Monday, January 19, 2009

Blog Improvement Project Assignment #2.1

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Sophisticated Dorkiness: Assignment # 2 Blog Improvement Project

Part 1 — Brainstorming Ideas:

Read the articles (below) and find a technique that you think will help you brainstorm, then spend some quality time brainstorming.

24 Things to do When Stuck for a Topic to Blog About
Brainstorming Techniques for Bloggers
9 Steps to Better Blog Post Ideas

Keep track of the topic ideas you’ve brainstormed for a time in the future when you need some ideas. Come back and comment on this post or sign the Mr. Linky below with a post about brainstorming techniques you found particularly helpful or other brainstorming techniques you use.

I read the articles. But here's the thing. When you're a book review blog, you're a book review blog. It doesn't take brainstorming to come up with things to blog about. You've got plenty of 'things' to blog about. These 'things' are called books. And if you're like me, your house is already full of them. So you don't even have to brainstorm how to come up with books to blog about. I don't want to sound bitter. I'm not. And I think the articles could prove useful to other bloggers. Especially to bloggers just starting out, or to bloggers with more diverse coverings.

The issues I deal with as a book review blog are specific.

Choosing which book to read next.
Making time to read the book.
Making time to review the book.
Deciding between publishing reviews as I go--as I write them--or scheduling them in advance.

I have other concerns of course.

I think about how to promote my blog so that it reaches the right audience.
How to keep myself motivated so that I'll post on a consistent basis--be that two times a week or seven.
How to improve the layout and look of my blog.
How to write in such a way to encourage conversation, dialogue, comments.

Maybe brainstorming to write articles or focused bibliographies once or twice a month would be helpful and bring in new readers. Who knows? It's something I'll keep in mind.

Of course, I'd be happy to pull in other types of posts occasionally.

I did gift-giving list/link type posts last fall. It's hard to judge how 'successful' this type of post was since without comments there's no determining if people liked the posts, thought them useful or thought it was irrelevant, or whatever.

I've written a post or two on the importance of parents reading to their children--yes, babies too!

My focus is so specific here that most of the other 'ideas' get written up at Becky's Book Reviews. If there's a debate, scandal, or frenzied reaction going on in the kidlitosphere, I'm more likely to write about it at Becky's Book Reviews.
If there are memes going around, again, I'm more likely to do at Becky's Book Reviews.
If I'm featuring an author interview or taking part in a blog tour, I'm going to put it on Becky's Book Reviews because it has the bigger readership.
If I'm hosting a challenge, unless it's specifically designed children's books (younger end of children's books--under ten crowd), I'm going to be posting about it at Becky's Book Reviews. Which means the Young Readers challenge is here. As are all the roundup posts.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers


  1. I am going to have to read your other Blog Improvement Posts before I comment for real. And maybe I will comment on the other blogs, otherwise I'll come back here.

  2. I think you're right, Becky - in a book review blog, you mainly post book reviews. The thing is, sometimes you haven't finished the book you're reading and you'd like to come up with a blog post all the same, to keep people interested - that's where a feature comes in handy.

    You don't have this problem because you read so many books and so quickly -I would love to be able to do the same! But I know it's just not going to happen.

  3. Absolutely right: if the blog is a book review blog, then book reviews are it! Unfortunately I can't manage more than three reviews a week, and usually it's just one or two. So I do need to have some other types of posts.

  4. Hi!
    I'll agree with everyone else. If your blog is about book reviews you would want, at least I would, like something else to be book related. Have a great day!


  5. I know exactly what you mean. I blog about crime fiction exclusively. Still I did find inspiration for blog posts which are related to my books and which I think might send more visitors my way.
    Perhaps you could use one or two of them as well (depending on HOW young your readers are, of course :))

  6. Seems reasonable. I do think certain types of blogs are set in the types of posts you do and the readers expect!