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Top 10 Tuesday: Advice to New Book Bloggers

you can do it!

So you want to be a book blogger, huh? Today’s Top 10 Tuesday from Broke and the Bookish is a great one for those who are budding book bloggers and also just a reminder for those who have been at it for a few months or a few years. Magan and I have been working on this puppy since November and it’s been such an amazing experience. We’ve gotten to read amazing books, write a lot, meet and chat with some amazing bookish people, and as friends, get a whole lot closer. Hopefully our 10 give you a little insight into our daily reminders to ourselves and also what we think makes our blog work. Good luck to all!

1. Be yourself. Um hello. You are awesome and don’t you forget it.

2. Don’t get discouraged. I know. Easier said then done, right? It’s easy to get worked up when you see other blogs getting more comments or ARCs and mentions on Twitter. But really, you will get there too. Keep your head up and just keep on trucking. Your focus needs to be on good, solid content. If you write it, they will come. (ha ha)

3. Comment on other reading blogs! This is a huge one. Think about how happy you are when your blog gets a comment. Your heart skips a little beat when you realize someone took the time to write a response to something YOU wrote. That’s pretty amazing. Return the flavor. Don’t be afraid to disagree or tell someone you like what they are saying. It might seem like a little thing because it takes a moment but really… it’s huge! (Plus this is a great way to get your blog out there!)

4. Don’t feel like you only have to read ARCs, new releases or what’s popular. It gets a little boring to keep reading reviews of the same books over and over again. Everyone is so different and their blogs (and TBR lists) should reflect that. There’s your own book collection and taking out piles of books from the library. Take a chance and read something new!

5. Social media is about being social. Whether Facebook or Twitter is your social media of choice, don’t forget the most important thing about them: being social. While it might be hard to reply to every mention and comment, it’s important to acknowledge people who take the time to contact you and also engage in conversations via social media. It’s a great way to make friends, let people know about your blog, and also get to know you a bit more!

6. Don’t assume that just because you’ve gotten an ARC or eBook from NetGalley that you’re required to love the book. Share your honest opinion.

7. Put your own spin on your blog and combine who you are with the books you love. It’s okay to put yourself out there to really distinguish who you are. Do you love music (see how NovelSounds incorporates that passion)? Are you a cat person (look at how VeganYANerds photographs each book with one of their pets)? The possibilities are endless.

8. If there are things you’re doing that a) you don’t enjoy or b) take the fun out of blogging, reprioritize or quit doing them. I, M, have learned that my least favorite part of writing a review is adding all the information (book cover, publication date, publisher, linking things, etc.) to a review. While this is info E and I want to share on the blog, I’ve found that if I do it after I’ve written my review, it doesn’t feel like it’s taken me as long to do.

9. If you need to take a break, do it. In the end, a blog is a blog, and life is life. Everyone gets burnt out sometimes, and it’s easy for blogging to feel like it’s taking over your life and all your time. Really, don’t let it. No one is going to stop reading your blog because you took a break or needed to stop reading for awhile. There is life outside the blogging world. And you must go out there and live it.

10. Support each other. We can’t forget that this is a community bonded by their love of books and reading. It’s not about competition but appreciating others for their opinions and preferences. We will never forgot how Jamie from Broke and the Bookish was so supportive of our blog from Day 1. Whether it’s a comment, a tweet, linking up reviews, whatever… it’s so important to show the love for the others who work just as hard as you do and for other bloggers to recognize potential in newer bloggers and most importantly, help each other out when we can.

We can’t wait to see what advice you guys have. Since we’re still newbies, too, there are some tips we’re sure to pick up from you!

June 18, 2012 - 12:11 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I love this list of tips! It’s definitely handy for newbie bloggers (like me, even though I started a month or two before you did) and I think it’s sound advice. Great post!

April 25, 2012 - 1:27 pm

Magan - Megan, I 100% agree. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to see the SAME things on repeat on blogs. I subscribe to a LOT of blogs because even though I’m a “blogger,” I’m first and foremost a reader. It gets a little disheartening sometimes to see the SAME things over and over and over again. However, I do have some favorite people out there, so I know if I see a “popular” book on their blogs, I can trust their opinion if they loved it! I guess it’s also about wanting honest reviews and not just writing reviews for the sake of making the publishers happy. Fact is, we won’t love every book, ya know?

April 25, 2012 - 11:54 am

Megan @ Read It, See It - #4 is by far my favorite on this list. I love seeing reviews for books I haven’t seen or heard about before and when everyone is on the ARC train it gets boring reading the same rave review about the same book over and over. It’s actually put me off of reading a few books because I didn’t think they’d ever live up to the 52 rave reviews I saw of the same book. Gah! I love seeing older or lesser known books pop up on blogs.

April 18, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Jasmine Rose - I think people tend to get hung up on the idea of reading only what’s hot so they very rarely travel back in the TBR. I think it’s really important to read older books too. They deserve attention and maybe you have a reader that would absolutely adore it. So go ahead and read whatever you want!

April 17, 2012 - 9:38 pm

VeganYANerds - Aw, you girls are the best, thanks for mentioning our blog, our pets love all the attention!

You have offered up some fantastic tips for bloggers both new and old, this is such a great community to be a part of!

April 17, 2012 - 9:26 pm

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - Thanks for stopping by my blog, Magan! I always love to see your comments =)

You have SUCH a great list — I nodded and said “So TRUE!” out loud to all of them! Thanks for sharing!

April 17, 2012 - 5:54 pm

Meredith - I totally agree with every single thing you said. Such great advice!! 🙂

-Meredith

April 17, 2012 - 5:52 pm

Deserae McG - What an awesome post. Kind of perfect for me, at the moment. Thank you girls so much. Very glad to have stumbled upon such a supportive network for readers.

Wishing you both well,
Deserae

April 17, 2012 - 3:55 pm

Karen - Great advice and I really like #4. Not just because you shouldn’t be blogging just to get free books but also because it’s nice to read reviews for books that might not be the most popular but need an advocate to make sure more people hear about them.
That’s why most of us started blogging.
And yes! Take a break if you need it. If you are so stressed out that you end up having to quit blogging then what’s the point? Keep it fun.

April 17, 2012 - 3:47 pm

Elizabeth - I am so glad to see tip #4… sometimes I get caught up in the hype of a new book and I am (slowly) realizing that reading to keep up with Joneses is silly and frustrating. The world will not end and my blog will not implode if I don’t read the next big thing book!

April 17, 2012 - 2:12 pm

Melanie @thedailyprohecy - You are awesome, don’t forget it. That’s one I really like :)!

And honest opinioins are very important. Really nice tips, thanks!

http://thedailyprophecy.blogspot.com/2012/04/top-10-tuesday-6.html

April 17, 2012 - 1:11 pm

Sash from Sash and Em - Love you girls so much! Also, YALL are awesome (so don’t forget it) 😉

April 17, 2012 - 12:51 pm

Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog - Terrific advice! Thank you so much for posting these tips.

April 17, 2012 - 10:52 am

Erin - I totally agree with your #2! It’s easy to get discouraged when you follow blogs that are constantly getting ARCs to review or tons of comments and forget about the richness of your own blog. I worried about that for a long time, then remembered why I stated my blog: because I love reading and I wanted to share that with others. I know my blog is still growing and that’s ok! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!! You have a great list.

April 17, 2012 - 10:44 am

elena - Ah thanks so much for the shout out, you two! I agree about the support system. I never saw it as a competition at all so it was baffling to see that some people apparently did. Everyone has been super nice and supportive about us, especially since we’re a new blog. This was a very helpful and great post. 🙂

April 17, 2012 - 8:36 am

Alison - Definitely agree with 4. I’ve been focusing on what I want to read lately and couldn’t be happier.

Alison at The Cheap Reader

April 17, 2012 - 7:48 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I love you girls because you’ve BOTH supported me & my blog so much! I think that’s key in this community. Who wants to write reviews and share their passion for books alone?! I know I don’t. Be a friend and support one another. It goes a long way. Also, I love that you included you don’t have to like everything you read. THIS IS SO TRUE. Why do bloggers feel compelled to only write positive reviews?! You can still be honest & be tactful.

April 17, 2012 - 7:10 am

Hollie - I completely agree with all these points! Especially #4, just because a book’s creating a huge buzz doesn’t mean you have to read it, especially if it didn’t interest you in the first place. #8 happens to me too, I normally just copy and paste all the information in from another review and just change it at the very end, right before I hit the Publish button!

April 17, 2012 - 6:53 am

Anna - YES! Support each other! It’s not a competition, it’s a community! Oooh, that’s a good line. 😉

April 17, 2012 - 5:24 am

Rie @ Mission to Read - LOVE that you mentioned to be yourself! Sometimes I feel like when you are just starting out you want to be super professional and this can come over as being almost clinical. You can be professional and show your personality!

April 17, 2012 - 5:06 am

Lori - I think #2 is so important for all bloggers. I’ve been at this for 3.5 years and I still get discouraged from time to time. Then I read an amazing book or talk to an amazing blogger friend and I remember that that’s why I do this! Great tips.
My Top Ten Tuesday

April 17, 2012 - 4:24 am

Ange/ Libby Blog - Ok, when I saw this was the topic this week we decided to sit out since we just hit 100+ and see what people had to post. We did a ton of research in the beginning & i thought what else is there to say on this topic but this was so good! You had so much more to say! You reaaly only had 1 I expected! Great post! I Diigo’d it for myself! 🙂 Thanks.

April 17, 2012 - 2:54 am

Tara - I think I’ve only just learned about really putting myself out there and using the social media sites properly! And I agree, it’s easy to get caught up on what other blogs are doing and end up feeling inadequate – I know that was me a few months back!

Great list!

Tara @ Hey, Tara

April 17, 2012 - 1:56 am

fishgirl182 - Great tips. I especially like #4. Sometimes I get bored seeing the same new release reviews on every blog. Sure they’re cool but I think it’s more interesting to have a mix of new and old. Sometimes I see a review for an older book I forgot about and it makes me want to read it.

April 17, 2012 - 12:21 am

Patricia - I really wish this TTT had been posted by the time I started blogging last year. Though I’m sort of happy that I figured those things out for myself after some time. *g*

8 happens to me all the time. I usually wait a few days before I start writing a review to “cool off” and then I’m trying to avoid thinking about all the tags (I have added taxonomies for an advanced search where I add things like Genre, Setting, Author, Series, Paranormal and Romantic Elements, Infos about the protagonists etc.) and the normal Meta, the links etc. It’s lots of work, but in the end it’s also worth it.. I just try to do that AFTER I have written the review. *g*

Patricia // My Post

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