Discussion Post: The State of the Blog Address (repost)

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Discussion Post

This discussion post is one of my personal favorites from my old Book Blog.  I wrote it at a time when yet again, shit had hit the fan in Book Blogging Land. This was originally post on April 8, 2010 but I think that the content is still relevant.  Like I state in the State of the Blog Address, I triple dog dare you!

The State of the Blog Address ~ April 8, 2010

I’ve been going through some of the back log that is my google reader and I’ve come across several posts about the current “condition” of the book blogging community. I’ve noticed it while I’ve been out and about visiting people as well and it saddens me that something that is supposed to be fun has turned into something, that in some cases, that is nasty and very un-fun. So in advance I would like to thank Becky from The Bookette for her Honesty post, McKenzie from The Book Owl for her Blogger Relations post, Staysi at Lost in Ink for her observations post, and In Which A Girl Reads for her posts here, and here.

So here it is….The State of the Blog Address:

I started book blogging way back in September of 2009 (which really isn’t all that long ago) so I’m not really a new blogger but I’m not really an “old” blogger either. The thing that I LOVED about joining this community was that I was expressing my love for a hobby with other book bloggers out there all over the world. I wanted to read, review and post as many books as I possibly could. I wanted to gather followers as fast as I possibly could. I wanted everyone to like me.

 But now that I’ve been blogging for a while now I have come to realize some things, some of them good, some of them bad and some them are just plain UGLY:

1. You don’t gather followers faster than the speed of light. If you are a new blogger who is reading this…It’s true. In the beginning I started to follow blogs just hoping that maybe they would follow me back…In some cases yes that did happen, but in MANY that was NOT the case. It takes time and a little elbow grease to develop a committed readership. In all honesty, recently I have taken to COMPLETELY IGNORING the number of followers I have. I really don’t blog to gather followers…I blog because it is and should be a fun HOBBY.

2. Keeping it REAL can lead to GREAT discussion. I came across a comment while I was reading one of the posts on the subject at hand, where the blogger was afraid to post an honest opinion of the books they were reading because they didn’t want someone to disagree with them and start a “conflict.” In the beginning I was like this too, but I quickly said “nuts to this” and started keeping it REAL. If I don’t like a book I say “hey I didn’t like the book” but I give reasons why I didn’t like the book. If I LOVE/LIKED a book I say “hey I really liked this book” and I give reasons why. By keeping it real you can start some really interesting discussions about all sorts of different types of books.

3. Don’t post just to post. I did this in the beginning and I think in the long run it hurt me. I was reading, reviewing and posting reviews just to get them posted and I can honestly say that I have learned from that mistake. If your going to blog about books, then blog about books YOU feel are blog worthy. If your going to participate in meme’s do them because you enjoy them and just as a reason to get another post out there. If you’ve got nothing, it’s ok NOT to post. In the long run posting just to post WILL burn you out.
 
4. Don’t follow blogs just to follow blogs. This is one that I can say I am VERY guilty of. I am currently following close to 300 blogs. I bet you can only imagine what my google reader looks like?!…Trust me it’s a very scary place right now. JUST DON’T DO IT!

5. Since when are new bloggers NOT worth the effort and why is it assumed that they are just in it for the “FREE BOOKS and ARC’s”? This would be one of those “just plain ugly” things I’ve observed recently. We all were new bloggers at some point! I bet there are a bunch of new bloggers out there who don’t even know that there are such things as “free books and ARC’s” and are just blogging because they enjoy it and want to share what they like and don’t like with the rest of us. New bloggers are MOST definately worth the effort. I’ve just recently found a couple of blogs that I am now following who are new bloggers and I LOVE what they have to say. We ALL love encouragement so why aren’t we encouraging new bloggers? Why are we assuming the worst about them?

Ok, so I don’t turn this into a big ole “we suck and must be punished” post I am going to stop right there with my observations and tell you what I am going to do about it here on my blog and THEN I am going to go and issue a challenge…Just cause it’s my blog and I can do that sort of thing on my blog.
 Recently, I have found that posting has turned into a second “job” for me. I’ve already got one of those and really don’t need another one thank you very much. So from now on I’m only going to post when I have something to say or a really awesome photo that I took and I want to share with you. So yes, there will be LESS posting in the future but it should be about quality and NOT quantity right?

Because I’m following close to 300 blogs I will be going through and unfriending some. I NEED to get myself down to a manageable number…It sucks logging into my google reader and finding I have over 1000 unread posts (trust me it has happened). If I do unfriend you it’s not because I don’t enjoy your blog…I just need to get things under better control around here. If you feel the need to unfriend me that is unfortunate but I won’t hold it against you either…We’ve all got to do what we’ve got to do sometimes.
 I’m only going to participate in meme’s that interest me. I’m not going to post just to have a post up. I hope this one is pretty self explanatory.
 Now that I will be following less blogs I am hoping that this will give me more time to get out there and comment. I’m sure that some of you have noticed that I don’t comment very often. There is a reason for this….I’m feeling overwhelmed.
 I am here to encourage new bloggers. If your a new blogger, drop me an e-mail  if you want…I check it religiously and I promise to get back to you….it doesn’t even have to be book related. Making new friends is ALWAYS fun. If you have questions about blogging feel free to approach me…I’m no expert but I can share what has worked for me with you.
 If your an older blogger, drop me an e-mail if you want. Again making new friends is always fun. Who doesn’t like getting an e-mail that just says “hey have a great day!”? I an open to constructive critisim when it comes to my blog but please know that if you are rude, malicious or nasty I will respond in the same fashion. My blog is my space to say what I want and on MY blog turn about is fair play. (Not trying to be rude, nasty or mean. Just honest.)
I’m on Twitter, Goodreads, Bookmooch and many different Ning groups too. I really don’t think that there is anyone that I haven’t friended.

So my challenge to you is this: Go out and drop some random blogger an e-mail. Go out and leave a new blogger an encouraging comment. I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU!

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Comments
  1. Eileen says:

    Eek such great points! These days a lot of people have been consumed by followers and statistics, including me, and sometimes I wish I wasn't so worried about it like everybody else. Hopefully one day we can all come together 🙂

  2. I'm just going to comment on your points individually since you were so kind to leave a comment on my blog this week! New follower, btw:#1- I couldn't agree more. I cared so much about followers in the beginning, and up until recently, I really got jealous when other bloggers gained followers faster than I did. I always wondered what I was doing wrong. I still think about it sometimes, but I have done what you did, which was really try to adjust my mindset and try to remember why I started my blog. It wasn't for followers and review copies, which is nice, but I started it for the love of books and just wanting to express myself over how I felt about them.#2-On this point I agree with you, but as someone who does get frequent trolls on my reviews, it can be tiresome. There's a huge difference between someone that can argue their point effectively and someone who just leaves a nasty comment trying to start an argument. But when you have an unpopular opinion, sometimes it sucks to get the same comments on a review over and over. I will never stop being honest though, just sharing from my perspctive. #3-TOTALLY agree. I didn't participate in last week's Top Ten Tuesday because I had nothing to say about the topic. It is okay to NOT post if you aren't feeling it. It really reflects in your words if you are unenthusiastic about the topic.#4-I unfollowed a ton of blogs because I just couldn't keep up anymore. I couldn't comment on my favorites because I could never find them, so eventually I had to clean up my reader. Now I can read ALL of my posts and be a much more frequent commenter on the blogs I love.#5-I didn't realize this had happened recently. I was aware of it in the past, but I had not heard anything new. But I agree with you. There are a lot of reasons to start a blog. Yes, some bloggers do start for the free books. But it's usually easy to tell who those bloggers are and they usually don't stick around long once they realize how much hard work it is.Good luck with your blog unfollowing. It sucks but I agree it has to be done and it WILL help. I am proof of that. 🙂

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