Welcome to Book Blogging 101, a weekly feature on Parajunkee’s View that answers your questions and strives to share great book blogging tips and some helpful hints to help you on your way.

               Dear Para, I recently started my blog about a month and half ago and still feel like I’m fine tuning it every day! Is there a sorta check list of stuff I would need to do to have an awesome blog like your? Things like about me, meme’s, review policies, button holders, connecting to social medias, basic html to help out, etc! Thanks for the help!!! – Tara

Hey, Tara, (cute name play BTW) first thank you for the muchos compliments! Refining your blog and making it better takes a lot of work and really, with everyone (even my grandmother) with a blog these days, it takes freshness and originality that will keep you on your toes constantly. Putting a checklist together of what I do might not give you exactly what you need but it might help you in trying to come up with your own checklist that will work for you and your blog. So, let’s get started…

Checklist for Creating a Great Blog

  • Target your niche, your specialty
  • Focus on that specialty and tailor your blog around it, your name, the look, the content
  • Narrow down your audience, who is reading your blog?
  • Your job is to entertain/inform your audience if you want them to keep coming back, make sure your content reflects your audience’s wants and needs. If you are unsure, ask them!
  • Find your voice and exercise it. Writing is not something that just comes easy to everyone, but it is something that you can learn and refine. You want your own personal style to show through in your writing. Are you snarky? You can make your writing snarky! Professional? Keep your writing professional. Just find your voice and stay true to it.
  • Keep a list of goals, a guideline so to speak and try to stick to this guideline
  • Along with a guideline keeping a schedule is also best practice, I think they call it an Editorial Calendar, knowing what is going to be on your blog and when will help lower your stress level and keep things in line
  • If you are focusing on books, like most of us, keeping yourself organized is also a good practice. Utilize sites like goodreads.com to maintain the books you want to read and have read. Some bloggers, like myself will keep spreadsheets of books read, requested, reviewed etc.
  •  Find something that will set you apart from the rest and roll with it. Just something a little different, whether it is the border around your header – something that is recognizably you. I would suggest not picking a template that everyone is using, or if you do, change up the background to something original, create a nice logo, things like that.
  • Connect on social media, get yourself a twitter account, a facebook fan page if that is the least of what you want to do — if you want more, Google+, LinkedIn are also good choices, but there are much much more…
  • Connect those social media accounts to your blog. A good way is to utilize software like Google’s Feedburner which will automatically tweet out posts and Networked Blogs which will post them to your facebook account
  • Promote your blog by networking on other blogs, in forums and on social media platforms
  • The MAIN and biggest check point is your CONTENT, your content has to be good, it has to draw people in and keep them coming back so your main focus should be on what you are posting on a day to day basis.

Ways to keep your content FRESH

Before hitting PUBLISH you might want to ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Is your Blog Post unique and yours?
  2. Does your Blog Post offer content and an opinion that readers won’t be able to see on every other blog?
  3. Will reading your post, review or informative piece stand out, or just seem like just another post on just any other blog?
  4. Is your content yours and original?
  5. Does this Blog Post stick to your guidelines and niche?
  6. Is your Blog Post going to alienate some of your readers?
  7. Does your Blog Post reflect you?

I don’t always stick to these rules, sometimes we all get lazy, but I find that when I set myself up with a plan and a call-to-action, along with a nice organized schedule I get the best response. Good luck in your blogging endeavors. You have to make the choice of whether you want your blog to be just a hobby or whether you want it to be the shit-hot. Work on that content, make social contacts and network and give it some time, but in the end it’s all about how much effort you want to put into things. You don’t just wake up one morning with 10,000 subscribers you work for every single one of them.

XO – Happy Thursday, Talk Less, Read More.

I can’t get to all the questions, but please ask your BB101 Questions here…bring it on.