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Book Blogging 101 - Setting Up a Challenge

This is where I pretend that I know what I'm talking about.

Spawned from the Big Sis, Little Blog program, Book Blogging 101 was born. Do you have a question? Leave it in the google docs form and I'll try and answer them in the order they are received.

Q: How do I set up my own challenge? I have this wicked cool idea and I think it would make a great 2011 challenge.

A. Wicked Cool ;), can't wait to see the idea. I actually saved this post for around this time when all the challenges are coming out. I actually just posted my challenges this I guess this is officially Challenge Season

Step 1: Sounds like you already have it, but if not, get the idea. Key here is to try and be original, you don't want to saturate the reading world with the same challenge over and over again. So an original idea is a great start. Challenges can range from any group of books any way you want to group them, from genre based (Contemporary Romance Challenge) to sub-genre based (Highlander Historical Romance Challenge) to release dates (2011 Releases Challenge). Anything you can think of people will want to read it!

Step 2: Not required, but it does help, get a graphic for a GRAB BUTTON. Bloggers love to show-off their challenges with fancy snazzy graphics. These also advertise your challenges to the readers of their blog.

Step 3: Make up some rules. The rules are up to you. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
  1. Do you want it to be a tiered challenge? Meaning, Read 20 books you are the SUPER READER. Read 10 you are the MEDIOCRE READER. Read 5 you barely passed, etc.
  2. How many books do you want them to read to pass the challenge.
  3. How do they participate, link up their reviews, comment in your post?
  4. How will you promote these challenges?
  5. Will you give book suggestions?
  6. Will you offer rewards to people that passed the challenge?
  7. What are the guidelines for the challenge? If your challenge is a Motorcycle Mayhem challenge where there has to be a motorcycle on the cover... can it be anywhere on the cover? Does it have to be only fiction, or can it be nonfiction? Can it be a magazine?
Step 4: Write these rules down in a post and put it on your blog. You can use this rule post as your sign-up area. Either have them sign-up in your comments or offer them a Mr. Linky area for them to add their links.

Step 5: Publish your post and promote it.

So why should you host a challenge on your blog?

  1. It is fun. You can get your readers active on your blog and coming back and you get to interact and read along with them
  2. Your blog will be promoted on everyone who participates blog's, so this is a good way to get the word out
  3. It gives you a set reading list for the coming year for those of you who like to get organized
What ways can I promote my challenge?
Much like you promote a contest or giveaway
  1. Goodreads events area
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Tell your friends about it 
  5. When you find a book that fits the challenge post about it
  6. Put the challenge graphic on every review that fits the challenge
  7. Promotion area on the bookblogs.ning site
  8. Email authors or publishers that have books in your guidelines and tell them about your challenge, maybe they will donate a book to get people motivated to participate
    How can you participate in a challenge?
    1. Find a blog that is hosting a challenge, or a web page, or publisher
    2. Follow the rules listed on that site
    3. Sign-up
    4. Read, read, read

    Now readers, this is your chance. Are you hosting a challenge? We want to know about it, so we can see who YOU did it and maybe even sign-up and participate.

    Ask your BB101 Questions here...


    Midnyte Reader said...

    I just put up my very first challenge *right* before I found this post. I'll definitely use some of these tips though. I had always wanted to read some books on my tbr list that I had "not gotten to yet". I thought what better way to achieve this goal than to put it on my blog. Thank you for the tips.

    Anonymous said...

    Oooooh you are too great :-)

    Athenna and were talking about doing a reading challenge 2 days ago but didn't get anywhere with it because we've never done one before and had no idea where to start. Thanks!

    Stephanie G
    Paranormal Haven

    Kate said...

    Thank you so much for your helpful post! I just put up my very first reading challenge!

    Missie said...

    haha PJ!

    I totally stalked your blog while trying to create my challenge.

    Great post! Very helpful.

    ParaJunkee said...

    Shhh...I totally stalked The Book Vixens when I did mine! ;)

    Anonymous said...

    This is so helpful. Now if I can just figure out how to get those cool sidebar buttons The Book Vixen has with the updating counts...

    The Book Vixen said...

    Great post PJ! This is my first time creating and hosting reading challenges and I have to admit, it's fun :)

    I think has a great topic idea for a Blogging 101 feature :)

    The Book Vixen said...

    I forgot to mention something! When I was coming up with ideas for a reading challenge, I wanted to make sure that someone else hadn't already thought of the same idea. So I checked out this site. It's also a good place to spread the word about the reading challenge(s) you're hosting.

    Danny said...

    Thanks for this post! We just created our own Challenge and your post was very helpful! And it's great to have a the links all together, I was looking for some fun challenges for next year! Thanks!!

    Hannah Mariska said...

    ooh! Good post! I will have to bookmark this for later!

    Anonymous said...

    I'm wondering where did you create your button? It's really nice.

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