Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new top ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers:

1. Establish Your Blog Voice – You probably already know that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of book blogs out there. Like it or not, those blogs are all competing for a pretty similar audience. This means that you, your blog and your voice need to somehow stand out from the rest as unique. For me, my blog voice is just me, myself and I. For others, they adopt a personality. It’s entirely your choice! Have fun with it.

2. Pick Your Genre – I think it’s great when blogs can be completely cross-genre and encompass both adult and YA books. I’ve found, over time, that just being a simple YA blog works for me. This way, I can keep my reviews streamlined, and I don’t confuse publishers when they request reviews. There are niche blogs and there are more broad-based blogs. Pick what works for you.

3. Choose a Rating System – Your rating system is your way of separating the books that work for you from the books that don’t. I’ve seen some bloggers out there that don’t post negative reviews, which is fine, but for me, I decided that if I didn’t post what didn’t work for me, I wouldn’t be able to show what did work! I went with a simple 5-star system because it’s pretty much universal, but have fun with it…make it your own.

4. Ask for Help – Trust me…there is absolutely no shame in asking other bloggers for help! I remember when I first started blogging, and I had no clue what to do. If it hadn’t been for awesome bloggers offering up their expertise, I probably would have quit two years ago. We all have to start somewhere.

5. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself – It’s great to start your blog off with a bang, but remember that slow and steady wins the race. If you do too many posts too fast, you could well find yourself overwhelmed and burned out. I’ve had my fair share of hiatuses because of that, but there have also been times where I considered ending the blog. Give yourself a break, and take your time.

6. Be Yourself – It is a good idea to see what other blogs do, what works for them and whatnot, but it is NOT a good idea to replicate them. If you aren’t original, bloggers have no reason to follow you as opposed to the other blogger. It is your voice, your personality and your take that is going to build an audience.

7. Don’t Get Discouraged – There are always going to be bigger and better blogs, kiddos. There just are. Are there days when I get bummed? Of course! It’s natural. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that your small blog is any less than the big blogs. Give it time. It will grow.

8. Be Relevant – If you’ve declared your blog a YA blog, then by all means remain a YA blog. If you’ve decided you’re an adult blog, leave it that way. Don’t cloud the message or the agenda of your blog with ambiguities. People want to know what they are going to find when they visit your blog. If you confuse them, they probably won’t continue to follow you.

9. Use Social Media – This one is huge, and this isn’t just because I’m biased (I’m a social media strategist by day). If you expect to grow your blog without the aid of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Pinterest and more, you’ll find it taking a lot longer than you might want. These free mediums are your friends. Don’t be afraid to publicize your blog!

10. Have Fun – This is probably the one that I just can’t tout enough. Guys, if you’re not having fun, it’s most likely not worth it. I don’t do this as a job, and I certainly don’t get paid for it. I do, however, love blogging and love my bloggy friends. Enjoy what you’re doing. People will tell if you don’t, and they won’t be as inspired by your posts. Don’t take it too seriously…just have a blast!


  1. Great list and one I definitely could have used before starting! Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. Love the tips! Especially about not being overwhelmed, which is easy to do with new bloggers like me :-)

  3. Great tips! I think it’s very important to always be yourself and have your own unique voice! Plus, it’s always very important to remember to Have fun when blogging cause that’s why most of us decided to do this in the first place! 

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and

  4. I will admit it's been a while since I've logged onto Pinterest, but I am curious how one uses pinterest for blog promotion... in light of your tip to "ask for help," I figured I'd ask!

  5. I love your list. I've commented on a TON of TTT posts today, and no one but you has pointed out to pick a genre. Even E & I forgot about that. What an excellent point! I definitely like knowing what to expect when I subscribe to a blog. :)

  6. First of all, I love the name of your blog and the design. It's gorgeous and makes me feel super relaxed. My partner, Magan, introduced me to your blog and I love this list. You said it better than we did. Blog voice is so huge and it's really hard to master. I know when I started blogging I was focusing on my wedding and found myself sort of mimicing what I was reading around me. After a few months, I just stopped. I realized it wasn't for me and I wasn't able to distinguish myself the right way. I think voice is definitely a process and the more consistantly I find myself writing, the better I am at it? Or at least, I hope so. Looking forward to reading about your book adventuers!

  7. These are great Melissa! You've got some wise words here. I particularly like "Ask For Help" because I have to ask for help all the time!! I'm not the newest blog on the block, but I still consider myself relatively new. In any case, I have NEVER had an issue that another blogger wasn't eager and willing to help me out with right away. Of course, it helps to network and be part of the community - I had a feedburner problem and asked another blogger about it. She knew the problem but wanted to be doubly sure before she manipulated my blog so she hopped on twitter and tweeted away...within seconds we had about four or five other bloggers working with the two of us to fix my problem - from across the world, literally. 

    Great list, OF COURSE!! :)

  8. Hmmm...Guess I fail on #2(Pick a genre) and then by default #8 as I read and review all age levels and genres.  LOL  All great tips though...especially #10 "Have Fun"...that is my loophole for #2!!!just maybe not all for everyone!

  9. I think the common message in all of today's top ten posts has been to be yourself. I think that letting yourself shine through is what makes your blog a successful one in the end.

    JJ iReadsCheck out my Top Ten Picks This Week 

  10. Such sage advice.

    Thanks for sharing with everyone. :)

  11. Great list and one I definitely could have used before starting! Thanks for the great ideas.


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