Saturday, February 23, 2013

2013 Book Blogger Love-a-Thon || Mini-Challenge #4


It's time for an afternoon tea break (which makes me think of Epic Reads - those girls are AWESOME and Tea Time is the best!), and... you guessed it, our fourth mini-challenge! This one involves getting a bit more personal, and reflective...

What do you need to do? Write a letter to your blogging self! If you're a blogging oldie, you can write about whatever you'd like - advice you would give your younger self, things you would tell yourself to stop doing, things you'd tell yourself to continue doing or things you'd tell yourself to start doing. If you're a newbie blogger, write a letter to your future self!

Dear Alexa,

I see you standing in the corner there, debating about whether or not pursuing a book blog is a smart thing to do. You do enjoy writing for your personal blog, of course, but a book blog feels like another thing entirely. You do love books though. And you basically have no one in real life who cares enough to read and discuss them with you. So, no more hesitating and waiting for six months - start your blog now.


You're going to be really... confused. You'll be confused about formatting your posts, and how to write your reviews. You won't know how to interact with other bloggers and you probably won't even know about things like Goodreads and Amazon reviews yet. You know nothing of this book blogging world, but I promise you - you'll figure it out.


If it helps, I want to give you a few tips to ease your way into this blogging thing:


1) Your personality should come across in your reviews. Everyone has a reviewing style that works for them, and I think it's important that you try to get this down pat right away. 

2) Twitter may possibly be your new best friend. It is surprisingly easy to interact with bloggers, authors and publishers via Twitter, and that's a great way for you to make connections.
3) Book bloggers don't bite. Seriously, they don't. Most book bloggers, especially the older ones, are really nice and friendly and helpful. Don't be afraid to strike up conversations with them.
4) Be picky about your content. While memes and hops and giveaways are great ways to call attention to your blog, it's still important to really be picky about what you post. You want your blog to be professional and personal at the same time - and choosing your content is part of that.
5) Scheduling ahead is BRILLIANT. Never underestimate the power of being organized. Having posts scheduled ahead (even just a few days) helps alleviate the feelings of stress and panic the night before a day without a post. 

One thing that I must stress: blogging should be fun, and not stressful. If you ever feel stressed or burnt out, don't be afraid to step back and take a break. It's okay to disappear for a little while (or a longer while) and come back when you're ready. Also, don't let follower counts make you feel down - as long as you make connections that are worthwhile, it will be worth it.


Blogging is going to become a worthwhile venture for you. You're going to feel like you're doing something worthwhile (especially if you stay stuck at that boring office job), and it will help you explore your passion for books. You'll meet amazing writers, who will inspire you to start writing again, and you'll get to fangirl over your favorite books and authors with like-minded people. Before you know it, your blog will take on a life of its own - and you'll consider it a big part of your life.


You'll love it. I promise. So go, do it - and it will be TOTALLY worth it.


Love, 

Alexa


18 comments:

  1. Great advice, and I can tell you really do a good job in following it. It's hard to keep it all balanced but you manage so well! I'm taking notes!

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    1. Thank you Liz! I hope some of the things I wrote on here help you out as you continue book blogging :)

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  2. Yes, some tea sounds GREAT right about now! And I love your letter to yourself! Some great tips!

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    1. I'd say that tea is ALWAYS a good thing. Peppermint tea, especially. I'm addicted to that stuff!

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  3. THIS IS AN AMAZING LETTER ALEXA! And I will gladly take this advice since your younger blogger self can't (unless you've mastered time travel). :D. Another good lesson that I am having trouble learning is not to compare our blog to other blogs. Not just in terms of milestones but also in set up. Sometimes I forget that we are still so new to this and that things like discussion posts, and successfully navigating twitter, and personalized meme photos will come in due time :)

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

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    1. If I mastered time travel, that would possibly be the coolest thing EVER.

      I also like that other lesson! It's always important to blog for yourself, and to try not to compare yourself to others. Thanks for pointing that out!

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  4. I feel like so many people feel the same and these letters to ourselves are so nice to read-- we all have to remind ourselves that yes, it requires a lot of work, but is a hobby and should be fun!

    (Also, that fangirling is THE BEST)

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    1. I like how the letters are serving to be inspirational and encouraging to everyone. Each person has a unique experience, and hearing them share about it is just wonderful.

      (And yes, fangirls forever!)

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  5. EVERYTHING you've just said in this letter is something I have struggled with to this day! I had twitter for about a year before I actually began tweeting to people and I am always struggling with finding my voice! Great letter Alexa!

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    1. I'm so glad you found it easy to relate to my letter. These are things I actually still have a difficult time with, and I'm just of the mind that there's always room to improve. So happy that you're more active on Twitter though - it's awesome to tweet it up!

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  6. I'm with you on everything you said.
    And I just wish I were better at scheduling posts...
    :)

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    1. Scheduling posts is something I'm not always on top of, if I'm being honest. There are times when I'm weeks ahead, and times when I don't have anything to post at all. I think whatever works for you is great!

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  7. Just like you, I started off with a personal blog, and then wanted to start a book blog when I learned they existed. It was like a whole world opened up to me that I didn't know existed!

    I also think it's really good advice to be picky about your content. I'd rather have a few good posts than schedule less meaningful posts just to have one every day. My favorite blogs are the ones with thoughtful posts (like yours!) and those are the ones I return to.

    And scheduling posts is THE BEST!!! I'm behind right now, but looking forward to taking a day to get organized and get ahead. It makes blogging soooo much less stressful when you can work ahead!

    Great letter!
    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

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    1. Book blogs are another world entirely from personal blogs, for sure. But I think I'm glad that I sort of switched over because I'm having ten trillion times more fun!

      YES. I like being careful with what I post on the blog. I want to always be sure that I like and can stand behind my content, especially my reviews.

      We should organize an organizing party! I need to get caught up on reviews as well.

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  8. Your point about how blogging should be fun and not stressful is something that I tell myself ALL THE TIME! I obsessed over the blog way too much last year and realized that I needed to take a much more relaxed approach this year. Excellent advice, Alexa!

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    1. It is truly hard not to get stressed out over my blog sometimes, especially in my eagerness to improve and just be better. But I have to remind myself that it's for fun and it's not my job!

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  9. I love your letter Alexa! I am so happy you and I were able to meet through book blogging!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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