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Friday, June 13, 2008

Killer Campaigns: Group Blogs

If you were following my original list, I should be talking about social networks today. But since I just finished a post on blogs last Friday, I thought I should continue the series with Group Blogs on today's edition of Killer Campaigns.

Group blogs are a nice alternative to doing your own show. Basically, a group blog is a group of like-minded individuals who take turns blogging on one site.

Like any blog it should have a theme or focus. A lot of group blogs have a free-for-all mentality, allowing you to blog whenever the spirit moves you, but I prefer to have a set deadline. It forces me to be accountable and I think I write better posts when I know I'm scheduled.

Group blogs like Fang, Fur & Fey sometimes has members who post several times in one day. I find that a bit obtrusive. It's like a ten car pile up, after a while it's just one big mess.

Samhain has a group blog that is very well organized. You sign up to blog, and then you are placed on a calendar. We get timely reminders that our turn is coming up. We can blog about anything we want as long as it's not a blatant promo. We do get a chance to do straight promo on the day our books come out though.

Seekerville is another good group blog that I read faithfully because they almost always have good content. Whether you run a single or multiple author blog, content is what brings people back.

A great advantage to a group blog is that if you have enough people you should have no trouble filling spots. It also makes it less taxing to the individual bloggers. The obligation and stress level is far lower if you're sharing posting duty. Different voices are also a plus.

What makes a good group blog?

• The format is clean and easy to read.

• Authors have a set schedule to blog and don't pile up on each other. This gives everyone a clean slate so they can have individual "me" time.

• Good content. No one wants a constant advertisement about your book. Talk about process, business or craft. Remember who your audience is. When I blog over at Samhain, I try to have a theme. My first time was around Christmas and I talked about our first Christmas tree. The next time I talked about the Tankster. The only promo I did was sign my name along with my book title.

• Depending on the blog you might have to "sign" your work. I hate seeing anonymous blog posts. I want to know who I'm reading.

• If possible post at the same time of day. It makes it easier if people know when to expect something from your blog.

• Give everyone an equal chance--even if you have to force them to post. :o) I don't know about you, but I get suspicious if I only hear from a select few. Makes me think they are hogging the limelight.

• Have occasional contests or blog parties.

• Group blogs should have something that ties them together. For example: Maybe they are all Christian writers, or SFF, or erotica, or romance. If you mix them up too much, you risk diluting your audience.

• Never forget your audience. Sometimes group bloggers get chummy with each other and forget their visitors. You get an "us" verses "them" feeling. I stopped commenting on one group blog because I felt some of the authors were patronizing toward their guests. You never want to alienate your visitors.

If you want to blog, but don't have a lot of time or don't feel you can offer enough content, a group blog is a great option. You have the advantage of getting your name out there, introducing your work to people who might not know you and sharing the workload with writers of similar caliber and genre for very little effort.

And now that I've said all this, I need to practice what I preach and post over at my group blog at Authors and Books.

Maybe I can post something clever this weekend--that is after I upload my new website. I don't want JK to come after me with a stick. She scares me. LOL!

The website is coming. I'm still scanning photos and looking for links. I'm shooting for Sunday...maybe.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Go out and break a few mirrors.


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2 comments:

J.K. Coi said...

LOL Maria, I would never come after you with a stick.

I have people to do that for me.

And I agree with you about the group blogs. They can be a perfect way to keep your name out there on a regular basis without having to take on the responsibility of a blog all on your own.

I also agree that the group should all have something to tie them together, but that's funny because I also think that my group blog (www.vauxhallvixens.blogspot.com) works really well for us and we each of us write in completely different genres.

Maria Zannini said...

>>I have people to do that for me.

I knew you were very high class. Rats! Now I have to sleep with one eye open. Hate when that happens. :o)

Ref: Vauxhallvixens
I've got vixens on my reader and I read you guys regularly. You might have differnt genres but you all appear to be romance writers so that is the twine that keeps you focused.

Thanks for stopping by, JK! I'll leave milk and cookies for your "people".