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Making Memes Interesting {Tips & Tricks}

Book Blogging Tips and Tricks

How to Make Memes Interesting

There is a lot of talk about the book blog-o-sphere about memes and their place in a book blog. Some of the general advice I’ve seen repeated many times is:

  1. Don’t do too many memes
  2. Original content will always be better than a meme
  3. Memes are a good way to get pageviews/new visitors
  4. Memes can help lessen the pressure of posting every day

Now, I generally agree with these sentiments but I think that there are a couple of different breeds of meme posts: 

  1. Posts where you just grab a book cover/flip to a page/give a short answer
  2. Posts where you spend a fair amount of time compiling a list/finding a perfect quote/writing out a paragraph or two

These two different types of post can really be for any meme out there. I can’t think of any meme that couldn’t have a response post in one of the two categories. This is good news! It means that you can make any meme a more interesting and involved post!

I love reading meme posts of the second type. I love reading people’s reasoning for why they chose the Top Ten Tuesday books that they did, or why they are excited about a particular book for Waiting on Wednesday.

I am rather bored and tired of seeing posts that are literally only the books chosen with ABSOLUTELY no reasoning behind them.

Scrolling through Meme Posts

Scrolling through boring meme posts

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that these are bad or that you shouldn’t do them (or that I won’t do this when I’m tired but still want to get something up), BUT if you are wondering how to get more comments on your meme post, writing more about your reasoning might be something to try. Especially when you suspect some of your readers might not have heard of the books you are featuring. If there is no text and I don’t have any strong opinions about the books listed, I have nothing to comment on D:.

Also, this is just a me being weird thing, but I’m not a huge fan of book blurbs being the only thing listed (like on a Waiting on Wednesday post). I might skim the blurb, but I would really rather read your own thoughts and excitement about the book. Telling me what specifically you are excited about (since maybe it’s that you like the author or the series in addition to the blurb being cool) helps me a lot!

Anywho, those are my completely subjective suggestions on how to make meme posts more interesting! Who knows, maybe if you start writing on a meme topic, you’ll realize you want to write a whole discussion topic on it as well :D.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings– Anya

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. These are all really great tips! The only meme I really do is Top Ten Tuesday, and I love reading those lists when they’re personalized/have an explanation. I’ve been thinking about trying out Waiting on Wednesday too! :)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    • I like Waiting on Wednesday when I have actually heard of a new book that week that I’m excited about. I find it a great way of keeping abreast of what books have been announced ya know?

  2. Yup, I don’t mind memes but I definitely prefer if the blogger puts a little more into it. It makes the post far more interesting to read and stand out from the hundreds of other similar posts going up that day.

  3. I can be lazy on the Waiting on Wednesday posts (and I want to improve) but I do try harder with the other memes I do. I hate visiting someone’s TTT post and seeing 10 book covers with no explanation. There’s nothing for me to say in a comment about 10 book covers.
    Jenna recently posted…Review: Dead Girls Don’t Lie by Jennifer Shaw WolfMy Profile

  4. I don’t like it when people do a WoW and only post the blurb. That makes it feel like a filler post! I know it can be tough to write why you want to read a certain book but something is better than nothing! But my Wow’s are usually more for myself so I can keep track of the books I want to read. However, I do make it as reader-friendly as possible so there can also be a great discussion with it too!
    Annie recently posted…Weekly Recap: October 13-19, 2013My Profile

    • It seems weird to post a WoW without some explanation since if you’re really actually excited for the book, shouldn’t you be bouncing all over to gush about it with friends? I try to only do WoW’s if I’ve actually found a book that I’m excited for that week and I think that helps a lot!

  5. Agreed. My position on memes is mostly to use as interesting filler posts. I like answering questions, and seeing other bloggers’ answers to those same questions. Used sparingly, I’m a fan of the odd meme post, as my latest blog entry shows.

    • Yup, I don’t even like to call them filler though since I feel like that promotes the low effort put into them ya know? If you think of them as posts that need to stand on their own, I think there is a higher mental bar for effort put in at least for me ;-)

  6. Great post Anya, I like adding memes (usually two a week) to my blog. They bring new visitors and make me feel part of the community. I think it’s important to choose ones that you love and then it’s easier to make them your own. I love TTT but I agree that I need to see why a blogger has certain books on their lists, it just makes it more convincing and it feels like the person is making an effort and not just filling space.
    What I hate about memes is all the meaningless comments they bring with them.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish NewsMy Profile

    • There is a problem with meaningless comments. I tend not to go through the meme lists to find blogs to comment on since I rarely find posts that I can actually leave a meaningful comment. I do like doing them and commenting on my friends’ posts though since it feels like it’s a community wide discussion that day :D

  7. I think this is a great point! I almost always skip memes, because they so often are just lists of books.

    • Do you find yourself reading meme posts if there is some discussion or have they just all left a bad taste?

      • I always read Monday Musing posts, since they’re so often discussion based. But unless a Top Ten Tuesday post is on a topic I’m really excited about it, I’ll usually just skip it. I also always, always skip In My Mailbox kind of memes, something I think is an important part of my strategy for staying excited about my own ARCs instead of envying others :) I feel a bit bad admitting to skipping any posts since I really enjoy the blogs I follow, but I think it probably is the right thing to do, since it lets me devote more time to commenting on discussions and reviews. Thanks for the great discussion topic Anya! It really got me thinking :)

        • Interesting, I’ve never gotten in to Monday Musing posts, but I’ll pay attention to the next one to see what they are all about ;-) They always end up weirdly formatted on my feed reader which is a turn off :(

          I love haul posts since they clue me in on what arcs are out and I often don’t realize a book is on NG or EW until I see it pop up in a haul post. Since I’m almost at the blog following where I can get physical ARCs from publishers, I’m starting to pay attention to what people are getting, though it’s still really hit or miss if anything comes of my emails, haha

  8. Hmm, personally I think the way to create and maintain a successful meme is by giving other people a reason to join in. TTT is a huge success because of that, and it also gives a windows for each and every post to be unique.
    Reem @ I Read And Tell recently posted…Does The Author’s Gender Matter?My Profile

    • I’m talking about the memes that you participate in, so posts like TTT. I definitely don’t know the trick of coming up with a successful meme concept myself since that comes down to a lot of luck! But participating meme posts can have a variety of individual effort in them ya know?

  9. I have gotten super lazy and post up my list. You have an excellent point. I like to see why the books are added to a particular list. It is touching to connect to other bloggers, and it is nice to hear their own voice in the memes.

    • No worries, we all do that from time to time ;-) And there isn’t anything wrong with it at all! I just wanted to point out to newer bloggers that they might get more comments and interaction if they wrote something hehe

  10. I’m in total agreement here. I’ll immediately click out of someone’s TTT if all I see is their list in a Book Title, by Author Name format. I end up feeling less than enthused, even if I see books that I actually agree on or even listed on my own post that day! It just sucks the life out of the post for me.

  11. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    I agree! I like knowing why a book has been chosen. Nothing too wordy, but a sentence or two is always good!

  12. I totally agree and I always try to make my memes interesting. I don’t want to write posts just to have a post everyday, I want it to have a meaning. Top Ten Tuesdays take some time to write and I always include links to excerpts of the book I feature on Waiting on Wednesdays. I think these two memes can be very interesting if there’s some thought put into them, not just pictures.
    Personally, what bothers me more than blogs with a lot of memes are blogs that post a lot of blog tour posts (like almost every day, cover reveals, blitzes, etc.), I’ve seen many of these around. There really isn’t anything personalized in posting that.
    Lanaia recently posted…Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

    • Agreed about the blog tour promo posts! They are almost worse than meme posts since they are often specifically designed for no thought on the blogger’s part :(

  13. Frankly, I think I’m guilty of that part where I don’t include my reasoning behind my choices. This usually happens though whenever I’m tired and have much to do outside the blog, which is generally the case about 4/5 of the time. But of course, I like making posts that are more interactive, if you will :) Great tips Anya!

    • I think we all are guilty of it at one time or another ;-) and that’s totally understandable! Sometimes I like to ask myself if I really want to make that post, or just have an empty day once in a while, since those are okay too

  14. I don’t participate in that many, but I love my Top Ten Tuesday posts! They take forever to write for exactly what you talked about – I want to explain my picks, and I want to see why others picked the books they did! Otherwise, all I have is ten book names, half of which I might have never heard of. I probably won’t check those books out, either, when with the proper explanation for the picks I might have gotten interested!
    Generally, the more personal/involved a post is the better :)
    Carmen B. recently posted…Blog Tour and Giveaway: Endless, by Amanda GrayMy Profile

    • So agreed! TTT does a great job at kind of requiring/encouraging more thought, leading to much more fun conversations. I love finding new books on TTT lists and being able to read about the poster’s excitement!

  15. Meme’s are hit/miss with me. I tend to comment on the ones I participate in (which is just the one) and then spot comment on others if it is interesting :)
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Friday With Me Week 3, 4, & 5: Picture Heavy/Link HeavyMy Profile

    • That’s what I do as well! If I see one with something interesting in it in my reader, I’ll respond, but a lot of days I’m just too tired, haha

  16. 100% agreed! I want to comment on a post, but if there’s nothing to comment about – then I can’t.
    Tanya Patrice recently posted…5 Books With Plot Twists & Endings That I Didn’t See Coming {Dangerous Reads Month}My Profile

    • Exactly! Especially when someone posts a link and I try to comment back but then there is absolutely nothing I can think of to say D:

  17. I ignore most memes unless I see a history from the blogger of expanding them in some way. Like you, I need more than a list with no info put together because of what day it is.

    But I see the value when done right, and have done a few list type posts myself. Just, please people, follow Anya’s advic. Tell me something when you post. Don’t waste my time with nothing more than a cover and a Goodreads synopsis.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘The Lure of Fools’ by Jason KingMy Profile

    • Yeah, I only do meme posts when the prompt is something that I am actually interested in answering or I feel like I have something to contribute to the discussion. I do enjoy the ones done right since it’s a great way to find new books!

  18. I agree with you, Anya. I much prefer the memes which give at least a little of the person’s reasoning or thoughts on the topic. I like when a book’s cover is shown as well as the blogger’s thoughts, too.

    I also find it hard to answer a comment when someone only comments “Good list” or “Good post.” Of course, maybe that should be a clue to me to write a little more…lol.

    • I love having the book covers there too! It helps me scan and decide if I have any strong opinions to comment on! I have answered so many “good list” comments too, so I don’t think it’s you ;-) There will always be lazy commenters who just want you to hop over to their blog, haha

  19. Great post. I agree.
    I actually get more traffic when I participate in memes, but I think it is because we are all curious about how other people answer the same question or compile the same list and I always try to explain if I can. Like you, I wanna know why they chose things and I want to express why I chose something.
    megan @ love, literature, art, & reason recently posted…Feature and Follow Friday–MagazinesMy Profile

    • Yup, I definitely see traffic spikes on meme days. Part of it is from people hopping around and trying to get visits back to their blog, I’m sure, but I like to think that if someone likes fantasy and stops at my blog, they’ll stay ;-) Anyway, yes, I love to comment on other people’s lists, but if they don’t start the conversation, I can’t continue it :(

      • Agreed.
        I am so guilty of lists without explanation, but that’s only when I’m lazy or I really can’t think of anything to say.
        I struggle with not posting a Top Ten Tuesday or posting one I’m not terribly excited to compile just to participate sometimes.

        I like to know why people pick a book because then I know what to expect from them. and what their interests are.
        Like, I know your tastes just from stopping by your memes and reviews and posts so there’s some books that release and I’m like, Hm, I wonder if she reviewed it since it has dragons! or something like that. =) if you never posted why you pick certain books for Top Ten Tuesdays, I might not know so much about your tastes!!
        meganm922 recently posted…Review–Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany GriffinMy Profile

        • Haha, I feel bad that I’m not caught up with a number of dragon series though D: I feel like I should be since that’s my specialty ;-)

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