Welcome to the second installment in my How to Start a Book Blog series! I hope these posts help newbies AND seasoned bloggers in some way.
So by this time you should have a nice blog set up. Nice design, organized menus and sidebars. Today I’m going to give you some ideas on types of posts.
How about reviews? Duh!
Yes, the most common type of post you’ll see on book blogs is reviews, probably. (: I won’t say much here because in the end, each blogger has their own review style. There are a few things it’s good to include, but ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want it to be short or long, GIF-filled or GIF-free, organized or rant-like.
Posts for reference:
- I wrote a post on What I Look For in a Review.
- After seeing this article on the internet, I had to write a response: The Do’s and Don’ts of Book Reviewing
Okay, so…what else can I do?
There are tons of options. Along with reviews, most people participate in a meme or two.
What’s a meme?
I’m glad you asked. Haha. It’s a feature that takes place usually once a week. The host does it and posts a linkup and everyone who participates can leave their link and you go around and see everyone’s post. The most popular one by far is Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It’s where you list 10 books every Tuesday that fit into a specific category. Some other ones are Waiting on Wednesday, where you talk about a book you can’t wait to read (before it’s release). There are several versions of Stacking the Shelves, which is a Saturday meme where you share what books you received that week. Another hugely popular one is Feature and Follow Friday, which is where all the newbie (and some oldie) bloggers answer questions and when you go to other people’s posts, if you follow them they follow you back. It’s a great way to get followers. I recommend that one for newbies for sure.
One that you might recognize on my blog is Musing Mondays. I used to do that religiously- every single Monday. They were my discussion posts, until I changed to my own format.
Anyway, there are tons of memes out there and if you go to any bookish blog I’m sure you’ll find tons of new ones. Just look around and find ones you think you might like participating in.
- In this discussion post I talk about what I do (or used to do) in the way of memes/weekly features.
- I also have a few of my own features, namely Favorites Friday and Letters to Characters. LTC is the only one with a linkup, but it’s not regular. It’s monthly or whenever I feel like it. I also have Blogosphere Travels, where I share blogging tips or things I’ve found around the blogosphere. I have Food For Thought (book-club type questions on certain books) and Interview of the Month.
That’s a lot! Is there more?
Of course! There’s always more. A lot of bloggers have haul-type posts that they do whenever they feel like, not aligned with a certain meme. There are reading challenges that people just love to do- it gets them more motivated to read books of a certain type. I know it works on me.
- Check out the reading challenges I’m participating in this year. See if any sound interesting to you.
What if I want to host a giveaway?
Giveaways are tricky, so I wouldn’t suggest doing one until you’ve been blogging for a while. When you start getting ARCs (more in the next post), the author/publisher might give you the opportunity to give away a copy of their book on your blog. If this happens, they’ll either give you the link to a giveaway that’s already been created, or you’ll have to create it yourself and let the author know who the winner is so they can send them the book. I think the first one I did was a blog tour giveaway, and the coordinators just sent me the HTML to the giveaway to include in my post.
What if I’m giving away my own books?
In that case, you will definitely have to create your giveaway from scratch. I and most other bloggers use Rafflecopter. It’s probably the easiest way to host a giveaway. You can list what the prize is and come up with all kinds of ways for people to earn entries. Most bloggers make people follow their blogs in various ways to earn entries. Also leaving blog post comments is another common way, along with tweeting about the giveaway (which I find kind of funny- the more people you let know about the giveaway, the more people will enter, and down go your chances of winning- why would anyone willingly do that? but a lot of people do).
Tell me about discussion posts.
These are probably the second most popular blog post type (for readers, anyway) after reviews. People LOVE discussing bookish things. It’s crazy. There’s just SO MUCH to talk about. And when people love someone’s particular topic so much, it’s no trouble to write an entirely new discussion post on their view of it. They are the ultimate self-renewing blog feature. I love them. You will love them. Everyone loves them. It’s just such a good way to engage your readers and learn how other people think. You can learn so much about a blogger as a person by their discussion posts. They don’t even have to be about books.
A lot of newbies worry about creativity. They aren’t sure what to write about! Well, often topics come when we least expect it. We’ll just be reading a book or thinking about one and a particular aspect of it and suddenly…bam! Hey, I liked that part of the book….or hey, why did the author do that? Or wow, that’s an awful way to end a book….and then you’ll have an idea for a discussion. A discussion can just be your opinion on something that you want other people’s thoughts on as well. But when in doubt, use this foolproof method- look at other people’s discussion posts! Surely you’ll find something there that you want to discuss as well. You don’t even have to read the post. Just look at the title- oh, a discussion on insta-love? I have an opinion on that!- and go.
- Check out my own index of discussion posts for inspiration (:
What about personal posts?
A LOT of bloggers write personal posts, some on a regular basis. Updates on life, stuff like that. I am not one of those bloggers. Occasionally I’ll get a little personal (not very much) on Twitter, but nothing really bad or deep. I keep most of my social media bookish. That’s just me. Other bloggers feel that personal posts are a great way to connect with and support others, and I agree. It is. Knowing the person behind the blog makes reading their blog all the more fun. So if you want to keep your readers updated on your life, or if you’re going through something and need some advice/support/help, go for it. It’s your blog. Your readers will thank you. (As long as you’re being appropriate.)
I did decide to start booktubing, which was crazy for me. Prior to that, I hadn’t shown my face anywhere on my blog or other bookish social media. So now people will see my face and hear my voice and know me. In my first (and only as of writing this) video I talk about myself. It’s an ‘about me’ video. That’s as personal as I’ve gotten on here, even if I talked mostly about books. But I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable about it as I make more videos. I made a post a long time ago about how booktubing wasn’t my thing and I would probably never do it, but I did. So that proves that interests change.
- Here’s my booktube channel. Check it out if you’re interested in meeting me- the girl behind the blog.
I totally know what I’m doing now! So what else should I think about?
Great! Now you should have a solid idea of what blog posts you’ll be writing. And as you get more ideas, discover other types of posts, go for it! A blog should always be expanding and growing. I personally have a limited number of blog post types, and that number has decreased- I don’t do nearly as many memes as I used to (none currently, in fact) because I simply lost interest and I decided I’d rather devote my time to reading, reviewing, and discussing. So as your interests change, your blog will reflect that, and that’s okay. That’s great! That’s what blogs are for. They are your personal space.
Next we’ll focus on followers and how to get them- as well as social media and how to make it work for you.
So let’s talk!
Were any of these ideas new to you? Will you start doing any of these?
If you’ve just started book blogging, leave a link below so I can check out your blog and follow!
Questions? Comments? Leave a comment below!
For you seasoned bloggers out there- did I miss anything important?