We’re having a birthday!

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Blog Nuts and Bolts

Two years ago today, I was bored. I was house-sitting for a family on vacation, waiting until August so I could fly home from a year’s study abroad trip. To pass the time, I decided that it would be a really great idea to keep a blog of all the books I read. I was sure I was the first one to think of such a thing – blogs were so over (I was, at the time, more a part of the Nerdfighter community than I am now, and vlogs were all the rage) so I wasn’t likely to get too many subscribers but if I had a few people to talk about books with, it would definitely be an improvement over what I already had, right?

Fast-forward a few years. Boy was I wrong about just about everything! I have learned so much in the past few years and met so many awesome people! I still have tons to learn, I know, but I thought I would pass along a few of the things I wish I’d known early on.

1) THERE’S A BOOK BLOGGING COMMUNITY! Okay, so if you’re here, you probably already know that. But it’s true, I didn’t even know it existed when I started, and once I found out I had no idea what to do with it. Figure that out, friends, and you’re set for the rest of your blogging life – they’re your support system, your best friends, and so much more!

2) Blogging is about you. So maybe I started out thinking I was all alone, but once I figured out there were other people out there I started worrying that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t post enough, or about the right kind of books. I worried that I wasn’t into social media enough, that I was too snarky, had the wrong kind of humor, didn’t attract enough of a following and the list goes on and on. But what it comes down to, really, is you are blogging for you, and if somebody doesn’t like it, TOUGH. They can unsubscribe if it bothers them so much. I’ll admit, I’ve only recently gotten myself out of that particular downward spiral. I still have bad days. But, if you’re going through the same thing, here are a few things that helped me:

  • Write a mission statement, and read it when you’re feeling down. Decide why you’re here, what exactly you want from your blog and put it in writing (even if you never publish it – I decided to put mine in the About the Reviewer tab, if you’re curious). Next time someone complains (or you worry) that you don’t do “X” you read that, and remind yourself why.
  • Hide your stats/followers counters if you can – This really only works for me because I decided my goals are discussion oriented, but it really helps me focus on what’s important to me rather than those numbers that can just get really depressing. (This can really backfire if you’re trying to court publishing houses for ARCs/author interviews etc. – It works for me, but like I say, it may not work for you.)
  • Find a blogger you can be buddies with, so you can rant, complain and tear your hair out when you need to. Trust me, it helps :)

3) To go with number 2, just because bloggers X, Y, & Z are doing ______ doesn’t mean you have to too. I went through this with ARCs, giveaways, memes – just about anything you can think of. You’ll probably notice I don’t do too much of any of that, because I decided that that’s not what’s important to me.

4) You don’t have to review everything. The number 1 cause of burn-out for me is trying to review EVERY BOOK I READ, EVER. I’ve had to take some time off more than once because I tried and I couldn’t handle it. Read for yourself every once in a while, just to remember you can.

And finally 5) Blogging should be fun. It’s that simple!

Thank you all for sticking with me for two whole years (GAH! It doesn’t feel that long, does it?) and here’s to more awesome years to come!

Leave a Reply

6 Responses to “We’re having a birthday!”

  1. Alissa says:

    #3 is so important. I only just recently pulled myself away from the memes and such. It was tough, but, like you said, you gotta blog for yourself. I think it takes time to realize that.

    Happy blogiversary! 😀

    • Anne says:

      YES! That was a really hard one for me too, because I kept seeing memes and people kept saying “if you want to up your follower count, you should participate in memes,” but I never really felt like I had enough time to devote to them, and I didn’t actually LIKE the idea of memes. No offense to anyone who does participate or anything, but I didn’t enjoy them, so why force myself through something like that? The same applied to giveaways, and even reviewing ARCs – people would tell me I wouldn’t get followers if I didn’t review the latest releases or didn’t do giveaways every few months, but that’s not the kind of followers I wanted anyway, right? It took forever to come to that realization, but now that I have, my life is so much easier lol.

  2. Happy blog birthday! :)

    I think the having a blog buddy thing is also very important. I know that it has helped me A LOT in the past few months.

    • Anne says:

      Yep, it’s definitely been a big help to me. Sometimes you just need to rant to someone who understands, but not have it be on as public a forum as your blog, you know?

  3. When I first started my blog in 2009, I had no idea there was a community. I just thought you posted your reviews and that was that. But in 2011, when I had so much time on my hands, was reading a ton, and decided to start my blog back up again, I realized the wealth in the community! Now, I can’t imagine myself without it! Everyone is a great help!

    Totally agree with finding a buddy — I have a few people I feel I can send an email or a tweet to when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It’s a great thing to know I’m not alone!

    I also love #3 — when I started back up in 2011, I thought I had to fill up with memes, or host giveaways. But really, I just wanted to read! Now, I have the odd meme I like to do during the week (mostly WoW and Top Ten Tuesday), but try to focus more on my own content — and on commenting on other’s content.

    I actually like reviewing ARCs, for the most part, and am so thankful for NetGalley! But, if I never got another ARC, I’d be totally fine — the state of my home library is CRAZY. I have enough books to last me for years.

    Anyway — happy blogiversary!! :)

    • Anne says:

      I don’t mind reviewing ARCs and I love NetGalley as well. But at the same time there are people who get tons of ARCs all the time, and I will never be that person. Every time I get jealous of somebody with a copy of an ARC that I really want to read, I try to remind myself that chasing ARCs isn’t what is most important to me – like you my home library could sustain me for a LONG time, and when that runs out my public library is awesome and can (and does) provide most of my books.

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