How to Host the Best Reading Challenge!
Hello. Are you thinking of starting your own…reading challenge? Yes, you are? Well! I’m here to help you!
My top, most recommended advice I can give, is, participate in some. There is always some sort of challenge on. Find out what you like and what you don’t. Everyone is different and don’t forget that it’s important that you enjoy it as well. Don’t make it a duty. If I’m looking for a challenge, I usually check out Pinterest and/or literally just Google reading challenge and the month and year. The only problem with this is that it can be hard to choose one. How do you think that I ended up with 16 year-long challenges. It kind of reveals something about my personality really considering that I can never resist a reading challenge or readathon. I’m a little competitive.
If you have never created a challenge before, you probably should start off small. Maybe a month or week long, rather than a year. Once again, go to your tastes. And the appropriate thing for the challenge.
You shouldn’t host a challenge just because you feel like you have to. Is there something you want to read more of, such as different genres? Make that a challenge! Do you absolutely love alien books? Turn that into a challenge. You can use it as a way to help yourself out, like if you need to cut down that ever-mounting ARC pile.
If you want to get some participants, you are going to need to promote it. This means Twitter. Goodreads. ANYWHERE. Provided it’s appropriate. You will turn away an potential participants if you bother them or promote it in a place where it is simply not polite or appropriate to. Of course, an extra incentive for participants is always a giveaway. This isn’t necessary but who can resist free books?
Create little mini challenges. You want your challenge to stand out. These could be little games, readathons, readalongs, anything. Have a Twitter party to get to know your participants and boost motivation levels. Don’t forget, if everything goes to plan and your challenge turns out to be popular, what’s to say that it couldn’t become an annual thing?
Ah. Graphics. Successful challenges typically have graphics. Sidebars on other participating blogs alongside the main post are golden when it comes to promoting. Make it stand out. Use sharp or unusual colours to make it eye-catching. It should be good quality and not some random, boring, run-of-the-mill book picture you found on Google. Plagiarism, people. Don’t do it. You’ll get in trouble. There are some free graphic websites out there that just require you to give recognition when you use the graphic. Of course this isn’t for everybody and it is annoying having to acknowledge it every time you use the graphic, so you could always buy it (most of the sites have the option to do this). Especially if you are going to be using it a lot. But even better, just create your own design with Photoshop, etc.
Get to know your participants. Encourage them and get to know them as if you are going to host this challenge every year and you want them to come back. Think about it, they’ll advertise it and get excited when they see that it’s coming around again. You’ll make friends and receive followers, never ever a bad thing.
You can make little “party favours” if you will. Sidebar things are always a hit. Someone has reached 20 books? Give them a jade/ruby/bronze/platinum/gold badge/trophy. Give everyone who participates the chance to put up a participating badge/trophy in their sidebar. It’s a win/win situation.
And don’t forget to have little check-ins/updates throughout the period of the challenge!
And to recap…
– Participate in some challenges
– What you’re comfortable with
– Use it as an excuse to help yourself out
– Have fun little challenges to keep participants motivated
– Use great graphics
– Rehost if popular and you want to
– Have little check-ins and updates
– Make it boring or feel obligated to host it. It should be fun.
– Suddenly abandon the challenge without warning
Hope that I helped any of you out there considering hosting a challenge!
And my questions for you:
Have you ever hosted a challenge? What are your “musts” for challenges that you host/participate in?