Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA: Day 5: Blogging on Blogging

Best of 2011 List

Today is the Book Bloggers Convention for those who were able to travel the distance to BEA.  For those of us who were unable to make that journey we have the option to blog about blogging.

I'm not a professional by any stretch of the means, but if I asked to give some advice to a new blogger this is what I maybe could possibly offer.

1. Let your personality shine through.  
Think of your blog as if it were a brand.  You want people to take notice of you, inquire about you, then decide if you are the type of product worth purchasing.  

2. You just can't be a pretty face.
While I think part of blogging is making sure your blog reflects who you are, that doesn't only translate to how it looks. Content truly is key to a great blog.  While our eyes are drawn to flattering and creative designs I think I can speak for a huge majority of bloggers out there when saying that if you don't have the content to back up your blog we aren't going to follow you.  I don't think your reviews all have to be on ARCs or that you have to offer the latest in bookish information, but if you have nothing to offer me beyond recycled meme posts, then no, I won't follow you.  

3.The balancing act + Organization 
Yes, I fail at this from time to time but the balancing act of life and blogging can be done with a little effort.  For each person the balancing act is different.  Whether it be prioritizing your goals, not getting side tracked, or scheduling your online time and what you want to get done during that time.  They key is remembering you have a life outside of blogging- part of it being reading.

What do I mean by organization?  This is different for everyone but a big one I see people complain about is forgetting if you've featured a book.
Say you want to post your Waiting on Wednesday post but cant remember if you already posted your book.  There are a few things you can do to help yourself out, in the organizational department.
[1] Run a search on your blog - This is a nifty widget and useful to both you AND your readers.
[2] Check your tags - Some people don't seem to tag much.  I don't ever go over the top like some bloggers but I do make use of them.  Title of the author(s), book(s), genre(s), post type (like waiting on wednesday, or imm).  These are helpful to you, your readers and for search engine optimization. 
[3] Keep a list.  This will work for some and not for others but just as easy to keep.

4. Don't let a clique of Bloggers define what is right and what is wrong.
This seems to be happening a lot lately.  Bloggers feel that their way is the only right way, or only respectable way, or only deserving way.  I think it takes many types to make the world go. You can't let others define what type of blogger you are.  If I don't like what you are doing that much I won't follow you. 
5. Some stuff just isn't cool.  
On the above note, some stuff just isn't cool.  Copying other people's content, stealing custom designs and photo-shopping it to be your own.  All of those things are not cool and you will probably receive a public blasting over it.  Our blogs are a reflection of us and some people work really hard on them... don't ruin it for them because you want to take the easy way out.  Some people may not truly know where the line resides  but in most cases it truly is just common sense.  

6. Blogging is hard work but don't get discouraged. Blog for yourself.
We all go through blogging slumps.
Just remember...
Blog for yourself.  Don't blog for others.  Don't blog for followers.  Don't blog even for comments.  Don't blog for books. Blog because you want to and you'd do it with or without the ARCs, the followers, the comments.
Blogging slumps are just part of the game.  You'll be going through one then a mystery book shows up on your door step, you get a new follower and a sweet comment, or a spiriting lifting message and you forget of those two weeks you felt like quitting.  

7, It is okay to take a break!
I take breaks, really I do.  If you lose followers because you take a short break, then screw em'.  I just make a twitter post or blog post that I'll be around, but taking a short break, and leave it at that.  People can either understand or they can't.  I don't get paid for this.  Contests usually come out of my pocket.  I do this because I want to... but I DO have a fabulous husband, great kid, and a life outside of blogging and sometimes I gotta just take a load off and read without reason.  But really, it is okay to take a break.  We all do it! 

So, there you have it.  My blogging on blogging post.
I hope you have all enjoyed ARMCHAIR BEA.  I know I have.
Thanks to those who made ARMCHAIR BEA happen and to the sponsors.  I've had a great week on those days I was able to participate.


  1. Wonderfully put. I stumbled it so others will see it (hopefully). You made some great points especially about book cliques! It's easy to get wrapped up in them.

    Well-Read Reviews


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