I’m sure you’ve already figured this out (I mean, you guys are all so soopah smart!) but… I’m a pretty rockin’ book penguin. They should totes make a movie about me in the future. Working title: The Beak and the Bookshelves. Featuring me, obvs–12 full hours of me in a chair, READING! Wouldn’t that just be the bestest movie EVAR?! Of course it would. I’m pitching it to producers this weekend.
But I digress–let’s get back on track here! Do you all know the movie The Pebble and the Penguin? (no, nooooo, I toooooooootes don’t want to go shove it in my DVD player now, c’mon that’s just crazy talk…) If you DON’T know this movie, you need to drop everything right this second and go find a copy–it’s super adorable. If you DO know this movie, kudos!–you’ll better understand the next few sentences!
So the ENTIRE plot of the movie…is to find the most perfectest prettiest pebble in the WORLD in order to attract the most perfectest prettiest penguin mate, basically. I mean, obvs I’ve left some things out, but basically this is the movie. WHY does this matter?!
I’m here to tell you, being the bestest most perfectest book penguin evar?! Is preeeeeeeeetty much exactly the same thing, except with books. And, well, the only one you really have to impress is yourself. Isn’t that GREAT?! I think it’s GREAT. I’m totes making this work for me.
“BUT BETH!” I know you’re saying. “You’re the greatest most epical book penguin I know! How could I possibly compete?!”
To which I say…. Welcome to my newest blog post!
Disclaimer: I do not guarantee you WILL, following these steps, be just as awesome sauce a book penguin as I. I will always be better, because I will always be the first. But…you can come close!
Not every book penguin is the same, and that’s both A-OKAY and exactly the way it should be! Can you imagine a world full of ME?! That’s a scary idea, and one I never ever want to experience EVAR. Seriously, one of me is almost TOO much for this world to handle!
Now, finding your nesting niche means a great many many things. Let’s walk through them:
–the types of books you want to read
–the types of posts you want to produce
–how you want your blog to look
–who your target audience is
–how you want to come across to your readers
Of course, this may not be ALL the proper penguin-dance steps, but…well, a lot of it comes down to breaking it down. So let’s shall, yes?
Now, I’m not saying you HAVE to have your ice igloo all built and pretty going into this–sometimes, figuring out your theme is the MOST DIFFICULT PART! I mean seriously, it took me almost an entire year to figure out how I wanted my blog to look and implement the penguin army. So if you only have a vague idea, or you’re not sure where to start, don’t panic!
Some things to keep in mind, though, when you begin seeking out your forever (or yearly, or monthly, or weekly, or EVERY OTHER DAY because you get bored quickly like I do) “home”–
–is the text readable?
–is the background too bright, or too dark?
–is your page TOO cluttered, or too sparse?
–are you going to have a bio on a separate page, in the sidebar, or both?
–are you okay using graphics, or have you decided to not?
In the end, this is honestly ALL ABOUT YOU and driving your personality home, but certain things might drive your readers away. Clashing colors, text that is too intricate or too tiny, a very cluttered and eye-heavy backdrop… These things DO matter, so wander around the blog block a little and figure out what things you like and what things you don’t about other people’s pages! Trust me, this helps!
No matter WHAT, you want your blog to BE another part of you. I mean…think of it like muscle building. Are you the type of penguin who puffs out their chest and loves to be noticed?! You’ll probably mold your blog more toward your unique and individualized personality. For instance, my blog? is FULL of penguins, bright colors, and fun graphics. I also fill my posts with shouting, snark, and silly wordplay, because those are all the things that make me, ME.
You don’t have to be flashy and loud, though–if you’re more reserved, the type of penguin who holds their wings close to themselves and keeps their beak down, that’s cool too! Try to put yourself into your posts where you can–even quiet penguins can and should be noticed, after all!
Now, this is where it starts getting a bit more difficult–and much more based on your own personal preferences! I, personally, chose early on to post ALMOST. EVERY. DAY. Of course, this can–and IS–exhausting. Some days, I come home and all I want to do is crawl into my ice cave of darkness. Some days, I just don’t have the energy. Scheduling posts ahead of time helps with this immensely–I don’t always get all the posts done that I WANT, but I can at least get some done ahead of time and be sure I’ll still have something posted up.
I also chose to participate in memes almost every day of the week. This may change in the future–there are, of course, some that are less popular than others. But right now, the memes keep my bird-brain busy, and I personally enjoy putting those posts together. Not everyone does, though–and a lot of authors/publishers, when seeking out people for reviews, tend to avoid blogs who put out MORE memes than they do reviews/unique posts. You’ll notice, even though I post a lot of memes, I ALSO post a TON of reviews and original blogs as well–it balances out.
You don’t HAVE to do memes, though, just like you don’t HAVE to post reviews, or make up your own unique flavor of blogs… It’s really all up to you, and what you want out of your blog!
If you ARE in the book reviewing field, you’ll realize RIGHT AWAY that people want to know what to expect out of your reviews. Again, don’t worry if you don’t have this all figured out when you start up! This is, like almost everything in life, a learning/growth spectrum–life changes, and so will you in the course of your blogging career! (Trust me, my reviews haven’t always been as web-toe spectacular as they are now! That, like my blog theme, took almost a year to perfect, and I’m sure they’ll change again in the future!)
It helps, though, to have a general idea the sort of things you most want to read. When I started this blog, I was still sort of “stuck” in the same old things I’d always picked up–I hadn’t yet expanded my reading circle, so instead was focused a lot on the authors I grew up reading. Soon after discovering goodreads, though, I noticed a drastic shift in my reading habits. I started by picking up ALL THE YA OF EVAR, especially dystopian novels, because that’s what kick-started my obsession. And then, after several months of experimentation, I branched out again… and AGAIN… and AGAIN! Now, you can expect to see a ton of different genres–romance, erotica, steampunk, thriller…
and a TON of indie books! This year especially for me has been ALL ABOUT the indie authors, and guys, let me tell you–it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for my reading life.
If you LOVE a certain type of book and only want to focus on books like it, DO IT! If you’re more like me and get bored SOOPAH easily (and therefore need some spicy tuna in your life), DO THAT! Go out there and pick up a few different genres. Experiment, let yourself try new things, figure out what you most want out of your reading world. Trust me, this will go a long way for you!
And of COURSE, blogger penguins NEED other blogger penguins to yell at, to recommend things to, to hold discussions with, to sob over those crazy characters with…. which means you need to figure out what type of READER you most want on your blog!
Now, there are several ways you’ll probably want to go about this one. First, READ OTHER BLOGS! Seriously, penguins, you can’t figure out for sure who you’re yelling at if you’re not seeing how OTHER people yell first, right?! Reading other blogs will help you figure out your tone, your post personality, your…literally pretty much everything. I, for instance, tend to ADORE other blogger penguins who use copious amounts of snark and humor–and therefore, I use over the top amounts of this, myself! (my cup runneth over with sass, guys. so much sass!)
Second…figure out WHO you want to be yelling at. Are you aiming for a specific type of reader? Are you seeking to be a book blog and a book blog ONLY? Do you want to throw in other types of communities (chronic illnesses, for instance, or movies, or video games, or…?) All of this will help you narrow your telescope in on your target audience, and (hopefully, web-toes crossed!) bring more readers flocking to your page!
So what are you waiting for?! Get out there and find your niche! Once you do, build yourself an ice-shard nest, sit back on your tail feathers, and watch the penguin-ing commence! You won’t be QUITE as good at it as I am, but hey–at least you’ll be close!
What do you guys think? Does this post help you at all? Did I skip or forget any tips?! Feel free to share your thoughts with me below!
Until next time, happy book-ing!