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How to Blog with a “Roommate”

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Me and my roommate - both literally and at Binge Gamer.

Having a roommate is tough. On July 1, I moved in with my best friend, and even though we have similar hobbies, share a need for privacy, and fully respect one another and our space needs, we still get frustrated with one another at times. It’s bound to happen, no matter how much you like your roommate. Even spouses fight sometimes.

A blog is kind of like a home for many people. It’s a safe space where you can say what’s on your mind, connect with other people, and feel comfortable. So, moving in with a blogging “roommate” is tough. That is, it’s hard to be part of a blog with multiple authors.

Sometimes, having a blog with multiple authors just makes sense. Maybe you want to build a business, but your knowledge is limited in certain areas of your niche. Maybe in your niche, multiple perspectives on a topic don’t just add value, but are nearly necessary. Maybe your niche is so news-centric that one person can’t possible cover it all. Maybe you have great ideas but aren’t the best writer. Multiple bloggers on a single blog can make a lot of sense for some people.

The problem is that when you have multiple bloggers, you have multiple viewpoints, and these view points don’t always line up. Arguments happen. Feelings get hurt. I’ve seen blogs destroyed because partners can’t agree.And I understand that, because a blog isn’t just personal, but also a source of income. It’s hard to get on board with a decision if you don’t agree and think it will compromise your message or cause you to lose money.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I blog with multiple people here at this blog, and I also blog with multiple writers at Binge Gamer. In both places, it’s working out pretty well, and I think that’s the case because of policies we have in place. If you’re going to blog with a roommate, here are some tips to help you make it work:

  • Set clear job duties. Who’s in charge of what on the blog? Who has final say on blog issues? How will the work be split between people if there are multiple owners? Give yourself job titles and clear tasks, so there’s never a question as to who handles what.
  • Discuss profit. You might not be making money right now, but when you do, who gets a cut? Will you split it, and if so, will you do so evenly? Will one person own the blog and pay everyone else? Who gets to make decisions about how money is spent on the site for things like hosting, themes, etc.? Money is important, so discuss it early.
  • Compromise. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to compromise. Yes, standing up for your point of view is honorable, but like I’ve said here in the past, compromise makes the world go ’round. If you’re a stubborn person, blogging with others may not be a good choice.
  • Hold one another accountable. If you both say that you’re going to write x number of posts or bring in a certain number of advertisers or otherwise do a certain amount of work, make sure you’re holding one another accountable. If you let things slide one week, it’s easy to continue to let them slide until one equal partner is putting in a lot more work that the other.
  • Sign a contract with one another. There’s a saying that you should never do business with friends. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but what I think you should take away from that quote is that you should never treat a business like a friendship. As soon as you decide to work together, sign a contract that covers what you’ve determined, especially in terms of amount of work and money.

Sometimes, it doesn’t work to blog together. If you can’t make it work, go your separate ways amicably. It isn’t worth ruining a friendship, especially because you could network with one another in the future. Just because it doesn’t work to blog together doesn’t mean that you can never work together or associate with one another in any way.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


Feedback

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  • Nikki

    I co-blog at my entertainment blog, modOration, and it works out great. But Julie and I have worked together in the past, both on separate blogs and together. We know that each of us needs downtime, we know each others’ style and have similar voices (which can work for or against you depending on the blog!)

  • Nick

    Just my opinion, but every time friendships turn into business, the friendships cease to exist. Everyone goes into a business venture with the best intent, but everyone has their own opinions and needs. Personally, I wont ever create another business relationship with one of my friends or spouses. It just doesn’t work.

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