Lately, this blogging this has been going really well. So well, that I'm so glad that I've stuck it out through all of the slumps. The Reading and Blogging slumps. I've thought about quitting, I've even given myself a deadline, a sort of out that made it feel like it wasn't quitting, I'd be done with blogging when I graduate college. So it would feel like I completed something instead of quitting. Times like these made it all worth it. I want to share my accomplishments but that feels like humblebragging so I'd rather be vague and mysterious.
I've learned a lot in my two years of blogging but I still feel like I have a lot to learn. I used to just post reviews whenever I felt like it, and call that an achievement, but it wasn't. Not really. I'm so proud of what I'm accomplishing. I feel like I'm making a lot of friends. A lot on tumblr and with other bloggers (not so much on twitter, but I'm working on it). It feels like I'm doing something. Like I'm leaving a mark.
Every little accomplishment is like validation to keep going to see what I can do and looking back, I've accomplished a freaking lot. There were times where Edelweiss and Netgalley were ego deflators. I got some many rejections, that it hurt sometimes. Sometimes it hurt, a whole freaking lot.
I wish I could tell you when it got better, but I can't, it was so gradual that I failed to notice. But that's not important, I think the important part is that it has gotten better.
Blogging feels good now and I think that's why it's getting better.
So I thought, I'd share some tips to help other bloggers. I finally feel like I'm in a position to offer to the community that can help.
Aly's Blogging Advice:
Aly's Blogging Advice:
1. Make it fun: You should want to blog. For the most part, you're not really getting compensated for blogging. Sure you get free books that you don't have to buy, but it's still a lot of time. You're reading, analyzing, and writing review. It's basically a second job that you've volunteered yourself for, so at the end of the day, it better be worth it. So make it fun. Read what you want to read, that's the only way it'll sustain.
2. Free books are cool. But they come with a lot of responsibilities that aren't always fun. I've learned this lesson the hard way. Free books are enticing. I'd probably follow a free (and good) book of the edge of a cliff, but if you're excepting reviews because it's free rather than you like it, you'll probably end up regretting it more often than not. Especially if there is a publicist on the other side of the internet, not so subtly reminding you of a review that they want posted.
3. Blog Hop. Visiting other blogs helps a lot. I find that if you comment on other people's blog, they usually return the favor. Not always, but still, comments make people feel better, so at least you helped someone. It always helps increase your visibility.
4. Utilize your resources. There are places online where you can read books for free. Pulse It. First to Read. XOXO After Dark. They put up a book that you can read in its entirety for free or in the case of First to Read, offers you a chance to win an advance copy.
5. Trading. YA Book Exchange and Arcycling are really great sites. You might not always get the arc you want but you can sure trade a book for it or snag a copy that someone else has donated. Both are really cool sites.
6. ARC Tours and Blog Tours. There are a lot of great ARC and Blog Tours online. These are also great resources that bloggers should utilize. ARC tours are where one copy of an arc gets passed around and bloggers read it, review it, and pass it along to the next blogger a part of the tour. You don't get to keep the ARC but you do get access to it. Blog Tours are basically the same premise but each host gets to keep their copy, whether it's a digital copy or a physical copy, and they must review it on/by a certain date.
7. Limit what you review. I'm not saying a quantative number but qualitative. Review what you think you'll like. Sure there are going be books you don't like, but blogging is supposed to be fun, it'll get old quickly if you're reading lots of books that you don't like.
8. Goodreads. There are a lot of sites that are popping up trying to be the next Goodreads, but for me, Goodreads is still the best bookish community place. Try to enter the giveaways. More often than not you won't win (I've only won three giveaways and I've been a part of that site for years) but there's still a chance you get a free book by clicking a few buttons.
9. Memes. I have a love/hate relationship with memes but they boost your stats up and introduce to other bloggers. It's up to you how often you want to commit. There are so many memes, you can literally pick and choose which one you want to be a part of.
10. Don't be afraid to ask or seek advice. I was always so timid when I first started blogging, but then I started asking and looking for help and I got it, in so many different ways. It really has helped. That's one of the great things about the blogging community, it's such a waterhole to share and ask.