I am running out of days that I can legitimately celebrate my blogoversary without it becoming just a bit too much. At some point I have to get back to those reviews. But that day is not today. Phew. Because I find myself still entangled in those very recent reads and would much rather dive into a new book than try to wrap my mind around a review.
Today I have four more amazing bloggers that I have known for as long as I have been blogging or have admired from afar and only recently gotten the chance to know better. Some have been blogging much longer than I have, some are just a bit newer to the blogosphere. But they’re all bloggers I respect, who have very much shaped this community, and whose blogs I try to visit as often as I can.
Once again I’ve included a diverse group of bloggers, each with very different and unique blogs, who have a variety of tips and advice to share. So let me step aside and pass my blog along to them….
Avery of Avery’s Book Nook
When Rachel told me the theme of her 2nd Blogiversary celebration, tips for new book bloggers, the first thing that came to find was “numbers”. Numbers are something that Rachel and I have discussed numerous times over the years as they are something that we have both given a lot of thought to (for instance on her post over on the Annex called Are You Established). As a new blogger (scratch that, new bloggers aren’t alone in this, as someone who has been blogging for over two years I still find myself experiencing this) it is SO EASY to get caught up in the numbers game (from the number of followers that you have, to the number of daily pageviews you have, to the number of ARCs you get in your mailbox every week, and so on) and all of those thoughts and emotions that come along with it (“OMG. I have been blogging religiously for the last two years, yet this blogger who has only been blogging for 6 months has 5-6 times the number of followers that I do! What is wrong with me?” < true story). My advice to you? Don’t worry about the numbers- there is SO MUCH more to blogging than numbers!
If you ever find yourself experiencing the thoughts/ emotions I described stop for a second and think about why you started blogging. Did you start blogging because you wanted to see your follower count in the triple or quadruple digits? Probably not! You probably started blogging because you wanted to share your love of books with those around you- and guess what? You can still do that no matter the size of your audience! And think that numbers are the only way that you’ll get books to read and review? Not so- there’s NetGalley, Edelweiss, Goodreads Giveaways, Random Acts of Kindness, blog tour sites *Cough, cough, Rockstar Book Tours*, and the likes of!
Don’t make blogging a burden- it’s supposed to be fun! Spend that time that you’re stressing about numbers doing something productive, like reading more books, getting to know people in the blogging community, or bettering your blog!
Looking for more blogging tips? Check out my Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers post.
For a little background…
I am fairly certain I first met Avery on Facebook. But I got to know Avery through the stalking I did of her blog. I was still a newbie blogger when we met and I thought she was amazing and I absolutely loved her blog.
Her blog was review heavy, something I always had hoped my blog would be. She was incredibly well-read, diverse in her reading habits and she wasn’t afraid to take a day off now and again. All traits I aspire to.
I love how her sidebar highlights and showcases upcoming books that all just so happen to be on my “to buy” or pre-order lists. Some have been added just because of that sidebar.
I am in awe of how she manages to read and review all the books she does with everything she has to juggle in her real life. If you haven’t checked out Avery’s awesome blog or “met” Avery on Twitter you are truly missing out on getting to know someone super amazing in the blogosphere.
And as for her advice… I totally agree about taking a step back if you’ve found that you’re so caught up in the numbers game that you can’t remember why you’re blogging in the first place. It is so easy to get distracted by the numbers and forget why you do this thing. Unless you are trying to run your blog like a business and numbers are what’s most important to you, then giving yourself a little reminder of just why you’re here is key.
Thank you so much, Avery, for being such an inspirational book blogger, for writing such fantastic reviews that I love to read, and for being such a vital part of this community! And thank you, thank you for sharing your wisdom here on the blog!
Amy of The YA Sisterhood
The advice I would give to bloggers is to just be yourself. Write about things that interest you, and don’t try to guess what other people want to read.
Take things you are familiar with and expand them. That’s how we came up with our Crush Tournament. Our family is huge into sports. March Madness is an annual event, so we took something so familiar and just made it work for our blog. I think that’s the key, turning the everyday into something great! Plus, you’re less likely to get burned out if you are making it something you enjoy!
Thanks so much for having us Rachel! Congrats on 2 years!!!! What a great accomplishment!
For a little background…
I know exactly how I “met” Amy and her awesome blog The YA Sisterhood. It was during the first-ever YA Crush Tourney in 2011. I decided to hop on Twitter late one night when I needed a break from researching and trying to come up with author interview questions.
My good friend Jaime was chatting with someone about a new tournament she had just signed up for. I clicked the link. Saw this fairly new blog’s awesome idea. Decided I needed to do something different. Took a chance. Signed up. And the rest is history.
Amy and the team at The YA Sisterhood had an amazing idea. It was wildly successful. It was so much fun. Who doesn’t know of their wicked awesome blog? Who doesn’t anxiously await the next tournament?
And while their tournament is the reason I met these lovely bloggers, it isn’t the reason why I continue to check out their blog and chat them up on Twitter every so often. They are just really, really nice. They did something that brought the community together in a way that other events hadn’t.
And they connected me with an author that was heretofore an idol of mine…. Well, she still is… but now I am not quite so afraid to send her a Tweet…. Okay, well, maybe I still am.
But without their event I might never have gotten to know and love Tod as much as I did. I never would have hosted the SSRC. And I never would have met some really amazing bloggers and readers because of that. So, I have them to thank for that.
And as for Amy’s advice… She is so right. You have to be yourself. Trying to be someone else just won’t work in the long run. As much as you want to please your readers, ultimately you have to enjoy what you’re doing. They won’t enjoy reading your posts if you don’t enjoy writing them.
Thank you so much Amy (and everyone at The YA Sisterhood) for doing all that you do, for putting together these events that bring the community of bloggers and authors together. For just being all-around awesome! And for sharing your advice here for my blogoversary.
Lisa of A Life Bound by Books
Lisa had some great tips for bloggers in her Blogging about blogging post, two of which I’ve included here…
“Some of the best advice I can give anyone is, if you’re thinking about starting a blog, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. What are the right reasons you ask? Well, in my honest opinion, one main reason would be to make sure you’re doing it for you and your passion for books. Share what you love about books and authors in honest reviews and content that means something to you. If you’re honest and excited about what you choose to talk about on your blog, people who visit will see it all come through loud and clear. Because in the end that’s a huge part of what book blogging is all about.
“Honesty, excitement and passion over reading.
“Another thing is not to get discouraged. I think we’ve all been through that from time to time. While it’s a huge, EPIC community to belong to and you’ll meet amazing people, far and wide, it takes time and sometimes hard work to be a book blogger.
“None of us are paid for what we do. Well, in a way we are. We’re paid in comments and friendships and the excitement when we find a new book or author… we’re paid in the chance we get to have with talking and sharing about a book with others. Because, lets get back to basics here… book blogging is all about just that, the books. Your love of books and it’s where it should stay the whole time you continue to be a book blogger.”
To read the rest of her tips on her blog, CLICK HERE.
She has also offered up some new advice…
I think if I was to change it, or add to it today, I’d suggest being part of Twitter, because the community there for so many of us is another layer to being a book blogger. If you’re looking for a great recommendation or someone to talk about a book you’re reading and just had a moment you have to freak out about, there’s always someone there who’ll be ready to listen and discuss.
Book blogging and social media – it’s happening, you can’t have one without the other.
For a little background…
Lisa’s blog was one of the very first blogs I stumbled across when I first started out. I didn’t even know book blogs existed, but then I found a handful of blogs that immediately made me feel completely intimidated. And overwhelmed. And terrified. Lisa’s was one of those blogs.
I didn’t visit her too often in those early days or I might have been discouraged about my own blog. Her blog was rich with content, full of wonderful guest posts and author interviews. And her blog was so gorgeously designed.
And it still is all of those things. And more. Even though the design has been updated – which I love, love, love. And even though her blog has even more to be in awe of.
While Lisa and I didn’t “meet” until an unfortunate situation brought us together, I’m so glad that something good could come out of something so horrible. Lisa is beyond generous, she’s one of the most hard-working bloggers I know. She is thoughtful and nice and dedicated. And she is not afraid to share pictures of her overstuffed bookshelves.
And as for Lisa’s advice… Be sure to check out the rest of her post, because she has some seriously great advice to share. But I totally agree with her statement that “[h]onesty, excitement and passion over reading” are such an important part of what blogging about books is about.
And I also think it’s important not to get discouraged. Because as long as you have that passion for books and you surround yourselves with those that are equally as passionate, you’re pretty much set.
Thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to share your tips with my blog’s readers on this blogoversary. And thank so much you for offering up a new piece of advice! I totally agree that you have to join the conversation on Twitter or you will be missing out on so much of what this community has to offer!
One of my favorite things about book blogging is that it has given me a portal to others who have the same interests as me. It has been over a year since I dove into this fascinating world and I can honestly say that I have made many friends along the way.
When I first started, it was like a rush discussing a book that I love with others who share the same passion. As time progressed, I became involved in reviewing books from numerous publishers. Soon my usual stack of “to-be-read” books has tripled in size literally overnight. I truly enjoy reading and reviewing the books that arrive at my door. There is no pay that is involved, but it’s my passion and love of reading that it is most rewarding.
If you have this kind of passion, by all means do it! But do not do it because of the free books. Do it because it’s fun and you will meet some of the most amazing people.
For a little background…
I’ve known of Jean for quite some time. She has a very active group on Facebook that someone added me to awhile back. While I don’t remember who added me… I’m not sure I ever knew… it made me aware of this very enthusiastic blogger named Jean.
But I didn’t actually “meet” Jean until the Authors Are Rockstars event this past summer. Jean and I exchanged a few emails, then a few Tweets and I’ve recently been a part of a couple of the awesome tours she hosted.
Jean is so incredibly nice. She’s very active in the community and is crazy passionate about the books and authors she loves. I am so honored that she took the time to get to know shy me, invited me to be a part of her book tours and has agreed to be a part of my blogoversary this year.
And as for Jean’s advice… I so completely agree with Jean’s piece of advice that you shouldn’t just blog for the “free” books. Do it because it IS fun. Do it to make friends. Because you will soon discover that the amount of work it takes to keep your blog updated, the content fresh and visitors coming back to read your posts and reviews costs much more in time and energy than the couple of bucks you’d save by getting these “free” books.
Thank you so very much, Jean, for sharing your blogging experience and your tip to new bloggers. I couldn’t agree with you more! And I’m so very happy we got to “meet” this year!
Once again, I couldn’t ask all four bloggers to share their favorite books for giveaway, so I thought I’d offer up a couple books written by the author whose book, TORN, was the very reason I started blogging about books in the first place.
And so… My Blogoversary Celebration Day 6 Giveaway is for a copy of WAKE and a pre-order copy of LULLABY by Amanda Hocking – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – to ONE winner.
And since I didn’t ask them for their picks, I am including a few extra entry opportunities to follow these awesome bloggers on Twitter.