Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's up with the grog?

I know. . .grog sounds really strange, and when I started to talk about a grog, five years ago, everyone asked me what that strange word meant. I'm sure most of you know, but it's a acronym for Group Blog, GROG. 

If you took the PR PERSONALITY quiz or took the quiz in my new craft book, THE TRICKED OUT TOOLBOX~PROMOTION AND MARKETING TOOLS EVERY WRITER NEEDS, and have discovered that you are a little more introvert and don't want to blog on your own, or your just not ready~a group blog might just be for you.
I joined a group blog before I was published. Even though I'm an extrovert and beyond (sorta alien really!), I wanted to stick my toe in the water to see if I was going to like it. 
When I was asked to join, the rules were already laid out. Everyone had a specific day, the theme was decided, the audience the grog reached was already in place. If I didn't like it, then the grog wasn't for me.
Luckily, I loved it all! I've been part of four grogs, currently two, and left two (we will get to that later!).

There are some important factors you need to consider before joining a grog:

1) COMMITMENT.
What? Commitment? But, Tonya, I already have to commit to working on my current manuscript. That is commitment enough! Well. . .no it's not. 
Commitment is the single most important factor when joining a grog. You have to show up on your day.  If you don't, there won't be a post (as your grog partners had expected), and your audience will  begin to lose trust in you as an author. You said you were going to show up and you didn't.

2) PLATFORM.
There has to be a platform!
Check out The Digital World for a great blog on Fifty Ways to Build An Author Platform.
Jungle Red Writers is all mystery, all the time. Six mystery writers stay focused on the theme of their grog. Same with Murder She Writes, a grog with 10 people, all mystery related. Lipstick Chronicles and 14 represent women’s fiction/chick lit grogs.
The Naked Hero, one of my grogs, focuses on hero/heroine archetypes which appeals to readers and writers.

3) A YAHOO LOOP.
There has to be some type of communication with in the grog. One great way my grog partners and I have found is communication through a yahoo loop. It allows us to communicate back and forth without tying up email and it's all in one place if you ever need to go back and check something out.

4) MORALS/PERSONALITY.
This is a little sketchy. I know that we writers are a different bred. We like to think that we can get along with anyone at anytime. Well. . .sometimes that just doesn't happen. At the beginning of joining a grog, everyone is excited. HUGS all around. . .until you begin to recognize different personalities that you wouldn't be friends with in person, so why waste your time on line.

BEWARE of the ONLINE personality that is the person who is really not like that in person. I've come across a few of those people and have left grogs due to compromising morals and beliefs. This career is so small (really the writing community is soooo tiny) that it can take ONE bad seed to ruin your reputation that you have taken so long to build. 
If you join a grog and you see this happening, I say run! GET OUT! There isn't a shortage of grogs out that and you will find one that really does fit your career needs.

5) COMPROMISE.
This is really hard for some people to do. A grog is a joint effort. It's not just about you and what does fit your needs. There are other people to consider in the grog and you have to be willing to compromise on issues to make everyone mesh. This could include schedules, when someone gets sick and can't post, when someone needs to take a leave of absence, switching scheduled days, change the grog to fit the industry, etc. The list could go on and on.

6) BE KIND.
A grog is great, but at the end of the day it's a business/career decision. You have to support your other grog partners. Go to your grog every day, comment on your partners posts, add value to their blog. You are trying to build or keep your readership going and showing a joint effort, by all grog partners, by supporting each other is an amazing tool.

7) BE ORGANIZED.
A following is not born overnight. It takes time. Be cognizant of your readers so they know you care about them.


Do you belong in a grog? What has helped you continue on your grog journey?


11 comments:

  1. I belong to 2 Grogs and many more in the past that I have left (mainly because my writing focus changed over time). They're great exposure and require a minimal time commitment (unless you're the Grog leader--which I have never been nor inspire to be).

    I also like reading Grogs because different authors bring different perspectives and different writing styles to the Grog which ensures it doesn't get boring.

    I say even if you're not an introvert, join a Grog. Its a great way to find additional readers!

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    1. I agree Sharon:) Grogging is so good for every personality. It's gets your name out there, and you are so right~if you aren't the leader. . .it's just a minimal commitment that can be so rewarding.

      I love going to different grogs to see other's perspective and all the different bloggers keep it fresh.

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  2. Lots of great advice, Tonya.
    In my case, I was invited by the GROG organizer and once the five of us were assembled (and the days assigned), we discussed -- on group mail -- whether to have scheduled topics or just free-wheel it.
    One of the members drafted a schedule and it was tweaked.
    Our name -- Four Foxes One Hound -- was the result of group brain-storming.
    One of our members has since left because her material had more of an extreme edge on it and she said she didn't feel it 'fit' very well with what the other four were writing. The lady who replaced her spot is terrific and I feel like I've known her all along.
    Most of our members comment practically every day ... one doesn't.
    We've just begun our second year (Feb. 1) and already have 2012's topics mapped out.
    I've enjoyed the interaction, meeting new folks, making new friends. And I LOVE hosting Guest Foxes.
    For anyone else reading this, Tonya K. was my very first Guest Fox.

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    1. I absolutely love your grog, Jeff. It brings so much fun to my day. The name alone is a draw;) The blogger that walked away is smart when she realized she wasn't fitting. That is one of the hardest aspects of a grog. I'm so glad you found the balance you need.
      I had to best time guesting!

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  3. Excellent post, Tonya. I'm bookmarking this one!

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  4. I do belong to a GROG. EverybodyNeedsALittleRomance

    There's one other addition to your list I'd add...If you belong to a GROG, you should go by everyday and respond to the post up that day. You should support your fellow blog mates with comments, tweets, etc. and they should do the same for you. Bloggers who drop in ONLY on their blogging date are more weight than help in rowing the boat.

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    1. That is exactly right, Cynthia! Number six, I pointed that each blogger should contribute daily to the grog by just stopping by and leave a comment for support. It's a united front that will gain you many more readers. Thanks for stopping!

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  5. I'd see the word "grog" and never knew what it meant. Now I know. Thanks, Tonya.

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