We all know that blogging is hard work, and that the actual act of blogging (writing, posting, editing) can be a solitary endeavor. Recently, though, we've noticed a proliferation of amazing blogs – run by pairs! From sisters to friends to couples – these blogs are doubling the fun, doubling the fashion, and showing that two perspectives can be better than one.
We caught up with a trio of blogging couples (ha!) who's sites we love, to find out how they make their shared sites work, what challenges they face and why they love blogging with two heads instead of one.
Brittany Hebb and Whitney Powell write the aptly titled personal style blog, Britt + Whit. Based out of San Francisco, the two met and became friends while working together in media, and bonded over their mutual love of fashion blogs. One weekend they decided to put that passion to use, and voila – one of the most popular style blogs in the Bay Area, with featurs on FabSugar, Refinery29 and the Bergdorf Goodman blog.
For Anthony Urbano and Dustin Moore, who co-author Closet Freaks, their relationship came first, then the blog. In their own words, “We're in the unique situation of being a couple that lives together, shares one closet, and can wear the same size clothes (and shoes!) When the decision to start blogging about our personal style came up it just seemed natural that we would do it together.”
Sally and Molly Miller are two sisters who live together in Texas, and write the lifestyle blog, A Piece of Toast. They say their shared interests and relationship that's akin to that of best friends (they were born just 15 months apart) made starting a blog feel like a natural extensiion of their lives.
Friends, lovers, sisters – here's how these blogging duos share responsibilities, create great content and maintain their relationships offline, too…
Divide and conquer.
All three blogging pairs mentioned that having specific tasks deligated to each author is critical to maintaining their sites and achieving a balanced approach. From social media to posting times to site management, having clearly defined roles is key.
Along with individual weekly features (Toast Talk by Molly, Sally Shops from Sally), the aPoT girls have their strategies pretty well divided. Molly's post are typically first up an in the morning, and Sally's go up in the afternoon. “Molly sits at a desk all day so it makes sense for her to be the main correspondent for all emails and to post to Facebook. She is also the “site manager and creative director” because she keeps up with changing the header each month and creates all the collages. Sally is always on the go and hardly ever near a computer so she is the queen of Twitter and Instagram. She also does most (if not all) our work on with the affiliate site we use, rewardStyle.”
For Dustin and Anthony, their individual roles ont he blog grew and evolved with their site. Anthony styles the looks, edits the photos and handles graphic design, but both he and Dustin take their turn in front of and behind the camera lens. Writing is Dustin's specialty, so he creates most of the written content and affiliate marketing tools. They share social media responsibilities, but have individual Instagram accounts to create a more personal relationship with their readers.
Not without it's challenges.
As silly as it might sound, adding a blog into a close, important relationship can have a huge effect on the nature of that relationship. How you solve problems, face challenges and make business decisions is just as important as who posts when and about what.
“We often get caught up in the blog and forget to also make time for our friendship,” says Brit and Whit. “We learned that we need to keep friendship first, as that is really the most important thing, and then address the blog.”
“Probably the biggest challenge for us is the fact that we are blogging not only as a team but as a couple,” Dustin and Anthony say of balancing their blog and their relationship. “It can be hard to not let our blog (business) affect our personal relationship and vice versa – especially since there's such a social/personal aspect to what we do – the lines can often be very confusing.”
“Learning how to navigate uncharted waters [of blog business] was stressful and yes, we did get in some sisterly tiffs,” admits Molly. “Things were passive aggressive at times but we finally made time to sit down and hash out a plan of how to move forward as sisters, co-bloggers, and business partners. Knowing each other's expectations and limits made a world of difference.We may know each other better than anyone else but sometimes it can be difficult to be upfront.”
Their best tips:
Sally & Molly: “Be upfront about what you both want to get out of it and how much time each of you are willing to commit to the blog. The last thing you want is for one person to be doing more than half the work while both of you get 50% of the credit… Keep things “even” by distributing parts and pieces associated with the upkeep and play to one another's strengths.”
Dustin & Anthony: “It's okay to have different visions as long as you share the same end goal. For any couple bloggers out there – remember why you started blogging in the first place and keep it fun. If it's a disagreement about the blogging side of your relationship, try to separate those feelings from your personal feelings about each other. Also hug each other a lot. Hugs make everything better. FACT. And cookies. Cookies will solve a lot of relationship problems.”
Britt & Whit: “Make sure you are like-minded, work well together, and have a tendency to want the same things. We were fortunate enough to have already worked together, so we understood that side of the relationship prior to starting the blog. At the end of the day we need to agree on everything before we move forward (including partnerships, sponsorships, events, trips etc.).”
At the end of the day, all three duos we interviewed said that trust was both the reason they blogged with their partner and the most important element in their relationship. Working as a team means sharing in both your successes and your failures – and in the case of style bloggers – a shared closet too!
[Images courtesy of: Closet Freaks, A Piece of Toast and Britt & Whit.]