I’m here today with a slightly different post than usual, and it’s all about blogging tips and how I manage my book blog! I started writing amyjanealice back in 2013 after taking part in a college project and while it began with beauty and lifestyle posts it soon transitioned into a blog about my true love, books.
Working full time amongst other things means that I can often struggle to divide my time well. However, since getting myself in a bit more of a rigid routine my stats have been on a steady incline with a noticeable improvement after engaging more on social media.
I don’t write or post on specific days or at certain times times, it’s usually when I can fit it and typically on a weekend. I’ve even started using my lunchtimes at work!
Now I’m no expert, I’m no guru and I’m definitely not the most successful book blogger out there. I’m not saying YOU MUST DO THIS but this is just what works for me. Sometimes I can be at two or three stages at the same time for different kinds of posts but generally this is the order I work in. Let’s dive in!
I’m not the kind of person to have a huge bank of posts ready to go months in advance. If I’m in a productive space I might have a couple weeks worth of posts written but usually I tend to know what kind of things I want to publish for the next month or so.
To come up with what I want to write about next I consider a few things. This list isn’t exhaustive but it gives me a good starting point:
- The time of the month – I don’t really write TBR posts but this is something I would post in the first week of the month. Similarly I like to post wrap ups on the first day of the month
- Is there anything current or topical I can talk about? For example YALC is coming up!
- When was the last time I took part in a book tag?
- Have I bought any books recently that I can write about?
- Is there a weekly meme I take part in – these posts with weekly prompts are pretty much guaranteed content and I’m loving Six For Sunday at the moment.
- Is there a certain discussion I’ve seen online?
- Do I have any publisher related obligations such as a blog tour or a book I need to review?
- Can I participate in a collab post or have I got any inspiration from friends and peers online?
It’s also at this stage that I take all of my Bookstagram and blog photos, usually in bulk. I try and do this at least once a week so that I have a backlog of images I can use, particularly if I decide to review a book that I wasn’t planning on in the first place.
Planning my posts
When I have an idea of what I want to write for the next couple of weeks, I’ll use my physical calendar as a visual guide of what is going live and when. Recently I’ve been using the Mål Paper Daily Goal Setter Planner [gifted] which I’ve been really enjoying!
The planner encompasses everything I look for to organise myself, including places to track my short, medium and long term goals, monthly spreads, sections for weekly check ins and daily pages too which have dedicated sections for gratefulness practice and affirmations.
There is also lots of space to write lists too with places to check off the tasks you’ve completed, and in the weekly section you can organise your to do lists in order of importance.
I look at my blog schedule across the month to ensure that my posts are spread fairly evenly. While I don’t upload on specific days I do like to have at least two posts a week up on my blog. I think this is quite a manageable amount for me but if I can do more I will!
Time to get writing!
I don’t really have a formal structure that I follow for writing my posts. If I’m reviewing a book I’ll take as many notes as possible while reading, and type them up and organise them into sections such as plot, character, important points etc. For other posts I tend to just start writing and see where it takes me. Sometimes I’ll jump back and forward but I tend to work best in this linear way.
A tool I’ve only recently started using to it’s full potential (which past me is kicking present me about for leaving it so long) is Yoast SEO. I think this is only available for those with their own WordPress domain? But don’t quote me on that. Basically you download the plugin, activate it and it will give you hints and tips on your readability and the level of your SEO in the post. Mine generally tells me that my sentences are too long, or that I haven’t included my SEO key-phrase enough.
It’s really handy and makes you think more critically about your work. Of course it isn’t necessary and you should write your blog how you want to write it, but improving my SEO and boosting myself in search results is a goal of mine and it’s definitely satisfying to see the smiley green faces when you’ve worked on all the improvements it’s given you!
When I’ve typed out my post and checked out Yoast, I’ll do another couple of read throughs to make sure it all flows and makes sense. Then, I’ll add my categories, tags and featured image with alt tags and once I’m happy, it’s time to schedule!
Scheduling and social channels
First up, scheduling the blog post. On WordPress it’s fairly straight forward and I’m sure most of you know how to do this already! I select my date and time, which is usually around 6pm. If anyone has any information on the best times to post I’d be interested to know.
Next I move onto Buffer where I schedule my tweet to promote my latest post. This is another super helpful tool for us bloggers, as you’re able to create a custom tweet schedule. Once a week I fill up my Buffer schedule so that I’ve got between two and three tweets going live each day. I link to older content, evergreen content or sometimes my most recent posts which have done well.
At the moment I don’t schedule anything for Instagram – this is a platform I definitely need to work on so I’d be grateful for any tips and tricks posts!
I am part of a couple of comment pods on Twitter and Instagram which have been super helpful. I try to work though these every couple of days, engaging with everyone’s shared content. It’s been fab to get to know other blogger’s and find new content, but I also feel it’s had a positive effect on my traffic and also my organisation with my blog.
I try not to get hung up on stats, though it’s definitely nice to note improvements and your more successful posts! To do this I use Google Analytics. Becky has a post here which explains how to use this tool better than I could!
Like I said, I’m not the oracle of blogging. So, I’ve linked some really useful posts below!
- Becky has a fantastic Blogging 101 series which I’ve found so helpful
- Jenn has written some really useful posts, such as these on how to add a follow button to your self hosted blog and how to request arcs from publishers
- Thrifty Bibliophile has this handy post full of tips
- Jenny has a whole host of blogging advice which covers a wide range of topics
- Hannah tells us how to blog on a budget and how to keep organised with some must have blogging apps
- Marcel takes us back to basics with the foundations of blogging
I hope you’ve enjoyed my blogging tips post, particularly as it’s not the kind of thing I usually post. I’d love to know your blogging routine too and any other blogging tips you may have!
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