Feature

Bookish: Blogversary (Some Blogging Advice and a Giveaway!)

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Guys!! Guys!! GUYS!!!!

Guess what??? GUESS WHAT???

This is my restrained way of telling you that I, Gerry who refers to herself in third person on a regular basis, has reached a momentous milestone. Today I am 1 years old!

Ok, well I’m not but this little slice of the internet that belongs to me is.

So happy birthday to The BookNook UK. May it continue to bring me joy, may it also continue to bring you joy as I do hope it does!

birthday

There are two things I would like to do today:-

  1. Give some ‘blogging’ advice
  2. Give you the awesome details of an even more awesome giveaway (if I do say so myself)

You are not obligated to read this post, follow any advice or participate in any giveaways but if you decide you don’t want to do any of those things let me counteract with a comprehensive and persuasive argument as outlined below….

*clears throat*

Pleeeeeeeease read this post and participate in my giveaway!

End argument.

In all seriousness before I delve into wisdom which is quite probably appalling I need to say something.

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Thank you to each person who has followed my blog. Thank you to each person who has ever commented on my posts and thank you to each person who has ever liked a post.

When I say, ‘I wouldn’t be doing this if you guys didn’t do those things’ I’m not being hyperbolic. I genuinely wouldn’t be spending time creating content and putting it out there if I thought people weren’t responding to it.

Feedback and interaction feed me so thank you, thank you, thank you.

My adviceReady for this? Remember, this is based on my experiences. You can disagree and discard to your heart’s content if you so wish.

It also ended up way more lengthy than I intended. So start the kettle and settle.

One

 

 

know what you want

Ah, goal setting and related content creation. My two favourite things.

If you know what you want then you can start taking steps towards achieving your goal which will ultimately mean you will be more productive and efficient with your time and more relevant with your content.

The first question you should ask yourself is –  What do you want to get out of your blog?

Answering, ‘I want it to be a book blog’ gives you your topic but not your goal.

If your goal is to provoke serious discussions about book themes and difficult subjects than you may approach your blog differently than someone who wants to focus solely on book reviews or someone who wants to participate solely in book blog memes.

(Not that you can’t do all those things because you absolutely can – I consider myself an ‘all rounder’ or ‘hodge-podge book blogger’).

By approach I mean this – If you want serious discussions then you may want to focus on discussion posts and maybe it would be beneficial to pay attention to events in the book and publishing world so that your discussions are topical.

If you want to focus solely on reviews for books you’re reading then you best be getting through that massive TBR pile and writing those reviews.

If you want to participate solely in book blog memes then get ‘a-memeing’.

If you eventually want to promote your epic 12 book series about The Mystical Guinea Pigs of Lochmanra than I suggest you start feeding your writing agenda into your blog so that no one is surprised when you start sending out requests for critique readers.

Knowing what you want means you can tailor the content and your approach to getting what you want.

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I’ll be honest with you – blogging takes time and effort.

Once you’ve set yourself a goal (and why haven’t you huh??!! Did you not see point one?!) then the next question to ask yourself is – Can I actually achieve what I’ve set out to do?

Goals are awesome but unrealistic goals are not. Unattainable goals are the sure fire way to get a one way ticket to Stress Town.

If you want to be an all round ‘hodge podger’ for example then setting yourself a goal of reading four books a week, writing three book reviews per week, participating in one book meme a week, doing two discussion posts a week may very well be achievable.

Or it may not.

No one has the same lifestyle so don’t try and match what someone else is doing because you honestly don’t know what their day to day looks like.

Look at what you want to do and be kindly critical. Can you genuinely commit to it? If not, what’s the compromise?

Don’t burnout before you get started!

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Tits up

Ah my little bumblebees.

You have a goal and you have checked that you are actually able to achieve it but knowing and planning and achieving don’t always align.

It’s happened to everyone. 

It’s ok. Life gets in the way. That’s life. C’est la vie!

It’s fine to hit the pause button, reassess and rework those plans. Or reassess and stop completely. Or reassess and continue on regardless.

You as a human being are constantly learning and evolving. Your blog, a product of your learning and evolving will also change and adapt as you change and adapt.

Sometimes those changes are caused by active decision making and others are caused because you can’t stop the tears falling at 3am on a Sunday morning.

It’s fine to say that something isn’t working out the way you wanted it to. It’s fine to be disappointed when that happens. It’s completely fine for you to decide to do whatever you need to do with new information.

You wanted to consistently post 5 posts a week but found you can just about manage 2? Reassess. Review.

You want to do all the tags you’ve been tagged in but it’s totaling over 75 and you just can’t bear the thought of doing any of them? Reassess. Review.

A feature that you spend three hours working on each week isn’t getting any views or feedback? You know what to do.

This is the good ol’ ‘Stop: Start: Continue’ approach.

If something goes awry don’t worry. Like I said, it goes awry for everyone. Review and do what is right for you.

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Interaction

When it came to setting my goal for my blog – interaction is pretty much what I wanted to achieve out of blogging.

What it came down to was my deep desire to nerd out about books with fellow book nerds.

So yes, I’m going to say that interaction is the best thing ever. But it is.

Do you know how exciting it is to have lengthy conversations about books and writers? Do you know how great it is to learn about other people and their perceptions and tastes?? So great!

Being present in the book blogging community has been my favourite thing. Reading, liking and commenting on other people’s posts gives me joy. Getting a comment back gives me joy. Getting comments gives me joy. 

I’ll be honest – I have stopped following bloggers who never, ever reply to my comments on their blog posts. Not even with a one liner.

I do not and will never have any expectation for anyone to follow me back if I follow them but because I crave interaction if I do not get that interaction on someone’s blog (no matter how cool their blog posts) I will eventually retreat.

I get excited every time I see someone has liked or commented or tagged me in something. Do I get to those tags and comments quickly? No, but I will always get to them.

Let me also say this: If you enjoy someone’s content and genuinely want to see more of it, you’re more likely to keep getting that content if you tell them you like that content.

People operate extremely well to conditioning and reward based systems. Content -> Reward -> More Content.

Can you tell I’m in Human Resources? 😉

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Important thingThe majority of us are blogging for fun. If that’s why we’re doing it then that’s what it should be.

The second, the very second blogging stops being fun do what I suggested in point three. Stop and reassess.

If you need to take a break you must take a break. If you feel that pushing ahead with a blogging schedule is too much and you start having panic attacks in your bedroom at 11pm on a Saturday night then stop.

If you don’t want to stop then scale it back.

People will understand if you take a break. If people don’t understand then you can tell those people to shove a red hot poker where the sun doesn’t shine. But then they may well enjoy that because if they don’t understand then they are clearly the devil.

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People

You’ve come to the end of a long journey my friends and soon you can rest.

My final piece of advice. You do you. 

Be yourself. Do the content you want and when you want. Write it in the way you want. Make your blog look like the way you want it to look.

You do you. Not everyone will like it but that’s fine. The ones that will, they’ll find you. They’re the ones you want anyway.

Giveaway

Do you wants it my precious?

I hope you do as I’m kind of excited about it!

To celebrate reaching one year of blogging – whoop! – I am offering one lucky person a single MasterClass. That doesn’t mean one lesson that means one single class which (depending on who you choose) can mean anything up to 24 lessons.

Are you excited yet?

Masterclass

There are some ‘rules:-‘

  1. You have to be following The BookNook UK upon entry & announcement. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Ok… I do 😉
  2. The winner gets to select the MasterClass they want BUT… as this is a book blog I want the class to be based around books and writing. So the prize selected must be writing based. There’s a heap of incredibly awesome ones though, so don’t fret. When you enter, tell me which MasterClass you want to be gifted if you were to win. Click here for the list.
  3. This Giveaway is open to international followers as the access can be gifted via email address but that does mean the winner will need to provide me with their email address. This will be kept confidential.
  4. The prize will be completely chosen at random and I will announce the winner and their chosen MasterClass on this blog.
  5. If the winner has disappeared into the ether (i.e they ignore my requests to send me/ confirm their email address) I reserve the right to select another prize winner.

There are also some dates for your diary:-

  • The deadline for this Giveaway is Sunday 5th May. 
  • The winner will be announced on my blog on Wednesday 16th May. 

This gives you plenty of time to enter and me plenty of time to get my shit together after the entry date to sort it all out!

So, I hear you ask, how do I enter?

Because I am scared of anything new that involves the internet I wussed out of the Rafflecopter route. 

If you want to enter this Giveaway simply enter your details (blog name and preferred MasterClass) onto the Contact form of my blog (it can be found here).

Gosh I hope I’ve done this right.

Only time and disgruntled followers will tell.

Breaker

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50 thoughts on “Bookish: Blogversary (Some Blogging Advice and a Giveaway!)

  1. Great advice, Gerry, particularly the part about having goals and knowing what your aims are. When I started blogging, I was 100% clear about what I was hoping to achieve. Now, I am a lot less clear, but it is very early days. I think I am spending far too much time tweaking my blog and reading what others are doing and not nearly enough on my reading (of actual books). For the time being, I intend to persevere.

    A very belated Happy Blogversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much!

      I think I enjoy the concept of goal setting because my day job contains a lot of that and it tends to leak through, not that people can’t enjoy their blogs without goals I just think that my brain is geared towards knowing what I want to get out of something.

      Oh absolutely though, goals will change all the time. You might go into something and then realise that it wasn’t what you wanted after all/ isn’t for you and the great thing is you get to review and adjust. I’m about goals but am all about being flexible with them too!

      Do what you need to do! I tweaked sooo much of my blog when I started and didn’t stop fiddling with stuff until…. nope, still fiddling with stuff. It’s all learning though because you get to work out what does/ doesn’t work and I think reading what others are doing is still a great use of time because you get to pick up on bits to try.

      Keep persevering though and have fun doing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. EEEEP! Happy Belated Blogiversary, Gerry!!! 🎉 🎉 *Releases doves* *Releases swans* *Swans get angry and chase me around like unholy demons*

    And yes to all of these advice!! I’m…definitely trying to work on number 3. And I think you also have a bit of the neuroscientist in you with this bit: “People operate extremely well to conditioning and reward based systems.” And I approve. 😉

    ALSO, is this your way of telling us you’re writing a series called “The Mystical Guinea Pigs of Lochmanra”??? Because um, that sounds amazing and I’m chucking money at the screen as I speak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kathy!! I can’t believe it’s been one whole year (well a little over now…)

      Number 3 doesn’t come easy to me, I have to apply a lot of energy and effort to change my thought processes but I like to think I’m getting there albeit slowly.

      Honestly, we’re all just animals 😉 I sound awful when I say that but people respond incredibly well to conditioning, we just don’t think we do because we think of dogs and rats but ultimately we all want rewards and they just tend to differ!

      Hahaha! I’m a guinea pig owner but the poor guinea pigs (well, guinea pig singular now) doesn’t get a look in on the blog because the feline has taken over so I feel she deserves her very own series. I tell her so all the time!

      Like

  3. Happy (belated) blogversary, Gerry! I love every word of this post! This is all such brilliant advice. I’m all about goal setting (I write SO many lists), interaction and doing me, but I really need to work on being okay with things going tits up. It’s so hard! Doing you is the best advice and I’m so glad you do you, cause you’re the best and I love your blog ❤️ Literally the first thing I thought when I read one of your post was YES I FOUND MY PEOPLE!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Aurora! As you can see I’m massively belated in replying to comments so I’m just pleased to be responding sometime circa 2019.

      I just read your goal setting blog post and I. Am. Here. For. IT. Honestly, I love goal setting and I am the queen of lists. I’m still working on being ok when things go wrong because I know there are worst things but it’s been an active learning process rather than a passive one because my brain doesn’t go easily to it.

      Your comments are awesome Aurora, thank you so much. I must confess I was very pleased when you started following me because I’d followed you for a while and just loved your blog! I was like ‘she’s my blog twin/ blonde alter ego!’

      Like

  4. Oh my gosh, happy one-year blogoversary Gerry!!!! ❤️🎂 I honestly can’t believe you’re only 1 year old (the blog haha) because you put out one of the best content of the people I’m following, and it feels like I’ve been talking books with you for like, a long time.

    And yasss to all your advice! I think when it comes to blogging, we need to keep reminding ourselves things like “you do you” or “take a break” – I’ve been blogging for 5 years now and I’m still learning this (or I could be slow. 😂)

    Btw, me too! I blog to solely discuss things with people, so I recently purged a ton of blogs from my feed so I could invest my time in building relationships with those who really interact with me. I mean, I kinda feel bad since it seems like I’m picking and choosing in a calculated way, but if I’m not talking with you, then I forget your blog. Simple as that.

    Again, congrats on making it this far Gerry! 😘😘 And awesome advice as always!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah thank you very much! Yes I am a wee, new baby blogger really but I feel ancient! This blog has aged me a million years….

      Nah, it’s not been that dramatic 😉

      Oh I give the advice because it’s advice I keep trying to drill into my own head but I’m still working on a ton of it for myself. One piece of advice I didn’t include was ‘don’t compare’ which I think is incredibly relevant but I do find that I end up doing it anyway and then bashing myself because I don’t measure up. People are weird, complicated things.

      I completely understand where you’re coming from re. purging and interacting. Sometimes I get incredibly overwhelmed with blogging because my anxiety is off the chart and occasionally I think about purging so I can stem the stream of info overload. I think forging meaningful connections is my favourite thing about blogging. People are also awesome, complicated things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, people can be complicated cuz whilst they know the advice they give is solid and true, it’s incredibly hard to internalize those themselves. But you of all people shouldn’t compare! I think a lot of people follow you because you have very thoughtful and nuanced things to say, which is surprisingly hard to come across. Like, you’re one of a kind!

        And girl, you should purge your feed sometime. I do it every few months, and it gives me a LOT of energy and breathing room to blog again. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If I knew how to do all those heart emoji things I would do but I’m doing this on the computer and am rubbish so can you please imagine I’ve done a string of them?

          I actually did a purge the other week because I couldn’t keep up with everything and actually started to panic. I then thought, ‘this isn’t how it should be’ so ended up purging those who never interact back with me even though I really like their blogs *bites fists.*

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hehehe I will imagine it done. 😘😍❤️

            And nice! I’d rather be having fun discussions with people than simply read through great reviews on my feed, so I totally feel you; I’ve genuinely felt sad purging some good blogs out there, but if I’m not talking with that blogger…no point following them. You get a gold star Gerry. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on one year, Gerry! *confetti sprinkles* I really enjoyed reading your lessons and totally agree with everything you said… and I am glad to know that I am not the only person to pull back from bloggers that never reply/like comments on their posts. I definitely stopped visiting some people’s posts because they never reply back to their followers, and that’s just a bad take in my opinion. Sure, I might take a week to respond due to depression but I will reply eventually.

    I hope blogging continues to be a fun thing for you! I really love your voice and sense of humor and look forward to many more years!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much!

      It’s been with a strangely heavy heart when I’ve unfollowed blogs and stopped interacting with people when they don’t interact back but I just can’t continue doing it. It feels a little like shouting into the breeze and I’d rather spend my effort on people who spend the effort back. If people reply then it feels like they care and I’d rather focus on them and their blogs.

      I’m the same, it takes me a while to reply to people for a variety of reasons but I always will in the end. I think people can tell when someone is delayed vs. when someone just isn’t bothering. I fully understand that life creeps in.

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  6. CONGRATULATIONS GERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy and proud of you! here is it many more blogaversaries to come! ❤

    (ppssttt also your links for the contact page for your giveaway is directing folks to the Masterclass page…just so ya know 😉).

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Happy Blogversary! I agree that interaction is really what makes or breaks a blog. I’ve been bad at it in the past because I don’t always know what to say, but since I’ve started interacting more I’ve noticed my blog has started doing better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!

      Its definitely hard to get started with interacting because I would always *want* to communicate on other people blogs but then I would think ‘oh I’m sure they don’t want me to’ and that would be enough to put me off. The reality is most people enjoy and want the interaction as that’s why they’re blogging in the first place!

      Now if I don’t have anything to say on a blog post I’ll make sure to like the post but then if I have something to say I definitely make the effort.

      I’m glad you’re now getting into the swing of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Blog-Anniversary!! I hope that there will be many more years.
    Also, I totally agree with your point regarding interaction. This is a community and I think that it is important to share and interect with each other in order to benefit the most from the blogging experience

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Me too 😉

      I think interaction is what’s important for a lot of people and I’m very glad it is as I don’t think I would understand the point of the blogging otherwise. I do like to think its a community and as you said – the community allows bloggers to benefit the most!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Happy blogiversary! Great tips 🙂
    I think i’m one of those “interacters” – if that’s even a word, i dunno… Never really thought about what my goal should be when i started, but looking back, i think it was mainly to put my reviews somewhere and chat to people about them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Happy anniversary! And Tolkien Reading Day too! I’m only a few months in myself with bookblogging but it’s wonderful to hang out with my fellow bookworms (you are among the first I started to follow) 🙂 and to get comments and leave comments.

    Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much! And I’m honoured that I’m one of the first you followed!

      I love the interaction of book blogging best of all, I don’t think I’ll ever get over being excited that someone has commented on a post or replied to one of my comments on theirs!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. First happy blogiversary 🎂 🎉 🎊 one year is great…
    I liked all your points. Well said
    Some times I interact a lot, sometimes I don’t…
    Many more blogging years to you. I am not entering into the giveaway. I just want to wish you

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Shalini! One year down and many more to go, hopefully!

      Interaction is always my goal but some weeks it’s too busy in life to get to it which means it stacks up for a couple of weeks. I can be late on replies more often then I’d like!

      Liked by 2 people

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