Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BBAW, Day 3*

Today we're to write about what we wished we knew about blogging when we started or advice we'd give to a newbie book blogger.

My advice would be this: Don't feel you have to be like everyone else and remember what your personal purpose for blogging is.

When I started blogging, I did it in place of keeping a personal reading journal and because my friends back home (Ohio) said they wanted to be able to keep up with what I was reading. Now I've stumbled into this wonderful book blogging community, and my purpose for blogging hasn't changed, but my audience has gotten a bit bigger. I continue to want my blog to be simple and to stick mostly to book reviews, though I'm looking at revamping the format/design sometime soon. I don't feel the need to drive up my hits; I'm tickled with the hits a day my blog averages, though I doubt I'll be reaching 10,000 hits anytime soon.

As to the memes, challenges and book giveaways other bloggers do: I don't do them on my blog for several reasons. I don't do memes because I spend enough time combing through blogs updated by daily or weekly memes; I don't (usually) read them on others' blogs and I don't think my answers would be all that different or, in light of that, particularly interesting. I don't do challenges because I fear it would make reading feel a bit too much like assigned reading, though I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of participating at some time in the future. And giveaways--well, they're fun, I know. I've participated in them on others' blogs. But I'm a Bookcrosser, which means I'm involved in karmic, serendipitous book adventures. (I register and then "free" my books--it's a little bit like tagging a bird or whale to see what it does later.)

Also, I'd advise making sure your readers can get RSS feed(s) from your blog--I've encountered a number of blogs I'd read more often if I could make them part of the list my Sage feed reader checks instead of just bookmarking them and checking them when I think about it (once a week, maybe).

*Day 2 involved interviewing other book bloggers; I somehow overlooked signing up for that (through every fault of my own).


Court said...

I don't do challenges because I fear it would make reading feel a bit too much like assigned reading, though I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of participating at some time in the future.

Yes! Exactly! I used to do challenges, but I have so many unread books sitting around right now that the challenges started feeling exactly like that - assigned reading. I'd rather read what I already have without feeling stressed out because I've got to find a whole bunch of other books just to participate in a challenge. (At the same time, though, the good thing about a challenge is that it can introduce you to all kinds of new books you never would have looked at before.)

Heather J. said...

I too skim over most of the memes on other peoples blogs ... not to be rude, but I'm just not interested. I do participate in a few (Weekly Geeks, Friday Finds) but they usually relate directly to the purpose of my blog.

About Bookcrossing, does it work for you? I've been signed up for a long time and I've released some books but I've NEVER seen a post for a book released in my area and NO ONE has ever caught a book I released. :(

Kathy said...

Jena like you I don't do challenges because 1) I proably wouldn't comlete one 2)like you I would feel like I was doing homework. It is interesting to see what others are reading though.
10,000 hits?! WOW I am barely over 2,000 in the 2 years I have had my blog. Course this is the first year I have been serious about keeping up with it.

Jena said...

Kathy--yeah, I've just passed the 1600 mark and I've had my blog for about two years, too. Though, you know, it was just a few months ago that I was only at 500. Maybe I'll reach 10,000 faster than I thought.

Kara said...

I started blogging for the same reason you did - to keep a personal journal of what I was reading. Then I began to find other blogs, and challenges.

I don't participate in memes (I think I did once), but I do participate in some challenges. Although I do have to admit that sometimes I don't like the "required" reading - but the joy of it is - I don't have to complete them if I don't want to - LOL.

Shana said...

Jena, great advice.

I've never heard of Sage feedreader.

Rebecca said...

I really like your advice: I had to remember in the beginning that I wasn't another ___[fill-in-the-blank with your favorite blogger]. I'm me, and my blog will be different than everyone else's.

I try not to do challenges for similar reasons: pretty much only if it's a never ending challenge or if I know I'm reading the books anyway will I sign up.

Dawn (sheIsTooFondOfBooks) said...

re: Bookcrossing ... "it's a bit like tagging a bird or whale to see what it will do later" very funny comparison! I've "freed" many books, but I don't log them at bookcrossing ...