Let’s talk about anything bookish!
I have been blogging for a number of years and it used to be a chore for me. I am a stickler for uniformity and I LOVE to have a format/look for each of my posts.
I used to take SO MUCH TIME just formatting my posts and it came to a point where I dreaded posting. Most especially when reviewing them because I also want to include the book details and everything!
The good news is, I have found a better way to automate all my posts, not just review posts, but ALL of my posts. I have been using this process for the last three years and believe me, it works like a dream!
Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin by Ashley @ Nose Graze
I’ve been using the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin (affiliate link) since 2013 and it is AMAZING! With one click of a button, you have all the book info already uploaded to your blog!
Tip: Unfortunately, this plugin is only for WordPress.org blogs.
This is what it looks like when you generate the data. Once you click the Get Book Info button, the book information will load in the specified book fields. Easy peasy, right?
The Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin also cross-posts to Goodreads so I don’t have to keep remembering if I posted it on Goodreads or not! There is a nifty section where you can paste the review (including the HTML code) that you want to be posted on Goodreads. ANOTHER AWESOME PERK!
The best thing about this is that Ashley is amazing when you have questions to ask. Her customer service is amazing and actually goes above and beyond to assist you with any of the issues re: plugin.
Easy Content Templates
Easy Content Templates is an amazing plugin because it helps me preformat my posts and save it so I can load it when I want to use it! As I said, I love to have everything look the same so having it automatically load, is AMAZING!
This doesn’t add any design or formatting to your posts other than what you have set. Have you noticed that each post I do has a similar look? Yup, that’s because of Easy Content Templates.
To be perfectly honest, I have 22 templates that I saved! I don’t use all of them, but I already have a set format for all possible posts/memes I want to do.
And this is what my Book Review template looks like. This is the bare-bones template that I can then modify to fit the type of review post I am doing.
Tip: Since this plugin only works on WordPress.org blogs, try saving an HTML template on Word or any word processor that you can pull up whenever you create a post.
Style Your Headings
For WordPress & Blogger powered blogs, you are able to style your headings. You might need some HTML know-how, though. Unless you have a theme (for WordPress blogs) that allows you to style your headings without HTML knowledge.
Styling your headings will help you create color and style to your blog without coding a lot of HTML all the time. See my headings above? I am using styled headings for that.
Here are the sample headings that I use:
I am pretty lucky that I have quite a few options but Blogger doesn’t have a lot of options (they only have 3) and I’m not 100% sure how it is if you code in more headings.
Create Your Own Featured Image Templates
I love creating featured images and as you have noticed, they look very similar. I use Canva for my design needs and have created multiple templates (ehemm) for myself. I also use Adobe Photoshop for some of my featured images, but not as much as I use Canva.
Canva is a free design site (with premium features) that you can use to create social media and blog images. I use the free subscription and even without the paid features, I find using the service EXTREMELY helpful.
It is quite obvious how obsessive I am with keeping the same theme for each feature that I have on my blog, so using a preset template takes out a lot of guesswork every time I create a post.
Tip: Creating a feature image template helps your images look similar. With Canva, all I need to do every time I use a template is to add an image, change the text, and move the text around a bit.
I also update the style once in a while when I feel bored with the style, but I noticed that I mostly use the same style. Am I anal or what?
All of these have helped me in automating my posts making it easier for me to create a similarly themed style overall.
Although it still takes time for me to create a post, it doesn’t take AS LONG as it used to!
Do you have a set format for your blog posts?
What tools do you use? Share your tips below!
Uggggggghhhhhh I feel like I SHOULD make my blog prettier, but frankly with only about 6 followers, I’m going to keep focusing on putting up quality content, haha! This is really cool and makes me wish I’d gone the WordPress route when setting up my blog, but I ended up going with Blogger because it was a platform I’d used in the past. (Also, WordPress was really NOT intuitive for me, for some reason.) Thanks for the super helpful post, all the same. 🙂
Hi Elley! I used Blogger before but prefer WordPress. It does take a while to get used to WP but there are a lot of tricks and other stuff to help you navigate WP easily.
I think there is a balance between quality content and website design. It doesn’t have to be very fancy, but more easy on the eyes? I have unfollowed blogs because their website design was too busy for me.
Sarah @ A Weebish Book Blog says
I remember trying out Canva but I never delved very deeply into the website. I use picmonkey, but like you I love uniformity. I’ll have to check it out again! I also love the easy content templates, the UBB plugin–seriously THE BEST PLUGIN EVER. 🙂
Sarah @ A Weebish Book Blog recently posted…Spring Semester 2018 Reading Assignment Challenge
I think you can use Picmonkey, whatever you feel comfortable working with. The idea is just to have a template if you want things to be similar… 😀
Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf says
Canva is my friend right now, but we’re not besties yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to design some things that I really love. I didn’t know this plug-in existed, but I use WordPress.com. I like the idea of templates. What ends up happening is that I have to memorize a general format that I like. I suppose a manual one could be made in a permanent draft of a post, but that could get tedious to copy and paste all of the time. This is a helpful post.
Canva does have limitations unlike Photoshop, but for what I need, I like it.
What you can do is have it in a word file with the HTML, once you need it, you can just open it and paste the HTML 🙂
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says
Consistency is one thing I’m terrible about on my blog. I really need to make myself some templates and stick to them so every new graphic isn’t an experiment. Thanks for these tips!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…November Wrap-Up Round-Up Giveaway (With a “Make Me Read It” Twist)
Oh, but it’s also awesome to experiment! I do that once in a while and see if it sticks! 😉
Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says
These are all great suggestions and I use all of these plugins! Another feature I find really helpful on WordPress is the Calendar where I can create drafts, schedule posts in advance, move them around, edit them quickly, etc.
Yes, Lory! I really love it! Calendar is absolutely amazing!
Elley @ Elley the Book Otter says
Dangit, your posts always make me wish I’d gone with WordPress in my initial WordPress or Blogger decision… but I didn’t, and now I just drool at these posts about the cool features I could have had… If only, if only… 😉
You can still move to WordPress, Elley! It’s not too late! 🙂 Try checking out Ashley @ Nose Graze, she has an awesome WordPress plan! 😉
Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) says
I want all those formatting options so bad! But I’m still on Blogger, and can’t afford to pay for a site for my blog. Plus, I don’t know that I want to do that, for now my blogging is for me, so as much as I’d love to do all that, it’s better for me this way. I do think maybe I’ll start using Canva, I love all your images that you use, so I like that one. I’ve used Ribbet.com for images, but Canva looks like one I should try as well! I pay montly for Ribbet.com, only like $5, but still. Thanks for sharing all of this!
Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Book Bonanza 2019 Wrap-Up Post!
Yes! It is a bit expensive to host your own and you need to know how to manage the backend of your blog unless you want to pay someone to manage it for you. I have been subscribed to this since the early 2000s, so I’m used to it. I absolutely love WordPress! Ribbet looks good!