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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.