OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: How to Run a Group Blog for Fun, Advocacy and/or Profit

BlogHer Original Post

Esra’a
Nadia
Michelle
Grace

___________

E- Thanks for coming! Why would you start a group blog instead of a personal one?

N- My friend and I wrote each other very long emails and we spoke about the stress, and my friend Stacy stated that we should put this up on the web, and ask other moms for their help and opinions

G- we were both bored, and we just wanted to start a blog and we would give the link to a bunch of our friend and we could entertain them. In order to keep content, we just got more and more authors when you are lazy, you can always get someone else to write something- this is why it is a group blog…

E- How do you make sure that your group wide is being updated?

N- It is not open to having other co-authors, it;’s that my co-bloggers have been friends with me for 10 years and longer… It is organic the way we speak and write to each other. We have thought of having guest bloggers, though…

E- do you plan to blog a certain amount of times per week?

N- no, it’s very non-formal.. It’s usually a spur of the moment thing… And some days we’ll have a day that all three of us post that day…

M- because we have 11 bloggers on the blog, we try to blog everyday. We have guidelines and we say to post once every two weeks…

G- When everyone is writing for free on their free time, it’s difficult to do anything… So, generally, we usually just email someone and ask them to write a post…

E- Would you go and check out someone’s blog and say, “would you like to join our site?”

G- We have done that before! And when others have dropped out, we have done that…

M- I have asked authors to contribute to the blog, and I have screened them and have auditions for them… I always hope they stick with the same style of the blog, and follow the guidelines… Firstly, I’ll send them an email. I kicked my husband off of my blog…

G- I have never dismissed anybody… The only time people got unruly, it was a post about curdling and someone was offended by what an author said about cuddling and it being a good past-time! ...Ultimately group blogging is fun…

E- And you do it for profit Michelle?

M- We have ads on the blog… It makes enough money to sustain itself, but I won’t uit my day job b/c it doesn't make that much money…

G- my ex-partner and I basically wanted to start the blog to circulate around our friends… After a certain point, I decided to start a list of things that stuff lesbians like… And we thought that we hold write descent posts.

E- How did you overcome marketing issues?

N- As women of color blogging, we didn’t get targeted as much from PR companies with their products, and we learned throughout blogher that many women of our heritage struggle… We made sure to visit peoples’ blogs and put our names out there…

E- What is the best way to market?

M- for marketing- Its mostly word of mouth that gives us traffic…

G- to kiss other webmasters’ asses and try to get linked.. Social media… So, basically we got the most traffic after I just left a comment on melinda lowes blog… Leave links and talk to the webmasters

E- does someone here run a group blog?

Commenter: Our biggest marketing strategy today, we have good SEO, and especially if you have tech related posts… Read other peoples’ blogs, build relationships, exchange codes, do guest posts, have their traffic go to your site and vice-versa. Social bookmarking… Dig, stumble upon, etc. It can drive a lot of traffic as, well.

E- We have google news, kissing ass, and social networking to consider… You want to kiss ass, but you don’t want your lips attached to their ass, ‘cause then you become spam to them.

Commenter: We found a lot fo moms come to our live events and offering a lot of our content via our experts was a great way to create content for our site… This has helped this market, and when they talk about how they were a guest blogger on their site, etc. And have authors, they talk about how they spoke at an event, and high google search things… As soon as you have video of somebody on your blog… Those are some of the marketing tools that we use…

E- Those are some great tips…

M- I own a domain, and it’s my blog.. Other people are distributing content. Nadia, can you talk about the legality of who owns it…

N- I don’t practice that…

G- The authors actually own the content unless they sign their copyright to you?

E- Do any of your pay your writers?

N- We just launched a new media blog nd we have 15 writers… We don’t pay any of them… As far as guidelines we ask that everyone contribute one post every two weeks, and because you are doing it for free, we can’t do anything and we are hoping that people want to contribute to this blog because they want to make a difference.

M- if you own a blog, you have the right to enforce the rules for your blog… Generally, I halways have people who want to write for my blog… I am always turning people away. It’s their choice..

Comment: I am looking to put a food blog, etc. But I just want to know about your audition process.

M- I hold the auditions on the blog, and ask for a posted peeve on a certain topic. Etc. I let readers chose and other authors comment on the post… Now that I have two little kid and I never have time for much…

Commenter: My name is Michelle, and Just a reminder about pictures… I just saw a picture taken. If blogher may want to send an email to all of the attendees about it… Your speech this morning…. People called it amazing. I have never seen anything like that… Are you going to be taking donations on your site? Will the contributing authors… If there is a reason if they need some money… I know it’s your site…

E- it’s difficult to moderate all 15 sites and I would actually hire an editor with those donations. I don’t know if anyone has considered doing that?

M- When I was pregnant or on maternity leave, I didn’t post much.. Everyone has access to posts… I can step back and the blog keeps going! I wouldn’t hire someone to take my place, though, but if I could pay the authors with charity money, I’d do that…

Commenter: Is it taboo to edit peoples’ blogs before the post it?

M- No, not at all. We can edit a post to our heart’s content…

Commenter: do people get offended?

M- not at all!

Commenter: I have a question about platform… What platforms are you using.

M- I use typepad, and I was using movable type self-hosted…

E- I am a big fan of wordpress. So when I see my friends in prison that were on blogger, we joke that they should have used Wordpress.org. You really have to take care!

G- Self-hosting wordpress, and there’s been a worm going around and it has hit a lot of wordpress blogs…

N- We use wordpress, we moved from Blogspot to Wordpress.

E- the great thing about wordpress is that there are a sea of plugins to use. How have any of you dealt with competition?

M- two of the people that I had to dismiss from my blog, they basically took my site and made the same things like my blog.. It’s not like I own a space about posting about your pet peeves!

G- there are very few big lesbian bloggers out there… we know each other and we are all fiends.

N- I don’t see other mom bloggers as competition. I see it as seeing someone with the same interests that aIl have. I don’t see it as competition at all.. We don’t mind cross posting, though.

Commenter: How hass your blog evolved. Do you have any success tips? What is your most popular topic, and do you stick with one subject?

M- Everyone posts everything that they want to post about… It is really dependent about the topic and the post itself, but I have to admit that the most popular post is by an ex-author about a guy that was farting after he ate Kashi GoLean crunch…

N- when niasha when to work one day and when she was fired… and apparently a lot of people have come back from lunch and it seems that they were fired..

G- the most popular post on my blog is the lesbian secret affinity for gay pale porn.

Commenter: What are your page views per month, and do you find that increasing contributors, you increase traffic… ?

M- we get about 5K a week…

E- We get about 50K a month…
Commenter: Are any of you using twitter to promote your blog?

N- Anytime someone sends something that someone posts something on our site, it automatically sends out a tweet about a new post…

G- I have an account that is personal, but it’s also tied to the blog…

Comment: What is a good way to approach you, especially if we wanted to approach you in a challenge amongst yourselves challenging each other?

N- for non-profits take the time to read the blog before you approach people like us- get to know the people behind it… Humanize your cause.

E- Any tips that you would give to anyone that just started a group blog

M- just don’t let anyone in. Retain ownership of your own blog.

N- It takes longer than you think to get started…

M- If you want to start one, just start a group blog… Continue posting yourself and it will help you get people in..

G- if you want to start one because you have a passion for writing, you think that if you go in for the money, you will not do well…

E- customize your site as well. Personalize your site! You want to stand out from the crowd. … Does anyone have any questions or thoughts or any tips they have in mind?

Commenter: What do you think is next for blogging? What do you think about videos and things like that?

E- I think microblogging is becoming a hit. I am worried about blogging in general because they have so many distractions with youtube, facebook, etc.

N- Vlogging is great and GSL blogging with foursquare is great…

M- I think that there’ll be super integration with all social networking sites like word press and twitter, etc.

G- Well, the lesbian vlogging world has gotten really big..

Commenter: Do you find any success for making feeds for your bloggers and posting them and letting you bloggers talk about anything they want. And if you do, do that, how do you control it?

M- my blog is- well, the scope is narrow!
G- generally people know what to write about on my site- it’s a lesbian interest website…

E- the theme is usually human rights on my site… some people blog about food… and it;s freedom of speech and it’s hard to get people to stay within the theme of the site… Much like Sarah Palin… *laughter*

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