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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #6

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week's topic is Top Ten Tips For New (Book) Bloggers

My Top Ten Tips are:

1.
Review the books you want to review. Be they new or old, obscure or not.  Don't worry about trying to fit into a niche. You don't have to have a themed blog. Nothing against those who do but know that it's not a requirement. If you want a themed blog thats great, if you don't that's great too. Look at me, I review both non-fiction and fiction. Be yourself and read the books you want to and forget about trying to read and review ones that you may not like as much just to gain followers.
2.
Set up an e-mail address just for your blog and make sure you put it in your blog's contact info. I was using my personal e-mail account for a couple months before I created one specifically for my blog. It helps to keep your blog life separate from the rest of your life.
3.
GET A CALENDER or an agenda. Seriously. I just got one and believe me it's helped me so much already. As a blogger if you're not careful you can forget dates for blog tours, giveaway hops and review schedules. Trust me I have and now I'm rather behind in my reviews.
4.
Make sure you have a good support system of friends.
I have Mr. Turning The Pages, who was my only reader for quite sometime. Then I discovered a couple groups on Goodreads.com for bloggers and got to know a few other bloggers. We were especially supportive when our blogs were babies.
Support is key.
Mr. Turning The Pages listens to all my rants, reads all my posts, faithfully follows me on Twitter and Facebook and he funds a lot of the giveaways you see on my blog. He even puts up with me turning Big Red (my laptop) on to write a review even if it's on one of our stay home and watch movie nights.
He's also the one who talks me out of deleting the blog when I'm on the edge and overwhelmed by all my commitments to authors, tours, etc.
So I think Mr. Turning The Pages deserves a big round of applause for dealing with me at my crankiest and funding the giveaways:
Yep. That's my support system right there.
Sometimes he drives me crazy.
But he really keeps me sane!

5.
COMMENT! For the love of all things holy you have to comment on other blogs as well as respond to comments on your own. True keeping up with the comments can be hard especially as your blog grows and the list of blogs your following grows but it is key. Show your fellow bloggers some love and they'll show some to you.
6.
NETWORK!!
Join groups, websites, start a twitter account and a Facebook page for your blog. They are invaluable. Groups and websites for blogs, and book blogs are key. Seriously  the life of a blogger means you'll spend a lot of time pimping yourself out. Employ Networking and Commenting together and your blog will grow dramatically. Plus you find TONS of wicked blogs to follow. Also do memes I just started doing memes last month and I have found a TON of fantastic blogs to follow and I've of course found tons more books to add to my TBR list. It's a great way to connect with other bloggers and get to know them.
7.
Please don't get caught up in the number of followers you have. I know that kind of contradicts numbers 5 and 6 but you can do both and not go crazy watching your followers increase. Spread the word of your blog but if you don't get a bunch of followers right away that's okay. Relax. Breathe. If you write it they will come. Honestly they will. I promise.
8.
Connect with authors and publishers
Join blog tour hosting companies/websites. They're a great way to reach out to authors. Also feel free to contact authors. Many are really keen to have their blogs read and reviewed and they'll often send you complimentary copies in exchange for honest reviews. Join NetGalley. They're awesome at NetGalley. In exchange for posting your honest reviews you can request and read ARC copies of books.
9.
Don't get stressed.
Really.
Update your blog regularly but if you have stuff going on take care of life's problems first. Just let your followers know you may be posting less frequently . Trust me we're a supportive bunch we know what it's like to have our review frequency go down. Take your time. Your blog will still be there when you come back.
10.
Blog Designs are important. The great thing about them is that you can change them as often as you like. I think I've had about 5 designs on my blog since I started blogging on October 29th 2011. You don't have to stay with the same design. It's your blog. If you want to change it, go ahead. Find something you like and stick with it until you want something new. The thing to remember about getting your blog looking just right is to make it so the blog itself isn't lagging because of an over abundance of pictures on the side columns. Keep it neat and tidy and make sure you check to make sure everything is running smoothly.




30 comments:

  1. Recently I made myself a Calendar and that has helped TREMENDOUSLY! Good advice. =)

    Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library My Top Ten

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  2. Rather than a Calendar, I've set up a tab on my blog of my schedule, so I can keep on schedule by using that.
    Shoutout to Mr. Turning The Pages!
    I really don't get on with NetGalley, it's just not for me. ~sigh.
    Great tips!

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    Replies
    1. Aww How come you don't get along with NetGalley?
      The Tab idea is really neat :)

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  3. Great advice about setting up a calendar! I totally need to do this - I have sooo many things scheduled that I can't keep proper track of, and keeping a calendar would be a fantastic way of solving that issue. Thanks for the tip!

    My Top Ten Tips @ YA Books

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  4. I really like the calender idea, I think it's a great tip! I agree with not being really focused on your follower number - it's nice seeing the number go up, but it's not the be all and end all of a great blog! Great list, plus you have one of my favourite blog designs ever!

    My Top Ten Post

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  5. I completely agree with one, and I think the calender idea is quite a good one too! I should try and do that!

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  6. Number three is BEYOND important! I have an agenda AND a desk blotter for scheduling reviews and posts. I also have a wall calendar with upcoming releases so I don't forget about anything. Then there is my post-it system, where I put the "read by" date for each review copy I have. Those are posted on the bookshelf over my desk. OCD much? Yeah. But organization is key! Great tips!

    Check out my Top Ten!

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  7. Great tips! I blogged for about 2 years before I realized there was a big community of book bloggers and that book blogging is WAY more fun when you are a part of it!

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  8. Finally started using a google calendar and DEAR SWEET CHOCOLATE my life is so much better now. It even sends me reminders so I can't get ridiculously scatterbrained.

    My TTT

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  9. These are some really great tips! Thanks for taking the time to write these all out. And a round of applause to Mr. Turning the Pages for being there to convince you not to quick blogging! You've got such a great blog going here. Anyway, thanks for sharing! :)

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  10. Some great advice here. Would you mind sharing the GoodReads blogger group names? There are so many I get overwhelmed. TIA!

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    Replies
    1. Check out Making Connections, Blogger Lift, More than just a rating, Share your blog, Creative reviews and Basically Books :) I'm a member of all of those.
      Another great website for book bloggers is www.bookblogs.ning.com

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    2. Thanks Kimberly, I think I belong to a few of those but I haven't yet participated. I'll check out there others too.

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  11. I don't know about the "Connect with Authors and Publishers" thing, but that's probably a personal thing. If I like them, even if it's just a little, it'll be harder for me to read their book, because I'll be afraid that I won't like it, and then I'd have to write a negative review.. which sucks, because I liked the people responsible for it. *le sigh* But I can see where you are coming from and suppose that for most people it'll only make sense to do that all, too. Plus, it's like authors and bloggers have to become best friends. *g

    The Calender thing is superb! I got myself a calender plugin a few months ago and it's like my whole life is suddenly shinier. Birds chirp louder (and lovelier, mind you), the sun shines brighter.. *g* No, it really helped me a LOT. I'll actually buy a real calendar (as in, physical) tomorrow or so. :)

    Very cool list!

    Patricia // My Post

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  12. I tried using Google Calendar, but I think I'm going to have to go all old-fashioned and use a written one!

    I love reading your tips, I didn't know our blogs were 'born' just a week apart!

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    Replies
    1. They were? Well that is interesting isn't it? I wonder when Pragya started hers....I think it was around the same time as us but I'm not sure.

      I haven't tried the google calender for the blog but I tried using it last year when I was in school and I didn't like it. I got a nifty calender with animals on it from the dollar store so it's cute and functional.

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    2. I got mine a month after yours, Kimberly.

      Google calendar works for me so far. And I rely on it because even if I'm not at home, I can log in and check what I am supposed to be working on next unlike the physical one.

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    3. I knew it was around the same time! It's funny how we all ended up in the YLTO book group too :)

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  13. ITA with everything you say but especially with 1 and 10. People often review books just because they are the latest rage or because they got it for review. Don't get that at all. I review all sorts of backlisted books that nobody cares for anymore. And the reviews are still getting read.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent points!
      For me I usually end up having to get the newer books from the library if I don't get approved for them from NetGalley. I try to use my library as much as possible and reading older books is great. I love to peruse my shelves, used bookstores, and the library for older and beaten up books. They shouldn't be forgotten! Thanks for stopping by :) I'm off to check out your Top Ten Tips :)

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  14. Love all your advice. Loving this meme. I agree with you about commenting and networking. When commenting we do need to leave a comment that is meaningful so that we will know that our post was actually read and we're not just hopping by just to get someone to visit our blog and follow us. Thanks for all your advice. Of course I do liking "hopping by" to see what other bloggers have posted and for "new" books to add to my TBR list.

    Nancy @ The Avid Reader
    Top Ten Tuesday

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  15. Thanks so much for the fantastic tips! It's nice to be reminded that I can relax and don't have to be Superwoman :)

    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

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  16. Great tips, Kimberly. I too figured out those during blogging. It doesn't feel like we have come so far in such a short time. Book bloggers are an awesome community.

    A big thanks to Mr. Turning the Pages. :D

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  17. Thanks for the post! Some really great tips. The email and calendar idea are great, I created an email but forgot it about ten minutes after! LOL Google calendar really helps though with tracking because you can set it up where you get reminders everyday frickin day if you want!

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  18. Thanks for the post. I've been thinking of starting a blog specific email for a while now. The only thing is remembering to check it regularly, lol.

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    1. I check mine a lot, I use t more thank my personal e-mail :) I even use my blog's facebook more than my own lol.

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  19. This post was so useful, especially for a newbie blogger like myself. Thanks so much (: I love the idea of Top Ten Tuesdays too, sounds super fun (:

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  20. Great tips, Kimberly! I have been bloggin for awhile but found these tips very informative and helpful! I need to dig my dusty calendar back out. I know I ma very far behind on everything but I am trying to catch up! I love the new look of the blog!

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  21. Great post and thanks to Mr. Turning the Pages ;)

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