Showing posts with label content. Show all posts
Showing posts with label content. Show all posts

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How To Queue Posts Months in Advance | Book Blogging Tips (#26)



I was actually asked to share my take on the topic with you guys, because I mentioned in one my previous BBT posts how heavily queued my blog is.

To me, queuing is essential if you want to publish nice content frequently. Here some tips on how I manage to keep on queuing.



1. Use Your Creative Highs

Sometimes you will feel like blogging and sometimes you won't. The key is to notice when you feel like writing and to write the heck out of it. Write until you feel like puking at the thought of writing another post. 
I've actually written twenty posts in a day before, just because I forced myself to keep on doing it. You'd be surprised how fun it is to and how satisfying it is to see the number of your queued posts rising up!

2. Have Set Content 

If you know what your blog is supposed to be about it will get way easier to queue in advance. Reviews are obviously excluded from this. Find a set schedule for every day of the week, or just every week.
Based on memes, an example schedule for bloggers that aspire to post every day would be this:

  • Monday: What are you reading? or Mailbox Monday 
  • Tuesday: Teaser Tuesday or Top Ten Tuesday
  • Wednesday: Wishlist Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday
  • Thursday: Freebie
  • Friday: The Friday 56 or Friday Finds
  • Saturday: Original (personal post or own feature)
  • Sunday: Sunday Salon or Weekly Wrap Up

As you see, if you're a friend of them there are memes for every day of the week. A great source to find more memes is the Book Blog Meme Directory.

3. Launch Your Own Memes/Original Content


Since I started Book Blogging Tips, I noticed that it gets way easier to schedule stuff in advance. Sometimes when I'm writing up a post, an idea for another one just pops into my head. Having your own feature will surely inspire you to make a lot of posts at once. It's also extremely satisfying when the first people start linking to your posts.


Beware: Don't copy other people's stuff, give it a new name and pretend it's your own content. Especially with memes you can easily slip into the direction of plagiarism and this isn't good for your reputation and it will cost you a lot of readers.

Also, it's illegal. So stay away from that. Your own ideas are way better than the copied content anyways.

4. Reviews: Write Them Immediately


I know this can get super tiring and it's annoying and sometimes you don't even feel like writing a review. Believe me, I know.
You just have to go through it, because:

  1. Your thoughts are fresh when you just finished the book
  2. You won't remember as many details in two days time
  3. Depending on the book you may have even forgotten about it altogether!
..and we don't want that. A great idea is to read other people's reviews on Goodreads if you don't feel like you have anything to say. You'll quickly notice that you agree or disagree and there you go - your first thoughts are waiting to be put on paper. It's not a shame if you only write half a review, you can still write the rest a few days later, it's just important to get the first draft done.


What are your tips on queuing posts in advance?

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Things No One Tells You About Book Blogging | Book Blogging Tips (#25)


I had no idea what to expect when I just dove into blogging head-first. I didn't even read other blogs when I first started and just decided to do it my own way.

A lot has changed since then and I'd like to say that my blog has improved since then. Here are some things that really surprised me when I first started blogging.



  • Success won't come overnight: Good content ≠ Readers

No matter what you post, you won't become a successful blogger within six months. There are exceptions to the rule, but don't assume that you're one of those. Readers are earned and that takes time.


  • Queuing WILL save your blog

Honestly, if it wasn't for my well-stacked queue I'd probably have quit already. It's hardly possible to keep posting as much as I do (almost every day/ every other day) without actually planning posts in advance. I use my creative highs to schedule posts in advance. I suggest you make a habit of queuing, too, because it really does help a lot.


  • Themes matter, period.

So many people say it's all about the content, but honestly: there are certain themes that I just can't stand to see anymore. At this point I actually click away when I see an awful blog design, no matter how interesting the posts sound.


  • You will lose motivation

..and that's perfectly normal. Blogging is a full-time job and after months and months of writing posts, you may get tired of it. Don't give up. The big names in the blogging community are the people who never gave up. You can do it.


  • It's a competition - you will get jealous of others

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you shouldn't try to be like other bloggers or try to be as successful as them. I've heard it all, but the truth is I do look left and right and try to improve my blog constantly. The internet changes and so do the habits of the people who visit my blog. 

  • Of course you'll get discouraged to see a blogger that has barely started surpass you with their statistics.
  • Of course you'll get jealous when someone gets an awesome ARC that you didn't get 
  • Of course you'll constantly ask yourself why someone else has more followers, has more commenters, has better statistics
  • Of course you'll try to be more like the people you admire. And eventually plan to be a better blogger than them.
That may sound a little conceited, but it's the truth. Why are you blogging? Because you think your voice matters. When it ends up being unheard it's frustrating and annoying and it will make you question everything you do. 

BUT:
Don't listen to that little voice that says you're not good enough and you're never going to make it. 

Persistence is the key to success. 

One day people will look up to you and ask themselves why they're not as great as you are. 


What are things that you didn't expect about blogging?
Do you sometimes get jealous of other bloggers?

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Friday, October 16, 2015

How to Get Me Hooked On Your Blog | Book Blogging Tips (#21)


Everyone has their preferences in terms of what blogs they like to read. For a few weeks I looked at my own following habits and tried to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes me follow a blog.

1. Brilliant Reviews

While reviews aren't everything in the blogger world if you're looking to get a huge following, it can help.

I'm one of those people that actually seeks out reviews and reads the whole thing before commenting. A brilliant review for me is a review that's critical while being polite. Open your eyes and point out the little things. If you can make me laugh, there you go, new follower.

2. Diverse Content

Don't only post memes. Everyone should have a unique twist in their blog that makes them special. If you do different things than everybody else, I'm interested. I don't need to follow the 34279379th meme blog.

3. Special Features
  • Be entertaining
  • Be helpful
  • Be creative 
Write about the things that interest you. Good special features can also be personal posts, there are no boundaries!

4. Wit

That's a very broad term, but if you're smart and funny, you can even make the most boring content interesting. Unfortunately, that's not something you can learn. Some people are just naturally funny without forcing it, that's why it is important to add personality to your blog.

5. Personality

A common misconception among newbie bloggers is that you have to keep everything clean and professional. As a reader, I love personal posts. Not in the terms of writing an online diary, but actually showing who you are and what you like. You can be subjective all you want, you're running a book blog after all. There will be a lot of people following you for your personal posts only if you're doing it right.

6. Interaction

Talk to me.
If I leave a comment on your blog, I obviously want to interact. If you reply, I might come back. There's nothing more satisfying than leaving a comment on a blogger's blog and have it turn into a conversation. I've actually made a fair share of friendships like that.

7. The Learning Factor

If I read one of posts and think to myself: "Well, that was brilliant. I could learn a lot from that blogger, so I better observe them" - then a follow is guaranteed. As bloggers I think most of us crave improvement. We want our blogs to be the very best they can be. If you can assist me with that, I probably just became your number one fan.

8. Similar Taste / Great Recommendations

Naturally we click on reviews of books that interest us. I tend to read a lot of reviews about:

  1. Popular books: To determine whether they are for me
  2. Books I loved/hated: To find out what other people think of them. I rarely read reviews about books that I just found mediocre.
  3. My favorite authors' works: Because I can never get enough of them and have to decide which book to read next
  4. Books with great covers: Secretely we all pretend we don't care about covers, but show me a pretty cover in my Bloglovin feed and I'll be sure to check it out
  5. Books of my preferred genre: Sometimes I have a very obscure taste in books. If you have that same taste and read books in that genre, I'm following you just to keep up with what new books there are on the market.
If your taste matches mine, that's a surefire way to get me hooked.


What does it take to get you hooked on a blog?


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Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Write a Book Review | Book Blogging Tips (#17)

If you run a book blog it's essential to know how to write a review. There are certainly different approaches to the topic and everyone has their own preferences.

However there are still some things that every blogger should incorporate into their review.





  • Step 1: Read the Book
If you plan on writing a book review for your blog, the first thing you have to do is read the book. For some bloggers it's a NO-GO to review a book that you didn't or couldn't finish. A rule of thumb for me is to give every book 50 pages to impress me, if it doesn't, I will neither review nor finish. 

In general you shouldn't upload a review for a book when you have read LESS than half of it. It's just impossible to form a valid and helpful opinion if you have no idea about the plot. Also make sure to note in your review that you didn't read the entire book.

  • Step 2: Mind the Form
Here are some things that you can put into your review. 
It's up to you whether you choose one or two, or all of them. Book reviewing isn't an exact science. 

- COVER ART: Pictures are very important if you want to catch your readers attention. I typically feature two different covers of the book, one at the top and one at the bottom
- LENGTH: fluctuating between 300 and 900 words. Be careful not too write too much. Obviously a high fantasy novel review will end up longer than a novella review. Don't stress yourself.
- RATING: Whether it's stars, strawberries, books or thumbs up. Make sure to add a visual.
- (Optional) RÉSUMÉ: Quickly sum up what you dis/liked for readers that don't want to read the whole text.
INFO: Publication Date, Publisher, Page Count, Genre, Author, Title, Synopsis (optional) link to buy the book/to the publisher's website

  • Step 3: Add the Content
- WHAT YOU LIKED: Make sure to reduce the fangirling to a minimum though.
- WHAT YOU DISLIKED: Always be respectful and don't use curse words. There's always a lot of work going into a novel. Picture yourself as the author, would you rather have constructive criticism or a bunch of insults?
- (Optional) WHY YOU READ IT: Could be helpful if it's a review copy and for possible future readers
- (Optional) MORE BOOKS TO COME?: I like to inform my readers whether it's a stand-alone or the first in a series.

My Tips
It'll be even easier for you to come up with what to say when you make notes throughout your reading process. I even write a quick review when I'm halfway through the novel just to sort my thoughts and make sure I don't forget points along the way. That review can be full of curse words or fangirling and whatever you want - it will never see the light of day and is only a guideline for you to sort your feelings about the novel out. 

You'd think that a book blog should only consist out of reviews, but we all know that that isn't even remotely true if you look at the more popular blogs.
If you want your reviews to be as entertaining as your original posts or meme posts, you have to make sure to write entertainingly. Show your enthusiasm for the book or your lack of and discover your own style

Some people like to use gifs, some people are gifted with the written word and just write super funny posts regardless of their opinion of the book. Write entertainingly and always be honest. Never write a positive review for a book that you absolutely hated and vice versa.


How do you write your reviews? Do you have any special tips?



Come back next Thursday for a new Book Blogging Tips Post!

More:
(#14): How to Decline an Inquiry By An Author or Publisher Politely 
(#15): How to Install Social Media Icons 
(#16): How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme 

See All
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Blogging Etiquette: Don't Steal Content and Learn to Credit!





What's "content stealing"?

In the book blogging world, content stealing simply means taking something that you didn't create and not crediting the person who did. Your intentions don't matter, whether you did this consciously or subconsciously - stealing is stealing. Just because it's online it doesn't mean that it's not illegal.


Types of content-thievery:
  • Copy Cat: Flat out copying someone's original content
  • Post Ideas: While these aren't under any copyright, it's just bad manners to take someone's unique idea and come up with your own version of it without crediting the original creator or making significant changes
  • Pictures: Rule of thumb: if you didn't take the photo personally with your own hands, or have permission from the person who took it, don't use the picture. Book covers are usually free to use if you're writing a review, but check the individual publishers before you right-click and copy.
  • Themes: Yes you can steal a theme - by removing the creator's credit you're not only being a dick, but you're also committing the most easily traceable kind-of book blogging crime. 

Wait - I've done some of these??? Help??

If you had no idea and accidentally took someone else's content, don't panic.

IMMEDIATELY remove the content. You can still fill your blog back up with other stuff later.
Consider apologizing to the person. At least that's what I would have wanted, a heart-felt apology doesn't make it better, but it's certainly better than nothing.

Make sure it never happens again. You'll get a reputation if you get caught doing this online frequently. Trust me, people will notice.

What about inspiration?

If somebody's original post inspired you to launch your own post, just add credit. It's polite and it's the respectable thing to do. Even if you're writing about something completely different, it's a nice gesture for that blogger to quickly leave a link to their site and mention that this post inspired you.

Inspiration is not stealing - as long as you're coming up with your own stuff. 

The second you're copying somebody else's words, you're already making a mistake. Variations of other things are perfectly fine, you'll hardly come up with something that has never done before. If you do, congratulations!

Consequences!

Aside from the legal issue, you're not going to become famous/get more traffic/whatever you seek if you're using sketchy methods. The book community is smaller than you think and people will remember you! I even know bloggers that use plagiarism software to scan the internet for copy cats. You don't want to get on those people's bad side.

Also - if you were that person, would you want somebody else to steal your masterfully taken pictures, well-thought out reviews, thousand-times-edited post?
Don't be a dick.

How do I protect myself?
  1. Don't steal. 
  2. Don't copy. 
  3. Learn to credit.
  4. Don't use content you didn't come up with
  5. Don't right-click and save pictures you didn't take or don't have permission to use. 
You may think it's only online and it's not that big of a deal- but what you do on the internet stays here forever. 



What's your opinion on crediting and stealing content? 
What do you consider stealing?

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Do You Need To Post Every Day To Be Successful? | Book Blogging Tips (#5)





When I first started out I thought that the most important thing about my blog is to post a lot and to post consistently. 

While that partly may be true, I noticed very quickly that it's possible to go over the top with all that content.




What Types of Content are There?

It seems to be a well-kept secret- how to mix up the best combination of ingredients to cook the perfect blog.

Let's break down what kind of posts there are. At the top of my head I can think of nine:
  1. How-To's / Advice
  2. Reviews
  3. Memes
  4. Findings
  5. Personal Updates / Q&As
  6. Photo posts
  7. Discussions
  8. Lists
  9. Other / Original Content
Some of these overlap to some extent; a meme also be a photo post, a discussion post or a list for example.

What you want to do VS What your readers want to see

When it comes to blog content, everyone seems to have their own recipe. For some people it's reviews only, for some people it's only original features and for some it's a combination of everything.

In theory then, you might be on the safe side if you do a little bit of everything, right?

Just do all different types of posts in a loop and wait for the followers to jam in the doors?

WRONG! 

Too many updates and too much stuff will clutter your blog and is almost just as bad as having too boring or too little content. Posting multiple times a day every day will not only scare away readers, it can also get pretty exhausting. If you have many, many ideas you can still queue the posts and use them as a cushion whenever you're not feeling like blogging.


But How Much Content is too much?

Some blogs with high follower stats only have six posts per month, some have thirty.

My personal take is that you just have to find your niche. With blogging it's all about finding the perfect combination that you're equally as comfortable with as your readers. Pick a few things that you like, experiment a little and find out what kinds of posts you are best at.

If you're having fun, it will translate in your writing and you'll automatically produce better quality content. And who are we kidding here, could you really keep up posting fifty posts per month for years to come? I don't think so.

My ultimate tip would be: Don't focus on quantity, focus on quality.

What kind of posts do you like to read?


What are your favorite posts to write?

More Tips:
Book Blogging Tips (#1): Requesting Review Copies from Publishers
Book Blogging Tips (#2): 5 Ways to Get Out of A Reading Slump
Book Blogging Tips (#3): How to Handle Inquiries from Publishers and Authors
Book Blogging Tips (#4): Pros and Cons of Book Blogging Memes

See All

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