit and person rather than ask for people to apply. If I found the right person who really jived with my review style and, more importantly, the way I think about books and book discussion, I would do it in a second. The problem is, I haven’t found that person yet. I’ll have guest reviews sometimes, but I’m pretty picky about being a solo blogger because I feel like I owe publishers my own thoughts now that I’m somewhat established. =p

    I think it is true that there’s a lot more pressure on us as bloggers these days. I’m trying to be a lot pickier about my ARC requests and what I write so that I don’t overwhelm myself, so I can understand people wanting c0-bloggers.

  14. Hi Jamie! I have noticed a lot of people looking for co-bloggers too. To be honest, I have considered teaming up for my blog or on someone else’s just to get that fun partnership. There’s really nothing like finding someone who loves books as much as you do. :) But that kind of partnership is also what the book blogging world is!

    For me, I would rather have my blog, and do guest posts/features of others’. It’s a way to showcase each other’s work to the best advantage. I agree with Tiff’s comment: “The other thing is that I feel like I wouldn’t put out a call for co-bloggers if I needed one. I would much rather find the right fit and person rather than ask for people to apply. If I found the right person who really jived with my review style and, more importantly, the way I think about books and book discussion, I would do it in a second.” It’s exactly how I feel about it all.

  15. Wellllll. You know what I’m going through right now and I totally agree with all of this. The pressure to book blog is INSANE. I’m actually starting a book right now about the politics of brand culture and I think it ties into a lot of what you said. I mean, blogging isn’t just writing anymore, not when you’ve got your own brand to take care of, and I think that’s why a lot of people feel the need to add co-bloggers. It can be A LOT for on person to do. I’ve caught myself wishing I had a personal assistant to take care of everything blogwise besides the actual writing of posts. I would never add a co-blogger just because my blog is my own and it’s something I’m proud off, but I can definitely see why someone would.

  16. I don’t have a co-blogger, but I can see where it could be useful because sometimes life gets too busy for one person to read enough to post multiple reviews each week. I personally only post one actual book review per week so that I don’t overwhelm myself, but I can see if I worked with one or two other bloggers how my blog might seem more full in a sense.

  17. I’ve considered looking for a co-blogger, and I’ve really noticed the upsurge of solo book bloggers looking for their blogging soulmate in the last few months. For me, it was the pressure – to be bigger, better, read more, and have an awesome creative person who I could then help implement said awesome ideas (read, I am the least creative person in the history of ever).

    But I started my blog to talk about books I’ve read, map my reading ‘journey’ and see how my tastes have evolved over the past two years (which is fascinating BTW) so it’s not something I can imagine sharing at this point. There may be a time when I decided I don’t have the time to devote to solo blogging anymore and either try and find a co blogger or offer myself up (which sounds like I’m some kind of Greek sacrifice….) and there are some awesome co-run blogs that I’m insanely jealous of for having found a great friend in the process.

    For now, I’ll stick to my less-than-every-day schedule – it used to stress me out that I couldn’t read all the books and post every single day, but the world didn’t end when I stopped so …..

  18. I have noticed this too and you are the first person I have seen to call it out! lol. Ive seen all the tweets by people looking for co bloggers, but also I’ve seen blogs just magically have one. It’s odd. I”ll go to comment on a blog review and notice that hey! this isn’t the solo person that runs this blog. what the heck happened?

    I can’t speak for everyone, but a few I know have added co bloggers just because of the burn out. it’s too much. There is a lot of pressure to post everyday, and do this and do that. I’ve contemplated finding a co blogger too just because I’m going on 2 1/2 years and I still don’t have a huge following. but truth be told, I was never really shooting for that. So why bother. That’s not to say I wont ever take one one, but for now I’m happy just doing my thing. I blog for me. Besides, Co blogging could be dangerous. I lived with my best friend after highschool and I wanted to slap a bitch. (we were back to being super close immediately following her moving out. lol)

    I’m just not sure I would want to add that kind of pressure to a friendship or even a strange blogger I never met. I know of a blogging duo right now having issues. They started out together but with personal stuff going on in their lives, one of them stopped posting. pretty much left the load to the other person. Now that person is busy and she’s not posting and leaving it up to the other one. It’s a hot mess. The blog suffers from it as well as their friendship.

    I think it works out for some people but I think that following this burst of co blogging will be a burst of blog closings. Sad but true. It’s like a last ditch effort to keep blogging interesting and if that falls through…. what’s left.

    Not that that’s the only reason people are doing. I think those who are doing it just for the fun aspect, they will have better luck with it. It’s like having a kid for the wrong reason. lol. Don’t add another mouth to feed just to hold things together. that probably sounds lame. I’m bored and full of fake wisdom today.

    Good for you keeping your blog to yourself. Its’ perfect the way it is. :)

  19. When I read things like Magan and Estelle’s discussion posts I totally wish I had a co-blogger, but the reality is that I’m way too controlling and crazy to feel comfortable working with someone else. Many years ago now I had a tennis blog with a friend and even though I never felt any type of competition between other tennis blogs (like how I never feel competition with book blogs now), I felt competitive with my friend/co-blogger and that’s just not healthy, IMO.

  20. As someone who was brought on as a contributor, this trend has greatly benefitted me! I don’t think (scratch that, I know) I couldn’t handle running a blog on my own. It’d be the most sporadically updated thing in the world. It makes me sad that this opportunity seems to have sprung up from the increasing pressure of keeping up with book blogging. If I had some magical fatigue-relieving fairy dust I would share it with everyone in heartbeat.

    I totally get why one might be reluctant to take on a co-blogger. I’m a control freak and I completely understand the fear of letting someone into your space and having them not meet your personal standards. I’m constantly aware of my responsibility to live up to the Cuddlebuggery standards of awesome and try and be extra contentious of my post formatting and content so I don’t let Steph and Kat down. It’s a big responsibility, being let into someone’s space, and I vow to never take that for granted.

    Reviewing for Cuddlebuggery has been an amazing thing and will go down in (my personal) history as one of the greatest things that has happened to me. It’s given me an outlet to talk to people about books, more so than GR ever did and I have met some of the BEST PEOPLE EVER. Seriously, you guys don’t even know, I am continually struck by how mind bogglingly fantastic you all are.

    Group hug, y’all.

  21. I think the search for a co-blogger has a lot to do with the reasons that you mentioned. Blogging has become so much more methodical and business-like than it was two, three years ago and for many people, book blogging is a hobby. It’s already hard to find the time to blog regularly and the staggering amount of behind-the-scenes work that comes with book blogging (or any type of blogging really) has many people scrambling to find someone to ease the burden with. Blogging can easily turn into a competition, which it really shouldn’t be, so much more easily now a days since there are so many bloggers than there ever was before.

    Personally, I’m not thinking of having a co-blogger anytime soon since I’m so bogged down by work. Co-blogging is a collaborative effort and having a co-blogger is definitely a new way of doing things, especially since I’ve been blogging by myself for all these years.

  22. “I’ve contemplated taking on co-bloggers or regularly guest contributors because of reasons like this but, as it is a personal decision, I chose to not go that route and just let myself not post when I can’t. To take breaks. To scale back. ”

    THIS. This is exactly where I’ve kinda ended up on the co-blogger thing. I think about it every now and then, and how it could be neat, and add variety, and take some pressure off… but then I think that I’m too much of a control freak, and that it would just add DIFFERENT pressure, and really, why do I have to post every damn day anyway? So I always end up back at ALLOWING my blog to be what it is – and allowing myself to be the blogger that I am. And to be fine with that.

  23. I am NEVER going to want a co-blogger. Ok, let me rephrase that. I may at some point want one, to lessen the responsibility, but I will always decide against it. Why? The answer is simple. I’m a control freak. I am simply better off doing things alone. I am a new blogger, but I have confidence and I believe I can successfully run my blog single-handedly for quite some time (ask me in ten years and I’m sure I will have to amend that).
    But I am very self-sufficient. I created, designed, and coded my blog all by myself with help from internet tutorials, and I’m pleased with the result. It’s not professional, but you can’t tell just by looking at it. Truth is, I don’t NEED a co-blogger right now. Yes, I admit, it’s hard finding time to read AND post regularly, but even with school, my job, and extracurriculars, I am managing. I don’t feel the need to post EVERY SINGLE DAY (although I do notice my pageviews skyrocket when I do). I don’t need to be super famous. I’m just happy if a few people read my reviews and maybe agree with what I have to say.
    If one of my friends wanted to help me with my blog, I might allow them to come up with ideas, do some writing, maybe, but all final decisions will be mine. And none of my friends are as committed to reading/writing as I am. They either read tons, or write tons, but none do both with the intensity that I do. So it is unlikely anyhow.

  24. You know, it’s interesting because I didn’t ever think I would want a co-blogger, but then if I am remembering things correctly, and lol okay I just read through my welcome post for Allison, basically Allison was reading Good Books And Good Wine, and she was letting me drag her to signings and reading books that I was all OMG OMG read, and so because I have known her in real life for like 15 years, I made her join the team. It was kind of organic and natural. No auditions or applications necessary. Also, we totally had lunch today because I was out of work early and it was fun and awesome and full of talking about books and historical heartthrobs hahaha.

    Then, the other day I was texting my sister or chatting with her on g-chat, I get them confused, when she said she had all this free time and was bored and wanted to start a blog. AND I WAS LIKE JOIN GOOD BOOKS AND GOOD WINE and she was like, cool, I will do that. So, she’s got her intro post up and I imagine there will be some cat pics or something to come.

    So for me, yes I do have co-bloggers, I didn’t totally expect to have them and it wasn’t that I was putting out a call or anything for them, just you know, people in my real life who I thought would make interesting voices for the blog.

    As far as working with cobloggers, the only rule I gave them was to not plagiarize. Otherwise, I think I told my sister she could post whatever she wanted. Same with Allison. Like, I don’t make them stick to a deadline or a schedule or certain features. Basically I give them free reign to do whatever the heck they want. I am okay with that. I think they are okay with that. It’s pretty low pressure for my co-bloggers I think. I mean, heck, we even post reviews of the same book from time to time because well, we have different reactions and such.

    So yeah, I think it just depends on the type of person you are and the type of coblogger you want. For me, I am laid back and not at all a control freak. My co-bloggers are people I’ve known basically my whole life. They know how to work with me, I know how to work with them.

  25. Hey Jamie! I started out as a solo blogger and was happy running the blog on my own. However, it was just as you said, the pressure of having to post almost everyday was starting to tire and make me think about giving up. Okay, I never posted everyday! (I’m a lazy blogger :P)
    Lucky me, I met someone in college who had the same tastes as me and loved loved reading books. Our goodreads read shelf was pratically the same. After becoming great friends with her I asked her if she wanted to be my co-blogger. Of course, I only asked her this AFTER knowing we got along well and knew it would only benefit the blog. Fortunately, this helped a lot with the review and posting schedule. We both post our things whenever we want as I did before but the blog isn’t being as negleted as before.
    If one finds a persons who they know will work well with them and that it will help make the blog better, why not ask that person to be a co-blogger? It totally depends on the person but for me it worked :D

  26. I’ve also been blogging for about – well, now nearly 3.5 years. Throughout that time, with uni and work, I have never felt really consistent in my posting or my reading and reviewing or really anything at all. I’ve had those short bursts of frequent posts but they hadn’t lasted.

    So it was then in the middle of this year that I had thought about seeking co-bloggers. It was a big change. This blog isn’t only mine now, despite me owning it and paying for the hosting. I felt that people know my blog but they don’t visit it as often because I’m not active as much as others are. I felt people know my blog but they just don’t like my writing or my reviews or me in general. I felt people know my blog – they know me – but just were running out of time too. I thought: What if I could give new and fresh content, with the voice of someone else? So then I opened for co-blogger/frequent guest reviewer and had a few applications. I chose. And felt like the two that I had chosen were great with their reviews and could help me get more reviews posted, more than I ever could do myself.

    However, as I’ve learnt the last couple of months – even with co-bloggers – it’s still quite hard to keep actively posting. All three of us have had the pressures of university and school to keep us with first. It wasn’t something that I had anticipated – because unfortunately, when I opened for co-bloggers I was really only thinking of myself and the blog I had developed throughout the years and how busy I know I would be this semester until I finish my undergraduate degree… like NOW! (Only exams to go next week and I am done and I can blog however much and whenever I want.) I think if you have a trust, a bond to work together and make something happen despite the pressures of life, co-blogging will be bring endless positives. If not, then you’ll be waiting for that moment that you begin again and hope it doesn’t crash and burn – not that I’m saying my blog has burned. I just wish things had turned out differently. That I had a bigger following beforehand to be the wind underneath our wings.

    I guess I really don’t have any qualms against co-blogging. There’s positives and negatives – the negative most of all being that you, as the main blogger, will end up dispersing the energy and posting responsibility without truly realising it. Sort of like the bystander effect: the more people surrounding an incident the more the responsibility disperses and is shared within the group, and the less chance someone is going to help.

    I’m just blabbing on here aren’t I? I guess I’ll just stop now. I like co-blogging. But what works for one person wouldn’t necessarily for another.

    • A bit more to add:

      I don’t read a lot of contemporary. I’ve never been a big contemporary person. It’s a hit and miss with me because most of the books in that genre keep repeating the ones gone before, are not as real, as raw – look, I have still not read The Fault in Our Stars. Contemporary just doesn’t attract me to the same degree that science fiction and fantasy does.

      My co-bloggers on the other hand read a lot of contemporary, and I’m glad branding my blog as a “Young Adult, Children’s, Sci-Fi & Fantasy” blog allows the incorporation of contemporary through the age category. Even if it wasn’t like that, I would have still allowed contemporary reviews to expand the blog’s audience. And with the fans of John Green as one of many favourite contemporary writers the need and want for such a genre has increased exponentially.

  27. I think a lot of it has to do with what you said. But I think that the main thing (in my opinion) is the pressure to post every day or almost every day. Which would be so much easier with more than one person.

  28. I originally added an associate reviewer (not a co-blogger — my blog is still very much my blog even though others review on it, and that’s a distinction that needs to be made) when I was teaching and didn’t have a lot of time to read, but wanted to maintain the schedule I’d set for myself (which wasn’t every day; that’s never been a priority). Blogging to me has always been about creating community on my blog, and bringing people on board allows me to do that in ways I can’t alone. My associate reviewers read different books and give me the opportunity to reach more people or current readers in new ways.

    I guest reviewed for a friend before I started book blogging, and I was always thankful for the chance to dip my toes in the water before diving in myself. When I started blogging on my own, I already knew people — and they knew me. When I offered the second associate reviewer spot on my blog, I wanted it to be a chance for growth — that they could use my blog to learn the ropes, meet people, and eventually start their own blog if they wanted.

    For me, having associate reviewers lessen my posting responsibility and give me the freedom to have a little more fun with my blog. I also get the chance to introduce people to book blogging, which is pretty cool. It’s tough to be new and unknown. Co-blogging or having a multiple reviewer site skips that process a little. And really, if you add someone to your site, you have the control over how their involvement looks like. It’s not an all or nothing thing. Both my associate reviewers actually have their own blogs in addition to posting on mine.

  29. I’ve definitely noticed this too, and I haven’t been blogging that long. It seems the past 3-4 months I see lot of putting out feelers for co-bloggers. I sort of get why people want cobloggers, and some people make it look SO appealing, but I’m not sure if I could get on board with one personally. I mean, I’m pretty laid-back–I don’t put that much pressure on myself, sometimes I blog every day but if I miss a day I don’t care, I don’t care if I read library books or ARCs or whatever–but I’m also all MINE! MINE! Like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. Like, I’m laid back about posting and such, but I guess not personality. I’d be too controlling about the things that hardly matter most likely.
    So even though I don’t think I could bring on a coblogger, I think the appeal to me wouldn’t even be that it would lighten some of the pressure–it would just be to have a PARTNER. Like, I do really miss that in general. I’m not dating or married, I work on my own program in a nonprofit and don’t have anyone to help me, and so even blogging is just something I do solo, and sometimes I just wish ONE of those three things had someone I could do it with. Like, my entire life is a solo project basically(which is not to say I don’t have friends or whatever, but I’m sure you get what I mean), and blogging seems the easiest to make NOT a solo project–I definitely don’t have control over the job one for sure.

    I’ve actually been tossing around the idea of starting a different blog/project(not book related), and in my head it’s a coblogging situation with a very specific friend, but I don’t know if that will happen–since in my head, it’s ONE friend of mine I think would play off me well and could make it a good situation so first I’d have to convince her of it and then I’d have to start and all that, but it does make me wonder how coblogging something like that(or just a book blog!) works when you bring someone on vs starting out as a pair or a team.

  30. Omigosh — Jamie, you seriously come up with the BEST posts! Seriously. This is something that I totally wrestled with over the summer. My blog is still very small, so I didn’t want to go out and look for a co-blogger (besides my blog title is totally singular anyways … hard to make it Grrls!) And then I thought — what if NO ONE APPLIES? That would just shatter me. So instead, I did the opposite. I approached a couple of blogger friends and asked if they would like to expand their blog and take on a co-blogger. It was a terrifying e-mail to send (mainly because I am super shy and have never been one of those people who just walks up to someone and introduces myself). Even though they very politely declined, with good reason, it really made me think hard about why I’d asked in the first place. I mean, I do love being a part of the blogging community and I wanted to stay involved, but as a new mom I was finding it hard to keep up with the volume of posting that I used to. In addition, I looked back at some of my earlier reviews and was shocked at the eloquency of my writing back then, and the fact that I’d really taken the time to put my thoughts together. Nowadays, I’m all word vomit onto the computer screen, quick proofread and hit publish. BUT, through all that thinking, it really made me realize that the only person putting pressure on myself was ME. And I’d kind of created this whole pressure build myself … I’d requested a few too many e-galleys, so the read by deadlines were looming, and a few of them I really wasn’t enjoying. So I DNFed a few books, read something that I’d had sitting on my shelves for a while and just enjoyed reading for a bit. The feeling passed, and I’ve started to remember what I love about blogging all over again. I’m working now on putting up some other content and scheduling in advance so that I don’t feel pressured, and then I can just post a book review now and then when I feel like it.

    Sorry this turned out to be horrendously long … but the truth of the matter is that I think the pressure to take on a co-blogger just comes from feeling like there needs to be a certain amount of content generated on the blog. For different people, that pressure comes from different places but for me it was self-generated. At the end of the day, I’m glad I kept my blog just me! But taking that brave step and e-mailing another blogger has also resulted in me gaining some self-confidence in terms of approaching other bloggers and saying, “Hey, I have a cool idea … wanna collaborate on this?” And THAT has been sooooooooo awesome so far! I have plans in the works to co-host a reading challenge next year, as well as a read-along, plus an Epic Recs with you! And for shy little me, this is HUGE. =)

  31. One of my friends and co-workers is about to start having her own feature once a week (or bi-weekly; she’s still deciding). You may have met her at BEA, Kat? She may also be at the JLA thing on Sat…we’ll see. She doesn’t want the pressure of blogging, but likes the idea of doing something small like this with no pressure. The two of us are writing buddies, too, and it’s a small way for her to get her feet wet before she launches out on her own in the future, if she does. It’s also a nice balance for me, because she reads things I don’t enjoy or don’t have time for. She’s more into PN than I am, and I understand that a lot of people wish I’d do more PN reviews (and zombies, etc). She also reads a lot more of the adult fantasy novels I’d like to be reading such as Brent Weeks. So I think it will be a nice balance and make my blog a little more well-rounded!

    I make no money off my blog, and never intended to. I just wanted to write about my love of books and the titles I enjoy. I’ve also never felt the ARC pressure. I’m incredibly lucky, and auto-approved for most e-titles and approved for the ones I do request due to my job. None of that is a consideration for me. I will say that it would be nice to have Kat able to get into ALA with me as media, since our jobs alone don’t qualify us the way they do for BEA. So that is a small motivator, and only because it’s in Philly, lol.

  32. I don’t want a co-blogger. I like my blog being me. I have asked my husband to write movie reviews on my blog but he didn’t want to. I also asked another friend if they wanted to review games on my blog and they didn’t want to. I just thought both those things would add more content to it since I already review games and movies as well as books. Otherwise though I am just find with blogging alone.

  33. I find that co-blogging would be fun, like making a best blogging friend to blog with. I love your post and exploration of this occurrence. I personally deal with the pressure by blogging once a week. I can’t say I’m not jealous of the bloggers who reach fame because of their hard work, I can say I’m happy to continue enjoying college and blogging. I find co-blogging great for those who want too and not think less to anyone co-blogging and just be happy that have a team.

  34. First, I love your new design. Second, I totally understand the burn-out, especially when it comes to book blogging. I’m totally burnt out right now. But I don’t know about co-blogging – I might be a little too OCD about my blog for that.

  35. I would love to do co-blogging only for the whole partner in crime reason. I don’t think I ever would though because since I have started blogging I’ve noticed that a lot of people aren’t very reliable. And a lot of bloggers get bored and just quit. Of course there are plenty of awesome bloggers who are totally trustworthy, but there wouldnt be any way for me to know that for sure and I would be SO frustrated if I put the time in to build something and get the logistics of it all down and the person flaked out on me. Which with my luck would probably happen. And it might be just life getting in the way for that person, which is totally understandable… but it wouldn’t make me feel any less disappointed. So yeah I would love to have a blogging BFF/partner in crime. I haven’t really found that yet… although I completely LOVE Emily from Read Your Bookcase and will always have her back :)

  36. It’s interesting and quite timely that you posted about this topic, as I’ve been thinking quite a lot about it. While I have let various people in my life (a.k.a. my husband and my little sister) contribute to the blog, I don’t think I’d ever feel comfortable really and truly working with someone else on it. My blog is my baby, and apart from all the book-related posts I do, I also like to inject little bits of my life into it. In fact, this is going to become a stronger part of my blog, as I’m taking it in a whole new direction and adding a lot more personal stuff to it — which is a decision I can make and feel good about since I’m doing it for ME. Plus, it doesn’t help that I’m a little OCD about the way things should be, and how everything should be scheduled; it would make it tough for me to find someone who could meet that level of OCD-ness.

    This is not to say, however, that I don’t think co-blogging is an awesome thing… because it is! It must be wonderful to be able to bounce ideas off each other, to share the work on the blog and the blog posts and to collaborate on posts too. Plus, your co-blogger usually ends up being one of your closest friends because you have to communicate all the time for it to work well! Estelle and Magan are a great example of co-bloggers that I admire; their partnership is creative, authentic and just so wonderful. Racquel and Sharon are also favorites as they work really well together and share similar tastes!

    I guess what I’m trying to say, in the end, is that everyone blogs the way they feel most comfortable. Some people prefer working with another person, and can do well with that; others, like me, would rather stick it out on their own. There’s nothing right or wrong with it, of course, as you’ve mentioned. It’s just what’s right for YOU that matters in the end.

  37. I am speaking as a co-blogger. First, reading these comments has opened my eyes! I had no idea some people skipped over blogs with multiple bloggers due to confusion. Maybe it would help if the posts were labeled from the start?

    Second, I can’t speak for my other half, but I feel that I accidentally landed as a coblogger. I started out guest posting, and then I ended up getting more and more involved in the blog. Kara really went out of her way to help me for those first few months, and I worked with her on my formatting and such, so that the blog looked uniform.

    Thank you for bringing up such wonderful points!

    • Smooches! Well, we label our posts with signatures so we’ve got that covered already.

      I feel like Great Imaginations has improved so much since I brought Lyn on as a co-blogger. And not that I pay attention to stats that much, but they show they have too. I feel like there’s a new perspective (because Lyn reads different things), fresh ideas, and a lot more content. Not to mention, I don’t have to post as often and can spend time with my family more. There are definitely a lot more benefits to HAVING a co-blogger, than not having one.

      Also, considering she has become one of my best friends, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I opened myself up to the possibility of change and learned a whole lot about myself in the process. Co-bloggers are awesome!

    • Yes, I love when co-bloggers have it distinctly labeled who is writing what post, i.e. when it’s in the post title or there’s a byline. That helps a lot!

      Although I have a bad memory so byline or not, I would hate to run into a co-blogger at an event and say, “I really liked your review on xyz” and they reply, “Oh, that was Jane Doe.” Oh God. It is much easier to distinguish who wrote what when co-bloggers have distinct writing styles and voices but if not, a situation like that is easy to occur. :-/ I’m sure some people would brush it off but to me, not knowing who wrote what is rude and I don’t want to be that person. They might not think anything of it, but I’ll know I was “that person.” Haha. It’s just one of those things.

      Also, I just want to be clear that I would never completely dismiss a blog just because it has multiple bloggers so please don’t think I’m skipping over entire blogs, no please no! :( I do read blogs with multiple bloggers, just not as regularly as blogs with one blogger – with the exception of two blogs with co-bloggers that I read all the time as they both started out with just one blogger as well as a handful of blogs with co-bloggers that I have a system for…

      I took the time to read a bunch of past posts on certain blogs with co-bloggers (searching for reviews of my favorite & least favorite books) to see which co-blogger(s) matches my tastes and then I focus on that person’s posts moving forward. That’s not to say that I won’t read any posts by the other co-bloggers. I will. I just know that if I’m looking for a specific type of recommendation or looking to see what someone with similar tastes thinks of a certain book, I know which co-blogger to go to. I hope that helps for anyone wondering what I meant when I said what I said without explaining anything haha.

  38. Really interesting post, Jamie. I know in 2012 and very early this year I struggled with jealousy of other bloggers, and I felt a LOT of pressure. The first time I took a week off the blog this year I was like “WHAT DO I DOOOO.” But slowly taking little breaks got easier, and I cut my posting WAY back over the summer to give myself some room to breathe. Now I’m trying to get back into posting regularly but real life is sort of kicking my butt.

    I do think a LOT of bloggers still feel that pressure you talked about – to post every day, to only review new books, to get all the ARCs. I know when I post a review of an older book or a lesser known one and don’t get many comments I DO get sorta bummed. But I shake it off and remind myself that I’m still and ALWAYS doing this because I love reading. I don’t let myself feel pressured to get ad space or become a famous blogger – and I’d say I’m a HAPPIER blogger because of it. I hope others can get to where I’m at.

    Re: co-blogger… I’ve thought about it a lot, at several different times. Ultimately I don’t think I’m ready for it yet, but maybe next year. Like I said, my blog isn’t that huge, and I’m pretty happy at the level I’m at, working with the publishers I work with, and following the blogs I do. If things change and life gets any busier I might want a co-blogger. But like you, I don’t know if I’d be good to work with since I’m so used to doing it on my own! lol

  39. Answering late

    I had a co-blogger…he was also my boyfriend at the time. We would read books together and he would offer to write his opinions to the blog. It worked great and even though him and I arent dating he still occasionally writes reviews for whatever he is reading.

    The blogging stress is real. I use to think I would never be affected by it then it hit me. All the blogs I follow are older and wiser. They have huge followings and I thought(and still do) that to get the followers I must do as they do. write a post everyday, host giveaways, comment on everything, request ARCs (instead of read 1 of the 120 books on my broken bookshelf).

    Awesome post.

    Ashley

  40. I also notice this trend in the book blogging community. I am really buay with college right now and I cant find the time to post everyday. I also contemplated on looking for a co blogger but I realized I just cant let anyone have access to my blog. My blog is like my diary and it would be wrong to have someone write in that diary for me. I am not saying seeking a co blogger is a bad thing but it is my personal decision not not to aeek a co blogger even though I am really busy.

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