Or relative newbie. I may have only had this blog for- what? a little over six months?- but I still built this blog from having my mom as my only follower to actual real breathing people following, liking, and commenting on my posts and I’m damn proud. So I’m not going to pretend I know everything– because believe me, I don’t. I still read other’s blogging advice posts and learn new things each time. But I do have some advice I believe can help others out there.
1. Blog Hop
THIS. IS. THE. MOST. HELPFUL. ADVICE. I. CAN. GIVE. YOU. By blog hopping I mean find a blog you like and look through their posts. Then look at other people who comment on their posts and go to their blog. And look through their posts. And at each stop take inspiration from other people’s blog. I am not ashamed to admit that most of my blog has been inspired by other bloggers. For example, I am redoing the graphics on my blog, so I’ve blog stalked people who I believe have beautiful graphics and looked for something I liked or something that gave me an idea for my own blog. But remember that when you are blogging, you are not alone! There are always other blogs that can help you out.
2. Comment on Posts
Not every single one, because that would be a ton, and you still want your comments to be meaningful and not just a generic comment posted on every single blog post you follow. But if someone’s blog post prompts a response from you, respond! Don’t be afraid. All the blogs I’ve met are super sweet and not scary at all so don’t be scared to put yourself out there. In the beginning most of my comments were just “Great post! I really love how you mentioned ______”. It’s an easy way to make your name known but also make friends in the blogging community.
3. Try to Schedule Your Posts
Now, I know some bloggers don’t like the scheduler on WordPress, which is totally fine. But personally, I have found it really helpful, because I’m a pretty forgetful person, and if I didn’t create a blogging schedule and schedule my posts, I would be a pretty erratic poster. In the beginning, I posted as soon as I finished a post, so sometimes I would have three on one day and then no more posts for the next month. Create a schedule, and stick to it. Sundays I post Standalone Sundays, Tuesdays I post a book review, and Thursdays are any other post I want to publish (such as a discussion, tag, or ramblings). Having a schedule just makes it easier for others to know what to expect from you, and helps you make sure you are consistently posting and having a variety of posts.
4. Take part in a Tag
Even if you weren’t tagged! This is for three reasons. Tags are an easy way to generate fun content and create your original voice. Because you aren’t arguing anything in your tags and are just answering fun questions, it is easy to be your true self while writing a tag. It also is an easy way to introduce yourself more to the community. Because you are answering so many random questions, you are revealing your personality and letting other bloggers know who you are. And lastly, it is a great way to get your name out there. If a blogger tagged you, then your name is on their popular blog for all people to see. If you link your post back to the person who tagged you/who’s blog you saw the tag on, you create a Pingback which can show up in the comments section of a blog. And if you tag other people in your tag (which you should!) then it creates a whole snowball effect where they mention you in their blog post and then their whole following community is exposed to you. In fact, most of the blogs I follow, I discovered when another blogger either mentioned them in a tag or tagged them. Plus, tags are just plain fun!
5. Create Some Sort of Theme For Your Blog
This doesn’t have to be a theme like princesses (love you Mandy) or rainforest or something. This could be a simple as a color scheme for your blog or a certain object you really like so you use as cute graphics. But you should have some sort of unifying thing in your blog. That will make your graphics easier to design, your whole blog more cohesive, and your content more original.
6. Be you!!
A blog is the best place to truly be you. Don’t try to copy someone else’s blogging style if it feels forced, just write however feels natural. If that’s with a lot of gifs, do it! If that’s with really flowery and elegant writing, do it! If that’s with informal text language, do it! Don’t be afraid to fangirl if that’s natural for you. In fact, some of my favorite blog posts to read are when the blogger is fangirling over something, because that makes me excited. And don’t read a book just because everyone is reading it and you think you have to to survive as a book blogger. I mean, if you’re interested in it then do it. But if suddenly, every single book blogger I followed started to read this really suspenseful, gory horror/thriller novel, I wouldn’t read it, because that just doesn’t appeal to me.
7. You Don’t Have to Review Every Book You Read
This one took me a while to figure out. But if you don’t have enough to say about a book because it was just meh, then don’t review it. You’re going to end up repeating information over and over again. Also, it won’t be fun for you to write, which means it won’t be fun for others to read. Also, I know this is true for me, but when I started my book blog, I found myself reading a ton more, just because there were more books that interested me. I just didn’t have time to review every single one!
8. Use Bold, Italics, Headings, Different Colors, Strikethroughs, or Any Other Tool to Spice Up Your Writing and Highlight Certain Things
There’s nothing worse than opening up a blog post to find a long, singular block of text, with nothing jumping out at you. As you can tell, I use bold a ton, and headings a ton, because it breaks up your writing and makes this long, 1000+ more interesting to read. If you emphasize something in your head while writing it down, then bold or italics or do whatever you want to emphasize it in the text as well. It will just make things so much easier and interesting to read.
9. Get Social Media. Or Don’t. But Don’t Feel Pressured Either Way
I’ve seen many posts say you need social media as a book blogger to grow your blog. I’ve also seen many posts say social media is overrated and unnecessary. I say, get it if it’s your thing. I only have a Twitter, because that’s the only bookish social media I can handle. I basically just tweet at authors, follow other book blogs, post my book buying struggles, and share my blog posts. It has grown my book blog gradually, but it definitely isn’t imperative to have. If you just don’t have the time to manage social media accounts as well (me) or the skill for a certain social media platform (me for bookstagram) or the interest in creating one, then don’t. While it is helpful, it is not the only way to grow your book blog, and most of my followers didn’t even come from social media.
10. Use Canva For Professional Looking Graphics
This piece of advice was actually given to me on one of my open forum question posts. Canva is a free website that has tons of different sizes for your graphic (so if you are into social media and want to create a twitter header or a pinterest graphic, Canva’s got you), layouts to help you out if you aren’t super creative (like me), and a wide variety of fonts and colors. All my graphics are made on Canva (although sometimes I upload my own photos), and it really has been a lifesaver for me and my uncreative graphic design mind.
And that’s it for my 10 blogging tips. I hope this was helpful to anyone reading!
What blogging tip would you give a new blogger? Do you disagree with any of my tips? Do you use any of these strategies?