I am so excited to welcome to the blog five bloggers that I have known, admired and respected for quite some time. One I met on Twitter, a couple around the blogs and one on Facebook. I feel like I’ve known them all forever, and I’m so thrilled that they accepted my invitation to share some of their wisdom with me and my blog’s readers this blogoversary.
They are all bloggers whose opinions I value, who have fantastic blogs that I try to visit as often as I can, and who have been the source of more than one bookish purchase I’ve made.
They are all so very different from one another which is the perfect example of just how diverse the book blogging community is, how appreciated all their unique voices and styles are, and how the internet allows readers from one country to so very easily interact with those from another.
And so, without further ado let me turn this blog over to….
Kara of Great Imaginations
If you are looking to get blog followers, obviously getting on Twitter and Facebook are a must. I just use Twitter myself, but I know Facebook users are very successful too. However, the best way to get blog COMMENTERS is to comment on other blogs. It takes awhile and it takes a lot of time, but if you want those treasured comments that we all love getting, pick some blogs you like and start commenting! And I don’t mean saying “Nice blog post, come visit mine.” Leave a meaningful comment. Read the post. I know our time is important to all of us and we don’t have a lot of it, but if you want people to actually respond and READ your posts, you have to do the same to them. Show them the respect you want in return. Respect is not given, it is earned.
The other point I would make is that blogging is stressful as hell sometimes. It’s okay if you can’t post every day. It’s okay if you don’t want to read every day. There are a lot of blogs out there to look up to and envy, but you don’t HAVE to be like everybody else. That took me a long time to learn. Some weeks I post every day. Some weeks I only post twice. I battle with depression/anxiety so it’s hard to find motivation sometimes. But that’s totally okay! I am me and I know that the most important thing of all is to blaze my own path and be myself. It’s so easy to put pressure on yourself because you want to have it all and you want it RIGHT NOW. But the reality is that most likely it’s not going to be that way. Most of us will never reach big blog status. And that’s totally okay! If you want readers to appreciate what you write and post, you have to be you. Because your voice and passion will come through only when you stop putting pressure on yourself and just do what you are capable and comfortable with doing.
For a little background…
I am almost positive I first “met” Kara on Twitter. I’d followed a link to one of her reviews and loved her voice. She was honest, intelligent and had a very distinctive voice. I enjoyed the reviews I’d read because they gave me enough insight into a story to make an educated decision about the book without feeling I was reading a rundown of the book itself.
While I don’t always read the same types of books she does and we don’t always agree on the likability factor, I always respect her opinions.
Kara is a hoot to follow on Twitter, too. She’s not afraid to say what she feels or thinks. And she is quite the editrix.
And I couldn’t agree more with both her “tips.” Leaving thoughtful comments is so important and reciprocating is also a must if you want to develop loyal followers and commentators. And being yourself and blogging in a way that works for you is the key to being a happy blogger.
Alex of Electrifying Reviews
Blogging is a lot of work… if you do it right. If you decide to create a blog which you hope will gain a readership, you have to take it seriously. Don’t post about your life or things unrelated to the theme of your blog, because you won’t be able to develop a specific audience which will want to continue to visit. Create as many quality posts as you can; and if you can’t get a worthwhile post ready in time, skip a day instead of posting something worthless.
For a little background…
Alex was one of the very first bloggers I “met” on Twitter. He was offering up a book for trade and I jumped at the chance to trade with him. I wanted that book. I believe it was an advance copy of one of Carrie Ryan’s books from her Forest of Hands and Teeth series.
But Alex’s blog was one of the first blogs I discovered prior to joining Twitter. My friend Nic stumbled across his blog and pointed it out to me. She was amazed that there was someone who was a young teen who was already an established blogger and a writer and who was quite articulate.
His blog was one of about four or five blogs I checked out frequently in those early days. And it’s one I still check out at least a few times a week. I honestly have no idea how he does all that he does.
And I couldn’t agree more with his tip, too. To gain a solid readership you have to keep it focused, keep your message clear. And it is better to skip a day rather than post something that doesn’t meet your blog’s standards.
Thank you so much Alex for sharing your advice. For someone with a successful blog who’s been blogging as long as you have it’s so very helpful!
Kaitlyn of Kaitlyn in Bookland
First, I would like to say congrats to Rachel on her 2-year anniversary! She is such an amazing blogger and person. 🙂
My piece of advice to new bloggers (and even existing bloggers) is to not be afraid to take breaks. I am the queen of going on hiatuses. Some of these last longer than I would like, but sometimes it’s just necessary. If you’re not into it 100%, it will definitely come across in your reviews. I would rather publish something I’m completely happy with on a sporadic schedule than write something that I’m not proud of.
Overall, I would suggest that you make sure you’re blogging for you. If it becomes overwhelming, a short break could be all you need to get back into it. I know that each time I come back from a break it’s because I realize I miss writing about books… and I think every time I come back, my blogs get better and better. I come back rejuvenated and ready to talk books like never before. Maybe it will be the same for you!
P.S. Make sure to make friends in the book blogging world – seriously amazing people!
For a little background…
I either met Kaitlyn on Twitter or Facebook. It’s been so long since we first met that I can’t be sure. But I remember her sharing this amazing story of a book signing she attended with Kami Garcia and the author recognized her from her blog, I believe it was…. Clearly my memory is not as good as Ms. Garcia’s. But it was one of those “to die for” moments.
I absolutely love checking out Kaitlyn’s vlogs. She is so super enthusiastic and a total riot when talking about books. Though I have been a little remiss in checking on them lately… something I must remedy ASAP.
And as someone I adore and someone who started blogging long before I did, I just had to see what piece of wisdom she’d share. And I absolutely love her “tip.” It is so important to take a break. Her enthusiasm for blogging has not waned because she has taken time away when she needed to. While it is hard to step away because of statistics and loss of followers, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, then what do those numbers matter and what kind of content are you providing for your readers?
Thank you, thank you, thank you Kaitlyn for reminding me that stepping away is a good thing!
My advice to new bloggers (how weird does this sound as I still feel like such a newbie myself, even after two years) would be to remember why you started blogging. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy to get more followers/review copies/be the next big name, but if you’re not enjoying yourself it’s not worth it. I’ve made some amazing friends with whom I can share my love of books and that’s what counts for me.
For a little background…
I first met Daisy on my blog Fiktshun’s Ramblings, a.k.a. The Annex. I started participating in The Broke and the Bookish’s meme “Top Ten Tuesday” and discovered her blog because of my participation. And I’m so glad.
Because our paths might not have crossed as we don’t always read the same books. But I love getting a peek at the books she does read and have purchased a few – though they’re still on my TBR pile – from some of her posts.
I love that we both feel like newbies! Two years really isn’t that long is it? And I love the advice she’s given. It’s so important to remember why you started out. Because it is so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of everything in this community. And it’s easy to lose your sense of direction and your reason for being here.
Make lots of friends
I’ve had a great time blogging, getting to read lots of books and talk about them is fun, but it wouldn’t be half as much fun without all the fabulous blogging friends I’ve made in my blogging journey. There’s a huge communtity out there and I’m proud to be part of it, not only do I have someone to ramble my excited thoughts and opinions to but they talk back with their ramblings and we’re all on the same page (pun intended!) because we share our love for books. And some have become more than book friends, we talk about things in our every day lives and even meet up.
So, my advice to any new blogger is to get out there, network, meet other book obssessed nerds who are as crazy for the written word as you are!
For a little background…
I met Mist on Facebook. She’s one of the first bloggers I met when I started my Facebook page. A few of those blogs are no longer in existence or have scaled back. But Mist’s blog, Bookaholics, is going strong.
If I remember correctly, she’d started her Bookaholics Book Club on Facebook and then decided to start a blog. So she’d already had experience and made social connections before venturing out into the blogosphere.
I, on the other hand, was a complete newbie everywhere. But she was so super nice and friendly! And I loved checking out her In Mist’s Mailbox vlogs until I decided that hiding from all book haul posts was a must for awhile. But I loved watching her posts as she always got so many amazing books – many she purchased – though I envied her for having those beautiful UK editions.
And I absolutely agree with everything she said about making friends. Blogging just isn’t the same when you don’t have someone to gush about your favorite books, characters and authors with. It’s not the same without having someone to commiserate with about crazy formatting issues, blogger scheduling mess-ups, and all the other highs and lows that come with being a book blogger.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy blogging schedule to share your tip, Mist!
As I couldn’t ask all five bloggers to share their favorite books for giveaway, I thought I’d offer up one of my very recent favorite reads….
But since I couldn’t ask them for their picks, I am including a few extra entry opportunities to follow these awesome bloggers on Twitter.
My Blogoversary Celebration Day 3 Giveaway is for a copy of STARLING by Lesley Livingston – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – to two winners.
Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)