Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Saturday, November 5, 2016

8 Tips to Get Motivated to Write Blog Posts | Book Blogging Tips (#45)



We all love blogging, don't we? 

As much as we do, sometimes it's hard to get motivated, to keep writing, to even gather enough motivation to click on "write a new post". 

I'll try to help you with that. 


#8 Look at your favorite bloggers that you look up to

You want to be like them, don't you? You aren't ever going to be like them if you don't write those posts! Envy is the biggest motivator. Trust me.

#7 Binge-writing and Scheduling: the OTP

You don't need motivation when you just live for those little moments when blog inspiration seems to come to you on its own. Use those moments up and binge write every idea you have at once and then slack for the rest of the month!

#6 Try something different.

Chances are you're probably not motivated because you're not ~feeling like~ writing a review, a discussion, a meme post, or whatever you're used to writing all the time. Personal posts are a great way to get motivated and to bring fresh content into your blog. What are you passionate about right now? A TV show? Your celebrity crush? Write about that. 

#5 Do something else blog-related

Not feeling like writing a blog post yourself? Comment on other blogs, design something, read a book - eventually you'll very likely randomly get inspired and will want to write a post. 

#4 RANT

Not feeling like writing a post - write a post about how much you don't want to write a post! Ranting in general is so much easier than putting together a well-structured and well-thought out blog post or review. Just rant away, let your anger flow, my buddy!

#3 Set goals and reward yourself
If you like playing video games or writing or whatever you do in your free time - only allow yourself to indulge in your favorite hobby once you've written a post. Half a post, if the motivation really is extremely low. Sometimes you gotta force yourself. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish if you really want to continue watching your favorite show or playing your favorite game.

#2 Brainstorm

It's perfectly fine if you don't want to actually write, but that doesn't mean that you'll necessarily also not have any ideas. Write down the titles of the blog posts you WOULD write if you wanted to actually write. Make a document on your computer with those titles and whenever you're in a motivation slump, read through those titles. The more ideas you've collected the more likely it is that you might fancy writing one of those posts!

#1 Remind yourself why you started your blog. And then do exactly that.
  • Did you come for the reviews? Then go review a book or read somebody else's review.
  • Did you come for the social interaction? Go comment on other blogs.
  • Did you come for the discussion? Participate in a discussion on another blog or write your own.



Remember 

Being in a blogging/motivation slump isn't the end of your blog. If you really need to and none of these tips help, go on a hiatus, if you like. The blogging world will still be back when you return and welcome you with open arms. 


How do you get out of motivation slumps?

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

No Comments on Book Reviews? | Book Blogging Tips (#42)




What I've noticed recently is that book reviews generally seem to get less reader interaction in form of comments. 

And I wonder why, because reviews tend to be the one thing I focus most on when I'm checking out a new blog. 


I personally read other blogs mostly for the reviews, but I figured maybe that's not what everyone seems to be interested in.

So I did a little digging, observed my own commenting habits, and tried to find out why people tend to comment less on book reviews than on other posts


1) People like to share their opinion

You'd think this would go towards the "reasons why people comment on reviews" pile, but it doesn't. Not everyone will read or even think about reading the same books as you. While I do follow many, many, and almost exclusively YA book blogs, there are maybe only two people whose tastes mesh very nicely with mine. 

If your readers haven't read the book - they can't share their opinion of it, so no comments on that!

2) Reviews are longer than most other posts

Everyone has their own way of writing reviews, but I noticed that people tend to write too much rather than too little. If I see a brick wall of a review in front of me, I sometimes just close the window and don't read it, even if I was interested in that blogger's opinion in the first place. I usually just zone out after a certain length and just skim the review. If I have skimmed the whole thing, I don't feel comfortable commenting.

3) Formatting is everything - you can lose a lot of readers over this

The only thing that's worse than having a 2500 word review is a poorly formatted 2500 word review. I do know some bloggers who do this only with their reviews but format everything nicely. If you post reviews like these, it's even less likely to get comments. 


Should we just stop writing reviews then? Nobody reads them anyways...

There are so many factors that can impact whether I read a review in the first place and whether I'll comment. Even if there's a perfectly formatted, wonderful short review of a book that I have read by someone that I trust - I don't think this would be a 100% guarantee that I'll comment. And you want to know why? Because I'm scared to disagree. 

Sometimes I don't like a book and I still keep reading reviews of it to see if I'm the only one, but I don't want a fight.

There'll always be books that people like or dislike, and there'll always be people who defend said book to their dying breath. I think maybe that might be the reason why there are usually so few comments on book reviews. People don't necessarily agree and don't want to start a fight. Maybe this, or they just don't read them.

Regardless, I'll still keep writing reviews. Will you?

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Why I Almost Gave Up Blogging






I've been doing this for over a year now. I publish at least 10 posts a month, always reading, writing, and collecting ideas. My blog queue is stocked with 30+ posts at all times. But it wasn't always like this.

Blogging Is Hard

I know everyone says this, but let me tell you once more: after the honeymoon phase where you're new to everything and discovering new things is fun and great and awesome, you'll eventually get into a big blogging slump.

For me, the first slump came when I realized how hard it is to get your name out there. Without constantly promoting and commenting on other blogs, you're not going anywhere. Readers won't suddenly appear out of the blue.

Nobody can find your blog if you're not advertising for it. And this exactly what I didn't understand as a new blogger. I thought that mouth-to-mouth propaganda would work, people hear about my content from others and discover my blog. But in reality, that rarely happens, especially not for small blogs.

I didn't have the time or motivation to do this long-term, to keep advertising, to keep commenting excessively on other blogs. I salute everyone who can do this and has been doing this for several years. I just grew tired of it and wondered why my views stagnated and I lost more readers than I gained new ones.
Blog-Envy Is A Thing

To me, it was definitely jealousy that made me want to give up blogging and sent me into a full-blown phase of not wanting to write posts at all anymore. I wanted instant results, solely based on my content. Of course, this isn't how it works.
  • I saw blogs that were very new and had already more followers than me.
  • I saw blogs that didn't live up to my standards and that I considered bad, but still had more followers. 
  • I wondered what I was doing wrong, because I had such a small following, but considered myself better than some bloggers who had more. Something you should never ever do. You're not better than anyone, whether you're a new or well-known blogger.
I'm still a small blog and I've come to terms with that, but when you're surrounded by a billion bloggers who get more than a thousand views per day, you'll feel even smaller.
The thing that got me out of this slump was the realization that I'm not blogging for success. I'm blogging for me, and to help the people that read my blog, however big that number is.

Because let's face it: Hardly any book bloggers can make a living off their blogs. If you can, you've probably been at it for years, or are just plastering your blog with a billion adverts, or are just a natural. It's the minority.

Why It All Doesn't Matter Anyways

Maybe some of you had phases like this, maybe some of you will in the future. The point I want to make is that it doesn't matter what others are doing, it doesn't matter how many followers you have or haven't. Blog for yourself. Remember why you started doing this and keep on working towards whichever goal you have.


Did You Ever Consider Stopping Blogging?

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Friday, April 1, 2016

When is it okay to share your review of a DNF?






Even if we don't like to admit it, we've all not finished a book and still written a review on it.

Whether you just skipped the last 5 pages or the last 50, it does happen sometimes. But the question is, is that okay? 





The biggest argument against this that I've heard is that

"Books can have a sudden plot twist that changes everything and make you suddenly super interested in it again"

To me this does sound more like wishful thinking than a common thing that actually happens. When I get to the point that I'm DNF-ing or at least contemplating it, the last thing I want to do is "give the book another chance".

When I DNF, it's probably for a very good reason. That might be the writing isn't for me, the book is full of characters with questionable moral choices (that rather seem like the author trying to preach their own values), or it's just not a genre I'm not interested in.

Some books do turn around within the last couple of pages, but this has only ever happened to me a handful of times and never with a book that I was intentionally going to DNF. If you've written reviews for a while, you'll get a feeling for what works or what doesn't. You'll know your own taste and be able to judge a book very quickly.

I can tell by page 10 whether a book will be something I like or not. Regardless, I always give books 50 pages before I DNF. 

Is it justified to still write a review if you DNF like that? 

If it's a review copy, I would never do that, I'd rather contact the person I'm working with and tell them the book is not for me. I wouldn't feel comfortable writing a review for something I didn't read and 50 pages aren't nearly enough to justify a negative review.

Especially for unknown authors with few reviews for their books, that's just not something that I'd feel comfortable doing. At the end of the day, I want to help authors out and talk about books with other readers and writing a review for something that I didn't /really/ read is doing more harm than benefit in my opinion. 

So I was talking about review copies before, but what about reading books in your free time, do you DNF silently and still write a review for it? If nobody would ever find out, would you do it?


DNF reviews? Yay or nay?

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

How Queuing Posts Makes Blogging 200% Easier | Book Blogging Tips (#35)



What's a Queue?

A super convenient blog function that enables you to schedule posts days, weeks, months, or even years in advance.


Why is a Queue Important?

90% of my blog runs on a queue. 
I couldn't imagine running my blog without it. With a queue, you don't have to worry every day about coming up with a new topic. When you're feeling down and not feeling like writing, your blog will just write itself. Isn't that nice?


Regardless whether your blog is more memes or original posts - you'll probably face creative blocks sooner or later. If it wasn't for my queue I would have quit blogging very early on or just only published posts sporadically. 
A queue is a super handy way of staying on top of things and give your readers content regularly.

You do not have to queue!
I'm not saying that everyone should, but it helped me personally tremendously. I wouldn't be blogging anymore if it weren't for my queue. Sometimes I just face creative blocks and just can't write any more posts and don't have the energy or motivation to write up anything.

How Big Should It Be?
My queue is usually stacked with about thirty posts, spanning maybe two or three months ahead. Obviously my blog doesn't run completely on queue.

What Should You Queue?

Everything that's either:
  • timeless (aka original posts like discussions or personal stuff)
  • memes (if you know the topics in advance)
Avoid queueing posts that are relevant right now (tackling a topic that's all over social media right now for example). Only queue posts that you know won't get fewer or more hits regardless of when you post them.

When Should You Queue?

I started queuing when I noticed that I couldn't keep on writing up posts the same day they'd go online. That was maybe in my first or second month of blogging. Try using your creative highs to write up as many posts as you can! You don't have to stack your queue with a few dozen posts at all times like me, start small. Draft maybe five or more posts and keep collecting before you start queuing.

Do You Queue Posts in Advance? 



Continue Reading...

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Write a Book Review | Book Blogging Tips (#17)

If you run a book blog it's essential to know how to write a review. There are certainly different approaches to the topic and everyone has their own preferences.

However there are still some things that every blogger should incorporate into their review.





  • Step 1: Read the Book
If you plan on writing a book review for your blog, the first thing you have to do is read the book. For some bloggers it's a NO-GO to review a book that you didn't or couldn't finish. A rule of thumb for me is to give every book 50 pages to impress me, if it doesn't, I will neither review nor finish. 

In general you shouldn't upload a review for a book when you have read LESS than half of it. It's just impossible to form a valid and helpful opinion if you have no idea about the plot. Also make sure to note in your review that you didn't read the entire book.

  • Step 2: Mind the Form
Here are some things that you can put into your review. 
It's up to you whether you choose one or two, or all of them. Book reviewing isn't an exact science. 

- COVER ART: Pictures are very important if you want to catch your readers attention. I typically feature two different covers of the book, one at the top and one at the bottom
- LENGTH: fluctuating between 300 and 900 words. Be careful not too write too much. Obviously a high fantasy novel review will end up longer than a novella review. Don't stress yourself.
- RATING: Whether it's stars, strawberries, books or thumbs up. Make sure to add a visual.
- (Optional) RÉSUMÉ: Quickly sum up what you dis/liked for readers that don't want to read the whole text.
INFO: Publication Date, Publisher, Page Count, Genre, Author, Title, Synopsis (optional) link to buy the book/to the publisher's website

  • Step 3: Add the Content
- WHAT YOU LIKED: Make sure to reduce the fangirling to a minimum though.
- WHAT YOU DISLIKED: Always be respectful and don't use curse words. There's always a lot of work going into a novel. Picture yourself as the author, would you rather have constructive criticism or a bunch of insults?
- (Optional) WHY YOU READ IT: Could be helpful if it's a review copy and for possible future readers
- (Optional) MORE BOOKS TO COME?: I like to inform my readers whether it's a stand-alone or the first in a series.

My Tips
It'll be even easier for you to come up with what to say when you make notes throughout your reading process. I even write a quick review when I'm halfway through the novel just to sort my thoughts and make sure I don't forget points along the way. That review can be full of curse words or fangirling and whatever you want - it will never see the light of day and is only a guideline for you to sort your feelings about the novel out. 

You'd think that a book blog should only consist out of reviews, but we all know that that isn't even remotely true if you look at the more popular blogs.
If you want your reviews to be as entertaining as your original posts or meme posts, you have to make sure to write entertainingly. Show your enthusiasm for the book or your lack of and discover your own style

Some people like to use gifs, some people are gifted with the written word and just write super funny posts regardless of their opinion of the book. Write entertainingly and always be honest. Never write a positive review for a book that you absolutely hated and vice versa.


How do you write your reviews? Do you have any special tips?



Come back next Thursday for a new Book Blogging Tips Post!

More:
(#14): How to Decline an Inquiry By An Author or Publisher Politely 
(#15): How to Install Social Media Icons 
(#16): How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme 

See All
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