How I Organize My Blogging Schedule

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers posting lately about how they keep on top of their blogging schedule, so I thought I’d share as well.

Up front, know that I’ve written this post, already posted it once, and am now rescheduling it for May 2018. It’s currently March 2018.

My posting schedule varies throughout the year. For the most part, over winter and summer break I post at least once a day between Monday and Friday. That means I write near 20 posts a month at maximum. It sounds like a lot. But know that I do these in little increments during the previous month, so really it’s only a few posts a day since I schedule them out so far in advance.

But during the school year, or even when work is getting busier, I drop down to 2 posts a week. Right now, I’m on one post a week. But I still schedule these posts out a good month in advance. And keeping at least 2 days free, helps me to post and schedule timely content when things pop up. Like when John Green announced a new book, or hey OMG I GOT MARRIED!

Personally, I prefer the lower schedule, if only because I have space to post reviews more freely (and also it’s a lot less work, obviously). Continue reading “How I Organize My Blogging Schedule”

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Formatting Your Posts: Part 2

Last week we talked mostly about images, but there are many more ways to clean up your posts. Let’s get started!

Lines, Headings, & Other Separators

Lines & Custom Breaks

Continuing with images, let’s talk about separating your content when you want to add a little flare. In most blogging platforms a simple <hr>, aka Horizontal Rule, will add a line for you to separate your content. Like so:


But maybe you want to add a bit more flare or maybe section headers to your post. Before you make your own line, you’ll want to check the width of your post body.

I'm a custom break!.png

I'm also a custom break!.png

Personally, I just make the original image 1000 pixels long and maybe 100-200 pixels high, depending on what I want to add in the banner.

The cleanest line, however, is <hr>.

Remember, if you are going to make your own breaking lines, center the image so that it sits in the middle and not randomly off to the side or awkwardly grabbing at your text.  Continue reading “Formatting Your Posts: Part 2”

Formatting Your Posts: Part 1

Thus far you’ve put together some posts on your own, made some fancy images for them, and scheduled them for some date in the future. Now let’s clean it all up.

This… will be my most catty post about blogging. I have many visual preferences and coming from a new media background certainly does not help my snobbery, so I’d like to apologize to all the people I’m about to offend.

Images

Let’s get this out of the way: DO. NOT. JUST. PLOP. YOUR. IMAGES. IN . YOUR. POSTS. WITHOUT. ALIGNING. THEM. PLEASE. AND. THANK YOU.

There is nothing more aggravating to me than people who just plop photos down in their posts without a care of how it all looks after it’s published.

Case in point.

It's not always abouttrying to fix somethingthat's broken.Whelp! There it is. Just sitting on the side of the post, breaking up the text.

And it bugs me to no end.

So let’s talk about moving these images around so that you can have a cleaner looking product. Continue reading “Formatting Your Posts: Part 1”

Requesting ARCs

Everyone loves reading books before they come out! I know I do! But how do we book bloggers get our hands on advanced reader copies? Let me count the ways.

#1 NetGalley/Edelweiss and Other Services

NetGalley, Edelweiss, First to Read, Bookish First and many other programs offer a way for you to get an e-galley of the book before publication. It will be delivered to your kindle or nook for your reading pleasure. Because you are getting a galley, chances are there will be mistakes in the copy, so try not to hold them against the book when you review it.

#2 Conventions

I attend BookCon every year and run around to the many booths to get my grubby little hands on advanced copies. When you get a physical ARC, they have information for who to contact with a review and when to post it on the back cover. Which brings us to the next way to get an ARC.

#3 Contact the Publisher/Agent

As you review more you will make contacts with publishers, agents, and authors. You can reach out to them to request specific copies of books. I personally request from Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and the New Leaf Literary Agency. I have made these contacts at conventions. Continue reading “Requesting ARCs”

Feature Images

Let’s talk images! Every post should have one! You heard me. One. Yes, there are exceptions and personal preferences so let’s just dive right in.

Feature Images

Feature Images are great! They are the first image people see for your post. You can see mine for this series right at the top of this post! You also probably saw it in your reader, twitter feed, or facebook feed. You said, “Oh! Jessica has a new informative post up! I should click that!”

Would you have clicked if there was just a grey box? Or just the logo on my site?

Probably not.

There are many tools online to make images for your blog. I highly recommend Canva.com. They have many templates, sizes, images, fonts, and plenty of tools for you to create eye catching material for your blog.

Every template has a different size for its features. It might be a perfect square, it might be 800×500 pixels. You can check this in most media/customization settings on most platforms.  Continue reading “Feature Images”

Setting Up Your Blog

It’s time to get started! You’re not writing a review, you’re not posting your “Hello, World!”, you’re not creating content. You’re choosing from a plethora of themes, colors, and widgets. But even before that, let’s talk names.

Naming Your Blog

For most free accounts for blogs your username will become part of the URL to your site. For example. If your username on WordPress is SomeRandoBlogAboutBooks, your URL will be SomeRandoBlogAboutBooks.wordpress.com.

Imagine putting that on a business card to promote yourself.

That’s insane.

And consider what your blog is going to be about. My blog started as a place to post work for school. It had to have my name. Now I use it to promote myself as a writer, it should still have my name.

Here are some tips for naming your blog and coming up with your URL.

  • Are you a writer yourself and do you need build a platform?
  • Keep it short and sweet and easy to write down and remember.
  • Read it out loud to avoid awkward words

Continue reading “Setting Up Your Blog”