I do not profess to be an expert, but these are a few things I’ve gleaned from the last year and a half of blogging. Take it for what it’s worth!
- Figure out your voice. Before you do anything else, before you decide on your layout or your avatar, “find your voice.” Your tone sets the precedent for your blog, determines who’s going to follow you and distinguishes WHO. YOU. ARE. Finding your voice is a bloody, dead horse, but dammit, it’s the truth.
- Don’t read reviews of books you plan to review on your blog. I sometimes break this rule, but for the most part, I don’t read reviews in full until after I have written mine. I don’t want to accidentally absorb and regurgitate someone else’s copy, so at most, I skim basic points – did the reader love the book or hate it? And why? How many stars did they give it? – and then decide if I want to read and review that book. Nothing’s worse than plagiarism.
- TURN OFF CAPTCHA. I cringe whenever I see it. Maybe you think yours is off, but check it. If you’re on Blogger, their auto-updates tend to re-enable it so you could very well have it turned on, thus turning OFF people from commenting on your blog. CAPTCHA is a great way to turn away spammers – AND legit comments. Get rid of it and start moderating your comments, you’ll thank yourself later. The last thing you want is to make it harder for real people to leave you a comment, right?
- Comment back. Comment comment comment! Reply to their comment on your post and then go to their blog and comment on something of theirs. Being a good blogger means interacting within your community and as a blogger, don’t you love comments? I do. Sometimes I personally am bad about commenting back, but it’s never an issue of “I don’t feel like it” and always an issue of time. But make time. (ha, I’m talking to myself, too!). I’ve gotten better over the last 6 months and my followership (do you like that word? I totally just made it up) has grown quite a bit.
- BE ONE WITH TWITTER. Do it. Butt in to conversations, spew something random, it doesn’t matter. I do it all the time. Last night, I posted this …totally random but it sparked a quick convo with someone who followed me, but I didn’t apparently follow back (hey, it happens). I laughed, tweeted her back and then followed her. All because she responded to my completely random comment!
- Treat other bloggers how you want to be treated. This is the most important one.
Thanks to everyone who has stopped by The Bawdy Book Blog throughout the last week, followed me through their preferred follow channels and I hope you all have a great weekend! Blog on!