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Have you considered starting a blog of your own? A book blog can be a great way to share your thoughts about books with other readers, especially if your local group of friends and acquaintances aren’t readers. Whether you are still thinking about it or have actually begun, here are my top ten tips you need to know to be a successful book blogger.
You don’t have to post every day, but you should be consistent. Whether you post once a day, once a week, or once a month, pick a schedule that you can maintain and stick with it.
Control your schedule.
Determine a comfortable reading pace, and add books to your calendar accordingly. You can ALWAYS find a book to fill a gap, but the tendency is to acquire more books for review than you can reasonably read, and you don’t want to be that blogger who doesn’t follow through…
Learn something new.
The blogging world can be overwhelming when you first get started. There is such a learning curve! Rather than being overwhelmed by it all, take one piece at a time. Learn something new today, and apply it. Then the next day, learn something new and apply it. Repeat, piece by piece, step by step.
It’s so easy to look at what someone else has going on their blog or social media and become discouraged by our own stats. They have more followers, more comments, more giveaway entries, etc. Don’t go there. Focus on doing your best. Use other blogs for inspiration, not condemnation.
Think like a reader would when coming to your site. What are they looking for? Make it easy for them to find! Your categories and navigation should be clear.
Give away books you don’t plan to keep.
Don’t sell books you received for free. That’s not ethical, and it’s actually illegal to sell ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). You can share them with friends, donate them to the library or a retirement center, or put them in a little lending library. But don’t try to make a profit yourself. That’s not why you received a copy!
Include disclaimers for the books you’ve received as free review copies. If you’re using affiliate links, be sure to include your affiliate disclosure (before the link, not buried at the bottom or in the sidebar!). Don’t copy someone else’s review. If you don’t know what some of this means or how to do so, search those keywords online. There are many tutorials available.
Keep the best parts of the book secret.
Reviews are super important to authors as many readers use reviews to determine whether or not a book is one they might enjoy. But if you include too many details or give away the big twist, you steal the author’s thunder and may cause them to miss a sale — because how fun is it to read a book when you already know exactly what will happen? Share instead about the impact the book had, something it made you think about, or what your response was — did you laugh or cry? Did it make you think after it was done?
Be considerate of authors.
Don’t bash the author in your review. I would hope that wouldn’t have to be said, but there are some… Authors work hard to publish their books. That doesn’t mean you have to love each and every one. It’s okay to be honest, and you should. Reviews can be negative, but be kind about it, and don’t belittle the author or their views directly. Focus on the story and what worked or didn’t work for you.
Share your posts on social media.
It would be nice if readers just happened to find your blog, but generally they don’t. You have to let people know it exists, and the best way to do that (especially at the beginning) is through social media.
Hopefully these tips are helpful. If you have suggestions for book bloggers, you can add them in the comments below!