By Iola Goulton | @IolaGoulton
Last week I suggested participating in a weekly or monthly meme or blog hop as a way of developing the blogging habit. This week I'm sharing seven memes to give you some blogging inspiration! As a bonus, they are all great for sharing on social media ... which helps build your author platform and brand.
(If you know you need to start building your author platform but have no idea where to start, or if you've made a start but aren't sure if you're on the right track, you need to join my March Marketing Challenge: Kick Start Your Author Platform. Click here to check it out.)
Particpating in a Meme or Blog Hop
Some bloggers participate each week, others participate less regularly. Most memes don't mind whether you participate or not in any given week. Others have rules. For example, the Author ToolBox Blog Hop is only monthly and doesn't operate in November (because of Nanowrimo) or December. Participants can miss one other month during a calendar year.
Comment and Share
Most memes or blog hops ask participants to visit and comment on at least some of the posts each week/month. I usually visit each site once. If they have a post up, I'll comment (if I can add to the discussion), and share to social media where relevant. For example, I share add all Author ToolBox Blog Hop posts to a jukebox in SocialJukebox, which means they get shared regularly without any further action from me.
Commenting on other posts in the meme is encouraged, it's not usually compulsory (but check the requirements at the host site). A blog hop is similar. The main difference is that participants are encouraged to visit and comment on other particpating blogs.
Respond to Comments
Of course, people are also commenting on my post, so that's the final step: responding to any comments on my own site.
It takes me about half an hour to write, post, and format a #FirstLineFriday post (including creating a post-specific graphic). I then spend half an hour to an hour commenting and responding to comments, depending on how busy I am, how many posts I want to comment on, and how many people have commented on my blog.
That might seem like a lot of time, but it's a its a lot less time than it would take me to read a book and write a book review, yet it serves similar purposes: bringing a book to the attention of people who wouldn't otherwise know about it, and connecting with readers on my own website.
Here are some of the memes and blog hops I've come across. Most of them are focused on fiction, but that's fine. You're a writer—you should also be a reader. Right?
1. Goodreads MondayGoodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To participate, you simply choose a random book from your Goodreads To Read folder, and show it off. Then link back to Lauren's Page Turners.
2. Top Ten TuesdayYour top ten book choices on a certain predetermined topic. The meme is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. There is a link to future questions on each Tuesday post. Most of the participating bloggers focus on Christian fiction. Bloggers often tag featured authors in social media shares, which increases visibility and comments—a win-win.
3. Tuesday Book ChatAnswer a pre-set question about books or reading. This is hosted here at Australasian Christian Writers (yay!). If you'd like to contribute, let us know and we'll send you the list of questions for 2018. Write your post, then share it in the comments of our post.
I also create an image for each question, which I share on social media. I get more comments on Instagram than anywhere else. This means it's a great way of connecting with my followers and finding out what they are interested in.
3.Can't Wait WednesdayA book you're waiting for, and why. This meme is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It's simple: a cover image and book description (from Goodreads or a retail site), and a sentences or two on why you want to read the book.
5. WWW WednesdayWhat are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and has been revived by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.
You can add as much or as little information as you want about each title. This is another excellent way of engaging with fellow readers.
6. Author ToolBox Blog HopThe AuthorToolBoxBlogHop is a monthly blog hop hosted by Raimey Gallant. The hop takes place on the third Wednesday of each month, and posts are on topics relevant to writers e.g. writing craft, editing, marketing, and publishing.
I participate in this Blog Hop as Christian Editing Services. I've yet to be convinced that fiction writers writing about writing is useful—the point of blogging is to connect with readers, which is why I participate with my editor persona.
7. Throwback ThursdayI see a lot of people using the #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT hashtag to recycle old posts. Renee at It's Book Talk has taken this one step further and organised it into a meme. A #ThrowbackThursday title can either be an old favourite (i.e. a recycled book review) or an older book that's been sitting on the To-Read pile for too long. Most book bloggers tend to focus on new or recent releases, so this is a way of getting some of those older must-read books actually read.
Note that not all #ThrowbackThursday bloggers are reviewing Christian fiction (most of the other memes I've mentioned are mostly or exclusively Christian fiction). I recycle a book review each Thursday and tag it as #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday, but I don't officially join the meme (which is hosted by Renee at It's Book Talk).
8. First Line FridayThe first line of a the book nearest you. The meme is hosted by Hoarding Books, and I participate. The posts are quick and easy to schedule, although commenting takes a little longer ... and my to-read pile grows by more books than I can manage thanks to the recommendations of the other participants. #BookWormProblems
Do you participate in any memes or blog hops? What's your favourite (as a reader or as a writer), and why?
About Iola GoultonIola Goulton is a New Zealand book reviewer, freelance editor, and author, writing contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Unpronounceable Names (Iola is pronounced yo-la, not eye-ola and definitely not Lola).
Iola holds a degree in marketing, has a background in human resource consulting, and currently works as a freelance editor. When she’s not working, Iola is usually reading or writing her next book review. Iola lives in the beautiful Bay of Plenty in New Zealand (not far from Hobbiton) with her husband, two teenagers and one cat. She is currently working on her first novel.