Ask Me Anything – Advice on Starting a Blog

I get asked a lot of questions…. Honestly I love helping people and try to always respond when someone sends me an email asking for help. Blogger, author or reader it doesn’t matter – I always try to take time to respond.

Often I get asked the same questions over and over again… How to start a blog, how to get books for review, how much time do I spend blogging, how do I afford so many giveaways, how do I get ARCs, etc.

Honestly – I’m no expert. If you are looking for more “expert” advice please take a peek at The Story Siren’s Dear Story Siren Page. She’s answered dozens and dozens of questions about blogging and she’s been blogging longer than most.

The question I am most often asked is:

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog, do you have any advice for me on how to get started?

My advice…. JUST DO IT. Take the plunge and start.

It is so easy to set up a blog. I recommend using Blogger (AKA Blogspot) to start your blog. I’ve used both Blogger & WordPress and personally I prefer Blogger.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both but I think blogger is easier for beginners.

To set up a blog go to http://blogspot.com and click create a blog.

You will need to have a google account to do so.  You will also need to have decided on a Blog Address or URL for your blog.  http:// ___yourblognamehere____.blogspot.com.  Try to keep it simple if you can.  It took me a few tries to find a blog URL that I liked that wasn’t taken.  Your blog title can be changed at anytime but your blog URL will be one you will want to keep.

Blogger makes it easy to pick a background and to add widgets to your sidebar.  Just follow their instructions and before you know it your blog will be ready to go.

Once your blog has been set up start posting. Make a welcome post sharing something about you, the kinds of books you like to read, etc. Here is my welcome post. When I started blogging I never imagined I’d have more than a couple dozen friends following my blog.  I blogged mainly because I loved to read and wanted to share my love of books.

I admit I did have an ulterior motive for finally taking the plunge and starting a book blog… I wanted to sign up for ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) tours to get my hands on some of the books I was dying to read before their release date.  I had previously been an administrator on a fansite and had the chance to read some books before they were released. When I resigned from that position I no longer had the opportunity to read ARCs and missed it. In order to sign up for ARC tours you need to have a blog where you consistently post reviews.  I had a personal blog but decided it would be best to create a separate book blog.

Back to starting a blog and my advice.  For the first 2 or 3 months do nothing but review books.  Get them from the library, borrow them from friends, pick them up at garage sales… you don’t have to spend any money to start a book blog. Just read books and post reviews.

Don’t worry about getting followers, just review books.  If you aren’t able to read as much as you would like review books you have read in the past.

There is not a right or wrong way to review books. Just be yourself.  My only suggestion would be to use caution if you hated a book. If you really hated a book don’t review it or post a tactful review saying it wasn’t for you and pointing out at least something good about the book.

Future Topics:
Memes
Followers & Blog Hops
Giveaways & Giveaway Hops
ARC Tours

Do you have a question for me?  Send me an email toobusyreading(at)gmail(dot)com or fill out the form below.

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