Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Blogger Appreciation Week, Day Five: Essentials of Blogging!

It's Day Five and the Final Day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011. To round out this great week today is the day to share Essentials of Blogging.

The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.
I'm going to keep this very brief which is not something I do often (or well!) because, for reasons I'm at a loss to explain, my week went totally downhill after Wednesday morning. As a result, I haven't been around as much as I was in the beginning of the week. The point I think is of utmost importance for every blogger  to have a successful blogging experience: Your blog has to be one that interests you, that you feel passionate about and that matters to you. The way we feel about our blog and the content comes across in our posts. Readers will know if you care about your blog when they read your posts. If you're not passionate about and proud of what you're blogging about, it will show. And for this reason I think that it's not enough to blog about books because you love to read, I think it's important that, most of the time, we blog about books in genres we most enjoy not that seem the most popular with readers.

Related to this is something I learned very early in my blogging endeavor. BBAW week was shortly after I started blogging. I was still feeling over-whelmed and figuring out what I wanted from my blog and what I wanted it to portray about me. Several seasoned bloggers blogged, at some point during the week, about the importance of blogging for yourself, of making sure your blog is a creation of which you're proud. I didn't completely understand what these bloggers were saying with this seemingly simple advice...It's just a blog, right?! But, ss the weeks went by and I reviewed more books and began receiving ARCS to review, I came to understand how key this advice is and what they meant. If you don't have an interest in your own blog or really care to read it, how can you expect anyone else to?!

I am a person who has always had to learn the who what where and when of things by 'trying them on for size', living with them for a while and deciding whether to stay with that particular thing or try something else. So I know my blog is a work in progress, even almost two years after I started it. One thing I've learned is that, although I enjoy receiving recently published books and galleys from publishers, who are so amazingly generous, I prefer, just slightly more, reading and reviewing books I choose to read. As a result, over the next few months I want to change the dynamic on my blog to something like 60% books I've chosen to read and review and 40% books I've been offered or sent to review. This may not work out the way I'm hoping or I might decide I don't like things that way as much as I expected but I want to try it and it makes me interested and excited about my blog!

As for the trend or tool I'd like to adapt? Twitter, Twitter Twitter, Twitter! Erin from Erin Reads, was smart enough (she is very smart) to bring up the subject of Twitter and ask some questions of other bloggers about how Twitter works. I'm sorry for Erin that she finds Twitter a bit confusing and slightly over-whelming. But, I admit, I was thrilled to discover that she's a kindred spirit when it comes to Twitter. I also discovered Anna from The Diary of an Eccentric is too! So with the assistance and support of some terrific bloggers, my hope is to figure out and become comfortable with Twitter.


  1. Great post -- it's really true that if you don't enjoy what you're blogging about, no one else will! And I'm so learning about balancing reading for review vs reading for my own pleasure -- I think I'll be cutting down on my reviewing next year.

    I'm a huge Twitter addict and find it fun and helpful, but I think something like TweetDeck can make it easier and manageable. It's a great way to have live, quicky, punchy convos with a variety of folks!

  2. Great tips today! I agree with what you say about staying true to yourself. When I first started blogging I remember thinking that I would start reading books from various genres. Well that certainly didn't last long! I realized I'm doing this for me so I'm going to read what I enjoy most!

  3. Wonderful post, Amy. I know exactly what you mean about having to try things out and about having a blog that's a work in progress. I love, though, that I'm free to let my blog evolve as I want it to. I just have to keep reminding myself that that's ok! I have similar goals for shifting away from ARCs a bit and look forward to tackling mine as you do yours.

    I'm so happy the Twitter tips I got helped you! I'm thinking we need to start a Twitter support group, maybe a list of bloggers we can all follow who are nervous about the whole tweeting thing, and then we can pay special attention to each other. Maybe I'll go look into that :-) (And thank you for your kind words!)

  4. great advice especially twitter I am a massive fan of it, having two accounts one for my blog & one for poetry.

  5. Good luck with your goal. I did that a couple of years ago, I reduced the amount of books I accepted for review to read more of what I choose, and it was the best thing I did! Reduces the stress of having to get a book read.

  6. I haven't gotten the handle on twitter yet. However, reading so many posts during BBAW raving about it has me interested in trying to figure it out.


  7. When I first signed up to Twitter I found it very confusing, so I didn't do anything with it for a year or so. But in the last few months I've really got the hang of it and now use it more than any other tool. It's a great way on communicating and my Twitter friends now include other book lovers, authors and publishers.

  8. I just can't find the time or keep up with the pace of Twitter. Blogging is about all I can handle at this point but I'm OK with that.

    And I agree -- you have to just be true to yourself or your blog will become a burden instead of a rewarding creative outlet.

  9. Great advice! You really have to enjoy what you're blogging about and blog because you enjoy it.

    We'll figure out Twitter together and have fun doing it!