Monday, 21 June 2010

What We Wish We Knew (2)

This is a continuation of my post from Saturday. This post is dedicated to the longer, multi-part responses I got.

For those who don't know, this is all about things bloggers, new and old, wish they knew when they began blogging.

My friend Harmony, who I've boasted about and helped and promoted like crazy, at Harmony's Radiant Reads, had a list of things she wished she knew:
I know I've only been blogging for 3 months (and I love it!) but I wish I had known these three things my first few weeks:
1) Don't freak out if you people have more followers, or more comments, than you do. You review because you like it, you read for yourself. Having people who like what you say and decide to say their opnion as well is just an awesome bonus.
2) You don't have to update everyday to have a good blog. Sometimes you can post a lot, sometimes you can't. Work at a schedule that YOU can do, don't try to conform yourself to another blog!
3) One of the best things about blogging is meeting people! Don't be afraid to tweet other bloggers and comment on their blogs. I've met a lot of super nice bloggers (including the two that run this blog!) just because I twittered them and checked out their blog! Get out there and interact in the blog-o-sphere!
(I love my Harmony)

Alison from Alison's Book Marks, has a lot of advice for you guys:
If I knew then what I know now about blogging:
1. I would have put more thought into the name of my blog. It's lame, but when I started, I truly didn't think I would have thousands of people reading it each month.
2. I would have done a better job at marketing from the get-go. Build a website, and they will come, right? Um, no. There's contests, Twitter, Facebook, Book Blogs, e-mails, linkys, challenges,and SO much more.
3. I wouldn't have been so afraid to reach out. Sitting by myself at my computer blogging was a lonely thing for me. I didn't really reach out, unaware of the strong community of book bloggers. Once I opened up and asked for help from other bloggers, I was blown away by how supportive they all were!
4. I would have backed up my blog earlier. Computers crash, sites go down. Don't be a victim of data loss.
5. Plagiarism exists and there's not much we can do about it. It sucks, but it's digital age.
6. Blogging books is time consuming! 'I'm not even talking about the time it takes to read all the books we bloggers write about, I'm talking about writing content, replying to comments, keeping up with social networking sites, reading and commenting on OTHER book blogs, keeping up relationships with publishers, publicists, authors, libraries and book stores. Responding to e-mails regarding pitches, contests, guest blogs, and interviews. There's the traveling to Book Expo and the BBC (and Comic Con for those bloggers heading out to Cali in a few months). And we all do this and manage to balance work, family, children, and our own writing goals outside of the blogging.
7. I would have spent the money upfront to have a custom designed blog. I still don't like what I have, but I'm used to it, and I don't know how to change it. I tried working with "a friend" on changing the logo and layout...we've been working on it for 6 months now...I'll let you know when we've decided on anything. I have a feeling I will change it this winter...and paying someone to do so.
8. I would have kept better records. Just when I think I'm organized, something goes wrong. I should have a binder in which to keep hard copies of my contacts, spreadsheets for review copies, etc. Instead I had everything on my computer...which I didn't back up...have I mentioned backing up your blog yet? Yeah, I should have gotten an external hard drive to back up all my blog stuff. There's a lot to keep track of (in my opinion).

Another friend of mine, Nicole from Word for Teens, also had a list of things:
1) That it's a hell of a lot of hard work. Maintaining WORD takes a good chunk of time, and with me headed off to college, most of my summer is spent setting up as much as I can in advance.
2) That you're not alone, and that you're going to have people who are willing to help you and talk to you. The first two years, I didn't talk to any other bloggers. The third year, I made a whole bunch of friends, and my blog improved greatly.
3) That it's ADDICTING. You're going to WANT to spend time working on it once you get into it, so make yourself aware of that now.



They summarized everything well, didn't they? So I'll just leave it at that. As I'm typing this, there's no more parts, but we'll see. ;)

--Julie

2 comments:

  1. This is all great blogging advice! I totally agree on how much time it takes up, not that I complain, but it's crazy just how long I spend networking and such!

    Totally worth it though!

    You know what I wish I knew? How jealous I would be of wordpress and threaded comments!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW thank you so much for all the great advice!

    ReplyDelete

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