Armchair BEA: Day 2-Blogger Development

May 29, 2013 Uncategorized 24

armchairbea21_nina of nina readsBlogger development is difficult when you are starting out on your own. As I mentioned in my Armchair BEA intro, I was part of a multi-member blogging team with an extensive network. In the four months I was a member, they had a little over 5,000 followers (Twitter, FB, email subscribers combined). I formed several close relationships with some followers, but when I left, I had no one to turn to. A few that I spoke to afterwards didn’t end up following me to Lit, etc despite their enthusiasm and encouragement to keep blogging. So here I was in January of this year and decided to start forming connections by commenting at other start up blogs in hopes of growing a network. The plan failed primarily because newbie bloggers already have a network in mind. I came across Parajunkee’s Follow Friday blog hop and I was unsure at first if I wanted to participate. I kept putting it off, but I finally joined and through it, have found some great blogs.

Ultimately I had to ask myself what I wanted out of blogging. I wanted to build a more professional network and when I see newbie blogs take off with x amount of followers and comments a few weeks later, I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong. I’ve left my fair share of comments on blogs that follow me and I know time is precious, but when I don’t get that interaction back, I feel as if it’s a waste of time. I constantly see this brought up by other bloggers, the whole issue with commenting. Sometimes it does feel like you’re waiting to be chosen for that team on the playground and you know you’ll be picked last. In the end, I let things go. I don’t obsess about follower count, etc. My pageviews have been pretty steady and even on non-posting days, I have a good number of visits. It’s just comments I wish I had more of.

Do I have a game plan? Not really. I’m coming on my 6 month mark blogging alone and I’m happy where I’m at. I do have some tips for newbie bloggers:
1. Keep a schedule: write down blog tour dates, review dates, interviews, etc on a schedule even if it’s a tentative event.

2. Blogging isn’t a race. You don’t win anything if you have x amount of pageviews, followers, etc. Okay I lie, you probably will get awesome ARCs and swag that will make some of us jealous, but remember it also comes with great responsibility.

3. Those tight friendships you form with other bloggers? It may end one day and not on a good note (trust me on this). Know that backstabbing may occur and in the end, hold your head high.

4. There’s no wrong / right way to review. You review the way you want to. Like to use gifs? Go crazy (okay not really because too many will distract me from the actual review). Review the way you want to.

5. Don’t go crazy with participating in too many cover reveals, meme’s, or blitz events. Some use these as filler posts, but when you see 10 cover reveals on one day alone for one blog for an entire week, I wonder why they are blogging at all.

6. Baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your blog.

7. It’s okay to take time off during blogging and maybe review twice a week. Real life comes first.

8. Most of your followers will come around only when you have a giveaway.

9. Don’t be afraid to participate in read-alongs, blog hops, twitter chats. I’ve met some great people that way.

10. Just have fun. When you don’t, it starts to become a chore.

11. The most important tip: make your own rules.

Please note: If you left a comment to my intro, I’m responding to them later today. My sister was in town visiting and I spent the day with her.

24 Responses to “Armchair BEA: Day 2-Blogger Development”

    • Jessica

      YES! I wish we could be like guys and just forget it. I’m always surprised at the backstabbing that occurs and I just mind my own business.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  1. Becky LeJeune

    Oh, I am so with you on the sort of blog stress. I always wonder what people are doing to gain big followings. It seems like some weird online popularity contest. Most of the time I don’t worry but I do generally love the books that I read and I hope that people are at least coming across new stuff to add to their TBRs. If it’s happening and I don’t know it, then I’m totally ok with it 🙂
    Becky LeJeune recently posted…The Corpse Reader by Antonio GarridoMy Profile

    • Jessica

      There’s just no right or wrong way to get followers. I’ve heard some bloggers belittle those who do giveaways and optional entries for following, etc. In the end, whatever works. I’m like you-if someone reads a review I wrote and it was enough to get them to pick up a book they might not have in the first place, I’m happy with that. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Jessica

      It’s so hard to let go! I love the Friday hops too and like you sometimes forget to check in for the topic and by the time I realize what it is, I’m off working on something else.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Jessica

      It’s a good tool to use if you’re doing blog tours, interviews, etc. That way you know what day is open and if you get a last minute request for cover reveals, etc you know exactly when you’re free.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Candice @ The Grown-Up YA

    It’s TOTALLY hard when you see newer bloggers getting all the love and you get none. Makes you want to throw in the towel! But you’re absolutely right… Rome wasn’t built in a day. Things take time to develop. I’ve finally gotten over checking my stats all the time and worrying about no comments. Not all the time, mind you, but the majority of the time I think I’m okay with very few comments! Something I like to keep in mind though is that this community is pretty saturated. We all typically review the same books; there’s only so many comments you can say about a hot new read! I guess just keep on truckin! 🙂
    Candice @ The Grown-Up YA recently posted…Selective Collective: The Book of Broken Hearts – Round TableMy Profile

    • Jessica

      You know, I never thought about the community being saturated (even though I know it is). Thank you for that! It’s very true that many of us are reviewing the same books, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Jessica

      It’s hard not to obsess over traffic and numbers because in many ways they are tied to ARCs, getting on blog tours, etc. I’m firm believer that content speaks for itself.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • Jessica

      Some bloggers make it so easy picking up a network, etc. Sometimes it takes time and it’s okay. It’s not a race.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake.

    I really like your tips. It’s hard to hear ones like #3, but it DOES happen and it does need to be acknowledged. Totally agree with scheduling too–I’m a scheduler in my real life, so it wasn’t hard to transfer that over to blogging, but it’s pretty much what saves my blogging sanity.
    Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake. recently posted…Armchair BEA day 2: Favorite GenresMy Profile

    • Jessica

      The backstabbing is one that hurts especially if you’re in your own corner and minding your own business. It’s one aspect of blogging I wish would go away when it happens. A calendar is one I’m surprised a lot of bloggers still don’t use. It’s just easy to keep track of what is upcoming for the month and see what days you have open when scheduling blog tours, etc.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. Daniela

    Keeping a schedule is what’s kept the blog running relatively smoothly so far. I don’t know what I’d do without google calendar! I think the most important one to remember is #2. I have to remind myself near constantly because it’s really easy to beat yourself up over your blog not growing as quickly as someone else’s.

    Anyway, these are excellent tips!
    Daniela recently posted…Armchair BEA Day 2: Blogger Development & Genre FictionMy Profile

  5. Angie

    oh blogging… why must you be so stressful! I agree about commenting and commenting and hoping you get noticed. I actually comment back to everyone who comments on my blog. Every time someone comments I do try to go and stop back by their blog and leave a comment and look around. You never know who you will discover. I agree with one of the comments above… there are just so many book blogs that you just have to really make a dent in the blogs in order to get a lot of followers. Hard Work! I do think participating in events like Armchair BEA might cause us though to be able to meet more people!

    Angie
    Angie recently posted…Armchair BEA- Blogger Development and Genre FictionMy Profile

  6. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    It seems to me that growing your blog is a hit-or-miss thing. I’ve tried commenting and participating in a few memes, too, and while I have met some great bloggers and picked up a few more followers that way (for which I’m very grateful — thanks everyone!), my blog is very far from a runaway success. That said, I do see other blogs really taking off, and have to wonder what I’m doing wrong. (Well, besides not posting as many reviews as I would like in the last few weeks, because real life got a bit harried.) Like you, I’m trying to focus less on page views and more on things like the satisfaction of writing a review I’m proud of, enjoying the interchanges with people who comment, and remembering why I’m doing this — out of my love of books, rather than to win a popularity contest. But sometimes I still get discouraged.

    Your blog looks professional, and while I haven’t been following very long (and haven’t been able to read every post), your reviews are well-written. I appreciate the fact that you review a variety of genres. That’s something I’m doing, too, and it’s one of the reasons I decided to follow your blog — we share some common genre interests. I wish you the best of luck with your blog, and hope you succeed in the ways that are important to you!

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