Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish with a different bookish topic each week. This week it is….
Top 10 Tips For New Book Bloggers!
To be honest I’m not sure how qualified I am to give tips as I’m still fairly new myself! I’ll have been blogging 2 years at the end of May so I’m still a bit of a blogging baby. But I’ll have a go!
- Read What You Want, Not What You Think You Should. It’s pretty tempting sometimes to read all of the books with all of the hype, even if you don’t care about them.. and I know I’ve certainly thought hey, I don’t really want to read this but everyone else is! What am I missing out on? The answer is generally not much… I’ve learned to trust that if I really don’t want to read something, it’s usually because I know myself and my tastes. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised but mostly if I try to read what everyone else is reading just because they are and not because I want to actually read it, it turns out ‘meh’.
- Post Regularly. And by regularly I don’t mean 5x a day, but a couple of times per week so that people know you’re out there and you’re pretty active. It can be easy to find a new blog that looks promising only for the person to never post for months, or ever again! Getting some hits early on requires some frequency so make sure you have a few reviews up your sleeve or you have the time to write them. Some people like to keep a cache of posts in the drafts folder so if real life swamps them, they can schedule a few and the absence isn’t that noticeable until they have time to be more involved again.
- Utilise Social Media etc. There’s a pretty huge and involved community out there and I’ve found Twitter far better for connecting with people than my actual blog. Meeting people on Twitter seems to draw them to my blog and I know that I certainly visit the blogs of people I’ve met through Twitter and Goodreads and places like that. I don’t often google for reviews of particular books – I go to Twitter and see if anyone I know is talking about it, or to Goodreads and see if anyone I know has read it.
- Make It Easy For People To Follow You The Way They Choose. Being wordpress, I never did the Google Friend Connect thing. For a long while I used to bookmark sites I liked and visit them each day to see updates! That’s quite a time consuming way of doing things so I don’t really recommend that – now I use Google Reader and I read through it each morning and comment on the pieces or reviews that catch my attention. People like to follow or keep up with blogs in different ways so make sure you have it covered! I know that if I like a blog but I can’t find the RSS feed button or if it’s too busy that I’m getting a headache, I’ve left before finding it. And probably don’t ever go back.
- Be Honest, But Not Rude. We’ve all not liked books. It happens. Reading is very subjective – it’s all about having a very personal response to a book and sometimes well, that response is baaaad! There’s nothing wrong with that… nothing at all! You can review a book negatively and be funny without being nasty or rude. I review the book alone and always state what didn’t work for me and WHY. There’s nothing wrong with being snarky – actually snarky reviews are some of my favourites to read, even if I happened to enjoy that book. But there’s a line.
- ARC’s Are Not The Be-All And End-All. They’re lovely if/when they arrive! But they aren’t the entirety of what is important in blogging. Getting down your thoughts about books and reading and comparing your thoughts to other people are the crucial parts to blogging, IMO. I didn’t start getting print ARC’s until around the beginning of this year and even so they’re still a rarity. I read lots from my local library, who are pretty swift with new releases and I read my own books (although I buy far faster than I can read!).
- It Should Be FUN. Blogging shouldn’t be a chore or a burden. For nearly all of us, it’s a hobby, a way to relax, meet other people, immerse ourselves in things we like (books!). If it has become a burden then maybe you need to look at what you want to get out of it (actually, maybe Know What You Want Out Of Blogging should’ve been a tip up there, so just pretend it was, ok?). For me, it was always about connecting with other people who love reading as much as I do, because I didn’t have that in real life. My friends don’t like to read much and I felt I was starved of conversation about books. So for me, talking about books is always fun!
- Join A MeMe. They’re a great way to really find lots of other blogs that you might click with and also attract people to your own. They’re regular, so you’re posting regularly because of it and they’re fun, so you can often find yourself thinking about things that you haven’t thought about much before.
- Learn From Mistakes! To be honest, I’ve probably broken just about every rule I’ve listed here at some stage or other in my short book blogging life! It’s the way things are, we’re all human and blogging, like everything else, is a learning process. I certainly don’t profess to know all that much about it, but after 2 years I’ve settled into a pattern with my review writing and posting that I’m comfortable with. And I think that’s it – it’s all about finding a way to blog, whatever it may be, that makes you happy.
Only 9 this week, but that sounded as good a place to end as any!