I've only been blogging and reviewing for a year now, but I thought I should share with everyone what I've learned in that year, in case anyone out there needs help or is new to the blogging community and is unsure where to start. I didn't get much help when I first started doing this so I want to make sure I can help others as much as possible. Here is a list of tips and websites I use to run my blog. If you know of any tips or websites that I didn't list below, please leave a comment! I'm still relatively new to the blogging community and most of this is common sense, but you can never have too much help! (:
I found this website to be VERY helpful in getting more followers. It's free to create an account and you just mingle with other bloggers/authors and usually do a follow for a follow.
*Twitter & Facebook
Everyone knows about these two, but I know I was hesitant to create a Twitter account at first. I wasn't used to "tweeting" and wasn't sure exactly what to say/ do. I'm sooo glad I finally gave in and created an account! It's a great way to spread the word around about your upcoming reviews, giveaways, interviews, etc. You get more followers, come across other bloggers giveaways, and I've had a good bit of authors get in touch with me through Twitter rather than my blog. They both help get your blog out there and gives you chance to come across other bloggers.
I LOVE Goodreads!! It free to create an account and I can't even begin to tell you how much it has helped me stay organized. Goodreads let's you create shelves for your books. You can have multiple shelves for books you want to read, what you have already read, and what you are currently reading. You also get to rate & review the books. There's a code listed to the right side when you write a review so all you have to do is copy and paste that code onto your blog and boom! Your review is there (:
This is the website I use to host my giveaways. It's free and so simple. You create your giveaway, copy and paste the code on your blog and then people can enter your giveaway. It shows you how many people have entered, how long the giveaway lasts, and the different options you can do to enter it. Free & simple, doesn't get much better, right?
Shelfari is similar to Goodreads and to http://www.librarything.com
All three of these sites let you organize, rate, and review your books. They also have widgets that you can put on your blog to show others what books are on your shelves. For example: I have my Shelfari " to read" shelf in my TBR List tab. I also have my Goodreads "have read" shelf to the left side of my blog.
This one is pretty self explanatory. This site creates a widget for a countdown until your blog's anniversary.
This is similar to Photobucket, but in my opinion, waayyy better! Just upload your photo and have some fun decorating and editing it.
*Blog Button code
I was stressing out soooo bad about having to make a blog button and I suck at codes.. completely. Just as I was about to give up and just pay to have one made I came across this blog article. It was so simple and actually worked for me! http://www.pinkonthecheek.com/2012/09/how-to-make-blog-button.html
Here is a huge list of bloggers! You can look up a genre and find all the blogs (that they have in their system) in one place! This is a great tool for bloggers looking for other bloggers in the same genre to follow and become friends with.
Sounds simple, but trust me, it's very time consuming. If you want more followers you are going to have to follow other blogs. If you want comments on your articles then you have to comment on other's articles. Don't be shy about commenting on other blogs, most of us love feedback and will return the favor! It's a great way to make new friends and get your blog's name out there.
~Enter & Host Giveaways~
You get a chance to mingle with other from the blogging community and a chance to win free books! Hosting a giveaway is a good way to get traffic through your blog and gain more followers.
~Tweet a lot & Follow back~
~Don't get overloaded~
It's VERY easy to get over worked! I've found it best to keep a schedule for your blog. Write down what events you have coming up, pencil in time to network, give yourself some reading time, and if you do book memes, leave an opening for those as well. Don't assume you can fit everything in at once. Also, before agreeing to review a book, make sure you aren't already booked up for that week or month. I know it's hard to say No to an opportunity to review a book, but sometimes you have to.
~Join Blog Tours, Blog Hops, and become a Tour Blogger~
~Ask other bloggers for help~
Don't be afraid to ask for help! The blogging community is pretty friendly and most of us love helping each other out (: Whether it be with a question, swapping blog buttons, or interviewing each other.
~Make your deadlines~
Simple, but not always easy. Life sometimes get hectic and you may forget that you have a review due in a few days and you haven't even started reading the book yet! :o Calm down. Just email the author and let them know that you will need a little extra time.
If someone is nice enough to comment on one of your posts, then you should return the favor. This is a great way to build a friendship with one another and gain more followers.