So today I'm supposed to ask some questions or give out some tips, huh? Well, I don't really have any questions, because the way I do this (reading whatever I want, writing stuff about it, and then having fun comment exchanges afterwards) works pretty well for me, thank you very much. I mean, not that I'm above taking good advice or anything (and seriously, I'm going to be reading everyone's tips today, you just see if I don't) but I just don't have any questions specifically because, you know what? I have fun and don't take things to seriously, other than reading challenges which I take totally seriously. Ok?
So, that just leaves my tips. I mean, I'm about the least qualified person to be giving out advice on how to blog ever because, well, did you just see my description of what I do? There was a Top Ten Tuesday topic a while ago that was for blogging tips, and I avoided it completely because, what the hell do I know?! However, since I haven't just written this post for no reason, here are my (very) few tips on how to let your blog make you happy:
- Write your blog for you, and no one else: There are so so so many book blogs out there that seriously don't interest me (YA bloggers, I'm sorry) but that's completely irrelevant, because if you write it, they will come; 'they' being people who are like you, and who like the same things that you do. If you try to appeal to everyone, you're going to end up appealing to no one, and, well, then you'll just have no fun at all!
- Don't forget where you came from: And I don't mean like, remember you're still Jenny from the Block, but what did you like to read before you started blogging? And what do you read now? What I'm getting at is, I've seen SO many people say this week that they used to read various genres, but now 'I mostly read YA'. And if that's what you really want to do then that's fine, and please refer back to point one, but are you really just reading YA books because those are the free ones? Cause, library books are still free, and a lot of those are still worth reading. Just sayin.
- Find your blogging spirit animals and stick with them: Seriously, blogging has been so much more fun ever since I found my blogging tribe of awesomeness. I strongly advise you to seek out the people who will comment on your posts even when you have nothing particularly earth shattering to say, and who constantly make you laugh, because those are the ones to stick with.
- Don't be afraid to write about things that aren't books: Because, like, those posts might get less comments, but if you've got something pressing to say about True Blood, or whatever movie you saw last night, or feminism or the state of the economy, guess what? There's totally a place you can do that? I mean, I'm not necessarily saying make a habit of it, but the chances are, if you think something's worth saying, other people will too.
- Never pressure yourself: Never. Not ever. It's just not worth it for something that you created to talk about things you love, because it'll just make you resent your blog and maybe even hate books and stuff. If you don't want to blog for a while, then just DON'T. No one will mind! They'll miss you, sure, but they'll love you just as much when you come back. Honest.
Lovely advice! And THANK YOUUUU for calling out the "now I read YA all the time"-ers, because I've noticed that too and it's annoying. I understand that YA books are usually quick and easy and you can fly through them so you feel super-productive, but as a reader of blogs I find it super boring when someone reads nothing but YA.ReplyDelete
Wouldn't it be a lovely world if the publishers would start handing out ARC's of re-published classics or big literary novels instead of a million generic teen books?
Dude, it's SO boring... especially when these blogs all review the same books at the same time and just ARGH (hence why I avoid them). But I'm still like 'you used to read other things! Read them still! What is wrong with you?!' Although, still, I refer myself to tip one. And *breathe*.Delete
Dude, that would be SO lovely. I would be in HEAVEN. If I'd gotten an ARC of The Marriage Plot last year, I would have DIED of joy! (Best example I can think of right now... lol)
I second this. This is a big problem for me, because I have some friends from college who are SUPER into their YA blogs...and I just can't. I WANT to support them, but it causes me physical pain to read reviews about books I will never be interested in reading ever. And then I feel like a snob. And then I cry. It's a shame spiral.Delete
Excellent post! I agree with you totally - as a matter of fact I wrote mostly the same stuff on my blog. Especially love the "Don't forget where you came from" tip. The constant grab for "free stuff" (followed by the bragging on "look how much free stuff I get") drives me nuts. Great line about libraries!!! I'll be back to visit and become part of your "tribe"ReplyDelete
That drives me crazy too! What's the point in having loads of free books that aren't so great?! Waste of life!!Delete
YAY, join my tribe! It shall be awesome :)
I love the Top 10 Tuesday meme. I will probably participate now and then. The library is where I get most of the books I review. It feels like browsing in a book store and purchasing tons of books but is of course is free.ReplyDelete
Exactly, libraries are awesome! As is Top Ten Tuesday- hope to see you hopping around on a Tuesday sometimes :)Delete
BLOGGING SPIRIT ANIMAL. I want to be the wily badger.ReplyDelete
I'm TOTALLY afraid to write about something other than books. Meaning no mention of books whatsoever, because heaven knows I always stray off topic. But I feel like someone will point at me and yell "PARIAAAAAAH!" if I update with zero bookishness.
You can be the wily badger if you want- I want to be a giraffe cause they're awesome.Delete
Duuuuuude, no one would do that cause you're all awesome and hilarious that they wouldn't even notice. But I do appreciate your posts where you're like 'I've been doing this and this and this' and then at the end just like 'oh yeah, and I'm reading this and it sucks the end'. Awesomeness.
I LOVE love the way both of you blog, because it reminds me that being a book blogger doesn't have to be about scheduled posts and scheduled giveaways and scheduled meme participation and scheduled schedules. Bloggers who do that freak me out a little and make me feel inadequate, since I pretty much just write something whenever I feel like it without any sort of self-discipline. WE ARE FREE SPIRITS. WE CANNOT BE TAMED. Can I be a slow loris? (http://youtu.be/4m2Nn43QJA4)Delete
*votes that Megs gets to be the slow loris thing*Delete
THIS IS A SPIRIT ANIMAL *DEMOCRACY*
Also omg I didn't even think about how maybe there was a set way to be a book blogger. Mostly because noooone of the people I follow and actually read blog that way. WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING THEM, MEG.
I WANT A BLOGGING SPIRIT ANIMAL! Can I be a fox? I want to be the trickster. And by trickster I mean "sort of asshole but you like them anyway". Also my hair already matches.Delete
I vote for Megs to be the slow loris, Laura to be the giraffe and Alice to be the wily badger
Red gets to be the fox (if the spirit animal populace agrees) because her icon looks like Foxface from Hunger Games. But like, Foxface when someone's like "HEY LOOK OVER THERE" (which Foxface wouldn't fall for, but maybe Red's got some things to learn).Delete
I would totally fall for that. BUT WHAT IF THERE'S SOMETHING OVER THERE? I won't eat the berries though.Delete
I vote for all of these things to be so, and also WHAT IS A SLOW LORIS I NEED ONE OMG I CAN'T EVEN DEAL WITH THE CUTENESSSSS!Delete
Also, yeah, I never really got that there were people who scheduled posts at special times and all read the same books at once because they were being released and stuff... I think I was lucky in finding classics book bloggers to start because, you know, they totally can't do that! Also, Megs, stop following the scheduley schedulers. Life's too short man!
I feel uncomfortable with Red being Foxface because, you know, she's dead and all; but fox=yes!! I was literally earlier trying to think of a redheaded animal for her to be, and all I could think of was a red squirrel, which 1) not so cool, and 2) English, so, you know, inaccurate. Fox is MUCH better :)
I vote that Red gets to be the fox too. We have reached a unanimous decision.Delete
I don't REALLY follow the schedulers. I have them in my Google Reader, and their unread posts just build and build and stare at me judgmentally. Actually, out of the 5 billion blogs that filter into my Reader, I read about 8 of them faithfully. I think you all know which ones.
Great tips! Totally agree on the last bullet. I admit I feel pressured in writing reviews and stuff, and then I realize that I *should* be having fun, not being pressured to do all these things, so I take a break until I feel motivated to blog again. :)ReplyDelete
Pam @ jellylovesbooks
Very sensible of you! I just know that I started this to enjoy myself (and kind of to track my reading) and so I don't ever want it to feel like a burden or anything! There have been weeks where I've basically posted nothing, and I'm fine with that!Delete
I'm always excited to find other bloggers that don't read exclusively YA because it's not my thing at all. I'l read YA every now and again but I'm not interested in constant YA reviews, the books can be very same-y and it gets boring.ReplyDelete
Great advice! I like the one about not pressurising yourself, it's something we could all do with a reminder about every now and again.
It's not just that the books are all samey, it's that everyone's reading the same ones as each other! All the time! Because they're free!Delete
Sorry, I get a little touchy about this... lol. Also, NO PRESSURE! This is totes a hobby that's fun! Unless you're promising reviews to publishers by a certain date, and then, I'd imagine, it becomes waaaay less fun.
I also think it's weird when people are YA bloggers. Even as a young adult, I don't think I read ONLY young adult books (maybe because the genre didn't exist back in those days?). And... if you're a mother of teenagers, do you think your kids want to read the same books as you? I feel the answer is probably no.ReplyDelete
I do think blogging has changed my reading tastes, but for the better. I used to be much more limited in what I read and now I've opened up to so much more non-fiction and graphic novels and classics and all the rest.
I... think there were some YA books when I was a teen, but it wasn't such a massive thing? And maybe it's still not a massive thing in the real world but there are a disproportionate number of blogs dedicated to it? It's really really odd though...Delete
Oh yeah, I definitely think blogging has opened me up to more things (although I think I did read quite broadly before), but I'm still even more like 'yeah, that sounds good I'll read it' about EVERYTHING. So basically, we do the opposite of what I find annoying, so yay us!
Best. Blogging. Post. EVER.ReplyDelete
I'm fairly new to blogging, but your post managed to sum up what little of a blogging philosophy I have. I also don't understand the blogs that really only focus on YA. There are so many great books out there, why would you limit yourself?! It's like only eating one food. Even when it's super delicious, wouldn't you want to branch out after a while?
Aw, shucks. I'm sure it's not the best EVER... (It totally is)Delete
I really wish I knew! I've kind of decided that it's like 'I can get free books that are YA' and it sort of ends up taking over their LIVES (reading wise, anyway) and then, you know, their souls are lost or something. But yeah, I like pizza but I don't want it ALL the time, ya know? Madness.
So I sort of want to print these tips out and keep them with me always.ReplyDelete
And yes, what is the point of a billion free books if they're all stuff you don't want to read?? Or that you make yourself read so you can go "oh hey, look at all this free stuff I have"
Well, clearly you should! Some of the best advice you'll ever read, I do believe! (This is clearly a lie. Don't listen to me, for I am a liar.)Delete
I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE FREE BOOK THING! How good is a book going to be if it's being GIVEN AWAY by the publisher? Huh? Huh? And it's surely not worth giving up all the things you used to read just because hey, these books are free! Madness.
So so true! This is exactly what I was trying to say with my post. I mean, just because everyone else is reading certain books doesn't mean you have to stop reading what you enjoy. Ok so it probably won't get you thousands of blog visits but so what? You will get to meet people who like the same books and that's awesome. I'm glad you found "your people"! And am I the only one who didn't realise there was so much "free stuff" associated with book-blogging?ReplyDelete
PS I don't want to be misunderstood. I'm all for widening horizons and reading outside one's comfort zone, but I don't think anyone should ever make compromises on what they read or blog about for any reason.
Ok I should stop now because I fear I might reach essay length if I go on...
Aw, no I like a good comment essay! And this is a good essay!Delete
Let's see... I'm totally in the 'I'm reading this and I'm going to talk about it and you can either read about it or not' school of blogging. I really believe that's the ONLY way to find your people, who are NOT the people who are reading the exact same book as you right now. And I TOTALLY didn't know about all the free stuff, honestly probably until this week. Or at least not the extent of it, so that people are entirely changing their reading habits because of it. MADNESS, I say!
Great tips! I'm a YA blogger, who rarely fits in an adult book and it's so true that you will find readers who fit with you. There's a place for all of us, the UF bloggers, the literary ones, the romance, etc. We all have our niche and we all have our readers. (And there's sometimes crossover with that!)ReplyDelete
Definitely! And I LOVE crossovers! Like, even if you don't read exactly the same books as someone, you can still find things in common with them or just really like their style!Delete
Great post! There really are niches for everyone. It's a huge community!ReplyDelete
Indeed it is! Yay!Delete
Your tips were perfect!! Especially the 'spirit animal' of your blog. And staying true to your reads. It can get pretty lonely feeling when you think you're the only one who isn't reading the latest sensation.ReplyDelete
Thank you! And, also, I know riiiight! Like, I've never wanted to change my habits to be reading the same as everyone else, but it is still a bit like... :( when everyone's reading the same book and you totally can't afford it (or, at least, not ALL the new books...), so it's nice when you find other people who just talk about whatever books. :)Delete
I agree with every. single. one. of your tips and tidbits on blogging. PERFECT!!ReplyDelete
I am kind of ashamed to say that I have been reading more YA books than adult or others. But that is mostly because I find it somewhat addictive. Anynow, I do want to get into adult books this summer because after all, my favorite author is Sidney Sheldon.ReplyDelete
My Armchair BEA: Sharing My Tips post.
I totally agree. A lot of these blogging tips posts are so proscriptive and kinda assume that everyone wants the same outcome from their blog. But I think a lot of us just like doing it.ReplyDelete