Saturday, April 18, 2015

Advice To New Bloggers

My fourth year of blogging would make me a senior in high school, which is a bad example because my senior year sucked and I probably shouldn't even be giving any kind of advice but we'll discuss that tomorrow.

It turns out I already posted advice during my blogoversery 3 years ago for a top ten Tuesday, so I decided to just expand or maybe adjust what I said then.

Lets see what wise advice can I give to the newcomers. I guess I can always start with the advice that was given to me when I first started...
Hmm... Yeah I can't think of any.
Not that there wasn't any; when I started inviting people to check it out, along with all the well wishes, I did receive some advice. But I guess blogging is more of a live and learn thing.

Although, like I always say "Live and learn, then live some more and realize Hey I already learned this!."

1. Just go with the flow. It wasn't until the start of this year that my posts started to come out smoothly. The first few months everything was so choppy. Random review here, whatever I was reading there. A couple of those months had nothing but book trailers.

Yes I still agree with going with the flow, but scheduling what you want to posts wouldn't hurt either.
I guess my point was don't worry about missing a post, don't think you're on a deadline. Unless you are; then definitely have those done days in advance.

2. Don't worry When I first started I had my moments when I would just start worrying. I didn't know what I was going to be writing, it's not like I was reading the newest things out. Plus I didn't want to be all about books, so what would my main topic be? I'm still wondering about that.

At times I still admit to wondering. This is really only a book blog every two weeks, of course the weeks it's not are usually the ones I'm more relaxed about my posts. Some days I just don't know what, or want to, write and I do still worry about what I'm going to say. But like I said above: no deadlines no problems.

3. Don't try to fit in

I gave this advice again (along with the video) during the Loveathon back in February but later felt like I should have elaborated.
Although really; what's to explain? Just because you see another blogger doing things one way doesn't mean you should try to fit into that system.
This clip was cut off and in case you've never seen I Love Lucy it goes on to show her in a row with the girls where she clearly stands out. Don't be afraid to stand out, but do it your way.

Which also goes well with:
4. DON'T look at other blogs. Just don't. You might not purposely be comparing yours to theirs but deep down it might just happen without you even noticing.

"That blog get's great ARCs. That blog always has amazing giveaways. This blogger has a way with her reviews."
It's like I tell my sister's kids when they have to split a donut and I get a whole one: "Don't look at other people, focus on what you have."
Your time will come. There might even be a time when you have so many ARCs you won't know what to do with them, because reading might not be a top option.

It's not all about the ARCs though. I maybe only get one hard copy a year, so I still think those moments are special.
There are a few sites that will offer books, published or pre-published, for reviews so all you have to do is find them and give your honest opinion. Don't worry how others are writing their reviews do it the way you feel is right.
This advice from the blogger that get's a little crazy and tends to wander with her reviews.
Every once in awhile when an author likes my review or contacts me about it, I always look back to make sure I didn't write anything too weird. I usually do, but, hey, the authors didn't mind.

5. If you write it they will read. Don't worry how many people (if any) read what you write as long as it's out there someone will find it.

Not much to add to that one. Still true.

6. Write for you. In the words of me: "I'm not blogging to give my opinion on anything or to get attention I'm just doing it to do it. I have a lot running though my mind, and I might as well put it out there."

I am writing for me, and have ended up throwing out quiet a few opinions because of it. It's how I feel towards the subject, it's in my head I "might as well put it out there." But, then again, most of the topics I've covered haven't been too serious. If you want to get controversial with one of the three subjects that should never be discussed that's all you.

7. Blog like no one is reading.  I can't say the number of weird things I've posted on my Facebook and then later realized "Oops! My Uncle/Mom's friend/old dance teacher could have read that!"
While I do make more of an effort to edit myself on here (a lot more people I can offend) I still put it all out there. I've also mentioned that I don't sugarcoat things.
Then I get notes from authors about the review I wrote on their books and think to myself "Oh crap! I forgot about you."
Thankfully all those notes have been good.

Like I said above: Say what you're going to say.

8. Don't try to buy followers. One tip I got when I first started was a good way to gain followers was to host giveaways. Well if you do that you don't know if they're following you for you or for what you can offer them. It wasn't until this month that I joined a huge giveaway hop, before then I had only joined maybe one or two. That's maybe a third of my following everyone else I know is here because they wanted to be.

The number of followers I have is not high for someone who has been blogging for four years- I don't even think it's high for someone doing it two years- but that's because they follow because they chose to, not because I was offering something to them.

On that note I am currently giving away a copy of Insurgent. No follow required.

Good, non-giveaway, way to gain followers: Have authors and blog tours promote you. All you have to do is promote their book. There are plenty of sites looking for book bloggers to join their tours.


9) A follow for a follow isn't a bad idea. A lot of new bloggers will follow you if you return the favor.

Still true.


10) It also might be. They might only be following you to help themselves.

Try to form a bond with new bloggers to see how it goes in the end.

Check back tomorrow where I take apart all my advice. No seriously.

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