Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday button

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers.  Seeing as I am pretty new to the scene, take my advice for what it is– very basic.

1. Comment.  A lot.  This is the probably the best way to acquaint yourself with other bloggers and to get traffic to your site.  Also, everyone loves comments!

2. Write well and often.  If you have something good to say and you say it well, people will read your writing.  Also posting frequently seems to help keep interest in your blog up– both from regular readers and from search engines.

3. Participate in memes.  There are several that I take part in on a semi-regular basis– It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?, Top Ten Tuesday, TGIF, and In My Mailbox.  Top Ten Tuesday typically gets me the most hits and the most comments.  These are all awesome opportunities to connect with other bloggers and to find your niche.

4. Find your niche.  There is a huge variety of book blogs out there and it really helps if you can find where you fit in based on reading and review preferences.  I know this sounds obvious, but I tend to read a wide variety, so I wasn’t quite sure where I fit in when I started.

5. Be yourself.  I recently wrote a post about baseball books for Opening Day.  I don’t think I have many readers who are into baseball, but it was something different that gave people an insight into who I am other than a person who reads all the time!

6. Be honest, but not nasty.  I want to know if a blogger doesn’t like a book and why.  I want to know the strengths and weaknesses in a book.  I don’t want to read things trashing authors or bloggers or self-published works or whatever.  Remember it is all a matter of taste.

7. Read more.  I know that you don’t start a book blog without being an avid reader, but it can be demanding to need to write a review or two a week.  I have started to listen to audiobooks in the car (and sometimes at the gym) to increase the number of books I have for review.  I also try to make a point to read every day.  Also, this includes reading more blog posts and book-related news articles.  I often find inspiration for posts in debates going on elsewhere.

8. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish by blogging and take actions to reach those goals.  I came into this wanting to read more and better books, wanting to remember and critically think about what I’ve read, and hoping to interact with fellow book lovers.  I try to accomplish this by posting, commenting, tweeting, etc.

9. If you post about a book, give a link to goodreads or amazon or something and a picture of the cover.  This is my viewing preference, but if you start talking about a book that I want to know more about, make it easy for me to find out more.  And people love covers, so don’t leave those pics out!

10. Don’t get discouraged.  You won’t become an internet sensation overnight, but if you keep posting and commenting, you will get comments and followers and hopefully you will make some friends, too!

Ok, fellow book bloggers– what did I miss?  Share your words of wisdom with me and other newbies!

23 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers

  1. I never really thought about leaving links to where people can find more information about a book. I’ve seen others do it, but never thought about doing it myself because I never click on those links. That’s a really good suggestion though! I may have to start incorporating that into my reviews!

    • It is really something I appreciate on lists like Top Ten Tuesday and that sort of thing where there isn’t a full description of the book like there would be in a review.

  2. Great point about including links, Elizabeth. I’m so much more inclined to check out a book if the link is in the post. I’m lazy so if I have to open up another tab and search for myself, I probably won’t do it. 😛

  3. I always struggle with number 6 when I’m writing a review of something I didn’t like – especially when it was generally well reviewed. I’m always afraid I’m coming off nasty just cause I don’t get the hype. Hopefully I’m striking the right balance.

    • Those can be very difficult reviews to write… I try to give reasons why a book didn’t work for me and to always try to find something positive (even if it is minor) to say. As long as it is about me and my reaction to the book and not about personal attacks, I think I am doing the right thing.

  4. Very true! Images and being unique can help a lot. When I started I wasn’t sure what to blog about, so I just started blogging about books I read recently and loved. Worked well enough for me! If I really hate a book, I don’t blog about it. I don’t see a reason to put that out into the world, but thats just my preference. Great tips! 🙂

  5. #8 is such a great tip. I wasn’t sure what my goal was, when I started blogging. Once I had one, it became easier. 🙂

    • I had started a couple very short-lived blogs before this one and a lack of focus, planning, and ideas derailed those pretty quickly. I figured I needed to come into this blog with a plan and a lot more patience… so far it has been working out better than I expected!!

  6. Reading more is a good tip. I didn’t start listening to audiobooks until I started blogging and now it’s one of my favorite ways to “read”! Commenting is also so important, and you set a great example by replying to your comments 🙂 Thanks for the great tips.

  7. I totally struggle with negative reviews. It is so hard for me to articulate myself well without thrashing the book. I then fear I’m being too nice on the book instead of saying what I really feel. I do think it is a delicate balance, which I have yet to perfect.

    • It’s really a difficult balance, but I actually think it speaks highly of someone’s character that they have a hard time writing negative reviews. It was sort of cliche in grad school to tear a book apart because it is easier to do than to honestly assess both the strengths and weaknesses of a work!

  8. I’m in the “find your niche” stage…I love reading, I just have to figure out what particular books I like reading!! 🙂 Negative reviews are always hard for me…especially for ARCs or galleys where the publisher or author has been nice enough to let you read it beforehand…

    • You know, I think that I should have said find your niches… I think it is perfectly acceptable to read and review a variety. And at the moment, I don’t get any review copies, so I avoid that particular dilemma. But I know it must be tough– I had professors who would assign us their writings and omg was it hard to talk about them during class!

  9. Seeing lots of ones that I was thinking, too. The audiobook part is great, it makes even MORE time for reading 🙂
    “Don’t get discouraged.” With blogging, patience is definitely a virtue.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Wow, I agree with it all! I must now read everything you write, or follow, following would probably be healthier :P. Anyhow, thanks for the advice, I feel like these are things I set out to do with my blog but I didn’t have clear enough template, thank you for that.

  11. Great advice, Elizabeth. I love #6 and #10 especially – 6 should be a “duh” point but apparently not. I love it when people get passionate about their love-hate reactions to a book, but not when they get personal or bitchy about it.

    And #10 – I think we’ve all felt discouragement at least once someone along the way. For me, it’s not at the beginning but here and there along the way, and for various reasons. I get envious of other people’s wonderful blogs and have to take a few days to clear my vision and reacquaint myself with what I want for my own blog lest I lose my way.

    • Well, if you are ever feeling discouraged drop me a note and I will remind you of how much I like your blog and how I will read your reviews with interest even when they are of parenting books and I am not a parent. Hopefully that’ll get you back on track!

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