Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list for participating bloggers to create answers and blog posts for. Everyone is welcome to join and you can find more information on upcoming topics at their site.
This week we’re giving tips to new book bloggers. I’m a bit nervous as I’m still pretty new and am not sure I am in a position to be giving advice. Some of my tips will be repeated from my first ever blog post as they bear repeating but others are what I’ve gleaned as I went along.
Top Nine Tips for New Book Bloggers:
1. Just get started.
Before I began writing my crazily popular (if a couple hundred daily views equals a crazy popular) blog posts I used to worry that no one would read what I wrote. Crazy right? Clearly my enormous blog following (79, what?! what?!) has proven me wrong. But seriously, just get started. Don’t worry, if you write it they will come.
2. Be easy on the eyes.
Don’t strain your readers’ eyes, it’s not polite and it won’t make people like you. It’s been proven that a white background with black writing is easier to read than a dark background with light writing and you want your blog to be easy to read. Now that I’ve been reading blogs for almost a year I must say I agree, reading your blog shouldn’t make me want to go lie down in a dark room.
3. Keep it clean.
Nothing’s worse than going to a blog and seeing too many graphics, a bunch of different fonts and a messy, distracting side bar. In the world of blogging less is more and your writing is really what you want to stand out. Choose your images carefully, limit your widgets and for heaven’s sake choose one font and stick with it.
4. Brevity is better.
Alright, guilty as charged! I’m a rambler, you should hear me leave a voice mail, but while blogging I do my best to edit myself and be less wordy. I can’t always achieve my desired level of conciseness but blogs are much more attractive to the reader if it doesn’t appear they’ll age a year as they read.
5. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Read other blogs and leave insightful comments. It will drive traffic to your blog and it’s nice to let people know you enjoyed their post. One of the best things about blogging is interacting with readers and other bloggers but do NOT comment simply to promote your own post, it’s cheesy and people aren’t stupid, they can see it coming from a mile away.
6. Rubric, rubric, rubric.
Am I a chart and graph geek? Totally, and I can’t believe I didn’t know more about rubrics until Mandy shared her book review rubric on her blog. Now I can’t emphasize the importance of having one enough. If you’re focusing mainly on book reviews your readers are going to want to know you are being consistent in your ratings. You want to make sure all your 4 star books are really worth 4 stars and a rubric gives you an unbiased way of getting there.
Make sure you review, edit and proofread! Mistakes in spelling, grammar and formatting can turn people off from reading and make you seem less professional. People are also less likely to accept advice from bloggers who consistently make mistakes so, if you really want to make sure people take your reviews seriously, make sure this isn’t you.
8. Be consistent.
Write consistently. I’m still working on this but aim to post Monday through Friday. Readers like to know what to expect and when to expect it. If you’re really lucky you’ll end up being part of someone’s morning ritual or, if you’re more like me, people will know when to avoid the internets.
9. Find your voice.
Find your voice and figure out your hook. What makes your blog different from the gazillion other book bloggers? My voice is self deprecating sarcasm and I have pretty structured reviews. All my favourite blogs have their own thing that makes them unique. Some use humour, others take themselves more seriously. Some mix personal anecdotes with bookish knowledge while others stick to just the facts. Whatever you decide stick with it and let your readers get comfortable with your voice.
10. Join Goodreads.
You’re about to be bombarded with some really great book suggestions now that you’re in the world of book blogging and you’re going to need somewhere to keep those suggestions.Goodreads will allow you to rate books you’ve read, suggest books for others, enter contests to win books and compile lists of books you’d like to read. It has been a lifesaver for me and I always have it open in a separate tab when I’m reading blogs.
What tips do you have for bloggers just starting out?