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!!!!