by Edie Melson
Many authors I talk to are frustrated by trying to grow and maintain a solo blog. My suggestion for a lot of them is to either find an established group blog to join or to start a group blog. Today I’m going to share my tips to create and maintain a successful group blog.
There are several advantages to a group situation
- Shared responsibilities.
- Reduced time commitment.
There are also some disadvantages
- Shared responsibilities. Yes, I know it’s in the list above. But sharing isn’t always easy. None of us is perfect and trust me, people will let you down. If you have serious control issues, a group situation may not be the best answer for you.
- Reduced visibility. With a reduced time commitment also comes less time you’re in the public eye. It’s a trade off, and one where you often come out ahead. The more popular the site though, the less this becomes an issue.
How to start a group blog
The first thing you want to do is decide the focus for your site. You can’t do anything else until your idea is fairly well defined. Once you know the direction you want to go, you can move forward. Be sure you have a focus. A group blog, that showcases authors who share about anything is not focused and will be almost impossible to grow.
One way this could work is to have a group of authors posting about writing. That would be a focus that would work. There are several great blogs with this focus, including http://www.novelrocket.com, http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com, http://thewritersalleys.blogspot.com, and http://seekerville.blogspot.com.
Also beware of having too many varied topics. I know of one group blog that has thirty different topics. It’s frustrating for readers because they can’t memorize a schedule like that, so they never know what to expect.
You also need to think through how many people you want to include. Ideally I recommend no more than twelve to fifteen. A blog this large means no one will post more than twice a month—and that’s if you’re uploading new content seven days a week. It’s doable, but only just. An easier size is between four and eight regular posters.
1. Begin looking for others who fit into your vision for your group blog. I recommend you begin your search with people you know and work out from there.
2. Build in a trial period for everyone who comes on board. This gives everyone a graceful way to end the relationship if it doesn’t work out.
3. Decide a schedule that works for you. The schedule has two parts, how often you want new content on the blog and how often everyone will be posting.
4. Set very specific post guidelines—and write them out. This includes post length, how to handle bylines, bios and images. The list can go on and on. It may seem like a nitpicky thing, but you’ll avoid a lot of grief and a lot of editing if you get this spelled out up front. It will also make transitions easier when you bring on someone new.
Be sure to post any questions you have in the comments section below. And as always—
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Tired of solo blogging? Social Media Mentor @EdieMelson has the tips you need to create a successful group blog. (Click to Tweet)