Wednesday 15 February 2017

Writers Supporting Writers ~ Group Blogs

By Narelle Atkins

I’m a big fan of group blogs, and blogging in general. Blogs provide a platform for writers to share and interact with readers. Blogging platforms are public and accessible to everyone who has a web browser. Unlike other social media platforms, the blog reader has full control over the blog post content they can access online. They can also choose how they want to read and interact with different blog posts.

Writing group blogs are a fun way to network and meet other writers and readers. They provide an opportunity for writers to hone their article writing skills. They also provide an opportunity to create an online community that’s inspiring, supportive, and encouraging. A community that is welcoming, inclusive, and works together to achieve a common goal.

How can you support your group blogs? 

1) Participation 

Being an active member of group blog is a great first step. This may involve joining a group blog as regular member of the blog posting team, guest blogging, commenting on blog posts, and sharing blog posts on social media. 

Australasian Christian Writers (ACW) has an active Facebook Group that’s linked to the blog. The Monday-Friday blog posts are shared in the ACW Facebook Group. We welcome guest bloggers and we also invite writers who have guest blogged to join our blogging team if a regular posting spot becomes available.

2) Commenting on blog posts

Last year Paula Vince shared an excellent post on her personal blog titled Why don’t we leave comments on blogs? Ironically, her blog post has 70 comments. I encourage you to read her post and comments if you haven’t seen it. Paula tackles the elephant in the room and covers this topic in-depth.

Blog post comments are one way you can support other writers. Sometimes we can over think what to write in a comment. A simple thank you or a few words of encouragement can mean a lot to the author of the post who has invested time and effort in writing the post.

I believe it’s important for all of us to consider taking a step outside our comfort zone by reaching out and commenting on blog posts written by Bloggers who we don’t know. This is how we can create a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive blog community. If we only comment on group blog posts written by our friends, the group blog could look like a clique to readers who follow the blog posts and notice the pattern in the comments.

Blog comments provide a chance to give feedback to the author of the post. If there are no blog post comments, the author may assume their post isn’t engaging or reaching their target audience. Writers may quit blogging if they think no one is reading their posts.

3) Sharing blog posts

Many of us have busy lives and find it hard to schedule time to read blog posts. This can be more difficult if the blog post content is outside our area of interest.

We can support the authors of blog posts by sharing their posts on social media. Wordpress offers an option for blog readers to like blog posts. Liking a blog post is a fast and easy way to show an author that you value their blog post. Carolyn Miller recently wrote an excellent blog post titled Please Like Me! that explores the question of why people don’t press like on Facebook posts.

Blogger and Wordpress have made it easy to share blog posts on social media. For the examples below I’ve taken screenshots from Iola’s ACW blog post on Monday.

  • M symbol – Email the blog post link to a friend via Blogger. You need to have a Blogger profile to access this option. 
  • B symbol – Blog This. You need a Blogger blog to reblog the content. 
  • T symbol – Share to Twitter. A fast and easy way to tweet the blog post to your Twitter followers. The blog post text is automatically created, and all you need to do is sign into Twitter and press share. 

  • F symbol – Share to Facebook. You can share the blog post to your Facebook profile timeline, a Facebook group, or a Facebook page you manage. 

  • P symbol – Post to Pinterest. You have the option to select the boards where you want to pin the post. 

  • G symbol – Share to Google+. Pressing the G symbol creates a ‘plus one’ (which is the equivalent of a like) and the option to share the post to your Google+ profile. Last year I wrote a blog post for ACW on Google+ ~ Is it relevant and useful for writers?

I share group blog posts via Buffer and Social Jukebox. Please see Iola Goulton’s ACW post How to be on Twitter 24/7 Without Being on Twitter 24/7 to learn more about sharing blog posts using social media tools. 

My daily routine for social media group blog post sharing

I use the paid version of Buffer and share group blog posts to 1) Twitter 2) Google+ profile and 3) Facebook Author Page (if the content is relevant to my target audience). 

I may not have the time to read the daily posts from my list of group blogs, but I can find five or ten minutes each day to support the writers by sharing their blog posts on social media. 

Is there something new you can try to encourage and support the writers of group blog posts? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, NARELLE ATKINS was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle's contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

Twitter: @NarelleAtkins


  1. Great article Narelle. Really appreciate these tips. Thanks for all your work with ACW!

  2. Encouraging others is so important! Thanks for the reminder and tips!

  3. Narelle, I do appreciate how you Tweet the various ICFW and ACW blog posts of our members. Good post, Narelle - even with busy lives there's always a few minutes to encourage each other's blog posts in some way.

    1. Thanks, Ian :) I appreciate your tweets, too!

  4. Great post Narelle - Group blogs like ACW and CWD are a fantastic resource for writers in a number of different ways :)

    1. Thanks, Jeanette :) Yes, we're fortunate to have two group blogs in our part of the world that provide opportunities for Aust/NZ Christian writers to share, encourage and support each other.

  5. Great reminder Narelle, that we need to support each other and commenting on blogs is a real encouragement. I know when there are few comments it's easy to think that on-one is interested in what you have to say.

    1. Thanks, Carol :) I've learned not to judge or compare posts by the number of comments. When I select the Best of the Archives blog posts for ACW and International Christian Fiction Writers, I often find there's little correlation between the number of page views and the number of comments. Posts with only a few comments often have the largest number of page views.

      Blog post tags do impact on page views over the longer term. The blog posts with no tags attached have very little, if any, visibility in the search engines.

  6. When I share a post without commenting, it's usually because I feel it's a great post that stands on it's own. And it seems a little self-serving to comment "great post!" on something I'm going to share.

    If I comment, it's often because I want to know more, or because the writer (or another commenter) has asked a question.

    1. Hi Iola, yes, that does make sense. If the author of the blog post is on Twitter, they'll receive a notification if you mention their Twitter handle in a tweet with the blog post link. Another good reason for Bloggers to have a Twitter account. :)

  7. Hi Narelle, thanks for sharing. It's good to get a better understanding of how to support each other more.

  8. I enjoyed this post, Narelle, and agree with you about the value of reading good blogs, and especially group blogs. They are an excellent resource all in the one spot. So glad to see more commenting awareness going forth too :) Thanks for all you do for ACW.

    1. Hi Paula, thanks for your encouraging words. :)


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