Yesterday I had a little fun with sarcasm as I went over 20 tips on book blogging. All in good fun right? We’ve all done the stuff on this list a few times. But, I would be remiss in not including an actual tip guide in contrast to the fun. Things that will actually help you master your book blogging hobby/career. These are things that have worked for me and other book bloggers that I’ve talked to. Take them in stride, not every bit works for everyone. But they are a good road map to mastering this adventure called book blogging.
Become the Jedi Master of Book Blogging.
Or at least one of the Sheep Masters…
- Keep yourself informed. Stay on top of trends, see what people are doing in your community and make those things work for you. You can’t always be the one with the ideas or the one to START everything. Join up in great events and keep yourself community focused.
- Keep Organized. Your email is both your friend and your enemy. Along with your contacts. Make them work for you, not against you. You have to keep your email clean and tight and under control, if not it will overwhelm you. I’ve been there on many occasions. Look for alternatives for people contacting you, like online forms and Google Docs.
- Keep track of your review titles. Use a spreadsheet or Goodreads.com or whatever works best for you. Monitor release dates, keep track of contact information. To be a better more reliable reviewer/blogger you need to be on track with when your reviews should go live.
- Know the rules. Everyone steps in a faux pas every now and again and gets away with it because of ignorance, but not all mistakes are forgivable in the blogging world, especially if you don’t have an established name. Make sure you know the rules before you jump head first into an endeavor, or write a blog post that is outside of your expertise. Know the rules about image usage, content sharing, meme / feature participation before you do something. It can be as simple as reading through a guideline post or FAQ section.
- Don’t be a Blaaaager. You don’t have to do something because you saw 10 other book bloggers doing just that. Try something new. Try something different. Stay away from the tired old trends. It is okay to try something new that you saw on another blog, but it’s not really a good idea to try something that you saw on fifty different blogs.
- Interact. Get on social media. All social media. Google+, Facebook, Twitter and all the book community social media sites that are popping up. Just so you can grab those die-hards that hang out in one. A lot of social media accounts are hard to manage, but integrate them. Facebook can post to twitter and vice versa. Make a list of “to-do” when you post a blog post and just go through that list each time. Once you get used to doing it a certain way, it will get easier. Make sure to reply to comments, mentions, posts etc. You want to show that you are aware that readers are visiting you.
- Know your readers. Figure out who is reading your blog and what they want. This is the KEY. Know what they respond to best and how to deliver it. Then morph your style to fit their appetite. Still be you, but be you with your readers in mind.
- Don’t forget to proof. Proofread your work. We can’t be perfect, but we can strive for as little errors as possible. You might not be a great writer, but you can at least form coherent sentences and spell-check. It makes a difference in how people perceive you.
- Ask Questions / Google is Your Friend. If you don’t know how to do something, Google it. If you can’t figure out the tutorials, or think you are going in the wrong direction, find someone that has done the thing you are striving for – and ask. It doesn’t hurt to try and you might make a friend along the way. If someone is hoarding information or doesn’t want to tell you how to do something, who needs ’em! I’m sure they had help along the way too.
- Write Anything. It doesn’t have to be a review. It doesn’t have to be a literary essay. Just write. Share an experience or a funny story. Rant. Give it a catchy headline. If your readers do not like it, they will let you know by not visiting it or commenting. Don’t do it again. But, they might…
- Let your personality show. Don’t be shy. Take pictures of yourself. Share personal stories. Go to live events, signings, conferences. Show your face. Vlog. We want to see the personality behind the blog. Be yourself, there is only one you and you might be surprised at the reaction you get.