TCL’s #LetsDiscuss2022 #14 & #LetsTalkBookish #8 – Tips for New Bloggers.

New Letsdiscuss2022 with blue letstalkbookish

The question this time comes from Aria @ Book Nook Bits:

What are your tips for newbie bloggers?

Disclaimer:

These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

As noted above, Aria @ Book Nook Bits who also hosts Let’s Talk Bookish, came up with this topic. She posed a few questions. They include: What have you learned since you first started blogging? What advice would you give to new bloggers? What is your favorite thing about blogging? What is the hardest part of blogging for you? Is there anything you wish you’d done differently with your blog?

My Thoughts…

What have I learned since I first started blogging?

The biggest thing I learned is that I do have something to say, and there are people who want to know my opinion about books. When I started blogging I didn’t think anyone would be interested or care what I thought.

What advise would I give to new bloggers?

Being patient is the biggest thing. You aren’t going to get tons of hits and followers right away, but that’s okay. Also, look for other book blogs, follow them, and comment on their posts. That’s what will build up your own followers. In addition, participating in things like the various discussion topics, memes, and lists, especially ones where you add a link to your post to a link party can help you increase your traffic. You also might want to sign up to be an affiliate for retail sites (like Amazon), but remember, you probably won’t get rich from the tiny income you get from those sites. Still, a bit of extra change now and then is nice! Finally, get creative and have chutzpah while doing it. I know I haven’t had many of my Alternative Author Interviews lately, but I took a chance and was surprised at how many authors were willing to participate. I also started my own link party with my monthly Throwback Thursday posts. No, it isn’t as popular as Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m pleased that I have a handful of faithful bloggers who participate, and I hope to get more!

Now, there are lots of technical tips for your blog I could include here (yes, those are links to two of my blog posts which talk about exactly those kinds of things), but I’m sure others can discuss them better than I can. Oh, and don’t forget – we’re doing this because we love to talk about the books we read, so HAVE FUN!

What is my favorite thing about blogging?

I think it is the interaction with other bloggers that I enjoy the most. I love getting comments on my posts and starting up “conversations” with other bloggers on various topics. Now that I’m retired, I really appreciate being able to connect with people all over the world, and that there are so many people who share a passion with me.

I also love it that I’ve been able to connect with so many authors because of my reviews, and I’ve even met a few of them in real life. I hope I can have more of those contacts and meetings in the future! They’re truly inspiring, and yes, it does take some chutzpah to connect with them, but I say, go for it!

What is the hardest part of blogging for me?

I wouldn’t say it is the hardest thing, but I tried… I really tried to get into blog tours, but they just didn’t work out for me. Maybe its because I’m a slow reader, or maybe because I didn’t have the right connections, or maybe the books on offer just weren’t my thing. I’m still signed up with a few of them, but I haven’t participated in any in a very long time.

I also get a touch anxious when I don’t have enough blog posts scheduled in advance – especially when I know I’m going to be away. I try to make sure I can put up 3-4 posts a week, and sometimes I struggle to fill in the gaps between reviews. This is mostly because I prefer to post my reviews of new books as close to the publication date as possible, and publishers seem to have favorite release dates. I mean, sometimes I get ARCs of a couple books that are being released on the same day, and that can be a bit of a problem for scheduling my posts! I’ve actually stopped myself from requesting ARCs of new books when I see that I already have an ARC that’s going to be released on or close to the same date. Like I said, I have dyslexia which makes me a slow reader. I can’t commit to getting all those reviews out on time, and I don’t like posting every single day, nor do I like to post more than once a day (although I know some people do).

The last thing that isn’t easy for me is keeping track of all the blogs I follow. The truth is, I follow WAY too many blogs. But recently I’ve been trying to cut out some of them so that I don’t get so many emails about new blog posts. The problem is, I’ve grown attached to so many of these bloggers that it hurts to unsubscribe, so mostly I don’t! Oh well… I’ll just have to suffer with lots of email alerts, I guess…

What do I wish I had done differently when I started blogging?

I would NOT have started on Blogger Blogspot, that’s for sure. But… That stupid Google algorithm made me think I was getting so much traffic, and I was so excited about it that I kept going there. When they changed the algorithm, my traffic went down by hundreds of hits, but I kept on going there. Why I didn’t move sooner is beyond me. After years of blogging, and following tons of other blogs, and putting up lots of comments everywhere, I had only 12 followers (which is now down to 11) and only got five comments! But it was when Facebook decided the URL of my blog was spam that I finally moved over here to WordPress. Mind you, I also had Facebook decide that the URL for this blog was spam! Thankfully, by then the URL of my old blog (which I never deleted) was considered kosher so I used that one to direct people here. I’m so much happier with this platform, I’m very glad I moved! Now, that doesn’t mean that Blogspot isn’t right for you, but it just isn’t the best platform for me.

There you have it!

So… what about you?

If you’re an experienced blogger, how would you answer these questions to help a newbie?

This post is my 14th entry in the 2022 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!

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21 thoughts on “TCL’s #LetsDiscuss2022 #14 & #LetsTalkBookish #8 – Tips for New Bloggers.

  1. If I were to offer advice (having book-blogged consistently since May 2007), I’d say new bloggers should look on it as something they do for fun and meaning, not as a side hustle. Early on I tried to ‘build followers’ by participating in a bunch of weekly memes (Teaser Tuesday, Booking through Thursday, etc) but then realize I was mostly just posting superficial responses about books I was in no way interested in, and receiving equally superficial responses about my books that other people were in no way interested. Given that I read mostly nonfiction and don’t have a niche (I’ll literally read books about anything), there’s not really an audience there to build except for that small fraction of the population that (1) has wide-ranging general interests, (2) tries to pursue that interests in book-reading and (3) is aware of book blogs. I imagine most people who fit 1 and 2 find their needs met through amazon reviews, goodreads reviews, etc. Where I’ve found community satisfaction is in connecting to other readers, particularly those connected to the Classics Club, who read literature with an interest to learning something about the human condition — and having conversations about the things the classics make us think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I may be the only one left on Blogger but I like it. I know how to work it, and even though I don’t make a lot, I get some ad revenue, and I don’t pay to self-host. I’m just not convinced I’d get a lot more traffic if I moved and paid. My advice to newbies would be to read posts like this and consider the advice but to realize there are different options.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I relate to a lot of this! I’ve been posting less frequently this year and rarely have things scheduled and it makes me nervous because there are times I’ve been scheduled three months in advance!

    And I definitely love the interaction as a blogger and the delight of realizing people are actually reading stuff I’ve written.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What advice would I give a new blogger? I’d say, make sure your blog contains these elements – a) a page that explains who you are and what your blog is about. Thats one of the first things I look for in a blog – it helps me decide if they are going to cover things I’m interested in
    b) a search function. You wont believe how many people don’t have one
    c) clear info on how to contact you – via Twitter or mail for example

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Why don’t you use the WordPress Reader? That’s what I do instead of getting email updates from all the bloggers I follow. That would make my already overstuffed inbox explode! I wish the Reader were more compatible with other types of blogs, so I could more easily like and comment on them, but it works for most of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to use it but… because of the time differences between where I live and where most of the bloggers I follow live, I ended up missing far too many posts. I also found that scrolling through the list on the Reader was more time consuming than going through a bunch of emails.

      Like

  6. Experiment with your content and if someone leaves a comment try and give one in return. Especially if they have their own blog, although it may not always be easy to find. Have at least one other social media outlet to share posts on and make new friends. But you don’t need to be on every platform.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been blogging since 2008 (moved from Blogspot in 2011) and my advice is to worry less about how frequently you post. If you find some like-minded readers, they’ll be happy when you post and will have less to catch up on when you don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. First, I’m thrilled to have connected with you Davida! I can’t remember exactly how it even happened now! The book community is one of the very best parts of blogging!

    Wow, I remember how difficult it was to push that first publish button! It does take courage!

    Scheduling can be challenging! I try to stagger pub dates as well….although there’s more flexibility than with blog tours. I’m really really careful with blog tours. I have a couple of fav histfic ones. One more reason I’m careful with tours is that they expect 4 and 5 star ratings. I recently had my hand slapped for giving a rating of 3.5-4. On GR and NG I did round up to 4 but for the blog I can be more exact. That didn’t go over well! Lesson learned to vet blog tour books very carefully! Although I know the tour organizers I work with and I’m sure I could just email them and withdraw. A blogging friend took part in a tour (an excerpt only) and gave 4 stars only to have her site charged with a copyright violation. What a nightmare. The author slammed everyone on the tour with the violation who didn’t give him 5 stars. Wow! When he was confronted he withdrew the claim but how traumatic for bloggers! I decided I wouldn’t publish excerpts!

    Great discussion! 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  9. People like the personal touch from bloggers ~ else they could just go look up reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. That’s why it’s nice to include a bit of info about yourself in your posts (as you do) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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