Monday, February 24, 2014

Blogging: One Size Does Not Fit All


Hello everyone! I wanted to briefly talk about blogging in general and my experiences. I've had the pleasure of working with several new bloggers the past few months and the most common question/statement I get is "how do I become a better blogger." My response "How the hell should I know." I've been blogging for 2 years this April and I still don't have it figured out. I'd like to offer all of my golden wisdom but let's face it, some things don't work for everyone. I will say this... There is NO WRONG WAY to be a blogger. Do you and be happy.

Why I started my blog...

Believe it or not, I didn't even know book blogs existed until 3 years ago...yes, that's sad, but I live in a bubble (don't judge me) I couldn't believe the world I was introduced to. INDIE BOOKS! After some time following some blogs, I felt like I needed to share the wealth with the rest of the world. I didn't care if people didn't read my reviews were out there for everyone to see.

When I first started, I had NO CLUE how to even make my blog look nice. I wish I had a picture to show you just how hit it looked. It's so embarrassing. My graphic designer brother even laughed at me. I didn't even know what the hell and HTML gadget was or how to use it ::insert crash course on basic HTML here:: It took me MONTHS to figure it all out. It's not so easy when there's no one to tell you how to do it correctly. I'd ask other bloggers and I usually got snubbed(yeah...that happened) I think I've come a long way since then lol.

There is no wrong way to write a review (just don't be a nasty troll)

I've seen just about every kind of review. I tell readers this all the time. There is no wrong or right when reviewing. It's all about your perspective and YOUR reading experience. Did you like the book? Did you luuuuuuurveeee the book? Did you loathe it? TELL US! All it takes is a few sentences. I've seen reviews a mile long! More power to them but I've never had a way with words. I like to keep it short, sweet and simple. Then there is a difference between constructive criticism and downright trashing. DON'T BE THAT GUY. I tell me son that all the time and he laughs at me. All joking aside, no one likes a prick. I've seen some really nasty ish and I don't entertain it. I won't read it.

It's okay to not finish a book

This is still a big issue for me. I guess you can say I like to commit to something when I start it. It's almost like when I watch a movie...if I make it to the 30 minute mark, I feel obligated to finish it even if it's shyte. The same applies to books. If I make it to the 50% mark and it's starting to slow down, I push myself to finish. My co-blogger Heather and I were just talking about this today. She says "Let it die, lady." Yes, this gave me quite a chuckle. She goes on to say "Then you're taking away more time that you don't even have for a book you don't even like? It's like walking into the wall to see if it happens again." LOL well now that you put it that way hahahaha. All I'm saying is that it's okay to do it. Don't beat yourself up over it.

It's okay to say no...

I'm convinced that I have a TBR list that will never be EVER. I love books, I love my blog, I love authors, I love readers and I love bloggers....but guess what, I do have a life. I would love to do everything in my power to introduce readers to new books. But there comes a time when you just have to say no. I hate refusing reviews but it happens, and with me it's more often than not. We all have responsibilities. I work 5 jobs and I'm a mom. What's sleep? LOL Don't feel bad!

Don't be a snob

I hate to be the one to say it, but we don't all get along. Yes we all have a common hobby, books and blogs, but sometimes that's where it ends. Forming relationships with other bloggers is essential. It's a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" scenario. Being civil and kind to one another is key. I've seen so much blogger vs. blogger bashing and it sucks! There's even blogger/author bashing. When will it ever end? I know it's not all sunshine and rainbows but damn. Just don't be nasty.

Don't be afraid to ask for advice

I'm talking to you, Nancy! LOL A few months ago I kinda took Nancy under my wing. She had a basic blog and had so many questions but didn't feel comfortable asking. I kinda forced some knowledge on her lol. I wish I had someone like me when I first started. Would have saved me a lot of headaches. I would hope that you would find some bloggers that can help you achieve your goals. P.S. we have a little "Blogging the Books" group on Facebook. It's like a one stop shop with other bloggers. Feel free to join and ask away :)

Have fun!

Your blog, your rules. You can run your blog in whatever way makes YOU feel comfortable. Different strokes for different folks. If it's starting to feel like a job then you're doing it wrong. Blogging should be something you escape to, not want to escape from.


Please, don't ever hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I may be crazy but I like to help in any way I can. Until next time!