I’m not saying I am an expert when it comes to blogging, but this year I celebrated my 3rd blogoversary (and I completely forgot about it) and I think I have some experience when it comes to blogging. I did something similar when I celebrated my 2nd blogoversary. You can find those tips here, where I talked about my blogging methods. Some of my tips might come in handy – but it’s fine if you do it your own way of course!
Let’s start right away with the most important advice I can give you: do what feels good to you. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to blogging (except for the most obvious things as: don’t steal someone’s content). The tips I’m going to give you are only meant as guidelines. In no way you should let anyone else dictate what you do with your blog and content.
-Goodreads. I would recommend to cross-link your reviews with Goodreads. This is the website that inspired a lot of people to start their website and this platform might give you new blog followers. I’m still not sure if it’s best to post your whole review or only a teaser. What do you recommend/use? I just copy-paste my entire review there with a link to my blog-review.
-Color scheme. We judge books by their cover; we also often judge blogs by their design. You should stick with the design you like, but I would recommend to choose a pleasing colour scheme. Nothing is more annoying than unreadable content (so try to think about the fonts you use too). Purple and orange might be your favorite colours, but I think you can understand that this is going to cost you followers:
-Simplicity. ‘Less is more’ is a very known statement for a reason. Try to keep your sidebar as simple as possible. The essentials for your side bar are: search bar (PLEASE make sure you have this one. It makes navigating so much easier), email subscription, icons for your social media, author box (or an ‘about me’ page, people want to get to know you), archive and several following options – I would recommend to have at least Bloglovin’.
-Blogging method. Try to find a method that works for you. The first thing that’s best to decide is how often you want to post on your blog and stick with that number. Next is taking a realistic look at how many books you can read per month – and try to adjust your requesting to that number. Let’s say you read 10 books. Then decide for yourself how many of those you want to read for review. We all made the mistake (and sometimes we still do) where we request too much. Try to avoid that. It’s easy to make a list with all the upcoming books you must read as an overview.
-Time management. Don’t think blogging is easy, because it’s not. It’s really rewarding and incredibly fun, but it takes work. Be prepared to invest your time in writing posts and socializing to gain followers (& make friends). Try to calculate how much time you want to put in your blog and stick with that. You decide how stressful blogging is for you; nobody is forcing you into doing anything.
-Reviews. This might take some time and the first reviews you write will make you feel embarrassed years later. There are different ways you can write a review. Length, use of gifs, ratings, structure; all things you must consider. What I find important is that you stay true to yourself. Show your personality and don’t try to write with a different voice. You don’t have to be funnier, more sarcastic or wittier. People will notice it if you are forcing yourself to be someone else. I personally like straight-to-the-point reviews that talk about different aspects of the book (like; world-building, characters, romance and writing-style) and where people really talk about how a book made them think/feel. I talked about this in my personal vs professional review discussion. Try to think about what you like/would like to see in a review and work with that. What I do recommended is to put a link to Goodreads in your review. It makes it easier for people if they want to add the book to their Goodreads account.
-Handy dandy. Try to find things that will support you to make blogging easier. Here are some examples you can think about and the method I use. An app for your schedule (Wunderlist), a program to write your reviews (Windows Live Writer), keeping track of books (Excel spreadsheet) and background information for your review (I write in a notebook while reading and I use tabs/e-reader highlight function to remember quotes).
Was this helpful or do you already use these tips? What are some of your blogging tips?