I hope you’re all doing well. What have you been doing with your week? I’m currently in Cornwall on holiday, enjoying some chilled out time in the sun!
Todays post is a slightly different one, and unlike my usual posts. Lexi and the UK Young Adult Blogger Awards (UKYABA) Team announced they were doing a month long blogger celebration and I jumped at the opportunity to take part. I love the blogging community and am forever grateful for it, so wanted to use this opportunity to give some advice I know I would have really appreciated when I first started blogging.
This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while and I thought now was the perfect chance to share this! These tips are straight forward, easy and fairly self explanatory, but if they help just one person that would be amazing. In the past I’ve had a few people ask me for advice on how to begin blogging so I hope these 5 ideas are useful. 😊
Be sure to check out my Twitter this evening (@FTLOBOOKS) as I’ll also be sharing why I’ve grateful for the blogging community and you’ll have the opportunity to share why you’re grateful for the community too!
Be sure to follow @UKYABA and the hashtag #UKYABA2019 to see everyone’s celebrations and posts that are participating and for all of the Blogging Awards news from YALC 2019, it’s just over a week away now and I’m so excited for the weekend!
If you’re not following me on Social Media, I just wanted to take the opportunity to share that I’ve been shortlisted in the Best Established Blog category. It was such a shock to even be longlisted, let alone shortlisted. I’m so grateful to everyone that took the time to voted for me. It really does mean so much. 😊
5 Blogging Tips For New Book Bloggers:
1. Only blog about what interests you
If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to aspiring book bloggers it would definitely be to blog about what interests you. Always stick to your guns and focus on your interests, it’s pointless to spend time blogging about books or genres you know aren’t for you as it will leave you more than likely fed up of blogging or put you in a reading slump.
While it’s great to branch out and try new things, if there’s certain genres or blog post ideas that aren’t for you that’s okay too. There’s a space for everyone in the community and you shouldn’t feel pressured to do certain memes, tags or posts if you don’t want to do them.
For example, I’m not a huge Fantasy and Sci-Fi fan, but there are a lot of bloggers who love these genres. When I first started blogging I felt I needed to try and keep up with the latest book trends and tag posts to be relevant. While I do love to dip into genres I don’t typically read from time to time, and then end up finding books I love, if I force myself to read certain books I put myself into a reading slump. I’d much rather go for books I think I’ll enjoy and blog about them, then pretend to love books more than I did.
Readers of reviews and blog posts prefer honesty, so it’s always best to just be yourself and blog about what you want to blog about, not what you think you should blog about.
2. Numbers, Followers, and Stats DON’T Matter!
There seems to be such a focus on followers and stats, which can be especially daunting when you first start blogging. I remember thinking I needed to have X amount of followers and X amount of views per post to be valid in the community. If I got lower than X amount of views I’d feel disheartened and feel as though I’d failed. But these things really don’t matter.
Honestly, don’t feel unhappy if you’ve not got a huge following or if your post hasn’t received as many views as you anticipated. All that matters is that you’re enjoying blogging and the content you’re creating. The number of followers, likes, comments and views you have doesn’t make you more or less valued. Yes, these things do tend to come with time and can increase the longer you’re blogging and through sharing posts on Social Media, but your happiness and pride in your posts is the most important thing.
For me, blogging should come from the heart and from a place of enjoyment. In the past I’ve found myself too focused on numbers and have taken a step back to remember why I began blogging in the first place – to share my thoughts on the books I love and talk to like minded people. Others in the community won’t look down on your for your blogging stats, the core of the community is all about a shared love for books.
3. Network Network Network – On Social Media
I can’t stress enough how much this helped me when I first began book blogging. Between 2013-2015 I did blog rarely about different things, such as food, recipes, and social issues but never followed a particular schedule or kept up with my blog. Although this was partly because I was in university, it was mainly because I knew very few bloggers. Without a community to talk to, I easily gave up.
When I started book blogging I had no idea there was such a big community until I followed some other book bloggers on Twitter. My little blogging bubble was opened up to a huge community of welcoming people, many who had only just began book blogging too. I joined a group chat with other book bloggers and the support was fantastic. Everyone was so lovely and I’m still close to many people I met on my first day of book twitter.
These friends have been there for me through blogging and reading slumps, positive achievements and I’ve even met many of them in person. So many bloggers have now become friends for life and I discovered there were more book bloggers in my area than I realised too!
Without networking and pushing myself out of my comfort zone I probably would have given up on book blogging. It’s worth being brave and reaching out to other bloggers, though it may seem daunting 99.9% of us are super friendly and would love to chat with you! Don’t be afraid to open up and make new connections as you’ll probably find lifelong friends and those who support you. It’s also a great way to support other bloggers too. 😊💕
4. Follow Publishing Houses, Those Who Work in Publishing, and Brands on Social Media
If you want to keep up to date with the latest book publications, news and information, then following publishing houses on Social Media (Twitter, in particular) is the best way to do this.
Occasionally publishers will do blogger call outs for their blogging mailing lists. Through these lists you gain access to blog tour opportunities, review copies of books and also ARCS (Advanced Reading Copies of books yet to be released). Although you don’t need ARCS or review copies to be seen as a “valid” book blogger, it’s a great way to read books you’re anticipating before they’re released and share you opinions of them with others. It’s a pretty cool feeling receiving an anticipated book before it’s release date!
In addition to following publishers, it’s also a great idea to follow people that work in publishing, literary agents and authors too. Quite often they will offer review copies of books, reach out to you about blog tours and events too. It’s the best way to find out the latest news and information about all things bookish and to support your favourite authors too.
5. Don’t Tag Authors in Negative Reviews
The last piece of advice I’d give to new bloggers in this post would be to not tag authors in “negative” reviews on Social Media. Authors and publishers really do appreciate reading positive book reviews, but as book bloggers we should be mindful about tagging authors in reviews that may not be completely positive.
There’s always discussions in the community about whether or not bloggers should post lower rated reviews online. Some people choose not to, while others do. This is all down to personal preference. While I have posted 1-2 star rated reviews on my blog in the past, I prefer to make my reviews constructive rather than critical. I’ll always state that while a book may not be for me, someone else may love it. I’ll mention the parts of the book I enjoyed, and will then give constructive feedback on the parts I thought may have been problematic or not as enjoyable for me.
I personally won’t slate a book or be rude in my reviews though, and I’m always mindful of the fact that an author could potentially read it. While I won’t tag an author in a lower rated review, as I post my thoughts on Goodreads and Social Media they may come across it. Authors spend months, even years writing a book and give they’re everything into making it the best it can be. It’s a huge step and achievement to publish a book and I would never want to take this away from an author or make them feel as though their hard work isn’t appreciated.
Given this, it’s important we’re honest, but also respectful while writing book reviews, if that makes sense? We wouldn’t want anyone to be unnecessarily hurtful about blog posts we’ve spend hours writing, so we should give the same respect back to authors and the community. 😊
So those are my 5 tips I’d give to new bloggers. There’s a lot of other advice I’d give, but wanted to keep this post fairly short. If you’d like me to do another post similar to this in the future though, let me know I’m the comments below.
Did you find these tips useful? If you’ve been blogging for a while, what advice would you give to new book bloggers? Leave your suggestions in the comments below so we can all support each other! 😊