Increase Readership & Engagement with a Wrap-up Post | Bloggiesta Mini Challenge
Note: This challenge has two levels Beginner or Upgrader, so even those who are already doing a wrap-up post should still be able to participate.
I was already planning to do this topic as one of "My Musings," which I was going to title "Can I Interest You in Doing a Weekly Wrap-up?" When the request for Challenge hosts was published, I jumped at the chance to increase the reach of the post. As a blog reader, wrap-ups are my favorite; as a blog writer my Sunday Summaries are my most popular & useful posts.
What & When: The Details
Wrap-up Posts typically include some or all of the following sections:
- An update of what has been happening to you "in real life."
- A summary of posts on your blog
- Links to posts published since your last wrap-up
- A list of (possible) upcoming posts
- Some also include a sample of items posted elsewhere (such as Instagram)
- Your reading update
- A list of books you have finished recently
- Reading/challenge statistics
- Any books you are currently reading
- What you think you will be reading next
- The haul: new review copies, purchases, items from the library, freebies, etc
- Links to posts you have read and enjoyed on other sites recently
- Book and/or blogger news & events
- Miscellaneous items: Fitness, Movies & TV, Music, and other items of interest.
A wrap-up can be done weekly or bi-weekly. These type are usually posted on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (as this is when most of the related memes, see below, are posted). For those with limited time, a single monthly wrap-up can be done instead.
The Memes (Link-ups)
In order to get the most out of doing a wrap-up post, you need to participate in at least one related meme. Here are the ones that I am aware of (if you know of another, let me know in the comments and I will add it). Hover over the image to read a description. Click to visit the host site.
Anyone willing to use their personal profile, can also join and participate in the Facebook Group: The Sunday Salon
Why: The Benefits
The main benefits of these types of posts are:
- They can bring a lot of traffic to your blog.
- They tend to get a lot of comments.
- If you include links to your recent posts, then they can generate additional traffic & comments for those as well.
- If you include links to posts you have been reading, it is an extra opportunity to support your favorite bloggers.
As a reader, I am much more likely to stay up-to-date with a blog that has a wrap up post. I have my RSS feed reader set up to filter them. Then I go through and try to comment on as many of them as possible each week while also visiting any of their additional posts that also sound interesting. Because I delete any posts I didn't get to from my reader at the end of each week (to avoid becoming overwhelmed), blogs whose posts I have to check individually are most likely to be missed.
Make it Easy
A wrap-up, even a weekly one, doesn't have to take a lot of time (once you have done the original planning & design). Here's how I do it.
- Sunday morning, I create a draft post using an html template that I store as a .txt file (since BookLikes doesn't have a templates feature). The draft has all of the regular section headings and framing material.
- I then build the post as I go along. Using a different template file, I can easily drop in code for books I've finished or acquired, or posts I want to share. I also add notes about things that have happened. (I keep the code for less frequently used sections, such as "From the Library" here as well.)
- On Saturday night I clean up the update at the top of the post, drop in my "Reading: Up Next" books, and fill in the questions in the "Talk to Me" section before posting at 12:01 am.
- On the appropriate days, I link up to the various memes.
- Throughout the week I visit as many of the other blogger's posts as possible.
Make it Awesome
- If you really want to encourage comments, it is important to include some sort of personal comments/updates. If all you have is books, then it's hard for people to comment if they don't share the same tastes.
- Make sure that those comments as well all of the remaining sections are well organized and their contents clear.
- Use images, and make sure that they aren't too large or too small (it's really hard to read a wrap up with pictures that fill my entire laptop screen)
- Include links for all books. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing a really interesting cover, clicking on it & discovering that that only opens a bigger version. It would be OK if there were a text link somewhere below it, but sometimes there isn't. You can link to Goodreads and/or to you favorite vendor(s) - anywhere your readers can find out more about the book. (Just be sure to disclose any affiliate relationships.)
1) Create and publish a wrap-up post containing any 3 or more of the "Contents" items above.
2) Link up to 1 or more of the wrap-up Memes.
3) Leave a link to your post in the comments below (note: no HTML is allowed, sorry, you will need to simply paste in your URL.)
1) Add 1 or more new sections to your current wrap-up, OR upgrade an existing section using the tips above, AND/OR begin to link up to a new-to-you meme from the list.
2) Leave a link to your post in the comments below (note: no HTML is allowed, sorry, you will need to simply paste in your URL.)
I myself just recently started participating in events (such as Bloggiesta), so I added information about my current & upcoming events to my Sunday Summary. I also tweaked some of the section names.
I am available (here or on Twitter) to anyone who would like some help.
- Sunday Summary - my latest
- Bookmark Lit Bulletin @ Bookmark Lit (obviously) - a monthly version, and the longest & most complete Wrap-up I've ever encountered. I love her mini statistical summaries at the top (and am considering doing something similar next year)
- News & Notes / Sunday Post @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard - she does a post on Saturday with news & links to posts elsewhere and another on Sunday that focuses on her own updates (I used last week's since she had a personal event this week that changed her posting schedule)
- Sunday Post / August Recap @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction - she does both weekly & monthly versions (and is the host of the monthly wrap up meme). Her weekly post includes blogger birthdays & blogiversaries and lists of giveaways.
- The Weekly Recap @ Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Book List - a well organized version done by two co-bloggers, note the color coded headers. (I used a slightly older one, since Nick has been on vacation the past few weeks.)
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This week's discussion will also be linked up with the following (hover for descriptions):