WordPress is so versatile that you can use it as a blog, static business website, community, or CMS (content management system), pretty much anything you need to do, you should reach for WordPress. Lately, I’ve had a lot of requests for information on multi-author blogs. Using the leverage of multiple authors is a great idea, but you should plan out your strategy before you begin. You will leverage the time of more people for both content and promotion. When you start a website like this, the website owner assumes the role of community manager and has to keep the blog running smoothly. Don’t expect the blog to just take off because you have more content then before, you still have to run it like a professional blog. What platform to use, how will you find bloggers, How to reward your bloggers are a few good questions to start with.
What community blogging platform to use?
Worpdress (WP) and WPMU (WordPress Multi-user) are both great platforms for a multi-author blog. I have found that a if you want to create a WordPress website it is good for a close knit group of bloggers, that communicate regularly and understand the overall strategy for the website. Examples on this type of website is Mashable.com. WPMU on the other hand is better for a blogging website where the bloggers don’t really know each other, but all have similar interests in the overall blog topics. WPMU powers wordpress.com.
A WP website is much easier to run compared to a WPMU site, but the WPMU site can grow to be much larger because a WPMU site creates subdomains for each author. Each subdomain can use different themes, plugins, etc, they are each individual webistes. You can think of it as each website made by WPMU is a normal WP website. WPMU will always be under attack by people trying to make a fake blogs and game your system, but there are many plugins and strategies to stop this.
An example of a WPMU structure will be as follows. maindomain.com will be main website and all sites built under it will aggregate to it. Now as authors start blogs, each one will have a subdomain. Let’s say this is a car site. honda.maindomain.com, toyota.maindomain.com are examples on subdomains.
If you really want to make your WPMU community take off, you can offer Top Level Domains. Besically the author that made honda.maindomain.com, can upgrade to hondacars.com… Now that author can have subdomains under them. CRV.hondacars.com… As you can see it can go on forever and can offer much more benefits that a normal WP install. Again, it will take more effort from the community manage to keep things running smoothly.