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The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration Part XIV


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.

BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett




Do you have any book blogging hacks?


Uma says...
Okay I wouldn’t call them hacks, but I do follow certain ideas and ways to make the blogging process both easy and fun for me. It’s no fun if the process becomes stressful now is it?

SCHEDULING
I have a diary where I schedule all my online bookish posts - Blog, Bookstagram, reviews on Goodreads etc. I schedule every weekend when I have the time. I decide what I will post in the following week and put everything in one place so when the day comes, all I have to do is open the diary, read and post. Of course I don’t get to follow my plans to the T every single day but scheduling helps a LOT!

STAY ORGANIZED
I have an organized blog roll, a separate label in my gmail for blog emails, author emails etc. This goes a long way in making sure things are easily accessible and don’t get lost or forgotten. Visiting other blogs and exploring is a huge part of being a book blogger and this helps a lot!

PROMOTION
Go ahead and mention the fact that you have a blog on social media and other sites you use; such as Goodreads, Twitter, instagram etc. I mention in my bookstagram posts that reviews for certain books can be found in my blog. I’ve had quite a few visitors who come here after seeing that on instagram. Twitter is also a huge traffic source for me.

Amy says...
I totally agree with Di and Uma. But the things I do most are:

SCHEDULING

I have a diary where I often plan weeks in advance - a tad too extreme, perhaps - and that helps me a lot. Using the diary, I know when I must write a review or a blog post, and it also makes me fully aware of any deadlines as well.
But I wouldn’t go wild with this method.
I’ve been known to plan literally a month in advance, and although it does give me a good idea of what’s coming, it can sometimes cause you even more stress. So I’d say don’t plan too far in advance, and be flexible. Over-planning can cut the enjoyment of blogging in the first place.

However, planning a week or two ahead with a diary is an excellent way to keep on top of things.

WORK AHEAD    
Sometimes I’ll write whole posts for the week ahead in just one day. I do this with my “Waiting on Wednesday” meme posts: last month, I wrote out all June’s WOW posts in advance, and on the day I actually publish the post, I only have to do a few tweaks. Because this is a meme, it’s obviously easier to write ahead. I wouldn’t recommend this for Weekly Round-Ups, for example ;)

THEME

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a hack, but I thought I’d mention it anyway: having a consistent theme across all social media platforms helps a lot. For example, I have the same pink light header image for all my profile pictures, and usually the same short bio.  I think this is a great thing to do because it makes you recognisable; publishers, authors, and fellow bloggers know it’s you because they know what you’re known for or what you “look like.” A theme helps you get a grounding and an “identity” in the blogosphere.

EMAIL ORGANISATION

I’m echoing Uma here, but keeping blog emails organised is an excellent way to go. I have separate folders for blogging stuff, comment notifs, etc, and then one for review requests. Until I’ve replied to every comment on my blog post, I keep the comment notifs in my email folder. As I reply, I delete the emails. It helps a lot.  



What Social Media do you use the most for your blog and what for?



Uma says...
I use Twitter, Google+ and Instagram. Every post I publish is simultaneously shared on Google+ and I share almost all reviews on Twitter too. Both these places drive a lot of traffic to the blog! Also I have my blog added to the website part of Instagram and according to my stats I get quite some traffic from there too.

Amy says...
I use Twitter, Facebook, and have just recently joined Bookstagram. But I agree with Di: Twitter’s definitely the best way to keep up to date with the book and blogging world, promote your own blog, and interact with others. I don’t use Facebook much except for the usual sharing of my latest blog posts via Buffer, and I’m not as active on Bookstagram as I’d like to be.
But Twitter’s awesome. Go use Twitter :)   


How do you use social media efficiently?



Uma says...
Okay truthfully speaking, I don’t think I use social media as efficiently as I’d like to. I want to be more active on Twitter but the only place I’m even more active than on my blog is my Instagram. And while it doesn’t drive as much traffic to my blog as Twitter, I enjoy Bookstagramming and I daresay I’ve gotten good at it! :)

I plan to get back to taking part in Twitter chats and such as a way of being more active on there and meeting new people. I’m also planning to start a Facebook for my blog. I actually don’t like Facebook for some reason but I’m planning to still give it a try.

Amy says...
As soon as I publish a new blog post, I go to Buffer and share it across all my social media platforms. It’s automatically part of my posting process.
Apart from the normal sharing of my blog posts, I use Twitter and Facebook rather randomly: browsing whenever I have the time or feel like it, and sharing and retweeting stuff when I like it or when it applies to my blog. I want to get a schedule together eventually, but I haven’t thought about it properly yet.
I DO want to devote more time to bookstagram in the future. However, I think that’ll only really come together next month. I’m trying not to think seriously about that yet ;)


To see my answers make sure to visit the other collab posts!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion post! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!