Zen and the Art of Collaborative Blogging

Collaborative blogging is the art of assembling complete blog articles using components created by two or more individuals.

Are You a “Collablogator?”
There are many ways to collaborate. One person might focus on overall themes while another could zero in on specific topics. Other skills could include polishing, proofreading, and even the final addition of the blog article to a WordPress platform. Some “collablogators” invent titles together (if not words) and even write blogs on the phone with each other if not in person. But the partnership only works if both individuals live up to their collablogations.

Partner Selection
This could be the most crucial choosing of a partner that doesn’t require a prenup you’ll ever do. You should ideally find one whose strengths make up for your weaknesses, and vice versa. If you’re an industry specific person, you might pair well with someone good at proofreading. If you tend to be more serious, you might pair well with a funny person. If you’re a content-oriented person, you might pair well with someone who excels at style, presentation, and execution.

At what time of the day is your creative sweet spot? Do you burn the midnight oil along with the virtual page with your brilliance? Is your partner more in the zone after he’s had his morning coffee and the afternoon mail has yet to arrive? In that case, work separately, not simultaneously!

Assembly Line Blogging
Some people blog together at the same time while others divide blogging into many separate outsourced tasks that happen consecutively. The boss might come up with a theme, a creative person might come up with a great title, another person might do the writing, before someone else polishes and proofreads. The final step: Publishing the blog online. But, there’s more — with the popularity of social media, the cherry on top would be creating popular tweets for the blog entry. The biggest issue with assembly line blogging is that if any of the team members are behind schedule, a la Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory, your efficiency could dessert you!

Outsourcing Some of the Processes
There are thousands of eager blog writers in India who can write blog articles for $5-12 and are more than happy to research industry-specific content. Proofreading is a higher level task that is best left to a seasoned professional. However, there are many people with this specific skill. The hardest position to fill in your blogsembly line is the idea creator. Sure, the boss knows he wants to write about the financial crisis in Myanmar, but coming up with a specific and catchy title is not easy even for the most highly skilled writers. If you are hiring a team, evaluate each member’s skill at each of the stages in the assembly line.

Comparing Blog Assembly to Henry Ford’s System
On the auto assembly line, you’re faced with manufacturing new models every year. On the blog assembly line, there’s a new model every blog! In each of these cases, the aim is for greater mileage. Ways to improve mileage on your blogs? Make them understandable in ways that surprise and, if possible, enlighten. Make them candidates for retweeting. Assembly line blogging can not only speed up the process, but take advantage of those who specialize in individual components. If you have residual such specialist “understudies” waiting in the wings, they can take over if and when the “star” assembly line expert becomes unavailable. On the car assembly line, there can only be one person at the station and they all have to be there at the same time. On the blog assembly line, you could have multiple people at each stage of the process. And any one member could pass off their work to whichever stage two member was most readily available. Each could be in a different country or work a different shift, as long as they’re all on the same page.

I have to end this blog prematurely because my blog writing union just informed me that we are on strike.

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