Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Armchair BEA: Blogger Development

Today's topic for Armchair BEA is blogger development. When I started blogging, I had no purpose other than to keep track of my books somewhere so that when somebody asked me for a book recommendation, or what was my favourite book I'd read recently, I'd actually be able to answer them rather than just staring blankly. Also, although a lot of my family and friends are big readers, I got the feeling they were getting more than a little sick of me going on and on about my latest favourite author all the time. Thankfully people online don't seem to have the same issues!

I was one of those bloggers who started out without really realising that a wider book blogging community even existed, so when I first started I was ridiculously focused on the amount of followers I had and so excited about it. I think that although I started the blog for myself, I very quickly got caught up in trying to impress people and the blog could easily have become something that wasn't a true representation of myself at all. Thankfully I realised fairly early on that I don't enjoy writing reviews to a certain formula. I like to write my 'reviews' more like opinion pieces, because that's all they are. Also I'm not a formal person at all, so it seemed silly that my blog was starting to sound so prescribed. Now I try to post equal amounts of reviews, memes like Top Ten Tuesday and Showcase Sunday, and slightly more personal posts. Through the combined awesomeness of RAK and various readathons, I've come across blogs run by the bloggers I now consider to be good friends, and the more I participate in the community, the more I get out of it. I'm running my own reading challenge (dedicated to all things fairytale and folklore) for the second year and really enjoying it, and I'm attending my first ever book launch party in the next couple of weeks. 

I've also noticed in the past few months (since the blog turned two) that I've been getting more requests from publishers to review books rather than me harassing the life out of them for things I really want to read. This is really nice, but is in no way part of why I originally got into blogging, or why I love it so much, it's just an added extra :-) 

I had an email a while back from a blogger who was just starting out and wanted some advice. All I could tell her was to talk to people - not in a spammy way, but actually converse in your comments and people will usually be quick to welcome you in my experience. I feel that the more I blog, the more I learn, and I've lost count of the number of amazing books I've read on blogger recommendations in the past two and a half years. I hope I never stop developing as a blogger; it's definitely something I plan to do for a long while more!


  1. Hi Bex
    I started my blog a few months ago for a lot of the same reasons. I was going through books so fast, that when someone asked for a recommendation, they were all jumbled in my mind. I was also picking up books, not realizing I had already read them.
    When I began the blog, I was amazed that there was a whole community out here. I also started feeling a little pressure to make the blog perfect. I had to take a deep breath and back off a bit. I still want to change and grow it, but I will do it slowly.
    Kerri @ Turn the Page Reviews

  2. Bex! I have not stopped by for a visit in a while, and I apologize for that. I hope you're well!

    I think it's very easy (and natural) for most of us to get caught up in the numbers hype. I love reaching as many people as possible, but I had to have a heart-to-heart with myself about what my blog was really about and, at the bottom of it, it's about me and my journey. I'm glad to have others along for the ride, and I love engaging with all kinds of folks with comments, read-alongs, events, etc. - but, ultimately, it's a place for me.

  3. So like ↑ said above me. Ultimately my blogs a place for me. I'm only about a year old now and I to kept feeling a pinch to format a certain way. In the end its MY blog. I love the way my reviews come out. They may be rambly at times or long, but their honest!

    Keep it up!

    Ashley @ My Two Cents

  4. I went through the exact same thing before deciding to just do what I felt comfortable with. I think it's so exciting that someone asked you for advice! I think that's a true sign of having 'made it' as a blogger!

  5. talking with other bloggers and commenting is a great way to make new friends and raise the profile of your blog!

  6. That was me too - I had no idea there was this whole awesome world of fellow book bloggers out there when I started almost 3 years ago!!

  7. I think you hit on a key. Never stop developing as a blogger. Always think about what you are doing and why.

  8. As with a few of the commenters above me, I think I got into book blogging for similar reasons - I had a personal blog, but I wanted to focus more on the books I had read and what I thought about them. My blog is just over a year old now, and recently I've stopped worrying so much about followers or whether I'm reading the 'right' kind of books - instead I'm just enjoying sharing and seeking out things to read I might otherwise have missed out on.

  9. Lordy, if all our parents met up they could spend HOURS comparing notes. "Jeez, do you ever get it when she finds a new book she really likes and she won't stop going on about it and...??" That was excellent advice for the blogger newbie - the more conversational you are, the more people want to interact in return and start to get to know you. Looking forward to more of these posts this week! :)