Blogging 101: Tips for Considering a Co-Blogger P1

Hi everyone, this week is going to be part 1 of a two part blog. In May, I sought out a co-blogger due to falling into a huge reading/blogging rut that was about to see the end of the site. It was Kristy I chose to come on board, and I have never regretted that. This week, I want to talk about things you should consider when taking on a co-blogger, as well as the benefits this can have on your site. And next week, Kristy is going to post part 2 of this blog, which will be things that you will need to consider if you are the person applying to be a co-blogger for a site. I think this will be great to give people a different perspective!

Firstly, I am aware some people refer to co-bloggers as a cover-all statement. For the purpose of putting it into context as to what I mean:

The difference between Contributors and Co-Bloggers:

A contributor is just that – someone who contributes content for a website. They don’t own the blog, they don’t have creative say as to what happens on the blog. They read books and give you reviews to post (for example). The difference between a contributor and a co-blogger, is that a co-blogger does all of the same things that you do. They discuss post ideas with you, discuss the general direction of the website and work with you to bring that vision to life.

Be selective

I had a lot of applicants when I first asked for a co-blogger. And I was wanting originally to have more than one. But I was really selective and picky with the applications, and whilst I had some amazing people apply, I was looking for some very specific qualities in the person I picked. I found Kristy’s application, and I went with my gut and have never looked back. And thank goodness in hindsight I only had the one co-blogger and not more, or I would have had my hands full. lol What I am saying, is trust your instincts. It’s okay to be picky. And don’t just pick someone for the sake of it. You need to really trust and get along well with this person remember!

Learn to Let Go

If it’s just you on the blog at the moment and you’re thinking about advertising for a co-blogger, my first, and biggest piece of advice is that if you’re a control freak – you’re gonna have to learn to relax a bit! I don’t consider myself a control freak, but I still found it difficult at times to let go of my old ways. It’s not as easy as you think! But if you’re accepting a co-blogger, you also need to make that person feel like welcomed. From the moment Kristy became a part of this, I have always referred to BNR as our blog, not my blog. We both have equal say in what we post and Kristy is able to choose the books she wants to read and review and brings lots of ideas to this blog that have come to life, such as our Feral Friday blogs, which have been really popular.

Be a teacher

When Kristy first came on board at BNR she had no blogging experience at the time. When you’re taking on someone who hasn’t had any blogging experience, you need to be prepared to teach them what to do. I’ve introduced Kristy to new aspects of the blog a little bit at a time – because it can be incredibly overwhelming! But she’s now able to log in and post remotely via WordPress, view and analyse our stats, has her own publisher contacts and access to ARC’s and can pretty much run independent of me. Which works great, because we can basically each do our own thing and each add new content to the site. It’s definitely something that takes time and you both need patience and good communication skills to make it work. Thankfully Kristy is pretty awesome, so we’ve never had any issues!


So many benefits guys. I realise co-blogging won’t be for everyone, and once upon a time, I thought it definitely wasn’t going to be for me either. But after a long hard think about it, I decided to go for it. There are plenty of pros to having someone co-blog with you though:

  • Double the exposure – we have two twitter accounts, two sets of followers who see our tweets. Our visitors have doubled in the last 2 months alone.
  • Add a new voice to your blog – sometimes it’s really nice to change things up and have someone with a different personality or “voice” posting. Not to mention different opinions and perspectives can actually bring in new visitors that you wouldn’t have previously attracted.
  • Halve your workload – this is huge! I know that as BNR was increasing in popularity, so was my workload. And I was feeling more and more pressure to deliver all the time. Now that I have Kristy, we both provide one review a week, and the pressure is off having to read more books easy week – but if we do, it’s only ever a bonus since we can post more reviews on a quiet day. It’s also great having her to bounce ideas off and visa versa.
  • Friendship – okay, so I realise I have bookish friends already, and whilst making new friends wasn’t my priority in a co-blogger, Kristy and I get along amazingly, and I’d consider her one of my good friends given how much we talk! I am adding it to the list because it’s definitely been a pro as far as I am concerned.

I hope you find some of this information useful! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure I answer them for you (or point you in the right direction if I am not sure).

What do you think?

  • Great post Melissa, I have been thinking about this a lot as running my own blog is getting pretty busy. You put forward some good advice :)

  • Leigh says:

    I love your advices although I’m not sure whether I’ll get a co-blogger someday because I am kind of a control freak when it comes to my blog I guess haha. This is why I don’t like group projects lol.

    • Melissa says:

      Hey Leigh!
      I know what you mean and it’s either something you can or can’t do. I never thought I could have a co-blogger, but when faced with the option of co-blogger or shutting down the site, I couldn’t bare to close BNR. So you learn quick when you make these decisions that you have to compromise, but I think it’s worked out beautifully and only wish I’d done it sooner. :)
      Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Tips for Considering a Co-Blogger P1My Profile

  • Such a great post. You may or may not have noticed, but I have been considering a co-blogger myself. I have been feeling like my blog has been growing but that I don’t have the same amount of time to commit to it and that the pressure is a bit much. So it’s easy to think that the obvious solution is to get a co-blogger. I guess what sort of surprised me here is how much work having a co-blogger can be. I think I just assumed if I got a co-blogger they’d know how to do everything and be efficient, but it’s true that you would have to probably teach them, or even if they did know things already sort of talk to them about the direction of the blog. Very interesting!

    For me, I ended up going against it but only because I feel like my blog has too many personal aspects to it. Plus, I am one of those control freaks who may not be able to let go as much as I should… ><

    I will say, I think it's great you got so many people who applied! I think part of my fear was also that if I asked for co-bloggers, no one would sign up! And if I were to ever do it I would definitely be picky so only having a couple of people interested would bum me out.

    So yeah! I think I'm rambling way too much here, but thank you for writing this because it's been on my mind lately and I find it all interesting!

    • Melissa says:

      Hey Asti!

      It was a bit of a learning curve for me also, as I didn’t expect there to be much involved in a co-blogger, but I’d say initially there’s actually more work because you’re responsible for helping someone else learn the ins and outs, and there’s lots of questions to answer and you want to be a good mentor to that person. So if anything, there’s more involved in the short term but with long term benefits.

      I totally understand what you’re saying - and being a big fan of your blog, one of the things I enjoy the most is how candid and open you are with your readers. When you write, it’s like we’re all your friends you’re talking to. And that would definitely change the dynamics with a co-blogger.

      I never did a lot of candid posts before Kristy came on board, and if anything, I think I have done more of them WITH Kristy since then.

      Yeah I was surprised because I expected none to be honest! I got around 14 applications which was pretty decent I thought? It was hard to have to say thanks, but no thanks to most of them too.
      Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Tips for Considering a Co-Blogger P1My Profile

  • […] talks about finding publishers and imprints for a review. - Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews shares some tips for considering a co-blogger. - Ashley @ Nose Graze explains how to set up gmail filters to organize your emails. - Anya @ On […]

  • Great post, Melissa. I have contributing writers for the same reason, it helps with content and just having people to share the experience with you, too. I really treat my contributing writers as cobloggers for the most part, although I’m ultimately the one that makes the final decision for a lot of stuff and drive the creative direction of the blog.

    Another major difference between a coblogger (in my opinion) and a contributing writer is sharing in the overall responsibilities for the blog, too, including finances, dealing with editorial/promotional requests, maintaining the site (all those pesky things you have to do to keep it going), the primary responsiblities to promote it, etc. And of course, things fall on you if there’s any kind of an issue.

    I see bloggers struggling sometimes and I always try to encourage them to work with other people…it can make such a big difference in your motivation.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge