Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created and hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Please click HERE to view their Top 10 for this week and to join in!
I certainly am not a blogger extraordinaire. I've only been blogging for about two years but I just loved this topic. It's basically a list of what I wish I knew then and what I still have to remind myself even today.
1. Beware awards - When I first started blogging and got an award I was thrilled. Someone was paying attention to my blog! Cool! But then I realized that part of the game was to give the award to other bloggers. I didn't feel so cool about that. I didn't want to bother anyone. Then I started getting more and more and it was getting out of hand. Awards are basically chain letters or those e-mails you get that state you have to send it to 10 other people. Many bloggers have opted to put in their comments that they are award free.
2a. Find your own way - Don't worry about what everyone else is doing! If you don't like memes, don't host one. If you want to read across genres, then do it! Format your blog the way you want. Don't worry if everyone is doing long reviews. If you only want to have a few short paragraphs that's your perogative.
Also, I know a few bloggers who don't use social media a lot. They just want to stay in their own blogging bubble and blog the night away. That's okay too. You don't have to have an account on every platform out there. However, if you want to reach more people then look into Twitter, Pinterest, Mindspring, etc. If you are happy just doing your own thing without socializing that much, then that is all that matters.
2b. Write your own way - This isn't school. Be true to your own style. I still feel like I'm being graded sometimes and I know I should relax a little. I try to write my book opinions as if I'm talking to a fellow reader or friend, but sometimes I feel the ghosts of teachers looking over my shoulder. If you are a funny person, let it show, it will come out naturally. If you are more analytical and enjoy dissecting books a little more, we want to see that too.
3. Keep it neat - This may seem to contradict #2a, but what I mean is that if you want people to be able to read your blog and want them to visit again, have an easy to read font. I can't even read something online when it's in all different colors or the font is too fancy. Also, you may want your layout to look neat. Having a ton of graphics and moving stuff may look pretty, but it can also be overwhelming and may even slow down the loading time of your blogsite.
4. Research - I admit I bought Blogging for Dummies when I started. Unfortunately, it didn't really give me the information I was looking for. A better idea may be to talk to people about platforms (Blogger vs. Wordpress, etc.), do google searches, watch Youtube videos and even practice on a blog (since they're free).
5. Realize how much work/time blogging is - Someone told me this before I started blogging and I thought long and hard about it. Did I really have enough time to devote to a book blog? I had so much other stuff going on. I was kind of daunted. However, I pressed on. Guess what? I still wasn't prepared for how much time I truly had to put in (and still have to put in). Perhaps I should say choose to put in. If someone told me how much time I had to devote in reality vs. what I estimated, it would have terrified me. I'm glad I did it of course and would never change anything, but it really does take a lot of time and effort.
6. Don't get caught up in competition - I know, I know. This one blogger has 80,000 followers and gets 10 million hits a week. He/she gets invited to all the publisher parties and gets boxes and boxes of ARCs. You are not that blogger. You don't know how hard they worked to get where they are. I'm not saying that you don't work just as hard, but things will come to you. Sometimes when you least expect it. If you want to get all those followers and have all those hits, then you have to be not only pro-active, but assertive too.
7. Don't be hasty - If someone said something, posted something or tweeted something that pissed you off. Do not respond right away. Maybe don't even respond at all. But my point is...don't let a reaction guide an action that you may regret later or that may get out of hand. Once something is on the internet it's on there FOREVER.
8. Get out there - If you want to, that is. I've met wonderful people and made wonderful friends by attending signings and events.
9. Don't let the "blogging police" get to you - We've all read the tweets, the posts, the opinions. The ones that contradict exactly what you are doing on your own blog. Whether it's how to run a contest or if you should post negative reviews. Try to remember this is YOUR blog. Yours. Not theirs. If someone doesn't agree with how you do things don't feel like you are wrong. On the flip side, if someone else runs their blog a certain way that you don't agree with, that is also their perogative.
10. Have fun - I bet this one is on many bloggers Top 10 list. But it's advice that we all have to remind ourselves of at times. Once it stops being fun you'll have to go to #6 (take a break). Be creative, try new things, brainstorm with other bloggers. You'll be amazed at what you can come up with.