Monday, July 1, 2013

GROUP BLOGGING FOR AUTHORS

Group blogs can provide a supplement to an author’s individual blog. The purposes of blogs are to provide a forum to communicate with readers about what you’re writing and with other authors about writing, improving writing skills, and sharing other info. Group blogs do NOT replace the author’s individual blog which is a lifeline for every author. Publishers often require authors to maintain an individual website.

I blog regularly with three groups and there are numerous differences. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, depending on whether you join an existing group or start your own. Regardless, someone must have the technical skills to set up and operate the blog. If you’re involved with a startup group, there’s a lot of work for everyone. Each author joins the group with unique assets which will contribute to the success of the blog. It’s important for each member to honestly share their strengths. Establishing a routine with basic expectations is imperative. Regular posting is a must because readers want CONTENT.  

My first group blog (Southern Sizzle Romance) was with my RWA chapter members with each of the seven members blogging once each week. Our goal was to support each other as we pursued publication. All of us were administrators and everyone chose a topic that appealed to them (Mine is Heroic Hunks in History). Within two years, ALL of us were published. As the need to maximize writing time increased, the regularity of posting decreased—for most. Our numbers which quickly exceeded 500/day decreased also.  
A few months ago, a group of Champagne/Burst authors participated in a couple of Yahoo Group PR events. We set up a temporary webpage to refer readers to since we’d put a lot of work into those days. Later, we decided to keep the webpage and formed a scifi/fantasy group blog (Worlds of the Imagination). All of us are administrators and we mostly fell into our “jobs.”  A couple of members came up with some loose rules related to the operation of the blog which we adopted. We don’t have new content every day, but we’re getting there. We've added new members from Champagne which will increase our content. One member is checking out establishing a forum, similar to Champagne author Mary McCall’s Stoa (http://www.marymccall.net/). The forum will allow real time discussions of specific topics (threads) of interest. We communicate through a Yahoo Group. This month we’re featuring a July 7-7-7 challenge where members and guests offer up seven lines of a work in progress from page seven or seventy-seven. Check that out here.

 


Finally, this blog, The Writers Vineyard, requires the least effort on my part because of the hard work of our site administrators, Mike Davis and Jude Johnson. I’m only scheduled to post once each month on a schedule that is set up. Communications are handled through a Yahoo Group. There are few limitations on topics and authors can use the site for PR when a book is released. Although not associated with Champagne, the members are all published with Champagne. This type of group would be a great starter for the novice blogger.
Next Month, Individual Blogs              Rita Bay

4 comments:

Big Mike said...

I find the group blogs a better option for several reasons:

1. More authors linking to and promoting the blog. For example we get over 100K visits which is more that my individual blog got cause their 28 of us.

- Much better and more diverse ideas. I learn a lot my self by reading all the ideas on TWV

- Cause there's so many posters, the workload is spread and the discussions more stimulating.

Course, JMO.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Rita Bay said...

Thank you for commenting, Mike.
I agree that the group blog has many advantages, especially if someone else (like you and Jude) do the hard work. You have total control over your individual blog, but you also have a lot of work to do. The group blogs for me are more stimulating because I'm interacting with other authors. Novice bloggers can also participate in RWA Chapter blogs, if available. Rita

Jude Johnson said...

Aw, thanks, Rita. I like group blogging also. I truly enjoy reading and learning from what other authors have to share.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Group blogs bring more traffic and in turn more followers than you might get with a single author blog.