Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week features a different topic, and you make a top ten list about it. This week is the top ten tips for new bloggers.
My number one tip to give new bloggers would be this: It is YOUR blog so do whatever you want. Too often I see bloggers on twitter saying, “Should I do this?” or “Do you think ___ is ok?” and I say GO FOR IT! It took me awhile to do this – for awhile, I let myself kind of be closed in by labeling myself as a “YA” blog. And while The Book Cellar is still a primarily YA blog, I decided that for this year, 2012, I would start to review my adult paranormal and fantasy and romances that I just love to read.
Sidebars? Keep them clean. If a blog has too much in its sidebars and it slows my computer down, I exit out. Also, really long sidebars can be distracting.
And word verification? Get it out of here! Word verification is a pain in the butt, and it makes me not want to comment on your blog. Plus, if you are on blogger, they have a great system to catch spam. I never had word verification and in my nearly 3 years on blogger, I could count on one hand the number of spam comments I got that blogger didn’t catch. :)
Use social media well – interact with others, and don’t just use it as an outlet to promote yourself. Abide by the rule of 3 – You get about 3 tweets in a day about a post, and after that, unless it’s a contest, don’t keep tweeting about it. After the first day, tweeting about a contest maybe once a day is fine.
Have a nice balance of posts – do some memes, but not all of them. Balance them out with posts about book topics you are interested in, reviews, book news, whatever you want to do.
People ask me all the time how can I up my stats? There’s no real “formula” for this, but I always say when people comment on your blog, try to comment back. Commenting in general is a great way to gain new readers. Whenever someone comments on my blog, most of the time I go visit theirs and see what it’s all about. But, when you do comment, make it genuine. I always love when someone leaves a nice, genuine comment, over one of the “great haul!” or “great review” and that’s it. Also, social media is a great way when you use it effectively. And lastly, post fun, interesting content that YOU would want to read, and then others probably will too.
Don’t expect to get books. I see so many people who start blogging, and instantly they want books. It strikes me as so funny, as when I started blogging, I had no idea people got books for review. And when I got my first review request, I flipped, I was so excited and a bit confused why someone would ask me. It took me 4 months before that happened, and after that, I didn’t get any other books for review until about 7 months after I started blogging. Of course, I would blog even if no one sent me anything for review. I just love to talk about books with other people who are just as crazy about books as me.
Tag posts – It makes it a lot easier to sort through posts on your blog quickly. I made the mistake of not starting to tag posts, and didn’t start to do this until I had nearly 1200 posts. Let’s just say, it would have been a lot nicer had I started doing this right away.
Bloggers are friendly people! I was SO afraid of talking to bloggers at first. I creepily read a ton of blogs, like The Story Siren for about a year before I started blogging and I never commented. I thought they would think I was a creeper. Even after I started blogging and I did start to comment more, I didn’t really interact with a lot of bloggers til nearly 6 months after I started blogging, and then I found some of the most awesome people I have ever known :) The blogging community is a welcoming one, so don’t be afraid.
Be professional and keep it classy :) And lastly, have fun (this is most important!)