Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BBAW: Blogging Tips

The award-winning Amy asked these questions as part of Book Bloggers Appreciation Week:

What is one thing you wish you knew about blogging when you started or what advice would you give a newbie blogger?

I wanted to say that I am a newbie blogger, so what on earth would I have to say that's of any value? But newbie or oldie, I think we all have something of value to share. Here's what tidbits of advice I can think of at this particular moment:
  • Be true to yourself. The book blogging community is so large that your voice is just as important as anyone else's. Yes, look at other blogs, find the ones that you like, read them, and see how they do things. But the end result on your own blog should be your words, your opinions, your thoughts.
  • Blogging can be addictive. If you don't want to be chained to your chair and computer 24/7, set aside blocks of time that allow you to blog--and still have a life. I don't know about the rest of you, but I want it all!
  • Try to update your blog daily. Blog readers like to see that you have new things to say. (Now that I've said that, I'm wondering how to handle when my husband and I go on vacation! Although I can be very outspoken, I can still be a shy child and nervous about asking how to set up guest bloggers.)
What is your best blogging tip?
  • If there's something you don't know how to do and you want to do it--ask! I wanted sections of my sidebars to scroll like Wendy's at Musings of a Bookish Kitty. I asked her, and she was more than happy to help me. Book bloggers are some of the most helpful people you'd ever hope to find. So if you want a 3-column layout, a slideshow, more traffic to your blog, or instructions on how to insert a link when you comment on someone else's blog, ask!
  • You're going to have blogs that you want to keep track of, and setting up Google Reader is one of the best ways to do that. I know that it saves me a ton of time.
  • I've found that two of the best ways to bring traffic to my blog is by participating in memes and by making thoughtful comments on other blogs. If someone takes the time to comment on something I've posted, you know I'm going to head on over to their blog to check it out. There are a ton of memes out there, so try to choose the ones that are a good fit for you and that won't overwhelm the rest of your content.
  • I tend to be a very visual person and want my blog to look "just right". Trouble is, I don't want to be tinkering with it when someone might be trying to read what I've taken the time to write. I have a "dummy blog" set up just for tinkering and tweaking. I have it set to be invisible, and that way I can try new things without having a catastrophe on my "real" blog(s) or disturbing my readers. Which reminds me...I'm still trying to solve that stubborn header problem of mine...!
  • Proofread...use your spellchecker!
Thanks, Amy, for posing such interesting questions! I know I've gotten some great tips by reading other bloggers' answers.


  1. Being a new blogger myself - I agree with everything you said. Thoughtful comments are the best.

    I never thought about setting up a "dummy blog" to try out new things. That is one tip I will definitely use.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and helping me with my link problem in comments!!!

  2. I've done a lot of searches on blog templates and the like, and I found the tip about the dummy blog in one of those searches. I'm glad you liked the tip. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hey, you can't be using me as your test blog. LOL Ok, corny but trying. ;-)

  4. Mike?'re so good at it!


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