THE BOOK BLOGGER AWARDS

I’ve been throwing around the idea of starting a blogger awards exclusively for book bloggers for a while now, and I decided to finally just bite the bullet and do it.  This winter, I realized that the majority of awards go to lifestyle and beauty bloggers mainly because they have the biggest followings and we don’t have categories tailored to what we do, so I wanted to do something just for us!

I’ve decided to do it as a midyear awards thing, which will happen in two phases, the first starting now and going throughout April, and the second which will go throughout May.  Depending on the turnout for part 1, I may end up cutting out part 2, but hopefully we will get enough attention to make it worth it!  Read on to find out how to participate:

The Rules…

  1. Everyone who is nominated for the award MUST BE A BOOK BLOGGER.  However, anyone is allowed to vote and nominate their favorite book bloggers.
  2. You may nominate up to 2 people for each category.  Any more than this and it’ll be overwhelming.  If you can’t narrow it down, (I guess) you can do 3.  BUT ABSOLUTELY NO MORE I SWEAR IT
  3. One blogger can be nominated for as many categories as you see fit, but try not to nominate bloggers for categories which they are not qualified for.  This will save me time and inconvenience of making sure the people who win are actually deserving of the award.
  4. In order to nominate people, include their username and A LINK TO THEIR BLOG.  That step is crucial, otherwise I won’t know which “Jane” you’re talking about.  (I don’t even know a blogger named Jane that name just seemed pretty common)

How it Works…

Part I (April 5th-April 30th):

  • Today, voting officially opens.  In order to vote, read the categories below and create your own blog post in which you nominate everyone that you wish to win.
  • Make sure you have your blog post pingback to this blog, or provide a link in the comments so that I can find it.
  • Tag your posts with #bookbloggerawards so that it is easily searchable from the reader.
  • If you don’t feel like writing your own post, then feel free to just comment below with all of your nominations.  Just think it through all the way and keep everything in one post please!

Intermission (May 1st-May 7th):

  • During this time, all nominations will be closed, so I’ll go back through and count up all the votes for each category and figure out who is winning each
  • Those who were nominated will be narrowed down to a maximum of 5
  • All those who were nominated but not in the top 5 will receive a recognition post

Part II (May 7th- May 31st):

  • A new post will be uploaded to this blog with a Google Form that will allow you to vote among the finalists
  • At the end of this voting period, the winner from each category will be announced, and a post put together to recognize them!!!!

The Categories…

These are grouped into sections in order to make it easier.

AGE OF BLOGGER:

  • Best Teen Book Blogger (13-19)
  • Best PreTeen Book Blogger (Younger than 13)
  • Best Adult Book Blogger (20+)

GENRE MOST BLOGGED ABOUT:

  • Young Adult
  • Middle Grade or Younger
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction / Dystopian / Fantasy
  • New Adult / General Adult
  • Literary Fiction / Classics / Poetry
  • Mystery and Thriller
  • Does a little bit of everything

THE BEST OF BOOK BLOGGING:

  • Best book reviews
  • The Master of Weekly Features (top 5 wednesday, waiting on wednesday, top 10 tuesday, etc)
  • Best Book Recommendations
  • Prettiest Bookshelf
  • Best bookish discussions

THE OTHER STUFF:

  • Most Engaged in the Community
  • Blog Aesthetic
  • Most full of personality
  • Best Friend ever

MOST IMPORTANTLY:

  • Best New Book Blogger (created blog after July 2016)
  • Best Overall Book Blogger

How You Can Help…

In order to make this successful, we need a lot of publicity.  WTTN isn’t the biggest blog by any stretch, and so it’s going to be up to you guys to make this work.  Reblog this post, post it on twitter and instagram, and make sure everyone knows about it!  Also, when you post your own nominations, make sure to promote that as well and provide a link back to this post.

Thank you all so much for participating and I can’t wait to see who you all chose!!!!!!!


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Guest Post: 9 Unspoken Rules You Should NOT Break When Blogging

Today, rather than a typically boring post from me, I’m excited to introduce William to the blog!!  William is a writer and social media manager, as well as one of the founding forces of Crazy Essays, and he decided to share with us the 9 most important rules about blogging, that some people have no idea about.  I think it’s a great post filled with incredible blogging tips, so I’m excited to share it with you guys:

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Blogging is another form of networking. You start with a few audiences and hope to goodness that they will spread the word about your blog too.

Of course, you will have to continue spreading words about your site as much as you can as well. Your duty as a blogger does not end with one effort. As a matter of fact, you will have to continuously market your blog as long as you as you are willing to keep it live.

And since we are talking about keeping your blog alive, here are the things that you should not do if you want to keep it for a very long time.

Not Doing Internal Linking…

Internal linking is when you use your older posts in order to provide a reference regarding your point from your current post.

There are a lot of reasons why you should do internal linking. One of those is to drive traffic to your site, keeping your older posts useful and alive.

Second is, they help you prove your point with what you are trying to say. It acts as a reference or backup information to clarify your point.

The third is, they help with Google to determine the quality of your posts. It adds value to your site, giving you a score and a positive ranking in various search engines.

Using Clunky URLs…

Google needs to index your site in order for it to recognize what your niche is all about.

The worst thing that you could do is use unrecognizable words when making URL. To use the full potential of SEO to your advantage, you must be well aware that it is much easier for crawlers to find and index you if they can easily recognize your address.

That also means that you should use a readable domain name.

Don’ts:

http://www.qkotmanwriter.com/jksdhksdjahfksfn/jsfhjfni/asdjwjfbdi124?=8586734054/_=uhjh66

http://www.867k8sf4.info/kijcvlwdj_?/=HHBGBF

Do’s:

• (Long form) http://www.qkotmanwriter.com/john-wick-chapter-2-better-and-more-intense-than-the-first-chapter/

• (Short form) http://www.qkotmanwriter.com/the-girl-on-the-train-a-true-classic/

Not Linking to Other Bloggers…

If you are familiar with guest blogging, then you will easily understand this concept.

Linking to other bloggers will not just give you leverage about referencing to some of the authority in your field, but also give you the opportunity to invite others to join and contribute to your topic.

It can also build your reputation as an authority and another positive point on your search engine ranking. It is just as effective as internal linking only it goes outbound but the points are still the same.

Plagiarism…

One of the most negative acts in the eyes of all search engines is the act of plagiarism.

It is a known fact that being a blogger requires a lot of posts about tons of ideas. Unfortunately, we all run dry and unable to produce new ideas easily.

Some bloggers are often tempted to copy other blogger’s work. Apparently, this is another way to kill your site’s reputation and along with it, the ranking.

Writing a Very Long Paragraph…

Most online users are not fond of reading bulky posts. In fact, a lot of them do not read at all. If they find that the post has a lot of long paragraphs in it, they just skim through it.

You should avoid writing in this style. It gives the impression that they are about to read a stuffy article with little to none of the answers that they need will be found. Besides, it looks boring. Kind of feels like reading a novel.

Not Inviting Your Readers to Leave a Comment…

Each time you post something in your blog, make sure that you end it with a call to action.

Inviting them to leave a comment will make them feel that they could participate or perhaps make them feel wanted.

Comments are good for any blogs. It gives credit and makes your posts valuable because there are proofs that people find your content relatable. The more comments you get, the more value your post has.

Absence in Social Media…

Another place to invite and gather visitors for your site is by being active in social media.

Make yourself visible in Twitter, Facebook and other places that could be of use in promoting your site. Any chance you get to mention or market your blog is a good chance of positive effect for your blogging career.

Writing Nonsense…

By nonsense, I mean writing about a topic that nobody really cares about. People read blogs and articles only if they find a significant need for it.

To them, time is precious. That is why they only read the content that might be helpful for them. They want a read that can perhaps solve their problem, enlighten them, guide them or give them the answer that they require.

Come up with a topic that your audience will relate to. It should be something that is either trendy or useful.

Quitting…

Success will never be achieved if you give up.

Most blogs I know only find a certain momentum towards success after two to three years. There are some who quit blogging after a certain number of months or so.

You should know that, once you quit, all your work will be for nothing. They will all be gone and just disappear to oblivion.

It is wrong to think that success with blogging is easy and can be achieved overnight.

I am afraid that overnight success is not for this industry. You have to be consistent because before success could come, reputation must first be built. You have to earn the trust of your people. By people, I mean your audiences, your readers, and your subscribers.

Final Thoughts…

These are important “rules” that I urge you to take heed while pushing through your blogging career. Consider them and I assure you that your blog will reach success in due time.

The basic thing to do is try to be consistent. Do not let a month pass by without writing anything for your blog. Do not let a month pass by without doing anything at all for your blog.

Luck has nothing to do with your goal. God will provide if you start making actions. You will not reach anywhere if you just sit down and wait for things to go your way. Start with writing a killer post and do everything else I have told you in this article. Then positive things will happen.

In your experience, what other things you could do to help your blog gain success?

William BournAuthor Bio…

William Bourn is one of the pillars of crazyessay.com alongside his college peers. He functions as both writer and social media ambassador for their business. He occasionally makes podcasts for students and newbie bloggers to better their writing. William continuously practices corporate social responsibility by donating to various foundations.


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Stop! Did you actually think about that URL first?

A post about helping people plan BEFORE they even start blogging.

When I created my blog, my first blog name/URL was Live Love Reads.  After about 2 weeks, I hated it for being cliche and gross, so I deleted the site, despite the fact that I actually kind of liked the content I posted.  Then, I made another one– Read and Write Through the Night.  Well, this was annoyingly long, so I changed it to Write Through the Night, editing both the URL and the blog name.  I’m still not in love with that title.

For those of you who haven’t created your blog yet, thinking of a title is the most important part.  In both cases above, I just wrote down the first thing that popped into my head (I started blogging on a whim) and then hit “Create Blog”.  Many of you probably don’t think it’s that important, since it’s just a free URL anyways, but it’s actually crucial to create a quality blog that you love.

Sure, you can just edit the title and URL later, but then it makes it harder for people to find you.  Once you get a following, and people around the blogosphere know your name and blog, they might get confused if they see and different one, and are less likely to check it out.  That’s why now, even though I’ve thought of better blog names since, I’m stuck with Write Through the Night for my book blog.  Before you start your blog, you have to make sure of three crucial things surrounding the blog title.

The 3 Keys of URL Creation…

  1. You have to love it— this step is crucial, because if you don’t really love your blog name, you are going to be less likely to stick with it.  why would you want to write quality content for a crappy sounding blog?  You wouldn’t.  Blogging is about YOU first, so you have to do it FOR YOU.
  2. Relate it to your content— If you’re running a book blog, don’t create a blog called runninginthetrees.wordpress.com.  Because you know who’s going to find you?  Athletes, runners, maybe even people with tree fetishes.  But not your fellow book bloggers and people interested in reading.  That means you’ll have less google search traffic, or accidental stumblers along the path.  This is a bit harder with lifestyle bloggers, as they typically blog about a lot and therefore have some pretty creative and/or strange names, giving them slightly more freedom.  But still, even as a lifestyle blogger you don’t want it to be athleteshaven.com if that’s just a joking reference to the fact that you once walked a 5K, and then you never mention athletics again.
  3. Check your length— You want people to actually REMEMBER your blog, especially those who aren’t WordPress members and therefore don’t follow, but might want to check back in.  So make it something memorable.  Even if you have a really catchy slogan, people aren’t going to be able to come back to it if it is Jinglebellsfromthe5thc0rnerofthestreet.net because they won’t remember exactly how it is spelled (there’s a zero instead of an O in there, but you probably didn’t notice), or maybe they’ll accidently forget that it’s the 5th corner and write 5th street instead.  The shorter it is, the more likely people will remember it, and type it into their search bar when they want to go back to a post they read earlier and loved.  It’s the WORST when you have someone who could be a loyal reader but they don’t remember the blog name and therefore only visit once.  Along this vein, make sure you aren’t substituting random letters for numbers, or doubling a letter that’s difficult to pick up on.  Yeah, mylife.com might be taken and my1ife.com might not be, but if readers can’t find their way back to your site, there’s no point anyways.

A Little Wrinkle…

Now, maybe we have the clever people in the audience who are pointing out that your URL does not have to be the same as your blog name, and that’s true.  But you want people to remember your URL to get back to it, and if it’s different than the blog name it’ll be harder.  A positive example of this is Just Call me Elm or Something, whose URL is justelm.wordpress.com.  The URL is shorter, but still related.  This way, people who search “Just Call me Elm” will be able to find the website, because Google sees the URL and finds it relevant.

Hopefully people who haven’t created a blog yet actually read this and find it useful.  If so, when you finally do create it, comment the link to your blog below and I’ll check it out!

Do any experienced bloggers have other tips for creating a better URL?  Do you still have questions you want to ask? Comment!


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9 Steps for Taking Your Blog from Zero to Hero

New year, new me!

I joke, but that’s the way a lot of people think (I guess it’s too strange to change in the middle of a year, might as well keep up those bad habits until New Years) and so in honor of New Year’s Resolutions, 2017, and a fresh start, I decided to write up a post on everything I’ve learned in the past year about stepping up your blogging game and making it a place that people actually want to visit.  In no particular order…

1. Make It Pretty

This is one of the first things that people will see when coming across your blog, whether they read your comment and wanted to see more, google searched for a blog, or they’re your best friend and you asked them to come.  If a blog is ugly, overwhelming, or otherwise not visually appealing, they’re going to click off the page.  Nobody wants to continuously go to a blog that makes their eyes hurt.  The key for a nice blog is to have a lot of white space, and a consistent color scheme.  Pictures are nice, but if there are too many it will just overwhelm your reader, and leave them wondering where the actual content is.  White space gives a fresh, clean look, and makes everyone happy (I promise it doesn’t look “empty”).  The color scheme is crucial because even if you have a lot of blank space, if the colors you do have clash, that hurts.  It is more important to have a TONE that matches than color.  ex. only post in pastels, or neons.  I use primarily black and white, with color only for book covers, or tags where other people made the cover.  This way, there is some color, but not too much.  Then, in my actual posts, I use purple, and my links are a coral.  Minimal, but pretty (I think).

2. Make it Easy

This goes along with making it pretty, but this one might be even more important.  Your menu bar at the top of your page should have only the essentials.  Don’t clutter it, but make it easy to find what’s important (About menu, Book review index, contact page).  It’s fine to have dropdown menus there, but the first things that people say should be organized and attractive.  The same goes for the sidebar.  Tag clouds, excessive images, and awards, only clutter up the sidebar and cause people to miss the more important things (such as the FOLLOW BUTTON) which is nothing that you want to happen.  Plus, nobody really cares if you’ve won an award (sorry).  They’ll decide for themselves if your blog is worth staying at.

3. High Quality Content

This is the most important thing of all because, right after they look at the pictures and layout, they’re going to actually read what you’re writing.  The prettiest blog in the world won’t have followers if there isn’t actual writing there.  Post what you want to write, but make sure it’s proofread, and interesting.  Longer, more high quality, insightful, unique posts will get more views than quick filler content.  Memes are fun, but a blog that only does quick memes or tags is unlikely to find readers.  Mix these in, but make sure that you are doing things that nobody else is, or posting reviews that share opinions and are well written.  AVOID FILLER CONTENT NO MATTER WHAT!!1

4. Consistent Content

This may seem like an oxymoron.  It’s hard to have consistent quality content.  I understand.  But it really helps if you pick a schedule and actually stick to it.  THIS STILL MEANS NO FILLER CONTENT!!! If you can only write a post about once a week, then only post then, even if one week you write 4.  Schedule these for the future, and it will make it easier on weeks that you can’t write at all.  Readers want to know when you’re posting new content, and hate month long breaks, or week long breaks for authors who normally post daily.  Trust me, it’s better to have fewer a week but consistent than 4 one week and 1 the next.  This is hard for new bloggers to understand (I remember) but it will pay off in the long run.

5. Get Involved, ASAP

There is no excuse for not getting involved in the blogger community.  Create a blog social media, participate in blogger chats, join groups on Goodreads (or other communities in your niche) and start emailing bloggers you love.  It will help get you the attention you deserve.  Twitter chats are a free way to get traffic and make awesome friends, so make sure that you’re doing it.  Even just a simple DM to a blogger you love could be the start to getting you a TON more traffic.

6. Build an Internal Community

This is crucial if you ever want people to comment again.  Reply to every single comment, no matter how trivial it is, and like all the comments too.  You want to encourage people to contribute to your site, and bring them back, so make them feel loved.  When people like a post on your site, pay a visit to theirs and maybe comment.  Give to receive, and when people give to you, give back even more.  Thus, a cycle where everyone is happy!  This doesn’t mean random following or liking.  People know when you really care and when you’re just trying to get cheap followers.

7. Post Elsewhere

This goes along a lot with number 6.  You need to read other blogs, and comment.  Not only will this put you in other people’s heads for when they are looking for a blog to read, but your Gravatar leaves a URL so that everyone can track back to your site.  Plus, it’s an amazing way to share the love.  If you like a blog post, you should say it! Nobody is going to find your site if you sit isolated in the corner and don’t make a sound.

8. Get Organized

This is essential. There’s no way that you’re going to be able to stick to a schedule without being organized. Write out a plan of what you want to do, and stick to it. And then, write out posts in advance (at least a week, I do up to a month with gaps for time relevant posts to be inserted) so that you can post on time. Being neater in your outside world life will make your blog neater.

9. Find What Makes You Special and Exploit it for Personal Gain

This sounds a bit evil dictator, take over the worldy, but seriously.  You do want to take over the internet, don’t you?  In all honesty, nobody wants to read a blog that is the exact same as everyone else’s.  If you want to get people to like your blog, throw something special in.  Are you great at graphics?  Are you hilarious?  Do you write the most tear jerking reviews that make everyone obsessed? If you have nothing special, you’re lying.  Just throw in some personality, and have fun.  There’s no need for embarrassment about anything.  The weirder, the more the blogging world will embrace you.

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With any luck, these few steps will have gotten you on your way to creating an even more amazing blog.  At this time of year, there are many new blogs and so I thought it would be a great time to post this!!! And, even if you’ve had your blog for a while, it’s always a great time to mix it up and make your blog better than ever.

But I’m not perfect either.  Do you have any advice for making your blog better that I missed?  Which step do you think is the most important?  Comment below!!


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