Google+ Reading Teen: 11 Steps to Becoming a More Productive Book Blogger

Sunday, November 30, 2014

11 Steps to Becoming a More Productive Book Blogger

It's pretty often that I'm on Twitter and I see people talking about how they wish they were better about reading, writing reviews, or posting on their blogs. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone say something like, "I'm so behind on reviews!" Or something similar.

It's hard! There are just so many things to do in a day! How do some people seem to git 'er done, while the rest of us get no 'ers done?

Well, get excited, because I have ALL THE ANSWERS! 

Okay, that's a complete lie, but here are some things that might help, and maybe you can leave some suggestions for me in the comments.

1. Recognize your personality and find ways to capitalize on your strengths instead of always fighting against your weaknesses.

I put this one first because I think it kind-of ties into the rest of the things. This. Is. Huge. I think it's easy to get overwhelmed because you take all the best qualities from every other blog and you want to do ALL OF THEM. Just because something works for one person, that doesn't mean it's right for you. In every area of blogging, take a minute to figure out what works best for you and focus on that.

2. Set small goals instead of huge ones.

I don't know about you, but goals can be really overwhelming for me. So if I do set goals, they're VERY small ones. When I notice I'm not reading or reviewing enough, I'll make a decision to just read for 30 minutes a day. This may not work for everyone, maybe you just need to take one day, or maybe two, a week and do nothing but read/review/blog work. (Of course this ties into the strengths/weaknesses thing because some people are motivated by big goals. If that's you, recognize that and make sure you keep on top of setting new goals.)

3. Stop reading books you don't love.

This was such a difference maker for me. If I don't love a book, even if it's not awful, it takes me 5.732 times as long to read it (Them's actual facts right there). The day I decided to give books a super short leash was the day my blog was saved from total destruction.

4. Write your review before starting a new book.

How many times do you see someone say, "I have 20 reviews to write!" YIKES! How can you even remember about all those books? Like I said above, find what works for you, but be realistic about it. For me, I if I don't write a review right away, there's no way I'm remembering important details. Sometimes I'll read a few books before writing a review, but even then, my thoughts are diluted, and the chances of me ever getting to that review decrease exponentially.

5. Use voice-to-text

This may seem really weird, but sometimes when I'm not in the mood to sit down and type out a review or post, I'll use voice-to-text on my phone. Not only does this let me get a lot of thoughts out really quickly, but I also get a good laugh at some of the things that get translated. Just make sure you spell-check.

6. Post quality, not quantity.

This was another blog-changing decision for me. Once I realized I didn't need to post every day (and not apologize about it), I had a lot more time to devote to quality posts. Think about the time you spend on those throw-away posts. They're supposed to be easy, but they still take a lot of time and drain your energy for posting thing people actually want to read.

7. Don't let yourself get on [insert time-suck social media of choice here] until you're finished with a review.

We all know that once we get on Twitter or whatever, that's all she wrote. Hold yourself accountable and use social media as a reward.

8. Find someone else who has read the book and talk about it, or talk about something book-related that's been on your mind.

Often when I'm stuck on a review and I just can't get coherent thoughts out, I'll talk to someone about the book. That helps to remind me of all the things I liked/disliked and is often the spark I needed to review a book. Or if there's just something bookish that I've been thinking about, I'll have a conversation on Twitter and pretty soon I have an entire post without really even having to think about it.

9. Get a reading buddy.

There's nothing that gets me reading faster than beating another blogger . . . er . . . I mean reading along with another blogger.

I love when Jen (@Cupcakegirly) and I are reading a book at the same time and she sends me a constant stream of hilarious text messages about it.

10. Take a shower.

Yes. Being clean makes you think better. Ok, not really. But I do get some of my best ideas when I'm in the shower. I have to make a conscious decision to turn off the music or the audiobook, and just be still and think. Almost all of my conversation starters originated in the shower. Of course you could do this other places, but really, you might as well get clean while you plan.

11. Read random blogs.

I love that people say to read other blogs besides just book blogs for inspiration, but I'd say take it one step further and read lots of different blogs randomly. Something I love is how Bloglovin will send an email of blogs they're spotlighting. My first inclination is to ignore the email, but recently I've been at least scanning the other blogs and it's actually been really helpful. I got the idea for this post just by reading the title of another blog post.

These are just a few ways I've found to help me to be more productive. Do you have any other tips for me? I'd love to hear them since I'm the worst kind of procrastinator that exists!


  1. I always write my review right after finishing the book. Sometimes I need a few minutes to think about what to say but most of the time it's done within an hour after finishing the book. :)

  2. These are great tips. I really like and agree especially with finding your own blogging personality and posting quality posts at a schedule that works for the blogger.

  3. One thing that changed book blogging for me was finding a post format that I could work with. I started doing "The Top 10 Things I Loved About ..." and suddenly reviews were so much easier for me to write. I only write them about books (or movies or tv shows) I actually love and the list format is flexible (since each list is different) but gives me the structure I needed. And then I added in a "3 Things I Loved and 2 Things I Didn't" format for books I want to talk about but didn't LOVE. So finding a format that fits you and your reviewing/blogging style can help make it easier for the post to come together :)

  4. YES!! This is something I do sometimes with our "Quick-Fire" Reviews. I should've mentioned that! It's so helpful to use prompts to get your mind going.

  5. I think it can take time to figure out your own voice, but once you do it really makes a difference and I think helps you to let go of certain things and focus on others.

  6. Those are always the reviews that are the best for me. When I just close a book and immediately start talking about it.

  7. I NEED to start writing my reviews before I finish the book. I did that for a few books back in the day and it was so much easier to write my review. But then I started running low on time and whoops, behind again. Once I'm caught up (or once I start my next book), I should really try to do this again!

  8. I think this is a common issue with us book bloggers. I mean really, reading is a lot more fun than writing reviews, so who can blame us?

  9. Great tips Andye, I NEED to refer back to this post often ;) I love that capitalize on your strengths, instead of fighting your weaknesses.

  10. I have to remind myself of that often when I start thinking about how amazing other blogs are and getting jealous.

    Thanks Rachel!

  11. I'm commenting on this. Comment. Comment. Comment. Did it go through this time? (By the way I loved this post.)

  12. I'm a big fan of to-do lists in all facets of my life, including blogging. I get a lot of satisfaction from crossing things off said lists. I've found lots of success using Google Docs to plan blog posts, and as I write/schedule the posts, I cross them out in the Google Doc. Sometimes I double-up and make a physical to-do list on paper, so I get double the pleasure of crossing things off. (I know, I'm weird. I have a thing.)

  13. That said, I have my own list (HA! Another list!) of things I want to improve in my blogging life ... yeah, that blog post is scheduled for later this month. My "New Year's Resolutions" of book blogging.

  14. I think a lot of people share your list-making need! haha I wish I was like that, but I despise lists. They give me anxiety. :P

  15. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)December 5, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    This is such a great and helpful post. I'm still in the finding my personality (that sound so weird) and showing it on my blog. I definitely need to start writing my reviews earlier before reading a new book or at least write a draft or what worked/didn't work. Talking to someone about a book I need to review can definitely help. I think experimenting with review styles would be great too, maybe making lists about it or using headers for different parts.
    Reading for 30 minutes could be really helpful too! I've been going days without reading because I'm currently staying with a friend and I just haven't read much. I can definitely set aside at least 30 minutes a day to read. Showers are fantastic for creative thinking. I have a couple reading buddy reads I'm doing in a few weeks. It makes it more appealing to read books too. :)

  16. These are some great tips! I lvoe your first point because it's so true! What works for oen person doesn't work for everyone, everyone's different and does things in his own way. I write my reviews directly after finishing a book, but I also udnerstand that doesn't work for everyone and that's okay. I already write my reviews before starting a new book, because then i still remember everythign and it sorta feels good to finisha book by writign the review for it.
    And point 3 is a great one as well, I started DNF'ing books earlier and it really made a difference.

  17. Thanks Lola! Yeah, I think point 1 is the one I have to keep reminding myself over and over.

  18. Yes! The 30 min reading thing helped me so much. And I made a template that I sometimes use for reviews when I need a boost. Basically it just has prompt questions that help me start thinking.

  19. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)December 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    A template would be so helpful to use. I struggle with reviews a lot. I have found some prompt questions to use, though I always forget to go back to them.

  20. I basically just made a "draft" post, and put the titles of the prompts down the page. Like at a glance, heroin, hero, romance, things I liked, things I hated...

    Then I scheduled it for a few years into the future, so it would always be at the top, and I could copy it for new posts. I'm not sure if that makes sense.

  21. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)December 8, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    That makes complete sense. I do a similar thing with other posts and just save them as a document and copy and paste.

  22. I've never really thought of reading other blogs, beside book blogs as a way to inspire me. But then, of course, I'm not interested in much beside books. :P And I don't want to ever do voice to text, because it would just be a lot of me repeating the same thing, saying uhhh, and thinking through a whole review. And as much as I would love to write my review before reading another book, time usually doesn't allow me to do so.

    DNFing . . . I'm freer with DNF-ing if I got it for free, or if I borrowed the book, or if it was from Edelweiss or Netgalley. Otherwise, I plod on. I'm getting my money's worth out of the book! But getting a reading buddy sounds like a great idea! I just have no idea about getting one, though. But oh well. This post has definitely proved I'm unproductive! Haha.

  23. Hahaha! At least you have step one handled! Knowing yourself and what works for you is the most important thing.

    Yeah, I never read any other blogs either for the same reason, but I was surprised how often they inspired me to come up with a bookish post. I definitely want to see your voice text review with all the "uhhh's" in it. hahaha


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