Managing a blog page for a group or organization can be fun and rewarding – a phrase that should immediately toggle the cautionary button.
It’s that time of year for our annual writer’s group conference in mid-March. Since I blog somewhat regularly on WordPress, I was asked to revamp an outdated WordPress page to post presenter profiles, interviews, and conference news. Essentially, I’d be the ‘ghost in the shell’ to solicit, edit, format, and post articles by other group members.
Hey, I use WordPress all the time. How much trouble could it be?
Looking back, I ignored the ‘check details before proceeding’ indicator, and thought I’d share a few things I learned.
Get a Clear Mission Statement Before Proceeding
The group gave me carte blanc to redesign the page, which included an upgrade to a premium page for a small annual fee with access to better template options, widget buttons, and customary links. Nobody had to learn HTML tech-speak or pay a monthly “mortgage fee” to fancy-pants web designers.
That part was easy.
Once the docket was approved, we created a process for members to sign up for one or more of the over twenty articles slated to print over a time frame of four – five months. First solicitation was met with a silence akin to a high school gymnasium at 2:00 AM. It took a bit of prodding by group officers to get things rolling, but eventually folks stepped up.
Create a New User Account for the Blog
I blew this one big time. As a WordPress Premium Plan user myself, I hoped to minimize the setup time by creating a new page while logged in with my own account, then adding others for administrators. Updating a page whose original owner hadn’t participated for years with the group, isn’t the best way to go.
I didn’t have problems with approved members accessing the blog and creating a post, but like Facebook, the WordPress folks like having an “owner” available for everything. Since I revamped the page while signed in on my personal account, only way I can unlock myself is if I delete the account. The annual bill hits my account every year like the return of robins in spring. Every year I have to rebill the group. I’m still working on a third-party Paypal invoice option.
Twenty-twenty hindsight; start fresh.
- First, sign out from any personal WordPress and Email accounts that are open.
- Create a new group email and sign-in credentials if one is not available. I found Gmail to work best. May sound like a Homer Simpson “duh”, but make sure officers know how to access it.
- Then go to WordPress and create new account, using group email.
- Have fun building the chosen template to fit your needs.
- Be sure to include group’s mission statement in the blog page “About” profile.
- Have more than one administrator assist with the management of it. I suggest offering a cocktail or two before making your pitch.