As of January 2019, I’ve officially been a book blogger for three whole years.
It’s gone surprisingly fast, but I’ve learned a TON in that amount of time. I thought I’d share a three pieces of advice (one for each year!) that have taken me pretty far- my words of wisdom, if you will.
1. Utilize Social Media
First off, the biggest game changer was supporting my blog with social media, and in particular, Instagram and Twitter. The views that my blog received rapidly inclined, and so far have continued to climb at a fast pace. In 2016, at the end of my first year, I had 323 views, TOTAL. By the end of 2018, I had over 6000. By using social media to promote my posts, I received so much more traffic and interactions on my blog. I also found a great community among the #Bookstagram scene, and though I still struggle to keep on top of my Twitter account, I’ve made some solid friends there, too.
2. Get & Stay Organized
Second, organization is KEY. I have taken to loosely planning out what I intend to read once a month, and then structuring my reviews so that they are one to two days apart, writing it all down in my daily planner. The more content I post on my blog, the higher the views, but I still allow a day or two in between posts so that none get overlooked. I also make sure that I keep track of what I’ve read, what I want to read, what’s from NetGalley, et cetera via Goodreads. That app is an excellent way to keep track of ALL the reading material. Also, another good app to have if you have an iPhone, is the Notes app. I stash a bunch of things on there for my blog, such as a list of topics I want to discuss for my thought pieces, ideas for pages on my blog, hashtags to remember, and responses to review requests. It’s so handy to have all of that in one area, ready to use instead of retyping every time.
3. Authenticity is Your Friend
I know it sounds silly, but writing using your own words and language, as well as using your own graphics and photos is super important. I was constantly using images from Google, and I shouldn’t have. I’m not a photographer, and I don’t have my own studio or fancy camera, but it takes very little effort to stage a photo with a few props and a smartphone. After having my account frozen over a googled image, I’ve learned this lesson. The same goes with your content- it’s easy to use a book’s description from Goodreads or the publisher, but it makes it more authentic to put those words into your own. This also goes along with how you create your blog space. It’s okay to morph and change the layouts and content, but keep it authentic- don’t try to copy others. Also, above all, write for yourself. This is YOUR space- don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of your content, your images, or your layout. Though, I would also say it’s equally important to create a space that welcomes visitors.
These three lessons have really helped make a difference in what you see here on The Lexington Bookie. It’s helped me create meaningful content, promote my blog, and continue an output for my creativity. It’s a challenge, but one that I have enjoyed and wish to keep working at.
What is the best advice you’ve been given/want to share when it comes to blogging?