Welcome to days 12 of #BookBlogWriMo – a writing event focusing on what it means to be a book blog hosted by the lovely Book Bumblings. You can click the picture above for more information and how to participate!
11/12 – Advice for Newbie Bloggers – Be Yoda. Share your secrets. Do or do not, there is no try.
Truthfully, I wish that I had known where to look to find advice about starting a blog before I had done it because I truthfully didn’t understand all of the responsibilities that come with running one. Now, don’t go thinking that means blogging isn’t a fun experience because it is! There is just so much more that goes into it than you originally would believe. Here are five things that I found to be incredibly important to know and understand about blogging!
1. Scheduling – I mean scheduling in every sense of the word! I have found that it is important to have a set schedule for when you plan to post, regardless of how many days per week you plan to post or in what form. Using myself as an example, given my current situation I felt that it would be prudent of me to only do 3 featured posts per week. Figure out how many days per week you want post, then set up your writing process and schedule when you will write accordingly. Yes, schedule when you are going to write – it is important to have time set aside to work on your posts, this allows you to have a specific set amount of time where you fully focus on your blog and can plan to work on it distraction free. To give you an idea of how I go about this, you can check out my #BlogFlow #BookBlogWriMo post here. Next, learn and understand how to utilize your blog’s ability to queue or schedule posts accordingly. This is a huge time saver and a major asset because you are able to have entries written up ahead of time and then pick a time for them to post without you having to be there to do it. For example, I schedule my featured posts for 10am on their respected days – typically, I will write them up the evening before and then when I am done just schedule them. This eliminates some of the worry of whether I posted or not, allowing me to go about my day without worrying about posting.
2. Being Constructive – I think this is an important facet that can at times be overlooked by people getting involved in the world of blogging. For example, when it comes to books I think it is important to remain constructive and respectful while reviewing someone else’s work. This doesn’t mean I am against freedom of speech or an individual’s right to express their opinions, that isn’t the point of this section. I have just always personally felt that feedback should be constructive even as it is being critical. You are free to say that you didn’t like something, but explain why you didn’t like it. Individuals in the field of creative arts spend a lot of time working on these projects, so I feel that it is only prudent to be willing to put forth the effort and time required to be constructive.
3. Material that Matters – I don’t think this has been talked about enough, but I think that one of the biggest mistakes that I have seen in the book blogging world is when people feel they are forced to write about specific books that they wouldn’t normally choose on their own in an effort to gain more attention and followers. Depending on where you are writing, whether it be on Tumblr or WordPress or any other blogging site, you will always feel a desire to gain followers – this is just the nature of the blogger to want to gain followers so they can share their opinions with more people, there is nothing wrong with this and don’t let anyone tell you that there is. What is important though is writing about things that YOU want to write about – whether it is books you are interested in, or movies you have seen, etc. What matters is that you are writing about things that interest you and what you think about them.
4. Get Involved – Do your best to get involved with other blogs! One of the things that I love the most about being a book blog is the community that has been created among us. I mean, I am not an incredibly popular book blog – I don’t have widespread memes, I don’t run community wide events, I haven’t hosted giveaways, nor do I have a huge number of followers (I’m actually really close to breaking 100 which is far more than I had ever come to expect). Yet, I still feel welcome in the book blog community and feel as if I am a part of something. I reach out to other book blogs I follow via comments, sharing in our reading experiences together or offering encouragement and support to those who are feeling down. I have always found that it is more fun to share in your love of something with others who share that same love and I think that is one of the best parts about blogging.
5. Have Fun – I have spoken many times in the past about my blogging experience and how it has changed in the last year – how I learned to not take blogging so seriously and remember that this is supposed to be something I do for fun. I am not making any money off of my book blog, nor am I trying to – yet I was treating blogging like it was my job over a year ago. I wanted to share my thoughts on books, but not only that – I wanted to feel validated. I realize that it was stupid and I have repented of that crime so many times over the course of this #BookBlogWriMo event. If you’re a new blogger, then don’t make the same mistake I did by taking up blogging as a way to feel validated in your thoughts or opinions. Instead, approach blogging with an open heart and an open mind looking to share in the experience and the fun with everyone.
If you want to see my other #BookBlogWriMo posts, you can find them here!