I recently read an article by Brian Gardner regarding the benefits of a multi-author blog. Brian's article inspired me to write this article as it relates to our blog here on the Online Work Network for Web Professional. Developing a resourceful community website that can serve as more than just a social place to hang out, takes time and energy contributed by each and every member. I don't expect the blog portion of the website to be any different.
Granted there will always be some members who contribute more than others, but that is not the focus here. The focus of this article is to reiterate the benefits of contributing to community multi-author blogs. You have you heard the quotes, "give and you shall receive," and "you reap what you sow"? Contributing to the community multi-author blog yields similar results.
Multi-Author Blog Means Combining Efforts
I agree with John. One benefit of having a multi-author blog is that a single person doesn't have to think about, organize and write all of the contact themselves. I would much rather read, hear about and learn from what an entire community says in comparison to what a single writer can offer alone. It gives me more perspective, allows me to do some of my own due diligence and ultimately creates a better environment from which to make decisions.
Applying the concept of combining or gathering knowledge from more than one resource results in the blog producing more quality content, more frequent content and allows each of its authors to focus on what they each do best within each of their individual freelance business niches. Think of it as a library of sorts.
"With multiple authors, you’re likely to have many differences of opinion and varied viewpoints within your “writer’s room”. This can be an invaluable asset to a content site, as it allows the reader to experience the topic in different ways depending on which author they’re reading." ~ Brian Gardner
I love Brian's point. While I do see this as an asset, developing and enforcing some basic rules for submissions and how they are to be moderated and/or edited is also imperative.
Providing clear boundaries ensures that the time that both readers and writers spend on your blog is beneficial and rewarding for each of them. Boundaries are important for the authors who are taking their time to write, the moderators and editors who will publish the posts, as well as the readers who are there to learn something or gather the information that they need.
It is a given that authors (as well as readers) are going to have different personal opinions, temperaments, religious opinions, and may even reveal their imperfections in their contributions. Some blogs prefer to feed off of negative subjects and commenting discussion, while others prefer a more friendly environment. Only you can determine the atmosphere that results from using and allowing a multi-author blog.
It is always a good idea to respect differences as a writer and when leaving comments for authors. Remember to be gentle and gracious with differences of opinion - or even differences of morals and values.
"Your morals and values are as important to you, as mine are to me." ~ Author Unknown
I find when I am reading or writing and I apply that quote's philosophy, the outcome is typically favorable. It does not mean I have to agree with what I am reading or even writing about. I just try to keep in mind that each of us is at different levels of knowledge and understanding and each of us is our own work in progress with whatever and where ever we are in life and business.
Who doesn't want more traffic to their sites? The whole purpose of having an online business or website is to attract interested and potential clients and then convert them to becoming a paying customer. As a single author of a blog, you become a "one-man-band", responsible for all of your own marketing and promotion - in addition to running your business. It is impossible to do all things relative to your business alone.
With a multi-author blog, you have more than one writer so it is much easier to meet whatever your posting frequency requirements are... be it one article a day or one article a week.
Once an author is published on the blog, it is very likely they will refer others to the information that they have posted as a reference, so encourage authors to promote themselves. This, in turn, increases the overall site traffic, starts a great relationship with authors and increases the likelihood of attracting an ideal customer for both you and the author.
Building Relationships Builds Business
Anyone who has any experience in business knows, it is all about the relationships. The old saying, "it's about who you know," holds quite a bit of truth.
Take the time to develop the relationships with your authors and your readers. Learn what your author's skills are and within which areas they hold a level of expertise so you can competently and appropriately refer potential jobs to them.
You can share what you learn about your authors with others who might be able to use their expertise. This is commonly referred to as networking. You will find that everyone's results will be multiplied.
Be sure to share your own skill set and knowledge with your authors too. When the relationships are developed you can bet you will be pleasantly surprised and thankful when your authors send potential clients your direction as well. It really does all come around.
The Multi-Author Blog Bottom Line:
Whether you are the blog owner or a contributing author, surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who can all gain from the combined and shared knowledge of the entire community makes multi-author blogs beneficial. Helping others to reach their goals will ultimately help you to reach yours. A community multi-author blog can be a win-win for everyone's business.