So I understand that the title of this post might be the most absurd you've ever heard (it rhymes, lol). But I have to be honest with you, I am in no place to give out advice to new bloggers based on my experience, because I, myself, am a new blogger. I mean, there are tons of other old, successful bloggers giving out advice, and chances are, theirs will make more sense than mine. But one thing that I as a newbie know, is the stress, the feeling like you're not good enough, and that no one is reading your blog. I got you back, bro. I know how it feels, so I decided to write down a few handy tips for when you are feeling down.
1. You blog stats for the first couple of months will suck, and nothing is wrong with that. You're just starting out, people have not heard of you before, and so it's natural that the hits you get during your first couple of months will be.. crappy. In my first month of blogging, I got 20 page views! That's right, 20! And 10 of them were me checking in on my own blog. DIE WITH ENVY BLOGOSPHERE.
One thing I can assure you is, stats will change. You'll start to gain a few hundred hits per month, then a thousand, then a few thousand, and so on. That's the beauty of blogging, son. Your goals get bigger and bigger as your blog does.
2. Get dem followers, son. To make sure you don't fall into the why-doesn't-anyone-read-my-blog land, you need to get followers. And don't assume that means spamming/kidnapping people and forcing them into following you (although that sounds brilliant, why didn't I think of that?!). No one likes a spammer. Fortunately, you don't have to be; the book blogging community has those little gold mines called memes, or features, where you can follow and get a follow back, and get to know other bloggers as well. Feature and Follow Friday is an awesome example.
3. Post the right things. OK, first off, that just sounded obnoxious. There is no right thing to post, and don't let any one tell you that, certainly not me (fun fact: I tend to be a hypocrite on Mondays). You want to post about your day? Or that upcoming tsunami? Or how your cat snores in her sleep and you're worried about her health? You go Glenn Coco. Do that! It's your blog and you should post whatever you feel like. But from my little experience, I found that discussion posts get the most feedback. That includes page views and comments. Everyone loves a good discussion post, my self included.
I have read a few discussion posts on what makes us, readers, follow your blog. The one thing I remember the most is that the majority of readers don't want a meme-filled blog. One or two memes per week is okay, but a whole bunch of them? Not so much. Personally, another thing that turns me off from following a blog is the amount of blog tours/cover reveals/author interviews that are in it. I don't know about the rest, but they're just not my thing. Supporting an indie author is great, don't get me wrong, but those kind of posts rarely get my attention. I admit I do post some of them here, but only once or twice a month.
4. Don't worry about ARCs, you'll get them when the time is right. Personally, I am predisposed to not worry about ARCs because I'll never get them. This has nothing to do with my blog, and more with my location (Egypt). For a publishing company to send me all the new and hot ARCs would mean they'd go bankrupt within a few weeks. The transportation fees from the US/Europe to Egypt are a bitch, so I don't blame them. If, however, you are one of those lucky bloggers living a somewhat reasonable distance from publishing companies, you need to read those posts, because the bloggers who wrote them know more that I do. Check out this one, this one, and this one.
5. Know your fellow bloggers, and be active. I have to admit, when I first started blogging, I didn't read/comment on any other blogs. I didn't see the point of it, but let me tell you something, I was missing out. Once you start blogging, you'll keep hearing the word "the book blogging community is awesome and friendly." and let me tell you something, that is completely true! The best thing about blogging is those other bloggers whom you can gush with over books. So communicate with them, talk to them on twitter. Most of us are always up for a discussion, and we don't bite (most of the time anyway). Also, it makes things easier if you follow blogs through Bloglovin' or Feedly instead of checking up on them every once in a while.
I hope you find this helpful. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun (I think I just won an award for the cheesiest closing line ever written, but whatever).