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!