Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thoughts on Group Blogs

MLK banner Besides this blog, I’m on a few group blogs: Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen (Berkley Prime Crime mystery authors and our recipes), Inkspot (for Midnight Ink authors), Killer Characters (where cozy writers’ characters have taken over the blog), and A Good Blog is Hard to Find (Southern authors).

I love my own blog and feel like it’s my own little front door to the online world. But it’s also fun being part of a group blog of other writers. You have a chance to connect with them (Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and Inkspot both connect to their members through a closed Yahoo Group—Good Blog uses email) and really develop some online friendships. Plus, you’re getting more online exposure for your writing on another venue—and, depending on the size of the group, you’re not blogging every day.

If you decide to go that route, this is how the ones I’m on usually work: Everyone has the ability to make changes on the blog and author posts.

Usually, though, there’s one person who is mostly in charge of the design of the blog. We usually run any changes on the blog by them first…otherwise it’s sort of a “too many cooks spoiling the stew” scenario. Major design changes should be decided by the group, though.

If you have a week’s worth of members on the blog, everyone has an assigned day of the week. I know I’m up every Thursday on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. If you have a month’s worth of members, then everyone has a day of the month…I’m up on the 10th of each month on Killer Characters. Otherwise, the schedule needs to be emailed out each time—usually 5-6 weeks of schedule at a time. Most of the time, this will work out—but sometimes writers will forget their day on the larger group blogs.

Saturdays are usually not popular with writers for posting. It’s thought to be a day that gets less blog traffic (although I haven’t actually noticed this to be true.) Sometimes, rotating out Saturday duties is nice. And some blogs that I’m on actually leave weekends out of the mix…they’ll either have a guest blogger scheduled or will have PR news or announcements from group members posted on those days.

You’re expected as a group member to support the other members by commenting on their blog posts at least every few days.

You’ll be expected to respond to comments on your day.

Promoting the group blog on social media like Facebook and Twitter is also really appreciated.

Trading out guest posts with other group blogs is a nice way to get cross-exposure for both groups.

Have you thought about forming a group blog or asking to join one?

And again, my apologies for being offline more often than not as I’m on my book tour.