Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers

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!)

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29 Responses to Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers

  1. Angelya says:

    Thanks for the tips! As a newbie I’m finding these tips posts super-useful :)
    Angelya recently posted..In My Mailbox (9)My Profile

  2. I am so with you on the sidebars- not only do they slow down the loading time, but they really aren’t aesthetically pleasing.
    Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday- Because I’m an ExpertMy Profile

  3. Patricia says:

    This is a great list! I think if I had read this before I started blogging, many things would have been less complicated! Especially love the tag-thing because the same freaking thing happened to me when I added custom taxonomies for my advanced search-form. >_<
    Patricia recently posted..Top Six Tips for New Book BloggersMy Profile

  4. Mila says:

    word verification – THANK YOU!!! I never had it and it annoys the hell out of me everytime i have to recaptchure because the “ymashnium crandahu” was an “imashnium crandanu”. :P
    Mila recently posted..Nationalstolz?!My Profile

  5. Nina Reads says:

    I so agree with you about not expecting free books. When I started blogging I was reviewing books that I had either bought or borrowed at the library, and if you don’t wanna do that when you first start out then you probably shouldn’t be blogging..:)
    Nina Reads recently posted..Top Ten Tips For New Book BloggersMy Profile

  6. I am a to the blogging world as well. I have done goodreads for a while and love it, but I am no expert on blogs so I thought I would just go around and read everyone else’s advice. I have noticed on a few that people mentioned Twitter or Tweets which is foreign to me, but it looks like I need to give it a try. I agree completely with the word verification and have cut mine out as well. The side bar issue is one I have with other sites as well. I don’t like too much on the side of mine and only one side please. Typically I am reading the blog for the good part which are the posts and I find if you add too much on the sidebars you get distracted or makes the post squished.

    Thanks for the great advice.
    Amanda @ Sisters Unedited

  7. These are such fantastic tips. I particularly agree about tagging posts! I’m really surprised that it’s not universal yet XD. Totally agree with you about the sidebar, too. I’m a BIG fan of clean and clutter-free sidebars.

    My Top Ten Tips – Design and Technical Aspectsn @ YA Books

  8. LOVE your advice, straight forward and honest. And I SO SO SO agree about Word Verification.. Although, my blog had it for the longest time and I didn’t even know it did!

  9. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says:

    Great ideas. I still don’t quite get Twitter (I’m not the generation who is connected all the time) so maybe that’s something I should focus on a little more.

    Commenting is a great way to build relationships with other bloggers. I am always happy when I see that someone has left a comment.

    Here’s my
    Top Ten Tips for New Bloggers.
    I love to have you stop by and comment!

  10. Emily says:

    Your advice was all really useful. Especially the bit about tags as I just updated mine the other day and I only had 28 to painful get through. I haven’t heard of Word Verification though, not really sure what it is ?
    Emily recently posted..Out of Sight, Out of TimeMy Profile

  11. Lori says:

    Great tips! I have one about memes and word verification too, so I definitely agree. :)
    Lori recently posted..Top Ten Tips For New BloggersMy Profile

  12. This is some sound advice, although I admit that I’m one of those creeper people that follows everyone on twitter but never talks to them! I’m definitely trying to change that though!
    Hollie @ Music, Books and Tea recently posted..Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers.My Profile

  13. Jillian says:

    I love that you open with the assertion that it’s YOUR blog. Exactly! That’s the most important tip. :)
    Jillian recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips For New Book BloggersMy Profile

  14. As one who is still newish to blogging I appreciate your tips. And I agree with your tips especially the part about review copies and expectations. I had no idea people got Advanced Copies or review copies either when I started. Haha :)
    Christina BookTasty recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Names in the Title & Tips for New BloggersMy Profile

  15. You have some great tips over there! Especially the fact that you mention that it’s YOUR blog and you get to do everything you want with it. I’ve tried several things on my blog and when I thought: oh, they don’t work out or actually, I don’t like it, I just stopped with it and went on with something else ^^
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy recently posted..Top 10 Tuesday (6)My Profile

  16. Word verification! YES! So glad you included that one.
    Anna recently posted..Tips for New Book BloggersMy Profile

  17. I hate a messy sidebar. It’s prob my pet peeve when a blog won’t load because of all the crap they have on the side. Do ya really need it??? The answer is NO.
    Mary-Sweet Bookshelf recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Tips For New BloggersMy Profile

  18. Krista says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I just started not only my first bookish blog, but my first blog EVER, in January of this year. It has been a really fun experience so far. Any tips on how to get my blog to look more “me?” I have no html experience, so I feel pigeon-holed by the pre-set blogspot templates.
    Krista recently posted..Book #41 – Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2)My Profile

  19. Alison says:

    Great tips! I’m a big fan of pushing others to do what they want because it’s their blog. There’s no right or wrong way to do this as long as you’re loving it.

    Alison at The Cheap Reader
    Alison recently posted..Top Ten Tips for New Book BloggersMy Profile

  20. Kat says:

    All very true! I figure my #1 advice is, don’t blog about books unless you love them!
    Kat recently posted..Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read listMy Profile

  21. Dear god, word verification. I genuienly dread going to Blogger blogs now because so many of them have that. When I go through some that have it disabled I want to give them cyber brownies!
    Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for New Book BloggersMy Profile

  22. Are we like the same person or something? So many of my tips were the same!

    Erica, you are legit awesome. I LOVE ALL OF THESE!!!

  23. Awesome tips! Thanks so much for posting them.
    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for New Book BloggersMy Profile

  24. Rachel says:

    So I’m not the only one who read a few blogs by email for a year without commenting. Before I started blogging I never even thought of commenting. I just enjoyed reading the interviews and reviews.
    :) I’m really glad that I’m now commenting and chatting with bloggers. Thanks for the advice of how excessively to use twitter to promote reviews.
    Rachel recently posted..The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats ReviewMy Profile

  25. Awesome tips there. I was lucky when I first started to start receiving books. I realize is not the same for everyone and really the best way to start is by reviewing what’s already on your shelves.

    JJ iReads
    Check out my Top Ten Picks This Week
    JJ @ JJ iReads recently posted..Top Ten Tips For New Book BloggersMy Profile

  26. Burgandy Ice says:

    Ooh, tagging posts is a great hint. It helps a LOT to find stuff once it’s buried in time, for sure!

    -Burgandy Ice

  27. These are some great tips! I would have really benefited from these when I first started blogging! I still don’t know about Tagging… I’ve tried to figure it out and I CAN’T lol. Definitely going to look more into it! I agree with you on the meaningful comments :) I try my best to reply to everyone who stops by and comments on my blog and make it personal… sometimes it’s hard when people are saying the same things and when you are doing Meme’s lol. I’m going to make an attempt to make my comments more meaningful. (I love exclamation points lol) You know I am actually content with just buying books and reading what I want. I mean my love of reading is why I started blogging and reading what I wanted to makes me happy… okay so I’m going to stop typing because this is a LONG comment, but thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips!

    Kayla @ Bengal Reads
    Kayla Graham @ Bengal Reads recently posted..Teaser TuesdayMy Profile

  28. Kari @ says:

    I love your tips! As a new blogger, so many of the posts were very helpful. And word verification? I hate it, and didn’t even realize I still had it on my blog from when I started over a year ago!
    Kari recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Tips for New BloggersMy Profile

  29. Jasmine Rose says:

    Tagging posts is such a good tip. I didn’t even think about that one. When I started my blog I didn’t tag anything whatsoever so on the day I decided I wanted to start tagging things, it took FOR-E-VER to go through all my posts and tag them. Good to just start from the beginning :]
    Jasmine Rose recently posted..Cover Lover {41}My Profile

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