I came up with Bound2Books in 2013 whilst living in Sydney, Australia. I had wanted to write about books for such a long time, but I always felt like I couldn’t do it. Somehow, I managed to ignore my imposter syndrome and started a blog with WordPress. In the beginning I didn’t know exactly what I wanted or hoped from my blog and honestly, there are days where I still feel like that now. There were struggles and slumps in my blog, where I didn’t believe in myself or felt like I was getting nowhere, and there were moments of success that felt so uplifting. I have been thinking a lot about my blog and reflecting on where I want it to go and it also made me think about how I can help new and upcoming bloggers. I love the idea of giving back to fellow book bloggers, so this post is for all my new and old book bloggers: let’s talk about our journeys and lets help each other along the way.
So here are 5 blog tips to celebrate 5 years of Bound2Books:
Write about what you love
This first tip might seem obvious, but I am putting it first for everyone to see because I feel like we can forget this along the way. Review books and write about books and genres that you love to read. If you are not writing about what you’re passionate about, it isn’t going to last. Trust me. I have been blogging for five years and my blog is a labor of love. I would not be still here if I didn’t love what I write and read.
When I first started book blogging I thought I had to talk about books that everyone was reading. I thought if I wasn’t a Harry Potter fan, I would just have to fake it till I made it. Yet, the opposite is true. Find what you love and stick to it. You are going to feel happier and you are going to find like-minded people who will want to follow and read your work.
Find your angle
Not to sound too pessimistic, but there are a lot of people blogging… about everything. There are hundreds of thousands of book blogs and it can feel overwhelming. The question that is often in the forefront of every blogger’s mind is, ‘How do I get people to read my work?’ and the answer I would give to this question is:
‘Find your angle, what makes you unique, and run with it.’
When I review books, I want to find something interesting about the book that perhaps hasn’t been explored before. I want to find new ways of thinking about reviews that go beyond a basic synopsis. In a recent review of the novel Dracul I asked the question what could we learn from Dracula? In a review of Happy Never After I got personal about life and how books sometimes help us own our emotions. And I take classics like The Virgin Suicides and ask how they fit into today’s world. So it doesn’t matter the genre, what matters is that you find what will help you stand out from the rest and go with it.
Share your work, EVERYWHERE
This was one of the hardest things I had to do in regards to my blog. Sharing my work on social media for all my friends and family to see was tough. I was TERRIFIED. I look back now and don’t really know what I was so afraid of, but I found it so hard to share my work and even tell people I had started a blog. For anyone who is starting a blog, my advice is to be proud of what you do and share on the social media channels that work best for your blog type. Be genuine—paying for followers is not going to get you anywhere in the long run. People should fall in love with the content you create, not the money you offer them.
Schedule your work
The highs and lows of blogging are real. There were some moments in blogging where I felt like giving up. In fact, I would say that at least once every year I think about calling it quits. Blogging is hard work (see my tip about why you should write about what you love). A way to get around those highs and lows is to have an organised plan and upload schedule. It depends how much content you want to create, but for each month try to plan out the posts you want to upload. Figure out if there is a pattern you want to follow and make sure you have a good variety of posts that reflect your style.
At Bound2Books, I have just started a new upload schedule where I try to post every Wednesday and Saturday. Our Internet provider has tried to play me this past week, so my schedule has been a bit crazy. However, even if you have internet hiccups or personal things that get in the way of your blogging, you will have a list of content and a schedule that will help you stay focused. I have a planner that I schedule and plan my posts and a notebook where I write all my blog post ideas. I enjoy paper and pen, but you can even do this on your laptop. Just find what works for you.
A word of caution: scheduled posts in theory sound amazing, but I have been burnt too many times to do them anymore. I write and have drafts, but I upload manually every time.
Don’t be discouraged when success doesn’t come straight away
Firstly, this doll is a bit creepy and I applogise for it. But in all seriousness, the idea that your blog will skyrocket into an amazing business that you can use to fund your home and life is something that rarely happens overnight. A lot of people who are successful with blogging have come from humble beginning. So remember that starting small and taking any step is still a step.
If you want to think of your blog as a business and look at money earning possibilities make sure that you do what feels right for you. Take sponsorships that make sense with your style and what you love. Don’t review or accept books that are completely not your thing. Whether your blog is a hobby and you don’t mind if you never earn anything from it or not, your audience will build up a trust in what you write and say. So make sure you are being true to yourself.
Also, don’t do anything illegal.
These are my five tips for book blogging success. What advice would you give to book bloggers or bloggers in general? Have you struggled with any of keeping true to these tips? How do you stay motivated to blog? Leave a comment below with your favourite blogging tip. As always, share the reading love.