Hi Guys! So, today is the last day of Armchair BEA and I have to say, I am kinda upset about this! It’s been such a great week. I’ve loved all the posting, reading all the posts and commenting on new blogs! I will be doing more of this today too as I have the day off (finally!) so if I haven’t commented on yours yet, you may get a post today! Obviously, I probably won’t be able to go to everyone, but I’ll try my hardest!
Anyway, today’s topic is blogging tips. Now, I’ve only been blogging for (nearly) nine months now so I feel that any tips I do have on the topic may not be as wise and worldly as the people who have been around for a long time but I hope that my words will at least help the newer bloggers.
Interact with the community.
Honestly, I cannot stress this point enough. This community is great. Everyone is friendly and everyone is willing to help others but we can’t help if we don’t know you, yes? By interacting I mean more than just being around on Twitter too. I mean leaving comments on other blogs – and if you do this, make them meaningful, there’s nothing more annoying then receiving a generic comment from someone. If you keep going back to the same blogs, the blogger will soon start to recognise you, will pop along to your blog or reach out to you on twitter and boom – interaction with community made. Goodreads is also a great place to interact with other people in the community (though, avoiding some of the drama there would be great), and again if you interact enough you can start advertising your blog to them and you’ll have a more loyal and awesome follower. Lastly, of course, there is Twitter. And honestly, this is such a great tool for bloggers. It is not only a place to interact with fellow bloggers but it’s also a place to interact with publishers and authors and a place to advertise all of your wonderful posts – and I’m betting all your posts are wonderful!
While originality is something to strive for, in the world of blogging it has almost always been done before. It is, unfortunately just one of those things. With so many of us, it is difficult to really stand out from the crowd but once you do, that’s when things will start to get really good. I would rather follow a blog that is creative in the way it represents the same pieces of information then a blog that just follows the rest of the crowd. By that I mean, does your review have to be just a review? Can you do anything to make it more interesting? What about a link to another blogger who also enjoyed the book – or has a complete opposite view to you? (this would also be a great interacting tool too). Perhaps you really liked the trailer and thought it would be good to add this to the review to really get people wanting to read the book? Whatever you do, however you do it, just be creative with it. The same goes, of course, to all other posts on the blog. Originality isn’t key – creativity is.
Some bloggers hate them. Some bloggers love them. Which one are you? If you hate them, I’d suggest jumping down to the next point – sorry. If you love them, utilise them. It’s all well and good just participating in them but are people coming to your blog? If you’re participating in a popular meme, the chances are people are clicking on links at random and there may only be a small chance they see your link. However, if you go out and comment on a large proportion of blogs, you may find that many of them will return the favour. They then look at your blog and if they like what they see, they may explore it some more or follow. If you remember the people who commented one week, comment on theirs again next week and the week after – just keep building your reputation. Get yourself out there. Also, if you are participating in a meme, make sure it’s one that you enjoy, because if you don’t, it’ll seem like a drag and it will probably be noticed in your posts.
Stick with it.
Blogging is hard. It can really make you want to pull your hair out sometimes, especially when it feels like all of that hard-work has been for absolutely nothing because no one seems to be visiting your blog. But don’t give up. Keep going out there, getting publicity, advertising your posts and your blog (in a non-spam like way, nobody likes spammers) and it will eventually come around. Some blogs may seem like they’ve been around for less time but have more followers and you’ll probably wonder – what did I do wrong? – but in those cases it’s often curious to look at their posts – are they getting comments on them, or is it all just statistics? For me, while I adore watching my follower count grow, it is when I actually get comments on my posts that my heart swells. As I’ve been blogging for longer I’m finding that I very rarely get a single post that has no comments on it and I know it’s because I’ve interacted with the community and they’re reaching out in their own way back. So, keep interacting, stick with it, and don’t give up. Good things comes to those who wait.
I know this may seem obvious, but spamming other bloggers or being too pushy or dramatic with people will not help you in the slightest. People will come to you in their own time but if you comment on every single post on their blog with “please follow me back”, chances are, they’ll just delete the comment and never look at your blog. I also really can’t stand; “if you follow me, I’ll follow back.” Oftentimes, if I see this somewhere, I’ll be reluctant to follow because I don’t want to gain followers just because I followed them. If they’re not interested in what I have to say, what’s the point in them being a follower? I would definitely prefer authentic followers, wouldn’t you? This respect also flows back to the community as well. Respect each other and everything that people do. If you have a blog, you understand the hard-work that goes into it so there is no point in abusing someone because you disagree with something they posted on their blog, is there?
Scheduler is your best friend.
No, seriously. It took me a while before I even realised you could schedule posts but since that day, I very rarely write a post and then post it straight away. With my busy lifestyle, I don’t really have the time to work like that but I do often have time to do blog posts before I go to bed. So why don’t I post them then? Well, who would be around to read them? It is better to schedule posts to appear on your blog at a time when most of your followers will see it as it will then get it’s maximum publicity, won’t it? Scheduling is also really helpful for book tours and memes. Get on it.
So, during my time participating in Bloggiesta in March, I was introduced to the wonderful program that is Windows Live Writer. If you have a Mac, I believe you can still download the program but I’m not sure it’s as good, I don’t know for sure though. Anyway. As a Blogger User, if there is one thing I cannot stand, it is struggling through the coding issues that appear when using Blogger Compose. I have spent countless hours searching through chunks of HTML to find that one little error that has ruined an entire post. It got so bad that I was seriously considering finding some money from somewhere and heading over to WordPress. Then I heard about WLW and my entire blogging system changed, completely. WLW lets you compose posts with the backdrop of your blog, this means that it posts onto your blog exactly how you want it. You can make text templates so that you can just insert text or images that you use frequently at relative ease (extremely helpful for memes!) and you can resize images to ANY size you want. No longer are the only options “small, medium, large or x-large”, but you can drag and drop the image exactly how you want it. It is easy to use and just simply a complete lifesaver. If you do not have WLW, I advise you to get it now. (Also, if you have a Windows PC or Laptop, you may find that it is already installed. – mine was!)
These tips may be common knowledge, they may have been said before and they may not be all that original, but I hope that they may help someone, somewhere, someday.
Do you have any book blogging tips?
If you’re participating in Armchair BEA, please leave links below!