As of today, November 9, 2012 at 3:26 p.m., I’ll have been blogging for two years here at Fiktshun. It’s hard to wrap my mind around, as it feels like I just celebrated my one year blogoversary.
And I suppose that having been doing this thing just about daily for the past two years I can no longer consider myself a newbie. But to tell the truth, I don’t feel like an established blogger. I don’t feel like I’m one of those blogs I used to look at in awe for having been around for two or more years, even though I’ve published over 1,000 posts.
I’m not a blog that gets heavy traffic to my site each day and I don’t have a ginormous follow count – most days less than 400 visitors stop by and I’m still just shy of 300,000 pageviews. So I don’t feel like someone that can wear the mantle of being “established.” And yet somehow by virtue of being around as long as I have, I am deemed established.
I may have gained some insight during my past two years as a book blogger – stay away from drama, read what you enjoy, don’t feel pressure to post daily – but I don’t think I’ve gained a tremendous amount of wisdom – I can’t always avoid the drama and I always feel pressure to post. Some mistakes I’ve learned from – don’t respond to negative comments on Amazon. Some mistakes I seem to repeat over and over – scheduling your post for 12:01 is not just past midnight. Some advice I’ve taken – create a review policy, set up a Google alert. Some I’ve chosen to ignore… for better and for worse – take a break, avoid the burnout, don’t read review books back-to-back.
And while I may not have become the blogger I’d hoped I’d be at this point in my blogging career – I still have the hardest time writing those reviews – I don’t feel like the two years I’ve spent has been a failure.
Because what I have been doing is sticking it out, through the highs and lows, day in and day out, and to me that’s kind of a huge achievement. Because walking away is just so easy to do in the blogosphere.
Two years, two months, two weeks or two days, it makes no difference. You can be here one day, blogging like crazy, and gone the next. It’s as easy as the click of a button to walk away. I know. Because I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion and I’ve thought about it more frequently than that.
To me two years seems like a huge span of time. In reality, it’s not all that much. But when I add up all the hours I spent thinking up posts, reading those books, writing those reviews, attempting to be social, it’s a heck of a lot of time spent.
Last year I celebrated my blogoversary by outlining my goals for the next year. This year I’m going to wait until the end of the year before I think about what my goals might be. And last year I may have had a rather complicated system of giveaways. One that I can’t possibly hope to recreate this year. So, I’ll be simplifying that too.
Last year it was all about me, me, me. But this year I decided to change things up. Because the one thing – the most important thing – I’ve learned about being a book blogger, is that if it were just me, I wouldn’t be here today.
Without the community that I’m a part of, I’d never have made it. Without their friendship, their guidance, their wisdom and support I’d have closed this down a long time ago. As much as I love reading and sharing my thoughts with my blog’s readers and sharing that love with readers, bloggers and authors on Twitter, the reality is that without the incredible members of this community that I’ve had the pleasure to have gotten to know, I never could have done it.
So, this year, I invited just a few of those bloggers that have been around almost as long as, as long as, or longer than I have to share their wisdom, guidance, advice and stories here on my blog for the next week.
They are my support. They are my inspiration. They are the pillars of this community that make being a book blogger worth all those times when doubt has taken over and I just wasn’t sure it was.
So stay tuned for some awesome tips and advice from a few bloggers in the community that I adore, respect, admire and aspire to be. Those will start popping up later today and throughout the week.
But for now, to kick off my blogoversary celebration, here is my “tip” and a giveaway.
You won’t enjoy blogging if you’re trying to be like someone else. It will take too much time, too much energy and you won’t have fun.
Who’s to say that someone else’s style or voice is better than yours? It isn’t. It’s just different.
Figure out your voice. Figure out your style. Figure out what makes you happy and go for it.
Does it really matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000? Unless you’re only in it for what others will give to you, just having someone stop by and leave a comment, someone who enjoys what you have to say and how you say it, someone who you connect with as a friend, makes it more than worth it.
Being inspired by, aspiring to, or learning from others is one thing, but unless you find out just what type of blogger you want to be, you won’t be able to keep up when the deadlines loom, when the pressure to perform gets to be too great, when the drama finds its way to you.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself, creating your own place on the interwebs, and finding readers and friends who want to hear what YOU have to say.
Your voice matters and so do you!
After my long-winded intro and nearly as long “tip” here is just a small thank you to those of you who have stopped by over the past couple of years and made me feel like I’ve been talking to someone other than myself.
Oh, before I forget… there will be a few bookish giveaway prizes included in some of the guest posts throughout the week, so be sure to keep an eye out as they won’t be labeled as giveaways.
And as always there is no requirement to like or follow or jump through hoops, but if you’d like to spread the word, that would be awesome!
What’s up for grabs:
There are 3 prizes up for grabs…
$75 in Books of Your Choice from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE winner (1st place)
$50 in Books of Your Choice from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE winner (2nd place)
$25 in Books of Your Choice from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE winner (3rd place)
1. One entry per household.
2. There will be a total of THREE winners.
3. You must be 13 or older.
4. Giveaway is International.
5. Contest ends on Friday, November 23rd at 9:01 p.m. Pacific.
6. Winners will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter and announced on Saturday the 24th in this post.
7. Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location.
8. Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details and books of choice.
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form: