And Ryann’s Advice series continues! I hope some people are finding this series helpful; sometimes I feel like I’m still a little newbie blogger trying to give other newbie bloggers advice.
This week’s advice post is probably going to seem a little less exciting than the other two, because, as the title suggests, I’ll be talking about some technical, behind-the-scenes things today. These technical tidbits may not be the most glamorous, but they will
hopefully help improve your blog overall.
Let’s get to it!
#5- Have a Review Policy, and make it easy to find
A Review Policy tells authors and publishers a little bit about who you are as a reviewer. It should include your most-read genres, genres you usually won’t accept for review, your preferred reading formats, and whether you accept self-published books and less common formats like audiobooks. This is also where you should state that all reviews will be your honest opinion (which they should be) and whether you only review books that you enjoyed or any other addenda. (Feel free to take a look at my Review Policy if you want an example to work with. Here’s another great example.) In short, your review policy should give publishers and authors a general idea of your reviewing tastes, so they can decide if you’re the right reviewer for the job.
#4- Post reviews within the book’s publishing month
From a publishing standpoint, the whole point of reviews is to create hype and excitement around a book. If I post a book review 6 months before it’s published, chances are my review didn’t do a whole lot to help the hype. The idea is that readers are seeing a lot of reviews for a book all at once, so they become more inclined to remember/buy it.
Also, it’s helpful to post your reviews to places like Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble. Generally speaking, the more reviews a book has, the more visibility the book gets on those sites. (Since Amazon can be a bit finnicky about letting people post reviews before the release date, I usually wait until the end of the month, then copy/paste my reviews from my blog to their sites.)
#3- Don’t abuse NetGalley
NetGalley is an awesome resource for new book bloggers. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s basically a site where you can go find a whole bunch of upcoming releases and request advanced copies. If the publisher agrees to let you review the book, you’ll get an e-book sent right to you. Pretty great, right?
When I first started blogging, I went CRAZY on NetGalley. I knew I wouldn’t get accepted for every book I requested, so I requested them ALL. Next thing I knew, I was drowning in books I had no chance of finishing before they were published.
DON’T BE LIKE ME! It’s tempting, but try to limit yourself. It will change depending on how fast you read and such, but my advice is to only request 4 books being published per month. So only request 4 books being published in February, 4 books being published in March, etc. That’s one book a week, which isn’t too overwhelming, especially if you request them ahead of time. It leaves a little bit of wiggle room declined requests, but isn’t too much if all your requests are accepted.
#2- Make sure your photos/gifs/other media have a title
It’s a little thing, but it’s sooooo helpful! To change a photo’s title, click on it when you’re in your media library, hit “edit,” and it’ll be on the right.
When you upload things from your computer, the title is automatically the same as the file name. But if you ever use images from Google or other places online, the title is usually pretty random; change it to make sure it’s something you remember. That way, if you ever have to use that image/gif again, you don’t have yo go hunting through your entire media library. You can just search for it and be done.
One of the great things about blogging is the community! And a big part of the book blogging community is tags and awards! We all enjoy reading each other’s opinions and asking questions, so we tag each other and ask all sorts of crazy, personal questions. So, if you tag someone, how do you make sure they know they’ve been tagged?
This is where pingbacks come in. If you want to make sure someone knows they’ve been tagged, or you really want someone to take note of a post, add a link to a specific post on their blog. If you link to a specific post, they’ll get a notification saying “Hey! So-and-so just added a link to your post!”
But it has to be linked to a specific post. Just linking to their blog= no notification. It’s easier than trying to inform each taggee (?) individually. Plus, having an actual notification can help make it easier for them to keep track of it!
Thanks for reading!
Were any of these tips helpful? If you’ve been blogging for a while, what are some tips you’ve picked up along the way? Are there any other technical things you have questions about? Let me know in the comments below!