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1.20.2011

Book Blogging 101 - Part II - The Book Blogging Part

Today for BB101 this will be a two parter. This is the second part, actually about books and book related things.

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.



Question #1:

What do you do to network your blog? -- Anonymous

A: To be perfectly honest, I really don't actively network my blog. I actually stopped at 1,000 followers. I got a little overwhelmed when I hit that number and felt rather pressured to actually be intelligent and write intelligent things, so I stopped actively pushing my blog on other people. But, to help you out, I'll let you know what I did when I was networking.

  1. I scoured the web and found other blogs like mine and said 'Hi!'
  2. I joined http://bookblogs.ning.com/ and I actively participated in the forum, joined groups and signed up for blog tours
  3. I jumped on twitter and started following people and tweeting out my posts, having conversations, used hash tags
  4. I joined Facebook and Networked Blogs on Facebook and found others with similar interest
  5. I joined goodreads.com, made friends, commented on reviews, joined groups
  6. I found other blogs like mine and followed them
  7. I participated in blog hops and memes, left my link and followed others that participated
  8. Most importantly I made sure my content was something people would want to read by:
    1. Proof-reading my reviews and making sure they were as error free as I could get them
    2. I participated in memes that were pertinent to what my audience wanted to read, tried not to post, just to post
    3. I started columns that I thought would be helpful, came up with original ideas and didn't try to mimic or 'be like' anyone else
    4. I tried to do 'interactive' posts that got my readers participating. I asked questions, or stimulated with posts that got people thinking and commenting
    5. I hosted contests of books that I liked and thought others would like to read also
Mainly...I didn't just sit back and wait for others to find me. Some do, they will come, but I made sure that people knew I was there.


Question #2:

I heard ALA was in New Orleans this summer. Can I stay at your house? - Jerry


A: Well, Jerry. I really don't think that would go over well with the hubs, but maybe the New Orleans blogger chicks might be able to recommend hotels. We might just put a post out on the topic. Stay tuned.

Question #3:

I actually saw a blog that had a meme like the one I created almost same title but they changed a word around, they even do it on the same day as me. Same thing as mine and this person is a follower of my blog so it's not like they didn't know. I want to write a post and claim that I did it first, would this be petty? - Anonymous


A: I think, if I were you, I might hold off on doing a post claiming first rights, because really chances are, you might not have done it first. There might be another blog out there that you don't even know about that has a similar meme and doing a post might leave you open to have a bit of egg on your face if someone comes back with a retaliation. There are so many similar memes out there, to claim ownership of one is a bit iffy. The only time I would put up a fight is if they have used a graphic of yours or if they are 'copying' your content.

Your followers will know who came up with it first. If the other blog is using similar ideas, think of it as flattery. They obviously saw that your idea was so freakin' awesome that they had to use it themselves, but they weren't creative enough to even think of a better name, so they just had to change one word. Total flattery. It's like when you wear something really hot to work or school and in a week or two you notice that others are wearing similar outfits. You started a trend... go you, you trend setter.

I really see it all over the bloggyverse. It might cause some hurt feelings, when one blog copies off another. Some of them can't even use a different day, or name..., I would just recommend that if it is not an exact copy, don't worry about it. But, if you do see that they are directly copying you, try writing an email first. Think of it as a friendly, cease and desist sort of thing.

Not directly copying? Wish them well, but use it as an affirmation to yourself. Try to make the content of your meme great, thereby inspiring friendly competition. Let's take children's cartoons as an example.

There has been a channel called Nick Jr for awhile. First it was called Noggin and then for branding purposes they renamed to Nick Jr. It is a channel without interruption that caters to toddlers. Pretty ingenious really and I have to give it to Nickelodeon for coming up with it. There was a big article written that young children are susceptible to advertisements because they don't know how to distinguish fact from fiction so TV in general was banned from small children. Nick swooped down as the savior and came up with this channel.

Well, now there is a Disney Jr. that will be launched in February. Really Disney? You couldn't come out with a better name?? How will they compete? Nick doesn't have the rights to Jr. If so, Burger King would have swooped down a long time ago. But, they can make great shows, offer fun inside stuff for the kids etc. And, really they are already a head of the game... I see a lot more Dora & Diego stuff out there than Handy Manny and Imagination Movers. See...it really is all about the content.

Make a political statement, stop following the person and maybe just forget about. In the book blogging world there are tons of variations of Teaser Tuesdays and Waiting on Wednesdays... and even think about blog titles... how many blogs do they have out there with similar names, styles, designs? I personally have had my design copied, not directly copied, but it was so similar that people told me about it.  What did I do...redesign and made it better. Or at least I hope it is better. Good luck.

Question #4:

How does one create a logo?  I really like how everyone has an avator or a cartoon logo. - Book Snob Wannabe

A: You make one yourself with design software or you hire someone to do it for you. There are a lot of fun software programs that let you mix and match clip art and text to come up with just the right thing, but if you don't think you can handle such an endeavor there are a lot of great designers out there that have affordable prices that can come up with some neat work. There are even some amateur designers that might do it for you in exchange for a good book ;)

Question #5:

I've become friends with a blogger, through twitter, but her blog is really bad. She doesn't spell check her reviews and they are not coherent. She's been asking me why I don't stop by her blog  and comment and why I don't have her button on my sidebar, but I really don't want to associate my blog with hers because it really is bad. I feel like I just need to do it so she won't bother me anymore, but when I think about it, I would never ask other blogger friends why my button isn't up on their blogs. I think it is rather pushy.  - Anonymous

A: I feel like Ann Landers or something with that question. Is that her name? From my POV I would never ask a friend of mine why they didn't have my button up. You don't want to have my button up, that is fine, friendship doesn't = free advertising. I've had to sever ties in the blogger world, either from people acting in ways that I didn't want to associate with, or because I felt like they kept on expecting something out of me that I didn't feel comfortable delivering. If this person is someone you truly consider a friend, make the effort and comment on their blog and put up their button, but if they are just a casual associate maybe let them know that you don't appreciate being constantly asked about it. That you have a lot of things on your plate --- and a guilt trip wasn't part of your itinerary for this week. Just maybe say it nicely if you want them to continue to like you.








Ask your BB101 Questions here...

16 comments:

Lily Child said...

Great advice Rach!

Btw...I still owe you for that background change you did on my blog. If there's a book you might be interested in, lemme know and I'll send it your way via amazon.com or the book depository! :)

Man of la Books said...

Some more great advice.

I also participate in #blogchat - a weekly chat of bloggers on Twitter (Sunday @ 21:00 EST). I get a lot of really great and useful information about blogging in general.

I also printed up some business cards (from Vistaprint) which I leave in coffee shops, book stores, delis and just have on me to give to people I meet.

I did make sure that the business cards look like my blog. I created my own logo (took a few tries and a lot of thought) but now I use it on my Twitter account, my blog business cards and my avatars.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

ParaJunkee said...

@Man - that is a great idea. I know Alyssa of Teens Read & Write said that they drop book marks into books at libraries and book stores. I've had some printed up and I leave them with authors that I meet at signings and insert them into books that I pass on.

Missie said...

I definitely have to agree with PJ's answer to number 3.

It is quite difficult to think of something new that isn't already out there in some form or fashion. Getting into a screaming match over it isn't going to help.

Also, many times people don't see it as Copying. Not that it isn't wrong if they did it intentionally, but most times they do it because they were inspired by you or your blog.

Book bloggers always inspire and generate ideas for me. When this occurs, I usually contact the blogger through e-mail and say, hey, you inspired this idea, mind if I run with it?

And I always get very positive feedback.

Another helpful BB101, PJ

Dana Alma said...

Hey Gurl,
Great 101 once again, there is alway something to learn. See ya,
Dana
Readaholics Anonymous

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

On #3: I don't know who asked the question, but if I were to make a guess . . . No names, of course, but a blogger I follow had a semi-popular meme that totally disappeared at around the time a similar meme on another blog started taking off. And by "taking off" I mean the other girl was drawing about five times the number of participants the first girl had.

The first blogger is kind of a friend of mine, and I have a meme of my own, so I feel doubly bad that she had her thunder stolen from her.

But I can't deny that the other blogger market the meme so much better than she ever did. And I don't think any of the other blogger's regular participants would have been hooked by my friend's presentation of the same meme. That was one case in which it wasn't about who did it first but about who did it better.

Moonlight Gleam said...

Thank you for the great post Rach!!! :D

I really enjoy reading your blogging 101 tips. Although I have only been blogging for nearly 2 months, I have learned a lot through your blog posts and I thank you for that. You always have interesting posts with quality. :)

Tina said...

The meme thing is so tricky. Ive thought of things to do..only to find 20 other bloggers doing it. When I started my Saturday Spotlight for authors and thought wow this great nobody has this title I even googled it to make sure...three weeks later I found 8...EIGHT other bloggers who do almost the same thing with various themes. So sometimes its not intentional, theres only so many memes/features that can be original.

Missie said...

"That was one case in which it wasn't about who did it first but about who did it better."

I have to agree with that.

PJ's Follow Friday wasn't a new concept. How many different versions of a hop are out there? And everyone knows how popular the Blogger Hop is, and both run on the same day.

But PJ features a new blog each week, puts the spotlight on them. That was a unique element that set her meme apart.

And yes, Tina. I totally get what you mean. Sometimes it is not intentional, despite your best efforts.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

My 2 cents (if it is worth that... ) is to know why you are blogging. Is it a business? Is it for fun? Something else? I do it for stress relief and fun. I love reading new books and meeting bloggers and authors. It might help keep the meme thing in perspective. If it is just for fun, then who cares? Keep having fun. In 1000 years no one will remember who started what meme unless it is Missie (above) who makes you admit you like a certain cat. ;)

Btw, love this meme with the great answers... oh... and can I stay at your house? ;)

MMJenF said...

I feel the Imagination Movers is truly one of the best shows on TV for kiddos these days. I'm taking my niece to their show this Feb 26 and 27th. 2011 Tour kicks off Feb 4th,.. www.ImaginationMovers.com/events
They have a street team this year for those that would like to support the guys; you could earn tickets to their shows and other great Mover gear for your kiddos. www.FanManager.com/teams/ImaginationMovers

M Pax said...

Great info. Thanks for imparting your bloggy wisdom. :)

Tina said...

@Missie- Totally agree, the hops are everywhere and I think PJ does a great job with it...but shes also a pretty great blogger who helped my HTML cluless butt countless times. And how do you get people to like cats???

@PJ- Like Melissa said can I stay at your house too with her and Jerry...LOL that question was priceless

ParaJunkee said...

@Missie - It really is hard to think of something new. Even this post, I think the Story Siren does something similar or used to anyway. This one sort of morphed into the question asking, because it started o@ut as just a relay of information for the the Big Sis Little Blog program. You see you never know how things will turn out.

I've had memes that crashed and burned and I've had some that have taken off…always someone usually inspires them. It might not even be a book blogger, it might be a social networking blogger or a mommy blog or a design blog…who knows. That is very good advice to contact the owner of the meme. Very on the up and up.

@Dana Alma - Thanks!

@Enbrethiliel - I really don't know who posted the question, but I've seen it a lot. It is a terrible shame that they out-shined your friend, but it is the nature of the beast. I'm sure the person that did it better didn't intentionally mean for your friend to stop. When something like that happens, collaborations can happen, which are always fun. I've seen hops and memes hosted by like three or four hosts. Join up cross promote - everyone wins. I love that BTW: it wasn't about who did it first but about who did it better.

@Moonlight: Thank you!

@Tina: I totally hear ya. That spotlight on is a kicker. There are only so many words in the English language. I run into it all the time in my job. How many ways can you convey BEAUTIFUL SMILE. At some point you are going to copy someones headline or bullet points or something.

@Missie: Thank you, that was a really nice compliment. The hop is something that irks me. I didn't know we had another hop. But only because I wasn't paying attention. Global Consciousness right? The mommy blogs have like a gazillion though and people do like 10 on friday and 50 on Tuesday, it is crazy.

@Melissa: That is great advice. Have fun! I'm pretty sure in 1000 years people will still be reading my BB101 tips LMAO! And sure, come on over. I think I'm going to have a party! bring it on.

@MMJenF - and that is what we call spam.

@M Pax - Just call me the Bloggy Master.

@Tina - PARTY TIME! Yeah how do you force kitty love???

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

LOL!

@Tina and PJ You'll just have to check out Missie's new book boyfriend meme. Heh... mine was... uh... different. ;)

So, what would you like me to bring for the par-tay? :D

Tina said...

ROFL- MMJEN and her spam....

@ Melissa -The book boyfriend meme is awesome...I will use Robert Pattinson as Edward for mine...oh wait thats already been used....:D

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