Monday, July 26, 2010

To New Bloggers, Part 2

I realized after I posted my advice To New Bloggers that I left a few things out. Many of the commenters had advice of their own to add so I thought I'd compile it here, in part 2.

Things I left out:

1. Don't advertise. Not at first anyway. I'll admit, I finally added Google Adsense to my blog, but it's only (or should only be) a small text ad on the bottom left of the page. It's unobtrusive...and it doesn't earn much. Eventually I'm hoping it will help pay shipping costs so I can host more contests. Don't hop on the bandwagon too early though; establish yourself as a reliable, in-this-for-the-long-haul blogger first.

2. Don't embarrass your readers. Okay, okay, I've read elsewhere that you're not supposed to call commenters out in your posts. For the most part, I agree with that, but I'm going to break this rule today and let my readers tell the things they've learned from blogging. I tried to write it in my own words while giving them credit, but it just didn't feel right to do it that way. So, I'm just giving it to you straight from them.

What Bookish in a Box readers want to add:

1. Well, pretty much all of them agreed that you shouldn't have too many memes!

2. AngelGoneMad of Supernatural Bookworm gave an example of how she does her reviews to save time. It's worth a look!
Posts don't take long if you prepare them beforehand e.g. IMM - I add the books into my weekly IMM post as I get them, so I don't have so many to do at the end of the week when it comes to posting time.
   That's a great idea! It's always overwhelming to get behind, whether it be reviews or IMM posts. She also had this to say, which I think perfectly sums up what I was trying to say with "find your niche".
At the end of the day, your blog is about you. What you write/review/read is down to your selection. Don't feel pressured to read books that you think everyone wants to read about...Just be you when you write, put your own stamp on things. I think just being you is a big factor in a successful blog. 
Exactly! Thanks for putting that so well. :-)

3. Clarissa of Listen to the Voices encouraged new bloggers to use Twitter and Facebook to gain more readers. She also suggested asking questions at the end of posts to engage the reader. That last bit is a really great piece of advice. I always forget to do that...

4. April of Good Books and Good Wine mentioned one that catches me too!
Also, OMG one thing new bloggers should not do is embedded captcha, you know, where the page refreshes and you have to do captcha. I almost always click out, thinking I commented.
Yeah, that happens to me on occasion as well...If you're going to use word verification, use the built-in with blogger, where it shows up on the page without a refresh. Or moderate comments if you have to, but I would bet you'd lose some commenters that way.

5. Tiffany of Tiffany's Bookshelf had some advice on how to get review copies.
I too feel a little sheepish asking for review copies and have only done it a couple of times. What I found helpful was I joined a couple of ancillary book sites and mentioned I was open to reviews for authors, as well as tweeting an open invitation to authors. It worked so well, I have had about ten authors approach me so far, and when I provide them with a review, I always tell them to feel free to pass my name along to fellow writers in need of review.

I also give authors willing to give me books a lot of free reign with my review, allowing them to tweet it, facebook it, and post it on their blogs or websites. It helps them by making positive reviews more visible, and it helps drive traffic to my blog!
6. And Alison of Alison Can Read left a nice comment about her book blog that I'll use to close this out.
I want it to thrive but never to feel like a job. So balance is vitally important.
Agreed. :-)

What do you guys think? Do y'all have anything else to add or anything you thought of that wasn't mentioned in part 1 or part 2?


  1. Erin - aww thanks for mentioning me =)

    I think your advice will greatly help other new bloggers!

  2. Thanks for including my feedback!

    I think it is awesome how book bloggers help each other!

  3. Wonderful advice! I wish I got to read something like this when I first started...

    This was kind of mentioned in part one, but I'm going to suggest it anyways: it's important (in my mind, anyways) to spell properly and brush up on your grammar skills! Considering you're blogging about reading, your blog will come across as more professional if you know when to properly use "your" and "you're", can tell the difference between "its" and "it's", and other things like that. Of course, we all make mistakes, so it's no big deal! But it's always nice to see quality posts in terms of grammar.

  4. Thanks for these! This is really wonderful advice. :) I'm slowly getting into blogging, still trying to work out a schedule, etc. I asked a few questions on my blog, maybe the few answers can give any other new bloggers an idea on what readers think.

    Reading the answers, I realised they're similar to what I'd write, myself.