Happy Friday everybody!
I’m back with a bit more advice for anyone just starting their blog. This week’s advice focuses on something that still makes me feel like a brand new blogger sometimes, and that is my blog posts! Sometimes it’s really hard to know when or what to post, or if a draft is ready to be posted, even if you’ve been blogging for years.
So, even though I still struggle with this sometimes, I’m gonna try to give some tips I’ve picked up along the way that may make blogging a little easier for any of you new bloggers out there.
#5- Only post what you want to post.
When you first start blogging, it can seem like there are hundreds of different kinds of posts: book hauls and monthly wrap-ups and weekly features; the list goes on forever. Don’t feel like you HAVE to do any of those things. It’s good to have a little variety in your blog, but don’t feel like you MUST write a monthly wrap-up just because every blog you follow does. To this day, I have never done a book haul or NetGalley feature, even though I see them everywhere, and I haven’t suffered at all for it.
#4- Book Review advice
If you’re starting a book blog, it’s pretty likely that you’ll be posting book reviews, which can sometimes be tricky. A little while ago, I did two posts about writing negative reviews, so you can check those out here and here. For writing positive reviews, my only advice is to try to stay coherent. I know it’s hard sometimes when I REALLY LOVE a book to sound sane in my review. I just want to rant and rave about it until every single person on the planet has finally caved in and read it! While it’s okay to rave, just try to stay somewhat sane-sounding.
#3- Post more than just book reviews.
I want to be 100% honest with you guys: reviews are probably the type of post I read the least. There are a lot of reasons for that, but I’ll just give you the top two:
When I go looking for reviews, I usually go to Goodreads. It’s just easier to find and access them there than it is to try and hunt them down on people’s blogs. If a review for a book I’m interested in comes up on my feed, I’ll probably read it, but I don’t really go out of my way to find them.
And reviews don’t allow for a whole lot of follower interaction. Most comments will be really minimal. I’m not trying to discourage those comments; I appreciate them, but there’s no conversation there, just a recognition that you wrote a post.
If writing full-on discussion posts seems a little intimidating or daunting at first (sometimes they still intimidate me a little bit) a great way to add some variety is to join a weekly meme like Top 5 Tuesdays. These posts still encourage discussions- people want to talk about their Top 5s or what great taste you have in books- but you don’t have to spend the time coming up with new topics every week (shout-out to Shanah for doing the hard part for us!).
#2- Don’t be afraid to copy!
We’ve all been there: you’ve spent all week racking your brain for the perfect post idea, and you’ve still come up empty. And then you see a post come across your Reader that seems like the perfect idea, but someone else got to it first! That’s okay! Go ahead and copy them, with credit, of course. It’s A-OK to say “I saw Rendz do this awesome discussion post, and I thought I’d add my two cents!” Book blogging is a great community; by all means, go ahead and use someone’s idea, just make sure you give them credit if you do.
There’s also another small fear I had in the copying department: I had ideas for discussion posts, but I knew someone, somewhere had probably already talked about it at some point. That’s okay, too! I’m pretty sure EVERY blogger, at some time or other, has written their own e-books vs hard copy post. It’s practically a book blogger initiation. But this is your blog; even if someone else has done a similar post, they may not look at it the same way you do, or you may add a humorous twist. Don’t be afraid to just go for it!
#1- Use your own voice.
It’s tempting to see someone with a TON of followers, and try to copy how they sound because, obviously, people seem to enjoy it. Or, sometimes, bloggers are so focused on correct grammar and using their huge vocabulary, that they come across as really formal or unapproachable. The best advice I can give you for writing blog posts is to just sound like you! You’ll seem more friendly, you’ll enjoy blogging more, and writing new posts won’t seem like so much work!
If you’re ever unsure about whether you sound too unlike you, just reread the post out loud, if you can. Any areas that really trip you up or make you stumble, are probably a spot where you don’t sound quite like yourself.
Thanks for reading!
Did you find any of these tips helpful? What were some of the things you struggled with when first trying to write posts? What is some advice you would give to new bloggers about their blog posts? Let me know in the comments below!