This is a guest post written by Carol from the Reading Ladies blog. Find out more about her at the end of the post!
One of the first blogging lessons to be learned was also my greatest challenge: I needed a Community; I desired to make connections and find my people. I knew for certain that no one can blog in isolation, but the solution intimidated me.
I’m an introvert. I’m a reader, not a talker. I love cancelled plans so that I can stay home and read. I’m never lonely because I always have a book. These self-descriptors don’t set me up for making online connections. I also had fears: what if I attract creepers or someone makes a mean or negative comment?
How Did I Move From Frozen to Connected?
To be successful as a book blogger, I knew I had to extend myself, take chances, and make the first move. Easier said than done for someone who finds comfort hiding behind a screen or seeks escapism between the pages of a book.
If you’re just starting your blogging journey and you want to make connections in the book blogging community, check out my top tips.
1. Set aside your hesitations and join ALL the social media
- Make bookish accounts (using your blog name) for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, Facebook (you can make a separate business page as an extension of your personal FB page): the only place I do not have a presence is Booktube because I don’t do video reviews
- Some bloggers prefer to focus on only one or two social media platforms, but I’ve found it beneficial to dabble in all of them (each platform reaches different potential followers). I generally gain the majority of my “click throughs” from Pinterest and Twitter
- Follow bookish accounts on Bookstagram (Instagram users with bookish accounts), BookTwitter (Twitter users with bookish accounts), Facebook, and Booktube
- Look for opportunities to join engagement groups on Bookstagram and Twitter
- Follow blogging and book groups on Twitter and begin to comment on threads
- Drop your links often, such as at the end of your Goodreads review, although try to avoid dropping your link onto other people’s comment sections
- Pin to Pinterest and join group boards for pinning book review posts
- Make sure your blog has its social sharing options set up- especially for big platforms such as Twitter
- Share each and every post you write to all your social media accounts (you can set up your blog to automatically share your posts to social media accounts)
Yes, it takes time to make connections in the book blogging community- and it can be uncomfortable for introverts at first- but if you want to find your people and have people find you to build a community, you need to promote yourself consistently.
2. Find Your Niche and Your People
- Book Reviews and Talking Bookish are my main niches, but I can narrow that niche more by connecting with bloggers who enjoy certain genres or subgenres
- Do some blog-hopping and follow a few blogs (maybe five as a starting point) that share your niche, content, and preferences (visiting the “About Page” on a blog is a good way to begin)
- Begin “tweeting,” “liking” and “commenting” on their posts- hopefully they will return the comment or even reciprocate by commenting on your posts
- Don’t be discouraged by bloggers who do not reciprocate, that’s okay and you can move on
- Once you have developed a reciprocal blogging relationship with a handful of bloggers, expand the pool
- In four years, I have developed an inner circle of bloggers (20-30) whom I consider my “community”: we comment on each other’s posts, share reading preferences, enjoy bookish conversations, and promote each other’s posts on twitter; this all happened organically through genuine interactions. In the huge worldwide web, this is the group with whom you will invest the most time
Oh, and those negative comments or creeper concerns? Almost nonexistent. However, you do need to be wise and aware, and WordPress is great at filtering out spam comments.
3. Slowly Expand Your Reach and Try New Things
- Guest posting is a new venture for me, so this post is me expanding my reach and trying new things: I’m thrilled to have connected with Eleanor @NotSoModernGirl on twitter!
- Try new memes or challenges: I’ve often participated in #NonFictionNovember, but this year I’m expanding my November challenges to include #NovNov (November Novellas) and I’m hoping to meet a new group of like-minded bloggers
- Check the calendar for special days or theme months, as these are an opportunity to connect with other bloggers using the same prompts and tags
- Participating in a blogger’s book tag is a fun way to make new blogging connections (if you want to be tagged in my next book tag post, please let me know in the comments)
4. Participate in Popular Memes to interact with like-minded bloggers
- Top Ten Tuesday is a popular bookish meme for your first experience (ThatArtsyReaderGirl.com)
- TTT participants are known for their generosity in blog-hopping and commenting, and they always return the favour
5. Enjoy and Treasure Your New Book Blogging Community
- Celebrate their achievements
- Continue the conversation
- Enjoy the connection
The Joy of Book Blogging: Community
In four years, I can truly say that the joy in blogging for me is the community. Book people are the best people. I hope that if you have not already found your community that these few tips have been helpful and encouraging, and that you start making connections online.
Although I’m still a new blogger, I’m happy to answer questions on connecting, blogging, and book reviewing!
I’m Carol, and if you’ve read this because you love blogging and reading, then we’re already friends!
I’m a retired 5th-grade teacher, an ardent and avid bibliophile, and my favorite genres are historical fiction, literary fiction, and contemporary fiction. In addition, I enjoy reading selected memoirs and other narrative nonfiction.
My blog is four and a half years old. The mission of my blog is to share a love of great literature across a variety of genres with an intentional focus on new releases, thoughtful themes, diverse cultures, and “own voices” authors. I desire to be a trusted reviewer for your next great read!
Have you made connections in the book blogging community? Do you enjoy finding ways to connect with others online? What’s your favourite social media platform to connect with book bloggers?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x