Blogging 101: Tips for Potential Co-Bloggers P2

Last week Melissa provided an insight into her decision making and some excellent tips on things that should be considered for taking on a co-blogger - but now it is my turn to tell prospective co-bloggers some things they should consider before embarking on a journey like this.

Earlier this year when I came on board Book Nerd Reviews, naturally I did have some uncertainties about going into co-blogging, and I think these are things that everyone should consider before applying to be a co-blogger. I have been extremely lucky and Melissa has been nothing but utterly amazing, but these are things that I did consider before applying (or later thought of how lucky I was that I didn’t need to think of them).

Find out what the blogger wants

All bloggers have different ways of doing things, and therefore have different wants and needs. I think it is best to find out what a blogger wants or requires from their co-blogger upfront. Do they want someone with experience? How many reviews do they want each week? Do they want someone who reads a specific genre? How hands on do they want their co-blogger to be? Do they want someone to follow a set schedule? Do they want someone technically savvy?

All of these things should be discussed with the blogger to make sure it is workable on both sides, so be honest with your abilities, likes and availability! Don’t be afraid to discuss things with the blogger, as it is very important to ensure that everyone is on the same page right from the start. Remember, this will be a working relationship - and you need to be able to make it work, and being upfront and honest will save issues from arising later on. I am not saying focus on the things you can’t do (yes, they need to be mentioned), but you also need to tell them what you can bring to the blog as well.

You should be picky too!

I understand that co-blogging opportunities do not come up very often, but you still need to be picky! Do not apply to any blog just to be a co-blogger. You need to understand the blog (if you don’t already) and you need to like it! All of it - its general style, feel and principles. If you don’t like the blog as a reader, you will not enjoy it as a co-blogger.

I think being a fan of the blog is an important factor, as you are already invested in the blog and you are already wanting to see it succeed. I was extremely fortunate in the fact that I was a fan of Book Nerd Reviews long before I came on-board - and I think that fact has helped me tremendously. I have never thought “oh, if only I could change that” or “gee, I don’t like that”. Joining a blog is like entering a relationship: if you instantly see things that you want to change, then it probably won’t work long term.

Don’t kidnap someone’s baby

Don’t forget, if you are going into an already established blog, that someone created that blog. They have built it, loved it, cared for it, obtained followers and established relationships. This has been their baby! And while a blogger should be willing to let go of some control, don’t forget, that sometimes that is easier said than done. It is natural that a person who has created something through blood, sweat and tears will be a little reserved about handing over control. No matter how great the creators intentions are, letting go will be hard for them, so be understanding of this.

You also cannot go into a blog and instantly start making massive changes and throwing everything out of whack. This will not only frustrate the blog creator, but it will also confuse your followers. I am not saying be a wallflower, definitely show initiative - but make sure you discuss ideas with the creator before going ahead and making changes.

This aspect is one where I have been ridiculously lucky! To the point that I cannot find words to explain how utterly amazing Melissa has been - and I will be forever grateful for that! This situation cannot be easy for a blog creator, and I can only hope that other bloggers in her situation would be half as amazing as Melissa has been.

Be willing to work for it!

You really need to be able to have time to dedicate to a blog. It is not as easy as whipping up a quick review and then your job is done. There are other fun, but time consuming tasks you need to consider as well. You need to build and maintain relationships with publishers, followers, authors and the blogging community - and this will involve things such as spending time on social media, ensuring you are up-to-date with things happening in the publishing industry, contributing to and creating posts, responding to comments on the blog and brain storming for original content. All fun things - but it can be time consuming sometimes - so make sure you have the time to dedicate yourself to these things.

Get ready to learn

There is so much to learn about blogging - so be ready and willing to learn lots of things! This could include understanding the blogs style, being on a schedule, learning how to create posts, understanding statistics, and how to establish relationships with followers, publishers and authors. It could also involve learning how to use social media sites, or systems that are used by bloggers to obtain ARCs.

Basically, this will all rely on your communication skills, your adaptability, your willingness to learn and ability to take instruction. My suggestion to learning the ropes is to not be afraid to ask questions. I think it’s better to ask than to fail - I know I have pestered Melissa on numerous occasions (so many times), but I would much rather her roll her eyes at me asking questions than for her to have to go into damage control mode if I make a mistake. I also suggest learn things one at a time - learn to master walking before trying to run.

Go into it for the right reasons

The only reason to go into blogging is really because you enjoy talking about and recommending books.

Blogging is fantastic and lots of fun, but at the end of the day, to ensure the blog succeeds, it does require effort. You need to go into co-blogging because you want to help the blog be the best it can be - and that requires work and dedication.

If you can answer yes to all the following questions, I recommend you apply to be a co-blogger of the blog you are considering.

  • Do I like the blog?
  • Do I have anything to contribute to the blog?
  • Do I love reading and recommending books?
  • Do I have the time to commit to hours of work per week?
  • Do I like interacting with people?
  • Would I be willing to do this even if I did not get access to any ARCs?

I entered this last point as some people may think that blogging is a quick and easy way to get ARCs - but, this is one of the biggest misconceptions about blogging! ARCs are a privilege given to some bloggers, it is not a right, and it is certainly not guaranteed (and it certainly is not a reason to get into blogging)

How do I become a good co-blogger?

Create a good relationship with your co-blogger. Talk to your co-blogger, discuss any concerns you have, ask them questions, bounce ideas off them, just talk them in general - all of this will help with your working relationship - and if you are as lucky as I have been, you will also gain a great friend!

Be yourself. Do not try to be your co-blogger, or anyone else out there. Being yourself is your best asset - use it!

But most importantly - have fun!


I hope you find some of this information useful! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and Melissa or I will make sure we answer them for you.

What do you think?

  • Again, I just want to say how much I love these two posts! The first one was more useful for me since I’m on the blogger side, but it was still quite interesting to see the co-blogger’s post of view. I definitely think you have some awesome tips there for those interested in joining a blog. If I ever do get a co-blogger, I’ll be sure to send them this post ahead of time as a guide, haha.

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