Starting a Blog? Think Multi-Author Blog

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So you want to start a blog? Come on down. There’s plenty of room on the internet. If you are an individual or Solopreneur (yeah I know), and just started a blog or you’re looking to jump into the fray, think Multi-Author blog.

This isn’t 2007.  While there is a high attrition rate in the blogging space, it feels saturated right now.  If you started blogging in 2007 or earlier and have been somewhat consistent you’re probably in good shape with traffic, leads, and generating revenue. Bravo. You had the foresight and good fortune to get in before the herd.

WordPress.com Post Stats January 2013                                                                                                           (From WordPress.com)

As you can see from the chart above, the volume of posts is at an all-time high.  This is data from WordPress, the largest blogging platform on the planet. These are blogs that WordPress hosts, not self-hosted.  There’s a lot more out there, but this gives you a good idea of the landscape.

 

The Case for Multi-Author

Unless you can uncover a niche where there are just a few players, you’re in for an uphill battle.  Now there are a myriad of variables that play into attracting traffic and creating a successful blog, but at the front of the line is content.  If you’re starting a blog today you have zero content.  You have a lot of catching up to do.  The guy that started in 2007 and is still going strong today is laughing at you.

I’ve had the pleasure of contributing to SteamFeed since November. The site kicked off in August of 2012.  SteamFeed is a multi-author blog that delivers solid content in Marketing, Social Media, Business, and Technology.  Daniel Hebert and DJ Thistle set out to build a community that offers its viewership content originated by authors that have achieved results in their given area.

SteamFeed

SteamFeed has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 41,189. This isn’t the place for an Alexa debate, but that number gives you good indication of the traffic that is being generated.  That is an impressive rank in seven months.  Over 300 posts have been published in that time. You would be hard pressed to find many, if any, new individual blogs enjoying that kind of growth.

The Multi-Author model can produce amazing results if managed properly.  The positives are numerous and include:

Multiple original Posts Published daily

Widespread promotion from the Authors

Powerful Networking

SteamFeed is approaching 40 Authors.  There are steps to be approved as an author.  DJ and Daniel are very organized and there is a process to follow.  It’s a team.  The Authors have a say in certain decisions for the betterment of the site.  Authors want to be a part of SteamFeed because of the exposure.  If you haven’t heard of SteamFeed you will.  It’s only going to pick up Steam (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

 

How to start a Multi-Author Blog

Once you’ve determined what your blog is going to be about you’re going to need writers.  Hopefully you’re going to have relationships with 5+ people that can write successfully about your topic.

If running a site (technically) isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll need someone that can take on this role.  It’s important part of the overall success.

Get the authors to commit to at least 1-2 articles per month.  Try to make it the same date(s) each month.  This will become a habit for them and will eliminate any confusion.

Create a Facebook group, or any network of your choice that supports group collaboration.  Ideas can be discussed and announcements made through this platform.

If you can trust others, and can delegate, you are going to make large strides quickly.  There aren’t many individuals that could write 300 solid articles in 6-7 months.  It’s just not happening.

If you’re the creator your voice and ideas will lead the effort.  Input from the authors is important and creates cohesiveness, but in the end you’ll make the final decision.

 

Do you currently run a multi-author blog?  Do you have contributors? If not, is it paralyzing to think of someone else publishing their work on your blog?

33 comments
tomsmith0914
tomsmith0914

I have the same sentiments as Gary, starting a multi-author blog is time consuming if you have writers who are not performing but I do believe that this can resolve easily. The benefits outweighs its disadvantages. Thanks for sharing!

GaryHyman
GaryHyman

I've just started to run a multi author blog Steve. I believe the biggest issue is quality of content. I gone through a few trial runs with writers & found that I spent more time editing than I would if I wrote the article myself. Always looking for good writers & always willing to give someone a shot. Great post by the way.

fa2marketing
fa2marketing

I'm in...this makes sense to me. Not only does it take the pressure of creating all the content but it can be offer more opportunity for collaboration and creativity. I like it. Thanks, Steven

Naukri101
Naukri101

Multi-author blogs can be great, but someone needs to be in charge and champion the blog.

basilpuglisi
basilpuglisi

This is how my blog from 2009 turned into DigitalEthos.org where we have multiple authors writing content that is required to provide sources (at least 3) so the content is developed not just by a professional but also by at least basic research.We just came off our second Social Media Action Camp for Social Media Week in NYC where we captured 10% of all the tweets to #smwnyc during that Tuesday, despite more then 60 events. We are always looking for quality content, we have been fortunate to have guest posts from people like Jeffery Hayzlett and even had Mari Smith sharing our content, in fact she even shared a great post by a guest author called Nine Steps to becoming a Twitter Chat Pro! http://digitalethos.org/nine-steps-to-becoming-a-twitter-chat-pro/

So basically I totally agree, multi-author content is the way to go, feel free to reach out via http://Facebook.com/digitalethos and message us if you think you have content our readers would enjoy or if your looking to develop yourself as a professional, notice I said professional not professional writer, as a not-for-profit experiential learning is what Digital Ethos is all about!

jareds_mum
jareds_mum

i have never really thought of making my blog multi-authored but i did stumble into a few blogs with a number of authors in them, mostly best friends. I am not closing my doors on this, who knows i might just put up a multi-author blog one of these days! :)

 

thanks for sharing 

Yourinda
Yourinda

Hi Steven,

thanks to you I am learning more about all this.

If I write a post can I post it on my own blog as well as on another without any Google penalty?

What if others post a blog which they also posted on their own.

I read somewhere that they got done for copyright issues, even though it was their post to start with ???

 

Thank you for sharing this!

Cheers,

Yorinda

DenaLynn
DenaLynn

I'm glad that I came across this Steven - was actually researching ways for women to collaborate on a particular niche. A multi-author blog sounds as if it'd work for us and get the traffic that we'd want. Great advice, as always, thanks Steven!

 

Dena Lynn

marquita.herald
marquita.herald

Great case for the concept Steven. I'm a featured writer on a multi-author personal development blog so I've had the opportunity to see how it works up close. Personally I really think it depends on your goals for the blog. While I do earn money with my blog, it's done indirectly through small ads, my list and the sale of my books. My blog has helped to brand my name and serves as the hub for my platform building activities - so sharing the "stage" with other contributors wouldn't make sense for me. Still, you've sparked my imagination because this format could work very well for a collaboration among new authors!

franckxethee
franckxethee

I think having a multi author platform would also provide a variety of perspective from different contributors.

GettysburgGerry
GettysburgGerry

" It’s only going to pick up Steam (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself)." For this line alone I commend you...you are a true Steamfeeder...and a pleasure to be associated with...keep up the great work my friend. 

3xhcch
3xhcch

Thanks for introducing this aspect of blogging.  Commitments can be a problem if you are blogging only as a hobby though.  This may well be the case if you are only starting to blog now.  Also, people only starting to blog may still not have developed a consistent writing style, which may be a problem with the rest of the bloggers on that multi-author blog.

kellymccausey
kellymccausey

A great example of a newer multi author blog is The Future of Ink, created by Ellen Britt and Denise Wakeman.  They have a core team of bloggers that submit content on a regular basis and they accept a select guest posts.  Everyone is proud to be involved and helps to promote the content, as you've pointed out - that's a big benefit!

BruceSallan
BruceSallan

One of the GREAT things about having my own website (I don't like to call it a "blog" - that's must my thing) is the FREEDOM it gives me. I don't owe anyone, I don't have to count on anyone (else), and I make all the decisions. I like that...I do get the value you're saying if you start now, however!

Mark_Harai
Mark_Harai

Hi, Steve - great minds think alike? :o

 

I firmly believe your position on this, Steve and SteamFeed is laying down a foundation to accomplish great things...

 

While their platform is optimized to the hilt technically and very user-friendly, it's the people that will determine how far and how high they can go.

 

The people are top notch!

 

Cheers to you, sir!

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @Yourinda Hi Yorinda - In this article, the multi-author concept I was referring to was original work.  Everything on SteamFeed is original, and I won't publish the same article on my blog.  Social Media Today and B2C are multi-author sites, but they republish articles.  They may take some hit since it is a duplicate, that's up for debate.  The original article should have full juice. 

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @GettysburgGerry It hurt to publish that, but I had no choice :) - The SteamFeed T-Shirts can't be far behind...XXL please...Thanks for stopping by Gerry and have a great weekend...

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @BruceSallan Hi Bruce...That is certainly the trade-off.  The good news is you have the freedom, the bad news is you have to do all the work.  If you go the solo route, there are going to be 5000 reason to quit in the first six months.  If you have consistent contributors, that 5000 is going to be reduced significantly.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @Mark_Harai Hi Mark - SteamFeed really incorporated a model that works, and their executing with flying colors.  I'm not easily impressed, but they are hitting on on cyclinders. If one is just starting today and wants to do big things with their site/blog they seriously need to consider involving others.  It gives the newbie a lot better shot at succeeding.

danielghebert
danielghebert

 @GeeklessTech  @Mark_Harai Thanks so much for writing this, and using us as a case study Steve! We appreciate all of your support and involvement with SteamFeed :)And thanks Mark for adding your comment! You're right, the people that write for us will either make or break us. We have a very specific process when we add new people as authors, and we always get second opinions from our current authors on whether or not we should add a person that has requested to join. The technology/setup is very simple, and organized - that's the easy part. Building a sense of community and involvement with our authors, making sure we're covering all of our gaps in content, and providing the best possible resources, all while making sure our authors get the best possible experience out of this - that's the hard part.

danielghebert
danielghebert

 @GeeklessTech  @Mark_Harai That's one thing we're working very hard at to make sure we still have that sense of community, no matter what our size is. That's why we have private networking groups for our authors, that's why we keep everyone in the loop with all of our decisions. It's very important.When we add new authors, we do it very strategically, much for the reasons you just mentioned. We don't want to feel corporate, we want to feel like everyone's welcome :)

 

I experienced a blog last year (radian6.com) that went from being an awesome community, being very social, to all of a sudden a very corporate feel. Engagement went down, and ultimately, my interest in their blog went down.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @danielghebert  @Mark_Harai Daniel - My pleasure.  I don't throw around compliments and accolades freely, but you and DJ are very deserving.  The model and execution have been nothing short of spectacular thus far, and see no reason why that will stop.  Mashable, TechCrunch, etc. are machines at this point.  It has a broadcast, corporate, one-way feel.  There's no coziness with the machines, SteamFeed feels more personal for both the Authors and the readers.  I hope and trust that small town feel continues to exist as SteamFeed grows. 

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