My friend and uber-trainer Lee Watts asked me the other day about collaborative blogs. His idea is to bring together several colleagues in related fields (i.e., sports performance, nutrition, physical therapy, and so forth) to create a broader and more dynamic go-to resource. His question got me thinking about the broader pros and cons of collaborative blogs. Clearly, it’s a good idea for some businesses–but not necessarily for everyone.

There are definitely some benefits to having a collaborative blog, including:

  • potentially richer content across a sector, industry, or profession
  • you aren’t responsible for all the content
  • there are more people to share the posting load (which is exponentially more valuable when the primary posters aren’t natural writers)
  • the potential to attract a more diverse audience drawn in by one or more of the key areas of expertise

But there are also some downsides:

  • your company loses its unique branding
  • loss of control over the content (versus having your own blog)
  • you gain responsibility for bad content, but without the ability to remove it (i.e., whatever is on your collaborative blog reflects on your brand)
  • there’s a danger of losing blog focus
  • it’s harder to fire someone if they’re producing badly written or dull content

My recommendation: Keep your own blog and use guest posts to beef up your content and create opportunities for cross-blog collaboration. This will allow you to (1) keep your branding intact while showcasing your broader referral network; and (2) guest post to other blogs (and expand your visibility with new audiences). The exceptions: If you believe your area of expertise is too narrow to sustain a blog or you are unlikely to post at regular intervals.