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Friday Coffee & Bookish Speaks – Tips on running a successful book blog

Fall is fast approaching I am so excited. I am content with my fresh-roasted coffee and cream.

What are you drinking?

I approach this subject hesitantly. What is success? I have struggled with defining this myself and success mean different things to different people. Sometimes I count success as having gotten out of bed and taking a shower some days that’s a win for me! I digress. I think success is what you make it. I define success as setting your goals and achieving them.

The goal  I set for my blog overall was to build a  blog that would enable me to work with as many authors and publishers as possible. My goal for my blog is to set up a friendly environment where authors can be encouraged as they interact with me and get their review.  That overall goal turned into obtainable goals like posting at least two reviews a week and building up my following. Those are the things that attract publishers and authors.

After a year and a half of blogging, I consider those goals achieved. I am contacted a few times a week by author and publishers alike. They contact me because I have good content and some even like my Alexa rating. More than that I have a great following and I have made some blogger/reader friends. I am very happy with what I have achieved.  So now I will give some tips of how I got to where I am today.

Envision What You Want – 

I had very specific goals in what I wanted to acheive with my book blog. I had my overall vision helping authors and broke that down into obtainable goals.

This doesn’t have to be your vision. Maybe you are just looking to interact with the blogging community make some friends. Go with what you want because that’s the first step towards success if you are doing what you want to do you more than likely will keep doing it!

Create Content Consistently – 

Make a plan of what is a realistic posting schedule for you i.e. once a month, once a week, more than that.

I suggest plan out a posting schedule. Keep a calendar.  I keep a google calendar with all my reviews, memes, and discussion posts. It’s a great visual to see what you are posting and what’s to come. It makes scheduling reviews for authors and publishers much easier.

This was very important for me to do in light of my goals because publishers look at the consistency of your postings. How much you post, and what you are posting. If you are posting mostly memes and very few reviews they are not as likely to work with you. Publishers generally like to see at least two reviews a week.

If that isn’t your goal and  you just want to post memes and few reviews at your whim. Do it have fun and make friends. This community has some quality people that you will be blessed to know.  If Your goals are different and there is nothing wrong with that. So it always goes back to knowing what your goals are.

Interact in the Community – 

Your best audience comes from other book bloggers. I like to think that we book bloggers are in this together so we help each other out.

Here are my suggestions for Interacting –

  • Follow as many blogs as possible that have to do with your blog. With book blogs, this is easy there are so many of them. I recommend Bloglovin. I am following hundreds of blogs and I just need to go through the feeds and pick and choose which posts I want to interact with. When I first started I was doing this daily. My numbers (visitors, comments, followers on social media) all reflected highly to my level of interaction on other people’s blogs.
  • Do Giveaway Hops this brings the community to you giving you more exposure. People see your blog they see you. I bet they will like what they find and may stick around after the hop is over. It’s what happened for me.
  • Get involved in memes and make sure to go to other people’s blog who do that meme.
  • Get involved in activities such as readathons, twitter chats, blog swaps. I did this when I first started blogging and it really helped me to get to know others in the community. I found that this doesn’t work for me now. I occasionally do a readathon or a swap but not as much as I did.

Build and Maintain your following – 

  • Interacting will build your following of readers and bloggers. Having consistent (quality) content will build your following of authors and publisher.
  • Watch your numbers. See how many visitors you get daily Be mindful of your activity level of interacting it will reflect in your numbers.*
  • If your numbers go down which they will. They will wax and wane its natural. Increase your interactions on other blogs. Giveaway hops are great number boosters.
  • Be sure to be building a Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads following along with your daily blog count. I will post next week more on how I built my social media numbers.

*I would like to note that sometimes low numbers are out of our control. I know summertime and holiday time I get low numbers. I think people are busier and I know I am less consistent around those times as well. My numbers reflect that!

That’s the basics of how I built my book blog.

Do you have any more suggestions of things that have worked for your blog?

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • ShootingStarsMag September 1, 2016, 10:04 pm

    These are really good tips. It’s definitely a good idea to know what you want to get out of your blog so you aren’t wasting time worrying about the number of posts if you don’t want publisher interest. Make it what you want! I’ve been doing this for 9 years, and you’ll learn a lot as you go along. I’m still learning, so don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out. Do what you love, make connections, have fun.

    -lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth EulbergMy Profile

    • Jessica September 2, 2016, 4:16 pm

      Great advice! Thanks for chiming in. I was a little nervous posting this because I know there are blogs out there with a lot more experience than me. I concluded that I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished and want to share with others.

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