Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for New Bloggers.

I think you guys know how Top Ten Tuesday works. Every week, the lovely folks over at The Broke and the Bookish pick a topic. Bloggers create their top ten in that week's category, and we all go crazy reading a lot of posts and adding books to our ginormous TBR piles.

I only participate every once in awhile, and this week's topic is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I felt like I needed to write out a few things that I have learned in my 2 1/2 years of blogging. I don't know if I am an "old" blogger, but I definitely don't consider myself a newbie.

Here they are, my wise advice to those of you just starting a blog!

10. Forge Your Own Identity: I think it is very easy to get swallowed up in the big world of book blogging. There are SO MANY book blogs that sometimes it can seem impossible to create something new. I like to seek out blogs that are doing something different-something unique! That might be the inclusion of more personal posts, an inspirational project, etc. Make yourself stand out. Create your own identity.
9. Don't Let BIG Numbers on other Blogs Discourage You: Stats, stats, stats. Personally, I only look at my stats every once in awhile. Sometimes it is fun to see where my readers are coming from. :) But I don't dwell on the numbers, or how many followers I have, or how many hits I get a day. When I first started, I was a little shocked by some of the high numbers on other blogs. Don't worry about that. Write good content and the followers will come.
8. Promote Literacy: If something cool and literary is going on in your neck of the woods, write about it! I love hearing about other literary-themed events going on and other readers do too! Promote those events and seek out interesting things in your community. I bet you'll be surprised by what fun things you'll discover. I also think, that as bloggers, we have a unique voice in promoting literacy. Embrace that!
7. Participate in Community Events: This is one of the biggest ways to meet other bloggers, promote your own space, and read lots of wonderful things. If you see a readalong of a book you've been meaning to read, join in. Participate in a readathon if you can. Jump in on a meme if the mood strikes. Don't be shy about it!
6. Comment on Other Blogs: If you stumble on a post you like, TELL the blogger! This is something I need to work on as well, but the best way to create relationships with bloggers is to communicate. :)
5. Host an Event: I started hosting readalongs as a way to get to know other bloggers. It helped me meet new bloggers with similar interests and reading tastes. Hosting readalongs, hops, etc are great ways to help out the community.
4. Avoid Becoming Over-Committed: This is something I still struggle with. Try not to participate in too many things at once. Soon, your blog will seem like a chore and less like a hobby. Be real with what you can actually accomplish in your free time and stick to that. If it is too much work to post every day, don't. If you can't be on twitter all the time without driving your family bonkers, don't. Simple as that.
3. Don't go Meme Crazy: I know memes are a great way to start out getting content up on the blog (and hello, I'm doing one right now), but don't let memes take over your blog. I won't follow blogs that have all memes as content. Every once in awhile (once a week), it's okay, but if you are too concerned about getting all your meme posts up, then stop!
2. Quality, not Quantity: I like quality posts. I like detail, emotion, and personal reactions in the blogs I read on a regular basis. Some people can have a new book review up every day. I can't. And if you can't, be okay with that. But make the posts you do have EXCELLENT. I quickly stop following blogs with short, uninspired posts. I would rather see less posts that are beautifully written and well-thought out than a million little posts with no depth.
1. There is NO One Way to Blog: I think this is the most important thing I can tell anyone about blogging. We all do it differently, and there is no correct way. From the beginning, I have posted MULTIPLE posts per book because it fits my needs. I have been criticized for it, and even now, I know some people are put off by it. But it works for me, so I will continue to write like that until it doesn't work. Don't be afraid to do things your own way. If it works for you, awesome! :)

I don't know how helpful my advice is, but hopefully someone, somewhere, got something out of it. :) What is some other advice you all have for new bloggers? Or veterans?


  1. I love your multiple posts per book. (You know that!) And I love all (ALL) of your events! I wish I was better at not over-booking, because I definitely burn out, fast.

    *I also think, that as bloggers, we have a unique voice in promoting literacy. Embrace that!*

    Such a great point!

  2. Yes, yes, yes to quality over quantity. It's one thing to make sure you have regular content up but if it's all junk (or all memes) then you're really doing yourself and your readers a disservice.

  3. Hosting events is a great tip. I hosted my very first readalong last month and I loved it. The first time I participated in a readalong was actually one you hosted (Cranford) quite awhile ago.

  4. I think quality over quantity is so important, if a blog is junked up with memes it feels like they are posting just to post. Also, hosting an event is a fantastic tip, I think you've always done a great job at organizing them.

  5. The stats point is soooooo right on. It's so easy to get bogged down in the fact that you have less followers or less blog traffic. But I believe that your job is to write something YOU would want to read, and eventually the followers will flow in. At least, that's what I'm HOPING ;o)

    Great blog post!

  6. Thanks for passing on your blogging wisdom. These are great tips. :)

  7. I was very interested to read your wise tips, Ally. I especially agree with not becoming over-committed and with writing exceptional content. But, it's a fine line for me...I like a post which is on the shorter side vs. the longer. I rarely have time to read mini-thesis papers which some posts turn into. However, on my own blog, I feel I err on the side of short. It's a very interesting topic to ponder, this one of writing an effective book blog. You had great insight for me and your readers.

  8. All fantastic advice. I especially think it is important to avoid being over-committed because it brings so much stress.

  9. I really need to work on not becoming over committed. Recently I feel like I've really been struggling with that. I have so many things that I want to read for myself but I have a lot of obligations that are getting in the way. I love doing requested reviews but it really is getting to be a lot!

  10. Very good advice. One of the things that attracted me to your blog was that you posted about books as you read them. It's nice to get a reaction part way through and then see how the reader reacts to the book overall. Nice job. I did a meme post last week just to see if I could get all of the components to work (as a new blogger). But I wouldn't want to do one every day/week and wouldn't want to read only memes. I read book blogs to read about books!

  11. Agree with so many of your points! And completely concur that quality is better than quantity. It took me a while to find my own blogging "groove," but curating a personal identity and doing what feels right to you are definitely at the top of my list. When blogging begins to feel like "work," I don't think I'll be able to continue.

  12. Such great advice. Even though I have been blogging for almost 2 years it is still nice to have reminders on most of the things you posted about. Especially finding your own identity...I still struggle with that because I have a habit of comparing what I am doing to other bloggers. Hopefully I will eventually get over this :)
    Thanks for the great post!

  13. Thank you so much for the great advice!!! One question though...what is a "meme post"? I am really very new to blogging and I have no idea what it is.