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!
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.
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.
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.