Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - New Blogger Tips!!

Ha!!!  Hahahahahaha- HA!!!

The Broke & the Bookish asked a great question today & I feel inspired to join the discussion!!

What are you Top Ten Tips for New BOOK Bloggers?

Lemme just say... I can't count very well. And listing anything is brain-squeazing to me, so I rarely join in any Meme that involves listing stuff. Yesterday I listed off some recommended books, however, and I thought I came up with a list I like... so I'm feeling DARING!!

Here goes...

1 - Plan ahead before you jump in!!

Think about what you want to do and set goals. I don't mean anything realistic, necessarily.  I'm not a realistic sort of person at all, but if you don't know what you hope to accomplish, you won't really go anywhere... besides circles that'll peeter into Nada.  Take all the time you need to think... and...

2 - Start writing reviews. 

Gather a stash of your own reviews. As soon as you start blogging, you wanna have content to post, but you'll be thinking about your blog enough that content could be elusive. Don't be picky about your reviews, either. Go easy on yourself and have fun with it. You wouldn't wanna be a book blogger if you didn't have opinions about what you read, so throw 'em down somewhere. I write mine on a Word program with the book title & author, but anywhere works. If you can cut-n-paste it to your blog later, that saves you rewritin' it, though, so use your brain.

3 - Research Book Blogging.

Find some reviewers you like to read the reviews on, subscribe to their blogs. Find a few of 'em and make real or mental notes of why you like 'em and what you'd like to do.  Start making all those little decisions about what you like or don't like, what you want your blog to be or not be.

4 - Dive in!!  

 * Pick your name
 * Set up a blog

This takes more time than you can imagine.  Suddenly you wonder how everyone got their blogs so darn pretty and if they spent HOURS trying to design stuff and making no progress.  YEP!!  Unless they're actual design school graduates like Parjunkee and some of 'em out there, what looks beautifully easy all over the place actually takes a lot of sweat.

You can ask me questions. I'm clueless, but I know where to go to find stuff out and I can share my grunt-work with you.  It'll feel like venting.

5 - Get comfortable with your blog!!

Go ahead... write a few posts and see what it feels like. Get used to the settings and options and all the stuff related to your blog. Don't forget to research those blogs you like and see if you can't do some of the stuff they did.

6 - Set yourself up for greatness!

 * Get accounts everywhere
   * Amazon
   * Goodreads
   * Facebook "page"
   * Twitter
 * Make a new email address to match

Go ahead and be daring and brave!!  You can keep all this new stuff from your personal stuff.

I had to create a new name for myself. As me, Laura Armstrong, I have various reputations to uphold, expectations and preconceived notions from folks that "know me". But as Burgandy Ice, anything goes!!  I can sign up for whatever I feel like, give it a try and drop it if I don't like it.

They're merged now, the two names, due to my wild attempts to sign up for everything, but I don't care anymore. I got the confidence I needed to dive in!

7 - Meet -n- Greet!!

You're doing GREAT to get this far, don't you think?  If you like the way your blog looks ok and you've got some accounts set up, it's time to let people know you're there!!  Pay a relative to "follow" you. Go ahead and comment on someone else's blog and see if they won't come back and follow you, too!

It's very exciting to start visiting with your name connected to your blog. Try a Meme like Top Ten Tuesday or Feature & Follow Friday. Write a post and join in the discussion. Book Bloggers will enjoy welcoming you in and you'll get plenty of followers fast.

8 - Go ahead! Get out there!!!

There's more stuff you can sign up for!!  Try 'em out!!

 * Pinterest - fun and useful for sharing what you're up to
 * Triberr - join a group and tweet away!
 * LibraryThing
 * Shelfari
 * LinkedIn

You never know where your friends are all hangin' out or which social hang-out will become a favorite. Put yourself in a position to give stuff a try and see what you like. You may be surprised!!

9 - Find a rhythm and expand!!

Post some reviews, join some Meme's, go visiting bloggers and leave comments. There's a rush when more people start following your blog and you find kindred spirits you didn't know existed. It's easy to dump excessive time into blogging.

I think it's actually called "bonding" - diving into a new culture and immersing yourself. Don't be embarrassed if it's obsessive/compulsive.  Just go with the flow of it and drink extra Protein Smoothies. The stage will pass, but you'll always remember the rush!!

Try not to forget your real-life family and friends.  Remember to feed your kids.

10 - Re-evaluate your Goals 

When you get a chance to breath  (In - and out) evaluate your progress and remember your original goals. Are you on track? Are you lost somewhere to the side?  Make adjustments and set a pace you can maintain.

I totally want to share my goals, but that would be too long a post. I have re-evaluated my progress about 3x so far in 6 months. I had to adjust some things for family sanity and I've experimented how far I can push myself and my blog.   Overall... it's worth the time & effort.  It's deliciously satisfying.  Yea... I feel like I'm writing specifically to Kali and Sophia Rose who are great followers of my blog while still resisting the idea of blogging themselves. I'm definitely writing to me of 6 months ago 'cause I stressed about all this stuff over-much.  So... my big thing is... RELAX AND HAVE FUN!!!!


  1. I wish I had taken more time to start out my blog, I just dove in and learned everything after. I would love to repick a blog name, but I don't want to know the headache it would cause trying to change it now. UGH


    1. I love your blog name!!!! Your name is in your name + books, so what's not to love?!?!

      Do you also just jump in the lake and adjust to the temperature afterwards? Might be a personality thing.

  2. :) fantastic advice. I really appreciate the suggestions. I really lice your blog's name! What do you think of mind?
    I really love how useful twitter is! Don't you love it when an author responds to your tweets?
    Have a great day

    1. I have boogie-dances for responses. You should've seen me when the author of Of Poseidon emailed me back!!! I was snortin' and rollin' all over the couch, completely unprofessionally. I'm gonna share her email, tho, so you can practice an appropriate response. It's hilarious.

      I love your blog name!!! You have BOOKS in it!!! Lol. Plus you got your Google name all right so it's easy to tell who you are.

      I like your blog, too... soothing colors. Easy to find stuff like how to follow. And easy-to-read posts. VERY nice.

      I really like gentle colors for blogs for some reason. There's enough frantic-ness hoppin' around and reading that I have trouble with busy coloring. Not like mine doesn't look like polka dots when you squint - I hate that.

      (Are you squinting?!?!)

    2. Lol! Thank you! I'm squinting but I'm not seeing any poke dots. I was jumping up and down crazily after Laurn kunze, the author of the ivy series, responded to my tweet on how incredible her latest book is.
      I'm looking forward to reading Of Posidian author's email. I love sharing fantastic news!

    3. Also I want to compliment you on your beautiful, artistic pictures!

  3. Fantastic advice - especially 9 & 10 - about finding a rhythm & re-evaluating goals. I set mini-goals for my blog every month, but to be honest I make them relatively easy so I can pat myself on the back at the end of the month - hehe.

    1. Lol - that's funny.

      I do that for real life, alrighty:

      1 - do a load of laundry
      2 - eat lunch


      good idea for blogging, tho!!

  4. I am among those who might reconsider a blog name. At the time Krysta and I picked it, we were trying to think of something book-related, and it seemed as if everything was taken. To be honest, Pages Unbound might have been the first that wasn't! Of course, we were trying to give the impression of taking apart of book to see what makes it work, but we did have options higher on our list!

    1. Your name makes great sense to me!! It's tricky finding something when it looks like everyone else is so original.

      Happily (or unfortunately) I didn't look around when I thought of my name. No... mine's a product of too much introspection!!!

  5. Planning ahead is SOOOO important! I'm glad I didn't royally screw that one up. XD

    Patricia // My Post

  6. Fantastic list. I think more people need to think before they jump. It took me three years to start a blog because I wasn't sure I'd have enough to say. Now, nearly five years later, I don't think you could get me to shut up, lol.

    1. Lol. Hilarious. That's how I feel, too. Only... three years?!?! That's a lot of thinking!!!

  7. I SO wish that I'd taken time to write some reviews before I jumped into my blog. Oh well-- about a year into it and it's hectic, but I love it!

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by Almost Grown-up today! In answer to your question there, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and makes it easier for Search Engines to find your site; I use a plug-in that does a lot of the work for me :) but if you're looking for someone more knowledgeable, I definitely suggest April's posts at Good Books and Good Wine!

    1. OH, THANK YOU!! That was driving me nuts. I'd heard it somewhere, so it's like an itch I couldn't reach!

      I'll check out that site. Blogger has so many automatic things, I sail on cluelessly half the time!

  8. I dived into my blog. I regret some of the decisions I made early on, like not having the perfect focus, but it's better than nothing.

    I wonder what people think of my name. I have it everywhere for at least four years, and it still works for me.

    1. Hilarious - "Chihauhua Zero"?!?! Definitely memorable. I'd say that's effective, alrighty!!

  9. Love your tips. I keep debating about whether to join Triberr or not. I have heard some people say they consider it spammy, so not completely sold on the idea yet.

    Most important thing is to be yourself and get your blog known out there by networking. Awesome advice for all newbies (such as myself).

    JJ iReads
    Check out my Top Ten Picks This Week

  10. Great Post! I agree with a lot of the stuff you wrote. Especially the planning part, I learned that the hard way. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me. I'm following you now too :)

  11. Haha :))

    I love this!

    I actually read SO many of these Top Ten Tuesday's this week because I actually hope to start my blog as soon as Summer vacation starts. I've always wondered about blog layouts, banners, buttons...I always see the cutest stuff and I just wonder "did they make it and if so how? or did they have someone else make it?" because as much as I'm going to love just writing reviews and everything else, part of me is most excited for figuring out how my blog is going to look!

    I'll be playing dress up, blog style. ;)

    In fact, I'm actually stopping posting my reviews on GR at the moment and posting them into blogger drafts so I have stuff to fall back on/use while I'm still figuring it all out!

    School is out May 10, and I'll be trying to think of a cute/clever name/design until then!

  12. Great advice! I wish I had it when I stared, it would save me some time. I just dived in. But tt has come out quite well.

  13. These posts are some of my favorites to read - I just love seeing whatever has as a tip, as there's something we all can learn or pick up or what not :) I love how you made your list as like a progressive checklist type of thing :)

    1. I've thoroughly enjoyed these lists everywhere, too. I don't think in lists, I guess, so I don't usually participate in listy memes. I do think progressively know. I'm tickled pink you noticed.


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