Let’s start with the posting schedule because I think I suck at this one and you always should lead with the bad first before getting into the good (this was my report card tactic. Worked every time).
When I first started out, I was given the impression that you had to post every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Or you’d fail as a blogger and would fall into a vat of obscurity because no one would read your blog because there wasn’t anything new on it. You could image that this stressed me out. I tried to post something every day which resulted in “filler” content with no real meat to it. This wasn’t what I wanted to have on my blog and it started to feel more like work than fun. I was doing this FOR FREE. Why should I pull out my hair for something I liked to do on my own time without compensation? So I failed at this Post-Every-Day mantra and wondered if this is how obscurity felt like (I got to read a lot and lounge around so it wasn’t so terrible) when I saw a tweet. A prominent blogger (now lit agent) stated that it wasn’t necessary to post every day.
SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! WHAT? IS SHE SERIOUS?
She was because guess what? YOU REALLY DON’T HAVE TO POST EVERY DAY. It’s suggested to post consistently (I suck at this too) whether it’s once a week or during the work week only but you’re not required to put out something new daily. This was an amazing revelation and it helped ease my mind. I’m trying to be more consistent in my posts but sometimes the motivation to sit and write isn’t there but you have to push yourself a bit. Otherwise, you’ll have piles of books waiting to have their reviews written and great post ideas sitting in your head…not like that’s happening to me right now or anything…
Another thing I learned this past year that links to the above is review writing.
Believe it or not there is an art to reviewing. People like to say that as long as it’s your opinion then you’re doing the whole review thing right.
There is a right way and a wrong way. I’ve written about this before (quite a few times now that I’ve searched it up) via Critiquing Etiquette and The Hater versus The Critic: Blogging Semantics but I also talked about the review process for bloggers via The Book Blogger’s Review Process because it’s actually not easy to pump out one review let alone 5-10 a week. Some of these things you have to do such as stating one nice thing about a book when you feel there is none but others are a must like giving solid reasons as to why you like/dislike a book or not attacking the author as a person (Yup. This happens).
Since this is a post on giving advice to newbies, I thought I’d give a heads up that your negative reviews could upset the authors and/or their legions of fans no matter how legitimate your review is and they’ll probably let you know with all caps, snarky comments or just general troll-y behaviour. Things can get ugly with writing negative reviews and I’m so happy that I have never had to deal with this (Probably because no one can hear you from the vat of obscurity. See? There is an upside to it…). With that said, you should also look out for when an author thanks you for your honest review or for the awesome review you gave of their book (this happens more to Linh than to me. *sigh*).
Just be honest, give points/examples for why you like/dislike a book and don’t be mean for the sake of making a review interesting.
Ummm…that’s all. I’m sure I missed a few things but I’ve dealt with the important stuff. Feel free to add on to this post and any other A. A. Omer Year 1 post in regards to other tips for newbie bloggers. 🙂
A. A. Omer
EDIT YOUR POSTS BEFORE POSTING. I’m not great at doing this because I write everything right onto here and (because I’m always busy and in a hurry) I don’t check my posts as thoroughly as I’d like. DON’T DO THAT. I’m making it a mission to do more of that in year 2 🙂