Wednesday: Thoughts on Book Blogging
I've been thinking about this topic of what book blogging means to me ever since Amy posted the discussion points. It's complicated because most days I don’t think of myself of a book blogger and I’ve even gone as far as to denounce the title, but deep down I still think of myself as part of the book blogging community and know that others see me as part of that community.
But sometimes this book blogging community feels fractured or even divided, especially as some choose to go a more professional route with blogging and others a more hobby route. And neither one is better than the other, but I sometimes fail to validate myself as a [book] blogger because I don’t fall into that category of “book reviewer.” The bottom line is that there is room for everyone and there is room for us to all blog as we please. And it should be that way, don’t you think? Throw out the rules and do as we please. *throws confetti in the air!* (confession—it has taken me five and a half years of blogging to mostly feel comfortable doing whatever the hell I want).
Over the past couple of weeks, a few bloggers have approached me to ask what makes a successful blog and what makes someone want to return. Funny that they should ask me and not some of the powerhouse book bloggers, but there I go discrediting myself again for no good reason. I’m hoping in the comments below you’ll share with us what makes a stand-out blog is a must read, but here are my tips on how to keep folks coming back for more.
Tips on how to be an awesomesauce blogger:
1. Review books. Or don’t. You could probably just get away with talking about books. Sometimes.
2. Ramble. A lot. People seem to like rambling. Bonus if you can sometimes ramble about books.
3. Blog personally. Not like personal information but…you know…blog from within.
4. Connect with others. Note that this takes time and work but is worth the effort.
5. Don’t skimp on the exclamation points. ! In other words, be passionate.
Ok, so maybe this advice won’t yield you with the most professional blog and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have publicists banging down my door (nor do I seek them out) or books piled up on my front porch when I return from work. But from my perspective, book blogging is all about finding a community to discuss books. To me this comes in the form of readalongs or other group reads, Sunday Salon type posts that generate and foster discussion, memes and events that bring together like-minded folks, and just plain fun.
I think it’s exciting that so many have been offered some great opportunities in the way of book blogging. But I will always think of book blogging as a community of folks who have come together to share the passion of the written word. My excitement comes from seeing your excitement. I’m sure that at least one or two of you (or most of you) don’t have many people in your lives who understand your extreme obsession with books, and I love that we have created a world that we can all share.
Too often I see bloggers getting burned out because of the pressures of blogging. I’ve been there and I still go there, but my challenge to you is to let go of some of that stress and guilt and pressure. There are enough of us who are here for the fun of it that there is certainly room for more to join the party. And I do think there’s room for both—for professionalism and for personalization—but what makes this place so special are the connections we make with one another.
And we need more of this, don't you think:
So what do you think? What are the characteristics of a blog that you keep coming back to? How do you feel that community fits into book blogging?