Using Blogging to Share your Book Love

The piles of beautiful and diverse children’s books are piling up in your home.

Books are covering your couch, desk, and your bookcase is even beginning to groan in protest. There are so many stacks of books on your floor, it’s starting to look like a game of Jenga.

So how can you share your plethora of awesome kidlit with the rest of the world? Consider starting a book review blog!

In case you are unsure, the word “blog” is short for “web-based log.” It’s a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. There are many veteran book bloggers out there doing just that, and doing it well. But first, let me share some of the advantages of blogs.

  • Search engines love fresh content and a blog is a great source of new content on a regular basis. Websites tend to be static (unchanging), but blogs are like an online journal of ever-changing information and updates.
  • A great way to build a relationship with supporters and it is also an excellent way to build a following.
  • Authenticity is more than a trendy word when it comes to blogging. Just be yourself. People want to see the person, not the brand, behind your work.
  • Blogs are a savvy way to share useful and relevant information that can help to align you as a go-to-person or a knowledge source.
  • It’s a great way to hone your craft! I started out as a blogger first, then morphed into a freelance writer, and now I am an author.

Lesser Known Facts About Book Blogging

Fact #1) A blog post doesn’t have to be a novel. It only takes 300 words to be indexed by Google and the average blog post is between 400-500 words.

As a lover of books, a great way to utilize this manageable word count, while also putting a dent in the list of books you’d like to share, is to create what is known as a round-up blog post. Here is an example of a booklist or “round-up” of several books that have a common thread (author, publisher, topic, genre, etc).

Fact#2) You don’t have to blog seven days a week in order to be seen. True, the more content you put out, the more likely you are to attract readers, BUT you also don’t want your blog to feel like a needy child. Did you know that the average lifespan of a new blog is 3-4 months? Why? Because it can be a lot of work!

Though consistency is key, I know plenty of bloggers who blog once a week and they make sure that ONE post is exceptional. I would rather read one really well-thought-out post a week or month from someone I admire than five posts that offer no value or purpose to the reader. Quality is (in my opinion) more important than quantity.

Fact#3) If you are tempted to start a blog, think through your long-range plans. Blogs are a commitment and it may not fit into an already-stretched-thin lifestyle.

  • Do you have time? I think it’s like anything in life—if it is important to you, you WILL make time for it.
  • Is this for fun? Or is it for business? If it’s for business, consider hiring a freelance writer to help you with content.
  • If, at some point, if this will be a business, will you want to monetize your blog? Meaning: will you be selling ad space or products from this site?
  • Why is this important? Your long-range plans need to be considered when you decide what platform (WordPress, for example) that you will use. Wix and Weebly may be free, but technically you don’t own them. It’s like owning the walls of your house, but not the foundation it sits on. Choose your “foundation” wisely if you plan of using your book blog for more than a hobby.

BONUS TIP: Social Media your friend when it comes to driving traffic to your shiny new blog! Facebook may want to make your pull your hair out and Twitter may make your eyes cross in confusion, but these channels are a huge key in the success and longevity of your blog. Social media basics include keeping it short and sweet (studies have shown that Facebook and Twitter updates under 140 characters get the most Likes, Shares, and Comments) and taking the time to be present and engaged with your followers and Likers. Social media consumers have gold-fish attention spans which you have around 4.5 seconds to catch their attention and you need to be consistent about the tactics to keep that attention.

Keep Calm and Blog (and Read) ON!

Becky Flansburg
Rebecca “Becky” Flansburg is an author, freelance writer, author coach, and project manager for the non-profit online children’s literacy initiative, Multicultural Children’s Book Day/ #ReadYourWorld. For more information, visit Multicultural Children’s Book Day on the web.
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