Friday, May 27, 2011

Last day of Armchair BEA! Blogging About Blogging

Well folks, today is the last day of Armchair BEA (Day 5)! I don't know about you, but I am freakin' exhausted! It was a pretty last minute decision, but I'm glad I'm glad I participated. It has been crazy, tiring, awesome, and rewarding! I'm going to spend the next week catching up on all of the new blogs I found! I haven't even been able to comment on half of them yet.

Here is a rundown of Days 1-4:

Today's Topic: Blogging on Blogging

I'm pretty new at book blogging, but I still have some stuff to say. I'm not new at reading blogs, and knowing what your readers like is important. Let's get started!

How do you utilize social networking in relation to your blog? What may be the pros and cons of doing so?

I use social networking all the time! Without networking, I would have no readers. I have to get their attention somehow!

Here are the two major forms of networking that I do:
  1. Twitter
  • You can reach a large amount of people 
  • It's an easy way of talking back and forth with fellow bloggers
  • It's fast and simple
  • You can follow and connect with authors and publishers - basically anyone in the book industry
  • It can be hard to keep up with
  • You need followers on twitter, too
    2.  Memes
  • You find lots new blogs 
  • These are usually a weekly thing, so you can constantly get people to come back to your site
  • You can bog your blog down with too many memes, and not enough "real" content
  • participating can be time consuming, especially if you go to other blogs and leave meaningful comments (it pays off, though).
 Create a "rule list" of things you should and shouldn't be doing on a book blog. 

These are things that I look for in a blog before I will read or follow it:

1. Make it easily readable. Super crazy fonts and colors hurt my brain. If I have to decipher your posts, I won't read them. Like my example on the right there, which is making my eyes bleed at this moment.

2. Don't put sounds on your blog that automatically play! I will usually close out a blog before I even give it a chance if it has noise. No music players, and no ads with sound, please.

I am not talking about video blogs (vlogs) or things that you can have your readers click on if they choose to listen to it. Like, some blogs will post music that they think matches the feel of a book. That's fantastic!

It's embarrassing to have stuff start blaring at you as you fumble to figure out where the volume button is when you're supposed to be quiet, like the library or at work.

3. Make your blog unique.  If you don't have a ton of time to put into the design of your blog, at least customize it a bit. Blogger has made this so much easier than it used to be! You can change things with a click of a button now. A little here and there is all it takes. My blog isn't anywhere near perfect, but I'm slowly morphing it into something that I think reflects me. Of course, your content is way more important than how your blog looks. A unique blog is more memorable, though.

5. Don't spam others! Geesh, you would think this would be a no-brainer. Don't leave some superficial comment and then ask the blogger to follow you back. Then it seems like you didn't really even give a flying poopie about their blog and are just fishing for followers. EARN your followers. It's more rewarding.

4. Do it for yourself. I think this is the most important thing, to me anyways. If I want something a certain way on my blog, then that's how I'm going to do it. Of course I care about my readers (love you all!), but this is my blog. For example, I love my book covers posted as big as freakin' possible, so that's what I do. I know that this is probably going to annoy some people, and that's ok. I can't make everyone happy.

So, if you disagree with me and want neon pink writing on top of atomic meltdown green, then do it. If you just want a basic template with no modifications or songs blaring, then go ahead. Yes, it's possible you'll scare away readers, but your blog is about you. If you like it, others probably will too. It doesn't really matter what I think. :)

What are your tips for balance life and blogging?

Oh my gosh, if I blogged like I did this week all the time, I'd be a walking, exhausted zombie!!

I balance blogging and life by taking a step back sometimes. A blog post can almost always wait. I don't pressure myself to post all that much. I can wait to reply to comments. Last month I was sick for 5 days, so I just stayed away from my blog altogether (although I did have a post already scheduled to automatically post, and that was convenient!). My blog will be there later, so there's no rush. 

How do you keep your blog fresh and interesting to your readers & yourself?

I'm still working on this one! I don't totally know yet. I think that only reading what I feel like reading helps. I jump all over the place. I'll read a young adult book, then skip over to some hot and steamy romance. 

I have noticed that I get far more replies on the posts that I was genuinely excited about. I think it just shows. I did a post once in the very beginning that I wasn't really feeling, and I didn't get all that much interaction. Well, duh! Why would people be excited about something on my blog if I'm not even excited?

Maybe I should bring in some cute? Maybe some more LOL cats...

Like this:

or this:

Yep. I definitely need to bring on the cute and the LOL cats.


  1. The video to too freaking cute!!! I have a lot of the same views as you do. For fun, do it for yourself, enjoy doing it and quality of quantity! Like right now I'm going to do this post tomorrow, I'm too tired to do it now :)

  2. Great comprehensive post! I may just have to bookmark this so I can keep coming back to it. Any memes you recommend? I'm thinking of joining my first one next week :)

  3. What a great post today! I am going to bookmark it so when I feel blah about blogging I can get back to the basics.

    Any twitter tips? I am having the HARDEST time getting a handle on it.

    Have a great memorial day weekend!

    BTW thanks for helpming me with my comment problem! :)

  4. Isn't that one of the cutest videos?? I know, I totally stayed up too late writing this post.

    TheJennaGirl- sure, there are several memes I recommend!

    In My Mailbox - you share the books you got that week.

    Waiting on Wednesday- you share what book you are eagerly awaiting to be released. This is a great one to find new books, too.

    Follow Friday- I've never done this one, but I'm thinking about joining in once and a while.

    There are so many out there! Those are just a few of the most popular.

  5. kjovus- Hhmmm. Well, I'm still new at twitter, but my tip is to follow as many other book bloggers and authors and publishers as possible. of course, stick to those you actually like, so your feed isn't bogged down with stuff you don't want.

    Then, just start saying stuff! Reply to people. When you talk about a book, use the author's twitter name in the post, like @maureenjohnson. They may even reply to you! I've already had a couple do just that.

  6. Here is a new author for you to try, Paranormal Romance I love her work. I am currently reading an ARC she gave me and she is giving away a book. You have got to check it out!

  7. Awesome Kristina! I'm off to go check that out. :)

  8. I'm the same way about music playing on blogs. I always scream a little and then hit the close button as quickly as possible. :)

  9. I laughed a little when you said that Johanna! It's like a little shock or something. It always makes me jump!

  10. Jacinda- I'm not usually so funny. I think I usually try too hard! LOL. :P

  11. LOL cats make everything better. :)

    I like your rules. It's always kind of funny when I get a generic comment with a "follow me, I'll follow back" attached to it. Or when I have to figure out which of the 7 blogs I have open is playing Justin Beiber.
    (ok, it wasn't actually the Beibs, but still)

  12. SUCH good advice. you're one smart cookie. :)

  13. I do that too Kathy! I'll open a bunch at a time on the meme links and then have to scroll through them all trying to figure out who is the offender.

    LOL! Lisa, you make me laugh.

  14. I agree with all of your "rules"! I am still trying to find a good life/blogging balance. I like to read and leave meaningful comments on all of the blogs that I follow but with follow Friday type hops it can be a lot to keep up with! I agree with you about spamming in comments. I am not a fan of the "great post, follow me back" type comments!

  15. Those cats are so adorable! Totally with you on all your rules.


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