This week I have been trying to be good and write & schedule my blog posts for 2 weeks time when I am on holiday. I was very proud of myself, I’d finally learned and I was being organised!
Then it only occurred to me that I hadn’t actually scheduled any posts for this week! So whilst it was great that I am totally prepared for when I got on holiday in 2 weeks, I’ve been rather quiet this week!
I guess I actually don’t learn!
Anyways, to my post… so I recently had my two year blogiversary and wanted to post about all the things I have learnt. So drafted up this post and then totally forgot about it (yet again showing how amazingly organised a blogger that I am) so I thought now would be the perfect time to actually post it!
Now I know I’m not the most experienced of bloggers and it’s not like I’ve got lots of wisdom, but I thought I would share my thoughts anyway…
- Get involved!
Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to enter a fight to the death match, but there is always something going on within the community that you can get involved in (that doesn’t involve strenuous exercise!).
Challenges, giveaways, read-alongs, blog tours, cover reveals… there’s so much! There are tons of book clubs and challenge pages/groups on goodreads for starters! Taking part in things is a great way to make new friends and discover new books and authors. I’ve met loads of new friends through doing The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday feature, plus it’s always so much fun to take part in.
- If you want your blog to get more traffic then look at what is already getting traffic and do more of that!
I have found that some of my more popular posts are when I chat about all the amazing bookish stuff that I want to buy around the internet, jewellery and clothes etc. So I tend to do these types of posts at least once a month.
I also learnt which of my reviewing styles people tend to prefer and now write all my review like that.
Although you shouldn’t be ruled by stats it’s important to keep an eye on them to see what is and isn’t working on your blog.
- Shake it up!
Change your picture, start a new bookish feature, start doing video reviews…these are just a few ideas of things you can do to shake things up on my blog.
I’m not saying that you should change your entire theme and layout every year, that would get very confusing and probably expensive if you are paying for new designs. But some new additions to your blog could bring in a whole new audience, and also stop you from getting bored posting about the same things all the time!
- It’s Ok that you don’t have the prettiest format.
Every one has blog envy at some point! You can work on your blog design for hours and hours and love it, then go onto another blog and suddenly you wish yours was more like theirs. My advice would be to make your blog as accessible as possible so it is easy for people to find stuff on it, I hate going to visit blogs and not being able to find their reviews.
I would also say put as much of your personality into it as possible! It’s your blog so make it something that you want and like. No point in giving your blog a pink theme if you hate pink because you’re the one who’s got to look at it every day!
- Sometimes you will enjoy a book you have had for years over that ARC you really wanted but didn’t get accepted for.
Every one loves free books, and even better everyone loves a free book that hasn’t been released yet. I remember when I started my blog I was constantly seeing ARC reviews all over the blogosphere. So once I started getting emails from authors about reviewing their books I said yes to everything I could. This resulted in me totally under pressure to read tons of books which I actually wasn’t enjoying that much! If you write good reviews then people will still want to read them whether you have reviewed the book a month before it was released or 2 years after!
- Ask! If you want something then get out there and ask for it. Publishers are not going to know that you are there unless you tell them!
Much of the time if you see a blog that has received an ARC, or done an interview with an author, or taken part in a blog tour it is because they have asked the author/publisher/blog tour organisers etc.
Yes, there are the very popular blogs out there who get contacted by these people and are asked to take part, but the majority of us have to source these things ourselves. So what if your blog is only small and you only have 100 twitter followers, you will never know if you don’ ask and what have you got to loose?!
- Don’t leave meaningless comments, people don’t like them!
There is nothing that annoys bloggers more than a meaningless comment. When we have spent time writing a review or a post and we get that wonderful little notification that someone has commented on it and tapping our fingers on the desk for 10 minutes whilst the stone age computer (I do a lot of my blogging in work!) loads it up and then our heart drops as we see that comment: “Great review, check mine out at …”
There is nothing more disappointing and frustrating than a meaningless comment! Bloggers don’t expect mile long comments, but it’s nice if you leave a comment that actually talks about something we mentioned in our post so it actually looks like you have read it!
- Be social on social media!
That’s what it is there for! It’s the perfect place to connect with authors and other bloggers and to share links to your own posts! It’s so simple to like or share a status, or if you are feeling extremely brave you could leave a comment or tweet! The worst part is trying to fit everything you want to say into just 140 characters!
- You forgot to post or you haven’t posted on your blog for a few days – it doesn’t matter!
It’s ok, no need to freak out! As I said above, I haven’t posted since Tuesday and now I am finishing this post last minute during my lunch hour!
Life happens and sometimes you forget or can’t post for a few days, we all understand that. So don’t worry if you miss a few days, we will all still be here when you get back!
- If all else fails add a GIF!
Everyone loves a good GIF! They make us chuckle and are a great addition to any blog post (especially those that are a bit longer, kinda like this one!) Just make sure you don’t go overboard! You don’t want your post to look too crazy, plus it will take forever for the page to load!
- There is no point in blogging if you are not enjoying it!
Yes, there are times when blogging can get a bit stressful. Stuff is happening in the real world that you have to deal with, or you are struggling to cope with the blogging/personal life/work life balance. Trust me this stuff happens to me a lot!
But if you find yourself struggling to find the motivation to blog or the whole thing just feels like a big pressure and you are not enjoying it anymore then maybe it’s time to stop.
Blogging takes work, but it is also meant to be fun. I’ve known of a few bloggers that have decided to take some time out or to stop blogging because they just weren’t enjoying it anymore/needed a break. At the end of the day its your blog and it’s up to you. But as long as (the majority of the time, in amongst the last minute posts and the balancing everything struggle!) you are enjoying it then keep going!