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A Cheat Sheet for Starting or Refining Your Book Blog

The Basics:

  • Choose your platform and make sure it will work for you, right now and a year from now
  • Decide which genre or niche you’ll blog within, make sure you can grow within that niche
  • Be consistent with your blog name and social media
  • Research other blogs like your own
  • Research blogs that are nothing like your own
  • Make sure you can post regularly
  • Have an original name that is not in use on the internet
  • Reserve dot com and email addresses with that name

originalname

The Look:

  • Pick a nice design theme that has everything you need and fits your niche or genre, don’t be afraid to spend a little money, it is true what they say, you get what you pay for, when it comes to themes
  • Make sure you have user-friendly navigation
  • Include contact information and your social media links
  • Include a search function
  • Have a networking badge
  • Include your contact information in a clear, dominate area on your blog homepage
  • Check how your blog looks on other browsers and on your phone
  • Do not fill up your sidebars with excess information, ask “Is this necessary?”
  • Promote other bloggers, but let them know you are promoting them
  • Try to stay away from Flash and excessive Javascripts that will slow your blog down
  • Don’t use Auto-Play anything (music, vids)

Blogging tips and tricks for book bloggers

The Writing:

  • Blog about pertinent and useful information
  • Try to be original, do not reblog marketing copy on a regular basis
  • Blog about books that people are interested in, or you think need to be written about
  • Write catchy headlines
  • Keep your posts and paragraphs short
  • Utilize headers and sub headers
  • Try to use eye-catching images
  • Use lists
  • Use bold and italics within the posts
  • If Authors & Marketing companies want you to promote them, have them include a giveaway

The Catch:

  • Stay away from over-used materials
  • Host giveaways
  • Participate in popular memes (but not too many)
  • Take polls to see what your readers want
  • Be original
  • State your opinion
  • Make your blog uniquely yours

giveaways

The Reach:

  • Register your blog with search engines
  • Use internal links (popular posts etc)
  • Install a page view tracker like Google Analytics
  • Make sure your site loads quickly
  • Avoid scam or spam marketing services and apps
  • Have your social media sites linked to your blog
  • Share your own posts
  • Include sharing buttons
  • Start an email newsletter
  • Make sure you have an easy to click RSS follow button
  • Respond to comments
  • Interact on twitter
  • Utilize hashtags
  • Join groups
  • Join Goodreads and interact in forums
  • Comment on other blogs
  • Join a book blogger forum
  • Guest Blog

Grow Your Book Blog Network:

  • Keep lists of your publisher contacts
  • Regularly request books from publishers public emails, check their website for proper requests protocol
  • Join NetGalley if you are available to read eARCs
  • Post your reviews on other sites like Amazon and Goodreads
  • Join Booklikes
  • Check out what popular titles are coming out, review those books for more impact
  • Think about attending reader events
  • Introduce yourself to your local book store or library

Blogging tips for book bloggers

The Next Level:

  • Show off your personality in your posts
  • Always proofread
  • Use spell check
  • Include a great image or graphic with your post title so it can be pinned easily
  • Include a privacy policy
  • Include a review request policy
  • Join Readers groups
  • Make friends, have a blogger bff that you can bounce ideas off
  • Ask advice
  • Vlog
  • Include personal touches that make your blog stand-out
  • Consider volunteering or interning for authors or publishers