You Asked: How to Start an Online Writers Group?

Welcome to another, belated, You Asked, the Experts Answer, segment. This week’s question: How do you start an online writer’s group?

I’ve been a member of the South Carolina’s Writer’s Group, which met monthly at our local library, but haven’t participated in an online group before and I’ve certainly never thought about starting one – until now. So, what does it take to start a group?

Where to Begin:

  1. Establish your goals -What do you want to offer or accomplish with your members? Is the group a support network, forum for learning, an opportunity to share, or provide critiques of each other’s work?
  2. Determine membership -Is the membership voluntary or fee based? Is it open to experienced, emerging, or writers at all levels? Will membership be limited or open to all?
  3. Member participation –  How will you recruit or encourage member participation? Offer live or Twitter chats, tutorials, or run contest? Do you want to require weekly or monthly check-ins and forum discussions or leave it up to the member?
  4.  Identify the Roles of the Host(s)– Is this your brainchild or a joint venture. If a joint venture, designate responsibilities up front- maintaining membership rosters and participation, as well as, administrative duties and who will address technical issues that might arise.
  5. Create a venue – A private blog through WordPress or Blogger is an easy way for members to ask questions or hold discussions. Private forums on Google Groups and Yahoo Groups is another option. These are particularly useful when sharing files.
  6. Dedicate the Time – This is a biggy. It takes a lot of time to build members and relationships. A good place to start is to have each member introduce themselves, including their level of experience as a writer, and what they hope to gain from the group.

Understand an online group requires commitment and continuous engagement. Setting weekly goals or making a to-do list will help you keep on task. Establishing a regular schedule and dedicating time specifically for the group will create the right environment for a successful online group. Interested in more information?

Check Out These Resources:

What about you? Do you belong to an online writer’s group? Have you found it helpful? Interesting is starting a group?  I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram.

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Blogging for the Beginners

Day 2: 

There are as many types of blogs on the internet as names in a baby book. The most common, by far, are personal or niche blogs. These cover a gambit of topics including, healthcare, family, travel, book reviews, writing and cooking (to name a few).

Cow Pasture Chronicles has evolved into a blog mostly about writing, tips and resources, and a place to share my stories and on occasion an opinion piece.

images-14When I began blogging more than three years ago, I knew little to nothing about how to blog. Along the way, however, I’ve picked up a few tips I’d like to share.

  1. Determine what type of blog you want – personal, business, or niche (a themed blog).
  2. What’s the main topic?
  3. What do you want to be known for in the blogging community? Expert, Reviewer, Personal blogger, or reporter?
  4. Choose the 3-4 main topics you plan to blog about.
  5. Research the best platform for your blog. WordPress, Blogger (Google’s), and tumbler are some of the most popular.
  6. Research your top competitors. What do you like about their blogs?
  7. Decide how much time and effort you want to put into your blog. Do you want to write content weekly, daily or whenever?
  8. Select the name of your blog carefully. Consider what your blog is about, who your target audience is, and whether you want to make it into a brand. You can read more about selecting a name here. How To Come Up With A Blog Name: 10 Effective Ways To Choose a Name For Your New Blog  from Successful Blogging

Want to know more about starting a blog – check out these articles. Blogpress has an excellent post, 3 Quick Tips To Start A Blog The RIGHT Way, and of course, WordPress support is my go-to resource. There you will find video tutorials on just about everything.

It’s by no means all the things you need to know. Developing your blog is an ongoing process of learning, but I hope this will help.

How long have you been blogging? What type of blog do you have and how did you come up with the name?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.