Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they will post a 'Top Ten List' for them and bloggers alike to answer and it's always a different list question to answer.

This week's Top Ten to answer is:

Top Ten Tips for New (Book) Bloggers

First off I would like to say that with having only been blogging for roughly 6 months myself, I am still learning things on a daily basis on how to be a better and more efficient blogger myself. Being a book blogger is a roller coaster of a ride that I don't believe any blogger will ever have completely mastered. But here are 10 things that I have definitely found to help me out a lot.

1. Do it because it's what you love to do. Blogging is hard work. It is like it's own job. If you are not doing it because it is genuinely what you want to do, you will never make it as a blogger. You have to do it for yourself and not for anyone else or for any other reason then that it brings you pleasure. If it doesn't make you happy, then stop now. 

2. Patience. Blogging is not a "quick" or "easy" thing to do. Blogging takes time. There have been times that I have spent hours on things that I needed to do for my blog. Not just posting reviews or memes. But answering my emails, responding to comments, commenting back on other blogs, etc. Like I said on #1, blogging is a job and you have to give it your time and dedication. Not only do you need patience for this, but you need patience for when it comes to emailing other bloggers, followers or if you had sent emails out to publishers or authors. Remember they have busy life's as well and that it may take days, even weeks for them to get back to you. And sometimes they may never get back to you. But you need to except that.

3. Make blogger friends. Your fellow bloggers will become some of your GREATEST assets. They are going through the same thing that you are (or have) and will be the ones that will help you out the most. I know when I was within my first month of blogging and once I had become serious about it, there are 3 bloggers in particular that helped me out tremendously and I will always be grateful to them. And remember, one day you won't be a new blogger yourself and you will be the one that people will turn to for help. Help them, just like you had been helped at first. Never be unwilling to help or unwilling to ask. Or you will never get anything out of blogging.

4. Do other things besides just book reviews. Yes, it is a book blog and it you do need to have book reviews. But just having book reviews will quickly become old. You need to make your blog fun and interactive for your followers. Participate in memes, throw giveaways if you can afford to, make your blog fun for your followers that way they keep coming back. But remember, don't let the memes and other things overshadow your reviews either.

5. Set up a schedule that works for you and plan ahead. Set posts up in advance and have them ready to go when you need them. I know for me I have a weeks worth of memes and reviews set up and ready to be posted, waiting for me to publish them on a daily basis. I take time to make sure on my days off from my Full Time job to set everything up for me, that way when I have to work a full day, I can quickly get on my blog finish putting in the information that I need to for that particular post and publish it, that way it doesn't take me long to finish and it's out on time. I currently have (or had) my posts for Top Ten Tuesday, Teaser Tuesday, W.W.W. Wednesdays, Follow Friday, In My Mailbox & 3 reviews, ready to be posted. That way I could just click on them edit what I have to and post them. Quick simple and a lot easier then doing it all from scratch the day they need to be posted.

6. Leave meaningful comments. If you are going to leave a comment, make it worth your while and that bloggers while. For the love of everything that is hollowly don't just be like, "Oh that is great. Here is my information.....". I cannot express in enough words how irritated I get when I see I have a comment and it says something like that. I don't even respond to those kinds of comments and I definitely don't go to their blogs to try and even leave a comment that would be worth mine or their time since they didn't even show me that kind of respect. Comments can either be a great asset for you as a blogger or they can be an enemy. I definitely suggest that you make them your asset.

7. Proofread. Read and REREAD everything that you post before you make it public. If you are going to be a blogger you can't make grammatical errors on a constant basis. Some here and there every now and then can only be expected. But if you are constantly making mistakes, I will can tell you that I will never finish a post that has a ton of errors. Its irritating and frustrating trying to figure out what you were trying to say. 

8. Find a pace that works for you and stick with it. Not every blogger blogs the same. Some post everyday, some don't. Some have 10 paragraphs for each book review some only have 1 paragraph for each book review. My reviews usually average about 4 paragraphs or so. Because that's what works for me. I love to do memes (I am currently doing 7 memes, but only 6 of them on a weekly basis) but I know some blogs that only do 1 or 2 and some that don't do memes at all. You need to do what works for you. 7 may not be your number and for some 7 may be to low of a number. But you (above all else) need to stick to what works for you. 

9. NETWORK! This maybe one of the most important. You need to get yourself out there and interact with others. If you never get yourself out there then how do you ever expect to have your voice and your blog heard. You can't be afraid to talk with other bloggers and your followers. Or your blog will never go anywhere. Setting up a facebook account and twitter account for your blog will do wonders and you will even find new followers who only follow you on your facebook or twitter account (and may never even follow you on your blog) but who will still be faithful to what you have to say. And you definitely need to make sure that you have a separate email account for your blog then your everyday life account. That way you don't get anything mixed up, because trust me even with having an email just for my blog, it can get really hectic at times just keeping that email organized. I can't imagine how it would be if my everyday life email was mixed in with it.  

10. Never be ashamed of your posts or what you had to say, but don't be hurtful with your words either. Not everyone is going to agree with all of your reviews. And from time to time you may even get a negative comment or email from someone that did not like what you had to say. Don't be ashamed or angry because of this. Always stick by what you had to say 137%. But also always remember that there is a difference between being honest (and giving a negative review if you feel that it was necessary) and being cruel. Don't bash on people's hard work and dedication that they put into their work simply because you didn't like it or agree with it. Be nice with your words even if you didn't like it and give examples why. Remember that what may be "trash" for you can be "treasure" for someone else.

There are so many more that I could give you, but I definitely hope these few tips help out. =D

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T said...

I really agree with trying to leave meaningful comments for other bloggers, and trying to network! I wish I'd done this more when I'd first started!

Great list!

Tara @ Hey, Tara

BarefootMedStudent said...

"Proofread"... So important! Especially when you have a crazy computer like mine.

Cassie S. said...

@Tea: Those are still things that I struggle with on a daily basis. I have gotten better at my comments but even though I try I still forget that my blog has a facebook and twitter account as well. It's something that takes time but definitely helps. =D

@BarefootMedStudent: Proofreading is essential to every writing experience that you will have in your life. It may be the dullest part, but something that needs to be done.

Thank you both for the wonderful comments. =D

The Avid Reader said...

I agree with you that blogging is a job. I have said more than once that it is like having a job. Not just the blogging but reading is like a job now. But I still love doing it. Networking and commenting is a very important aspect of the blogging world too. Loved all your tips. Loving this meme. I hope that it inspires all of us to be better bloggers.

Nancy @ The Avid Reader
Top Ten Tuesday

Patricia said...

Oh, Patience. I have none of that. :'D

I also have to work on 7. It's not that I don't proofread it's that English is my second or third.. third language (though I can't speak any Vietnamese anymore it was technically my second language XD) and often enough I just write "know" instead of "now" or "write" instead of "right" just because I'm thinking too far ahead while I'm writing.. And then I forget to proofread or don't think about if the word is correct in that context, but simply if there is a word that can be written this way XD *sigh*

Patricia // My Post

Angela said...

Thanks for posting your great advice. I've been working on my networking lately with joining Pinterest, Twitter, and Goodreads. I haven't fiddled around on Goodreads yet, but that's definitely on my to-do list.
Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

Cassie S. said...

@Nancy: Yes it is. Blogging must truly come from the heart and be something you genuinely enjoy and don't mind giving up so much of your time to. Otherwise, you will never make it in this industry. LOL =D

@Patricia: I don't think what you described is really all that bad. Heck, English was my first language and I still make those kinds of errors as well sometimes. I was thinking more of really big grammatical errors and I have seen some bad ones. Ones like you described really don't bother me that much and I probably in all honestly wouldn't notice those ones as much. And yes, being a blogger has definitely taught me a lot about patience. Patience was definitely something that I didn't have a big supply of until I became a blogger and even now I still struggle with it sometimes.

@Angela: Goodreads has been a life saver for me in a lot of ways. It has introduced me to practically everybody that I get now a days. And it is the easiest way I have found to organize all of my books in anyway that I need to. Facebook used to be the site that I was on everyday and now it is definitely Goodreads instead. However, I don't think I really use Goodreads in as much of a Networking way as I could, I really use it more for personal and organizational reasons. My Networking sites are more Twitter and Facebook. =D

Thank you all for the very lovely comments.

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Patience and leaving useful comments are the best tips I think! You can't expect a popular blog if you only started a week ago. And just leaving the same copy paste comments on every blog, won't give you new followers :)


Cassie S. said...

@Mel: They definitely are. But I can understand where some people are coming from. Not everybody has patience. Heck my patience didn't manifest until I created this blog and it is still something that I struggle with sometimes. But you look at other peoples blogs and always see their numbers increasing and can be like 'why doesn't that happen to me'. But gotta really get into it and don't stress the numbers. They will come with time. But like someone else said I would rather have 5 followers who love my blog as opposed to 500 followers that never visit. So true.