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A Beginner’s Guide to Joining the Book Blogging Community

Blogging is much more fun when other people are involved, but it can be hard to find others to share your passion for books when you have a new blog. Here are a few great ways to connect with other bloggers.

  • The first thing to do is to head over to Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search Engine Index Page. Check to see if your blog is on the list. If it isn’t, add a link to your url in the comments section and Fyrefly will add it for you. This will mean that any blogger searching for reviews for a specific book on the Book Blogs Search Engine will find you.
  • The next thing you need to do is find some bloggers with a similar taste in books to connect with. Try searching for your favourite books on the Book Blogs Search Engine, or by typing the title of the book and the words “blog review” on google.
  • Once you’ve found a blog you enjoy reading, comment on it. Try to leave thoughtful, useful comments as then the blogger is more likely to connect with you. Hopefully you’ll be able to build up a relationship with the blogger over a period of time and they will begin to reciprocate the comments.

More Ways to Find Other Book Bloggers

  • Every Saturday Semicolon hosts the Saturday Review of Books. All you need to do is to head over to her blog each Saturday and leave a link to all the reviews you have written that week. This is a great place to find more recent reviews and connect with people who have read similar books to you. You can discover some great, new blogs there and hopefully a few people will find you too!
  • Taking part in reading challenges is another good way of connecting with other bloggers. Try to find a challenge which suits your reading taste. All new challenges are posted on the Novel Challenge Blog and you can also join the Novel Challenge Yahoo Group to discuss all your reading challenges. Be warned – challenges are addictive. It won’t be long until you’ve signed up for far too many!!
  • LibraryThing is a great place to discuss books, whether you have a blog or not. There are some great discussion boards on there and you’ll also find lots of book recommendations. GoodReads is a similar site for you to investigate.
  • The Book Blogs Ning is also a good place to connect with other bloggers. You’ll find some great blogging tips there and lots of great people!
  • There are lots of memes you can participate in too, but be careful not to do too many, as a site packed with memes is quite off-putting. A complete list of memes/events is on the Book Blogger Appreciation site, and there is a good introducion to memes at Heart of Wisdom.
  • Twitter is a fantastic place to find bloggers. Many of the best book related discussions take place on Twitter – make sure you have a lot of spare time before signing up!
  • Book Carnivals are also great sites to investigate.  The Bookworms Carnival is my favourite, but the Book Review Blog Carnival is also a good place to find new blogs. Try to submit a review if you have any relevant posts. 
  • Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is a great bonding experience – if you fancy staying awake for and entire 24 hours!

Taking it to the Next Level

Once you’ve found your feet and a few blogging friends, then it is time to get a bit more adventurous.

  • Try joining/hosting a read along. Reading a book together is a great bonding experience and you will always get more from a book read with a group than on your own. If you spot someone starting a read along – jump in! Or just write a post saying you are going to read a certain book soon – you might be surprised at who else is keen to read that book too!
  • Host your own challenge/event. If you are feeling very adventurous then you could host your own challenge. Check that you’re not overlapping with any existing challenge at the Novel Challenge Blog. Good luck! 

The book blogging community is a very friendly place. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions – most bloggers are more than happy to answer them.

I hope you enjoy the blogging world!

Can you think of any other ways to become a better member of the blogging community?

90 replies on “A Beginner’s Guide to Joining the Book Blogging Community”

LibraryThing is good, but BookRabbit is better! We launched last month and have a growing user base of book lovers who are discussing books, writing reviews, recommending books, building their online libraries and uploading their bookshelves so people can browse and discover new books and authors to try. We are currently looking for book reviewers to post reviews on the site in return for free review copies of books, so please let your readers know. Thanks and hope to see you on the site! Sarah.

Sarah, Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time! I agree that Book Rabbit is a great site for discussing books, but most of the members are not book bloggers. This post is all about connecting with other bloggers. Everyone who loves books should check out your site, but not if they want to improve their involvement with the blogging community. I hope the bookrabbit re-launch goes well!

Excellent resources – I didn’t know about that directory, so I’ve got and got myself listed and will have a good browse when I get a moment. Should have got Persephone Reading week in that challenge directory too!

Verity, Persephone reading week was a great success! The challenge blog is more for longer term challenges, but at least you now know about it for next time!

Awesome post. Yet another one of yours I’ll be bookmarking for future reference.
Weekly Geeks is probably one of the best ways to connect with others. I will have to try Bookworm’s Carnival though.

Lilly, I have found weekly geeks the best for connecting with a large number of people too. The bloggers who participate change each week, so there are always new people to meet over there.

You are such a good doobie! How I could have used this advice a year ago! I didn’t even know about Fyrefly, so I just got signed up with her. When I started blogging, I would do a search on books I’d read (so I would have something to say!), find bloggers with interesting sites, then look at THEIR blogrolls to find like-minded others. Once you get a good base of a half dozen or a dozen blogs you like, you start expanding exponentially through awards (how I found you!) and other references. Now I can barely keep up! Great post Jackie!

Sandy, I wish I’d known all this from the start too! It is so hard to find this sort of information when you are new.

Searching blogrolls is a great idea. I did that a lot when I first started, but I got very frustrated by the number of ones which weren’t up to date.

I found a lot of people through awards too. I have found so many people now! It is great!

What a great post for baby book bloggers! :) My advice is always to comment, comment, comment. I always visit the blogs of people who comment on mine, and if I visit them often enough, they usually end up in my reader!
I’ve just recently discovered the LT community myself-it seems awesome!

Eva, I agree – commenting is the most important thing you can do if you are hoping people will come and look at your blog. If I have the time I always go to look at the blog of first time commentors, if I like what I see then I’ll stick around!

What a wonderful directory. If only there were more hours in the day. For the really adventurous, I’d recommend “social bookmarking” sites like stumbleupon, where you tell the site a bit about what you like and it then finds random sites in that area you might enjoy. I’ve found some absolute gems that way.

The other place I love with my reader rather than writer hat on is the Guardian Books Blog – not so much for the posts (although Sam Jordison is a sweety) as for the comments. True, many people are rather too fond of themselves, but look hard and take part in the conversations and you’ll find yourself drawn into to some fun places.

Dan, I have to admit that I haven’t tried stumbleupon yet – maybe next year!

I do enjoy reading the Guardian Book Blog, but have to admit that I don’t comment on there any more. The people who comment there tend to be very opinionated and enter into arguments rather than discussions. A few of them followed me back to my blog and made it a much less friendly place. I’m avoiding leaving comments their now, but will continue to enjoy reading it!

Excellent post, but you’ve forgotten one crucial factor: explore people’s blog rolls. I can’t tell you how many times I have discovered new and wonderful book blogs simply by working my way through my favourite blog’s blog rolls.

(I notice, however, that you don’t have a blog roll. Any particular reason why not?)

Also, don’t forget Brit Lit Blogs for more links: http://www.britlitblogs.com/

kimbofo, You are right – blogrolls are great for finding new blogs, as are the comments section of other blogs.

I removed my blogroll when my blogroll plugin failed with a site upgrade. The blogroll plugin sorted blogs by the most recent post and only showed the most recently updated ones. I am still hoping that it is updated and I can use it again, but without some sort of blogroll tool mine was far too long.

There were a couple things on here that I didn’t know about. Thank you for the information! This is really handy. You should make a great big link to this on your front page so new book bloggers can easily find it.

Lu, I’m pleased that you think it is useful. I’m currently working on a page of my most useful/commented upon posts, so I’ll make sure I include a link to this one.

What a useful resource! Just a note about the Read-a-thon – you definitely don’t need to be able to stay up for 24 hours to participate! Most people don’t, in fact. We more than welcome partial read-a-thoners.

Nymeth, Thank you for clarifying that! I’ve not taken part in a readathon, as I can’t commit to reading for that long with two small boys to look after. Now I know that you don’t have to read for the full 24 hours I might be tempted to join in one day.

Thanks for this – My blog’s been around for about 9 months, but, I don’t think I knew about even half of the above. I have requested a linky to be added to the Fyrefly’s blog. Didn’t know about semicolon either, and Twitter – well, I have an account, but it’s just not my thing!

Thanks again – is quite useful.

Great suggestions, and not just for newbies – I’ve been around a while, and I tend to forget some of these :-) !

I’d echo the suggestions about trolling other people’s blogrolls for blogs to check out – that’s how I got started – and leaving comments. Oh, and following links is good too. Speaking of links, I’m adding this post to my link round-up for this coming weekend – thanks for the great material!

She, I wouldn’t have been able to write this a few months ago – I’m learning all the time. I’m pleased that you found it useful!

Jackie, you are a star! Thank you so much for taking the time to put all this together.

I have only been blogging since April this year and from end June until yesterday I actually gave up blogging completely because of a couple of reasons
1. I got disheartened sometimes when I felt as if I was talking to myself
2. I was spending so much time looking for people with similar interests and a love of books that I had hardly any time to read
3. I set myself the rediculously high target of trying to write a post each day, or at least every couple of days, which just doesn’t fit in with my schedule

So Thank You! I will definitely follow your suggestions and keep dropping by to say hello

Kim, I’m sorry to hear that you became disheartened. I think you need to stop trying to do too much. Focus on finding two or three blogs with similar interests to you and try to build a relationship with them, once you’ve done that then you can build out from there. Blogging should be fun, so only do as much as you enjoy. Good luck!

Yay for the Geeks! :-D

I don’t participate anymore, but when I first started I joined in Booking through Thursday every week…and that’s how I first connected with other book bloggers. I think any weekly meme is a good way to meet others.

Wonderful post (as usual!).

softdrink, I used to do weekly geeks every week. Now I only do it if I’m around at the weekend. I still like to see what the topic is each week though.

Nice Jackie, very good pointers, I think you covered most of it. I didn’t know firefly had a directory, off to check that out. Even J.Kaye has a directory.

I thought Twitter takes a lot of time, but if you know how to use it and know how to control and limit yourself it’s actually quite helpful. I discovered Tweetdeck and I can swear at how amazing it is. I can twitter and check and comment on blogs at the same time without refreshing Twitter every minute. That way it saves a lot of my time.

Violet, I didn’t realise that J. Kaye had a directory as well – thank you for pointing that out.

I find tweetdeck useful too, but if I look at twitter I often find myself there for a long time – there is so much to look at!

Excellent post! I love that you pointed out that you just have to get involved rather than wait for people to come to you. If you just blog and don’t do outreach (memes, Weekly Geeks, whatever), then then you’re probably not going to meet a lot of bloggers. So anyway, I’m glad you pointed that out — I don’t really have much to add besides that :)

Kim, I think it is important to note that you get back what you give. It takes a lot of effort to find other people – they aren’t just going to come to you.

Great tips for a newbie, Jackie! I’ll admit that as an “older” blogger I don’t go seeking new blogs as often as I once did, but these are all things that I’ve done (or still do). I especially liked challenges where I could see others reading the same books. And of course–comment comment comment. Takes time and work (and sometimes one is a week late ahem-me), but it’s the best way to meet other bloggers.

Trish, I have to admit that I don’t go and hunt out new blogs any more either – I seem to find them naturally, either by them coming here, or spotting great new posts on other people’s link round-ups etc.

I’d also like to point out that timing doesn’t really matter – I’m actually more likely to look at someones blog if they comment a week late, than amongst the rush of other people. Strange, but true!

Dorte, Thank you for the link. It is great to know there is a place for crime fiction lovers to share their passion. I’ll pop in sometime soon!

Holy smokes–this is just what I needed! Thank you so much for setting apart time to deal with us newbies! I’m eager, now, to browse the rest of your site. I’ve opened nearly every link you posted in a different tab or window (I had so many tabs that new windows were called for).

I’ve also thought about interviewing an author a few months from now (I’ve found the perfect opportunity, so let us hope all goes well), and posting my reviews on GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders websites. Is this recommended?

Thanks again!

P.S. I followed a link here from My Friend Amy’s blog–in case you were wondering!

Madeleine, Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time! I’m pleased that you found it useful.

I post some of my reviews on Amazon, but haven’t found that it helps in getting any people to visit your blog – I would think the same would be true of Barnes and Noble, and Borders.

I think that GoodReads might be good for meeting other bloggers, but I don’t have any experience with that, so don’t really know. Good luck!

Thanks, Jacckie, for this post, and thanks for mentioning the Saturday Review. I’m always wanting more people to contribute links to that. I also just appreciate your rounding up all of this information and putting it in one place. I’ll be referring people here to get started in book blogging.

Tracie Yule, It is so hard to find out basic information when you are just starting out. I hope this is useful!

Thanks for all your good advice Jackie. I discovered your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed reading. I have even been inspired to start my own book blogging adventure, so your posts on blogging have really come in useful – thanks!

Rebecca, I’m pleased that you found my post useful. I hope that you enjoy blogging – please ask if you have any more questions!

Thanks for this post – as a new blogger, I have found many of these tips helpful! Its great to have those who have already paved the way providing advice – thanks for being so generous with it!

Jackie, I’ve been trying to get more followers for my blog (giveaways start when I reach 50 followers!) and your post really helped provide new ideas for getting more interest in it.

Thank you so much! You’re my fairy godmother!

I am realtively new to the blogging scene and am still very much ‘finding my feet’. I found some of your hints and tips really useful, thanks!
I have recently started ‘Tweeting’, but am not yet sure of the benefits of something which is so transient and oh so very addictive!

Hi Jackie

I just wanted to say that this has been an extremely useful post.
I have recently created a book blog and it is quite mindblowing to know where to start.
Your tips and links are excellent.
Thanks very much

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