Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts

Thursday, May 26, 2016

10 Dramatic Changes I Made that Ended up Improving My Blog | Book Blogging Tips (#41)

Sometimes you've gotta make tough decisions blogging-wise. Here are the decisions I had to make that ended up being for the better.

This is only to give you an idea of what you CAN do, you don't have to use any of my tips for your own blog, but feel free to do so if you like!

#10: Crossposting
There's no way around crossposting. Everyone of us probably has one social media platform that's doing a little better than the others. Use that to your advantage and pitch your posts there. Of course don't go overboard so people won't think you're spamming!

#9: Original posts!
Hard to believe, but I used to be a meme and review-only blog. It ended up improving my blog (for myself) a lot I think.

#8: Having a set post structure
Gosh, I can't even look back at the old reviews I wrote. I used to NOT format at all. For chatty and discussion posts that MIGHT work and you can get away with it, but you can't just publish a block of text review. This is never okay. Find your style, come up with something you're comfortable with and stick to that structure.

#7: Making graphics for each post
Before I made original posts much at all, I never had a reason to make any kind of graphics. Now I make them for every single post that isn't a review. It brightened up my blog a lot and I think they're quite eye-catching and pretty.

#6: Reviewing for NetGalley
This is such an essential part of my blogging experience now, I can't believe I never used it. NetGalley can be overwhelming at first, but reviewing new releases is a GREAT way to attract new viewers to your blog. Go on, make a NetGalley account!

#5: Deleting Old Posts
Sometimes you just gotta say goodbye to posts that neither have done well, not are up to your current standards, nor are anything that you think would attract any more readers. I used to do so many memes back when I first started (and not very well and very half-heartedly). Don't be afraid to delete crappy stuff!

#4: Ditching the open post archive
+guiltless reader, remember last year during Bloggiesta when you said to me to ditch that stupid open post archive? I was so upset about changing it because I liked it so much to have all my posts displayed there, but I'm so glad I listened.

Prime example why you should always, always listen to other bloggers' advice! I can't imagine having anything other than a drop down archive on my blog now!

#3: Working more with catchy headlines
I used to not really hashtag or try to make the headlines of my posts go into the clickbait direction, but I think I've gotten a little better at it now.
Try to give out as much info about your post in the headline, this is the prime ground where you advertise for your posts! Use it!

#2: Starting to recommend more!
I used to only have the little section of five star reviews in my header and that was it. I can't imagine my blog without themed recommendations now! If you love them and would like to see a specific theme, head over to my tumblr and send me a quick message, I'll make a post for it on a topic of your choice. Always open for requests!

#1: Linking within posts
Seriously, how did I never do this? If you write a lot of personal or discussion posts, this is such an essential thing to do. Link similar topics below or in the post so people who might be interested can find them. Such a great way to build more traffic.

Have you ever had to make dramatic changes to your blog?

Need more advice? Check out my blogging tips!

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why I Regret Having Started Out With Blogger | Book Blogging Tips (#30)

Not a day goes by that I'm not super annoyed that I didn't have the foresight to actually inform myself about the different blogging platforms.

For some people, Blogger seems to be the perfect choice, but for me, it absolutely isn't. 

Since my blog is super small I'm actually scared to transition, because I fear losing the little audience that I have.

What's so bad about Blogger?

  • Themes: Finding a decent theme on Blogger is almost impossible. I had to learn to code to modify mine to be close to what I want it to look like, but I'm still not 100% satisfied. The default themes on Blogger are an absolute nightmare and without exception all look terrible. If you take a look at the Wordpress default themes, they aren't only more aesthetically pleasing, but also have more options to modify them than the Blogger themes.
  • Commenting: The Blogger commenting system isn't terrible, but it's by no means a great invention. It's not pretty. Had I not come across DISQUS, I probably would've quit straightaway and transitioned over to Wordpress
  • Widgets: The Blogger widgets are pretty much useless. They cover the basics but stand in no comparison to the things Wordpress offers
  • No Ping-backs: This is one of the features I miss the most on Blogger. Wordpress notifies you whenever someone mentions or links to your blog. In order to find out whenever somebody does that on my Blogger account -... well, good luck.

Why am I not changing to Wordpress?

  1. I'm scared to lose followers. Almost half of my followers follow via GFC. On Wordpress I can't use GFC anymore. Who knows if those people would follow me again.
  2. I'd have to start from scratch. It'll feel like I'm a blogging newbie again, Wordpress has a completely different structure than Blogger and it'll take me months to learn how to work with it the way I can work with Blogger.
  3. What if it doesn't live up to my expectations? What if I don't like Wordpress on the long run? It'll be a bitch to go back to Blogger. I'd also be insanely annoyed. 
  4. I feel like it's too late now, I've made my decision and I should stick with it.
  5. I think I've made the best out of the options I have on Blogger and I'd have to change everything about my blog to make it work on Wordpress the same way.
My advice:

If you're still a newbie and have less than fifty followers, consider the change. I mean, I'm not even a remotely popular blog, but I don't think I can afford to start new. If I decide to transition, I'll have to start from the bottom and I don't think I'm ready for that.

If you're already with Blogger:
  • Create a Wordpress account and make a hypothetical theme. Pretend you're actually transitioning and see if you like it.
  • Don't just delete your Blogger blog, export it first and shove all your content over to Wordpress. Under NO circumstances delete your Blogger blog!! You can still change the URL later if you're actually transitioning. Keep the Blogger blog as an emergency backup.
If you haven't decided on a platform yet:
  • Consider carefully where you're going to start off. Question other more experienced bloggers and make a list of advantages and disadvantages.
  • See what your favorite bloggers work with and think about what you like about their designs (if they're not using self-hosted themes obviously)

Do you use Wordpress or Blogger? Have you ever considered transitioning to either option?

Continue Reading...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

5 Pieces of Book Blogging Advice (Bloggiesta #2)

If you're fairly new to blogging, you've probably faced a lot of challenges and have had to make a lot of hard decisions already. What helped me a lot is to check other bloggers' sites for advice, because in 99% of the cases- they're right. Here are some pieces of advice from a 6-month+-long blogger:

  • Do It for the Right Reasons

Blogging is time-consuming, frustrating and in most of the times it doesn't end in success. If you're looking to become a blogger or are already blogging on your own site, be aware that blogging may be a hobby, but it may also take up a lot of your time. I know some people who solely blog in hopes of getting free books from publishers. If you're only there to grab some books, you won't last long, because you'll notice that blogging is indeed hard work.

  • Constantly Rework Your Old Posts

You may think at first that nobody will read your old posts anyway, right? Especially when you've been blogging for a few months and have been noticing a huge improvement in both traffic on your site and your content, you're going to think that people will only care about your new stuff.

WRONG! You won't only get traffic from links you posted a week ago. Eventually, people will start finding your old posts and even commenting on them. Make sure to rework your old content in both language and design so you won't shoo away any possible readers with your bad quality early blogging days!
(I'm still working on that one myself, but I'll get there...)

  • There's No Such Thing as Instant Success, So Don't Sweat it

Hey, I'm a small blog and there's nothing wrong with that. If you're blogging for the right reasons and doing it only for yourself, it won't matter whether you have 10 followers or 1000. Of course it's nice to have a huge following, but in the end it doesn't matter. It takes time to build a following and if you're patient and constantly striving to be the best you can possibly be, it won't matter how many people read your blog.


I don't know how many times I've said it- just respond for the love of God! You want your readers to comment on your blog, right? You're maybe even saying things like "even just saying hi is already enough" above your comment form. But then you don't even reply when people do exactly that.

Come on, if someone takes time out of their day to make you smile, it's only decent to respond to their comment. And if the person commenting on your blog is a blogger as well, it's a nice cherry on top if you go to their blog and comment on one of their posts. That's an easy way to make friends by the way!

  • Organize Your Blog!

While taste may vary, I think we can all agree that themes play a tremendous role in whether you want to continue reading a blog or just click on to the next one. Don't use weird fonts and bright colors, it has to be readable. I don't want my visit on your blog to feel like a slap to the face with widgets, moving pictures and glitter fonts.

You have to have the essentials down: People have to be able to find your reviews, your blog archive and your about page. That's the minimum. Don't use busy background images and please don't use white text on a black background. You want people to read your blog, right? Make it readable.

Do you have some pieces of advice for new bloggers?

What do you think about my advice?

Continue Reading...
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