22 April 2010

Yackety-yak: Words of experience

In my heart, I am still a baby blogger; new, young, bright eyed and bushy tailed.
So it always blows me away and fills me with joy when bloggers look-up to me or seek my advice.
Today I added an advice section to my review policy...
  • Find your own voice. (This brilliance comes from the ultra wise and experienced Story Siren. Make sure to click on the link.)
  • Just keep doing what you love and it will show. (This second bit of brilliance also comes from The Story Siren. She advised me of this when I was first starting out and I have never forgotten it. In fact, it has become my mantra.)
  • Do not be afraid to try new things. Your blog does not have to be like everyone else's. In fact, I prefer blogs that blaze their own trails.
  • Be kind to authors. These books (for better or for worse) are their babies and they each carry the author's blood, sweat, and tears.
  • Be considerate. We are all here because we share a common love for books. We are a dying breed. Spread some love to your fellow book lovers.
  • Give credit where credit is due. If you repost something you found on another blog, link back.
What advice would you give a new blogger or book blogger?


  1. That is all great advice Juju.

    I would add network network network.

    I see many asking how to get followers. For me it is not how to get followers but how to get followers that will comment.

    It is important to have a personal goal. My goal is to find as many other bloggers with similar taste so I can add more books to my TBR list :-)

  2. I like this advice. After a year of trial and error in blogging I think I'm finding out what I like to do and hat I like to read. I think kindness and courtesy are the most important things to remember in social networking.

  3. Fantastic post. When I first considered starting a blog I looked all over the place for information and didn't really find anything. I decided to do it anyway because its something that I wanted. I wanted to share my love for books and find other like minded people to get suggestions from. I am always looking for new authors to explore and blogging has given me that. Unfortunately, I don't really have any advice for new bloggers as I am still new myself.

    Once again, I have to thank you for being so supportive as I find my voice.

  4. I think I've been mean to some of the authors which i dont really like their book.i'dont mean to be mean but maybe i was a bit harsh.reading yours, really make me realize a bit. but i dont know if i keep that in mind whenever i wrote a review of least likable book. i'm just being me.however, i take your kind advice.thanks juju!

  5. Darlyn: I don't think you're mean at all :) Personally, I try to always be honest yet nice. It's a hard line to walk.

    Teresa: I feel ya. I had no clue what I was doing when I took the plunge. I just jumped in to the huge blog pool and figured I'd be nice and keeping treading 'till I figured out how to swim. I think it takes us all a bit of time to figure out our look and voice.

    Kaye: Amen Kaye! My one year blog birthday/anniversary is coming up in June and I feel like it's taken me a year to really bloom.

    Marce: Excellent advice! So very true! What avenues are you taking to network?

  6. Great post! I would add "NO FEAR". If there is one thing I have learned from the amazing bloggers I have met it is to not be afraid to ask. Talk to publishers, love an author-send them an email, don't be afraid to get out there. It is scary to put yourself out there but the only thing holding you back is you.

  7. Give credit where credit is due... You mean like - Kohl's, Barnes and Noble, Boarder's, etc? I always give my credit!

  8. Great advice, Juju! I'm glad you're doing it - I don't think the blogosphere can get enough of gracious instructions and wisdom. Thanks!

  9. istJUSTmeWendy: *giggle* took me a minute to catch that ;) You're the sweetest Wendy! You definitely do all of these ;)

    Celi.a: Ahhh thanks :)

    Novel Reaction: SO true! *high five* That is an excellent excellent point.

  10. Great advice! I too would add NO FEAR. As well as Don't expect to be "popular" overnight. Hard work and LOTS of elbow grease!

  11. all so true and I think joining a group book review has helped me find new friends online and its also good to take time and have a plan/vision for the blog. Also its good to take time away and recharge because we'll still be here.

  12. Great advice! Ditto to Marce's suggestion. Commenting on blogs and befriending other bloggers is a big part of that.

  13. Excellent advice! I am a new blogger myself but when I realized how much I was loving doing it I jumped in head first!

  14. great advice juju!! i love number two and i'm going to make that my blogging mantra too :)

    (and thank you so much for always commenting and showing some love to my blog! you're awesome :D)

  15. I have a few bits of advice I'd like to add, if that's okay?

    1. Provide a link to the book (on the site of your choice) somewhere in your review or in the meme. Whether you choose Amazon, Barnes and Noble or even Goodreads, please provide a "more information" link so that I can add the book to my shelf or purchase it. This helps a lot, and some bloggers neglect this point.

    2. Use spell check. I'm a snob, and I freely admit that I'm a snob. I *will* stop reading your blog if it is full of spelling errors. In a group setting, I will stop reading your group posts if you cannot use punctuation and spelling like a normal human being (typos are a different thing than carelessness).

    3. Don't spoil books. I've run into a few bloggers who consistently spoil storylines so that at best I can use their blog as a discussion center for blogs I've already read.

    One thing that I really hate, but which is difficult to put in the form of advice, per se, is when someone spends two or three hundred words talking only about why they picked the book up, and then only spend forty or fifty words talking about the book itself. If I like you, I might read your blog to figure out your reading habits. However, I don't feel that a book review is the place to do this, and I believe that it is disingenuous to the author, whether your review is positive or negative. I read one of these lately that actually put me off the book, even though the blogger had given it four stars!

  16. One piece of advice that goes with "be considerate," and that you actually do better than the majority of bloggers, is keeping in touch with the book blogging community. You always visit other blogs and comment, instead of lurking! That's so impressive to me. Also, for the "give credit" advice, I think it's weird when people use someone's meme and then don't link to it. Same name, same day, same type of post...but no link to the person who started it. Am I the only one who finds this strange?

  17. Thanks for those tips, Juju! I agree with all you say. Esp with the bit about find your own voice. I can't reiterate that enough. It is so important that your blog becomes your personality, and not a mishmash of other blogs. Keep up the good work!!

  18. Kris: So true on keeping in touch. Thank you for the lovely compliment. I agree on the meme thing. I have seen that and I find it strange too.

    Becki: Excellent points! Especially #3. Spoilers suck! I do my best to avoid spoilers at all cost.

    Chelley: Ahhh! Thank you doll. You're so sweet you make it easy.

    Lindsey: Whoot! For divers ;)

    Julie: Great point :)

    Jamie: Amen on elbow grease!

  19. great list! I think I'd say "don't let the little stuff get you down". I know there can be some drama that comes with blogging...but for every one negative person, there are 50 awesome, supportive bloggers!

  20. My advice follows your line about being a blogger who blazes their own trails. Ultimately, the blog is your spot to post what you want to, so be honest with yourself.

  21. I like originality in the blogs that I regularly read. I don't mean that I refuse to have a large number of blogs who focus on one genre, but rather I prefer that bloggers branch out a bit. I like seeing and reading about things I wouldn't have picked up or known about, and I love having new and interesting books brought to my attention!

    Along with that, I like bloggers with an original style. If I want a plot summary, I can go to a book website and find it out. I want YOUR opinions and thoughts, but what everyone else is saying.

    So yeah. Originality is important!

  22. Allie: Amen! I love blogs that venture out.

    Jessica(BookLover): OMG! You're back? I've missed you!

    Miel: So true! :)

    Lizzy: I can't believe I forgot this. How true. No matter what, there is always a zillion positive things. I love you guys. You're my pals. And that makes up for all the occasional poo.

  23. I like what Lizzy said...:)
    I think for all the boneheads out there, most of us just love to read and blog about it. It bothers me when I see bloggers getting sucked into gossip and author or blogger bashing. I think its great that bloggers can say hey what do you think of this....but when I see a group of bloggers attacking another blogger and then let comments bash that person... I think that is immature.

  24. Great advise. Especially on reviewing. Giving a honest review is so important

  25. Cleverly: Amen girl! There is no point if we're not being honest.

    Tina: True true! I try to never get sucked in to the drama and always keep a positive outlook.

  26. I've been blogging for some time now but I still got a lot to learn...

  27. Cherry: Agreed! I feel like I'm still learning too. ;)

  28. I love your comment about being considerate. I've found some people can be very negative about "newer" bloggers, but I have found some incredible "new" blogs that are just getting their voice out there.

    Lovely post and perfect points! Everyone should read this!

  29. I like this post...
    The best advice I can give is to:
    Have Fun
    Be honest
    Be Yourself

    If it stops being fun, then what is the point?

    If you can't be honest with your opinions, the what is the point?

    If you can't be yourself, then what is the point?

    I am relatively new to the blogverse, I have alot to learn. I learn something everyday. But, if I can't Have Fun, Be honest with my opinions and be myself, then what would be the point of blogging?

  30. Lori: Very cool points! *clapping*

    1st daughter: Thanks sweetie!

  31. V: Oh no! I accidentally deleted your awesome comment! *sigh* Forgive me!

    Here is what Vanessa (of Book Soulmates) said:

    "Wow!! Great post!! I personally think blogging is a labor of love. You have to really LOVE reading and talking about books to have a successful blog (in my opinion). Blogging is a lot of hardwork. You have to constantly think of new ideas, new posts, new topics, new memes, new challenges... and then stay on top of it all! lol. I feel fortunate to know I have my booksoulmate Isalys to do the blog with.

    Main things:
    Dedication, New Ideas, Networking (Lots of networking), being genuine...I can tell when bloggers aren't "into it" or aren't being genuine. There are quite a few snobs out there and I personally stay far away from them. I mean really, who wants to leave a comment on someone's page and not have it answered? Or, who wants to ask a blogger a question and have them be indifferent to you. Grrr.

    Note: I'm still a blogging amateur. Our blog will have it's 1 yr. anniversary in about 2 wks... so... I'm no pro ... just wanted to give my own opinion and experience thus far :D

    Hope it helped!"

    Dear V: Excellent points gf! I am always telling that to new bloggers. Ya gotta love it. I love your point about being genuine.

    My one year blogiversary is in June :) *high five*

  32. Great advice!!! I agree with everything you said. We are all members of the book loving team and must be respectful to one another, even if we disagree.

    Like Vane said, blogging really is a labor of love. But being able to share our passion for reading with others and in turn meeting awesome people who share that passion with us makes it so worth it =)

    My biggest bit of advice is NETWORK and share the love. Support your fellow bloggers and they'll support you!

    Our blogaversary is May 5th. My, how time flies!!


  33. Awesome post, Juju!! I agree with Kris on the keeping in touch thing :)

  34. Great advice! I would also add: be kind to other bloggers. :-)

  35. All good points that you mention, JuJu. I would have to say you are by far one of the most considerate bloggers out there. You truly are! Your comments are always so kind and chipper and enthusiastic. They are truly appreciated. i would say we all should be more like you!

    Outside of that, make it what you want. It's your blog. If you want to market the heck out of yourself and get a billion followers, go to it! If you only care if your mother reads it, then cool!
    Have fun, be kind, read lots!


  36. Michelle: Thanks sweetie! I like your advice to make it what you want. SO true.

    Briz & Isa: Amen sisters!

  37. Wonderful post and definitely new blogger friendly. Honestly, I think the biggest piece of advice I can second is to make your blog about you and what you enjoy...whether it's reading (me, me ME!), writing, music, shopping...it should reflect some aspect of you, something you are passionate about. That way, your best voice will always shine through. ^_^

  38. Great post, Juju, and sound advice for all of us.

    I am still relatively new to this myself and I think a good piece of advice to a new blogger is not to worry about the number of followers and fancy graphics on your blog. I was worried about both those things at first and turns out, I didn't need to be. If you're writing your reviews honestly and from the heart, the followers will come. And most established bloggers that I asked told me the look of the blog itself didn't matter as much as the content. Too true.

    I want to reiterate what another poster said about the blogging community - - wonderful, fantastically supportive people. So many people tirelessly answered questions for me, gave me their opinions and even held my hand adding things to my blog as it slowly grew. Really, you couldn't ask for a better online group of people!

  39. GMR: Amen girl!

    Lily: Thanks dear :)

    Lori: I could not agree more. That goes with my "Keep doing what you love and it will show". As for your second point: Amen! I LOVE my book blogging friends :D Everyone has been SO amazing.