A million and 1 ways to be a Blogger….

book lover

Some of the things in this post have been on my mind for awhile- I don’t have all the answers (nor do I pretend to).

My first book love was The Monster at the End of the Book- Grover is worried about the monster- and as you turn pages, he tries to prevent you- because there is a MONSTER at the end of the book. My fav kid book- and one that I still remember fondly because it was time spent with my dad.

When I was 9-ish, I was introduced to the Babysitters Club series- and thus a real love of reading began. I still remember how my mom told everyone in the family “If you are going to the library, pick T up a couple of BSC books” because there was 2 book limit (which proved to be a cross for my mom to bear during the 3 weeks of school I missed with chicken pox). Hence the pleas to family members about the books. Other books came and went in my life- Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins and on and on- even Fear Street. I was a reader- and was proud of it!

I don’t think if you told the 9 year old me that one day I would be a blogger who received books for review that she would have believed you. My 9 y/o self would have thought that I had to live in the big city (that is NYC, btw) and have a connection with the publishing world. To be honest, sometimes, my adult self tends to not believe that I get to read and review books as part of my blogging hobby.

But, I do. I’m not saying the road has been easy (it hasn’t). I didn’t start this blog and instantly get 1 million followers. The New York Times is not quaking in it’s boots about my reviews.

I still remember the first request from a big NYC publisher- to this day, I have no idea how they found my book blog. But I have loved it- and look forward to each email I get from them!

There are 500+ million blogs in this world (I don’t know- I’m just guessing) and with each blog, people have things to say. Books, fashion, make-up, personal lives,- blogs are devoted to topics (and the sky is the limit when it comes to topics for your blog). When I first started Traveling With T– I wanted a place to talk about book signings, road trips, fun events and more. I had considered opening another blog devoted to books- and then decided 2 blogs would be more trouble, Hence, Traveling With T became a book blog (with talk of book signings and fun events mixed in). Some days, I’m personal- talking about the loss of my beloved dog or the happiness of seeing my baby brother getting married. In just a few months, I’ll be a first time aunt- that’ll be an experience.

What I’m saying is this- my blog is a mix. Mainly books- but other things get mixed in. Life gets mixed in. It works for me.

My 2 year blog anniversary is fast approaching. December  will be here before I know it. But, I still feel like such a newbie in some ways regarding my blog. And I am. I’ve been book blogging for a year- give or take a couple of months. How did I start book blogging? First, I started just talking about books that I LOVED- I basically took what I was doing on Twitter and expanded it into a more than 140 character version! Then, through a series of good luck and serendipity, I was able to become a She Reads blogger- a group of women bloggers who I adore (and frequently support!) Then I slowly started receiving requests from others about reviewing books, made some connections with people who I really admire, and just focused on making Traveling With T fun.

Blog tours are fun ways to connect with other bloggers- and I enjoy them quite a bit. Sometimes, though, for certain reasons- your blog is not a fit for them. Maybe you don’t have enough followers, maybe it’s other reasons. It sucks (it really does when you want to be a part of a certain tour), but it happens. Pull your chin up, and just move on. It’s happened to me before and it’ll happen again. You, as a blogger, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Just remember that.  And when you find some blog tours that you do fit in with- well, that’s a beautiful thing.

I used to would not ask for interviews from authors- I thought “why bother? My blog is just teeny.” Bother to do it. The worst they can say is no- and it will happen. But not as much as you think.

Over the summer, I had the great fortune of interviewing more than half of the Deep South Magazine Summer Reading List authors. My blog was BUSY- interviews and giveaways going on- which made me happy. I like to have things posted pretty much everyday (and yes, there are days when I post multiple times). Did I over-schedule my summer? Maybe. Maybe not, though. A Summer Reading List interview would have looked silly being posted in the fall for the first time, am I right?

After talking to many blog friends (but 2 in particular- that I owe a depth of gratitude to for all they do), my head spins a bit from all the rules and guidelines they use for their blogs. Some post 1x a day. Some will only read 1 post a day per blog they follow. Some do not read interviews. Some only read interviews. Some read only book reviews.  Some like reading book reviews, but will only read if the sky is blue that day 😉 Each person has their own rules and ways- what works for them and what does not. What works for me? I like to schedule a set amount of posts per week- a mix of reviews and interviews. On Tuesday and Thursday, I like to have a mashup- it’s news about giveaways and other things going on in the internet world. Some days, there is not enough to post about- if not, I just don’t worry! Friday is my #literaryfriday- it’s where I support my fav online magazine, my #fridayreads and other things.  Some days, I have a chunk of time and a pile of reviews to catch up on- and I just blog, baby, blog. Because, while one day I would LOVE to be a part of the publishing world- maybe a publicist- at this point, I blog in my spare time. I look over the blog for a month or 2 ahead of time and try to plan posts. Most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Here, though, is what I wonder some days: Am I blogging right? And the answer is: YES! Maybe some days there is an interview and a review- and maybe you only like to read reviews. So, read the review, ignore the interview. Or vice versa. The thing is, the thing that 2 people helped me realize is this: IT’S YOUR BLOG. Blog how you want, how you feel. If 1 post a day, feels good- do it. If you only want to post 3 times a week- hey, it works. There are going to be people who don’t like the way you do things. There are going to be people who love the way you do things. There are going to be people who don’t care either way.

I’m not saying there is (or isn’t) a right or wrong way to blog. I’m sure people who have been blogging a lot longer than me have more of this figured out. Maybe in a year, I’ll have a different idea about blogging. However, I think that the most important thing about blogging is this- be comfortable with your blog. Love your blog. If you don’t, change it up.

You, as a blogger, can drive yourself nutty looking at statistics- blog views, comments, and more. Some days, you’ll be on top of the world with X amount of visitors. Some days you’ll have so few that you’ll be convinced the internet is broken.  You can’t go into blogging expecting the be the next big thing- you can hope; but for all the stories you hear about “this blogger turned her blog into a book deal”- it happens. It just does not happen all the time. For me, blogging is a fun way to connect with others. To find people with similar reading tastes, to find books that I may not have known about- to expand my reading taste.

At the end of the day, what I hope people think of me as blogger is this: A fun place to chat about books. An enthusiastic book worm. A proud supporter of various blogs and book-ish things.

Blog because you love to blog. Support other blogs. Comment. Retweet. See a blog you love? Share that! Be a blogger who cares.

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28 thoughts on “A million and 1 ways to be a Blogger….

    • TY, Kerry!
      When I started blogging, I didn’t have any bloggy friends to discuss- everything I learned, I learned on my own, y’know?
      Each interaction with a blogger or a book tour person has given me something to think about. I don’t really think any of us know OR that there is 1 right way to blog. There are people who seem to have definite opinions on that- but I’m more relaxed about the “rules”. I like to enjoy the bookish ride 😉

  1. I love this!!! I think we all struggle at some time as to whether we are doing this whole blogging this right. But, you’re takeaway is so right – this is a hobby for us all and we need to do what we like and not worry about what others do/think.

    • Awww, TY! I love that you love this- you know this has been on my mind for some time!
      Do I want this to turn into more of a hobby? Absolutely would love that. Do I expect it to? Probably not.
      I just want to be respected y’know? I may not do it the “right” way, my reviews might not be as long as some- but I work hard to make sure there is always something happening here.

  2. Its easy to forget that it is a hobby. I know I have forgotten on more than one occasion. Doing what you want is definitely important to your success. If you don’t want to do it, you aren’t going too, plain and simple.

    I’ve thought of transitioning my blog into more of an all purpose as well. Sometimes I want to talk about more than books. My big fear is that the readers I do have aren’t going to like that change…

    • Teresa,

      TY for stopping by! It is easy to forget this is a hobby at times- and I have to remind myself that I can’t read all the books. I still feel my format is evolving- but I’m pretty happy with my reviews and I like to have a mix of my personal thoughts, etc.

      I think because I did not start this off as a strictly book blog- I did not worry as much about people not liking things when I change from book talk- but I completely understand your concern!

  3. This worry keeps visiting me too- but I do what I can in the time I can and make sure I am having fun with it. BTW, you are doing something totally right- yours is one of my favorite blogs–keep up the good work!

  4. I think we are hardest on ourselves. Sometimes I’m on a roll with posts and visiting other blogs, then life happens (or I get immersed in a book that I can’t tear myself away from!) I like that most book bloggers I “meet” are friendly and we can all trade advice and ideas.

    • Exactly! And I know that times I can be hard on myself- when I feel discouraged or something. Most bloggers I “meet” are super nice- and willing to discuss ideas (which I love!)

  5. I love this post. It is so important to stay true to what you want. If you start focusing on what OTHER people want, it will show in your writing and then you’ll lose followers anyway. So yes, you might lose out on some when you stay true to yourself, but you’ll gain self-respect AND followers who appreciate you and what you do. I think this blog is fabulous and have enjoyed watching you evolve and excel and look forward to seeing you succeed!

    • TY, Allison!

      You totally get it!

      I work hard to have my blog, my posts be something- yes, I’ve hit some bumps along the way- but it happens. You have to know that it will not be all smooth sailing! But, seeing more people following, the likes and shares- well it makes things worth it!

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind words- you made my day!

  6. I am commenting on this post AGAIN because I just think it is such a good one! I think it shows exactly who you are, your ups, downs, thoughts. It’s so REAL! And sometimes book bloggers forget that book blogs are run however the individual wants to run them.

    It’s a journey for all of us, and I love how you decided to speak out about individuality in blogging.

    • Thank you!

      I doubt myself sometimes. I see other bloggers that appear to have things figured out or to have connections or blog posts that go viral practically from the minute they post- and I’m human. It can be hard to wonder if you have the magic that some others have.
      But, for me, I have to do what I like. Do what makes this fun. There are going to be people who don’t like it. And there are going to be people who love it.
      I have to be me. And I have to be real- I LIKE supporting other blogs, and reading good book. I like having giveaways and doing blog tours.

      It is a journey for all of us- and you might as well enjoy the journey- otherwise what’s the point?

      One of the things I hoped to convey is this: You’re going to have bad days. You’re going to get denied for blog tours. Or not get the book that everyone is talking about. And, yes, it’ll hurt. But, you gotta pull that chin up and move on. Work hard, do what makes you happy, and your blog will shine.

      • And honestly, when you do “you,” eventually you will probably hit on something that will go viral.

        To be honest, if you occasionally wrote “rants” like this one, although it’s not really a rant, maybe that could be what goes viral. Look at all the action this post has received!

      • This post has inspired me to dig deeper into my thoughts about blogging, etc.

        I feel that I will write more posts like this- just straight shooting and from the heart- things to think about, advice, and more.

        Thank you for all the support and encouragement!

  7. momssmallvictories says:

    I love this post! Thanks for sharing with #ThrowbackThursdaylinkup. It’s so true that we have to do what works for us and what we are passionate about. That passion comes through to our readers and the pageviews follow.

    Oh and I puffy heart love the Monster at the End of the This Book. My kids and I love reading it together but my favorite is when they read it to me using a Grover voice like I do when I read it to them.

    • 100% agree! If you aren’t passionate, it shows. Passion def shows and gets readers!

      I LOVE that you Love MONSTER. It’s such a wonderful book. And how adorable that your kids read it to you! You must get that videoed!

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