Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Paperback's Pondering's: Blogging Things I Need to Work On
Paperback's Pondering's is a weekly discussion when I take a topic and well, ponder about it! This week's topic is about what I struggle with blogging.
When I started blogging, I knew nothing about how to put up a design, the requirements for ARC recommendations, and commenting etiquette. While I think that I have most definitely improved in these things, there are still things that I struggle and stress over daily when it comes to my blog.
My design has been a generic template from Blogger for months. Now recently, I customised the fonts and widgets of my blog, but I still can't seem to grasp an eye catching header and background. I do like my colour scheme, but I have no idea what to do with it or how to do it. I did take a graphic design class, but I wouldn't say that it's something I've fully grasped the concept from. I am no artist.
Another thing that I've found troubling is ARC's. Most bloggers get them, but I have no idea how I can put my name in for one. I understand that there can be a lot of drama surrounding them, but I feel like having one would be so cool! I feel like my blog is a bit small to have one, but I really want to give it a shot. But how?
I see bloggers with perfectly organised giveaways, but I don't really understand how they operate. Twitter ones would be fairly easy, but what about one through the book depository? I'd really love to look more into how they operate, so I can give back to my fellow readers :)
The last thing that I really want to improve is my layout. I feel like it's so jumbled and there's too much writing. I want to have a more creative rating system, some nice links, and get rid of all the unnecessary things. I have tried my best, but most things require coding which is something that grates on my nerves!
Thankfully, there has been some development to my blogging woes. For example, bloggers Mishma & Jillian over at Chasing Faerytales, have created a feature called Learnt It The Hard Way, in which they invite bloggers to share tips over different topics. This has helped me out tremendously, and I advise you to check it out if you haven't already.
I do love my blog and all the possibilities, and I know and work with my skills. I think I just need a little practise, that's all. Practise makes perfect.
Do you struggle with any of these things, or do you have any tips? Let me know!
Emily @ Paperback Princess
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For ARCS just start off with Netgalley. It is super easy. You can first just read ARCs that don't need requests and then once you feel more comfortable or you think you have good stats you can request ARCs. After you have a really large audience you can start emailing publishers for ARCs. With rafflecopter, you can make giveaways for anything and if you want it for the book depository, when you pick a winner, when you go to pay and ship for the book online, you just put in the winner's address instead of your own. I struggle with layout and design but at this point it is not a huge concern for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks Sierra! I've never heard of Netgalley before, so it's great that I can read ARC's without requesting. I think I'll need that experience before putting requests. And thanks for the information on the book depository:)Delete
Like Sierra said, Netgalley's an awesome place for eARCs. Then, when you're more confident, you can request physical ARCs (that's what I think anyway, I haven't requested any physical ARCs because I think my follower count is too low).ReplyDelete
The layout of your blog is perfectly fine! Seriously, I've seen much messier ones! Your blog design is okay, too. All you need is a good header to personalize it and make it YOURS. Speaking of headers, I'd be more than happy to design one for you, if you find it okay! Just say the word, and I'll get working on it :)
I feel like my follower count is a bit too low at the moment as well! I think I'll use Netgalley from now on. Thank you so much Ranu! If it's ok with you, I would really appreciate if you could design a header. I really appreciate the help :)Delete
Sierra and Ranu have already given great advice, but I am definitely going to try and add to it all. Netgalley is great as everyone else has mentioned. It is fairly easy to be approved even if your blog is small. Don't go overboard like I did the first time and request everything because it is tempting, but it will bite you it the butt later on. Also, Penguin has a program called First To Read where you can request different eARCs. You can also check out self-published authors too. Many of them have quality novels and they are dying to get people to review them. As for blog design, I think your blog looks great already. I had trouble creating a header at first too, but it really is not very hard (and I know nothing about graphic designing). My first pretty decent header was created with http://www.picmonkey.com/. You can definitely get someone else to do it for you though. I like your blog button logo. Was it you who designed it? I agree with you on Mishma's and Jillian's twitter chat. It is very helpful. If you ever need help with anything, you can definitely come ask.ReplyDelete
~Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies
Thank you Chioma! I definitely think I will give Netgalley a try! Thank you for the compliment! Yes, I did design the blog button on my own, but I no longer have the software I did it on. Thanks for the help!Delete
I'm really glad Learnt It The Hard Way helped you a lot :) I was hoping for that, haha.ReplyDelete
Until now, I'm still struggling with acquiring ARCs because it's not easy. My blog has not yet reached the sufficient amount of followers that publishers are looking for, and I live in the corner of Earth where (apparently) shipping is made pricey ^_^" Don't worry about it too much! I'm sure you'll receive an ARC when the right time comes. If you need any help, here's a post that might help!
Yeah, I think I just need patient and build up a bit more to request ARC's. Thank you Jillian!Delete
I struggle a lot with blogging too, especially all the fancy HTML and design stuff so we can work through it together haha. With the ARCs, I completely feel you. I haven't joined any of them, but I do know that there are websites solely devoted to getting ARCs from various authors. I get my ARCs from the local librarian because they send them to her, and she lets me borrow them for a while. If something like that is possible where you are, that might be good too!ReplyDelete
Haha yes, design is a struggle! I'm not sure ify library offers ARC's, I should look into it!Delete
I am supper happy that you found our event helpful Emily! And don't forget to join in our twitter chats! We are opening the chat for the others bloggers to ask their own questions, so you can find some answers too!ReplyDelete
ARCs - Try Netgalley. Try requesting for indie and underrated books first, and make sure that you read and review them at the right time. This will help you improve your ratio, and therefore you can try for more popular ARCs as well!
There's also Edelweiss, but that website is really confusing and not at all user friendly. But they do have a lot for ARCs there.
Commenting - Try to comment on a lot of blogs! As much as possible! It will garner a lot of comments back and also friendships!
Design - There are a lot of free templates that you can download! Google it, and pick something you love! I had one myself until I hired Hazel to do my design.
Giveaways - You should create an account in rafflecopter, and create a form. Don't worry, that site is really user friendly and you'll learn the ropes quickly!
Hope these tips helped Emily! And if you ever have any questions, feel free to ask me through twitter!
Thank you Mishma! I've talked to a few bloggers, and all of them mention Netgalley, so I think it is my best bet. I haven't heard of rafflecopter , but it seems very straight forward. Thanks again for the help!Delete
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on blogging-I'm new to the book blogging world, and have been thinking about a lot of these same things myself. I struggle with not getting down on myself for not having a lot of followers or people leaving comments. Most of the time, I just have so much fun with the blog, and am so happy to be getting views and getting to write about books. Every once in a while though I get that twinge though about followers and comments. It helps to read what other book bloggers are thinking for sure.ReplyDelete
I sometimes get that feeling too! I've been doing this for over a year now, and it was a bit hard in the beginning. It all pays off though :)Delete
It really helps to hear that, thank you! It does seem like it all pays off, I'm already having a lot of fun with it! And I'll be posting my first author interview soon!Delete