As a new blogger myself, I don't know if I fully feel qualified to give out tips for new bloggers, but as I was away for the long weekend last week and missed out on the last Top Ten Tuesday (hosted, as always, by The Broke and the Bookish). I love Top Ten Tuesday so very, very much that I just couldn't skip a second week. Instead, I'll make this a list of things that I have learned since I embarked on this journey.
1. Really think hard about your labels before you start writing any posts. I've kind of added labels as I've gone along, but that's resulted in me going back through my older posts and adding labels to things that I've already posted. At first, labels didn't seem important, but I read a post at one of my newest favourite blogs yesterday (Into the Morning) about labels being invaluable for searching through a blog. And I thought to myself, that's exactly what I do on some blogs. For example, clicking on the "five star" label can bring up a list of that blogger's favourite books, and corresponding reviews, making it easier to navigate through the blog.
2. Make a review list by author, rather than by title. I've just realized that I should have organized my review index differently, since I've read multiple books by the same author, but they're no longer grouped together. I hate that I'm going to need to reorganize the list by author, which is going to take some time. Fortunately, I've realized this before I had an extraordinary amount of reviews!
3. Find your own style. Originally, I found myself poking around other blogs and trying to think of ways that I could make my blog emulate the styles of other blogs that I love and that are popular. But then I realized that there is no other blog out there like mine, so I should instead focus my energy on making my blog unique and what I would like it to be. People are reading my blog, and leaving comments that they really like how it's organized and the way that I write my reviews, so I must be doing something right!
4. Interact with other bloggers. I've been reading blogs for a few years, and only recently decided to join in on the fun. I was a little shy at first to comment and say hi to these bloggers, who I had been admiring from afar. But I've realized that they're all very nice and have commented back, sharing their words of wisdom and sometimes books or HTML hints. There really is a blogging community, and it's super fun to be a part of it!
5. Write for yourself, before anyone else. I originally joined GoodReads as a way of broadening my book journal and keeping track of my reading. When people started commenting on my reviews and adding me as friends on there, I became a little more self-conscious about my reviews, since they weren't just about me and my thoughts anymore. The internet is just a little more public than the pages of my journal, where I used to record my thoughts on the books that I read, and lists of titles in a series that I was working my way through. But soon after starting my blog, I remembered that I needed to shake off that self-conscious feeling of wondering what people would think about my reviews, and just write for myself. Yes, my writing is on the Internet for the world to see, and it can be a little scary at times, but at the end of the day I'm creating my blog for myself. If what I write speaks to others and they enjoy it too, then that just makes the whole experience even better.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm a new blogger myself and really looking forward to reading everyone's top ten posts this week. If you have any tips of your own to share, please leave me a link in the comments section and I'd love to swing by your blog!