Ever thought about going from a solo blogger to running a website with multiple authors? Having other writers creating the majority of content for you so you’ve more time on your hands?
This is the exact situation I found myself in a few years ago. After running a semi-successful blog with all the content created by myself, I stumbled across a new business idea which changed my way of doing things.
In this post, I’ll share my experiences with creating a multi-author website, and help you decide if doing the same is right for you. In my opinion though, it’s one of the best things you can do on your journey to creating a successful online business.
Why I Decided To Go Multi Author
Before we go any further let me properly introduce myself. My name is Shauna, and I’m the owner of the black lifestyle website That Sister. I also own another business, a book publishing company which taught me a lot of lessons I’ve since applied to my websites.
When I decided to create a book company, I knew right away that it would be impossible for me to write all the stories myself. The sheer time it takes to write a book would leave me with no time for my other websites, or even to have a life in general. Furthermore it would be at least a month before I could get each book up and out there, not to mention the additional time for marketing.
Looking around I decided to hire other writers and publish their work. They’d write the stories, while I focused on other areas of my business. This would allow me to increase my output without killing myself; always a good thing. 🙂
The end result was Afro Romance Books; a publishing company and creator of black romance novels which has had over 60 authors writing for us.
With this business model working so well it made sense to apply the ‘more hands make light work’ principle to any other blog I was running.
What My Current Multi-Author Blog Setup Looks Like
With a fresh idea of how to run any future websites are created, I decided to set up a new blog called ThatSister.com. After building an audience I really connected with via the African American Romance books, I decided it made sense to create a lifestyle website for my fellow sisters.
When it came to hiring writers for this new website it was reasonably easy. The requirements? You need to be a black women. *smile*
I did also of course require that they had writing experience and could edit and add images to WordPress themselves. While it was a little bit harder to find someone that matched all of those requirements, using the website Upwork I was soon swimming in potential authors that wanted to work with me.
Quick side note: If you’re in a specialist niche and can’t find anyone credible on Upwork to write for you, a good idea is to find people who already blog in your niche. But instead of looking for ones who are doing well for themselves and have built an audience and income, find ones who are really good writers but not great marketers. Usually you’ll find a blog on the fourth page of Google onward as they don’t know about keywords, promotion and the like.
Get in contact with these people and tell them you’ll pay them to write for your website. This is how I’ve got some of my best writers in the past, including a woman who is knowledgeable about black hair types and is really knowledgeable about the niche in general. These writers know what your audience wants, but just be sure to SEO up their articles after you write them and choose headers that will help rank in search engines.
Okay, back to what my setup looks like.
As well as the writers I’ve hired who create all the content from me, I also have a blog manager. This is the woman who proof reads all of the articles from other writers, makes any needed changes to content and structure, and schedules all the articles to be published on a given date.
She also writes all of the social shares for me for those articles which I later put into my favorite social sharing tool.
So now you know what my setup looks like, lets look at the pros and cons of running a multi-author Lifestyle website. Use the below to see if running your blog like this is the best choice for you.
The Pros Of Running A Multi Author Lifestyle Website
- You save time. Since other people are doing most of the work, unless you’ve busied yourself with too many other items, you’ll find you have a lot more time on your hands. Use this time to either work in other areas of your business or just generally enjoy life.
- You get a lot more content created. This is basic maths. Hiring 30 writers to create content for you will increase your content output by 2900% (if you stop writing at this stage and let others do all of it).
- You’ll start earning money faster. As each piece of content you create is an assets and a potential income stream for the future, by getting more blog posts up quicker, you’ll increase your chances of making money a lot sooner.
The Draw Backs Of Creating A Blog With Various Authors
So multi-author sites do have some potential pitfalls too. Namely:
- Finding writers. If you go for any content writing service with ghostwriters, it’s easy to get people to write for your blog. But if you want to create a high-quality long-lasting website, these aren’t the kind of writers you want to be hiring!
You want people who are actively in your niche who will create a website you’ll be proud of. And these people are a lot harder to find. My niche made it easier to find writers, as if they’re a black woman with life experience and knowledge about hair care etc, they’re qualified. But for most niches it’s harder than this.
- Hiring writers is expensive. If you go the route I took and pay writers upfront for their services, you’ll find costs add up very quickly. If you have a new website which doesn’t yet bring in income, you’ll find that you burn through money very quickly hiring good quality writers.
Of course, you could always get other people to guest post on your website for free. But you’ll often find that once these people have guest posted once or twice they won’t be willing to contribute content again.
- Your job role changes. If you got into the game because you love writing and blogging, once you hand that responsibility to other people, you yourself turn into a project manager. While writers do most of the writing, is often your responsibility to make sure all of them are working and everything is running smoothly.
I struggled with this initially as it can be a very boring role. That said, once I got processes in place it became a lot quicker and smoother.
Another option is to hire someone to do this for you and you simply manage that one person. This will save you lots of time and energy.
So there you have it, why I went from a solo blogger to running a multi-author website. Despite it having drawbacks like any other business strategy, the pros of this business model largely outweigh it in my opinion. More content gets created, time is saved and your business grows a lot quicker.
So after reading this let me ask you, is running a multi-author blog something you think you’re going to do? Or do the drawbacks sound like too much of a negative for you to step away from the solo blogger lifestyle?
Let us know in the comments below.
About the Writer:
Hey girl (or guy), thanks for reading. If you want to read more of Shauna William’s material, mainly targeted at black women, but suitable for any fans of the culture, be sure to check out That Sister or Afro Romance Books. You’ll find plenty to keep you entertained.