This is a guest post from James and Sarah of The Whole World or Nothing. In 2015, they quit their jobs and set off to see the world, while starting a travel blog to share their advice and stories with others. Read on to see what it’s like working and blogging as a couple!
When we first decided to write a travel blog together it was so we could easily keep our family and friends up to date with our journey, whilst documenting our experiences and adventures for ourselves at the same time.
We’d never followed any blogs before we made this decision and though we both loved writing we didn’t really have a clue what we were doing and never had any intention of taking it very seriously.
As we started to read more travel blogs, we began to realise how popular they are and that we might attract a wider audience. Bizarrely, we never read any blogs on how to start a blog, and boy do we wish we had come across Goats on the Road sooner.
They have been a big inspiration for us and their resources a major factor in our decision to try to turn our passion for travel and writing into a lifestyle.
Having saved up and quit our jobs, we’ve now been travelling and blogging for 6 months.
Although we still feel like complete novices in many respects, we have learnt a thing or two about working together. So if you’re a couple looking to start a blog, here’s a few things that you need to consider before you get going:
Who Does What?
You need to decide early on how to divide the tasks. Your roles need to be clear-cut to save duplication or resentment that one person is doing more than the other. Each of you will have strengths and weaknesses, so use them – for example, one of us (James) is responsible for the technical aspects of the website and the other (Sarah) for social media.
If there’s something neither of you enjoy doing you can both do it and take it in turns – just make sure you have a schedule set in stone. Also, when one of you is responsible for a certain outcome don’t pester for updates or give unasked-for advice. It’s really annoying.
Who’s The Boss?
Managing two visions can sometimes be difficult. We both have the same goals for our blog but we don’t always see eye to eye on how to achieve them, so we have to be prepared to compromise.
Everything from agreeing on whether a photo is “instagram-able”, to whether a blog is good enough to post can be tough at times. Having both come from accountable positions in our previous corporate-world lives, we are used to making decisions and being responsible for them. We have butted heads at times when it comes down to who’s going to have the final say.
But we’ve learnt that calmly talking things through and making a rational decision with the blog’s interest in mind does the trick.
You Didn’t Tell Me That?
As we both write posts individually as well as collaboratively, communication is really important. We can spend a considerable amount of time researching and thinking about the blog in our own heads, but then can forget to communicate our thoughts and ideas to each other.
For example, there have been times where we have both started writing very similar blog posts on the same subject which is obviously frustrating. To avoid this, we implemented weekly catch ups where we both bring an agenda, discuss our ideas and make sure we are moving in the same direction.
A Clash of Styles
We both have completely different writing styles so working on joint posts can be a real challenge at times. One of us (Sarah) will just brain dump onto the page and then edit it about a million times, frustrating the other (James) who writes by carefully constructing each sentence, with a clear layout in mind…which is equally as infuriating!
We have learnt to appreciate these differences and come up with strategies to get around them, such as ensuring we are both in the mood to write so as not to exacerbate the issue, and being patient to allow each other wiggle room to express ourselves in the way that we need to.
It has often been a pleasure and a nightmare in the same sitting, but we are getting better at it and are very proud of our collaborative blogs.
Having been together 8 years and married for over a year, we obviously know each other very well, but with writing being such a personal thing it’s still important to employ a professional level of sensitivity when critiquing each other’s work.
So be considerate of your partner’s feelings and find constructive ways to suggest improvements to their writing, as you would in any working environment. Also don’t forget your sense of humour or take things too seriously – if you don’t enjoy writing your blog there’s no point in doing it.
Argh! Just Stop Talking!
Learning to shut off so you’re not always talking shop is essential. Don’t let it overtake your personal life or the joy of traveling and all your new experiences. At present, our blog still feels very much like a hobby rather than work, so it can be easy to fall into this trap.
We are often really excited about stuff too, such as receiving good feedback from readers or publishing guest posts, so it can be hard not to think about it. As we’re sure many of you do, we are also regularly checking our social media accounts which doesn’t help.
We now try to have one day per week where we don’t talk about, or do anything to do with the blog which has been really good.
Is Blogging as a Couple Right For You?
Working together as a couple can definitely have its drawbacks, but if you get it right the positives are incredible. We love working together because it means double the ideas and half of the work. Plus, we get to share each other’s successes.
We’ve gotten to know a completely different aspect of one another and there is 100% trust because we are not competing like in a corporate setting.
Our first 6 months as ‘The Whole World Or Nothing’ has been a roller coaster of ups and downs and at times it has felt like we’ve taken two steps forward, and gone one step backwards.
But we’re confident that if you set these ground rules from the start, it will put you in pole position to build a rewarding working relationship. What are you waiting for?!
For more articles and information on travel blogging, check out:
Hi! We’re James & Sarah, a newly married couple in our early thirties from Nottingham, England. A drunken conversation in the summer of 2014 about wanting something different from life led to us deciding to save up, quit our jobs and go see the world. It’s something we’d dreamt about for quite a while and we both reached the point where we stopped making excuses and asked ourselves “why not”? You only live once right?! So in November 2015 we set off on our big adventure to travel our way around South America and Asia.
We wanted to write a blog to share our escapades, awesome photos and handy travel tips – so TheWholeWorldorNothing.com was born. Our friends and families never expected us to do something quite so spontaneous so we hope that this blog will inspire you to put your fears aside and go follow your dreams!
Here’s to the world! What are you waiting for?