Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event at The Broke and the Bookish where we make top ten lists based on the topic of the week. This week's topic is all about offering advice to the brand new book blogger. I'm coming up on my 5th bloggiversary this year, but I still feel ill-equipped to offer sage advice, but I'm going to try just the same.
1. Comment! - This is a no-brainer. Every blogger loves a good comment, and to get them you've got to give them. I can't find you if I don't know you're here!
2. Bring something new to the table - Admittedly, I don't think that I'm all that gifted at this, but in this day and age of sooo many book bloggers, you have to find something that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd and makes readers want to keep up with you. Find a clever format for your book reviews like Unabridged Chick, for example. If you've got a great sense of humor, write funny reviews. If you're having trouble with clever content, then it never hurts to be that person who leaves good comments for, like, everyone. Tap into some aspect of your personality that not everybody has and find a way to publish it.
3. Do memes - but not too many - A great way to get some new visitors to come your way is to link up to a meme, like, for example the one you see here or Waiting on Wednesday or Mailbox Monday, the options are endless. Whenever I do a meme, I always make an effort to get out and visit at least some of the other participants that are new to me. I know others that do the same, so it's a great way to find new blogs to follow, and get followed. My advice? Pick ones that have some substance to them that will generate discussion, and please, please, please, don't do one every day of the week. It looks like you can't think of anything to write on your own. In fact, personally, I'd rather you didn't post at all, if all you have to post are memes for every day of the week. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!
4. Don't expect too much too soon - Push through the early days where it sometimes feels like you're talking to yourself. It gets much better. Also, don't fall into the trap that just because you've set up a blog and posted a few reviews that review copies are going to fall into the sky into your lap. If you're starting a blog for that reason/with that hope, you might want to reconsider because it takes quite a bit of time and effort invested before a good review copy will be sent your way. And then you may well long for the old days when you didn't have so much obligation at the same time that you're thinking, "Sweet, I got this book before *anybody*!"
5. Meet 'em in person - Bloggers are smart, fun, interesting, and easy to talk to. If you have an opportunity to meet a few at an event like BEA, don't miss it!
6. Write your own summaries - I know this is a controversial one, but I love it when other bloggers write their own summaries in their book reviews and can't imagine not doing it myself. No offense to those that don't (I read your blogs and enjoy them just the same!), but I just love it when someone goes the extra mile and their thoughts are well-combined with a summary of their own making.
7. Be honest - Don't be scared of a negative review - It doesn't matter whether the book you're reviewing was purchased with your own cash or came free from the author herself in exchange for your review, give your readers your honest response to that book. Don't be needlessly cruel, but also don't hold back your real thoughts about a book even if they weren't all that glowing. Be fair, be balanced, but mostly be honest. If you write a well thought out negative review, I'll respect you all the more for it, because, hey not every book is for every reader and who really loves every book they read? Be real.
8. Be a joiner! - challenges, readalongs, reading projects, Readathon. You name it, if it interests you, join up or even create something that others might join you in. It's a great way to get plugged into the community!
9. Twitter - I was so against Twitter until I wasn't. Twitter's a great way to get your posts and other bloggers' posts that you find particularly excellent out into the world. Plus, you can strengthen your relationships with other bloggers by striking up a conversation there bookish or otherwise.
10. Be consistent - I struggle terribly with this one, but it's probably important. I don't think it's necessary to have a post every day, though I admire those who are capable of it, but it's good to have a few a week that your readers can count on.
What words of wisdom would you offer to a blogger just starting out?