Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#BookBlogWriMo - Day 12 - Advice for Newbie Bloggers

For starters, I don't feel particularly qualified to be giving advice about blogging, so feel free to not take any of this advice. Different methods work for different people anyway. But here goes.

Read reviews. If you follow other blogs (and if you're reading this that means you do!), read the reviews they write. This will help to give you an idea of what readers may be looking for in reviews, but it can also give you some ideas of things you don't want to do in your reviews. Maybe you hate seeing reviews that are basically just a rundown of the book with very little reviewer commentary, which is one of my pet peeves, although I've seen some great reviews that use a book synopsis frame and then build on it really well. When I write my reviews, I typically make the first paragraph my own personal synopsis of the story (and I check the actual synopsis to make sure I'm not giving away too much in mine) and then the rest of the review is mostly my thoughts and feelings on the books. I like to think that my brief synopsis at least tells the author that I did in fact read the book. Do you have to write your reviews like that? Of course not, but it's an idea.

Connect with authors and other bloggers. The best thing you can do to be successful is to make personal connections with authors and bloggers. Most of the time authors and bloggers are more than willing to help spread the word about your blog to get you more followers on Facebook, but remember to return the favor and pay it forward. We should be each others biggest supporters and there is plenty of room for all of us.

Follow through with your commitments. This is a biggie and a lot of blogs (including ours sometimes) are inconsistent with following through on commitments. If you sign up for a cover reveal, make sure you get your post made on time. Did you sign up to review a book for a blog tour? That review is important and it needs to be posted on your scheduled date or you need to contact the tour organizer beforehand to let them know what is going on. Authors count on us to get the word out about them and it can be really frustrating when people don't follow through.

Don't take on too much. I realize you may be like me and really want to help everyone out by reading and reviewing their books, but that's not feasible, and it can lead to major burnout, especially if you're reading outside of your preferred genres. I can vouch for the fact that a burnt out blogger is no help to anyone. I have recently cut my reviewing back drastically and will only review books in a few select genres because of burn out.

Become an Amazon Affiliate. I can't really speak personally on this one because I'm not sure how the program would work for me where I'm a U.S. citizen living overseas, but I've heard that it's a great way to earn money for giveaways on your blog as well as other things in some cases. It is something I plan to look into when I get back stateside.

Have fun. Yes, blogging can be as demanding as a full time job, but chances are that you are doing it as a hobby because you love to read and want to share that love with others. So if you're not having any fun blogging, reevaluate what you're doing and see if you can make some changes so that it will be fun again. That's what I did, and I'm having more fun than ever.

Oh, and trust me on the sunscreen. - Katie

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