College Blogging 101: Don't Let The Memes Eat You Alive!!!


College Blogging 101 is a weekly meme hosted by Lili's Reflections where a variety of hosts answer questions and give advice in regards to blogging in college. The purpose of this is to help upcoming college students and to create an open discussion forum. If you would like to write a guest post, please fill out this form. If you have a question you want answered, please fill out this form.
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The title pretty much says it all. Don't let the memes eat you alive!

In college, your blog is bound to change. It's hard to keep posting as many reviews as you did before and to keep blogs active, people tend to resort to memes. Now, there's nothing wrong with memes. I love memes! I post a top ten tuesday nearly every week and whenever I actually do get books I throw up that stacking the shelves post like nobody's business.

But the issue is that since some memes can be put together in a mere ten minutes (waiting on wednesday immediately comes to mind), they tend to take over some blogs. Sure, your blog is active, but do you really want your blog to be all memes with only a few reviews scattered throughout the month?


I say use the memes to your advantage to create discussions. I'm guilty of throwing up two memes a week (STS and TTT) and occasionally a third (WoW) if I happen to be low on content that week. My personal belief is that any more than three memes a week is a little excessive, but that's an opinion that varies from blogger to blogger.

My best piece of advice to avoid a meme meltdown and the subsequent lack of accepted review requests and high statistics that tend to follow such a catastrophy is this...

Create New Content!!!

As bloggers, we are all creative people. Odds are that we have a lot of ideas floating around in our heads and it just took a while for them to form. If you have an idea that you want to put into effect, do it! Don't allow anyone to hold you back! You can, surprisingly, find that you are greeted with open arms and a huge support-system. Those memes that you once relied on? They were created by people looking to have new content for the blog once too!

This post that you're reading right now? It's part of a series to help my blog have new content while staying up to date. It was started on a whim and look how successful it is! Not only do I have many guest reviewers that help out because they enjoy such content, but I have supporters and readers who genuinely are learning from this quasi-advice column/discussion weekly forum I've got going. It's a great feeling to put up posts that I want to put up instead of a post I feel obligated to to increase blog traffic. I've got something being posted every Sunday and a lot less stress about when that next review will go up because there is active and unique content on my blog.

So...the best way to create new content? Have a discussion!

On top of these posts, I throw up a casual discussion post on a topic I've been thinking about or a rant that I've been wanting to go on whenever I feel like it. This typically happens once or twice a month when I realize that I just didn't have enough time to finish a book that I wanted to review that week and I want to put something else up in that review's place. Nearly every blogger does this. If you have a follower base, they obviously care about your thoughts. This is your time to shine! Take the opportunity to create new content and throw up a discussion post on that bookish itch you just can't scratch and get your followers talking!

It's a good feeling!
If the average discussion post doesn't satisfy your need to create new content...then go above and beyond! Bring your other passions into your blog and share them with the world!

My favorite new feature that I have is The Broadway Review. As a New York City college student, I often find myself going to Broadway shows for heavily discounted prices. Here's my place to share my thoughts with you while helping tourists find ways to get cheap tickets and enjoy Broadway too. It's a win/win for everyone! I'm creating new and original content while my readers get something new and refreshing to read.

Other bloggers often bring their other hobbies (aside from reading) into their blog as well. One of my favorite examples of original content is from Gillian at Writer of Wrongs. She has a feature called "Baking the Books" where she bakes something that encompasses her favorite books. My favorite one was the one I helped out with entitled "Cinder Fortune Cookies!" You can find that here.

My other favorite example of real life hobbies brought into the blook blogosphere is Betty's feature about being eco-friendly entitled, EcoBetty 101! Found at Book Rock Betty, she takes the time to share her thoughts on living eco-friendly in a variety of ways because it is something she is passionate about. Her passion shines through in her posts and it's such a success because her readers see that.
Why oh why do you have a fire bra, lady?
Lady Gaga up there is right. Be proud of who you are! If you have another passion aside from books, let it shine! Don't allow the fact that your blog was initially intended for books hold you back. Be honest with your readers and allow them to see another aspect of you. Original content that connects us to who you are makes us even more interested in what you have to say. Believe it or not, we really do want to hear your opinions and thoughts.

Such ideas will make blogging seem like less of a chore when you experience a blogging slump. It makes you want to create new content and keep the blog active because you're posting about a passion instead of posting about obligation. New content that comes from the heart allows you to post happily about something you love and are eager to share. Trust me, you can't type that post out fast enough!

So sit down and think...what do I want to start doing that I enjoy? Blogging is for your enjoyment and any posts thrown up are first and foremost for you. Share your own original content with the world and see what happens!

However, make sure it is original! Don't take another person's idea without giving credit where credit is due, then things can just get a little messy and nobody really wants that.

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What are some examples of your favorite types of original content? Does any blog you know about have a unique feature that you've never seen before? Please comment below with your thoughts! Every comment is greatly appreciated!

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I was a member of the meme mafia for awhile. I finally had to scale back as I felt like they were taking over my blog. Now I just participate in three a week.

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