If you’ve never participated in a group blog before, you might wonder why you would want to join. Like everything else on the internet, it’s a promotional tool, a way to build an audience. Some agents and editors prefer an author who has an online presence. They want to know 1) that you can handle the technology, and 2) That you can be trusted not to embarrass yourself online.
Blogging is not for everyone. Some feel that blogs are outdated, and they prefer to use social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Personally, I think a combination of all three works best. You want some content backing up your tweets. I’m also a firm believer that you’ll be most successful doing what you enjoy. If you don’t like blogging, don’t do it.
But if you think you’d like to give it a try, a group blog is the ideal place to start. You can team up with more experienced friends who will help you learn the ropes. You’ll automatically have a bigger audience because every member brings their readers. With a group blog, the time commitment is minimal, so it won’t cut into your regular writing time. The other members will also keep you motivated and hold you accountable for blogging regularly.
Here are some things to consider before you sign on:
Choose your members wisely. The more members you have, the less often you’ll need to blog. The minimum number is probably about four and the maximum around thirty. But choose those members carefully. You don’t want someone who’s going to post something that will embarrass you. And you want people who can be counted on to post regularly without being reminded. Be aware of potential conflicts. For example, inspy writers and erotica writers may clash because they’re aiming for different audience.
Focus. Your blog will find its niche more easily if you focus from the outset. This is easier if you’re all writing the same sub-genre. What audience are you trying to attract? Look at similar blogs and see what works. What can you do better? Are you blogging for readers or for writers? The difference is significant.
Rules. The best way to avoid conflict is to agree on a set of rules and a schedule before you start. These might be as simple as ‘No politics. No book reviews.’ Give your blog a movie rating—G, PG, XXX- so you can communicate easily to guest bloggers what you’re looking for. Decide in advance what offenses will be cause for removal from the group. Decide what will happen if someone regularly fails to blog on their appointed day.
Invite others. Plan days for contests, interviews, and guest bloggers. All these things will bring new visitors to your blog. If they like what they see, they may become regulars. Create a plan for promoting the blog.
Evolve and innovate. Be prepared for change. You will want to stop periodically, re-evaluate, and change direction. Disagreements will occur, but remember everyone wants the same thing, a successful blog. And if the day should come where you part ways, it will be much easier knowing it was not personal, only business.
So there you have it, my tips for joining a group blog. Did I leave anything out? I would love to hear your advice on participating in group blogs.