Discussion Post: Advice for New and Seasoned Bloggers

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It’s been awhile since I’ve one a discussion post. I suppose life gets in the way every now and then. Today, I want to hand out some advice for new and seasoned bloggers. You can never have enough advice when it comes to blogging, although some of the more seasoned bloggers can be a little touchy when it’s given (trust me, I am a great example of this.) Advice helps you grow, though. Here’s some advice based from my own experiences.

 

  1. Don’t be rude. – I mean this in every sense. Don’t start fights on Twitter. Don’t send a rude email and then apologize when you later find out you were in the wrong. Don’t start anything with an author that you disagree with. Don’t blacklist an author because you disagree with their statement and then publicly take it to the streets. Just don’t. This is one of my biggest things ever. STAY PROFESSIONAL. There have been SO MANY TIMES that I have wanted to freak out on someone because of their stupidity. And, sure, sometimes I might make a comment or two that I just dealt with someone stupid. But I NEVER include them in my tweet. I NEVER tell anyone what is going on with said person. I might say what’s up, but I won’t say what’s up with whom. It’s not appropriate. Think of blogging as your side profession. Would you act that way at work? If not, don’t do it online.
  2. Don’t post a million blog posts per day – I’ve ran across this several times lately. Bloggers posting around 10-20 blog posts per day (especially if they are a tour host with a tour company.) If you do this, STOP. Not only does it make you look unprofessional, but it detracts from your site. I will never go look at your blog, recommend it, or have anything to do with it. It’s annoying
  3. Be careful in your review policies section – I’ve noticed lately that authors are definitely checking this section out. It’s not something that I normally look at, because I really don’t have the time, but this is starting to become a big thing. Don’t write down that you don’t read LGBTQ or that you blacklist certain genres unless you’re prepared for the backlash. If it’s something you feel really strongly about, go for it. Just know that there ARE repercussions. I’ve been having to deal with it lately.
  4. If you sign up for something, RESPOND. Also, don’t make someone chase you down several times. – Example: The Debut Authors Bash. When you sign up for something, YOU ARE COMMITING. It’s is beyond unprofessional when you won’t even email me back. Not once. And then I have to go find a replacement. IT IS SO RUDE. This is for all events because, trust me, all event hosts and hostesses know what I am talking about. I’m not going to yell at you. I’m not going to stomp my feet and throw a fit. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF I NEED TO FIND A REPLACEMENT. FOR REAL. If you just TELL ME what is going on, I WILL WORK WITH YOU. Biggest pet peeve EVER.
  5. Comment on other blogs: I admit that I’m really bad at this. I try really hard to either 1) reply to all comments on my own blog and/or 2) to comment on other blogs. I’m really busy, though, so I don’t have time to do this on a daily or even weekly basis. Definitely try to fit in some comments every now and then, though!
  6. Talk to other bloggers and authors on Twitter: Don’t be shy! We’re not scary! We want to talk to you!!!
  7. Be regular – If you want your blog to be successful, then you need to regularly post content on your blog. Google Calendar works really well for me, because it helps me assess what needs to post when, when I’m hosting tours or special events, and what needs to be scheduled for three months down the road. I remember when I started working and couldn’t post very often this same chick emailed me like 5 times telling me how horrible my blog had become and how I owed her reviews and blah blah blah. I sent her a reply every time telling her how inappropriate this was and how I had a life…and then I’d thank her for her concern. So, I totally understand that real life gets in the way!! Again, though, if you WANT your blog to be successful, you NEED to be regular.
  8. Get over your confusion with guest posts and interviews – I’ve met some bloggers recently who have acted like this takes up so much time and they don’t have time to gather content. You guys, it takes me like 5 minutes to throw together an author interview and/or 2-3 guest post topics for the author to choose from. How long could it possibly be taking you? Rule of thumb, have generic author interview questions. I usually use the same ones for author interviews with some exceptions if I really loved the book. It’s also okay to have some generic guest post topics. Just make sure you provide the author with 2-3 topics. Also, it’s perfectly okay to include an author’s choice topic. THEY APPRECIATE IT.
  9. USE TWITTER – I’ve also had bloggers tell me that they never use Twitter. Then they complain that they don’t get any blog traffic. You guys, TWITTER IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR BLOGGING! This is where I gather most of my clients, followers, friends, etc. You need Twitter in your life.
  10. Be creative – Sometimes the standard author interview/guest post gets boring. They especially get boring to authors who have to answer the same question over and over and over again. Be creative. Think outside the box. Offer a phone interview or a Skype chat. Offer to do an interactive guest post with the author. Use pinterest to create boards or create YOUR OWN playlist for the book. Don’t make the author do all the work. Make it fun for them.
  11. To the more seasoned bloggers: respond to everyone. Don’t be snobby – It happens. I’ve done it too. I get it. You have 7-10k followers on Twitter and you don’t want to respond to everyone. And, okay, you don’t have to respond to EVERYONE. But when you have that really excited blogger go on your page and leave you a comment (or on twitter) REPLY. FREAKING REPLY. It might be a big deal for that blogger to say. You look like a twatwaffle when you ignore them.
  12. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed – Blogging is supposed to be FUN. If you’re not having fun, then, honey, you’re in the wrong field. You don’t have to review every book. You don’t have to spend 40 hours a week blogging. YOU NEED TO HAVE FUN. If you realize you’re in over your head with reviews, invite some of the authors onto your page for an interview or a fun event. Host some of the books for your WOW or TTT posts. DO NOT STRESS YOURSELF OUT!
  13. It is OKAY to DNF a book – I use to NEVER DNF a book! Now, I DNF the moment I dislike a book. Rule of thumb: When you start to feel like you’d rather change 100 cat litter boxes a day, it’s time to call it quits. It’s OKAY to DNF or negatively review a book. It is your right. EVEN FOR BLOG TOURS (although, I recommend hosting a promo post for the tour and then reviewing AFTER the actual tour.)
  14. Do not feel pressured to post your review on all promotional sites – Over the years, I’ve watched authors treat bloggers like crap for not reviewing on Amazon or the other 40 million sites out there. Not all authors! But I’ve seen it happen A LOT. Fact about me: I rarely ever review on Amazon. I HATE IT. But I DO review all my books on Goodreads. YOU DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED!
  15. If you have a question, JUST ASK: Seasoned bloggers are happy to help! Ask away!
  16. Don’t beg for review copies: Don’t ask other bloggers to vouch for you or to send you one of their copies. Don’t beg the authors. Just…..don’t. It’s super unprofessional and makes people feel super awkward.
  17. HAVE FUN! I can’t say this enough. Please have fun with what you’re doing!!!! Blogging is supposed to be FUN!

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for writing this! I’m pretty new to the blogging world and started with reviewing books only but I’m trying to add more writing and bookish topics. It’s been hard getting my name around and making friends. I’ve noticed the more known bloggers don’t really reply-understandable considering their huge following, but I sometimes feel… Alone on this topic. Silly because it’s the Internet but it’s hard to feel like I’m actually writing something for people to enjoy when no one ever talks to me or comments on my stuff. Maybe this comes off as arrogant-the total opposite of what I want to come off as. But I’ll keep at it and writing reviews, book talks and things!

    • Just remember that blogging is hard but people ARE LOOKING. Quite frankly, people don’t like to leave comments. That doesn’t mean they aren’t reading your stuff, though!

      -N

  2. I’m so glad you said that about a million blog posts a day! That drives me NUTS. I will UNFOLLOW the blog and avoid them like the plague. Especially if it’s all promo posts. Great tips!!

    • It seems to be a new thing! I don’t understand it! I mean, sometimes I post like 3 posts a day.,…..but that’s always a scheduling error on my end when that happens. It just means I overbooked myself and couldn’t space the posts out for some reason. But when someone is posting like 20 posts a day? Nobody is even going to see the first post!!!!

      -N

  3. This was a great post, and you definitely make some salient points!

    My pet peeve (and something I wish I could get through to Blog Hop/Book Tour hosts) is this: I sign up for book promos/tours, etc, and I don’t get a reply back from the tour host in a timely fashion. Am I expecting a reply back within an hour? No. Within 3 days? Yes. I do 2 posts a day on my blog, every day. I have these posts scheduled up to or over a month in advance. I cannot just hold a slot until someone decides to get back to me 2-3 weeks later.

    I totally get what you’re saying about expecting people to reply to you. I just wish some tour hosts would keep in mind that that goes both ways. (And I’m obviously not talking about you. I’ve had great response times with YA Reads.) Professional relationships must be treated as such on both sides.

    • I like the points you make. I run YaReads Blog Tours and have had a couple experiences with other blog tour companies. For the most part, though, I don’t join other blog tour companies just because it’s a conflict of interest.

      The only thing I can say about replying in a fashion, in regards to the actual tour hosts, is that it really depends on what is being sent out. For us, we don’t send out confirmations for book blitz’s or cover reveals. On the same up page, it will say when the tour kit is being sent out & then you can expect to have it by then. We send those out about 2-3 days prior to the event and there’s a reason for that. We need to ensure that certain information isn’t going to be leaked too early. So, if it gets leaked a couple days early, we can work with that. But if we have an exclusive excerpt or something and someone posts 3 weeks early, then we have an issue.

      With actual blog tours, I can’t send out confirmations until I have the tour filled up. Unfortunately, that does mean that sometimes you’re going to receive a confirmation 2-3 weeks later. For the most part, our tours fill up fairly quickly. However, especially with Indie tours, they can take a little bit to fill up.

      I’m rambling, because I’ve heard tour hosts say this before. And I totally understand!!! There’s just so much going on behind the scenes that the tour hosts don’t know about. We might be told by the author not to release anything until a certain date. Also, not everyone always gets to participate on a blog tour, and we don’t send out anything saying if you’re not on the tour. But this whole conversation has made me think that maybe I can implement some changes into how I run things.

      Always feel free to email your host, though! That’s what they are there for. And if they’re rude about it, then you don’t want to be with them.

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