Friday, June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA 2012: The Future of Book Blogging

Today we were asked to give some tips on book blogging. You can find links to other peoples’ posts here.

Safety First
I have seen a lot of blogs this week written by young girls. This is great, ladies, but you might want to be a little careful about how much personal information you splash on to the Internet. I hate to say it, but not everyone looking at your site is interested in your opinions on your latest read, so be wary and try to keep your personal information as secret as you can.

Important Tools

Once you have your blog up and running, you need to stay organized and connect with the community. Here are the tools that I find most useful.

1. Goodreads
Some people use Goodreads as their blog by publishing reviews, making friends etc. However, I find it invaluable for organizing my reading and reviewing. It is basically an online book-cataloguing tool. When you start an account you have 3 ‘exclusive’ shelves: books can appear on only one exclusive shelf at a time. The default shelves are ‘read’, ‘currently-reading’ and ‘to-read’. This allows you to keep track of what you have or have not read and you can add other shelves to place books in genres, years published, color of cover or anything else you like. Goodreads also provides good widgets that you can place on your blog so that you can show what you are currently reading, for example, without having to upload the images to your blog yourself.

2. A Feed Reader
If you want to follow more than a handful of blogs you will need a feed reading program to collect all those nice RSS feeds together in one place. I use NetNewsWire, because I work on a Mac and so my options are restricted a little. This is a free app, as are many of the others, and it provides a simple way to keep track of what all your favorite bloggers are posting. You can sort them in to groups if you want to and it saves the time that would be wasted by checking each site individually every day. 

Note: make sure that people have an easy way to add your RSS Feed to their own feed readers.
3. Twitter
Even if you do not feel the need to post regularly on Twitter, it is a great way to increase your connection to the community. The people that you follow will no doubt re-Tweet posts that they like and so you will be introduced to others in the book blogging community. This is how I found out about my first Read Along, so I am very grateful that I signed up! Twitter also has a selection of widgets so that people can follow you easily and you can tie your account to your Facebook account or page so that it will automatically post there for you.

Remember: It Is All About The Content

When I visit a blog I want to read what the writer thinks about the topic that they are discussing. If they have interesting things to say and an engaging way to express themselves I am much more likely to follow the blog and read more of their work. To keep people coming back to your blog you need to give them something interesting to read and provoke them into thinking. If you do not have that content then you will find it very hard to retain followers over a prolonged period.


  1. I agree with all of those statements.. & the Google Reader is the best place for the blogs I am following. Very easy to navigate. I absolutely LOVE Goodreads, and I could get lost in there if I let myself.

    The Armchair BEA has introduced me to many new blogs, especially those who are of the YA nature, and I am pleased to see that many of them were careful with the personal information, at first glance. Very well done blogs that I am now following. I really enjoyed this event, and I am looking forward to next years'.
    my Post for today!

  2. Hi, definitely agree with using the tools you've shown.  Twitter and Goodreads can be helpful (I probably don't use Goodreads to its full potential, I mostly just post reviews there when I remember to.)

  3. I find Goodreads so useful for keeping me organized: I move books through various exclusive shelves so that I can keep track of what I am reading or reviewing next. It turns the chaos of my book mounds into some sort of order! :)

  4. The number of young bloggers is truly amazing, I was just a little concerned by how many had a lot of personal data that was easy to see. I wish that it didn't make me uneasy, but the internet has some really nasty sides to it, unfortunately. :(


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