If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a second, you’ve no doubt noticed that I’m not the only voice all up in here. Though I’m the founder and owner of Her Happy Heart, I also rely heavily on my brilliant little team – Kat, Ash and Tahlia – and this blog wouldn’t be what it is without them!!
In my post about starting your own personal blog, I shared my blogging journey. And in my re-cap post at the end of 2016, I touched on the fact that deciding to run this blog as a team effort, rather than a solo effort, motivated and excited me beyond belief! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I am crazy grateful for these girls and their willingness to jump on board a vision that was a bit half-baked at the time!
The 6 months since this blog has launched has been a massive learning experience in lots of ways, but today I’m here to share with you what I have learnt about blogging as a team.
The Fantastic Bits:
One of my hopes is that this blog inspires and is relevant to women with a whole range of lifestyles and interests. Blogging by yourself makes this tricky – I tend to post topics that interest me, that I understand, and that fit my own lifestyle. Bring in a team of writers with their own lives, interests and writing styles, and suddenly the variety of content explodes! I absolutely love the ideas that these women come up with, and their posts genuinely inspire me. It’s an amazing feeling to log in and find a gorgeous, picture-filled post about house plants (when I personally am a notorious plant killer!), a hilarious but accurate post filled with tips for traveling safely (when I haven’t left the country since 2009!), or a power-packed, heartfelt letter about growing up and putting your brave pants on (when I just don’t even think on that level!).
I am so proud of all of our content, and excited by the variety. I love that each team member brings something different to the blog with every post.
Sharing the Load
We post four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Can you even imagine a mother of a rowdy toddler a) coming up with that amount of content, or b) having the time to write the posts, edit the photos, create the social media graphics, and promote every single time? Sure, some do that and more (serious hats off to them!! My goodness!) – but I sure as heck wouldn’t be able to keep that up! Everyone on the team writes 2-3 posts per month, which seriously takes the pressure off me week-to-week. Heck, it’s Sunday and THIS IS MY FIRST POST FOR THE WEEK! It’s been quite a nice little break actually. So you can see, blogging as a team really takes the pressure off in this way!
When it comes to keeping motivated, there’s nothing quite like having three other people invested in your passion project! It can be easy to let things slide if you’re working solo – who else will it affect? But I really value my team and I don’t want to let them down. I promote as hard as I can because I want their posts to be seen, so their hard work doesn’t languish away in the corners of the internet. Obviously I want my own work to be seen just as much – but there are people who have gifted me with their time and entrusted me with their work, and I just wouldn’t be a decent human if I said “Thanks buddy!”, hit publish, and then forgot about it. So in a way, blogging as a team keeps me working hard – even when I don’t feel like it!
Having a sounding board for new ideas is essential in any industry, as is the ability to occasionally put a bunch of heads together for a good brainstorming session. Blogging as a team means that I have people to do this with! The photos in this post are actually from our very first (and so far only!) 6-monthly planning meeting back in November (Kat was absent, not camera-shy!). I was totally inspired that day as we bounced ideas back and forth. It helped solidify our vision, get everyone on the same page, and plan new ways forward. A bunch of post ideas came out of it, and we were able to tackle a few issues together. That kind of stuff can be overwhelming to deal with by yourself, but as a team it was great! We also have a private Facebook group for little discussions and questions. I love it!
The Trickier Bits:
Who does what?
Every new post that we publish is the culmination of a number of smaller processes. Who knew that blogging wasn’t just about writing?! I’ll touch more in this in a future post, but in a nut shell, most posts involve the following:
- Taking photos
- Editing photos
- Writing post
- Adding photos
- Editing post
- Creating a feature image
- Creating social media images (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest)
Not only is it a big process, it’s also not always easy to delegate how much of the process lands on the author, and how much lands on me. It tends to vary from post-to-post (and author-to-author) – though it’s starting to smooth out lately! I just find myself texting the same questions at 11pm the night before a post goes live “Are you making an Instagram image or am I?” “Can you send me the original unedited photo please?” “What font did you use in your feature image?” “Do we have permission to use that photo?” It’s not the worst, it just keeps me on my toes!
This is by far the biggest issue that we have encountered. One of the things that draw me into a blog like nothing else is the author’s personality. I love getting to know an author through their posts. It doesn’t matter what a post is about, a clever author can write it in such a way that if you were to read it as a stand-alone piece, you would instantly know who wrote it, because they would no doubt reference their beagle, their kitchen renovation, their love of brussels sprouts – those personal details that are threaded throughout all of their posts. I even read a food blog whose recipes don’t interest me – but the author has me hooked with tales of her kids and husband, and the way she uses her unique voice. I read every single thing she posts because there’s a writer-reader relationship in place. I’m invested.
At Her Happy Heart, there are four of us for our readers to get to know. Four separate people, four separate lives, four different voices. It can easily get confusing and as a result our readers may not end up really connecting with any of us! Which is a shame, because we’re all pretty great people (tehehe). We’re trying out some strategies to try and personalize more, but this is definitely an ongoing struggle for us.
Overall though, blogging as a team is pretty awesome.
There may be a couple of challenges, but ultimately, I am so, so glad that this blog is a team effort! Blogging as a team is different than I originally pictured – in a really good way! I’m still learning (all of us are!), there are still creases that need ironing out, but it’s a lot fun.
Are you part of a blogging team? What great/tricky things have you found? Let me know in the comments!