1. Find a simple layout and stick with it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to blogs that I follow and the layout is different almost every time I see it. It’s not the layout change in particular that bothers me, just the fact that I have to figure out where everything is all over again. Confusing your readers is bad!
2. Don’t mince words. If the book sucked, it’s okay to say so. Seriously, tell us, because the whole reason we’re reading a book blog is because we want to know what books are good and what books aren’t.
3. Use pictures. A photo of the book cover is always helpful. (At least I think so.) That way, if your review of the book makes us want to read it, it’ll be easy for us to find!
4. Comment on other blogs. This doesn’t just mean book blogs, this means any blogs! Start discussions, get your name out there, get traffic going to your blog.
5. Respond to everyone who comments on your blog. People tend to feel shy about commenting the first time, but it’s always up to them to break the ice. Make it easier for them with a prompt response so they’ll continue to feel comfortable joining the discussion!
6. Follow other blogs. When you find those awesome blogs that you love, make sure you follow them so you can get their posts by email or RSS feed or whatever you choose. This can be a great way to establish relationships with your fellow bloggers.
7. Use your “read blogs” page (on WordPress) wisely. I’m not sure what the Blogspot analog would be, but this is basically where all the blogs you follow are collected so you can scroll through the posts in reverse chronological order. Don’t gum up this goldmine of content with blogs that you only kind of like or blogs that only post about subjects you’re interested in sometimes.
8. Explore. Use Freshly Pressed and the tag search function to find things you’re interested in. I personally use the “Stephen King” tag a lot because there’s usually a decent amount of discussion going on about him and I love weighing in about his novels.
9. Have fun with it. Stressing about blogging kind of defeats the purpose. Blogging should be fun, and most importantly, it should really be for you. Unless you’re getting paid (and the vast, vast majority of us are not), your blog is for you, first and foremost. So do what you want with it, make it yours, and make sure that writing in it doesn’t become a chore. Because once it does, it’s hard to get back to it being fun!
10. Patience, grasshopper. You’re not going to be a famous book blogger overnight. I’ve been writing this blog for over a year, and March was my busiest month so far with just over 3,000 views. In the scheme of things, that’s not a lot, but I love that some of my posts get really great discussions going. And frankly, I’d be rather overwhelmed if all of my posts were getting dozens of comments.
Well, I’m not sure if this will help anyone at all—I still feel new to this myself even though it’s been more than a year. Good luck to any new bloggers out there!
This weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.by