Blogging for a blog network–or even multiple networks–can be confusing, especially if you have a lot of blogs to write on. Sometimes you start a draft on one blog, and end up posting it on another blog. Sometimes you start writing about one topic, and end up completely overhauling your line of thought! Sometimes you even get to neglect your own personal blog.
Here’s a bit of insight from my own experience as a network blogger.
When I started problogging, I was “pro” blogging in the sense that I was a corporate blogger. I was part of the team in my company that developed a blogging platform, and at the same time I was one of the people who evangelized about blogging to get people to try out the medium (and ultimately our own service). In my own little way, I was like Robert Scoble, who–back then–blogged for Microsoft, with his own persona, and with his own voice.
During this time, I wasn’t so concerned about what I was posting, in terms of substance and depth. Sometimes I would post one-liners, with links and block-quoted paragraphs. The important thing was that I got the word out, and contributed my two cents’ worth, even if that was just a couple of sentences on a particular post.
When I started to write for blog networks, I started to write articles that were more substantial (and lengthier, too!), and these I published on the blogs owned by the network I worked for. Somehow I started to neglect my personal blog, since I usually discussed tech news and commentary there, and many of my network blogs were technology and gadget-related, anyway.
With this, I decided to avoid writing one-liners on my personal blog. I focused on writing more substantial posts about the problogging experience there, which I thought would help out other people wanting to get into the business of blogging.
However, there were some times when I would start writing a post on my blog, and then suddenly think that it would be better to post it elsewhere. I tried reviewing my new laptop on my blog, and thought of posting it on my network’s laptop blog instead. I started drafting a post about how I use my mobile phone, and I ended up posting it on my network’s cellphone blog instead.
It was a bit confusing for me, since the network had a fairly popular blog that’s considered a site for all things geek–and this includes laptops, mobiles, games and the like. This led to other considerations, like which blog is more popular and well-read, and which blog would have an audience that’s more receptive of the material I’m creating. Questions arose, like should I post on the blog with a larger coverage and readership? and should I instead post on the more focused niche-oriented blog?
(I guess it even becomes more confusing if a person blogged for different networks on sites with similar topics of interest. Perhaps this is one reason some networks prefer exclusivity and non-competition.)
I learned later on to draft blog posts locally using a word processor or even a plain text editor, and then move on to pasting the content to the appropriate blog. Then if I wanted to cross-post, I would take a snippet, enclose it in blockquotes, and give a brief intro or commentary on the other blog (usually my own blog, especially when I’m particularly proud of a post I made elsewhere).
It’s a matter of workflow, and how productive one feels. And later on, I learned to stop being so concerned about which blog to post on. The point is that I write for my audience, and that I write to contribute to the community, whichever site that may be on. For me, that’s one essential aspect of blogging.