Most think it odd to start a blog with a co-author. The common approach for someone setting out is to launch your own website and start building a bit of your own brand/reputation. After all, that’s how your name gets recognized, maybe a mention on a popular blog, or (I guess ideally) a book deal.
I have nothing poor to say about those goals and efforts. It’s an excellent path to take for sure.
But Luke Spencer and I launched this website together for a few important reasons. This is the beginning of our writing (hobby) careers, and we think this move put us on firm footing. Here are four reasons we said “Yes” to co-authoring a blog.
Consistency. It’s hard to write regularly and produce quality content. The vast majority of blogs (if I wanted to make up a stat it would be 99.9%) rarely see the light of day, because their authors began writing regularly for a few weeks before their efforts waned. I know because that’s the story of my old blog — I would go weeks — and sometimes years— without posting. And you know because that’s probably the story of one of your past — or current— blogs. Consistency takes endurance and endurance is easier when responsibility is shared.
I approached Luke about writing a blog together because I knew I would struggle at consistency unless I had the accountability and shared responsibility of a co-author. If my deadline was coming up and I hadn’t written anything yet, I had to face Luke (don’t worry he’s mostly nice). But on my own I would likely just let it slide.
Collaboration. Ideas are better when two heads are together (honestly, I didn’t mean that too sounds as cleaver as it came out). It’s easy for one of us to write up some thoughts on a topic we are passionate about and hit publish— thinking we just penned a Pulitzer. But with Luke and I working together at least two sets of eyes read over each post weeks in advance. Sometimes, the original draft was pretty good, and just needed some tweaking. Other times, we needed to overhaul large parts of it, or just shred the whole thing. The collaboration that comes from two people chewing on ideas before they hit the World Wide Web hopefully allows us to produce better content (and with fewer grammatical errors).
Community. I don’t get to be a lone ranger in life, so why should I be one online? The Christian life requires connection and commitment to others. Relationships are imperative to our faith. We started this blog together as a way of building our relationship deeper and (hopefully) building relationships on/though this website.
Crowd. Honestly, my initial idea was “Hey Luke, instead of me just having a website that only my mom will read, what if we started one together so that my mom and your mom will read it”. See what I just did there? That’s called doubling your audience through creative marketing (I think I read a blog post on that once). But to be frank, we wanted to leverage the combination of both of our networks. Luke knows people I don’t know, and I know people Luke doesn’t know. And because I think Luke is a creative and thoughtful writer, I would love to connect my network with his work. Hopefully, he feels the same way.
If you have started a website, or are considering beginning one, carefully weigh the benefits of working with a co-author. Do you know someone you would consider writing with?