Friday, November 21, 2014

Guest Post by the Wonderful Rebecca of The Library Canary- Tips for Beginner Bloggers! - One Year of Blogging

Hi I'm Rebecca and I blog over at The Library Canary! First of all, I want to thank Violet for letting me invade her blog today and also congratulate her on her one year blogoversary! *throws confetti* One year of blogging is such a huge accomplishment! Violet is one of the nicest bloggers I know and I’m so happy to be able to celebrate with her. And now, for my guest post:

Hello new bloggers! Just started a book blog? Have a bunch of questions that you’re scared to ask or don’t know where to turn? I’m here to help! We all go through that new kid phase. The phase where you look around and everybody seems to know what’s going on except for you. You have a million questions floating around in your head, but you’re either too embarrassed to ask them or have no idea who would know the answer. Hopefully this post helps with some of those questions and always feel free to ask me or Violet!

What is an ARC?

ARC stands for advanced reader copy. These are copies of a book that a publisher prints prior to the release date and prior to the final editing process. That means that you may find a few more typos in them and things may change slightly in the final copy. These books are printed for promotional purposes and typically distributed to bloggers (that’s you!), librarians, book sellers, etc. You may have heard the term galley thrown around as well. They are the same thing.

How do I get ARCs?

There are a couple of different ways to request ARCs. You can email the publisher requesting a physical copy of the book. Usually these emails are found on the publisher’s website within their publicity section. Or you can get on Netgalley and/or Edelweiss and request digital review copies. These are ebooks that will be sent to your e-reader if you are accepted for a copy. Finally there are book conferences like BEA (see #3) and ALA (American Library Association), among many more.  

What is BEA?

Another term us book bloggers use a lot. BEA stands for Book Expo America. It’s a conference held once a year at the end of May, typically in New York (though I believe they are moving it starting in 2016). BEA is a magical place where you can meet all your blogging friends, network with publishers, meet your favorite authors, and get lots of ARCs. It’s a book lover’s paradise. If you can make it happen, I highly recommend going. It is an amazing experience!

What is a meme and should I be doing them?

Memes are these things like Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine that book bloggers can participate in. Basically you write a post based on whatever that meme’s topic is (some change week to week like TTT and others stay the same like WoW). Then you go back to the host’s blog and add your link to the linky. The purpose of memes is to participate in the community. They are a great way for new bloggers to drive traffic to their blogs and a way for you to get to know other bloggers in the community. That being said, I encourage you to only participate in one to two memes per week. Any more than that and your site starts lacking original content which is what a lot of people are looking for.

Blog Tours, Cover Reveals, Book Blitzes, etc.

I remember when I was a new blogger and I first heard about blog tours. I thought, “let’s sign up for all of them!” Wrong, wrong, wrong. If you want to be part of a tour every once in a while that’s fine. Cover reveals and book blitzes (which is basically where you just put up the cover and synopsis on your blog) every once in a while, fine. But please, whatever you do, do NOT make this your only content. These are the posts I skip over the most when going through my reader. Especially cover reveals and book blitzes. They’re just boring, to be honest. I want to read reviews or discussions or other creative content. So please, if you’re going to do them, keep them to a minimum.

Which social media sites should I use?

Twitter. Hands down, Twitter is the best social media site to use when it comes to promoting your blog. Every month, I get the most traffic to my blog from Twitter. But it’s not just about that. Twitter is a great way to make friends with other book bloggers! See a conversation going on between some bloggers you follow? Jump in! This is how I made most of my blogging friends. Don’t be shy! We don’t bite, I promise.

Other than Twitter, I have a Facebook page and I also utilize Pinterest which drives some, but not a lot of traffic to my blog. I also have a Youtube channel that all my vlogs get posted to.

How can people follow my blog?

This is important. There’s a lot of different ways for people to follow you. There’s RSS feed, email subscription, Bloglovin’, Feedly, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. The list goes on and on and on. I try to give people as many options as possible. So I recommend getting these things set up. Make it easy for people to follow you as well. I have social media buttons on my blog so all people have to do is click once and they’re good to go. Don’t know how to make one? There’s TONS of tutorials out there. That’s how I did mine!

Which brings me to the next question I know you all have. 

How do I make my blog pretty?

Blog design. Not my strong suit. BUT there are tons of bloggers who are very good at it and are nice enough to put up tutorials and blog tips for us like Ashley @ Nosegraze and Stephanie and Jessica @ These Paper Hearts. And when in doubt, Google it. Seriously, there are so many tutorials out there. It might take some time to figure it all out (god knows how many hours I've spent cursing my computer or trying to figure out how to write one tiny line of code), but it’s doable.

And my last and final tip for you: have fun! This is a new hobby of yours. Hobby being the key word there. Don’t make it feel like work. Make friends, read good books, gush over said books with said friends. Keep it chill. If you don’t feel like blogging or you don’t have time, don’t stress over it. It’s your blog. Make it your own, be yourself, and the rest is sure to follow. Hope this helped you all! Happy reading and happy blogging!

Thank you so, so much to Rebecca for guest posting on the blog today! Rebecca is an absolutely fantastic blogger who posts wonderful reviews, thought provoking discussions, and so many other wonderful posts! Be sure to check out her blog, and thank you again to Rebecca for stopping by! Your post is so thoughtfully written and definitely helpful!


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