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Today’s the last day of Armchair BEA.  Thanks to them for hosting it.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and I hope those new to Steamed will come back.  We always have something going on. 

Today we’re supposed to blog about blogging.  I’m going to talk just a little about running a group blog.  I didn’t start Steamed!, I joined up when someone else formed it.  Actually, I don’t know how I ended up being the defacto blog mistress, though I’ve always been “calendar keeper.”  I just do what I need to do to keep this blog running, since I believe in what we do. 

Group blogging can be a fun way to get into blogging without having to set up your own blog, blog all the time, etc.  It can also be a great way to be able to blog about other things that may not fit on your current blog.  For example, here I mostly blog about Steampunk and writing Steampunk.  But on my personal blog, I’ll get more into the general trials, tribulations, and craft of writing in general, not just Steampunk, and post silly things (like my Friday fun videos) that might not fit a Steampunk blog.  On Geekmom, another group blog, I’ll talk about more mom-type things, like misadventures in crafting or fishing–things that may not work on either blog. 

One thing to think about, whether starting or joining a group blog is the commitment.  Do people have a “day” where they blog, or do they blog whenever?  Is it okay when they miss or do you have to blog on your day?  If you can blog whenever do you still need to meet a minimum, like a post a week? 

We’re pretty lax here at Steamed since we’re all writers with things like deadlines, day jobs, kids, etc.  But it’s definitely something to carefully consider. 

How often are you going to have content?  If you want to have something going on every single day, it can be a lot of work.  Also, who’s going to be doing the scheduling/setting up posts?  Does everyone post their own thing or does someone pst it for someone?  Is there an approval/editor process?  Who keeps the calendar?

Here at Steamed, the Lolitas all post their own stuff, and I post a majority of the guest posts.  But at Geekmom I write my post and put it in a queue for approval and one of the editors checks over all our posts before making them live, she also manages the flow to make sure there’s not 10 posts one day and only 1 the next.  I keep the calendar here at Steamed, I also book most of the guests.  As I said before, I’m not really sure how I ended up sort of running the show, sometimes I wonder, especially when I start scheduling odd-ball theme weeks, if someone’s going to take my calender away, lol. 

Do you have a style guide or anything to ensure uniformity? 

We don’t here at Steamed, but at Geekmom they do.  I struggle with the “one space in-between sentences” since I naturally use two, even when I tweet. 

Also, what are the parameters?  Do they assign particular topics?  Have theme weeks?  Just have a general theme (like Steampunk) that you blog around?  Will it be hard for you to come up with topics?  Are there things that you can’t talk about? 

It might seem like a great opportunity to join a group blog, but thing hard about how difficult it will be to come up with topics.  For example, I struggle with posts for Geekmom and am grateful they give us lots of ideas.  I always feel like I’m just not geeky enough.  (Shhh…)

Are you going to have special events?  Who will be in charge of them? 

I adore running special events here at Steamed, and I’m the one who usually ends up doing them, though really anyone could.  I have to say, special events can be a huge time suck.  When I run Steampunkapalooza in April, it’s like a part-time job.  But, to me, it’s well worth it. 

Do you fit?  Not all group blogs are going to be good fits.  Can you meet the time commitment?  Do you mesh with the other bloggers? 

I adore all my fellow Lolitas and the Geekmoms are fabulous.  But not everyone would be a good fit for the different groups.  Having diverse viewpoints and personalities in a blog is great, but everyone should still be united around the central goal/theme of the blog.

Most of all, will it be fun to have/join this group blog, or will it be a stressor? 

Blogging should be fun!  If you’re stressing out about topics or time or blogging feels like a chore, then maybe it’s time to take a step back and see what you need to do to make it fun again. 

Thanks so much for joining me during Armchair BEA.  Come back soon.  Have you entered our contest just for Armchair BEA participants yet?

What do you think is something to take into consideration before starting a blog of your own or joining a group one?

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