To kick off the guest posts for my blogoversary, I’ve got Hannah from Once Upon a Time here to impart some wisdom about things you learn while blogging (aka blogging tips).
Hello! *mad wave* As Amanda’s blog is turning one (yayy *Kermit flail*), I thought it’d be a nice idea to do a brief post on the kinds of things you learn in the first year of blogging. Let’s face it, this is going to be a compact guide because we could be here for a very long time if I really went into it but there are so many posts around telling new bloggers what they should not do that I wanted to put a few positives out there. The things that you perhaps should do.
- Book blogging is a community full of people with the same interests as yourself. It’s a great idea to interact and make friends with these people because it makes book blogging ten times more fun when you have people to share it with.
- Memes are great and all but folk are much more interested in a good discussion post. This includes book reviews, opinion posts, informative posts, basically anything that people can enjoy reading for its’ unique outlook and discuss.
- As for reviews, many of you don’t like writing negative reviews. Good. I’m a firm believer in a fair and balanced review. Don’t attack, don’t gloss over the facts either, just put forward any criticisms you may have but also look at the positives. You want to be fair to your readers as well as the author. Remember, authors need constructive criticism to grow and you will be much more respected as a reviewer.
- A smart looking blog layout is a lot more likely to draw people in than a cluttered one. We human beings are vain creatures and we are a lot more likely to stick around if we find your blog visually appealing. Only use what you really need.
- Do make sure your blog is easy to navigate. Search bars, social networking links, a way to contact you, review policies, ways to follow your blog, anything that visitors might need for one reason or another needs to be visible.
- Yes, chances are that you will get free books. It’s not at all what book blogging is about but with NetGalley, Edelweiss, indie published fiction, free Kindle books, and the sheer amount of giveaways out there, it is a possibility.
- Being polite and friendly goes a long way when talking to authors, publicists and other book bloggers.
- Definitely don’t accept everything that comes your way. I know at first you might feel as though all publishers hate you and why don’t the indie authors find you? But eventually, if you keep at it, you will find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of review copies that you have to catch up on and that is much much worse than only having your own books and the library. Wait a few months until you feel comfortably established and have built yourself a respectable readership and then only request the books that you really want to read. Believe me, it will save you a lot of stress later.
- Get your priorities in order. Even if you’re not the kind of person who manages to plan ahead, it will benefit you to at least have a rough idea of which days you’ll be posting which posts so that you can spread your content throughout the week instead of clumping it up and then having large gaps in posting. Make use of Google Calendars if you need to, they are a very handy tool.
- By all means, be mature. Being mature is great and of course necessary but make sure you have some fun, whether it’s a regular feature that makes you and your friends giggle or just a crazed Twitter conversation. This is a hobby. Have fun with it!