105 Ways to Give a Book

The Edge of the Forest: Be a B-List Blogger

The March 2007 issue of The Edge of the Forest is now up, featuring interviews with Newbery Honoree Kirby Larson and with the hilarious Jenny Han. There are also reviews in all categories — from Picture Book to Young Adult. (Don’t miss Brian Farrey’s “Open Letter to Adam Selzer.”) Lots of other features to numerous to mention make this a must-read ’zine.

The Edge includes my new article, “Be a B-List Blogger.” I felt I needed to give some tips back to the book blogging community after being asked so many times about my own rise to B-list fame. Okay, maybe I was asked once. And now that I think about it, the question may have been if I could “go all night long,” but anyway, I took it as a cry for help.

I entered the kidlitosphere in complete and utter naiveté. My husband had been bugging me for a year to get a blog, after the many times I would bug him about including some adult book or some earth-shattering thought of mine on his blog. Then one day I just decided to do a blog about books. We set up the site, and I started writing. I knew nothing of other book blogs. I hadn’t followed blogs at all. I was actually quite surprised to find out how many were out there, and how good they were. While I started writing pretty much for myself and my friends, I soon wanted to be part of the larger community. But how?

The answer to that question is contained in my article at The Edge. Most of the tips came to me along the journey. Some of them were only available to me upon reflection. But I hope that the suggestions can help other bloggers that are struggling with their own road to blog-improvement.

On a personal, related note, in my article I mention that commenting on blogs helps get you noticed, and I want to say to some bloggers who comment here, that I do notice you and I do appreciate your support. I often bookmark blogs that are new to me, and I visit occasionally to see how they’re growing up. I rarely put a blog that is just starting out on my blogroll, because I think everyone needs time to find their voice. And honestly, sometimes I just forget. I am not an organized person, and I am at this point a deeply overwhelmed person, so there are things that just don’t happen. But I am happy that you read MotherReader, and I hope you keep coming back until the day you’re an A-list blogger and I’m begging you for a little blog-time. ’Cause that’s how things roll in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of blogging.

14 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm a C-list blogger, and I'll just have to content myself to stay that way for a while (since I don't post daily...). Someone has to be C-list, though, so you B-listers can be envied. :)

Kristin said...

I'm a B list blogger... I don't think I mind... I don't really link to a lot of people, I am very poor at commenting (although I do read!) and I don't understand Technorati!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I'm a D-List blogger! But then, Technorati says that only 9 blogs link to me (I think the actual number is closer to 16). Hah. Someday, I'll show 'em. For now, I'm the Eric Roberts of bloggers.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Never mind that last comment. I checked my stats again, and I am a C list blogger. Hurrah! I've moved up from Eric Roberts. Now, I'm... oh, who am I? Judge Rheinhold?!

The Buried Editor said...

I'm to chicken to see. I think I'm a z-list. I tried to do a blog roll once, but it never even made it on the site. I got paranoid I was going to leave someone out and gave up. Now I just link everytime I find something I think my authors need to read.

cloudscome said...

Hey that is a great article. I appreciate all the tips. And I am tickled pink that you mentioned me as an example of being on my way... *big grin* I really needed the boost this week too! I've been falling down on the job I am afraid. You are my hero!

Jen Robinson said...

What a great article! I want to send it to everyone I know. I definitely intend to link to it.

I checked a while back and had made my way into B-List blogger territory. I know that I can keep learning and improving from many of your suggestions. I especially like the idea that if you read five of my posts that don't have my name on them, you should be able to tell that it's me. A unique voice is important, and something I'd like to keep working on.

I appreciated you mentioning me in the content of branding - it's something that I learned about for my corporate alter-ego, and it's nice to know that it's helping here, too. One other point about that (which may be obvious, but which I still think is worth mentioning) is that it helps a lot if the thing that you are branding yourself with is something that you are genuinely passionate about. Leila clearly cares about book banning and censorship. I clearly care about literacy and kids who love books. Michele clearly cares about fantasy and Dr. Who stories. And so on. I don't think it can be faked over the long haul (not that you were advocating that at all, I'm just thinking out loud). Anyway, excellent article all around. Thanks!

Liz B said...

Great article; I wish I had known all that when I began, rather than stumbling onto them as the year went on.

But, I just checked and I am now B List!!! Yay!!

MotherReader said...

Thanks guys. The B-list thing is based on links, so it's a little unreliable, but still one way to track your blog's growth. If you're interested in getting out there more, then it is more work. You don't have to hit every one of the pointers to make the B-list, but it gives you areas to work on - should you even want to put the work into it.

Liz, I knew that you were just on the cusp, which goes to show how messed up the thing is, because you run a great ship over a A.C.A.F.A.A.T.C. (I love doing that acronym.)

Jone said...

Hey, your article is exactly what I needed to read. I am trying to raise the level of awareness with my library blog so am trying new ideas out, thanks to Kelly.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the article, for those of us new to the blogging biz, it is good to know what we are shooting for! Just like anything, I think being a good blogger takes practice and time - of which I need more of both!

G Elliott said...

FYI - I am a noobie and initially thought this was great, and posted alink button on my blog, but have since removed it. Why?

When I look at the site again there was a link entitled "Back that a** up!" which takes you to a "Cute Asians page". Nothing wrong with that - it is not pron, but my site is aimed at students and I do not want to be accused of redirecting or linking them to anything dubious.

Just giving you all a heads up - I think the kineda site is great but am wary about this part of it on the basis of my target audience for my blog.

G Elliott said...

^^ sorry the reference is not "A Cute Asians" page as quoted - rather "Nice Eye Candy" and "smokin' hot".

Just pointing this out to you all as I feel many of us posting in this book section are aiming our blogs at kids. It is your call.

Michele said...

Apparently I'm C-list too - but then, I've been blathering on about my Doctor Who obsession and not really writing many book reviews the past few weeks, so that's no more than I deserve !

And to be honest, I don't care a huge amount. I don't have enough of a commitment to my Blog (because I have too many other interests to take up my time) to care about trying to compete with the likes of Fuse#8 !

That said, two different publishers and an author have all approached me in the last two days to ask me to review for them, so I guess I must be doing something right !