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Top ten tips for new book bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday

Today we are asked to give some tips to new book bloggers. I have been book blogging for a few years now. I can tell new book bloggers what I like in book blogs and what makes them good book blogs in my eyes, but that does not mean that the blogs are successful in terms of “followers”, or whether they will monetize well. These are just my ideas and not carved in stone.

Above all, remember that it is YOUR blog and YOUR voice, don’t try to please people. Here are my ten tips for what they’re worth:

 

Top ten tips for new book bloggers

 

  1. Answer comments on your own blog.
    If I leave a comment and you don’t answer me I will come back. If it happens again I lose interest and won’t be back. Obviously you are not interested in talking with your readers.
  2. Don’t leave comments that don’t mean a thing.
    If I receive a comment that says “Nice choice of books. Check out my post!” I wonder why you even bothered.
  3. Don’t clutter your blog with crap.
    Don’t put fifty buttons, widgets, blinkies and links to challenges in your sidebar so I can’t find what I am looking for because of button overload. Especially consider re-doing your sidebar if its length is longer than the length of your posts on your homepage. I don’t want to scroll down only to see your sidebar with no other  content.
    If you insist on umpteen buttons, blinkies and what not, at least make sure they align, that they don’t mess up the layout and that they look as pleasing as possible.
  4. Don’t review hype books, at least not during the hype.
    If I see the hundredth review of Mockingjay within one week I get incredibly bored. I know the book is out (how can I not know having seen five hundred count down buttons?), I have heard it is FANTASTIC and that it is a must read already.
  5. Don’t use color combos that hurt my eyes.
    If I can’t look at your blog without going blind I won’t go there at all.   
  6. Don’t use ads too obviously.
    I don’t mind inconspicuous affiliate links to books, but if I see google ads at the top of every post, or even worse, flashy ad banners to whatever shop might fit my IP address, I am turned off very quickly.
  7. Try to make the same kinds of posts look the same.
    If you have a regular post on every Tuesday about, let’s say, books you read last week, it is helpful when these posts always look the same, so I can recognize right away the nature of your post. The same goes for reviews, memes etc.
  8. Go on twitter and participate in blogging events, like Bloggiesta, Blogfest, readalongs or maybe a giveaway. People will notice your blog only if you promote it and participate in community life.
  9. If you run a giveaway don’t make it mandatory to follow your blog in order to enter.
    If I have to follow a blog just to enter a giveaway I won’t enter. I won’t clutter up my RSS feed with blogs that I won’t visit regularly. You could argue that if I don’t want to follow you then I don’t deserve winning your book. Fair enough, it’s your blog. But forced followers do not equal loyal readers.
  10. Blog regularly.
    You don’t need to blog every day, but regularly. If a blog is only updated infrequently I will forget about its existence.

What are your Top Ten Tips for new book bloggers?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You will find tons of more Top Ten Tuesday participants there.

24 Comments

    • Deb Nance, I am not saying that this is something everybody HAS to do, but in general I regard commenting on anyone’s blog a two way street. If someone comments one of my posts I think it is a good idea to answer them to show them their comment has been read and acknowledged.

  1. Good top Ten suggestions. I try and respond to every comment, usually by leaving a comment on that person’s blog. I love to receive comments, so I assume that others do as well.

    A peeve is bloggers who contribute a link to a meme, and then fail to visit and leave a comment at each of the others who have added a link. As I understand a meme is to increase visitors to your blog, and in exchange, you visit the others who have joined in. I couldn’t imagine not visiting all the other participants. If I don’t have the time that week, then I don’t join in . There are weeks where I have visited over 30 links in a meme, yet in return get almost no visitors nor commentors. To me, that is equivalent to attending a party, but not bothering to talk with anyone else there.

    Photos. personally I like photos in a post. A really long, wordy post with no photos sends me to sleep and I forget what I am reading about. Use your own photos, and if you borrow them from elsewhere, be sure to give proper credit.

    • You are right about the memes, Heather, but often memes have so many participants that it is next to impossible to visit every one of them. Again, with memes I don’t expect every participant to visit me either. I know some people somehow manage to visit all, but I don’t know how they do it.
      Also true about the photos. I take care to always make sure to give credit, but so often I have seen images that most probably do not belong to the blogger without credit.

  2. I hate it when I am forced to follow a blog only for a giveaway.. If it is really something I want, I will do it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to follow the blog too.

    Comments are also very important. I can understand that sometimes, the blogger forget my comment. But if it happens all the time, I won’t bother anymore. And if someone only comments on my blog with a link, I’m not going to look at it. It’s a bit disrespectful, actually. It shows that they don’t read your post, but only want your visit for their blog.

    Even worse: copy paste comments. There are a couple of bloggers who keep popping up and they always leave the same comments. How can they miss the fact that it will be noticed?
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy’s last post ..Review 14. Suzanne Collins – Catching fire.

    • Melanie, I follow no blog for just a book. As soon as I see the “Follow me” is mandatory I move on.
      I have never noticed the copy and paste comments, but I suppose every generic comment could be copy and paste. I’d rather not have any comment than one of those.

  3. Very good tips, and I feel guilty about the comments part… SOmetimes I don’t answer comments just because I don’t have something to say in reply, except for something like “Thanks for commenting”! It’s for the same reason that I don’t often leave comments on blogs I read, because I don’t feel I have something important to add to the conversation.
    But your point is very valid, and I’ll try and make sure I answer most comments from now on. Thanks!
    Larissa’s last post ..Anne of Green Gables

    • Larissa, I know what you mean. Sometimes I leave no comment because all I would have to say is trite and totally unoriginal. Often with, for example, In my mailbox posts I have no idea about the books displayed, never heard of them and no opinion on them. So I keep quiet. However, if I like something, cover, title, blurb, I go and mention it.
      As for answering comments on my own blog. I try to answer everyone of them, even if it is only thanking for stopping by, sometimes there IS nothing more to say.

  4. I think that number 1 is basic. I do not understand when bloggers do not answer comments, especially when they are congratulating them on something personal. Anyway, I think of book blogs as places to discuss literature and learn other people’s views. So, why do not make the most of the world-wide experience the Internet offers you? Simply amazing!
    Elena’s last post ..Review: Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson

    • I totally agree, Elena. I don’t know why Bloggers sometimes don’t find it necessary to answer. I have left comments on blogs answering a question or asking one and never got a reply or thank you. I find this rather odd, to be honest.

    • there are times when I have asked a question about an instruction in a needlework post and the blogger has not responded. I guess perhaps they have abandoned their blog. I don’t visit those places again as I wonder whether they stand behind the instructions they post. There are others, who check back to ensure that the instructions are clear and ask that I contact them if I have further questions. Those I go back to again and again.
      Heather’s last post ..Needlework Tuesday – Stitching Bit by Bit

      • You are right, Heather, I don’t go back to those blogs either. If you post something to help people, like a tutorial, at least you should be willing to answer questions.

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