Friday, June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA: Ask the Experts


Today is the final day of Armchair BEA and the suggested writing topics is "Ask the Experts". It's going to be all about tips and advice and questions about making your blog better. So I thought I would share some tips/advice that I've found works for myself after almost two years of blogging--not that it makes me an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I also have some questions so feel free to answer those in the comments.


Advice

Don't be afraid not to post every day - And I really mean this. The weeks where I manage to post something relevant every day are rare. Personally, I try to post 3 - 4 times a week including weekends so that I'm posting every other day or so. I find that it's a lot easier to manage this way and people still come visit the blogs when I don't have anything new that has been posted. It's a lot less stressful and you run less of a chance of running out of things to post. This also helps ensure that you have more quality content. Personally, I'm much more likely to go visit a blog who doesn't post every day but has quality content than one that posts every day and those posts are all memes. On the subject of memes, don't overdo it. Pick one or two that you really like and work for you and stick with those and everything should be good.

Make your blog your own - This is sort of related to the first one, but make your blog your own. It should be your corner or the Internet where you post about books the way you want to post about books. Just be yourself, don't try to be like someone else. It's okay to aspire to what other blogs have become, but don't feel like a failure just because you're not like them right away. If you are not being yourself it often shows so if you are being who you really are then things should work out fine.

Twitter - Twitter (or any other social media) is such a great tool for a blog. I cannot even begin to count how many people I have met through Twitter and now I even meet with some of those people in person. Twitter is probably the best way to start networking your blog. You can easily talk to other bloggers and even authors. It's also a great way to draw attention to your blog by tweeting whenever you have a new post up. The only thing with that is to make sure you don't start over tweeting about your new post because then people tend to get annoyed. So if you're on Twitter, use it. And don't be afraid to say "hi", I'm usually a very friendly person and you can find me @emiliebookworld.

Don't be afraid to ask for help - No one is going to think any less of you for asking for help. I know it sometimes takes me a while to ask for help and I'm working on becoming better at it. People in the book blogging community are all really friendly and great resources when you aren't sure of something. So don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, regardless of what it's for. There's bound to be at least one person with a helpful answer, if not more.


Questions

Original Content/Features - While I'm really good about posting reviews, taking part in blog tours and participating in a couple of memes, I'm always kind of stuck when it comes to other types of content. I'm talking things like features or original content in the form of discussion posts and like the like. How do you come up with that content? Any friendly advice you would be willing to share?

Staying on top of things - I have my own system as to the order in which I'll read review books and sort of plan when I'm going to post what but the second part of the system could be better. So how do you manage your review pile/TBR pile? And how do you keep track of what you have to post when or decide when you're going to post what content?


Thanks for stopping by again today. I've really enjoyed taking part in Armchair BEA this week. It made the longing to be at the actual BEA a little less and if I can't make it to New York next year I'll definitely be taking part again.

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5 comments:

  1. Lovely organised post there :) You have a lot of similar questions to me- my post isn't due up yet but i hope you can get some help. I'm no good with organizing, so it is part of my questions but i know have a note with divided sections, a diary with plenty of room to write and then i have a a4 size calendar for each month with each date having enough room to write what is scheduled to be posted on each date and then in another colour i write on what i have also posted. The diary is mine to wrote when books are due to be published and a month before i highlight what books i need to read for the next mth because they are needing a review.

    I need help with a lot of planning and organising though. Sorry i am no help but thank you for your tips, they were perfect really! I have always said quality over quantity :)

    It's has been a lovely week for armchair BEA, i have loved it! I just wish i could have kept up more x

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  2. I'm not expert enough to answer your questions, but I loved your suggestions. Totally agree about not posting every day. If you're forcing posts, they become lower quality. And most readers have plenty of blogs to follow - they don't require that you post every day.

    Thanks for a great post.

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  3. I think as to 'original posts' you should just write what comes naturally. I find people really enjoy more personal content of whatever nature works best for you. The best thing to do is to try and then if it doesn't work, make some changes.

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  4. I'm talking things like features or original content in the form of discussion posts and like the like. How do you come up with that content? Any friendly advice you would be willing to share?

    I'm usually inspired by something I have read, or a hot topic that everyone in the community seems to be talking about. For example, I recently posted a discussion about Ratings in YA. I was definitely influenced by a couple of key sources, which I made sure to cite in my post. But because I felt passionately about the subject matter, I was able to add enough original content to make it worth posting. I just make a point to follow blogs who post discussions - their discussions usually spark an idea in me, for something related but slightly different. Or I completely disagree with them, and listing my reasons in the form of a comment just doesn't suffice. I just make sure to always link back to my inspirations!

    So how do you manage your review pile/TBR pile? And how do you keep track of what you have to post when or decide when you're going to post what content?

    To be honest, I don't really have a schedule. If I have an ARC, I try to have my review up at least 2 weeks prior to it's release. Everything else, I read and review directly after. It usually gets posted on my blog within a day or two of being finished reading. I try to have a couple reviews done a week, and then on the days when it's not a review, I fill it with other stuff - excerpts/prequels/bonus content (I usually stumble on enough bonus content to do at least one post a week), I do a weekly summary on Sundays and usually one discussion-like post/week. But I also don't stress if I don't have a post scheduled to go up everyday, or if I don't have a post scheduled at all.

    I don't know if any of that was helpful - I know my care-free laid back approach to blogging definitely doesn't work well for everyone. But it's the only thing that keeps it fun for me!

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  5. Totally agree with your thoughts, especially re: posting every day. There was a time when that was feasible, but with working full-time now? No way. I need time for myself or else I get really stressed out, so I like posting 3 - 4 times a week now, and sometimes I even take breaks if I don't have time to get things scheduled. It does stress me out sometimes, but I'm trying to work on that.

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