Let’s just say that I girl crush on Ericka Clay
Not just because she wrote this fabulous book that was lyrical, poetic, and downright addicting, but because she has put together, established, and run an amazing blog/website/new imprint business.
On her own.
She’s one of the people in indie publishing that I keep an eye on (my first introduction to Wattpad was through her), so I’m ecstatic to have her here to post today on how she’s grown her blog, Tipsy Lit, from 1 follower, to over 14,000.
Wow us, Ericka.
It’s no secret that keeping your blog updated, fresh and, well, read, is a down and dirty job.
There’s posts to write, tweets to tweet, sandwich boards to wear while outside of your favorite coffee shops begging people to like your Facebook page.
So growing a group blog can seem like multiplying all that times ten, but fortunately in my experience, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, in some ways – dare I say it – it’s easier.
IT’S ALL ABOUT TRIBE
Take for instance the fact that you have a tribe. You have a tribe right?
You know, that amazing group of human beings that read and share everything you write and may or may not be led by your grandmother (Hi Grandma! Be sure to let me know when that new order of sandwich boards comes in!).
Chances are, if you’re thinking about starting a group blog, your fellow bloggers have already established their own tribe. So basically, put all of those tribe members together, and you have one amazing group of people who are your personal cheerleaders.
They like your posts, share your message, and they do it all because they believe in you. That kind of support is priceless, folks.
There may even be a few members who would like to specifically focus on sharing what the group blog is dishing out, so you may want to come up with a system the way Tipsy Lit did.
Another great way to keep tabs on your tribe is to set up a Facebook group for them.
You can add your latest blog posts to the group, which makes it easy for your collective tribe to read and share them with their followers.
In fact, inviting your other readers to this group is also a smart move. It let’s them know how much you value them, and they may even thank you by spreading your message even further than they normally would.
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
Using your group’s online talents is a must.
Is one of your bloggers a Tweeting rockstar? Put them on Twitter duty. Do you have a blogger in the group who has a great rapport with your readers? Have them respond to Facebook commenters or the comments on the blog.
A blog is more than just a series of WordPress posts. It also includes your social media platforms, the place where people catch wind of what you’re writing. And using your bloggers individual social expertise can pay dividends.
WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW
You know that old saying, “write what you know”? Same concept applies when it comes to blogging. Each member of the group blog has a niche, a background in an area other bloggers may not be familiar with. By capitalizing on your bloggers’ experiences, you can build a website that’s a useful resource tool for your readers.
And everyone knows that useful information is information worth sharing!
SNAG THOSE INTERVIEWS AND GUEST POSTS
Everyone knows somebody, including your fellow group bloggers.
By using the connections within the group to interview fellow writers or have these writers guest post, you’re given the opportunity to have their following integrate with yours. In return, you’re helping other writers increase their own following which increases their online exposure. This kind of social currency is invaluable and will only to serve strengthen your blog.
STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND
When you create a group blog, you’re essentially creating a brand. The best piece of advice I can give you? Stay true to that brand. Don’t worry about what other bloggers are doing. Worry about what your readers are doing and the kind of content they’d like to see you from you.
And if all else fails?
I can totally hook you up with my sandwich board guy.
If nothing else, you must follow her on twitter, because she tweets like a mo’fo’.