Wednesday At the Book Expo: Blogger Con – BEA Bloggers

BEA BUZZ, book expo, BEA, Sheila Dechantal, Book JOurney

Good morning!  As promised, there will be Book Expo recaps and this is the first one.

Last Wednesday was the Blogger Convention Day of The Book Expo.  This year they called it BEA Bloggers.  The whole point of this day, which is actually a prequel to the expo, is a chance for book bloggers to educate themselves on topics that are relevant.  Such topics this year were:

  • Design 101 Creating a Picture Perfect Blog
  • Design 201:  Taking Your Blog To The Next Level
  • Software 101:  Best Blogging Tools
  • Technology 201:  Ad Works
  • Beyond The Blog – Introduce Yourself To Vlogging and Podcasting
  • Blogging And The Law
  • The Publishing Process – How Bloggers Have Changed The Game
  • Engaging Your Readers – Taking Your Writing To The Next Level

The panels were combinations of bloggers, publishers, media….  trying to get a good mix of opinion.  The 101 sessions were designed for newer bloggers and the 201 more advanced.  I spoke at the final session of the day, Engaging Your Readers.



First off the Keynote Speaker was author and Twitter gal, Maureen Johnson.  If you are not familiar with Maureen’s work, she is a YA author who has written 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Name Of The Star, and Scarlett Fever just to name a few.


Maureen Johnson BEA Book JOurney

Maureen as always was funny, sharing some moments about writing, and engaging readers.


I then went into the The Design 201 group with Hafsah Faizal from Icey Designs.  Apparently (new to me) this is a site that helps you design amazing blogs… and they are beautiful – I checked them out.  I did not pick up a lot from this session.

Next up I went to Technology 201:  Ad Networks.  This is a subject I have been curious about and my pal Florinda from The 3 R’s Blog was the moderator.  If you know Florinda, she is this sweet gal and I believe… is 4′ 8″.  Yup…. she is short.  🙂  Before her panel she said to me, “I wonder what I will look like behind the podium?”  I suggested we go find out before the people started coming in for the session.  We went to the front and she stood behind the podium.


Florinda 3 rs blog Sheila Book JOurney

We had a quick laugh together, and Florinda decided to moderate from the table:



Swapna from S. Krishna’s Books was also on this panel.  This panel discussed a few options out there for advertising on your blog – not that it will make you rich and you will leave your day job, but if you are considering bringing in a little money from your site.  Swapna has sold ads herself on her website and said it is a lot of work to keep up on.  Jason from Litbreaker was also on the panel (3rd one in) and he explained how Litbreaker works.  Litbreaker is the only ad I currently have here at Book Journey.  This panel did a wonderful job of answering questions and sharing insights.

I skipped out on the Vlogging session and the Blogging and The Law session.  These were at the same time and I do not see myself vlogging any time soon, and I have in on a law session before, although I did pop my head in to see if there was anything new they were discussing.


panel 3

Then, our group was up.  We had a fun panel.  Mandy Boles was our moderator, Nicole from Linus’ Blanket, myself and Jason from Mediander (which I need to look more into).  Our task was to share what other posts we wrote besides book reviews, different ways to format your posts to be more eye appealing, and how to use social media to enhance your posts.


Some of the highlights that came out of our panel was:


Have post titles that are engaging and make people want to click to see what you wrote.


Asking questions at the end of your post, or writing posts that encourage discussion will create comments


If you are looking for people to read and comment on your blog, you need to put yourself out there on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instigram, Storify, whatever works for you. Comment on other blogs. Join in on meme’s.


Make your comments on posts good. Do not say “nice review” and PLEASE do not add your links to your own posts or blog in the comment. Comments should encourage conversation. Mention your thoughts on the same book, or something you particularly found interesting about the post… if your comments are interesting people will go to your blog to check out what you are writing.


Keep your blog current – try to post at least 4 times a week.


Tag your photo’s that you use in your posts – do not leave them listed under 72.jpg, but change that to include your blog name, maybe your name, author and book title if it is a book pic… this will drive more traffic to your blog when people search images.


Write beyond the books – interesting bookish topics, book club discussions, author events, etc… If you do not know what to write about look up what people are searching for that brings them to your blog.
Break up posts with pictures – always when writing reviews add a picture of the book. Long posts should have another picture in it to break up the wording. We are a visual society.


Font matters, change it up in posts.


Posts should not be longer than 800 words. If you have a long post – consider breaking it up into a series.


Try to set up a tracking on your blog to see what is receiving the most attention.

Set your posts up to go automatically to Twitter when you write them, add them to other social media as well.


I am certain I am not recalling everything from this session this is just my recollection.  Everyone had such great input and I think we did ok. 🙂


So that was the blogger convention.  Next BEA post will be about Harper Collins… the books, the excitement… the party!  Stay tuned…. 😉

30 thoughts on “Wednesday At the Book Expo: Blogger Con – BEA Bloggers

  1. Great advice.
    I can’t post 4 times a week but I like your idea about keeping posts under 800 words and write beyond books.
    I definitely like to engage my readers by asking questions too.
    Thanks for the recap.

  2. Sheila I have never done the Con before BEA. Perhaps this is something I will need to check out next year. Its nice to see that I am doing a few correct things I my blog and its always nice to find out some extra tips. Thanks for sharing your first day with us

  3. Looks like we were in the same two first sessions, the design one and the ads. The first was too basic for me but the one on ads was interesting because I’ve been thinking about it but didn’t know where to start. I also spoke to Jason from Mediander and want to start using this site too. I think it could give bloggers great content.

    I’m still upset that I missed YOUR panel! Darn. But thanks for the recap here. You mentioned some good points. I noticed I’m less formal in my written posts than I used to be, which I think is good.

    Looking forward to reading your other posts on BEA!

  4. Nice recap, Sheila. I’m not sure if I can change fonts on my blog – I have the free I would like to get more creative in my posts – perhaps do a non-review post from time to time.

      1. Sheila, I think it may depend on which theme you’re using, too. I know i can italicize and bold, but not change the font size 😦 Unless there’s something you’re doing that allows you to do that, like an html thing?

        1. On wordpress, there is a spot where it says “paragraph” and I can change it to header 1, header 2, etc…. which are different sizes. I am not sure how that works for other platforms. Interesting.

          1. Hmmm…I have that, too, though it doesn’t seem to change the size : / I remember looking into the html thing, but I guess I don’t understand it enough to make it work.

  5. Thanks for the recap, I am interested in learning more about adding advertising but I really know very little. I did “apply” if that’s the right term to have an audible ad on my blog. I use audible, so it makes sense. I really like the topics you discussed in your panel. While I’ve been blogging nearly 6 years I wasn’t always a book blogger and I wasn’t always aware of how to drive readers to my blog. I’m still learning!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I can only speak for wordpress, but I have to believe it is possible for most sites, in my dashboard there is a media spot where you can connect your posts to go automatically Twitter and to Facebook. I dont do the Facebook one as I do not have a Book Journey Facebook account, just my personal one and I do not want all of my posts to go there.

    2. I used a tool called — I did it a year or more ago and haven’t looked at it since. Works great!

  6. Thanks for this. I’m adding some of these things to my Bloggiesta list!

    I have one point of disagreement with this advice, under one condition:

    “PLEASE do not add your links to your own posts or blog in the comment”

    Some blogs won’t let me comment with my Name / URL. If the account that I have to use to comment isn’t linked to my blog (or worse, linked to my old blog), then I have to leave a link to my blog for the blogger to know who commented.

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