In the past few weeks/months I have noticed a wave of new bloggers making their way into the book community – WELCOME!.
Blogging is fun, blogging gives you the opportunity to connect with a lot of people and the ability to interact in ways you didn’t even dream on. But finding new friends in this community is the easy part, keeping up with then is usually the hard part. Your followers (let’s call them audience) is one of the most important aspects of book blogging and blogging in general. There is no magic trick, no shortcuts, there is only hard work. If you want to bring audience to your blog, and you want to maintain the audience you gain, you have to be consistent & practice good blogging ethics (yes those exist).
In case you haven’t noticed yet, your future audience are bloggers just like you (for the most part), authors and regular people who enjoy checking out what others have to say about the books they are reading or are planning to read. Not always people resort to Amazon or other retail outlets for book recommendations, or for book news and release dates. People these days relay on social media to find the latest information about almost anything they buy and/or use. Books are not the exception. Believe me, not everyone ends up in Amazon for the latest news about books, a lot of people depend on book bloggers to find out about book releases, book/movie adaptations, and gossip about their their favorite authors (Yes, there is gossip – usually the good kind).
I will not give you a magic formula to bringing the desired audience to your blog, there isn’t really a formula and anyone who tells you otherwise, is lying. The key to finding your audience and keeping it, is consistency and work. If you are a new blogger, again welcome to the community, if you have been blogging for a while perhaps it is good to refresh on a few things you may already know but have forgotten. As a new blogger, you will soon learn that this community is very close, people are constantly talking about books (or anything book related). We maintain an intimate relationship with characters and we aren’t ashamed to admit it (as least some of us). Don’t frett, you too will be drooling about your favorite characters fan-art and twitter accounts (Yes some characters have their own Twitter account/social media – you’re welcome). You will learn the ropes slowly, do not rush it. Set your own pace and do not try to follow or copy other bloggers schedule and/or load of work. Be yourself, don’t steal ideas, be original and/or different. Everyone is different, it is OK to be different, be yourself and above all, have fun.
Without further ado, I have listed below what I believe to be useful tips to remember when it comes to book blogging. I have used these tips in my 8 years of blogging, and to be honest they have served me well.
Blogging tips (not in a particular order):
- Start out by making a list of what you want to see on your blog and once you have it all on paper – start setting priorities. Remember, there isn’t a rule that you must follow, just have fun don’t make it a job but be consistent yet don’t stress about it.
- Be consistent, if you blog once a week stick with it. Your audience will likely stop by your blogs on the days you are scheduled to post (you can definitely see it on your analytics)
- Check/setup analytics (YES analytics). Analytics help you measure success/relevance by the number. It also help to get an idea what posts are more relevant and what makes more sense for you to exploit (topics of discussion) (see Google Analytics here)
- Use neutral background color on your blog – avoid using black or bright blue background. Bright & flashy colors cause more negative distractions than you can imagine. Entice your readers to read and stay longer
- Create a blog/site map – Google searches are more complicated than we care to admit and the more information about our blog/site we give it, the better off we are. Google prefers clarity
- Optimize images, I can’t emphasize enough about this. Image quality is very important specially as a book blogger. Stretched out images do not entice people to click on them, specially if it is to buy it. Pretty and crisp images always seem to be a hit with book bloggers
- Be social media savvy or at least be proactive – your online identity as a blogger is your image. You may have noticed that I keep the name and IDs of all my social media consistent with the name of my blog. ReadingDiva is my identity, and I use it throughout my social media. I am now know as ReadingDiva (not really a Diva, but I like to think I am). My followers can easily identify me on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram not to mention the blog web address. See, consistency!
For now, these are some of the tips I can think of that will help new bloggers get off their feet. Already established bloggers might’ve just get a refresh and are likely to already know the information above, however I will go back to my old ways when I used to write more than just reviews. So, stick around I will try to publish a series of posts that relate to blogging tips & tricks. For now, check your etiquette!
Blogging etiquette (for book bloggers)
- Reply to your comments – always write a response even if it is to say “thank you for stopping by”
- Reciprocate with the same level of attention and love you get – if another blogger visits your blog 1 -3 times a month and comments on your posts – do the same for them
- If you can, respond to their social media engagement. dedicate 1 -2 hours a day to respond to Tweets/Instagram/Facebook posts (I don’t use Facebook as much anymore) but I do engage bloggers on Twitter & Instagram
- Understand that you are likely to have silent visitors (stalkers), yes we all have those people who visit our blog but rarely comment on anything – that’s OK, show them love too by posting a “thank you for stopping by and reading my stuff,” Write a note as a comment in your blog – * I know you are there, thanks for stopping by* it isn’t creepy at all, OK maybe it is and your imaginary friend isn’t really there!
- Be respectful, people have opinions and they will not always coincide with yours
- Never get into an argument with someone in your comments box, let people have their say and ignore or remove anything you find negative. It is your blog, you are not obligated to “listen” to anyone who gets nasty – just be courteous about it without making a big deal
- If you write negative reviews, please do NOT tag the author – they are NOT obligated to read your review and tagging the on social media is a terrible practice that only brings you problems. Your reviews are for your followers, not the authors you write the review about, keep it simple and drama free
These are some of the things I have learn over the years, these are also common sense and common practice in the blogging community. But in the event that you are new at blogging, keep these close by, you will happy you did. If you liked this post, feel free to follow my blog (Subscribed above – top of the page) and never miss a post. I will be releasing a series of posts for those who are new and not so new. You can also follow me on Instagram & Twitter.
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