Day 2 of Armchair BEA is about blogger development and a genre discussion about fiction. I'll do my post on fiction next.
Have you branched out into your community? Do you partner with other bloggers? Have you gone "pro" or begun supplementing your income through your blog? Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years? These are simply ideas. Think development and tell us what comes to mind.
I've learned a lot about blogging over the last two years, specifically over the last year. But I guess I'm a bit of a slow learner. I get into a comfortable place, and it takes me a while to work up to adding, changing, or enhancing my blog. Part of that is because I just don't feel like I have enough knowledge. Part of that is because it takes me a while to work up to anything--even calling the hair salon to make an appointment for a hair cut. I learn a little bit, as I go.
So no...I've not really branched out into my community. I'm not sure where I would even start, though I love the idea. I guess there are some ways that I partner with another blogger, my sister-in-law Holly @ Words Fueled by Love. We've discussed some events and things that we can do in the near future, but we haven't gotten the logistics worked out just yet. While I am an affiliate for Amazon, The Book Depository, and Books-a-Million, I have yet to receive payment from any of these businesses.
Getting paid to blog is both an exciting and scary concept for me. On the one hand, I think it would be really awesome to get paid to do something that I love. On the other hand, I worry about my ability to maintain my blog's integrity if it were turned into a "job"--if that makes any sense.
While I've only been blogging for over two years, I would consider myself a long-term blogger. At this point in my life, I can't imagine going back to life before blogging. So I'm definitely not going anywhere as long as I have any control over that. I have increased my posts by participating in various memes, and I have changed my reading preferences a little over the last two years of blogging, but I don't think my personality has changed. I've always tried to include personality into my posts, but I have a blunt personality and sometimes that means I just get to the point and move on.
What I think about when I hear "blogger development" is growing my blog. How do I, personally, go about trying to grow my blog?
My number one principle is "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."/"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." What that means is that whatever I hope to do with my blog (gain followers, comments, pageviews, etc), I must first reach out and do for others. Meaning, if I want others to follow me, I follow them. If I want others to comment on my reviews, my memes, my discussions, I must comment on theirs. If I want others to read my posts, I must first read theirs. Why should I expect anyone to do for me what I am not willing to do for them?
I also take my blog seriously. Not the point of not having fun with it, but if you're flippant about your blog--not posting regularly or not interested in your own content--others will feel the same way. If you're excited and passionate about your blog and your posting, others will be able to tell.
Memes are a great way to meet other bloggers, to get introduced to new books, products, and ideas, but I find I want more for my own blog than memes alone. Memes can be great, but just be sure you're excited about your content. In the same way, giveaways will generate traffic to your blog, but I don't want people to follow me solely for that reason.
Finally, schedule, schedule, schedule. I schedule reviews and posts ahead of time, usually about a month in advance. But truthfully I have hard time keeping up with the date each review needs to be posted according to their publication dates because I'd prefer to publish my reviews in order of when I've read them. Using NetGalley, Google Calendar, my home organization binder which has a section for my blog, and Goodreads all help to keep me on track.
*Last minute addition, while I have yet to "meet" anyone in this community that I would prefer that I had not, I do advise caution when commenting on others' posts. It's completely fine to disagree with someone, but there is no need to stir up conflict unnecessarily. When someone mentions that they loved something that you hated, I advise discretion. There is no need to reply to that person that you hated what they loved. You can always reply that you didn't enjoy "it" as much as the poster did. Responding otherwise isn't going to win friends, followers, commentors, or repeat blog visitors--all of which are necessary to grow your blog.
What about you? Do you have any advice for me about development? How to go about connecting with my community? Let me know!