Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Tips for new Bloggers


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme

These are supposed to be book blogging tips, but I wanted to include some general blogging tips because this isn't just a book blog. Also, book blogging isn't as different to other blogs as some people think they are. I'll also let you guys know that I have 44 followers. Not the largest amount, so what I say may not be as helpful as you would like it to be. That, and I only really started blogging sometime last year.

1. It helps to have your own computer.
-It is not fun trying to write a post and playing musical chairs at the computer desk. Every time your mum comes in to check her emails or you decide to get up for a drink, the computer becomes unavailable again... It's not ideal. I noticed that it was so much easier to concentrate on the post I was writing and get it all written without being bothered (or bothering everyone else by being a computer hog) once I lashed out and bought my own computer.

2. Be careful what you say and how you say it.
-I understand that we sometimes feel the need to rant on and on about things that are bothering us. I do this all the time in person and annoy my family like crazy with it. This behaviour isn't always appropriate online. Whether it's because you really really liked something or really really hated it, try to be diplomatic and precise about your feelings. If you are reviewing something try not to write reviews that say things like "It sucked big time" over and over. You are allowed to have an opinion, but your posts will be a whole lot more interesting and helpful if you explain why you thought it was so bad. Also, don't forget to mention things you both did and didn't like about the product regardless of your overall rating.

3. If you rate things, be sure to explain your ratings a little better.
-For example I have a "key" of sorts on the right sidebar of my blog that explains what a 5/5star rating is. People who read my blog can see that I also have a 5/5 "Favourite" rating and understand that while 5/5 star books are really really good, they just aren't as exciting as the 5/5 "Favourite" books. This can be for any sort of item you review.

4. Your blog doesn't have to be a specific type of blog about one specific thing.
-My blog is about pretty much anything I want it to be about. It's mainly about books, but I also write about DIY, Fashion, Everyday bothers, music and me. Also your blog's title doesn't have to be specifically about that type of blog, if you decided to stick to one subject. The title can sum up who you are as a person or be a line from one of your favourite songs... Don't feel that you have to be conventional about it and write or set things up a certain way. It's your blog, you can write it however you like.

5. Blogs aren't just a way to get your opinion out there, but also a way to meet new people.
-Use social networking to your advantage. You can create a facebook or twitter account for your blog, you can add links to blog posts in your other online accounts such as Goodreads, Youtube, Polyvore...etc. Also, try and check out some other blogs. Communicating with other bloggers is also a way to gain more followers.

6. Don't worry too much about how many followers you have.
-Some of your readers might not actually have a blogger account. They might subscribe via Facebook or email. Also, once you have had more experience writing and your posts improve, readers will become more interested in your posts.

7. Honesty.
-While it doesn't hurt to be diplomatic and try and view things from both sides of the fence, there is nothing worse than reading a blog based on what the blogger thinks you want to read. Write how you want to write, about what you think about the subject. Also, don't try and please everyone with your blog by changing your opinion to match theirs. You can't please everyone and you may find yourself having some very hypocritical posts if you do.

8. Try and create some sort of format or template for your posts.
-You don't want to overload your post with pretty pictures and coloured fonts, but you also don't want to have very plain font with no pictures. I like to include at least one picture if my post goes longer than two paragraphs. I also like to keep some sort of consistency with the layout of my posts.

9. Don't be afraid to play around with the design of your blog.
-It's not very difficult. You can upload whichever picture you choose for a background and change the default font style, colour and font. Your design is the first thing people see when they go to your blog, so try to make a good impression. You want it to be easy to navigate and read.

10. Don't be afraid to tell everyone a little bit about yourself and your ideas for your blog.
-People will find your blog a lot more interesting when they can see that a 'real' person is behind it. People who enjoy reading your blog might also be interested in learning more about the person behind it. A little into to your blog, underneath it's title and a blogging policy that can be easily found are also helpful for informing possible followers what your blog is all about.

I've previously written a post about writing reviews: here
And, I've got a Note on facebook about how to start your own blog: here

What was your top ten?

Your Favourite Blogger,


Katja Weinert said...

Like the design of your blog; cool list.

Laura Armstrong said...

I laughed at your #1. It would be hard to blog without a computer, absolutely. I have a hard time blogging - or commenting - on anything besides my laptop... and I chose this laptop especially because the buttons are low and sound cool when I type. Is that dumb?!?! Not for me... inspirational!! :-D

I didn't mean to break your Follower count of #44. I didn't read that 'til after I'd Followed.

-Burgandy Ice

Patricia said...

I think not ranting is one of the hardest things for me.

I think mostly because if I read rants of books I loved and they say stuff like "this is the worst book ever!" they do sort of insult me. When they say "there can't be anyone who liked it" I'm like "But what about me?" :'D

And I can see that my rants might do the same to readers, which is why I'm trying to avoid books I'll really hate anyway - But sometimes you'll just stumble upon one that insults you so much that you might have to cool off or else you'd insult back in your review.

Patricia // My Post

Angela said...

Hey Natalie,
Fantastic tips! Thanks so much for posting them.

Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

Mel - Thedailyprophecy. said...

You have some great tips over there!

Having a opinion is important. Saying honest things, very useful. But bashing on and on is something I don't like. There is nothing wrong with just saying: "I didn't like this book, because". But burning something to the ground goes to far for me.