Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This week's Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish asks for Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers. I’m no expert at blogging but these are a few things I’ve learned since I started this blog in Jan. 2010. I’m still learning and trying to find what works best.

1) Comment, comment, comment – if you never visit other blogs and leave comments on posts that interest you, then how will people ever find your blog?

2) Don’t accept every Advanced Reader Copy that is offered to you. It’s easy to get caught up in the “free book” mentality, but soon you’ll have a stack of ARCs and your reading will feel like a chore. I only accept books that I think I would actually buy or borrow on my own.

3) Write honest reviews – I would rather read that you hated my favorite book, than read a wishy-washy summary that gives a vague opinion but has no real meat to it.

4) Talk about the things that are important to you. The point of blogging (in my opinion) is to encourage connection and discussion. If you’ve been thinking about libraries or a specific series or about something completely unrelated to books, talk about it. You never know what great advice, wisdom or encouragement might come out of the post.

5) Respond to the people who comment on your blog and go comment on their blogs. Again, blogging is about community and it’s a two-way street. If people visit you, try to visit them as well.

6) Participate in readalongs. A great way to get to know other bloggers is to read a book with them and discuss it as you go. I’ve read Cranford, Moby Dick, Madame Bovary, The Handmaid's Tale and War & Peace as part of a readalong and I just co-hosted my first one last month! I think it’s a great way to get involved and it always deepens my appreciation for a book when I can see what other people take away from it.

7) Develop a thick skin. You probably won’t have 500 followers over night. You might write a review someone disagrees with. Someone might insult or offend you. That’s ok! Just don’t get bent out of shape about it. There are lots of people out there, which means there are lots of differing opinions. Learning what other people think and feel widens our view of the world and that’s a good thing. Besides, you’ll probably find a lot more people who are kind and encouraging.

8) Read what you love, not what everyone else is reading. It's great to discover new authors and books because of other bloggers, but it's also easy to loose track of what you actually like reading beause you're so caught up in checking out every new hyped book. Read YA or Classics or Sci-Fi or all of the above if that's what you like, then sprinkle in some new books along the way.

9) Participate in challenges, but don’t get carried away. I’d recommend picking no more than 5 challenges (you know what you can handle) and keeping up with them. It’s fun to join the R.I.P. Challenge or a year long one, like the Back to the Classics Challenge, but you won’t make any friends if you join 30 challenges and promptly forget about them or fail to complete any of them after signing up.

10) Have fun and find your own voice. If you try to be a perfect blogger or blog like everyone else, your blog will have no distinct personality. Just be yourself and you’ll find it’s a lot more enjoyable.

Image from here.


Heather said...

Good advice oh wise one. You maybe have only been around 2 years, but you sound like a pro! :)

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love it when people give advice to new bloggers. I'm just wondering where all this was when I was new! Haha. I could have really used these words of wisdom at the time. Of all the things on your list, I am really bad at responding and reciprocating to everyone that comes to my blog. There are times when I just can't keep up!!!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Those are all so important. It's tough being the new kid on the blog.

Ana S. said...

Very good advice, even for us old bloggers! Five years later I'm still working on that thick skin :P

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Great tips! I have #10 on my list as well.

Also, I still need to work on a few of these like Nymeth said. I've NEVER participated in a's about time that I try it out!

Anonymous said...

Hi there :) just popping in... I always say I'm going to do challenges, but I never find the time lol.

I'm also your newest follower :)

Waiting On Wednesday

*ೃ༄ Jillian said...

I'm not so great at #5, since I tend to interact only where I feel pulled to do so (rather than automatically.) I just completely stopped doing #6, and I tend to delete what frustrates me lately, rather than worrying about developing a thick skin (tip #7). I like being a bit tender -- it's an asset in some phases of life. Plus, I write for myself, primarily, so debate and such on my posts doesn't interest me. :)

Other than all that, I agree with everything you say! :-D

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Heather - Thanks, I'm still learning.

Sandy - But you are such an amazing commenter! When I get behind in my Google Reader I always feel bad, but I love reading your comments!

Diane - It is, it seems so daunting and it's hard to know where to start.

Nymeth - As Jillian said, I think it was be an asset for some people to not develop that thick skin, but I need it. Otherwise I worry too much about what I'm posting.

Kat - Readalongs work well for me because I like deadlines. If I know I have to read something and post on it by a certain time, it's encouraging not daunting to me. It's the journalist in me, I thrive on deadlines!

Book Slave - Glad you stopped by! It's easy to join a challenge and then forget about it. I know I've done it before.

Jillian - You always spark such wonderful conversations on your blog. I love it!

Anonymous said...

i like your list. #5 is one I would like to try and will once I can carve out the time.

~L (omphaloskepsis)

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

I need to work a bit on #4 - I tend to stick to book reviews even though I have book related epiphanies all the time... but promptly forget about by the time I get to a computer. I hope to do more read-a-longs too... I had been over committing myself, and never felt like I could keep up with a read-a-long.

Thanks for the Classics Challenge shout out too, by the way.

Arti said...

All helpful and wise... esp. #7. ;) They can only come from a veteran book blogger... I'm surprised you only started your blog in Jan. 2010. What an amazing achievement in maintaining this wonderful blog. Thanks for the advice!

Angela said...

Love the tips! Thank you so much for posting them. My brain has officially turned to mush from over-saturation of the most incredibly helpful advice today :)
Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

Jeanne said...

I would add to #3 that if you accept a book and don't like it, you can tell the author that you would rather not review it, and why. I don't talk about every single book I read, and occasionally it's because I accepted a book that was not to my taste. My regular readers know I don't shy away from criticism and "honesty," but there's no real need to be rude, either.

Jenners said...

I agree with everything!! This is excellent advice all the way around!!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

contemplatrix - Sometimes it's really hard to find the time.

Sarah - I try to never commit to a readalong when I have too many other things going on. Otherwise it just feels overwhelming and I can't enjoy it.

Arti - Thanks! There are so many great blogs out there to learn from.

Angela - I feel the same way. So much great advice!

Jeanne - I never thought about doing that! I am honest in my reviews, but I'd rather not review a book that I hated.

Jenners - I'm still working on actually doing all of these things.