Adventures in Co-Blogging: Starting a Group Blog

Blogging

Adventures in Co-Blogging

Adventures in Co-Blogging is a monthly feature where we discuss what it’s like to blog with a group of people. We talk about tips and tricks, what we’ve learned, how we accomplished things, challenges, benefits, and more! To see all of the posts we have so far for this series, check out our Adventures in Co-Blogging tag.


Starting a Group Blog

When Leanne, Kelley, and I decided to start a group blog, we thought it would be a good idea to occasionally post about our experiences with others. Group blogs do exist in the blogosphere, but I often feel like any kind of how-to or helpful posts are aimed more at individual blogs instead of group blogs. By posting about our own experience, we’re hoping to help any others out there who are considering a group blog as an option due to the high pressured demands of the blogosphere.

To start off with, I thought I would share all the different things that Leanne, Kelley, and I had to discuss prior to the launch of Oh, the Books! We tended to just email each other each time something would pop up that so that we could share opinions, and while it worked it often became a mess of random email chains that we quickly forgot. Having a checklist would have been extremely helpful when starting our blog, and so I have compiled a checklist based on the things we discussed for any future team who wants to start a similar adventure. (Of course, I think it’s important to mention that this list is not all-inclusive and will likely vary depending on the specific circumstances one finds themselves when starting this adventure. Oh, and it’s not in any specific order.)


Starting a Group Blog

Name
  • What is your blog going to be called?
  • Is your blog name going to be completely random, or connect to each blogger in some special way?

Fun Fact: Our blog name was a complete accident. I was just making a temporary header graphic to see how the theme would look, but we hadn’t come up with a name yet, so I just put “Oh, the Books!” because it popped into my head. We ended up liking it so much that we decided to keep it! I feel certain that my subconscious was clearly inspired by Oh, Chrys! ~Kelley

Design
  • What type of overall design does your group prefer? (Minimalist, vintage, etc.)
  • Do you want each blogger’s posts to be easily identifiable, or is the overall group image more important? (In some blogs it is hard to tell who is posting unless you look at the author name, whereas with ours it should be straightforward due to the design – or so we hope.)
  • What font types are you going to use?
  • What are your headers going to look like? Your blockquotes? Captions?
  • What is your color palette?
  • Are you going to be using shortcodes?
  • How do you want your navigation?
  • What should go in the sidebar?
Goal
  • Why have you decided to join this group blog?
  • What do you hope to achieve with the group blog?
  • Does your goals match your co-bloggers?
Schedule
  • When are going to launch the blog?
  • Are you going to have designated days for posting or is it first come first serve?
  • What time do you want your posts to go live?
Content
  • What type of content do you want to feature on your group blog?
  • Do you want any restrictions when it comes to certain posts?
  • Does it matter when/how often these different type of posts are used (are you worried about there being one week of all reviews and one week of all memes)?
Social Media
  • Which social media accounts are you going to create?
  • Who is going to be in charge of updating or monitoring the accounts?
Communication
  • What methods of communication are you going to use to discuss blogging related things with your co-bloggers?
  • How are you going to reach each other in case of a blogging emergency?

Fun Fact: Our group decided to use emails to keep in touch. Since January 6th, 2014 I have accumulated over 275 emails containing discussions about Oh, the Books! ~Asti

Hosting
  • Is your group blog going to be self-hosted?
  • Which host are you going to go with?
  • How are you going to split charges?
  • Even if you’re not going to self-host your blog, you’ll still have to answer the question: Blogger or WordPress (or some other alternative)?
Migrating
  • Are you going to continue your old blog (if you were blogging solo before)?
  • Are you going to migrate your content to the new blog?
  • How are you going to go about the migration?
  • When are you going to do it?
Plug-ins
  • What plug-ins are you going to use?
  • Do you agree on the settings for the plug-ins (such as the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-in)?
Pages
  • What pages do you want for your group blog?
  • Who is going to be in charge of creating and maintaing them?
  • Will the pages all be group-focused or will each individual blogger have their own personal pages as well?
Affiliates
  • Are you going to use affiliate links?
  • If so, which ones?
  • What are you going to do with the earnings?
Consequences
  • How is the blogosphere going to react to your new group blog?
  • What possible negative effects can this group blog have?
  • What does this mean for you and your old blog?

Fun Fact: If I had to choose  which one of us was most paranoid about the negative consequences of our group blog, it would definitely be Kelley. I find that funny, seeming as she is the one who takes all the credit for making this happen in her Grand Opening post 😉 ~Asti


Your Turn!

Phew! Did you know there was all this stuff to discuss when starting a group blog? There is so much! And of course I didn’t include everything – one thing that I probably should’ve mentioned was co-blogging compatibility. So important!

Anyways, now it’s your turn… If you’re part of a group blog, do you think I’ve covered everything? If not, what am I missing? And if you aren’t a part of a group blog, what do you think of this new feature? Do you think it will be helpful to learn about our co-blogging experiences?

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