Saturday, October 8, 2011

On Group Blogging

100_5048As someone who’s currently on a couple of group blogs (and who has been a regular contributor on as many as five), I found a recent post by author/social media guru Kristen Lamb interesting.

In it, Kristen says:

I have run into writers who were very prolific, contributing to multiple group blogs. Group blogs are wonderful. They can help us learn to blog better and can offer accountability. Yet, if we are writing for three different group blogs, but then not blogging on our own site? That is BAD. Group blogs will not brand an individual author. Yes, we will have a social media presence…but that isn’t a brand.

I have to agree with Kristen. In fact, on some group blogs, it’s hard to tell who that day’s contributor even is. Many, many times I want to tweet something that someone has written on a group blog and I can’t find the writer’s contact info, blog or Twitter handle. Sometimes it’s even hard to figure out who wrote the post (sometimes it will even say by guest.)

I think it’s better to make sure that a byline with your contact info (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and blog or website link is at the bottom of every group blog post. If you’re allowed to, a book cover is nice, too. Because, this is branding we’re talking about. You want to be associated with the book you’re promoting.

I agree with Kristen’s point about making sure we’re still blogging on our own, individual blogs. You won’t make much of an individual splash on a group blog, especially if you’re only occasionally posting.

It’s also a good idea to write for a group blog that reaches a different audience than your personal blog. I’m primarily writing for writers here at my blog. At Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, I’m blogging for readers. And on A Good Blog is Hard to Find, I’m blogging for readers who enjoy Southern-themed books (as opposed to just mystery writers.)

How group blogs work:

There’ll be a set schedule—either a particular day of the week or month, or an emailed schedule.

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 so no one gets upset. I’ve also been on group blogs where no one posted on Saturday, but book news or news on events and appearances were posted.

Usually, group members are expected to support the other members by commenting on their blog posts at least every few days.

Group members are usually expected to respond to comments on their day.

Promoting the group blog on social media like Facebook and Twitter is usually 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?