Armchair BEA – Day 5: Ask the Experts
June 8, 2012 40 Comments
Armchair BEA is for those people who cannot visit Book Expo America but still want to join in the fun. This week, June 4th to June 8th, there are celebrations for those who stay at home rather than make it to New York. Look out for a new post every day from me!
Today, I’d like to give you my insights in blogging. What works and what doesn’t work, if you’d ask me. Maybe it’s helpful for you. And if you have any good tips for me, please let me know!
I’ll be honest: this is a re-worked post from last year’s Armchair BEA. Not because I’m lazy, but because I still believe these points are useful.
So, how to be successful with your blog
- Post regularly. It doesn’t matter if that’s every day or every week, but make sure your readers see something from you on a regular basis. If you’re inconsistent with posting, they’ll be lacklustre in reading and commenting on your blog, too.
- Solicit comments. To make a blog post more interesting for your readers, ask them explicitly to comment, e.g., by asking them a question at the end of a post. They’ll feel more involved if you do.
- Provide quality content. Don’t do meme after meme every day (or week), but balance it with posts that originate from you. E.g., a book review, an opinion about something, a photograph. Something that makes you stand out.
- Use your own format for your book reviews. Use the same format for each review. It will make it easier for readers to follow and it will make your blog recognisable.
- Have a giveaway every now and then. I run giveaways because I find them fun. I often win books myself, and I like to give back to the book blogging community. It’s also a way for people to find my blog, and maybe they like it and want to subscribe. If you don’t have the means to run giveaways: it doesn’t matter, they are just a bit of added fun.
- Comment, comment, comment. What does it mean for your blog to be successful? Is it that other people read and comment on your posts? Then make sure you comment on other people’s posts so they know you exist and slowly build a connection with them. To do that, don’t go round hundreds of blogs, commenting here and there, but concentrate on ten or twenty favorite blogs that you visit regularly. That’s a great way to make new online friends.
- Let people know you’re there! Blogging becomes more interesting if you have readers. Besides commenting on other people’s blogs, you can use Twitter, Facebook and other social media to post links to your newest post. People like links, they’ll often click them to find out what they are about. If you don’t have many followers, start following other book bloggers (e.g., check their blog, it often has a Twitter/facebook etc. name mentioned) and they’ll start to follow you back.
- Join a meme or two. Joining memes (recurring features on other blogs) means that, on another blog, you leave a link to your blog post, and hey, people will click that link and find out about you. It does cost a bit of time, as you are expected to click on other people’s link too. It’s a no-no to leave your link and not interact with other people. But don’t worry: you are NOT obliged to click on each and every of 100s of links!
- Make sure your blog looks nice. Not too busy, with lots of things in the side bars but simple. Make sure your font is a color that’s easily readable against the background. If people have to strain to read your post, they’ll skip most of it.
What do you think of these points? Agree? Other suggestions?
Leave it in the comments!
PS. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway (world-wide where Book Depository delivers)