Quite often new bloggers email me and ask if I have any tips about blogging – I imagine quite a few of you have received similar emails, or questions in person – and usually I just do my best to encourage, and mention the first two of the points below (being the most important ones). But today I thought I might extend my tips a bit… let me know what yours are! (Oh, and the picture isn’t relevant…)
Do… participate in community – by reading other people’s posts and commenting, having a blog list on your blog (so important!), and by answering comments when you can. Nothing puts me off more than a selfish blogger, and nothing makes me cheerier than when seeing bloggers celebrate the community we all love.
Do… post regularly – but not necessarily frequently. Just so long as people know when they can expect new posts – be that everyday, every week, every month…
Do… have pictures – it just helps!
Do… acknowledge other people’s suggestions – I don’t much care if you say whether or not the book you’re writing about came as a review copy (although it seems polite to mention it) but I do like it when people explain why they’re reading that particular book – especially if it’s because they saw it featured on someone else’s blog. Again, yay community!
Do… have fun – whether you have fun writing in-depth reviews everyday, or pictures of kittens.
Don’t… second-guess yourself too much – if you’re always checking that people are enjoying your style or your type of posts, chances are you’re not enjoying the whole process. Relax, it’s supposed to be fun!
Don’t… be too minimalist – I know this is a reaction to those blogs which had thousands of links in the sidebars and widgets everywhere… wait, this is sounding like my blog… but I think it’s possible for the ethos of white space to go too far. If you end up with just an inch of text in an ocean of white space, then not only does it look like nobody’s home, it also looks like every other white-space blog out there!
Don’t… feel obligations – I’ve found that bloggers tend to get to the 18 month mark, and feel weighed down by blogging obligations. Blobligations? When I got to that stage, I was anxious about reading all the books I was sent, and posting everyday, and finally I decided just to relax. I wanted Stuck-in-a-Book to reflect my reading tastes – which isn’t an exclusive diet of modern novels, however kind it is of publishers to send them – so I started reading what I wanted to read, and blogging what I wanted to blog. Result: happiness! I may have lost some readers who wanted something else, but the ones I’ve got are here because (presumably!) they want to read what I want to write. Thank you!
Don’t… pay any attention to this if you don’t want to! There aren’t any hard and fast rules, and you might disagree with all of mine. That’s absolutely fine :)
Do you have any blogging tips for new bloggers – or experienced bloggers, come to that – which are different from mine?