For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

tell me something tuesday

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Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question:

Are you on the offense or defense when it comes to your blog? (Offense: are you going out and actively trying to grow your blog by hosting authors, doing tours, hosting giveaways, emailing publishers, planning ahead, or are you – defense: just doing your best to keep up.)

Answer:
I am definitely on the defense these days but I’m not really struggling with it. I just don’t care as much about growing my blog.

I’ve been doing this for 8 years now and have gone through all the phases.

Blogging started as a hobby for me and I never, in a million years, thought anyone would read anything I wrote but they did so I went all in, hosting giveaways, challenges, charity auctions, features – posting 7 days a week for several years. Then I went through the struggle to stay relevant, keep up with posting, to grow my numbers and finally hit total burnout – taking several months off. 

Now I’m back to blogging for me and just rolling with it and not worrying about schedules/stats/or trying to fit some blogging mold.

I’ve been really happy with blogging this year and I feel zero pressure to write a certain number of reviews or posts and I’m going to stick with what’s working for me. If I want to add in a few more tours or guest posts then that’s fine but I won’t let myself feel pressured to do it or worry if I don’t get in on the next big thing.

I don’t plan ahead unless I agree to review something. I don’t email publishers for arc’s. I’m on a few lists for publishers and choose one or two books from the seasonal catalogs and use Netgalley occasionally but usually get pitches emailed to me and pick a few from there but I’m trying to read more of my own books these days.

What about you? Do you still have that blogging fire? Or are you just trying to hang in there?

43 comments:

  1. Ha! You know how I feel. Though I haven't gone through all those phases you mention (I feel like I've had a crash-course in blogging), I've been around for almost 5 years now, which sounds weird. I started off totally oblivious of blogging having special, if unwritten, rules, and have stayed that way even after technically learning what had to be done. A part of me would desperately like for my blog to grow and be more relevant (or relevant at all) just for the sake of those forgotten books that I loved and people won't read because too little bloggers, if any, mention them. Another part SIMPLY. CAN'T. KEEP. UP. Also, it sounds like nothing's ever enough. You're always slipping down the rope. So yes, I hang on in there, with small bursts of activity and long silences in the middle. At least you have a good chunk of friends who still comment and READ YOUR POSTS. You've earned them in your more active years - so you get to enjoy them now. I'm not capable to do that either LOL.

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    1. Blogging has changed SO much since when I started. I'm not sure I could start now or even 5 years ago when you did.

      It was just a little group of people who liked books and wanted to chat. No competition - no arc's. Everyone read different genres. It was easy to get followers.

      I've really made a point of finding like minded bloggers this past year and I'm having fun again so that's all I really care about.

      I'm happy you are on Twitter now! We can at least chat between posts!

      Delete
    2. LOL, Twitter is indeed a way to let people know one is still alive. And to look at hilarious and sweet cat/dog pics *hint hint*.

      I want to find more friends too. But even that is exausting with my life schedule. I got lucky lately, though one of them blogs on Tumblr and the other one only reviews books on GR. I actually met both of them via GR, and we chat on there.

      Delete
  2. Great discussion! I guess I'm on the offense? I've been emailing publishers and authors since day one even if bloggers are saying that you shouldn't do that, you should wait at least 6-months or a year before you contact anyone for ARCs but I got my first ARCs very early so I guess I did the right thing? I'm still doing the same stuff I did back then..

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    1. ARC's weren't really a thing when I started lol It took me years to reach out but then I was completely overwhelmed so I don't bother anymore.

      I think there are good guidelines and helpful things if you want a certain type of growth or whatever but I think it's best to do what feels right for you. There are no hard and fast *rules* that you must follow. If it works for you then it works lol

      Delete
  3. Ohhhh great discussion idea! I think I'm a mixture of both..? I'm scheduling posts in advance, emailing some publishers, doing tours, etc. But then I also go through phases when I'm more defense and have a far more casual approach. I think it's good to have a balance tho. And WOW, 8 years!? Good for you! That's awesome. I haven't been book blogging for even a full year yet. lol

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    1. That's a great approach. It's easy to get overwhelmed and wracked with guilt when blogging and we really should just have fun with it - even if we are trying to grow or be more aggressive about it.

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  4. I never thought anyone would read my blog and when I got an email from an author I was all OMG! Awww the days

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    1. Oh I know! When I had 3 or 4 followers I was STUNNED lol

      I thought it was going to be more like a personal journal.

      Delete
  5. That's a great question, and I think I'm on offense but sometimes I'm not sure. :) I also, like other commenters, never thought anyone would come read my stuff so in that sense the blog feels successful to me, in its own little way, and I kinda like just doing what I do too, without worrying about ARC's or any of that. I don't accept a lot of review books so I don't feel that pressure, which is probably why I haven't burned out yet!

    Glad you're still blogging and enjoying it even as it has changed.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think it can be both.

      You can be casual about blogging but still try for content that brings followers in or want arc's or whatever is important to you.

      I learned a hard lesson about arc's. I had never heard of them at first and when people are throwing them at you, you assume you can read and will love everything! Nope. lol

      I think your blog is great for conversations and spotlighting books/movies/tv that I don't always see around the blogosphere.

      Delete
  6. I've been around for 12 years now and for the most part I just post stuff that I find interesting and hope others find interesting too.

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    1. Same. If you're not having fun then it's not worth doing because it's a lot of work even as a hobby.

      And I've found that people like the person/blogger as much as or more than the reviews etc. If you enjoy their voice you stick around even if every post doesn't work for you.

      Delete
  7. Very interesting topic. I feel like I've gone through a few phases myself after 10 years, but I tend to just switch up what I talk and post about it. I don't really have a set schedule or need for certain features. However, I am still trying to grow my blog and numbers.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I think everyone (that's lasted) is kind of changing it up and talking about more than books and that's helping keep up sane and relevant.

      We went through that phase where you were told you should only talk about books and then only from one genre. Glad that passed...lol

      Delete
  8. I used to be on the offense, but I had way more free time than I do now you know? And now its more defense for the most part with a tiny bit of offense. I notice if I do too much for my blog than other areas in my life struggle and I try to have a good balance in life. So I think it just depends for many on experience and what works for them in the long run. For me, I am happy and content with what my blog is, and I know I will never make money from it, so I am satisfied just doing what I can. Great discussion post here.

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    1. I realized I was getting more stressed about reading.getting posts up than enjoying life so I needed to strike a better balance.

      I think I'm in the same mindset as you right now. I'm just having fun and oddly enough the blog seems to do better when I'm casual about it than when I'm more aggressive.

      Delete
  9. We're supposed to email publishers? Ugh, I know nothing! I don't actively do anything. I am the world's worst blogger :) The only thing I try to do is visit people I enjoy reading a few times a week. Everything else I just wing it. I like my blog nice and small because I can barely keep up with it as it is. I can't imagine how those big bloggers keep up or find the motivation to keep it up.

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    1. I didn't for YEARS and then a friend made me lol

      I've only made a few contacts and I don't enjoy doing it so I don't anymore. I use Netgalley and I'm willing to buy books if I need to. I'm fine without arc's.

      I'm a winger too. It's hard work to treat a blog as work and if that's what some bloggers want to do I'm all for it - whatever works for you is the RIGHT way! but I can't do it anymore. It sucked the joy out.

      Delete
  10. I almost burned out a year or two back. I'm glad I switched to choosing what I want to read more so than before.

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    1. That's the key I think. You can't feel pressured with your reading.

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  11. Great answer, Karen. I am glad that you have found your groove and you are doing what works for you. I am trying to catch up on my NG and once I do, I am really going to keep it in check. I am so loving the library these days, no pressure. Thanks for another great TMST post.

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    1. Thank you for hosting it!

      I was never too bad with Netgalley - it was more arc's from the various cons that overwhelmed me but either way it can kill your love for blogging.

      Delete
  12. Its so great that you are still doing it. I post once in a while and waiting on something to review but I enjoy reading and do reviews off goodreads lol. I have been too focused with school reading and such and really enjoy learning now and working towards that degree. :) Yes I have been burned out and now that I don't blog as much I feel much better .

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    1. I'm happy with it now. No pressure and I still love talking to people. If that stops - then I'll quit.

      Delete
  13. I have only just come back from a year of not blogging, so I'm feeling like a second fire for blogging. I'm not actively seeking out more books since I have plenty to read right now, so I haven't sought out further contact with publishers with whom I used to have a bit of a relationship. Maybe a bit more in the future. But I've been posting really regularly lately and I have 4 more books scheduled. :) I'm glad to be back and it's nice to know that there are lots of bloggers still out there. I was under the impression that blogging had died!

    I think your way is blogging is best, to be honest. Just work to your own expectations and don't try to blog for others. I felt pressured to read this or that book, and now I just read whatever I feel like. :)

    Cass @ Words on Paper

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    1. I touch base with publishers if they contact me first but I have so many books to read and I don't want to feel pressured anymore so I'm careful about anything I take on.

      I was really beginning to think that there weren't any bloggers out there anymore! I'm so happy to have found a core group that likes to discuss books and get that supportive vibe again.

      Yay for coming back!!! I had taken awhile off too.

      Delete
  14. Glad to hear you finally get to love blogging again. Do what you love and keep it fun. That's my motto. As you know, I've only blogged for 6 months but I've learned some things about blogging. It can feel like a chore if we allow it. However, I've been struggling with ARCs lately. I didn't enjoy most of the ARCs I read and they started to take the joy of reading. I used to read what I love. If I didn't like a book I could move on to another. I can't do it with ARCs. :(
    Anyway, sorry to burden you with my rant. Haha. Anyway, keep doing what you love. Blogging is fun and should keep that way. :)

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    1. Rant away! that's what these posts are for :-)))

      You are going through what I think every single blogger who has ever accepted arc's has gone through!

      When I started blogging I accepted everything. I read really fast and loved almost everything so it never occurred to me that I couldn't keep up or that I wouldn't like so many of the books I read. But it happens to ALL of us!

      I'm so much pickier about what I accept now.

      Delete
  15. 8 years and still going?! Wow. That's impressive Karen and I love your attitude towards blogging. I don't plan any post ahead too not because I don't want too, but I'm mostly on the flow. I post whatever's on my mind and see what happens. When I started self hosting my blog, the first few months was critical. And I'm positive I was on the offense those months. I've been working on improving my blog, increasing my following and all. I hate emailing, really. It's what I do in my day job so I find it tedious to still doing it during my blogging time. Right now? I'm not sure anymore if I'm in offense or defense but I guess I'm in the middle? I've been blogging for 4 years now and I think this is my favorite year so far. I've meet some amazing bloggers in the way, been interacting with them and I'm really enjoying it. I do have a time ofcourse where I think I want to quit blogging, but on the next day, nah! I loved it. It's just amazing how blogging taught me a lot of things.

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    1. I do care about my blog - I'm just done chasing #'s and books. I care more about talking to and meeting fellow readers. I'm doing what feels right and comfortable for me and oddly enough that's when the blog does best. So win-win lol

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  16. I'd say I'm on the defense, too. Sometimes good things come my way and that's great, but I don't really seek anything out. I do request ARCs, but only from NG/EW - and I pretty much never email publishers. Actually, I've only ever cold-emailed one publicist and even though it worked out, I was a nervous wreck. LOL. That's just not my idea of a good time, and blogging for me is a fun hobby. It takes up enough of my time just keeping up, I can't even imagine how insane it'd be if I was trying to grow my blog!

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    1. I mostly request from Netgalley and I have a few romance publishers that contact me but I only accept 1-2 arc's per month.

      I tried being aggressive and it's just not me. I don't really want to do what I think you need to to get in with the publishers. I'm not good a insincere hype and talking to everyone just to have contacts.

      Delete
  17. Same, my blogging fire comes and goes. Some days I'm like 100% out there trying to meet new people and comment on ALL the blogs, and some days (read: now), I just stick to my blog roll and applaud myself when I remember to blog hop.

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  18. Before starting my current blog I blogged elsewhere for about three years and I always felt like I was failing at blogging. I completely lost sight of why I started blogging in the first place and between trying to keep up with my blog, work, life, I burned myself out and got to a point where I was barely reading.
    Life got on top of me and my blog was just one more thing I didn't need dragging me down so I decided it had to die and delete it and all the social media accounts that came with it.
    Over time I started reading again, I decided I wanted to start blogging again and Sunny Buzzy Books was born. I consider myself a 'new' blogger because for the first time I really don't care about the rat race of the blogging world nor do I care about relevance. I'm determined to do what I want, what works for me, and hope that for some it appeals and I can build up a group of blogger 'friends' to share the book love with, lol.

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    1. I didn't realize you had blogged before.

      I love that you found a way to come back that isn't stressful for you!

      I find that so many bloggers feel the need to do it at a certain level or not at all which bums me out because I miss them.

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  19. Have to say that I'm on the defense this year. Like you, I've been around long enough that growing my blog doesn't seem as important as it once did. I still love reading, but my urge to hustle is gone.

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    1. Same. Whatever works for each blogger is the way to go!

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  20. Currently I am in the middle and working on getting more on the defense side. I have emailed a few authors but never publishers. I have cut down on that. I have limited the number of tours I take part in as it feels pressuring at times.

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  21. This >> I just don’t care as much about growing my blog.

    I so agree and I am on the defense too. It's great to "not care" as much, made me enjoy reading again. I have to admit, I need to work on replying to comments but with my limited free time, I'd rather visit you guys and put that for later. Lol

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  22. I feel like I still have that blogging fire, but I'm on the defense nowadays too simply because with everything going on with my life and my health, that's kind of just the best I can do. I'm glad you found a method of blogging that works for you though!

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  23. It's interesting to see how people blog and their attitudes towards it. I'm not actively seeking to grow my blog and don't go after authors but I do host giveaway events and definitely schedule ahead. But I'll always do that because I'm a planner/organizer and that's just natural me. lol

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