Sunday, January 18, 2009

Which is Better? Individual or Group Blogs?

At first, I blogged on Wednesdays at my group blog, Acme Authors Link. Funny, but sometimes I had trouble fitting it in my schedule and thinking up topics to write about. Acme's members come from various genres, from mysteries, to humor, to YA, and various types of romances.

I also started up a mystery blogspot, called Make Mine Mystery. As the name implies, it's comprised of mystery writers. Visitors there know that's what they'll get, although mysteries come in all shapes and sizes, as do our members and their posts.

Then I was invited to join The Blood-Red Pencil, a blogspot devoted to editing. Last count, this blogspot has attracted 137 followers. One reason for its popularity is that writers are curious to learn the secrets of turning out manuscripts worthy of publication. This blogspot is also popular with editors and agents.

With group blogs, each member attracts followers, but also benefits from spinoffs. Those happen when a reader comes over, reads a post, and also discovers a post from one of the other members. Another advantage is the group concept itself. There's something about presenting a solid front that holds a certain cache. Loyalty also plays a part. Not only do we want to succeed on our own, but we also want the best for the group.

For the reasons I've mentioned and more, group blogs are a wonderful thing. So are individual ones.

After blogging occasionally for a while, I heard that daily blogging was a great way to go. Doing that meant resurrecting this blogspot, which I'd only used for special occasions, such as my book releases and their launch parties.

At Double M, whatever I write, be it good or bad, reflects directly on me. I can't depend on spinoffs from other members to gain followers, but need to pull my own weight. Instead of once a week, I need to concoct posts each day. That's scary, but also exciting.

One method I use to attract followers is to ask questions for readers to answer. I also offer writing, blogging and networking tips I've picked up along the way. I host guests and get spinoffs that way. Other times I write about my dog or how I cope with the happenings in my life. Before, when I'd only belonged to group blogs, I visited other blogs once in a while. Now I spend time each day going through my blogroll and visiting other bloggers.

An individual blogspot with a daily post requires more dedication and commitment, but the rewards are great in not only name recognition, but also friendship with other bloggers.

What about you? Do you belong to an individual blogspot, a group blogspot or both? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Please share.

21 comments:

  1. Hi Morgan, thanks for tagging me yesterday. I answered on my blog today.

    I blog on my own right now. I have done group blogs, but for some reason they tend to fall apart-with squabbles and such.

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  2. I am on a group blog with other authors from my publisher, as well as my own, but I can't say much about either as I don't receive a lot of feedback presently. I think I am probably still too new as yet.

    Margay
    http://margayleahjustice.com

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  3. I do both here, usually I'll click on somebody who visited and pay a visit to their own blog. On Xanga I usually do individual blogs. I like the personal touch on Xanga blogs. Guess I lean toward being a loner even in the blog world.
    elliott610

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  4. I maintain 4 individual blogs, and I've agreed to guest on Kaye Barley's Meanderings and Muses (http://www.meanderingsandmuses.blogspot.com) in March. 3 of my blogs are writing-oriented, the other is more a chronicle of our home lives. It takes discipline, no matter how you blog, but it's a great way to hone writing skills, develop topics, and reach out to others.

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  5. I actually have one individual blog at present, and two group blogs that I started. One of my group blogs is rarely updated, and maintained by my best girlfriend and I. It's more just for us than anyone else. The other is more spiritual in nature, and shared with two of my friends who share in my beliefs. As much as I would like to blog for the sake of gathering a ton of followers interested in what I have to say, I really don't put much thought into ways to do that at this time. The spiritual group blog is perhaps the closest effort I've made thus far to try and gather a bit of a following, but it's still very new so we'll see.

    Jenny
    http://theinnerbean.blogspot.com/
    http://www.emuse-zine.com

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  6. Until I saw yours, Morgan, I had never even thought about a group blog. I have one individual blog, http://bobsanchez1.blogspot.com, into which I put whatever comes to mind, whether about writing or not. But I very much like the idea of a group blog of writers and may look into starting one.

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  7. I love visiting your blog because I always learn something! Currently, I'm blogging my own particular brand of madness alone, but I'm open to finding a partner in crime, lol.

    Thanks as always, dear M, for keeping the rest of us up to date on things.

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  8. I think a group blog is a fantastic idea - several writers all pulling in their own network of people and no one has to write every single day! There is strength in numbers...

    L. Diane Wolfe
    www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
    www.spunkonastick.net
    www.thecircleoffriends.net

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  9. I belong to both. I have a group blog where we do book reviews and contests...but are expanding this year to include more author interviews. I definitely see a benefit in both forms of blogging, but as you stated, it takes dedication. It was actually one of my goals (as I set goals and not resolutions) to blog more this year, especially with my first book being released in June.

    You have a lot of great insight here. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Interesting Blog, Morgan. As you say, daily blogging takes lots of time and creative energy. My Blog is individual, and offers links back to the writing help and BOOKS on my website + book news and writing articles.

    As enticing as it sounds, I fear a daily Blog would take too much time away from my writing, book promotion, and Manuscript Critiques.

    Or, maybe I am just too lazy to make that extra effort. . .

    Margot Finke
    Books for Children
    Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfinke.com
    http://margotfinke.blogspot.com/

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  11. I have two individual blogs with the goal of adding one or two more.
    One is set at three times a week, the other one is new and for now part of the challenge to blog daily for 30 days. After that I think it will settle into three days as the other one.

    I find the key for me is to have a specific theme for each of the three days. That way, followers know that on Sunday for example, they will read about zoo news from around the world. It also makes it easier for me to stay focused.

    http://www.laughing-zebra-children-books.com
    http://goingbeyondreading.blogspot.com/
    http://zooprisepartyfiestazoorpresa.blogspot.com/
    follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/JOYPublishing

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  12. Both are good, and I do both. Individual blogs promote YOU, but collaborative blogs have the added advantage of more widespread exposure. And it's all about helping each other out.

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  13. I have only one blog and find it a challenge. I have deep admiration for all of you that keep up with multiple blogs and still find time to work on novels, short stories, etc.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton
    Author of The Ride
    http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

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  14. I have just started a group blog for nature writers--a month old and tottering on baby steps. I'm having trouble finding the time to go to my blog and learn about how to blog but really, I think, it is because I also teach online, fulltime, and write very regularly. So the question is: how much time should I be in front of the computer? Still this new world of the internet, of connection, amazes me.

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  15. I have one blog at the moment. I do follow some group blogs and it's still key to have new updates on those blogs to keep followers. One thing I've noticed is that I enjoy the group blogs the most where all of the bloggers contribute. If I feel one person is posting a lot (like three people post once a week and one person posts three times a week) I skim or skip the posts from the same person because they tend to be about the same topics.

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  16. I just have my individual blog. I do see the benefit to group blogs though. The Blood-Red Pencil is one of the first group blogs I've come across that I actually bookmarked.

    I think if I ever had a reason to be part of a group blog I'd do it. But for now I'm sticking with my solo act.

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  17. Having never worked on a group blog, I can't say which one I prefer. But I think I'd like to try a group blog sometime soon!

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  18. I blog on my own I don't mind having people guest post. But my reading taste are ecclectic. If I could find someone who had similar taste in reading I'd do the group thing. But...

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  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I love meeting new bloggers.
    As to blogging, I do an individual one as that is hard enough to keep up with and write!!

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  20. The other is more spiritual in nature, and shared with two of my friends who share in my beliefs. As much as I would like to blog for the sake of gathering a ton of followers interested in what I have to say, I really don't put much thought into ways to do that at this time. The spiritual group blog is perhaps the closest effort I've made thus far to try and gather a bit of a following, but it's still very new so we'll see.

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  21. Morgan,
    I've never been on a group blog. Just have my three blogs run by me, which amounts to a lot of work.

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