On Blogging, Social Media and ARCs

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Hello, everyone! I’m here with a set of tips and tricks on blogging, ARCs and social media. I was a bit hesitant towards making such a post because I’ve been blogging for only five months now and that’s not quite a long period – I wouldn’t be called an experienced blogger traditionally. But a few people asked me for this post and I would love to share what worked for me. I’m sure this post could help, at least, the newbies. So, here I am!

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Tips for blogging

  • I hate to say this, but design is important – make your blog look beautiful and welcoming. Don’t go overboard with it, but have a nice banner and some graphics. That’s what people will notice first – some people will not even read your content if they don’t like the overall look of it. I tend to put more importance on content, but liking what you see doesn’t hurt either.
  • When starting out, it’s important to engage with other people in the book community. I know it might be hard, at first, and you might feel disoriented, but search the WordPress Reader for book bloggers with similar tastes as yours and comment on their posts. Most of the time, they will comment back and you will start making friends.
  • Try not to comment with things like ‘I’m a new blogger, can you check my blog post here’ or something among these lines instead read their posts and give a genuine, interested comment. Most of the time, the bloggers will comment back.
  • Write posts about things you love – I know this might sounds like a cliche advice, but it actually works. I love writing discussion posts and people have noticed and complimented me on them. They are also the most popular posts, so write things that interest you.
  • Also try to write posts on subjects that are actual. For example, I got a lot of traffic when I wrote the post about Netgalley and Goodreads (x) – I didn’t write it with this in mind, but it got a lot of traffic because people were as frustrated as me, many of them wanted to express their opinions in a safe place, others wanted to know more about it and what happened. So, writing about things that are important to this community will help you grow as a blogger and will help you know more and more people within the community.

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Tips for Social Media

  • For this one, I don’t have many tips – it’s just a trick that works a lot when it comes to starting your blog. If you want to start a blog, you should join the social media and promote your posts there, too.
  • I would definitely recommend Twitter as a great platform for meeting fellow bookworms. It’s the one that helped me the most with getting an audience, I also met lovely people who I’m glad to call my friends.
  • I also use Goodreads from time to time, link my review from the blog on Goodreads, which usually brings some views.
  • I know lots of people use Instagram as a way of promoting their blogs, but it’s not really for me. I’m not much of a photographer and Instagram inspires me the pressure to always have perfect pictures and I sadly don’t have the patience, nor the time for that. But you can try it if it’s a platform you like!
  • Any site where you can meet fellow bookworms is a good site to use for promoting your blog.
  • Don’t be ashamed to do some self-promotion, I do it, we all do it. It’s the only way people will ever see your posts.
  • Get involved in groups, challenges and chats.
  • Tweet random bookish things. Lol. Okay, that’s just me.

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Tips for ARCs

  • Don’t be afraid to request ARCs even if you’re an international blogger, I promise you that it’s not as difficult as it seems.
  • First of all, don’t listen to people who say you should have a certain number of followers or have been blogging for years in order to get ARCs. Some publishers are very flexible about these things, some aren’t. For example, I got my first ARCs when I have been blogging for three months and had 300+ followers. I didn’t try to request physical ARCs before having 300 followers, but I’m sure there are publishers/authors who would send you books for fewer followers.
  • Try to understand the fact that some publishers won’t accept your request or even ignore you. It’s not personal, they just have a limited number of galleys and can’t give it to everyone. That’s why you can try to request less known books first.
  • Lia from lostinastory has a list with emails for publishers (it’s for international bloggers) : here.
  • Things to always include in your mail : your shipping address (don’t forget it, some publishers won’t answer to your email, but send you the books anyway. so it’s better to include it), reason why you’re requesting the books – I try to include why the blurb made me interested in the book, if I read another books from the same author or if there’s a certain theme/subject that makes that book especially interesting to me, your links to everything (blog, social media, every place you talk about books) – always include your stats (of the previous month) and followers for every platform you’re including in the email.
  • Be formal, but don’t overdo it!
  • Request only the books you want and the ones you know you’ll like to review. Of course, it’s totally okay if you can’t finish them – you can explain that. But not request a bunch of books you don’t want to read just for the sake of getting ARCs.
  • Also, indie authors will contact you more and more as you progress in the blogging world if you make yourself available – which means you have a contact form on your blog or your email address visible on either Goodreads, blog or Twitter.

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I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that blogging is an easy thing – it takes up a lot of time and dedication. You have to work your way into this bookish world, but people are usually very kind and welcoming.

If you’re looking for reasons to start a blog – you can check my other post about Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog.

I hope some of the tricks and tips were helpful and that you enjoyed this post, if you have any other suggestions, you can comment down below!

60 thoughts on “On Blogging, Social Media and ARCs

  1. Dreamy Reads says:

    These are really great tip, not only for new bloggers, but also for those who have been blogging for quite some time. And I agree that graphics are very important when it comes to blogging. They just attract more attention.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marta says:

      Yay! ❀ The header is made by me, but I'm taking the flowers from deviantart or just write flower brushes on Google. You can find lots of things from there and also tumblr, people on tumblr have lots of resources!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      I’m glad I could be helpful and please don’t be shy about requesting ARCs! It’s really not a big deal, authors and publishers need help with the promotion and us, bloggers and reviewers are the best people to do it! Also, I’ve never received a decline email before, they usually either accept you or ignore your message. Some publishers send me eARCs too. Really, there’s nothing to lose! ❀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Marta says:

      Thank you very much! ❀ I'm glad that's the feeling you've got from this post because that's what I was trying to achieve. Whenever you need help, I'm here if you have any questions! ❀

      Like

  2. Karlita says:

    I love this post Marta! I’m keeping this!πŸ’› Now I’m thinking about my bookstagram a lot. I haven’t had the time to re-invent it yet but if it’s not for me..I think I’ll do what you said and will just focus on using Twitter and my blog instead.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Yaay, so happy you liked it so much that you’re keeping it! ❀ Just do whatever makes you happy, really. I feel like my blog makes me the happiest because it's the safest place, Twitter is cool, but can be full of conflicts and sometimes I get myself involved even though I know better. But yeah, definitely do you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie says:

    This is such a great post, filled with amazing tips, Marta. I agree that it is so important to reach out and try and chat with other book bloggers – it’s all part of the blogging experience and without it, well… blogging would be so different for me and probably just not as fun.
    Twitter is such a great platform, but… to be completely honest, for me, it’s the best and the worst. It makes me feel happy + gives me the worst insecurities in the world. ANYWAY.
    and your tips about ARCs are on point πŸ™‚
    Great post!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • thecursedbooks says:

      Indeed, Marie!! 😭 As I write this, I’m thinking of all the amazing posts you’ve written and that I will be able to check only after my hiatus is done, and I cry a little bit because blogging deprivation.
      Twitter is so ambivalent to me too, not necessary because it makes me insecure, but rather because I saw some dark sides of the community that I didn’t know about while being active only here, on WordPress.
      Thank youuu! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marie says:

        What, you are way too sweet thank you!!! ❀ ❀ ❀ I hope everything is going well with your exams ❀
        It's true that we do find out other aspects of the community on here, some we might not be aware of here on WordPress. I prefer it here, it's a bit… calmer when we need it to haha πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ioana @dragonwaffles says:

    I live for your discussion posts THEY ARE AMAZING AND GREAT AND FABULOUS.
    Hahaha I have a bookstagram and I love photography it’s just that it’s been on hold for the past 4 months….ups? It’s a lot of pressure and I have no time for it. But I plan on going back to it…eventually. It just doesn’t cause as much traffic for your blog -most people just interact on there and never check out blogs. At least that has been my experience!
    All these are great tips for smol blogging noobies and tbh I still think of myself as a noobie duckling so THANKS OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thecursedbooks says:

      IOANA, YOU ARE TOO KIND!! I don’t deserve you, at all! ❀ I’ll have to check it out soon! I see, there are private messages on IG, right? I feel kind of ignorant now πŸ˜‚ Aww, smol blogging noobie – that’s a very adorable name! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. winged says:

    Thanks so much for this! I’m just starting out with book blogging and I feel a bit overwhelmed, but the community — and this post — is full of a lot of great starting points. I definitely need to get on the graphic making, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Same here! I had to learn most of these through whatever seemed to work best for my blog. And it was a bit frustrating at first when there were so many things that I had no idea how to do. I’m so glad people are speaking out more on things like ARCs, general blogging tips and so on. And no problem, that blog post is absolutely fabulous! ❀

      Like

  6. Lara (Words With Lara) says:

    Awesome selection of tips and tricks!!! I think my biggest one will always just be make sure you talk to other people and expand your readership by visiting other blogs. Be consistent even if that means just posting once a week. And plan! I’m bad at this one but schedules are sooooo helpful!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      These are some great tips, I agree with the planning one so much, though I try very hard to keep a schedule, though I usually don’t post during fixed dates/days, I know some people consider that needed because your readers will know when to return for more posts, but it just doesn’t work for me. The interaction with others is so important, probably the most important thing of them all!! ❀

      Like

  7. Jamie @BubblyBooks says:

    Loved this post! It was very helpful! I’ve also been blogging for around 5 months and find it hard to get followers and post often just because of the limited amount of time I have and found this post really interesting and helpful! Thanks for the tips!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Ah, time is very important when it comes to blogging because if you don’t have time for it, it’s going to affect your blog a lot. It’s a lot of work and you really have to dedicate yourself to it, but then life happens and most of the time people will understand that! You’re welcome!

      Like

  8. Bridget says:

    Good tips! I got a Twitter account not too long ago because book bloggers kept recommending to get one. It is definitely helpful as it keeps me up to date with all the drama going on haha only I still feel really awkward using it. It’s like I don’t really have anything of interest to share on there so the only times I ever tweet is normally just to share my blog posts. What’s your Twitter username?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      SAME! Sometimes I feel so out of the element there, like I should tweet about my life? Should I tweet about books? We will never know. Also, I feel weird posting sometimes because I don’t know, I feel like nobody is interested in what I have to tweet, so why bother? But really, I love interacting with my friends from here on Twitter because there are DMs and so on. The drama is strong there, though. -.-
      It’s thecursedbooks! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Matilda's Library says:

    As a new blogger this was such an encouraging post. There’s always so much anxiety that comes from putting your writing and views out there, but the book blogging community has been exceptionally lovely and welcoming. Posts like this just further that opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kat Impossible says:

    AMAZING post! I could relate to everything you said right from the beginning. While the look isn’t everything, some blogs are actually hard to read because they e.g. choose a neon purple background and a yellow font and then my eyes hurt. Also, I am way more likely to visit someone else’s blog if they showed genuine interest in what I wrote.
    I have to admit that I still struggle with Twitter and social media in general sometimes. Like you, I am not that into Instagram, but I do like to see what happens on Goodreads. If I just want to get a quick overview of who liked which book, I am more likely to check there before reading their entire reviews (as I mostly do that after reading the book myself).
    I am currently COMPLETELY out of the ARC game hahaha but I also only ever had eARCs to begin with. There is nothing wrong with them, but somehow they just seemed less prestigious some days. Anyway, too much stress for now, but I think you summed up what’s really important while requesting very well.
    Sorry for the long comment, but again, that was such a great post!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      I agree so much with that, I try to keep an open mind about the design thing because I don’t want to lose out on amazing posts because of that! But yellow fonts really make it a hard job for me! SAME, I don’t know how to be relevant on Twitter, but I try. I just find it helpful when I want to nerd over stuff with people, so I will keep using it even though I know I’m a twitter failure, lol! What is your Goodreads username? Did I befriend you there? ARCs are really nice and also very stressful and I suppose they are, in a way, very prestigious. I mostly love them and try to keep a positive outlook when it comes to them. I don’t think they are such a huge deal, but they are definitely nice.
      Thank you for commenting and don’t apologize, please, I loooove long comments! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      I actually had to google this because I had no idea what SEO is, my bad! I can only talk about book blogging – I think you can do without it because I (for one) find the most blog posts from WordPress Reader or Twitter, I rarely, if ever, google articles.

      Like

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