Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA: Blogging about Blogging

Today’s topic is Blogging about Blogging!
So, here are a few things I’ve learned from my first year of book blogging:

1. Know Your Genres
Know what you want to review. A lot of blogs (including me) have a review policy. Publishers and authors look at that page to see what you review and what you don’t like. On my “Review Policy” page, I have what genres I like to read and review and what format (print or non-print) I prefer. I also have disclaimers and I tell the authors/publishers straight forward that I have a 100 page limit: if the book doesn’t capture my attention in 100 pages or less, I might not finish or review it. Honestly, saying that out straight forward makes it a lot easier to tell the person if I didn't like the book or something. 

2. Use Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Librarything and anything else
Seriously, networking is amazing! Twitter for one is the simplest way to get review links out there. I have a Goodreads where I update my reviews and as soon as I post a review on Goodreads, a tweet goes up talking about my review. You can set this up easily on Goodreads. It’s a great and simple way to get you reviews and blog out there. Plus, you can make great friends during this process.

3. The Blog’s Look
This is REALLY important. It’s more important than you think. First, figure out if you want to have a personal or a professional or mix kinds of look. I have a mixed look for my blog. Now, when it comes to layouts and templates, I’m not the best out there with HTMLs and stuff but I’ve learned and it’s really simple. First, you want to have a nice, clean look so that the publisher/ author or any reader for that matter, knows that you take care of your blog. They know that you’re a serious blogger and it’s a good idea to come back to your blog. Second, it can be hard on your eyes if your blog has a dark background with really bright text ex. Black background with red or blue text. I prefer a light (light pink, white, light blue) background with black text. Like now, my posts are white background with black text. It’s not hard to see is it? And, who doesn’t want an awesome looking blog? Even if you don’t have money to buy a custom blog layout, there are plenty of designers who offer free blog templates. And you really want to have the most clean, uncluttered sidebars you can have. Regularly remove links that are old so that it doesn't take fifteen minutes for your blog to load on someone's computer!

With all that aside, life comes in with blogging, doesn't it?

4. What are your tips for balance life and blogging?
A lot of people don’t like schedules but since I’m still in high school, schedules help a lot. I have two memes I participate in: “Waiting On” Wednesday that I post on Wednesdays and In My Mailbox which is primary a Sunday post for me. The rest of the week, I try to post at least one or two book reviews or author interview or even a movie review. If I get any bookish news, says a moving casting or a book cover reveal, I post about it on that day I find out about it. I honestly think that you have to work hard at blogging. The thing is, blogging is hard work. If you want a good, decent blog, it takes time out of your day to make it work.

5. Why Do You Blog?
Don’t blog for someone else. Blog because you want to blog. Blog about what you want to blog about. With reviews, review the books you read the way you want to review them. You need to know why you blog. And, really, have fun! :)


3 comments:

  1. Excellent tips. I totally agree with it all. Blogging is hard. It's time consuming but it has it's rewards. I like to branch out to other social book sites like Goodreads and many others I list on my blog. Networking is a vital part of blogging unless you want an audience of one. Great tips.

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  2. Your layout is very easy on the eyes and it loads quickly.

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  3. I have to wonder just how often my review policy gets read because at the rate I get review request for books outside of my review bracket, I'm thinking I wasted internet words on that policy. My normal people, obviously stick to it but new people? I said in my updated policy that if you email me something outside of my realm of reviewing as so outlined, your email will get deleted unanswered. And I have no qualms about that.

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