Monday, April 16, 2012

Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

I still consider myself to be a “New Blooger” even though Reading with ABC will turn a year next month.  Amazing huh!  I have an awesome celebration in the works for all of you, so stay tuned.  Sorry for the rambling, so back on topic, these are some of the things that I found helpful:

1.  Care about your readers – Most of us have a blog because we like to share our love for books and reading with others, make sure that shows!  Reply to comments, visit other blogs, make friends. 

2.  Google is your best friend – if you don’t know how to do something, use Google!  I’ve found amazing tips on blogging and on Blogger this way.

3.  Make your blog a pleasant place to be – Yes, you should love your blog appearance, but keep in mind that you are not the only person that has to look at it.  For the most part people don’t like clutter (think about visiting a friend’s house for the first time and how you will be judging everything).  Make your blog an expression of yourself, but make an effort to make it pleasant, easy to navigate, easy to find, easy to load, and easy to comment.  This is probably common sense, but be professional and respectful.

4.  If you can’t do it yourself hire someone to do it for you – I am not the most technical oriented person in the world.  I wasn’t happy with my blog’s appearance so I hired the fabulous Hafsah from Icey Designs to make a custom design for me.  It was a painless, fast and inexpensive process and I love my blog now! (I hope you do too :-)

5.  ARCs don’t fall from the sky – If you started a book blog just to get ARCs, I suggest you re-think your motives.  I started my blog at a moment in my life that I know if was going to be challenging to do so (I’m taking my last class for a graduate certificate now), so I really don’t have time to request ARCs from publishers.  I do enjoy ARCs in eBook format from NetGalley, and that is a nice perk.

6.  Having a blog is hard work that you do for free – If I told you that your boss wants you to work 10 extra hours a week for free, would you do it?  I can hear you saying “of course not”, but this exactly what book bloggers do.  I believe that I work on my blog for about 10-15 hour a week and I still feel like I’m not doing a good job keeping up, but I just don’t have the time right now if I still want to read. 

7.  If you can, turn captcha off! – Both Blogger and Wordpress have spam detectors.  I don’t know about you but sometimes I can’t figure out what those weird words are and by the time I have to try it three times, I just won’t comment.  If you have to use one, be nice about it like The Muggle’s Magical Book Blog, she has something called ‘sweet captcha’ that is actually fun to use (versus annoying).

8.  Use spellchecker and proofread – English is my second language, so I probably need more help than most, but I typically write my posts in Word first.  Word catches most of my spelling and grammar errors, which is fantastic.  I try to proofread and edit as I go too, I’m sure I still make mistakes, but I try my hardest not to.

9.  Followers are great, but they are not everything – Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my followers; I love comments, feedback and suggestions.  BUT numbers are not everything.  Don’t get obsessed with getting bigger numbers if it means you are compromising quality or molding your blog to be something you never intended it to be.  

10. Use other sites and social media to network – Your blog is wonderful (after all is all yours, right?), but you should also take advantage of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.  Link your reviews to automatically post to your Twitter account. Sign up for Networked Blogs and Linky, provide easy was for people to follow you. Post your reviews in at least Goodreads and Amazon.  Get out there and make friends!!

I hope you find the information helpful!  What is in your Top Ten this week?


  1. Thanks for these helpful tips, Liza! I am a new blotter and I am always on the hunt for tips from others more successful and experienced than me.

    -McKenna :)

  2. I can't believe the time either. However, it is a lot of fun. That hardest thing I have is trying to find enough to read. That's why I started this in the first place. Great post :)

  3. I'm so glad so many people are talking about turning capcha off, and the fact that blogging doesn't just mean free books - though I didn't actually mention it myself!

    Great list!

    Tara @ Hey, Tara

  4. Great advice! After one ad a half year I still need to improve on number one - I need to comment more.

  5. Great tips! I think the more of us who say "no" to CAPTCHA this week in our posts, the better! I'm also happy that you mentioned proofreading! It should go without saying, but sadly, it doesn't!

    Check out my Top Ten!

  6. Agreed with 7! I hate finding a cool blog and then not being able to comment. It's limiting conversation and that's no fun.

    Alison at The Cheap Reader

  7. I'd rather have 5000 comments than 500 followers. It's just that I think those numbers rarely say something, because following, these days, doesn't really mean a thing to most people. And why should it? Following lately means "I've been here" and that's about it. *g*

    Oh SweetCaptcha is really great. I searched for days for a good one last year and then found it and instantly had to tell everyone about it LOL

    I have however deactivated it when I realized that some browsers wouldn't work properly with the combination of SweetCaptcha and some other javascripts I used in my theme. *sigh*

    Erm, anyway, I really love your list!

    Patricia // My Post

  8. These tips are great! I agree with using Google, if I don't know it, I'm sure Google will! And number 9 is so important too! Just because a blog doesn't have hundreds of followers doesn't mean it's not a great blog!

    My Top Ten Post

  9. Thank you so much for posting these fantastic tips!

    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

  10. Thanks for the great tips! I definitely agree that having a blog is hard work that you do for free. I can't tell you how many friends of mine have been like "you do it for free? WHY?!" and I'm like "because I like it."

    My Top Ten Tuesday

  11. Care about your readers, I really liked that one :)


I love comments! Please leave me one and I will try to reply as soon as I can. Liza


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