How to freshen up a stinky blog

You COULD just sniff your books instead, but let's be a bit more proactive
You COULD just sniff your books instead, but let’s be a bit more proactive

There’s a discussion over at BookBlogging.net about keeping your blog’s content fresh and unstinky, particularly when there’s so much of the same sort of content (promo blitz cover reveals, for example) on dozens of blogs. I started off writing a little comment in response, and then it bloomed into this…

I don’t think it’s necessarily the promo stuff that’s the problem; it’s the lack of spirit in them that sucks all the interesting out. If you just copy-paste stuff the publisher sends you it’s super boring, and I do think it turns people off. As long as there’s a bit of personality in your posts people will like them, even if ALL you post is cover reveals.

That said, here’s some ways to keep things fresh on your blog:
Reviewing/talking about backlist books! All of the promo stuff is for new and upcoming releases– having content about older books may result in less overall hits, but it’s way more interesting than cover reveal #5000009. You don’t even have to backtrack entirely into the backlist; the Book Smugglers have a good mix of new and older releases, for example, and reading their blog is always fun because of that.

Also community events are good! Like readalongs, or Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner‘s end of the year survey. They gets people talking with each other and it can be a lot of fun hosting and participating in them.

Discussion posts are great, too. They don’t even have to be long and/or detailed, just interesting. You could post a paragraph about a weird bug you found inside an old book (for example) and get 50 comments from people who also found weird bugs! (Weird bug post coming soon.)

So basically: be personal, be personable, and don’t be afraid to be weird.

How do you keep things from getting boring on your blog?

5 thoughts on “How to freshen up a stinky blog”

  1. I totally agree with you…it’s definitely the personality that counts in a blog. Even if two different blogs are posting relatively the same content, I’ll end up liking one more or less than the other based on the kind of atmosphere I get from the blog and how the blogger comes across. I feel like I’m not as good as showing off my personality online as other bloggers are, so that’s definitely something I want to work on more this year.

    1. I’ve found that a good way to show off your personality is by telling stories! For example, adding a few sentences about why you picked up a book makes a review automatically more personable.

      It also helps not to try and force your writing to sound like someone else wrote it; sometimes I think I need to be more scholarly and try to write something that matches what my more scholar-y friends write, and it just comes out weird. Be yourself!

  2. I love finding out about older but new-to-me books. I found a weird bug in a book once – it was in a library book, and for a while after that, I shook my books out on the balcony first, just in case …!

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