Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. It’s on hiatus until August, but I’m going back through some of the older topics while I’m waiting. This week (today, actually) is my 1 year anniversary of this blog! Yay! I thought since it was my Blogaversary, I’d go ahead and share my top 10 tips for new book bloggers. I still don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing, but these are things that have helped me this year, so I hope they’ll help someone else!
1. Read other blogs!
Reading other blogs is super awesomely helpful in a lot of ways. It can give you ideas about things like structure of your blog & is also a great way to get yourself involved in the community. Commenting on and following other blogs also helps because it makes the whole experience interactive (and can help potential followers find your blog, too!).
2. Write about what you want to write about.
Starting out, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about. A year in, I’m still not sure most of the time. When writing a book blog, reviews and weekly events are great places to start. This directory on Bookshelf Fantasies is a great place to start, but you’ll also pick up on events from reading other people’s blogs (see Tip 1). A lot of advice I saw for new bloggers was about not making your blog too meme-heavy etc., but I honestly say if you want to start out doing all weekly memes, then that’s your decision! If you’re trying too hard to make your blog what other people say it should be, then it’s not going to be as much fun. I had a healthy balance of reviews & memes for most of my 1st year, and I’ve really only started branching out into discussion posts more recently. Your blog, your journey!
3. eARCS are wonderful if you want advance copies.
I love Netgalley. I’ve also recently started branching into Edelweiss. I was so afraid that I would never get eARCs because my blog was small or brand new, but I got books very early on in my blogging life that I absolutely adored. My biggest advice would be to be a little bit picky about what you request and only request what you absolutely know you’ll read. My strategy at first was to request a TON of books and think I’d only get approved for a fraction of them, but that backfired…and still does on occasion when I go on a requesting spree. Regardless, this is a great and easy option for getting advance copies electronically.
4. Don’t be afraid to review backlist.
Learning this was a huge epiphany for me. I got so jealous of all the pretty ARCs everyone had at first, but then I realized I would still attract readers when I reviewed backlist books. What I really love about reviewing back list is that it gives me a chance to highlight older releases that I don’t hear anyone talking about or referring to in the blogosphere (hello, Green Rider series, anyone?!). These reviews just as easily get conversation started with fellow bloggers, and it’s really fun to explore older titles. Your job as a blogger is to help people find books, and no one ever made it a rule that you can only review new and highly anticipated books.
5. Book tags are really fun!
Until I started blogging, I had no idea what a book tag was. From reading other blogs (see how important this is?), I started figuring out what they were & fell in love (I need to do more!). Book tags are basically themed questions about books or you that you answer on your blog & then tag other bloggers you know (from reading their blogs!) to do them too. I was so excited the first time someone else tagged me. I’m also notoriously bad about keeping up with them, but I simply adore reading & writing them.
6. You control your blog.
I read a lot of advice posts about blogging when I was starting out and a lot of them made me feel like I had to post super frequently to gain followers. It may help you accrue followers faster…but at the same time, you do you. What I mean by this is, you post what you want, when you want, and as often as you want to or your schedule allows. I can’t say enough that trying to make your blog fit some ideal is not going to make it fun, and that’s what blogging is all about. Make it your own!
7. Find your voice.
This is something I’m still trying to do, and I get closer every time I post, I think. As you start writing reviews and/or discussion posts, you’ll start to find a structure and writing style that fits you and your personality. I’ve found mine is very straightforward, and I’m constantly growing and tweaking it to make it better. Reading other people’s reviews has helped me too. I start to see patterns and things I like and think I’d like to try and incorporate more and start working on those things. It’s all about making your blog something you’re proud to have others read and something that sounds like you.
8. It’s okay to miss posts/events/weeks sometimes.
I’m a teacher and I run this blog as a hobby in my copious amounts of free time. Blogging can take a lot of time. The writing part doesn’t seem to take as much time as the whole finding/downloading/inserting pictures and formatting parts. Regardless, there are some weeks I don’t get to post as much. I’ve tried batch scheduling on weekends, but I don’t always get to that, either. This spring, I went a few months where I barely posted at all. Once I was ready, I jumped back in & started posting again. I’ve found a rhythm again, which will inevitably change when I go back to school in 2 weeks, but that’s okay. I’ve learned to be okay with all of these scenarios, because that’s life. The blog will still be here when I’m ready to post, and I’ll still have a community to return to.
9. Review what you read.
That seems fairly obvious. However, I still felt the need to say it. What I’m trying to say is don’t feel like you have to post about “trendy” genres if you don’t already read them. Not a YA reader? That’s okay! Like thrillers but not fantasy? Also, totally fine! Read across all genres? Great! Review them all. Just don’t feel like you have to stick to one genre or incorporate multiple genres if they’re not in your wheelhouse. Your blog, remember?
10. Have fun!!!
This is the most important tip of all!
What tips would you give new bloggers?? What are some things you’ve learned as a blogger?