So, I’m relatively new to the whole blogging show, but so far (I think anywho) it’s been going great! At least it’s a TON of fun which I think is what matters the most.  If you’re not having fun while you’re blogging, your blog will suffer.  I love coming home and getting to write about books (after a day at work filled with only getting to look at them and sometimes, when I’m lucky, recommend them!).  It’s also so cool when people and publishers contact you to help promote something of theirs or want you to review one of their books…and others respond to it after it’s posted! (It makes me feel special and happy…I’m easily amused : )

I guess to try and develop my blog my first step was to (of course since I’m a librarian) check out as many books as I could find on blogging and go from there.  But after that I was on my own, so here are the top 5 things I’ve learned as I’ve started (starting) to develop my blog :

  •     Write in the style you’re comfortable with.

Then you’ll develop your own unique style.  Whether that be formal and structured or more laid back with your personality at the heart of it.

  •      Visit others blogs and Interact!

It’s so important to go and see who else is out there and what is being talked about.  You’ll discover hot meme’s, topics, different ways to post or format your layout. Plus, you get to meet so many awesome people!

  •       Make time for blogging.

Blogging is time consuming. So sometimes you just gotta make the time to do it.  And sometimes you gotta take a break too and not feel bad about it.  Planning would probably come in handy here, but I haven’t gotten that far yet…

  •       Don’t get discouraged!

Sometimes you’ll write posts that aren’t as popular as others and that’s okay.  Just move on.

  •      Connect via social media and other great sites.

All my posts go directly to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Some of them I also Pin to Pinterest.  Plus I’ve also started discovering other outlets to connect with too like Bloglovin and Blognation.

Now onto genre fiction….

 I love a mix of genres, some more than others, and some I have no love for (respect yes, just not love).

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)I like to read a mix of YA and adult fantasy and paranormal, historical fiction, book club books, and then just some random ones I find with cool looking covers.  The only things I don’t like to read are hardcore romances, westerns, most Christian fiction, and most of the books where the author’s name is larger than the actual title.

 I am drawn to dragons, magic, and mythical creatures in the fantasy genre. Books like Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, Sage’s Septimus Heap Magyk series, and the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia.

 GiltIn the historical fiction genre I zone in on WWII, the Underground Railroad, and English History. My favorites are; Gilt by Katherine Longshore, The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

 Check out one of my earlier Top Ten Tuesday’s on words or topics that make me instantly make me pick up a book for some more recommendations on books in these genres : )

What are some ways you’ve developed your log? What are some of your favorite genres or books within your favorite genres?

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32 Responses so far.

  1. I haven’t been blogging for too long either so it’s nice to find other newbies 🙂 Your tips are super handy and I find I use the same a lot. I haven’t gotten around to planning out my posts in advance yet either but i know it would be helpful! Great post 🙂

    My day 2 post

  2. Kathryn says:

    Some great thoughts here on blogging and some useful tips, even if you feel like you are a newbie you have wisdom.

    I don’t share very many of your fav genres, but there again as Michael another blogger doing Armchair BEA says blogging helps us to explore other genres which is great.

    Kathryn

    • Steph says:

      Thank you!
      And stepping outside our comfort zone is necessary sometimes (I’ll admit to devouring some Dee Henderson Christian Romance novels when I did once).

  3. Love your advice re discouragement – to which I am prone. “It’s okay” if posts are not as popular. “Move on”. I’m gonna stick that on the wall by my desk :0)

    • Steph says:

      Oh I’m glad you find it helpful 🙂 Sometimes it’s hard to get past a post that only gets one like or something like that isn’t it? But I guess you gotta learn who your audience is and what they like somehow…

      • It is. But then you have to stay true to yourself and say what you want to say. The “right” audience – the like-minded followers – are out there and will find you. Sometimes it just takes time to link up. I like that you’re so very positive! I’m soooo not ;0)

  4. I’m with you on mixed genres. I write YA Fantasy and I can’t get enough. I feel like a newbie sometimes but I think it will always be there so just blog on!

    • Steph says:

      I think I would get bored if I only read one genre. Plus I don’t like feeling left out when people talk about books…EVER…so I want to try and read as much of almost everything as I can 🙂
      That’s so cool that you write YA fantasy! I’m starting to write a JF fantasy and it’s a ton of fun.

  5. Stormy says:

    Don’t get discouraged is a great tip, because it can be hard to know in advance what readers will like the most. Sometimes I write what I think is a great post & it’s not as popular as I hope, but I’ve learned not to get discouraged because at other times I schedule something and think, “Why am I doing this? This post is awful!” and it’s a post that people enjoy, comment, and share. It can definitely be a mixed bag, so I’m trying to learn to stop predicting people’s reaction and just write what *I* think is good.

    • Steph says:

      Yes, I agree. I think that’s the way to go…write what you like. Sometimes the shorter posts I’ve written that take the least amount of time to write attract the most attention. You just never know!

  6. Tamie says:

    I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, and it really does have it’s ups and downs, so I think it’s great advice to say don’t get discouraged. I read quite a bit of paranormal, a bit of YA but a ton of romance. That’s why it’s so important to have bloggers who love and can spotlight different genres 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Oh yeah! It’s so great that there are bloggers of all genres out there 🙂 (especially when a librarian is in need of a recommendation outside their genre comfort zone!)

  7. Excellent tips – especially have fun! Yes it’s time consuming, but after a long day, I like winding down by with book bloggers 🙂

  8. Fabulous tips for bloggers – these are the basics that I really need to go back to! I love your genre fiction list too – sounds like we read in similar styles.

    Sometimes I miss working at the library and getting recommendations from my library friends so I’m really happy to have book blogs to fill a bit of the gap.

    • Steph says:

      The library I currently work in is a one-man show, so I also miss recommendations from library staff, however, I do still get some from the patrons 🙂 But I love looking at other blogs so you can zone in on those with super similar tastes…That said, I’ll be checking out yours…

  9. thanks for your advice, I think that’s definitely the way to go to grow as a book blogger

  10. Suey says:

    Great advice here! And I’m like you and love magic and dragons and history! 🙂

  11. Deb says:

    Nice to meet you and get some reading reends. Enjoy armchairing it. Oh and thanks for the blogging tips..I like them!

  12. Kristin T. says:

    Great tips…definitely the one about not getting discouraged,which is so easy to do at times. I’ve had to take a step back a few times just to recharge my batteries about blogging. It definitely does take time and as it’s a hobby, you don’t want it to become a chore.

    I love historical fiction and starting reading the Pink Carnation series – I’m up to book 3.

    My Blogger Development
    My Genre Fiction post

    • Steph says:

      Yeah, once blogging feels like work it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re doing and why. I already felt that way once and had to take a look at what I needed to do differently (take a few days break from the computer).
      I absolutely ADORE the Pink Carnation series!! Hope you’re loving them. And Lauren Willig is such a sweet person…I would love to meet her someday.

  13. Way to do some research up front. I totally jumped in head first and I feel like a lot of the things I did in the beginning suffered for it. But I’ve learned A LOT throughout the process. Definitely visiting others is a huge thing that I don’t think many bloggers get. They want to sit back and have people visit them but wonder why no one is. Great post and advice

    • Steph says:

      Thank you! And I research EVERYTHING first lol. I didn’t realize how vital visiting others was until I actually did it, but…wow it makes a difference! and it’s so much fun! (more fun when the people you visit respond back to you though I think 😉 )

  14. Fantasy with exciting creatures are awesome! I liked Serephina too! Great suggestions! Its always good to stay positive.

  15. annettesbookspot says:

    New follower! So glad to have met you through Armchair BEA Always looking for librarians to follow — especially those that like YA fiction!

  16. ablightedone says:

    As a new blogger, I really appreciate your tips! I am bookmarking your post for that and your WWII hf recs!

    my armchair BEA post

  17. Great post. I agree with you about making the time for it and finding your own writing style. When i started, i was easily influenced by other great bloggers but then found I had to find my own voice. Hope you have a great ABEA Week! New follower here. Here’s my Blogger development and favorite books by genre post if you’d like to stop by.

  18. KK Trotter says:

    Great post! Writing in the style you’re comfortable with is really important. I have a style that I use for reviewing, but I didn’t develop it right away. I tried out a few things and figured out what I liked best. It’s also really important to interact and have fun, or else you’ll just make yourself miserable 🙂

    I love, love, love YA and am developing a deep love for historicals right now.

  19. I agree with everything you said in relation to development. And if you aren’t having fun, there really is no point!