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Monday, March 4, 2019

Dos and Don'ts For Your First Year of Blogging

This Thursday, March Seventh, marks the one year anniversary for Scribbles of an Aspiring Author!


In the one year that I've been on the blogosphere, I've done a lot of things wrong, but I've also learned a lot--hence this blog post's title.



First thing you should do--always make a graphic, like this one, with the title of your blog post and your URL. You can then post the graphic on social media, like Pinterest and/or Instagram to get more traffic on your blog. I make my graphics on Adobe Spark, and they have an awesome resizing feature that lets you take your header and convert it into the ideal size for any social media, with one click.

(This is the size that I'll post to Pinterest.)


Second Tip--make your titles interesting. Don't clickbait (because no one likes clickbait) but make sure that your blog post is both specific enough to what your content is, and makes people want to read your post. If you have trouble with coming up with a blog title, there are plenty of suggestion pages/titling cheat sheets on Pinterest. 


Here's an example of when I didn't do this. The title of this post is simply "The Fault in Our Stars," which might be the most vague thing ever. What is the post about? Is it a review? (Yes it was.) Am I yelling into the internet about how this book broke my heart? Maybe. But you would have no idea what this post was about because I never specified. 

(Also--I don't think that I even specified what it was about in the post. As you can see, at the bottom of the screen-cap, I just jumped straight into "Here's the synopsis. *facepalm*)

Better titles for this post include: Why Everyone Needs to Read the Fault in Our Stars, or The Story of How John Green Shattered my Heart, or even The Fault in Our Stars Book Review. Those titles took me about three seconds to come up with off the top of my head, and although they could obviously use some work, all three of them are infinitely better than just saying the title of a book with no context around it. 

And a few tips for if you want to start book reviewing regularly--number one, find a platform that will post your links. I usually do my book reviews through MMGM, over on Always in the Middle. (It was originally started by Shannon Messenger, but she passed hosting duties for MMGM over to Greg Pattridge last year.) This is a great way for people to find your blog. 

Tip number two--always include an age rating with the book. I didn't use to do this, but I found that it's nice for people reading your blog to know what kind of content they're getting into when they add a new book to their TBR pile. 

And lastly--if you ever feel like your review seems a little weak, or you want it to be longer, talk about your favorite characters, and why you love them. I don't know about you, but my favorite parts of books are characters, and I will be 99.9999 percent more likely to pick up a book if I know the characters are compelling, than if someone tells me it has a good plot. A plot is nothing without well-developed characters to carry it out, IMHO.

But no matter how good your posts are--you have to be consistent. 

^^Literally everyone's face while reading this because I cannot be consistent for the life of me.

Do as I say, not as I do. You should pick one day, or two, where you update every week. During the school year my posting schedule usually gets pushed back to a post every other week, but I'm trying to work on getting a one-post-per-week thing going on again. 

And lastly, read and comment on other bloggers' posts. I know that I haven't been that good at doing that this year, but I'm hoping to be more active after school calms down. Bloggers really are the nicest humans!

The only blatant "don't" I can really think of for blogging is--don't be unkind to anyone. It's that simple.

Anyway, I could go on forever (I made a lot of mistakes, guys) but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have been reading this blog since my posts mainly consisted of writing prompts, and, to say welcome to any new readers. *waves*

Choosing to start this blog was arguably one of the best decisions I've ever made. Here's to hoping this year is just as awesome. 

12 comments:

  1. Ooo, yeah, I definitely need those tips for book reviews! (I’m . . . kinda bad at putting all my thoughts together in a cohesive order. XD)

    Yay, I’m so glad I met you through blogging! *raises lemonade glass* Here's to another excellent year for you!

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    1. Haha--I'm sure you'll get the hang of it. :)

      Likewise!

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  2. Yay! Happy blogoversary!!! Oh, I like the tip for posting the age range! I'll have to use that. :)

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  3. Happy first blog birthday!!! Good tips, ones I use a lot.

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

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  4. Happy blogoversary! These tips are great. <33

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  5. Happy blogoversary! And thanks for the tips! I never thought about giving age ratings. And I think it's definitely a good idea to talk about the characters! You're going to be spending the whole book with them, so it's really nice to know whether you're going to care about them or not. ;)

    theonesthatreallymatter.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Emily! And that's exactly my opinion with the characters. :)

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