Armchair BEA: Blog Development

Armchair BEA 2A collection of my random thoughts:

Blog development is something I’ve been wrestling with since I started blogging six months ago. I don’t just want followers, I want good followers, followers who care and comment. I know this is going to take time and dedication. I know I have a few followers who faithfully read my recommendations and appreciate what I have to say. They make it worthwhile.

In some ways as a reviewer of literary fiction I feel alone in the blogosphere. So many book blogs are almost fan sites dedicated to YA, fantasy and dystopian novels. As a result, it has taken me time to find like minded bloggers, who are dedicated to literary fiction. (It must be even more lonely if you are focusing exclusively on non fiction!).

Initially, I found Goodreads to be a great way of connecting with other readers. However, since it has been bought by Amazon I have abandoned it. Others I knew stepped back from it at first as well, but now they are drifting back (I think). Does anyone else have philosophic issues with Amazon mining their insights to sell books? I am thinking about switching over to BookVibe or LibraryThing. Does anyone have experience with either one?

As far as advice to offer, here is what I have:

  1. Social Media. It is crucial that you use it. Twitter, Facebook and even GoodReads (grrr) are no brainers. So far I have had problems figuring out how Pintrest can work for me, but that’s just me.
  2. Writing for the screen is different than writing for print. Keep things short and concise. People tend to skim more than read with a deeper and more critical eye. For this reason I like to keep my reviews down to 500 words.
  3. Clutter. A well organized blog is easier to read and will hold attention longer.
  4. Comment. Giving thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs will bring them over to your blog. If you genuinely share and interest, then you will like each others’ blogs.