Top 10 Tips for New Bloggers .... or, my variation on this week's theme!

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!


  1. Great advice! I particularly zoned in on #5. I think it's so important to write for yourself. It's super easy to get lost and start to be more self-conscious about what you write either because of your viewers or publishers or whatever outside influence. It's always great to be reminded that at the end of the day, your blog is still for yourself!

    Thanks for sharing!

    My Top Ten Tips @ YA Books

  2. Number two is really important! I've learned about a lot books by authors I've enjoyed through blogs that have indexed reviews this way (also, that's how I index mine, and I'm a *self-professed* expert! lol) This is a great list! You would never guess that you're a newbie!

    Check out my Top Ten!

  3. Love #5! Especially when I started taking requests, I was really worried about sending the books out into the world with a negative review. I didn't want to seem like a basher or something. But now I've realized how to talk about the negative things without being negative, and relaxed into just stating my opinion.

    My TTT

  4. Great list! I like how several of your points are things I haven't seen on other people's lists. The list by author is a great point. Also the labeling. I always save that for after I've written my review so things I talked about will trigger key words for labels. :)

  5. I've been messing around with my labels lately, to try and organise things better - they make things a whole lot easier! Great list, I struggled thinking of things as I'm pretty new to book blogging too, but enjoyment is the main thing I think!

  6. The label thing is very important, that's so true! It's easier to change them or add some on Wordpress, I think. How do you do it on BLogspot? Like.. edit every post manually, or Quick-Edit them, or..? And if you want to rename a label, is that possible there?

    *curious face*

    Very good list in my opinion!

    Patricia // My Post

  7. The advice about labels is so important. Once you got hundreds of blog posts you don't want to change them too much anymore, and I am talking from experience.

  8. Great advice! I love #5. It's so easily forgotten.
    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

  9. Thank you all so much! I felt a little shy posting this, since I'm so new to blogging, but I really appreciate all of your positive feedback!

  10. Being new in the blog world, doesn't mean you can't give any tips!

    Finding your own style is so important. That makes you unique and stand out :)


  11. Some great tips Melissa. Blogging keeps you on your toes I can't believe how much I have learned and continue to learn. I love the interaction and enjoy returning comments. Thanks for adding my button to your roll. Let me know when you have your button so I can add it to mine.


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