Sunday, April 24, 2011

I thought I didn't care...

I've run into a problem.  I started this blog thinking to record my readings and thoughts.  I continued this blog finding it a source of social interaction scarce in real life, particularly when it comes to interacting around books and a love of books.

But I became complacent about my blogging.  In fact, I let my blog sit for a few months. In that time I kept my "followers" but from what I can tell (comments, Google Stats) I lost my actual readership.  Little readership = little social interaction.

I suspect I already know some things I could do to help with this problem:

  1. Giveaways - I've always been hesitant to do these.  I do have some ideas.  In fact, I have one I've been "planning" on for months.  But I keep holding back.
  2. Memes -  I was much more active in these when I started.  Two problems with memes, though.  a) I find myself losing time on the days that my favorite memes take place and miss my chance, and b) From what I've seen, memes mostly just draw readership to the meme post itself, not the overall blog.
  3. Interviews -  I've actually had another blogger suggest this in response to a post I did last year asking about doing giveaways or not.  But I let nerves get to me.  I never requested any interviews (though the giveaway mentioned in number 1 would do best with an interview).
  4. Commenting -  I've seen over and over that commenting it a good way to get people to your own blog.  The problem is being authentic and actually having something to say.
  5. Reviewing very recently published or not yet published books - Who doesn't want to read the most current info, etc. out there?  But I haven't really tried to get any books from publishers/authors for review.  I avoid the pressure of doing so.
You may have noticed in the list above that my biggest downfall is fear/nerves.  That's something I'm just going to have to learn to get over, but until I do...

Anyway, do you have any methods I should be adding to my list?  Have you had any of the same problems?  Or do you have any advice for working past those nerves?


  1. I have found that actually a lot of people seem to look at my blog, but not necessarily comment. I agree, it's hard to comment when you really don't have anything to say!

  2. Do you know that when I began blogging a few years back, I had the same fear? Okay, it might not be the same kind, but fear is fear to me.

    To look at me now, the manic social butterfly, it's hard to imagine, but I use to lose sleep over it. :) Now, I am so over that and it's all because of book blogging.

  3. Cheryl - Well apparently more people than I thought look at mine, because it didn't show anyone looking at this post when you commented.

    365andMe - Where'd you come from? I thought you aren't doing the blog scene anymore?

    I guess giving it some more time would probably help with the fear.

  4. Jo, I wrote a long comment that blogger just ate....

    Short version

    1. Giveaways -- people might stop by for the chances to win something, but just like memes, they might not stick around for chat.

    2. Interviews and ARCs -- how much time/energy are you willing to devote to them? They're a lot of work, from what I've see around.

    3. Increase traffic blog? If you haven't tried it yet, cross-post your reviews (with your url/link at the bottom) on all the major bookseller websites (Amazon, etc), cataloging sites (Good Reads, Shelfari), and Paperback swap. If the link is in the reviews, it could increase the chances of someone actually clicking through to your site.

  5. Christina - That's true about the giveaways. I probably wouldn't do them very regularly anyway though, even if I do give them a try.

    I don't know how much time/energy I'd have or be willing to give for interviews and ARCs. I think I'd have to actually try it before I could find a balance.

    I hadn't considered the cross-posting as a promotional tool. I don't tend to post my reviews elsewhere because most places require a ranking, and I prefer not to give one. I could start though.

    Thanks for retyping up your response for me. Sorry you lost the first one.

  6. I just figured out WHY I lost the comment yesterday. You don't allow links.

    I can understand about the ratings.

    Posting at places like Amazon, Good Reads, Shelfari, and Library Thing: high-traffic areas. If you're serious about soliciting publishers and agents for ARCs, they'll be looking for web presence -- would it be to their authors' best advantage to give ARCs to low-traffic individual blogs, or to someone who puts her well-thought-out, intelligent reviews on multiple sites (especially sites with links to purchase the book)? I've noticed on Amazon, for instance, book reviews from individuals who also review for blogs (their own or a group).

    Have you read/seen KMont's post regarding ARC reviewing?


    If you haven't I think she's a good example to bring to your attention. She's an individual blogger/reviewer (meaning, it's just her and not a group). She's probably a good person to talk to about the whole thing. I'm sure she doesn't bite. ;)

  7. I've read her post now. Guess I wasn't serious about it because I'm currently feeling relieved that in two years of blogging I've managed to get only 1-2 review requests.

    As for cross posting, I'm going to try that out with the next book I review (of course, I have to finish it first).

    Sorry about the link thing. I'm going to look into it, but I might not end up changing it.


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