Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Social Media Monday (Tuesday)—Tips to Create and Maintain a Successful Group Blog

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.
  • Flexibility.

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.comhttp://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!



  1. I would highly recommend being part of a group blog for all the reasons Edie mentioned. My only caveat is that it may actually INCREASE your visibility even though you are less visible on that particular site. I know my group blog gets lots more hits than my individual one and more views to my posts there and my profile because of it.

    1. Connie, you are so right. As the group blog grows (and that's easier to accomplish) even though you don't post as often your own name recognition grows. Thanks for chiming in. Blessings, E

  2. Starting a group blog two years ago was the best thing I've done when it comes to blogging. We started with three and now have seven bloggers. It shares the workload and is fun. Our blog for writers is Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas...Oh My! :) at WordPress.

    1. Jennifer, that's a great site. I frequently mention it on social media. Thanks so much for dropping by, Blessings, E

  3. You may have noticed I've been popping up on a few blogs. When I got back into writing, I recognized the strength of being part of a larger group. It's not just getting your name out there. Joining an existing group blog immediately connects you with established writers, agents, even publishers. It's nice to just be a participant and let someone else do the worrying, too.

    1. Ron, you are so right! All great points. Thanks so much for sharing, Blessings, E

  4. I love group blogging. I blog on my own site and have a regular appearance on 4 other sites, all with a greater following than mine. Well, except for the newest one, which is just starting to build! http://inspyromance.com is the new group blog on the block.

    1. Valerie, I'm excited about inspyromance.com. It looks like it's going to be a great site. Thanks so much for dropping by, Blessings, E

  5. I co-started a group blog a month ago &, so far, it's working out great! There's a variety to the posts I never could have had on my own. And even though I do most of the editing, it's nice to share the rest of the responsibilities. We have 5 writers & 4 categories: articles, Table for One (recipes & tips), dating & devotionals.

    It's called Girls Night In: The Blog for Single, Over-40 Women, & it's at WordPress. I'm excited to see where it will go!

  6. Edie, good information! And let's tell everyone to check out the new group writing blog you helped us start last month for our South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers at http://www.scwritersacfw.com. So far so good! Thanks for all your great help and regular contributions, Edie! Elva Cobb Martin, President, SC Chapter, ACFW, Anderson, SC