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January 19, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Memes

Last year I did a series of helpful blogging posts about various topics that were of interest to book bloggers. You can see all of them here. I want to pick this series up again this year. I'm hoping to post weekly. If you also want to share tips, let me know and I will set up a linky tool. I'm also wanting to expand the topics a little to include all bloggers who talk about books (meaning, publishing people, authors, reviewers, etc.). If there is a topic you would like to see me cover, please leave it in the comments.
I've now been blogging for a year (my blogaversary was Sunday, January 15). As everyone knows, getting noticed in the blogsphere can be difficult, but unless you only want to talk to yourself, it's very necessary. Twitter has been extremely helpful in spreading the word about my blog to authors and readers. However, a great way to connect with the blogging community has been participating in memes.

What is a meme? 

According to Dictionary.com: "a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes."

Yeah... In the blogging word a meme is a posting that many people share. It involves a shared theme or topic. For example, Tips on Thursday could be a meme if other bloggers participated by writing a post on their blog giving advice on blogging. Everyone participating links their post to the hosting blog.  

Why do a meme?

There are several reasons to do a meme. Mostly it's about exposure. It is expected that those participating in the meme will visit the other participating blogs. It can be a great way to discover new bloggers that either share your taste or maybe your total opposite. You should also leave a comment so not only are bloggers discovering your blog, their readers can discover your blog when you leave a clickable link back to your post in the comments.   

There are so many memes that you could do one (or multiple) meme each day. I don't recommend it. Memes can be great to provide filler content when you are behind in reviews, not sure what to blog about, or already blogging about the topic and want to link it to a larger group. In small doses they can be fun, but do too many and they lose their appeal.


Other information on memes:
Memes can help you build community or establish relationships with bloggers. Anyone can participate in a meme. Things to keep in mind to be a good participant:
  • Link back to the hosting blog within your post. Many will have a graphic you can "grab" and will already be coded to link back to the blog.
  • Follow any instructions that are stated by the hosting blog
  • Remember to link directly to the post and not just your blog in general when adding it to the linky tool on the host blog.
  • Visit as many participating blogs as possible. You probably won't be able to visit all the blogs as some memes have 100s of participating blogs. Try to at least visit 10 blogs and leave a comment! 
Each meme has a purpose, so you will need to decide why you want to do a meme and then that will help you decide which one to do. In the beginning I wanted to drive traffic to my blog and meet other bloggers. I did Follow Friday at ParaJunkee's View and Book Blog Hop at Crazy for Books (this one is on hiatus). These were great because there was a question prompt for you to write on, a kind of get-to-know you question. Also they have a lot of participants. 


After doing these a couple of times, I decided that I wanted to do a little more book related memes. I've occasionally participated in What's in your mailbox? at Story Siren. I liked this one because you didn't have to post on a certain day so if I needed to fill a day, I could slip this one in.


I still participate in It's Monday! What are you reading? at Book Journey. I use this one to provide summaries of the books I'm reading each week since I don't include summaries in my reviews. This meme really encourages bloggers to visit other blogs. If you visit 10 blogs you send an email to the host and she does a drawing each week for a cool prize.


I did Waiting on Wednesday at Breaking the Spine once. I had a book that had just released its cover and I really wanted people to know about the book. I was hoping that by participating in the meme that I would draw a bit more attention to it.


Other memes:
Like I said there are gazillions of memes available both to those who are strictly book bloggers, but also those who are authors. Here is a short list of the more popular memes (or the ones I see often). I welcome you to leave your favorite memes in the comment section.

Six Sentence Sunday This one is for authors to share 6 sentences for a WIP or published work.
Teaser Tuesday You share a two sentence tease from the book you're currently reading.
Flasher Fiction Friday This is more for writers. You get a picture prompt then write a 100 word story.
5 Best Books A category is given and you come up with your own list of best books. I participated here.
Cover Crazy Share those book covers you love.
Top 10 Tuesday A theme is provided each week and you create your top 10 list (similar to 5 Best Books).
Whether you are needing a topic for a post, wanting to tell the world about you favorite book, or just want to meet other bloggers, memes are a great resource. Remember to adhere to the rules, visit as many other blogs as possible, and above all have FUN!


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