I think I'm going to have to do this one in descending order... It's going to be difficult to put them all in a proper order, so I guess just treat many of them as though they are as important as each other :)
This week's post is:
Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers
10. Font - Make sure the font(s) you use on your blog are easy to read, and make sure that they aren't a stupid colour (e.g. yellow). Make your content as reader-friendly as possible. We don't want anyone going blind from squinting at the screen to see what you have to say!
9. Name - A catchy name isn't everything, but it could be the difference between a reader remembering that your blog exists, or forgetting all about it. Make us remember you!
8. Style - I guess this one kind of links into the name, in that it needs to be something smart, eye-catching and most importantly memorable. It doesn't have to be something majorly fancy - you can easily create something special and unique using blogger's template designer programme - just make sure that every bit of it complements the other, keep it as tidy as possible, and make it look beautiful! Not the most important thing, but looks can matter!
7. Passions - Blog about the books and genres that you are passionate about. Don't just stick with the trends because you think that's what people want to hear about. You do need to communicate information that will be interesting to readers, yes, but it also has to be interesting to you. If there is no real passion behind what you are writing about, then how can you expect your readers to be passionate in return! Love what you do!
6. Don't try too hard - Reviewing books doesn't come naturally to most of us, and it can definitely be difficult when first starting out with a book blog. Just do your best to communicate how you feel about your latest reads, but in a way that feels natural to you. Eventually, you'll discover that your reviews and other posts develop and evolve on their own!
5. Diversify - Try to post something a little different once in a while. This keeps your blog fresh and interesting. This could be anything from an author interview (many authors are available to chat through goodreads, and many of these authors are more than happy to answer a few questions for a blog interview), to a blog tour post. Blog tours are run by many different hosts - these can be found with an internet search, or there are places like AtomR Book Blog Tours and Novel Publicity, that run pretty good tours. Some publishers also run tours on occasion, so once you've been blogging for a while, these may be a possibility.
I also find that taking notes of ideas, when I have them, really helps me to keep on top of the one-off posts I want to write.
4. Weekly Features - Making sure that you have enough to say to update your blog regularly can be difficult, so come up or join in with a handful of weekly features. There are many bloggers that host these, such as The Broke and the Bookish (who host Top Ten Tuesday, which you are currently reading), Should be Reading, and I host two weekly features; Wishlist Wednesday and Friday Recommends - I'd love it if you joined in!
3. Options for followers - Not everyone likes to use GFC (Google Friend Connect), and those who don't blog through blogger can no longer use this anyway, so try to find multiple different ways that readers can subscribe to your posts through. A really great one to use is Networked Blogs, a followers app that works through facebook. I also recommend giving readers the option to subscribe to email updates (which can easily be achieved on blogger, and is usually on your blog by default when you set it up). The newest of these followers apps is Linky Followers. So there are plenty of different options to suit every follower's needs!
2. Give something back - Followers can be like little pets (no offence intended here, just in case any of you think I'm being derogatory), and occasionally they need a little treat alongside the usual doting attention you pay them while writing your posts. If you can afford to give back, do so. The occasional giveaway can be very beneficial for your blog and attract the attention of those all-important readers, as well as show your current followers how much you appreciate them. It's the start of a beautiful friendship!
Giveaway hops are a great way to start with this, and Kathy at I am a Reader, Not a Writer hosts some wonderful giveaway hops, that are definitely worth checking out!
1. Don't be shy, and have fun! - This is the all-important one... If you're not having fun, then the chances are that your readers aren't either! Blogging can be a very rewarding thing to do - you get to share your passion of reading with the world, after all. Don't be afraid that your writing isn't 'good enough' or too shy to say what you really think about a book - we're all friends here! Anything you have to say is likely to be interesting and useful to someone else out there in the huge and still growing book-reading, blog-reading community.
Have a play around with it, find your natural style and have fun, because that is what is most important!
So, I feel the need to add another one at the bottom here - something I overlooked when writing the post, but something that is SO important to book blogging.
Network - Use facebook, twitter, goodreads, blogaholics social network, Book Bloggers and more! This will allow you to meet a whole group of other book bloggers, either from close to home, or half way across the world, it doesn't really matter! We are a tight-knit group of friends - we recommend, encourage and support each other, and that is something beautiful and vital in the world of blogging.
Also, when you can, get out to those bookish events - author events, signing, book launches etc. They are a great way to see that it doesn't just have to be about you sitting behind a computer, wondering what to say about your latest read - blogging matters, and it makes a difference in the publishing world! Go out there and be a part of it!