choosing a blogging platform

anonymous asked:

m8 seriously do you think i'm writing all of these for kicks? seriously do you genuinely think i'm THAT dense or are you just scared of a conversation with someone who doesn't necessarily agree with your views? if you actually gave me the time of day without shutting me down and not allowing me to have a platform, then you'll see that I'm more open-minded than you think I am. the only reason i'm on anon is because i don't want my inbox raided with angry messages from your extremist followers

1. what conversation? i have a lot of anons how am i supposed to know which one you are?

2. not allowing you to have a platform? this is my blog last i checked. my platform. i use it how i want. if you’re not ok with how i choose to answer asks sent to my blog then create your own platform, pal. can’t believe i have to explain that to you.

3. is saying my followers are extremists open-minded?

HOW TO START A BOOK BLOG: Tips for Beginners & Starting Blogs

I’ve been having so many blogpost ideas lately but I really wanted to write this one as soon as possible, and by that I mean I’ve procrastinated for days and I’ve finally got around to writing it.
I think I posted about it somewhere and people were really interested to know how to start a blog or if you’re a starting blog, what you can do to expand it.

Firstly, these are just my tips on how to start a blog, I’m still learning myself but I’m in no way the best book blogger out there but hopefully, these tips will help you as they’ve helped me. I’ll also talk about my experience with each step I write about. You’ll see as we go along.

The reason I started my blog is because I’d watched tons of Booktubers and wanted to do the same but I was so self concious, I didn’t want to video myself and thus, I became a blogger.

So if you’ve been meaning to start a blog or you’ve started one and you don’t what to do now or how to gain followers etc, keep reading.

STEP #1: CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM

This is very important because you need a blog platform. This is where you’ll be posting all your reviews, blogposts and it’ll be your website. You need a platform you can use and one you’re comfortable with. There are many blogging platforms out there like Wordpress, Blogspot, Bloglovin, Blogger, Weebly.
You could even completely design your own website like on Wix or whatever lets you make a free website. It’d take more time and you might want to know what you want your blog to look like beforehand but it’s a fun project if you choose to do that.

The reason I chose tumblr is because I know how to use it, I know how to tag everything and it’s easy. Sometimes I do regret it because I think Blogspot or Wordpress would have been better as a blog but I’m fine with it and I can always buy my own domain (which I hope to do soon) to kind of lose to tumblr subdomain but you guys don’t need to worry about that.

So make sure you choose a blog platform you can use and maintain regularly.

STEP #2: CHOOSE A BLOG/BRAND NAME

Another crucial step because this is what people will know you by. You’ll use this name to grow, publishers and other bloggers will know it so make it good. Make a list of possible name for your blog. This is your brand so choose something unique and book related (it just makes sense to have a bookish name).  

I chose lovelyowlsbooks because I love with word ‘lovely’ thanks to Tom Felton (he called people lovely and I melted, he is a sweetheart). I like Owls too because Harry Potter and books because…books.

I like my name but I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. I just chose it and went with it. I’m lucky I like my name but make sure to be happy with what you choose.

STEP #3: POST BOOK REVIEWS, SET UP ANALYTICS

So your blog is all set, you have a blog name. Now it’s time to post some reviews and set up analytics to record your stats. For reviews, you don’t have to go out and buy books to review, review what you have, review library books. Just post some good reviews that people will want to read and keep them all in one place. I have an entire page listing my reviews and it’s super easy to navigate.

I’ll give some quick tips on how to right a decent review.  

  • Never be rude or mean. Even if you hate a book, give constructive criticism, justify why you didn’t like it and what could have been done better. Remember that even if you didn’t like the book, someone else probably will. JUST NEVER BE RUDE. 
  • Review Layout. Make sure your reviews have the book cover, title, author, your rating. That’s the simple layout I used in my first reviews but you can also add the publisher, links to the author’s website, where to buy the book, number of pages. It’s best to add as much info and keep a template of it so you’re not constantly writing it out.
  • Spoiler Free or Spoilers; you can do one or both. It’s best to do just a spoiler-free review or like me you can write it in two parts. A spoiler free section first for people that haven’t read it and reasons why you liked it (without spoilers of course) and then a spoiler section for my discussion. This is for people that have read the book and so I can really talk about how I felt about the book.

The style of my reviews are more conversational and fangirly. You can have a professional approach but I like being conversational and really getting into what I loved/disliked about the book.

As for recording your stats and pageviews, you’re still a starting blog at this point so not much will have happened but it’s good to have stats monitored right away.

You can quite easily monitor your pageviews, you need to sign up to Google Analytics (or if you already have gmail, you can use that account), follow their set up tutorial (or hit up Youtube which is what I did) and quickly have GA set up on your blog and recording your stats. Google Analytics is free, there are some paid and some free software for analytics but I use GA since it’s free and easy.

STEP #4: ACCEPTING REVIEWS, REVIEW POLICY

Just as blogging and posting reviews means you can request ARCs (advanced reader’s copies), you can also get requests to review a book. By this I mean, you can get requests from people asking you to review a book. Usually self published authors may contact you.

I set up a REVIEW POLICY which is essentially setting out terms and giving people information on how they can contact you to review their book. If you click the link, you’ll see mine and it’ll give you a general idea.

You will have to display which genres you accept and don’t, your rating system and ways they can get in touch as well as any other crucial information you want them to note. Because of this, I made a book blog email where requests could be sent (and it ties in with point #6).

You don’t have to offer reviews and you can decline them. I’ve declined a few because I had plenty of ARCs and reviews to write and didn’t need more of top of that.

So if that’s something you’d like to do, you can.

STEP #5: CONTINUE POSTING REVIEWS, GAIN FOLLOWERS & PAGEVIEWS

Your blog is all set and for a few months you’ve been posting reviews, even blogposts like this are great and you’ve gained some followers. 

On tumblr it’s easy to gain followers, however on other blogging sites you might want to look into email subscribers, newsletter subscribers etc. 

There are ways to have people follow you. I know Bloglovin’ has an easy follow option like tumblr but with Wordpress or Blogspot, you’ll have to set up a way to let people follow you. So definitely keep this in mind, there are sites like Feed Burner and Mail chimp that make email/newsletter sign ups easy but since I used tumblr, I wouldn’t know how best to advise you about other platforms.

Gaining followers and monitoring pageviews is essential. One, because you have a following and can see how and who is visiting your blog and also because you will need to know these when you request ARCs which I will discuss soon.

Make sure to check your analytics and your monthly pageviews. You will be telling publishers the amount of followers your have and monthly pageviews you get when requesting ARCs.

When I started my blog, I never realised requesting or receiving ARCs were a thing. I solely wanted to write reviews to voice my thoughts on them. Only later, I realised that my blog, the reviews and follower build up meant I could request ARCs.

STEP #6: EXPANDING, OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA

Hopefully between the last step and this one, you would have requested an ARC. But I will write a seperate blog post on how to go about requesting ARCS, what you’ll need, who the contact etc. So you might go back and forth between these posts.

By now, you’ve got a decent following, say 1 or 2K followers? It depends really but maybe you want to start expanding and growing your blog. I currently have a Twitter, Instagram and a Goodreads. The latter is just for personal use and reading updates but people can still friend me and know what I’m reading etc. Goodreads is kind of a must if you’re a book blogger, it makes things easier and I love doing the reading goal they have.

Once you decide what other social media you want, create an account and start promoting it on the blog and letting your followers know they can find you on Twitter or something. You can link all your other social media on your blog and vice versa.

You could create social media right when you start but personally, I think it’s better to first focus on your blog and then venture out on Twitter and Instagram. Also, by then you’ll have followers on your blog and friends that will want to follow you elsewhere.

Having said this, if you’re blogging on Blogspot, Blogger etc, maybe starting a Twitter right away will be best. This way you can find other book blog Twitters or you can even find other book blogs, see their posts, leave comments and make friends. 

I created my Twitter and Instagram over the last two years, just seeing if people would like to follow me on them and if I could maintain it. I’ve debated creating a Facebook page for a while but I just think nah. Twitter and Instagram are fine for now.

I also have a Redbubble shop. This is completely a personal option, but because I love art and designing, I design book related merch which I promote on my blog. Other bloggers do this too but if you own an etsy shop, a deviantart account etc feel free to promote these. They can relate to book blogging or try see if you can bring other hobbies into book blogging.

SO THOSE WERE SOME BASIC STEPS TO START A BLOG!

I could have gone in-depth but I think this is a good starting point. Remember to have fun with book blogging, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. You don’t have to review every book, but try posting as much as you can. 

I may have forgotten some small steps so feel free to let me know anything I may have missed

My blog was a mess but slowly, I wanted it more organised and easy to navigate. You will learn along the way as I did and I’m still learning.

I’ve mentioned requesting ARCs throughout this post but I’m going to do a completely different guide on how to request ARCs otherwise, this post will drag on.

I’m more than happy to help starting or new bloggers. If you don’t understand something please ask and I’ll try my best to help.

Thank you so much to reading. I would really appreciate reblogs and comments. Let me know if this helped or if you’re thinking about starting a blog.

The Difference Between Friends and Friendly

The popularity on the internet post that no one asked for.

So a very short while ago I reblogged a post about how “popular” people on the internets do not owe your their time, energy, or friendship and how fans writing in asking to be friends with said popular person rarely actually become lasting fans. OP had gotten a lot of pushback for the post, if you look in the notes, which prompted me to write a standalone on it as well.

But I feel like there’s still some points being missed, here.

Being a fan of a few “popular” folks myself, I can understand where some people are coming from when they feel as though they could be friends with a friendly persona. Taking a random example- I watch a lot of Markiplier videos. I have a heart condition that makes playing any jumpscare games a very much dangerous idea for me, but some have really good stories, so I watch them through let’s plays and that means sometimes I watch Mark scream like a baby. And, you know, the persona is friendly. He seems to genuinely care about his fans (certainly says so in many videos). We know a lot of little snippets about his life as he shares stories about his family, his health, or his past. And it can seem, almost, like he’s one of our friends.

He’s not. I’m sure he’s a friendly guy, but he’s not our friend. We know bits and pieces about him that he chooses to share on his own time with the power of video editing. Some of us may have met him at conventions or gaming events. But we don’t know him personally, he’s not an active constant in our lives outside of his videos, and we only see what he lets us see. Markiplier, for most people, is friendly.

A friend is more than that. A friend is the person you call at midnight to talk you out of hurting yourself. A friend is the person you rant about your negative feelings to. A friend is the person who knows more about you than just the front you put up for everyone else. A friend is the person who sees the best and the worst of you and still chooses to keep your company. A friend is the person who you end a chat with “thanks for always listening to me, man, you’re always there for me”.

And I’m not saying this because I am his friend- I’m not. He doesn’t know who I am. He’s never met me. We’ve never interacted outside of me subscribing to his channel. I don’t comment on his videos, I don’t reblog things from his tumblr, I don’t leave messages on his FB. It’s not how I roll. I say it because I can distinguish between “friends” and “friendly”, and because I respect him enough as a person to understand that in his shoes I don’t think I could deal with 10 million or more fans not knowing where that line is drawn either.

And it can be hard, at times, to distinguish the difference in platforms like tumblr, in which user interactions are front and center. Between asks, fanmail, reblogs, replies (whompwhomp), and messages, there’s no shortage of ways to contact each other. And sometimes, friendly communication happens, but it doesn’t automatically make you friends.

I’ll give another example- being labeled a “popular” dogblr after hitting 1k earlier this year and 2k last week. I host streams every now and then. I interact with followers who choose to watch and type directly, by speaking to them or occasionally taking suggestions. Whether or not I am necessarily friends with the people there, I suppose that would depend on how well I know them. There are some people who show up where I know their url and the name of their dog and that’s it. And- I’m friendly to those people, but they aren’t my friends. I don’t know anything about them! We barely talk, if ever! It’s not like I’m necessarily going to drive someone away just because I might not know them, but my first reaction isn’t going to be “oo! new person talking to me! instant friend!” My first reaction is going to be to greet them, make conversation, and continue chatting with everyone else there whether they are friends or just people with urls I recognize.

And it’s not like I’ll never be friends with anyone that shows up in my streams, or like there’s no people I consider friends in those streams. Just that not everyone there has the status of “friend” to me. They are people I am friendly with, but they aren’t people who know the things about me that my friends do. There is distance there, and some distance can be healthy, even crucial, to maintaining certain relationships or personas.

I strike up friendly conversation on tumblr all the time, of my own volition. I share details about myself all the time, of my own volition. But that doesn’t mean that knowing what I choose to share means you know me. You don’t.

I’ve brought up before, on here, how sometimes I forget to share negative experiences I’ve had with Creed, because this is a blog that I choose to use as a platform to celebrate my life with him. I don’t want a lot of negativity on this blog as a result, so I choose not to share frustrations or “bad” things until after they’re resolved. It’s not like I’m trying to hide it, it’s just not what this blog is about and thus it doesn’t get talked about unless someone makes a lucky guess and asks about it. A lot of people who see him working with me were surprised to learn that at one point I was so frustrated with him that I thought about, more than once, giving him back to his breeder. I didn’t, obviously, but the thought had occurred to me.

Because that was never shared, what was shared colored people’s expectations of what our journey was like, and quite a few were not only surprised but also really angry to hear that I was so close to giving up. Some were angry because they were mad that I would even contemplate it. Some were angry that I wasn’t the perfect dog owner they thought I was (still not that, sorry). Some were angry that I hadn’t shared that fact sooner when they were struggling with their own dogs, as they thought it would have helped them push on through.

And that is my point. Those who are not “friends” are not my friends because they don’t know anything about me outside of what I choose to share. For better or for worse. And while I’m certainly very happy that apparently 2032 people think my blog is worth reading, I can honestly say that I don’t see myself being close friends with even 10% of that. I’m an extrovert, but relationships with me are so much more than all the positive Creed things I share on this blog.

When you are a fan of someone who is friendly, you set yourself up for disappointment when you turn them into some gold standard human ideal and then become infatuated with the idea of being friends with that ideal. I’m human! I make mistakes! I sneeze and fart too! So is every person the internet has labeled “popular”. You cannot admire someone, no matter how friendly, and actually be their friend. You must accept their faults and weaknesses as an equal part of them to their strengths to be their friend, and you can’t do that if you put them on a pedestal.

4

Photo grabbed from Ate Yesha’s blog.

Way back then, my idea of having a tumblr account is just merely for photo and literary masterpiece reblogging. Though I know some people who use this site to express and showcase their talents, abilities, insights and even their personal lives, I still feel indifferent about this function. Until last year when one of the worst times in my life came and all I can do is to find an outlet to express what I feel inside. That’s the beginning of my journey as a tumblr blogger.

I can still remember how I feel so out-of-place every time I read the interaction of other bloggers saying that they get bundle of TAs, fanmails and even reblogs. During those times, I don’t really care for as long as they are following me and so I am. But this feeling change when I bumped into a beautiful (yes, I mean it) blog run by Fatima Eayesha S. Sali. I am guilty of love-at-first-sight upon seeing her theme. It was so organized and full of passion; it reflects her personality. Added to that is her dedication to make blog entries every now and then which probably came from her heart – her love story with Amado. From then on, she became my inspiration, my cyber friend or more likely – an influencer

I became interested (and even affected) with her posts. Sometimes, I’m wishing that I could be like her. She blogs with her emotions and she make sure that she can interact with every people around tumblr. Here’s a sneak peak of my interview with her:

Why did you choose tumblr as your blogging platform?

I have lots of different blogging site account, but Tumblr is the best because it lets you talk/communicate easily to other bloggers. I also had a chance to meet different people, not only from our country, but also from different countries & continent! And I definitely love how nice tumblr people are.

Why do you blog?

I blog because it is my only escape. I blog to express my own feelings, to let people know who is the real me — inside & outside Tumblr.

What do you feel when you get feedback from your followers?

Butterflies in my stomach, flying above the clouds, and of course, I feel like in heaven because of happiness! I can’t believe how nice people from Tumblr are, way different from the “real” world. No lies & pretenses!

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a blogger?

My friends here are my strength! They’re one of the reason why I blog, and of course, my inspiration and my other half, Amado.

One of my weaknesses are those bloggers who stabs me at the back(yes, I know some). Of course, my haters. No matter how kind I am, there are still some who hates me, I know that & I can feel it.

Get to know Ate Yesha! Click this!

She is not literally crazy, she is crazily gorgeous!! Won’t you agree with me?