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!
There are two things I would like to do today:-
- Give some ‘blogging’ advice
- 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….
Pleeeeeeeease read this post and participate in my giveaway!
In all seriousness before I delve into wisdom which is quite probably appalling I need to say something.
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.
Ready 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.
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.
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!
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.
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? 😉
The 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.
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.
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?
There are some ‘rules:-‘
- You have to be following The BookNook UK upon entry & announcement. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Ok… I do 😉
- 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.
- 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.
- The prize will be completely chosen at random and I will announce the winner and their chosen MasterClass on this blog.
- 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.