A quick note to my Sea of Poppies Reading Buddies: Because I scheduled poorly (sorry!) and all this Book Blogger Appreciation Week madness is going on, I thought I’d post our mid-month discussion tomorrow so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I hope that works for you!
The last day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is upon us, sadly! It’s been such a great week of meeting other bloggers and sharing ideas. Our final topic is:
“The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you feel are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.”
Tried and True
Instead of getting into specifics here, I’m going to stick with ideas. I’ll get to specifics in the next part! Three tried and true practices, at least for me, are:
- Write the blog you want to read.
During Bloggiesta last January, Amy posted a mini-challenge for participants in which she shared where this idea came from, and I have striven to apply her advice since then. What does this mean to me? I want Erin Reads to be a blog that interests me, with content I find intriguing and an atmosphere that is relaxed and welcoming. I want to feel like there is a person behind the blog, someone I’d like to get to know better. Whenever I feel like I’m losing my focus a bit, I return to Amy’s advice and try to get myself back on track. I don’t know if it’s working, but at least I’m giving it my best shot!
- Write the blog you want to write.
This corollary to #1 is something I added for myself as I considered what Amy shared. I realized I am in charge of my blog and that I blog because I enjoy it. It follows, then, that the blog I publish should be full of things I want to write and enjoy creating. When I’m writing posts I want to write, I am a much more enthusiastic and less stressed blogger. Blogging feels natural, not forced, and I enjoy myself much more. I think this idea goes along with the oft repeated advice to “be yourself” when you blog.
- Follow through.
What I mean by that is be present. Yes, comment on other people’s blogs on your own initiative. But also, when someone visits your blog, visit them back. Respond to comments people leave on your blog, even if you can’t get to them until a few days later, or make it clear why you can’t or don’t respond to comments. If you sign up to help with an event or participate in a readalong, do so if you can. If you can’t, just let whoever is running the activity know. Your keeping in touch will be very much appreciated, and people will understand if you have to back out. I’m guilty of this myself sometimes, but I think it’s hard when a blogger is inconsistently present. Someone who follows through comes across as a real person, someone accessible, and I think people naturally gravitate toward such people.
As for new trends or tools I’m hoping to make better use of, please don’t laugh at me when I say Twitter! I asked for Twitter tips on Wednesday and got some wonderful advice. (Several of you also pointed out that I appear to be rather well established on Twitter to be asking for help, but having followers doesn’t make me any less shy about getting those tweets out there or any more comfortable navigating the chaos!) My short-term goal is to make better use of this not-so-new social platform, since so many bloggers have shared great Twitter-related experiences. I do think I’ll like it, once I feel more comfortable! Anyone want to take the plunge with me?
I also have some longer term goals for myself that don’t really involve trends or tools but about which I’m very excited. They are related to my reading schedule and somewhat inspired by all the talk of community that’s been going on this week. I need a little more time to work things out, but I know once I start in on these goals they will be rewarding, and I’m excited! More soon…
What trends or tools have you found especially helpful or are you excited to try?