Armchair BEA: The Future of Book Blogging

by Kim on June 8, 2012 · 16 comments

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Even though I’m in New York for Book Expo America, I wanted the chance to participate in Armchair BEA for the first time. Today’s daily blogging topic is:

It’s the final day of Armchair BEA and we want you to keep your passion for books and blogging about them going long after we’ve closed the event. Today we’ll be sharing tips on keeping book blogging exciting and unique to your vision for your blog. Our suggested post for today is “Ask the Experts.” If you have any burning questions for your fellow participants about book blogging now is the time to ask and if you don’t we’d love for you to share your own personal tips about book blogging!

One of the conscious decisions I’ve made as a blogger is to minimize the time I spend on background projects — messing with my blog theme, redesigning my headers, updating my sidebars, whatever. I just so sucked into those projects that I run out of time for the things I think are important — writing good content and interacting with other bloggers. As a result, I’m way behind on new blogging technology, tools, and plugins. So here’s my question to you, blogging experts: What are some technology tools you use to make blogging easier? What are some of your favorite plugins? Mobile apps?

In exchange, here are a few things I’ve learned in four years as a book blogger:

  • Recognize that having a great blog takes a lot of work. Blogging is an awesome hobby and I love it, but it can also be a lot of work. Having a great blog, one that you can be proud of and that brings satisfaction, takes time. There are days when the prospect of coming home and writing a review feels like doing homework, but you have to push through that some point if you’ll just give up.
  • Find a routine. I’ve found that it helps me to write a couple of posts at at time and then schedule them out for the week ahead. That doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s helpful for me (especially on evenings when I have to go to a meeting or am just too tired to think about blogging).
  • Develop consistency. The best way to build a loyal community of readers is to post consistently. There are bloggers that I love who regularly post only twice times a week (sometimes less), and I look forward to each of those posts. Going whole-hog for a week and posting every day, then going silent for two weeks doesn’t build a following and may burn you out and make you feel guilty.
  • Make time for what you love to read. It’s so, so easy to get excited about review copies and accept more than you can reasonably read. I’ve been there. In a lot of ways, I still am there. I’ve started to be much, much more selective about accepting review copies and more assertive about finding time to read books without obligations attached. That’s done wonders for keeping my blogging energy up.
  • Above all, do what makes you happy and keeps blogging fun for you. Some bloggers can post every day. That’s just not for me. I’ve tried before, and I end up feeling overwhelmed and anxious about responding to comments and reading enough to write that much. I’ve discovered that posting three or four times a week works best for me, so that’s what I try to do. Figure out when you’re happiest blogging and stick to that, regardless of what other people decide to do.

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