Friday, April 15, 2016

6 Ways To Be The Best (Book) Blogger You Can Be

Hey There, Booklovers!

 

 

I've never looked at myself and said "You're pretty nifty and people think you're awesome so they probably want your advice." (Thank god.)

HOWEVER - I happen to have lots of opinions, which I like to share regardless of whether or not anyone actually wants to hear them. So today, with tons of love attached to every word, I share with you 6 ways that I believe someone can become a great (book) blogger.



1. Stop Second Guessing Yourself


This is #1 for a reason. When we get into this blogging thing, one thing that haunts many of us is "Who cares what I have to say?". Are people reading the blog? Are they LIKING the blog? Do I have to have a zillion comments on every post for them to be worthwhile?

Just stop that zany little head circus right there. Your posts are all about YOU. Really. It's WONDERFUL if other people are going flipping gaga over what you write (when wouldn't it be?) but if you're not feeling it down to your bones then are you really enjoying it? Writing for others should be in the back of your head, but not if it's keeping you from posting what you really want.  When you feel something down to your bones, it's worthwhile and it shows. Stick with it. I'm the kind of blogger who is most attracted to the passion of another blogger. If I can tell they're LOVING IT, then I'm loving it too. It's yours. Own it!


2. Read Other Blogs


Do not fear stalking other blogs. When you find a blog you like, check it often. Peruse the blogosphere with enthusiasm in search of new and interesting reads. Finding bloggers you love will inspire you to keep going, especially during the slumps. Few things are better than sharing your interest with others. Enjoy the community! (It's awesome, btw. This is fact.)


3. Make Mistakes

 
I posted 1 star reviews early in my book blogging journey, and I regretted it later. I'm here to support authors and shout to the mountaintops about the ones I LOVE, not to bash and bring anyone down. I was SO BUMMED OUT about this for a while that I considered stopping, but I didn't.

Another instance when I first started out was that I accidentally copied another blogger's linky meme. It wasn't the exact same but just similar enough to be not-okay. It was entirely unintentional but I got called out on it. I was SO EMBARASSED! I could have run screaming into the abyss never to be heard from again, but instead I discontinued the meme and apologized to the other blogger. They took the apology very well and there were no hard feelings. I soldiered on.

This whole blogging thing is a learning process. I've been doing this for over 4 years, but I'm still learning things every day.


4. Goals: Be Consistent, Not Superhuman


When you first get started you want to burn the candle at both ends. EVERY DAY POSTING! EVERY DAY GIVEAWAY! EVERYDAY VIDEO!

Some people do this, and they are fantabulous and superhuman.  I am not one of these people who can sustain such a schedule and I learned quickly that CONSISTENTLY posting was better than going on a posting binge for 2 weeks and then dropping off the face of the planet for 2 more because I burned myself out.

Figure out your own best schedule (and it will probably change, because, you know, life.), that way other people will know when they can check in with you! (I'm still working on this, so take the advice from someone who's living the experience right now).


5. Find What Works For You


I tried doing ALL THE MEMES. Didn't feel it. I tried doing Author Marketing and Social Media blasts, but ended up not enjoying that either. I tried to take on a ZILLION author read requests, even for genres I don't normally like because, well, what am I here for if not to support authors? It was awful and I got cranky.

You are not other bloggers. Maybe you can read 200 books a year, blog every day, make hundreds of dollars a month in marketing and absolutely love it. Maybe you can do these things! Is it making your blog experience suck? Then stop. Is it making your blog experience the most incredible thing ever? Then keep ROCKIN' IT!

My blog is not perfect, it is not the best or most read but... I love it. I love it so much and it is so much fun. I love reading, and sharing, and growing, and interacting with everyone in the book community. These are my people. My tribe. So, I stick with it even when it gets busy. Even when I disappear for a while. Even when I feel like I have nothing to say.

Because blogging = happy for me. And THAT'S what it's all about. *clap clap*


6. Read What You Want To Read! 


Finally! I'm throwing this one in there because, holy codfish batman, forcing yourself to read books you DON'T like because they're popular (and you feel like you should have an opinion) or because you HAVE to read every ARC that comes your way is not only a waste of time... it's hell. It's hell I tell you.

Pick up those books that make your toes curl with anticipation. There are TOO MANY good books out there to be wasting your time trying to please others. When you look at your TBR pile and half are books you wish you'd never laid eyes on... you've got yourself a little issue. Your shelf is your PALACE! Don't decorate it to please everyone else.



That's all I've got for you today, book lovers! Take it for what it is, opinions... unsolicited advice... a GREAT BIG HUG! Because I love you and also because I want there to be more book blogs out there for me to obsessively read (selfish).


Good luck and I can't wait to see you in the blogosphere!



13 comments:

  1. This is such a great post! Wonderful advice xx

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    1. I'm glad you got something from it! I was just thinking about all of the things that I personally deal with and figured I couldn't be alone in it, so I wrote up the post to encourage myself as well as others.

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  2. I think that these are great suggestions. I agree completely. Thanks for sharing your mistakes too. I'm sure it was hard to put them out there for the world to see. It will help others maybe not make the same ones that you did in the future. This is our hobby. We don't get paid for it. It needs to be fun and not so stressful. I think your recommendations will help remind people that fact.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. You're right. It IS for fun! So it SHOULD be fun! Many of us are volunteers in this industry and if we're not doing it out of love, then why? And as for mistakes... This week alone I've seen and had conversations with so many bloggers who have all made mistakes like that. Cait at Paper Fury even did up a nice post this week about the difference between being "inspired" and being a copy cat. So, at least I know these problems aren't mine alone!

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  3. Wonderful post and really great tips. Blogging, book or otherwise, is ultimately about the person behind the blog. You have to focus on what you love or you'll end up hating it. I've been blogging since 2007 and I'm still growing and changing, and that shows in my blog. I hope it's something that people will continue reading as I continue writing and sharing!

    Also, I just have to note that your story about creating a similar meme to someone else; I hope you didn't feel too bad, or that other people who do this don't feel too bad. If you're not doing it on purpose, it's easy to do! There aren't that many ways to mix things up when there are SO many bloggers, so people are bound to come up with similar ideas. Sure, if you find an original of that, you can link up to them and give them credit, but if you don't KNOW, people shouldn't shame you for that.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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    1. If we stop growing and changing then our blogs stop being vibrant and interesting. There's certainly no need to stay the same forever and always!

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  4. Great post. The only difference between my book blog and a thousand others is me, so I try to do what makes me happy.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. *high five* And that's what makes you awesome.

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  5. This is all so relatable. I'm still trying to find my voice as a blogger and slowly learned to not post every day. It worked for the first month or so because I needed to have content up so I could get noticed. But after I gained a small following, I started posting less frequently and focused on providing more quality posts and my blog benefited tremendously from it.

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    1. I certainly agree that quality vs. quantity is a huge factor. I'm trying to make sure I add more quality content, even now after years of twirling around in the book blogosphere. As long as it's fun, I don't mind the lesson learning and change making!

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  6. "Read what you want to read" is probably the best advice to give to any book blogger or reader. No one should ever feel pressured to read something just because it is popular! We read because we love it, and it should always be that way. And reading other blogs is not only fun, but important. I remember for the first maybe seven months I was blogging I didn't read any other blogs, mostly because I didn't know where to start, but interacting with other bloggers is half the fun! Lovely advice (unsolicited or not), and I just can't refrain from saying that your blog is SO pretty--it reminds me of a fantasy book, if that makes any sense whatsoever!
    ❤ Erin

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    1. It took me WELL over two years to realize that I was wasting my time and energy on books I didn't actually want to read. Many of my blog hiatuses were the direct result of burn-out from having to read too many books that fell outside of my interest categories because I felt obligated.

      And Thank you for the blog compliment! The blog is my own little fairy land. It makes me happy, so I'm glad to hear someone else is enjoying the space too!

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  7. This is such a fantastic post! Lots of great advice without being judgey. I love reading and loved reading blogs for a long time before I joined one. I knew I wanted to share opinions on books I loved but didn't have the time to commit to a brand new blog. So I joined one as a coblogger and it's been amazing! I get to post as often as I'd like and focus on books I've loved since I get to be choosy about what reviews to post. I'm trying to be more nice to myself about reading what I want too, and not feeling guilty! Glad I found your blog to read, can't wait to check out more posts :)

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