Last week, I talked about quitting blogging. Not ME quitting blogging, but the feelings I sometimes get towards blogging that make me wonder what it would be like to quit. I started thinking about the topic again as I was replying to comments on the discussion. When you tell people that you’re a blogger, how many people actually “get” what you have to do as a blogger? How many people think that it’s JUST writing a post up, or using a template, or chatting on Twitter?
For today’s discussion, I thought it would be fun to dissect all of the things *I* do as a blogger — as in, everything that makes up my blogging week, or things that I’ve done in the past months. It adds up! There is so much to do, and I honestly wonder where I find the time to get most of these things done. Have a look at my list and maybe you can relate!
1. The blog design
Yes, it’s easy to just use a template, add a title, and you have a blog. But bloggers want to be unique. This is why I take the time to design my headers, find a background, and do my sidebar layout just the way I like it. And these are things I review all the time — my header has been changed three times, and I’ve gone through a few blog redesigns until I finally came up with a design that makes me happy. I’m also always reviewing my sidebar, changing the book that I’m reading, or updating my Goodreads numbers, or adding a new image for an event that might be going on.
2. Reading the books
This takes up a LOT of time. It’s not easy to be a book blogger since reading a book takes a long time! I’m currently listening to an audiobook that is 7 hours long. The last book I read took a few days, only because I had nothing else going on. I’m not a speed-reader, but I don’t consider myself to be a super slow reader, but it still takes time to even attempt to read the books on my list. My EVER-GROWING list.
3. Reading the review books
Some book bloggers request books from NetGalley, Edelweiss, or publishers. There are also the many email requests we receive from authors or publishers. We have to go through the emails, update our review policies, write up professional emails for publishers, keep our profiles on NetGalley or Edelweiss updated to reflect our blog stats and whatnot. We also have to schedule in the review books to make sure we get them read in a timely manner. Like, getting an ARC review up around the time of the book release, or getting a book read and a post written for a book tour. Plus, there’s all the correspondence we do between publishers or tour hosts, letting them know our review is up, or to coordinate a tour post.
4. Writing the blog posts, reviews, discussions, etc.
Just like reading the books, this takes time. We have to reflect on our thoughts of a book and write a review (no spoilers!) for the blog, or maybe think of a discussion post, or a new feature. I feel like I’m always thinking of what kind of features to have on the blog. Maybe an event will pop into my head — which takes planning. Do I want guest posts? Do I need to read certain books for it? Again, I’m putting things in my schedule, maybe emailing other bloggers to see if I can get guest posters (which leads to more correspondence between bloggers to ensure posts are to me and up on time). I have a few features on my blog and I have them all on my schedule, ticking them off as I get them written and posted — for Cover Love, I have to decide what covers to talk about, or I have to write up a book that I want to do for my Book Hoarder’s post or my Weekend Library post (which requires a trip and perusing books at the library). Discussions take more work, trying to come up with something new and breaking down my ramblings into a coherent post.
5. Designing OTHER things for the blog (and other blogs)
Just like designing a header to stand out, there is also the buttons for memes (since we all like to stand out for those, too!), or for features, or for any of thing that might happen on your blog. Like the ‘discussion’ picture at the top of my blog. There is always SOMEONE who’s designing these things. For my blog, I try to design all the things you see! That can take up a LOT of time. And then, there are other bloggers who like the designs you do and want you to do THEIR designs.
6. All the social media
Not only do we write blog posts and think about discussions and features for our blog, but once these posts go up, we also have to PROMOTE those posts. This means getting on Facebook (have you made your blog page on Facebook?) or Twitter and sharing your links — but don’t spam them all the time! You can schedule posts through both social mediums, which is a big help, but still something that takes time. PLUS, you want to chat with other book bloggers — isn’t one of the reasons you started blogging to find OTHER like-minded people? You must talk with them! Find bloggers who read the same books as you!
7. Replying to comments
Some bloggers don’t do this and I’ll admit that I only started doing this about a year or so ago. It has made a HUGE difference. There are days where I get super busy and can’t get online to reply to comments, so by the time I DO get online, I have pages or comments to reply to. I know, cry me a river, right? I’m not complaining about having pages of comments — I LOVE all of my commenters, and this is why I want to let them know that I’m reading their comments and that they matter! Sometimes they come back and comment on my comment and we start having mini-discussions, which is awesome. I love having this kind of connection with my readers.
8. ALL the other things
Do you vlog? Well, you have to record the vlog, edit the vlog, export the vlog, upload the vlog to YouTube, format the post, etc. Are you making it private until the post goes up? You better remember to make it public! Taking part in events like Bloggiesta, or a readathon, or even your OWN on-going events. Adding other blogger’s review links to your own reviews. Making sure your tags are correct. Making sure that your pages (about the blogger, about the blog) are correct — making sure that your review archives are updated. Do you have another blog? Well, you better make sure that you’re posting regularly over there and keeping on top of your schedule. There’s the crossposting — reviews go on Goodreads, Amazon, Indigo … and other places. Make sure you don’t let this pile up! Do you have giveaways? Do you attend book signings? Do you have a book club? ALL of these things take time and planning!
I know I didn’t get it all in this post, but I felt exhausted just WRITING it all out. Blogging is an awesome thing — it’s fun and it brings us closer to other book bloggers, other people who LOVE reading just as much as we do — but there is a LOT of work that can come with it. This is why it’s so important to still be YOU when you blog and to have fun while doing it!
Did I miss anything? What’s something else that makes up being a book blogger?