Friends Don’t Let Friends Blog Alone
ContentRobot wanted to be a part of Darren Rowses’ ProBlogger Group Writing Project. While much of the ProBlogger readership seems to be blogging solo, ContentRobot writes and manage our blogs together. What effective habits does the ContentRobot team have? One of our strongest assets is the fact that we are a true team, passionate and excited about blogging and what we do. Here’s our approach:
1. Share blog duties. In our case, we need two people to manage all aspects of our blogs. To handle the various content, design, and technology, and monetizing requirements for all our blogs, we have identified a point person for each individual task. This allows us to not get overwhelmed, especially over the things that we feel we are not as good at doing.
2. Set and refine goals. For writing, we like to have a minimum of 2 posts per blog per week – and if we can do more, we do and if we can’t do more, we don’t sweat it. We take the time to discuss success factors at least once a week (mostly when we can be face-to-face). And we are flexible enough to change course when things just aren’t working.
3. Dedicate at least one day per week to write blog posts. With 4 blogs to manage and a business to run, sometimes it’s easy to let posting slip with all the other things we need to accomplish. By choosing a day (often Tuesday or Wednesday) we can attend to writing for each blog. We like to create a weekly routine where each day we can focus exclusively on a particular blogging or business aspect.
4. Share writing duties. We usually split the various elements of the posts between the two of us. Typically one of us will do the research, drafting, and writing, while the other acts as final editor and adds relevant image(s). This helps us to avoid embarrassing mistakes, whether its grammar or fact checking, and that second pair of eyes is always extremely helpful.
5. Use Backpack to post ideas and links. We use Backpack as a central repository for brainstorming, and we can post our thoughts as we think about them or if we come across anything interesting. Since we can sign in and grab them from any browser at any location, it is helpful because we are frequently mobile and not always in the same place.
6. Read RSS feeds religiously. Along with ProBlogger, we habitually read feeds from the blogging and technology arenas, which allow us to stay on top of the latest news and commentary. This leads us to get inspiration for new posts or add our two cents to what is currently being discussed. We like to use Instant Messenger to share stories and bounce ideas.
7. Keep learning. As blogging evolves, so shall we. We both consider ourselves students of the trade and work hard to learn all we can about it. We are not afraid to experiment and keep building with new tools and technologies. We push each other to follow our passions.
8. Never feel alone. We have such complementary skills (blogging brings together our greatest strengths – graphic design and writing) that we have a built-in support system that our partnership needs to thrive. We could never have created what we’ve done so far by ourselves, and we like it that way.
9. Keep each other inspired. Each of us has been known to be moody and get down for one reason or another, but we have made a pact to pick each other up when the black clouds come. We continue to be enthused and excited about what we are doing.
10. Have fun. We genuinely like each other, despite being pretty different (down to one of us is male and the other female). We think our partnership is nothing short of fun, and we hope to bring our enjoyment through with all that we do. We make it a point to not just be all about work – we attend conferences, hit a museum in NYC, and stuff like that to recharge ourselves.