Six Truths About Book Blogging

Sunday, July 13, 2014

In my four plus years, I've heard a lot of interesting myths about blogging that I've dispelled over time. There are, however, also things that I've learned are truth…and things that I've come to my own realization about over time, as well. I'm not sure whether these things I've learned are solely about book blogging, or if personal bloggers discover them, too, but I know that book blogging is an interesting niche to be in, and I'm so glad to be a part of it - good and bad.

1. My book blog has actually been a large factor in being hired to my past two jobs. With online media relying heavily on social media these days, being able to show that I have a strong social media background and significant ties to a social community has definitely opened doors for me. I didn't start listing i swim for oceans on my LinkedIn or resume until it was nearly 3 years old, simply because I wasn't sure it was professional enough. However, over time I realized that I put as much time and effort into this blog as many people do with their careers, and I've learned a ton, as well. Needless to say, it's opened a lot of doors, and I'm actually excited to call it part of my job today.

2. I have not made a single dime off this blog. Obviously, this is barring the countless ARCs and promotional materials that generous publishers, authors and marketers have sent me throughout the years. In terms of revenue though? I haven't made a thing. I knew a lot of bloggers when I first started that were hoping to make money off their sites, and I know that it is possible, but I haven't done so. I don't sell ad space, and I don't really hope to make money off this site. I do it because I love it, and I love sharing my thoughts on books.

3. Book blogging is extremely time-consuming. To read and develop quality posts and reviews, I spend close to 25 hours a week working on this blog, and I'll readily state that this is significantly less than I did years ago. I've found a balance now, and because I do it for enjoyment, I let my personal life dictate how much time I can or cannot spend on here. Do I feel guilty when I can't put up a post? Heck yes, but I'd feel more guilty if I put up something substandard.

4. I'm not entitled to page views or comments. I've become more relaxed about constantly staring at my blogging stats over time, but I have to admit it was an all-consuming task for over a year on this blog. And, to be honest, it made me feel like my blog was never good enough. I felt like my blog deserved comments, and it deserved to be viewed hundreds of times a day. The truth of the matter, however, is that my blog might be worthy of such comments and views, but I am by no means entitled to either. It's a give and take kind of world, and while some posts soar, others flop. It's the nature of the game. These days, I work hard to validate others without expecting my own validation in return.

5. My blogs are only as good as my own original thoughts. There was a time when I was afraid to tell the blog world that a book didn't work for me - especially if I was the only blogger I could think of that didn't like said book. The same goes liking a book most people hate. Here's the thing though…that's the beauty of blogging! It doesn't matter if others hated the book. Chances are, there is another person out there just waiting to hear that someone else loved it, too. That's why I'm no longer afraid to share my real, personal thoughts.

6. It takes time. Honestly, this is the biggest thing I had to learn with book blogging. Blogging is work, and to find any semblance of success, you have to show consistency and longevity. Have I always shown both? No, and it's hurt me in the long run. However, I'm happy knowing that after four years, there are still people that come by to read my thoughts, and for that, I will always love this blog and the book blogging community.

19 comments:

  1. Nice post :) I do love blogging, and yes it takes time. I am very relaxed about the whole thing too, staring at stats and ARCS can drive you insane

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think most people fail to understand that love is the main (and well, only) reason for doing this, and that there's a lot of that love involved, with no monetary gain whatsoever. It gets so hard sometimes because it really is time-consuming, but when it gets the hardest, it's love for books and for the community that keeps us going.
    Honestly, it takes so much time and energy, much more than I'd originally anticipated, but it's so very worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, this is such a fantastic post Melissa, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. I remember when I first started, I was pretty much obsessed with my blog stats and wondering why people were getting more comments than me. These days, I'm a lot more relaxed as well as I focus on producing quality content and interacting with the community.

    It is reassuring and inspiring to see that your book blog has assisted with your professional life as well! Thank you for sharing lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes and yes and yes to this post! I was pretty obsessed with blog stats when I first began blogging but now I never really look at them unless it's time to update my NetGalley and Edelweiss profile which I rarely do anyway. I think I care more about blog comments, if anything.

    Brilliant post and thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great list-spot on! I'm a newer book blogger yet, and I've been really surprised at how time consuming it really is. I've really enjoyed it so far though :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. 2. I don't make money off my blog either, but it wasn't something I ever thought about when I started it.
    3. Oh, definitely. Most of my time is spend on commenting around the blogosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this. Thanks for being so open and honest about things so many of us feel!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really liked this post, Melissa! Honestly, lately, I have come to realize that blogging does require a lot of time and effort. I joke that it's a second job sometimes, and in terms of workload, that's true. However, it's something I do because I'm PASSIONATE about it - and that's what makes it different from my day job! Still, it's been opening doors for me that I never could have imagined otherwise, and it's allowed me to make friends like you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gah! I love this. Especially the blog stats one. I've had to stop myself from tracking it and placing meaning. I think once you get obsessed with the stats then it makes blogging less fun and if it's not fun, what's the point?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this list…so honest and so very right. Blogging is hard work and if you are in it for the wrong reasons, you will burn out pretty quickly. It definitely has to be a passion! I also love how your blog has opened doors for you in your career. That is great to hear! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a fantastic post, Melissa!!
    Book blogging IS a lot of work, but since reading is such a big passion of mine, it doesn't feel as such except when you aren't really getting the words out for a review or feel overwhelmed with the book pile or the review pile and you DON'T want to read... but like you, I've learnt to take a break when I need to and make sure I write the best I can.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Perfect post! I'm definitely a culprit of checking stats (pffft, they aren't open in the other tab as I type...). I've just had my blog for about a year, and I've been seriously doing scheduled posts for around 8 months. It bothers me how low my stats are, but I'm trying to accept it and do things to up my stats. And I've found out just how much work it is!

    ReplyDelete
  13. When I started blogging I was so obsessed with stats that I felt so dissatisfied at why my blog was so lifeless. But now that I took a hiatus and came back, I realized that all of those stats didn't matter, because I'm blogging not because I want to be famous or have million of followers, but because my passion is reading and sharing about it and meeting awesome bookish people are just an added bonus.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I used to be obsessed with the stats too but after almost 5 years, I don't care much anymore. Very freeing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this post, because all of these are so true. I put so much time and effort into my blog, and sometimes I wonder why am I even doing this, but then I realize it's so worth it. I don't need to get paid for this to make it worth my while. I enjoy it, and if there's just one person who gets something out of my book reviews, that's all that matters. I can't worry about stats or ARCs. I just worry about enjoying myself! Lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm just getting ready to re-enter the job market and I've been debating whether or not to add my blog to my resume - and, if so, how exactly to describe it. I definitely can see its benefits, however, and that's so awesome that it's been so beneficial to your jobs.
    I don't want to make money off my blog as well. I know it's nice to get some money since we put so much time and effort into running blogs, but I kind of feel like the experience is cheapened through ads and such.
    It is such a time commitment! I don't think I've ever spent 25 hours a week (I'm very impressed/in awe of you being able to do so) but over 10 hours a week? Easily! It's definitely not easy to keep up with blogging when there are tons of other stressors/things to do outside of it.
    But I definitely think it's worth it. Thanks for sharing your truths about the process, Melissa! I enjoyed reading these. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, we met at BEA a couple of years ago. I thought you were a real blogger pro then. I really like the points you make here about time, money and what you do it for. I am a bit over four too and am coming to similar conclusions. I wouldn't mind breaking even on my blog but, it costs less than a lot of other hobbies and at least I get to read all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great post! My blog is only a year old, but I remember the moment I first realized that book blogging was serious work and time. I had thought this was just going to be a lot of fun but suddenly I realized that I was spending like 4 or 5 hours a day on the blog. But it has never FELT like work, because I just love it so much. I'm actually in the process of looking for a job and the idea of adding my blog to my resume hadn't occurred to me until now. I'll have to think about how to add it - maybe in section about special skills... great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Get daily suggestions and methods for making THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS per day ONLINE for FREE.
    CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always do my very best to return the favour :)

Please note that this blog is an award-free zone!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover