Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

7 Blogger Problems That No Longer Faze Me | #BloggerConfessions

I'm hoping not too many of you noticed, but I've had some MAJOR theme problems in the last days and I figured why not channel this into a blog post? 

Throughout my blogging career, lots of things that used to absolute devastate me, no longer really are an issue for me. Let's talk about those. 



#7. Theme Drama!
We know it all, we hate it all. Sometimes your theme randomly breaks or your hosting platform randomly decides that there's an error now that seems unfixable. I've always customized my themes alone and that always proved to be a headache (still is!). Mini!Blogger!Me would've probably deleted the entire blog or massively freaked out over something like this happening and breaking my entire page, but these days I'm just like? Well. Shit happens.

#6. Getting Declined on Netgalley
That used to bother me SO MUCH to the point that I was wondering if I'm doing something wrong blogging-wise because so many publishers wouldn't accept any of my requests. Fast-forward about 2 years later and I'm pretty much getting the majority of the ARCs that are available to my country, it's really just an issue of blog-size unfortunately. And people familiarizing themselves your style. I still have never been approved for anything on Edelweiss, though, haha.

#5. Followers! Unfollowers! Help!

I know this is a stupid thing to hear when you're a blogger with a two or one digit following, but seriously - at some point it no longer hurts you when you see that counter go down a bit. I'm by no means anywhere near being a big blogger, not even medium-sized in my opinion, but I magically stopped caring eventually. Don't like my blog? No problem! Be happy about the people who appreciate you, don't bother spending any time thinking about the ones who don't. And really, blogging just for followers is so 2011. Blog because you like it, not becaue you want to be big.

#4. Not Being Scheduled Regularly
You guys know that I'm notorious for scheduling my blog months in advance. But weirdly, I don't mind when I'm not 100% on my one-post-every-other-day schedule. I really don't mind. Blogging regularly is important, sure, but not to such an extent that I angst about missing a day or two anymore. Meh.

#3. Your Social Media Following Isn't Growing!!!
Drama, drama. Just when I thought I'd stopped caring about followers when it comes to my blog, I started worrying about the same thing on social media. Especially when you're really on top of your game and spend a lot of time on one specific site, you'll probably go through the same stages again that you went through on your blog. I'm glad to say that that stuff won't bother you anymore soon either.

#2. Inventing New Content 24/7
I was SO big on that back when I started. I used to experiment a lot with memes, new features that didn't last long - at this point I don't even bother thinking up something new anymore. I got YA Talk, Book Blogging Tips, Book Blogging Etiquette, and #BloggerConfessions and that is more than enough for me! 

#1. Page Views Aren't Growing!!
Who cares. Seriously. I'm by no means at the height of my page views right now, but I really don't mind. I haven't been on my statistics page in months.


Trust me, if you're worried about one of those things RIGHT NOW, this stuff is super temporary. In a week or two you won't even remember what you used to stress about. In a year or two, you'll have ascended to the magical place of I-Don't-Care Land where none of these even matter.




More #BloggerConfessions:

7 Reasons Why I Prefer Young Adult books over Adult books




What are some blogging problems that no longer send you deep into the depths of blogging angst despair?



Connect with me!

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

7 Tips for Organizing Your Review Index | Book Blogging Tips (#64)



As a book blogger it's essential to have a review index. If you don't have a page dedicated to all your reviews, you should definitely look into getting one. Here are all the ways to organize them and some tips.








#1: Don't just link to your tagged reviews page.
Nobody likes this and nobody will actually seek out more reviews you posted when you do this. There is no way of finding what you're looking for if you have one of these so PLEASE just make a review index.

#2: There are five (and more) ways to organize your review index.

Alphabetically - By Author - By Genre - By Rating - By Publisher

At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference which one you pick, but I suggest making at least(!) two different ones. My most viewed one is the one by genre and I tend to go for that usually when I'm looking at a new blog so if you only want to do one, that's a safe bet.

#3: Link back to your other pages if you have any.
For example, if you have an index for reviews by genre and reviews by authors, it's nice if you have a backlink at the top of the page that links to the respective other one. 

Your viewers will love you for having an index that's easy to navigate and nested page tabs at the top of your site sometimes don't work as well on all browsers (unless you've checked that!)

#4: Don't decorate.
Usually I always say you have to decorate your posts with something, whether it's pictures, graphics, or simply using italic, bold, and different font sizes. Your review index isn't the place for this. It has to be a very plain page that simply does the job when someone is looking for a specific review. I'd even say be careful with using bigger fonts. 

Sometimes it's nice when you want to distinguish the individual letters, but please don't put every single review in a giant font so that your index will lose the classic list look that absolutely works best for your viewers.

#5: Periodically check if the links work.
Sometimes I go back to randomly click on some of my reviews in my index and see if they link correctly. It happens a lot that you'll end up changing the date of a scheduled review and forget changing the link on your index page. 

#6: Don't sort by date!!!!
This is super unhelpful for anyone who's looking for something specific. You can't have a review index only listed by date published - this tells the average reader who's never been on your blog exactly zilch about where to find that specific review you did that they've been looking for. Nothing's more frustrating than having to click ctrl+f on a blog and manually search for a review because the blogger did a crappy job with their index. 

#7: Link to your index.
I can't believe I have to say this, but why do all the work if you don't have it in a tab at the top of your page? This isn't negotiable, it HAS to be in a tab that every reader immediately sees. Putting in a sidebar makes it difficult to find and most people don't even look at sidebars in general. So please. 


At the end of the day it's your own decision how you want to organize your index and as I always say - my suggestions are nothing more than tips and by no means a "do it my way or don't do it at all" guide. 

Do you have some more tips for organizing your review index? How is yours organized?


More Book Blogging Tips:

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Should You Separate Bookish and Personal Social Media Accounts? | Book Blogging Tips (#63)

We all have social media accounts that may or may not go with our blogs. We all know social media is important to grow your blog, but should you separate the two?

I very often see bloggers who have one account for their blog and one that's personal. In order to determine which one works best for you, you first have to assess what kind of blog you have.



First check if you have a personal blog or a general blog. 

  • Personal blogs are blogs that just focus on your own reading habits, maybe ocassionally featuring guest posts, but generally just feature what you think and what you're reading. 
  • A more general book blog would be a blog with multiple regular contributors that doesn't just feature reviews but has lots of cover reveals, guest posts, rec lists, etc.
A social media account for a personal blog would feel oddly empty, considering that most of us personal bloggers don't put out more than maybe 3-5 posts per week. What would you be posting the other days then? Social media very much relies on regular content and if you have the content to fill it up with, by all means. 

The reason why you're making a social media account for your blog is typically to make the whole thing seem less like "this is the blog of XY" and more like "this is a blog about X". Ask yourself - do you really need to dissociate yourself from your blog if it's a personal one? Another thing to consider is that people on social media tend to follow for the unique, constant content. 

Examples and questions to ask if you have a personal blog:

Let's say you'll make a special account for your blog only on...

Twitter: You'll use it to crosspost your posts there every time they go live. What else would you do during the times your blog doesn't have any content? Twitter is a medium that relies on constant (opinionated) content. Keeping your account neutral would make it  look oddly empty. You'll have to constantly retweet other accounts or interact with other accounts to add some more content. 
Verdict: Maybe

Instagram: If you have the motivation and patience to set up a blog-only instagram featuring pictures of your current reads and all, sure! You can certainly do both in one account though. Your call.
Verdict: Sure, if you like

Tumblr: Again, same as with twitter. You'll have to add third-party content to your account to make it worth it. 
Verdict: Maybe

Facebook: Plenty of blogs have a facebook site. I think it's actually a very good idea to separate your blog from your personal facebook. It would only make things messy to combine the two.
Verdict: Yes!

At the end of the day you decide what works best and maybe it's a little bit trial and error. Go ahead and make that social media page specifically for your blog if you like, delete it if you dislike it. Easy like that.

Do you have separate accounts for social media?

More Book Blogging Tips:

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Why You Need To Do More Book Tags | Book Blogging Tips (#62)

Book Tags honest to God saved my blog. They are such an underrated, easy way to add more content to your blog and boost your views and I'm honestly shocked that people don't do these more often. 

So here are all the reasons why I think you should do more Tags!





What's a Book Tag? 
A post that you make based on typically around 10-20 questions related to books. At the end of it you're supposed to tag people that you want to answer those questions, too. Hence the name.


#6: People LOVE them
When I did my first book tag, the amount of views genuinely shocked me. People love reading tags, I love reading tags. Whenever I see a tag in a post by one of my favorite blogs, I click and look immediately. Chances are, your readers will love them just as much as I and mine do.

#5: They add versatility to your blog
If you struggle with always having the same types of posts on your blog, tags are such a great way to bring some new content to your blog. Don't overdo it though, don't post a couple tags in a row, it can easily desensitize your readers to them and make the novelty wear out. Throw in some tags every now and then and make them a special treat!

#4: Minimal effort!
Because the tag questions are premade and preprovided by someone else, all you need to do is answer them. Tag posts are so quickly and easily written that you can cram them in last minute and still get a fabulous post that seems neither lazy nor quickly-written.

#3: They're fun!
Who doesn't love answering questions about themselves? If you haven't been enjoying blogging as much lately, they're guaranteed to bring some versatility into your routine and also make it fun for your readers. Two birds with one stone!

#2: When you're in a blogging slump-
-there's nothing better than spicing it all up by making a book tag post. Because it's so easy and quickly made, you're probably more likely to type up one of these than a lengthy discussion post. I've often had periods during my blogging career when I didn't feel like making any posts aside from reviews at all.
I still kept collecting nice tag post links to come back to them later and it did rekindle my love for blogging a couple of times. The ultimate blogging remedy.

#1: Easy way to add personality.
I'm one of those people that struggle with personal posts and not really enjoy making them in the first place. If you want to get to know your readers and them to get to know you, what easier way to do this than to publish a book tag? Most of the time the questions are a mixture between shining light on your reading habits and your personality and that's just such a clever way to make your blog a little more you.



What do you think about book tags? Do you do them?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Should You Only Post 3 Star and Up Reviews? | Book Blogging Tips (#59)




I've noticed that there is a shocking amount of bloggers who seem to rate everything five stars. 

Every book they encounter is a new favorite, especially the popular books out there that have a huge fan base. 

While I genuinely believe that not all of these people are actually aware of what they're doing and just are easy to please, I also believe that a huge amount of them is just too scared to post a negative opinion online. 

I absolutely know where people who do this are coming from. While I do think that the blogging community on Wordpress/Blogger is mature enough to respect each other's opinions and not throw hissy fits, I've definitely been a victim of people lashing out at me for my opinions.

I'm very active on tumblr, a site that is known for people overreacting over everything. When I was asked about my opinion on SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo, a very very popular book up there that's hyped and worshiped to no end - and told the person that I found it offensive and didn't like it - I was told to kill myself via multiple anonymous messages sent to me. Huh.

It's always a matter of tone

Especially because there's so much anonymity on the internet, people sometimes forget that there's another person at the end of the receiving line. That doesn't only count for messages sent to other users, but also for blogging and reviewing.

As bloggers it is easy to ignore everything else and just pretend you're in your little bubble and post opinions that others might consider offensive. While I'm a strong supporter of freedom of speech, I think this should never be an excuse to be rude. I think we can all agree that there is a difference between writing a one star review respectfully and doing so to purposely hurt someone. 

Authors read reviews sometimes, too. To me, it's perfectly fine to post low rating reviews on your blog, after all this is just a collection of personal, subjective opinions, isn't it? If you're writing a zero star review because the book was poorly written and overall a nuisance to you, go ahead! But don't do offensively. 


Is your blog "genuine" if you rate everything positively?

But another thing that you'll have to consider is that the more negative opinions you post, the more people feel themselves "invited" to chime in and tell you all the reasons why you are wrong. In order to avoid that I can understand that some people refrain from writing negative reviews on their blog. 

To me that takes away your credibility, though. Bloggers are just people who post their opinions online. That's in the definition to me. And if you're one of those that's too scared to post a negative review, I will very likely not enjoy your blog. But of course, this is so subjective. Maybe this doesn't affect your personal reading experiences at all, who knows! It's almost impossible to like everything, and even if you don't actually, your blog will appear that way if you don't have a single one star review up there. Also, let's admit it, sometimes it's just fun to read ranty negative reviews, for me at least!


Do you post negative reviews? 

What's your opinion on people who don't?


More posts on reviewing and blogging culture:

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

When Blogging Gets Hard: Motivation When You Feel Like Giving Up | Book Blogging Tips (#57)


I tried to check up on a few people that started around the same time I did and shockingly realized that most of them stopped blogging.

So I thought to myself, why did these people stop?


What makes people give up their blogs?

It's not like I haven't thought about quitting multiple times. Mostly, it's the pressure. As a blogger you feel like you:
  • have to keep up with what other people are reading
  • provide constant, regular content
  • queue content!
  • constantly comment/promote yourself if you don't want your views to dwindle
  • also balance review copies on top of that
It's hard. It's basically like a second job. Some bloggers make me feel like I'm doing to little, from those genius hard-working people who always comment back, to those that seem to be either tweeting 24/7 or always taking beautiful pictures. I salute to you guys, I don't know how you do it, but you can be proud of yourselves. Give me the number of your fairy godmother please

What you miss out on if you quit

That all does sound very discouraging, I know. However, I would never dare to say that I regret starting this blog. You know why? Because there are so, so many rewarding things I love about blogging. Here's what I love. Here's what you'll be missing out on when you quit:
  • Being able to show your blog off in a couple of years time and being able to say, hey, I've been doing this for years. You can be proud for sticking around, for being an absolute badass.
  • Socializing. Online friendships. Meeting people you wouldn't have met otherwise.
  • Free books (duh)
  • A loving, truly kind community that will forgive you even if you need to take a break for a couple of months. We'll welcome you with open arms no matter what and do you want to leave that behind?
Of course we've probably all at some point asked ourselves whether it's all worth it. The truth is, blogging isn't for everyone and that is absolutely okay. If you don't want to do this anymore for what reason ever, don't feel bad. But do know that there is nothing stopping you from taking a hiatus whenever you feel like you need it, for what reason ever that may be.


Have you ever felt like quitting?

Continue Reading...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Do You Need a Blog Schedule? | Book Blogging Tips (#53)




Over the course of my blogging career I've both had schedules and "post whatever you want" kind of phases. 

But when I look at other blogs, most of them tend to all have schedules, may it be because they post memes that are set to be posted on a specific week day and/or because they just have their life and blog together more than me.



Perks + Not So Perks of a Schedule

  • So what I like about other blogs that are organized is that if I end up super liking one of their features, I know which day I have to check back to see another of those posts. I'm mostly talking about original content here, though some people manage to get me hooked on their meme-only blogs, too, because of their sheer creative brilliance.
  • A schedule also makes the queuing more structured and maybe even easier. My blog solely runs on a huge queue, and because I have no structure whatsoever at the moment, (well aside from reviews scheduled every 6-9 days), it can get super difficult to fit specific posts in. 
  • Sometimes you'll go through a phase of ONLY wanting to write a specific type of post, but then again I don't want to queue them all in a row to bore my readers. 
  • If I had a schedule, I think the perfect one would go something like this:
Review - Meme - Discussion - Review - Recommendation

with maybe 2 or three days inbetween each post. I think it's nice to mix it up a little. I think the more diverse your content is, the higher the possibility you'll have something for everyone! Of course every schedule should be adapted to your personal taste and likes and this is by no means a "do this or don't do anything at all" type of advice. Just my personal 2 cents!

Perks + Not So Perks of #YOLO

  • Not having a schedule is just the way my blog has been running for maybe a year and a half, simply because it's so easy.
  • Without a schedule you can post whatever you want whenever you want and the maintenance goes does to a minimum.
  • You also have to be very careful that you're not missing days and weeks worth of posting due to slumps. Queuing is key for people who don't schedule-
  • Another problem here is that many readers out there like other blogs they frequent to be either consistently putting out content or at least to have a special meme that comes out regularly. I definitely do unfollow people who sometimes just miss a week or month without any indication. This doesn't mean that you have to post all the time or anything, it's just a personal preference that I have and I know many others share.

Now what, do I need a schedule or not?

To be honest, the best way to decide whether you need a schedule is to look at your content and try to see if you even have different categories. If you only post one specific type of content, it doesn't matter anyways.

If you do post different things - reviews, original posts, memes, - think about it. I put out a lot of original content and by just observing my views I've noticed that this is what most of my readers tend to go for. If a specific type of post gives you the best kind of resonance - stick with it. Make is a regular feature that comes out every week or month, so readers know when to come back!

I know it's super difficult to just decide to completely overthrow your blog from one day to the next and I definitely don't expect you to do that. If you're unsure, start scheduling one day of the week for a post type. Start posting reviews every Monday for example, and if that works out for you on the long run, go from there!





More helpful posts on blog maintenance in my Book Blogging Tips Series
6 Things Your Blog Design Has To Have
How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme
Pros and Cons of Book Blogging Memes
How Queuing Posts Makes Blogging 200% Easier

all original posts


Do you have a blog schedule?

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Unsolicited Review Copies: Reviewing Them, Ignoring Them, What To Do With Them | Book Blogging Tips (#51)




If you're receiving unsolicited review copies, you're probably already an established blogger and at least know somewhat what you're doing.

While it's a fantastic thing to receive the newest releases in the mail, it can get pretty overwhelming very easily.






Do you have to review them?

There are bloggers who get unsolicited copies sent to them every month, from many different publishers. If you're one of those people, it's virtually impossible to read all these books, even if you don't have a day job.

Personally, I think every single review copy you receive, whether unsolicited or not, is a privilege.

You have to consider that these copies cost more money to print than regular copies and are sent out to publishing professionals. If you've made it to that circle of people, you better act like a professional!

Meaning
  1. no selling
  2. no hoarding
  3. no requesting more ARCs when you're already drowning in them. 
Disagree if you want, but also know that misbehavior does not go unnoticed. Again, these books are a privilege that not every blogger has.

I don't believe that unsolicited copies all have to be reviewed. If you didn't request it, you don't have to review it in my opinion, though giving even just a little back in terms of maybe posting a picture of it or talking about it on social media is simply common courtesy.

If you don't want to read a review copy for what reason ever or don't have the time to read it-

Here are some alternatives:

  • Give the book to another blogger. Some review copies that I have received actually say on them that they are meant to be given to other bloggers. That way the publisher still gets "something" in return, even if it's only the exposure from being featured on another blog.
  • Contact the publicist. If you're receiving an overwhelming amount of books that's absolutely impossible to review, the smartest way to go about this is to contact the publicist responsible and just tell them you appreciate it, but don't have the time to review these books.
  • Host giveaways. While review copies are NEVER under no circumstances allowed to be sold (you can actually get sued for this), giveaways are a-okay. Check back with the publisher if you're unsure, some publishers don't want any ARCs circulating before the release date. 
  • Post pictures. If you're not able to post a review, just featuring the review copies you've received in a meme, (In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves etc.), or posting pictures on instagram or tumblr does the job. You'd still aim for managing to read them, since that's the reason why you got them in the first place.

What do you do with your unsolicited review copies?


More on review copies in my Book Blogging Tips Series



Continue Reading...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

8 Blogging Maintenance Things You're Probably Neglecting | Book Blogging Tips (#49)

Blogging maintenance is probably the most underrated and most brushed-under-the-table part of blogging that nobody really wants to talk about. All of these are pesky things that you probably won't want to do. But trust me, you should.






#8: Replying to Comments on Your Crossposts
I am so notorious for being late on these. Bless the people who comment on my crossposts! Not all platforms are designed very well to actually notify you when people do - but please do keep an eye on the people that comment on your posts, even if it's not on your actual blog. It's just as vital as replying to the comments that you get on the blog itself. Also do keep an eye on your Goodreads comments!

#7: Fixing Broken Links
You just gotta randomly click through old posts for many reasons, the first one being that your blog is probably littered with broken links. Sometimes you just forget that you moved a scheduled review to a different date which then changes the permalink, or you simply deleted a post that you no longer want on your blog. Either way - go check.

#6: Disappearing Pictures
Everyone's least favorite magic trick. This might be just a Blogger thing. Blogger has been notorious for messing up both my theme and my content since the very beginning of my blog in 2014. Sometimes pictures just randomly get eaten. You won't know if you're not looking at old posts every now and then.

#5: Checking For Typos
Another thing you should be looking out for while reading old articles are the pesky typos! I do read my blog posts through about five to ten times depending on what kind of post it is before I even schedule them to be published - but ho boy sometimes these little pesky things manage to slither in. You have go back and read some older reviews sometimes, spellcheck can't find anything. Trust me, it's mortifying to find these, you better go and check right now.

#4: Updating Your Tabs
If you have links to about me sections or contact sections, it's absolutely vital that you update them. I update my contact info probably every month, but I'm notorious for neglecting my about me section. If you blog like me, you're probably constantly changing something about your blog. Might as well be consistent and give every part of your blog equal attention!

#3: Replying to Old Comments
Commenting back or not is a whole different discussion, but the one thing you really have to do is set up an email notification for your blog comments so you don't miss a single one, no matter how old the post itself is. I think replying to comments is vital and if your blog is at a size where the amount of comments you get are still manageable to reply to, just do it. To me it's absolutely mortifying to have to reply to a comment from like 6 months ago late because you neglected your email notification. That's just embarassing.

#2: Just Getting Rid of Scheduled Posts
Sometimes you write something really stupid when you're in a weird mood and end up queueing it anyway. If you queue as much as I do, you're really going to want to have a look on all that stuff that's been accumulating in your drafts. Not every post is a good post. Not everything you've written should actually end up published on your blog.

#1: BACK YOUR CONTENT UP
This is honestly not negotiable. Trust me. Back your content up at least every three months, you'll be devastated once your blogging platform randomly decides to eat your content. Save those posts. Save that theme. Thank me later. Yes, do it now if you haven't in a while.


What are some maintenance things you tend to neglect on your blog?


More Book Blogging Tips:

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

8 Blogging Resolutions for 2017 - Things I Vow to Do, and You Should, Too | Book Blogging Tips (#47)

Resolutions are a tricky thing. I usually don't really care for them because they hardly ever are things that I think I can realistically achieve. 

But looking at the development my blog has gone through since launch in september 2014, I noticed that I very much am able to fulfill bookish ones - and that doing this absolutely changes my blog for the better.

Call this a blogging hacks post if you will, disguised as a new year's resolution.


#8: I vow to read more out of my comfort zone.
Doing that is sometimes hard, I get it. But by picking up books you normally wouldn't have, you can sometimes find gems. Would you believe that one of my favorite books ever, LIFE'S THAT WAY by Jim Beaver was one of these? I don't do Non-Fiction, usually. Makes me uncomfortable and I don't really care. But trust me, sometimes it's worth taking a chance on books you're skeptic about.

#7: I vow to read genres I usually dislike. 
If you've been following me for a long time you know that I don't like high fantasy. Never have. But looking at my blog statistics, it's the most reviewed genre. Why? I want to educate myself. Read stuff I don't usually read. Sometimes you can find new favorites like that. This year's genre is Historical Fiction + Historical Fantasy. I'm hoping to make it the most reviewed genre on my blog by 2018.

#6: I vow to give popular books a shot.
You know I'm a hipster when it comes to reading - I don't like reading what's popular and that's not really a desirable characteristic. I'll try to read more popular books in 2017 and push myself.

#5: I vow to read even more diverse books than non-diverse ones.
My reading habits changed for the better since I consciously picked up more diverse books. Just trust me on this one, especially if you have a marginalization, may that be a mental illness, disability, or being a person of color - reading about people like you makes your life better. And even if you aren't marginalized - expand your horizon. It's fun.

#4: I vow to not bother with books that I don't enjoy.
I DNF left and right and you should, too. Don't bother with books that are a chore to go through. Your time is too precious.

#3: I vow to boost the heck out of my reviews of problematic books.
This is a very important thing to do. I know, it feels scary to speak up sometimes, but know that you're protecting marginalized readers, especially teens, by doing that. Sharing is caring.

#2: I vow to stand with bloggers and reviewers who are getting attacked for speaking up.
This goes with the previous point - as much as it is important to speak up about problematic representation, it's also important to protect the people that are doing the talking. We need to have their back, no matter the cost.

#1: I vow to keep on improving, keep on changing.
I think that's the beauty of blogging. That you can look back at all your old content and smile because it reminds you of the person you were when you posted it. Blogging styles change and post formats and ideas and all that do, too. That's a beautiful thing. I hope I'll get some more of that blogging nostalgia looking back at this post a couple years from now.


What are your resolutions blogging-wise for 2017?




More Book Blogging Tips:

Dramatic Changes I Made that Ended Up Improving My Blog
No Comments on Book Reviews?
How Often Should You Post per Week?
Are You Awkward About Getting Review Requests from Authors?

8 Tips to Get Motivated to Write Blog Posts
More Generous Ratings for Indie Books?


Continue Reading...

Friday, July 29, 2016

How often should YOU post per week? | Book Blogging Tips (#43)


I often find myself absolutely overwhelmed by this question.

I don't want to be that guy who posts too much or too little. I take blogging ridiculously seriously, I want to put quality content out there regularly.

But all the time I ask myself - am I really posting often enough or too often?

Looking at other bloggers, they seem to either post every day or every other day or every week, and I never know what works for me.

Just like everything in blogging, there won't be a general answer I can give you, it's all up to your personal preference and blogging needs. But the thing I can give you is a list of pros and cons of the different frequencies of blogging.

1.) Once per month
+ super easy-going, one post per month is an easy frequency to keep up for a long time
+ no stressful blogging!
- it'll be difficult to build a strong reader base unless that one post you post every month is phenomenal and you really found your niche
- readers prefer a higher frequency
- very little content
- you're absolutely limited in the things you can say in a single post
- lots of publishers demand that you post daily or almost daily if you want review copies

Recommended for: niche blogs, directory-type of blogs (if you post a lot of lists and links), established blogs

2.) Once per week
+ easy to keep up for a long time
+ not very stressful
+ 4 times per month is definitely enough content to put out
- some readers prefer a higher frequency
- you might have difficulties
- lots of publishers demand that you post daily or almost daily if you want review copies

Recommended for: all blogs, blogs with mostly original content

3.) Multiple times per week
+ lots of publishers demand that you post daily or almost daily if you want review copies
+ usually the preferred frequency of most readers
- can get stressful, it's quite a lot of content!
- you should look into scheduling to keep this up

Recommended for: all blogs, blogs with mixed content (reviews, memes, original)

4.) Multiple times per day
+ lots of publishers demand that you post daily or almost daily if you want review copies
+ pretty much no limitation in what you can say
+ so many possibilities to post different things and put a crap ton of content out there
- readers get annoyed by people who post this often very quickly
- very high possibility of accidentally making it spam-y (as in, posting a lot of low-quality stuff just for the sake of posting)
- it doesn't get more stressful than this if you can keep this up, you're probably a witch
- if you don't schedule, this is pretty much blogging hell, coming up with a couple of posts every day isn't ideal

Recommended for: meme blogs (seriously, how can you keep this up without doing a lot of memes), blogs with multiple hosts

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Not Reviewing Review Copies? How to Make All Bloggers Look Bad




A discussion I witnessed recently made me think about this. As bloggers we have the privilege of being able to read books for free - as long as we provide a review in return.

Something a fellow blogger said irked me instantly, I'm just going to paraphrase. 

They said that it's okay to request books and not read them (specifically ARCs), because it's usually just a case of getting overwhelmed. 

I'm very, very, very iffy about stuff like this. I take blogging super seriously and really try to keep deadlines in check almost obsessively (which I don't recommend, it's really stressful).

...

I do get that especially when you just start to get review copies, you get super excited and accidentally request more than you can read. Of course that's not a deadly sin, it's okay and I'm sure it happened to a lot of people out there. 

I'm not upset about people who didn't expect to actually get review copies and requested too many and got approved for too many either. 

Who REALLY upsets me are the people who keep on requesting ridiculous amounts of review copies and just collect them. Simply for display or whatever and don't review them. 

Here's why this upsets me:
  • It's rude. 
  • It's a virtual contract. (Most publishers won't work with you anymore if you have a history of doing this btw)
  • It's harmful to the industry. You might think that the big publishers won't be hurt by a couple of people not reviewing - but most big publishers only send out ARCs, which are specifically printed for reviewing purposes and cost a lot more to print, AND are only printed in limited quantities.
  • (The purpose of giving out an ARC and not a finished copy is to get the review before the book is published. If you end up posting the review late or not at all, the resources were wasted on you)
  • There are bloggers out there who would have given their left leg for reading the ARC/review copy you just ignore.
  • It's even worse if you do this to indie authors and small publishers, because the money for printing them is literally going out of their own pockets. 
  • Did I say it's rude?
I don't understand how anyone could justify having 30+ ARCs dating back a couple of months and not having reviewed them. I don't understand how anyone could have a huge pile of review copies dating back YEARS and not have reviewed them. I just don't get it and I think there should be consequences for people who do this. It's so rude and disrespectful. It makes all bloggers look bad, especially because a lot of times it's the big bloggers with a huge reach who think their fame makes it okay for them to do this. 

Of course, not everyone who does this is aware of how much damage they're doing, but after all we're basically offering a marketing service. Even if you're just blogging as a hobby, you're working with people who actually get paid to do their job and I sincerely doubt that you would do this in a professional environment. 

Why is it so widely accepted (apparently) to keep on requesting stuff you won't read in the first place? I don't know. I just think that we should all be collectively very thankful for having the opportunity to read books for free and not exploit it out of greed. 


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Thursday, May 26, 2016

10 Dramatic Changes I Made that Ended up Improving My Blog | Book Blogging Tips (#41)




Sometimes you've gotta make tough decisions blogging-wise. Here are the decisions I had to make that ended up being for the better.

This is only to give you an idea of what you CAN do, you don't have to use any of my tips for your own blog, but feel free to do so if you like!



#10: Crossposting
There's no way around crossposting. Everyone of us probably has one social media platform that's doing a little better than the others. Use that to your advantage and pitch your posts there. Of course don't go overboard so people won't think you're spamming!

#9: Original posts!
Hard to believe, but I used to be a meme and review-only blog. It ended up improving my blog (for myself) a lot I think.

#8: Having a set post structure
Gosh, I can't even look back at the old reviews I wrote. I used to NOT format at all. For chatty and discussion posts that MIGHT work and you can get away with it, but you can't just publish a block of text review. This is never okay. Find your style, come up with something you're comfortable with and stick to that structure.

#7: Making graphics for each post
Before I made original posts much at all, I never had a reason to make any kind of graphics. Now I make them for every single post that isn't a review. It brightened up my blog a lot and I think they're quite eye-catching and pretty.

#6: Reviewing for NetGalley
This is such an essential part of my blogging experience now, I can't believe I never used it. NetGalley can be overwhelming at first, but reviewing new releases is a GREAT way to attract new viewers to your blog. Go on, make a NetGalley account!

#5: Deleting Old Posts
Sometimes you just gotta say goodbye to posts that neither have done well, not are up to your current standards, nor are anything that you think would attract any more readers. I used to do so many memes back when I first started (and not very well and very half-heartedly). Don't be afraid to delete crappy stuff!

#4: Ditching the open post archive
+guiltless reader, remember last year during Bloggiesta when you said to me to ditch that stupid open post archive? I was so upset about changing it because I liked it so much to have all my posts displayed there, but I'm so glad I listened.

Prime example why you should always, always listen to other bloggers' advice! I can't imagine having anything other than a drop down archive on my blog now!

#3: Working more with catchy headlines
I used to not really hashtag or try to make the headlines of my posts go into the clickbait direction, but I think I've gotten a little better at it now.
Try to give out as much info about your post in the headline, this is the prime ground where you advertise for your posts! Use it!

#2: Starting to recommend more!
I used to only have the little section of five star reviews in my header and that was it. I can't imagine my blog without themed recommendations now! If you love them and would like to see a specific theme, head over to my tumblr and send me a quick message, I'll make a post for it on a topic of your choice. Always open for requests!

#1: Linking within posts
Seriously, how did I never do this? If you write a lot of personal or discussion posts, this is such an essential thing to do. Link similar topics below or in the post so people who might be interested can find them. Such a great way to build more traffic.


Have you ever had to make dramatic changes to your blog?


Need more advice? Check out my blogging tips!


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Monday, May 2, 2016

What to write in your #NetGalley profile | How to Be Badass on #NetGalley






So, I've been on NetGalley for a while and I decided that I know what I'm doing well enough to give advice.

So here's what you do when you start out:



It's so important that you fill in your profile.
This is first thing people see of you when you request a book.
Make sure you:
  • add a profile picture
  • add a bio
  • add a description
  • tell everyone how awesome you are and don't be shy!! (this doesn't mean exaggerating, no lies here, people will actually check everything and if you lie, you're not going to get approved for anything ever)

But what the heck am I supposed to put into the bio? 

I got you.

It's a simple formula:

1. Thanking the publisher for considering you because you're polite and professional.

2. Introducing your blog in one or two sentences. 
Example: "My blog X is a YA books only blog. I post discussions and review books. I like this and that genre the best."

3. Introducing your schedule so the publisher knows when to expect a review. 
Example: "I review 10 books a week and read about 6 books a week."

4. Adding a fancy sentence if you have cool other platforms. 
Example: "I am an Amazon Top 100 reviewer / I have a billion friends on Goodreads / I have an instagram with a million followers."

5. Adding the link to your blog and your email address.

6. Copying your blog statistics.

Example:

STATS
- X reviews published since X
- Daily views: 
- Monthly views:
- Unique Visitors per month: 
- Total views: 

FOLLOWERS
- via Google Friend Connect: 
- via Bloglovin: 
- via Twitter:  (@username)
- via tumblr: (username)
- via Google +: 
- via Goodreads: X friends + Y following reviews
- via (other platform that I do not use): 

Total reach: ~ X


MORE  TIPS:

It's super important to add as much detail as possible but not to ramble. 500 words is the absolute maximum, nobody will read your life story here. Stick to the basics, stick to the stuff that's relevant for the publisher. If you won blog awards (not those tag award things!), add them. Add everything that proves that you're a successful blogger!

Make sure to regularly update your statistics - at least a month. Even if they go down, always be honest!

If you have any more questions feel free to ask!


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