08 June 2012

Armchair BEA Day #5 - Ask the Experts


It's the last day of Armchair BEA *sniff*, I hope you've all had a great time! Today's topic is 'Ask the Experts'

Now, I don't even imagine that I'm an expert in book blogging, and I seriously doubt I ever will be - there's way too much to learn! I don't know HTML, I'm not in the least technically minded and I've only been doing this for 7 months now. But there are some things I wish I'd known before I started book blogging.

Preparation is KEY. I started blogging on a complete whim one afternoon. I took about 10 minutes to think up a name, chose Blogger as my platform as I'd briefly flirted with it a couple of years ago, and posted a couple of reviews. I don't regret my name, because it fits me and my reading perfectly, but I wish I had done some more prep:

- I should have had a bigger 'review backlist' - for the first three months I was literally reading to post a review the following day. Now I'm doing better and schedule reviews about a month in advance, but it would have saved me a lot of stress if I'd had that option from the beginning.

- I wished I had spent longer setting up my template and 'look' before launching my blog. I've done everything as I've gone along, and although I don't mind changing things around, it would have been much easier to work it all out before making my blog public.

- When I first started receiving review requests, I accepted everything. It took me a couple of months to realise that there was no way I could read all of those books and I'm still dealing with fallout from that all these months later.


- Networking is essential! It took me months to get on Twitter and set up a Facebook page. Twitter is the best way to meet new bloggers, readers and authors, and it's where I get most of my new traffic.

- Don't take everything so seriously. Yes, we should be dedicated to our blogs if we want people to keep coming back, but if you forget to post something, or if you simply don't have something to post, it's not necessary to get up early/stay up late, write something crappy just for the sake of having a post, or obsess about it. Have fun with blogging and for the sake of your sanity, read a book just for fun every now and then :-D

Is there something you wish you could have done differently with your blog? Any awesome tips to make blogging easier?

10 comments:

  1. I don't know if I would've ever planned the whole review backlist thing personally. My blog kind of morphed into a book blog, but I definitely agree about accepting review requests! That's the biggest way you dig yourself into a reviewers hole. I still have some from months ago that I haven't gotten to because I accepted them back when I said yes to almost everything.

    I think those are great tips, so don't worry about only having 7 months of experience. :) You definitely have some awesome things to day. :)

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  2. I just breathed a huge sigh of relief. I am so glad that I'm not one of the only people who ended up under a huge review pile from that beginning phase. I haven't accepted any non-blog tour review in over a month, and I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was (and still am!) so honored to be asked to read someone's masterpiece, but I know now that the kindest thing to do is to say no if I'm not interested or strapped for time.

    I'm still trying to work on my layout, too. One of my interwebz-savvy friends is working on a new look for Bibliophilia, Please, so hopefully I won't look like a tourism blog anymore. Maybe there'll even be a button and business cards soon, too! :-D

    Just so you know, you may not think of yourself as an expert, but you're one of the few bloggers that I really look up to and read every day. You're a month and a half older than me - how could you not be a role model?! :-D

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  3. I agree it helps to have posts scheduled in advance. I never quite manage for more than a few days though - I read faster than I type :)

    Hope you have enjoyed ABEA

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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  4. I learned the "don't accept everything" one pretty early on after accepting a few pretty bad self-pubs because I was so excited I had received a request!

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  5. Thanks for sharing these tips! Especially about not taking it too seriously which sometimes I think most of us do.

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  6. I absolutely adore your blog's name:)

    We all got hit by that accepting everything bug when first getting started. I found myself reading books that I probably wouldn't have even accepted if I had read the synopsis a bit more slowly. In fact, I still have books sitting here from 3 years ago!

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  7. Yes, having some posts to fall back on, especially in the beginning, is so important. And I haven't got a Facebook page yet but I guess I should get on that soon. P.S. I love your ladybug rating system, it's so cute! :)

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  8. I wouldn't worry about your template. It is fun changing things around and you won't necessarily keep the same design forever. Plus, it is a learning thing. You might have loved something in the beginning, but changed your mind as you got going.

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  9. I think moderation is key to a successful blog. Don't read too much just to post reviews, don't stress if things aren't your idea of "perfect" & make sure to have fun. That's what I got from your post & I think that's a great attitude to have! Tattooed Books

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  10. I hated my blog name when I first started and it took me forever to come up with another one. And I didn't have a review backlog, either. It all worked out for the best, though.

    I love your blog header! So cute.

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