Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week will feature a new Top Ten list .  Everyone is welcome to join.

This week features the Top Ten Tips For New Book Bloggers.  I feel grossly unqualified to write this post because my Book Blog is still so new but I am going to give it a shot.

1. Pick a Genre that you love:  It took me a long time to realize that I loved YA.  I started reading it when I became a teacher so that I could recommend books to my students.  I gorged myself one summer and needed to take a break (I think I actually got into a rut of BAD YA and didn't realize it wasn't YA in general that I needed a break from but just the stuff I was reading).  I returned, slowly but surely, when I started noticing that the Paranormal Fiction that I previously loved just wasn't working for me any more (not to mention that I was skipping over the sex scenes and sometimes seemed to skip half the book!).  They just seemed like the same ol' story over and over whereas the YA that sometimes slipped into my TBR pile was fun, unique and exciting.

2. If you are going to be risque - choose a pen name:  My blog isn't necessarily racy, but I do like to use the occasional swear word and sometimes I talk about teaching.  As teachers, we tend to be scrutinized by a public that believes we owe them something.  I didn't want my blog to become part of a scandal, nor did I want my students to google my name (I'm not being conceited - I swear they have done this) and find it - hence the pen name and email address that is in no way connected with my professional identity.

3. Find a format that works for you:  I found reviews easier to write once I had decided on a set format which included Cover Impressions, the Review and Teaching/Parenting Notes.  When I am stuck on one section, I will move on to another and then go back.  Having a set (but flexible) format helps me to keep my thoughts organized and discourages me from rambling.

4.  Take Notes:  I find it difficult to remember everything that I want to say about a book without writing it down.  I keep a journal close by to jot notes down in and, when reading an ebook, I use the highlight feature to note any passages that I want to go back to.  This is much less frustrating than aimlessly flicking pages in the vain attempt to find something.  I will also usually note people/place names that I know I will need when writing my review as these are often the first to escape my mind when I need them.

5.  Post Often:  I try to post as often as I can, whenever I find something interesting I blog it or bookmark it to add to a later post.  I try not to make my posts too long, as I am easily distracted while reading other blogs and will sometimes skim or give up reading entirely if a post seems like a daunting task rather than an amusing moment or two.

6.  Check your spelling/grammar and make use of paragraphs:  I hate solid blocks of text.  I hate the use of lower case when it should be upper case.  I hate misspelled words that could easily be caught by spell check.  This may be the stodgy teacher in me, but I feel it lessens the credibility of the writer and the chance that I will return to their site again.

7.  Relax and Write:  This is one that I struggle with.  I need to keep reminding myself that not every post needs to be the best thing that I have ever written and that, with a fairly low number of followers, this is mostly an exercise to amuse myself and so that I can make connections with other readers and bloggers.

8. Participate in Memes like this one:  I usually only participate in Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday but I really look forward to having a jumping off point for my post.  I also really enjoy checking out other people's responses and getting wonderful comments (and sometimes new followers) on my own.

9. Don't make your blog graphic intensive:  I spend most of my internet time on a netbook over a, less than stellar, wireless connection.  I HATE when a blog takes forever to load because there are so many pictures, ads, links, buttons etc on the sides.  This may be just personal preference, but I like a fairly clean look without special fonts and glaring (often neon) colors.

10.  Network:  Join Goodreads and Twitter (P.S: click the links to add and/or follow me!).  Post on lots of different sites and follow lots of other bloggers.  Comment on their posts (not just to invite them to read yours!).  Make it a goal every day to put out some Good Blogging Karma.  Become part of the community, meet other bloggers and readers and enjoy the wonderful interactions that social networking can bring you.


Jamie said...

Networking is so key!! And taking notes is something that I've started to do recently and it helps so much! Only took me 1.5 years to figure that one out :P

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