Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #11: Tips for New Bloggers



Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish with a different topic for a top-ten list each week. You can find out more about it here.


The links will take you to my reviews.


This week's topic is:


Top Ten Tips for New Bloggers


1. Be yourself. Really, this is the most important thing. Don't worry about what other bloggers are doing or try to copy anyone else - just make sure your blog reflects who you are and what you want to do with it.


2. Know what you're getting yourself into. If you're thinking about starting a blog, you should know beforehand how much work it all is. When I first started blogging, I had no idea how time-consuming this would be, how big a part of my life blogging would become. I love it, but it would have been nice to know beforehand.


3. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I've found that other bloggers are super nice and helpful. If you want to do a widget like that cool blogger has on their site, or if you have a general blog-related question, just send a more experienced blogger a polite email and ask. Really, everyone I've met in the blogging-community is friendly and so helpful!


4. Choose your blog name carefully. I myself didn't have this problem (I love my blog name!), but I've heard that other bloggers just went with the first thing that popped in their head and now hate their name. Changing your name would be very hard, since that's what people will know you as, but having a name you don't like anymore sucks, too. So take some time to think about what name you think best represents you and your blog.


5. Think about who you want to host your blog. I just went with Blogger because it was the only host I knew about, but now I wish I'd done more research. I don't want to switch to another host because that's a lot of work and I suck at all things tech-related, but I wish I'd taken the time to think about Blogger, Wordpress, self-hosting sites, and all the other options out there. Each one has advantages and disadvantages, and before starting a blog, you should take the time to find out which host will be best for your blog.


6. Read what you want to read. I know it's exciting when you get a review request - I admit it, an author or publisher thinking your blog would be good enough for them to send you a free book for you to review is flattering. But if you try to read whatever people want to send you, or if you try to read abook just because everyone else is raving about it, blogging will not be as fun. Read what you want to read, the kind of books you think you'll enjoy! You shouldn't feel pressured by an author, publisher, or different bloggers to read anything you don't think is your thing.


7. Don't worry about GFC followers. I know some people think you shouldn't worry about the numbers at all, and I agree that's not what it's all about, but ignoring the numbers completely just isn't realistic, in my opinion. But counting GFC followers and hosting giveaways to make people follow isn't going to help your blog in any way. GFC followers don't really mean anything - someone clicking 'follow' once does not mean they'll come back to read your reviews. Focus on consistently providing good content and creating a community for your blog - people who actually read what you have to say, not GFC followers.


8. Don't worry about not posting every day. Quality is more important than quantity - don't worry if you're not posting as much as other bloggers. When you have something to say, post; when you don't, don't. A blogger who posts three meaningful posts a week is preferable to one who just posts filler content - only memes, blog hops, etc. - in my opinion.


9. Socialize on Twitter. Most bloggers starting today already know this, but I didn't, so this is more of a things-I-wish-I-would-have-known-when-I-started-blogging kind of thing. I didn't get the point of Twitter and didn't use it the first few months I was blogging. But Twitter is made of awesome - it's so easy to interact with other bloggers and authors! Talking to people who love books as much as I do is amazing, and on Twitter it's so easy. I've met some pretty awesome people on Twitter! Plus, it's easy to promote your posts on Twitter, as long as you don't overdo it.


10. Comment on other blogs. Don't be shy about leaving a blog comment, even if it's just one sentence long. I can only speak for myself, but I for one love getting comments. And most bloggers - unless you choose a super-popular one who gets hundreds of comments on their blog - will check out your blog, too, if you leave a link. Commenting is a great way to build up a community for your blog. Also, don't forget to respond to comments you get on your own blog!


So these are some tips I have for new bloggers, some things I wish I'd known when I started blogging. I'm no expert, of course, and I'm not one of those bloggers who've been around forever - these are just the things I've learned blogging. What are your tips for new bloggers?

9 comments:

  1. Great post! Tip #3 is very true :)

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  2. Great list - I'd add to #4 to also make sure the name you've chosen for yourself isn't already being used by someone else!  This happened to me - someone started a blog using the name I'd had for years, and it got a little ugly.  They eventually changed, but I don't think it was worth the hassle for either of us.

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  3. Great tips! I had no idea what I was doing or getting into when I first started my blog.  Number 4 is so true.  My blog was named something else and luckily I changed it early enough before it became established.  Great tips!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

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  4. Great post! Number four is so true.  There are some really strange blog names out there.  I like yours too!  :)

    Check out my Top Ten Tips!

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  5. I think you have some very nice tips! I really like your #4! When I first was creating my blog I almost named it something completely unoriginal and now that I think back on it, I would have hated the name of my blog if I would have stuck with it. I am glad I took the time to think of a name I love! 
    P.S. I love your blog name and your layout! I’m definitely following you!
















    Darlene @ Leather Bound and
    Lovely

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  6. I agree that if we want people to check out our blogs we need to be checking out other people's blogs as well! Its a community and the more you get to know those in your community the more they'll get to know you in return :)  Great list!

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  7. What incredibly helpful tips. Thanks so much for posting them.
    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

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  8. Commenting on other blogs is so important :) And I love your blog design, so I'm a new follower!

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  9. thebusybibliophileApril 18, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    You had a lot of the same kinds of tips as me! #2 is a huge one everyone should think about before they start a blog!

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