|Back in my day...|
These last few months I've seen older bloggers, like myself, say, "What's with the giveaway blogs? What the heck is a blog hop?" I realize now that these trends are what newer bloggers use to gain influence and attention the way that 5 years ago reading challenges and memes did. Whether or not these trends will be successful I do not know. In 5 years, there will be something totally different I'm sure. I don't know how I would feel as a new blogger now. There are so many blogs out there. How would I find my place? What would I do to get someone to comment on my blog? That's a hard question to answer and I just don't know.
Anyway, I wanted to look at my past advice and work out if it is good or, like my Grandmother's ideas, totally square. These are mostly just thinking aloud ideas.
Reading Challenges: These were all the rage a few years ago. Everybody was doing one or two or a dozen and just about everyone hosted one. Now the refrain I hear most often is "I don't want to get too overwhelmed." Fair enough. We're all busy. I think people don't have as much time to read challenge books because they have deadlines from publishers or want to read the new releases. Or they've realized that they just can't do every challenge that comes along.
I still believe challenges are great ways to meet other bloggers, especially if the challenge is in your niche. If nothing else, you'll find a few blogs to follow (and read lots of interesting books). Hosting a challenge, on the other hand, might not get you a lot of traffic. People tend to stick with the tried and true (Once Upon a Time Challenge, The Canadian Books Challenge) and the fairly general ones. If you plan on challenging yourself to read all of Maeve Binchy's work in a year, you might be going it alone.
Memes: I always talked memes up as a great way for new bloggers to connect with others. When I started blogging, there were a few memes like Booking Through Thursday that I participated in. In one week, 30 or so bloggers would participate. It was easy enough to comment on all those blogs. Then it got huge and I couldn't keep up. Now it looks to be about the same as it was when I started.
Of course, there are hundreds of memes out there. You could do several a day if you wanted but readers tend to get bored if you do too many. Hosts of memes encourage mutual commenting but if the meme is a big one, it can be a daunting task. I'm still not sure if the meme thing is a good way to get attention any more. What do you say? Yea or nay.
Other advice I've given:
-Commenting on lots of blogs: You probably have to keep commenting on the same blogs to get their attention. And say something, not just "nice blog." If you follow bloggers whose books or style you like, you'll have more to say.
Bloggers are busy creating content or reading or living their lives. Not everyone can comment on every blog that comments on theirs everyday. I also don't know how the Big Bloggers can possibly comment on everyone's blog. They could have hundreds of commenters a post.
-Twitter: Yeah, not so much. A year ago I would say get yourself on Twitter but it's so big now you get easily lost under everyone else's tweets.
|Pay attention, because this affects you.|
Thoughts on New Trends:
Blog Hops: I have no opinion on these as I barely know what they are.
Giveaways: Ok, I've done a few and they really didn't increase my traffic. The people who entered them were mostly people who already followed me. It was hard getting people to enter even. Giveaways are a dime a dozen these days. Readers have their pick of the litter. Gone are the days people got excited when someone was giving away a old copy of Wuthering Heights (for the record, I still get excited about that!). And the "Follow my blog" thing causes small mutinies. Plus, if bloggers are funding giveways themselves, it can get expensive and how do you keep track of them all? If you want to do giveaways because you enjoy it, by all means do it!
Reviewing New Releases: I like the latest thing. To be the first. To start a trend. But being the first can be lonely. When I review new books, I don't get a lot of comments because there is no one else to talk about it, even if that book is popular in a month or two. If you can, leave off reviewing those books until you see other people talking about them. Then you have something to talk about with those bloggers. :)
I'm probably missing tons of other ones. So, what trends have you noticed from old and new bloggers? Are these the best ways to get noticed and find blogging pals? What has been your experience? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? Why am I asking so many questions?