Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reflections on How Blogging Changed My Life

So I was recently visiting the wonderful book blog called Parajunkee's View-- basically the epitome of book-blogging epicness-- and saw that she had recently published her 10,000th blog post. Now, I think we can all agree, that is quite a milestone! To commemorate this achievement, Rachel, AKA Parajunkee, spent some time reminiscing on how blogging had changed her life. Well, I thought this was an awesome idea, because I know that for me personally, blogging has become a major part of my own life and what I do now. I think it is a great idea to reflect on our achievements as book bloggers, so I hope that what I have to say here inspires you to look at what you have accomplished as well. Because you know what? Whether you have 50 followers or 5,000 followers-- if you are a book blogger who loves to read, review, and share your passion for books with other people-- you have something to be proud of!!

OK, so I'm going to tell you a little of my story as the blogger behind LC's Adventures in Libraryland. I started my blog back on March 23 of this year. Up until then, I barely knew what blogging was and I didn't even have a Twitter account. My first book review was for Fallen by Lauren Kate (Which looking back, I now think I gave a fairly generous review of haha). After about one week of blogging, a wonderful blogger named Deborah from Deborah's Books, told me she loved my blog and was giving me an award! I couldn't even believe it-- I thought, hey, somebody is actually reading and LIKING what I'm writing and how I'm presenting my blog! SWEET!! I took this as a good sign and continued trying to learn as much as I could about how to create and maintain a successful blog.

I started joining in all the weekly book blog memes, like Teaser Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays, and of course Follow Me Fridays by Parajunkee. Slowly but surely, my following started to grow, and by May 13th I was hosting my first ever giveaway to celebrate the 200 follower mark. I also did a major redesign to make my blog more readable (see old design was darker!). But you know what has been most rewarding? Reading some absolutely amazing YA books, and meeting some incredibly talented and supportive bloggers who have helped me to develop a hobby into something that I am really passionate about!

Today I am nearing the 1,000 follower mark, which I am really excited about. I am also now able to confidently contact authors and publishers to request ARCs for early reviews (see nerdy picture of me below lol), I'm co-hosting online events to promote new books and authors, and I often get emails from new bloggers asking for advice on how they can get their own book blogs to grow. Honestly, that is one of my favorite things about blogging, besides gaining new followers and receiving ARCs in the mail-- I absolutely love to help and support other bloggers, because that is how I became successful with my own blog-- by looking to those who came before me for tips and advice.

I would say that blogging has definitely changed my life. It has become not only a hobby and pastime, but something I am genuinely passionate about-- I love doing it, and I spend most of my free time reading, reviewing, and interacting with the blogosphere. I am now thinking of taking classes in web design so that I can expand my blog to include design for other blogs as well. I think that sites like Parajunkee's View that give honest advice on blogging are so cool, and I am very grateful for all the help I have gotten from them!

I hope that new book bloggers can be inspired just by knowing that you don't have to be a blogging genius or a high-tech web designer or a professional writer to have a successful book blog-- just be committed to providing the best site you can for you and your followers, and always be open to learning new things. Basically, just do what you love and be proud of it! That is the best advice I can give to any new blogger.

And as always, "Happy Reading" to you all! 

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16 comments:

  1. Awh this is really sweet! I'm shocked to read that you only started your blog back in March! That's amazing to have gotten so far in such a short amount of time! Way to go for you! I think I started mine back in March, but I didn't really post anything or participate in memes until the middle of July. It's awesome to hear how much you love blogging and helping other bloggers :) I've been a pretty loyal follower for awhile now, and I"m always interested to read what you post :)

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  2. I can't believe you started 1 year a go I thought you had this blog more than a year! It's amazing!
    I hope I can get my blog like this in a year. I'm getting motivated now.

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  3. I love this! I'm also amazed that you started your blog and you have gotten so far in such a short amount of time. This post has also motivated me to keep working on my blog and to be more dedicated to it.

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  4. Great post! It is so encouraging to see how far you have come in such a short time. I agree with many things that you have said:

    -- Parajunkee's View is a fantastic blog

    -- I think the biggest "secret" to being successful at book blogging is that you have to realize it's a community. Each blog is like a person and you won't get far if you only talk (write) and never listen (read and respond to what other bloggers are saying.)

    -- I think that the overall attitude within the book blogging community that we should all support each other is one of the things I like most about it.

    Also, thanks for reminding me that I wanted to write about this topic in response to Parajunkee's post as well. I got so busy writing my October preview that I forgot!

    Have a great day!

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  5. Great post! I just started up my blog at the end of last month and I'm already in love with the hobby. I always enjoyed reviewing and talking books on GR but this is like a whole community of awesome reviewers. I love it all. Thanks for sharing!

    Giselle
    Xpresso Reads

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  6. I didn't realize you were relatively "new" to blogging. Me too. You've done a great job, and I do enjoy your reviews. They are very honest.

    and I agree with you about how helpful everyone is in the book blogging community. If only everyone I met in my day to day life were as nice and helpful...

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  7. Thankyou for motivating me to work on my blog more! I had no idea you were so new to blogging! I only started about a month ago and have a whole 7 followers! Haha!

    Thankyou for your advice and encouraging me to work harder :)

    My blog is http://flippingthroughthepages00.blogspot.com/

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  8. Add me to list of people who are shocked you've only been blogging for around 6 months. Your blog is even more impressive for that fact. Not only is your blog gorgeous-looking, but your content is very professional. I think you prove that a quality blog will attract more followers.

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  9. I loved this post! I really love blogging myself, I think we must have started around the same time :D

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  10. Hey Lea, I have a little something for you. Check out my current blog post to find out!:)

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  11. Yay! So much love in this post. I really love your current design and even if I don't comment as much as I wish, I always enjoy reading your blog.

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  12. YAY! Awesome post! I was just going to do one like this since I just hit the 1 year mark on my blog. I still haven't contacted any authors or publishers for books. I feel so awkward doing it.... :P But yeah, your blog is always a bright spot in my reader. :)

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  13. I love this, Lea! I can't believe you only started blogging this year, I would have thought for sure you'd been doing it much longer. I can still remember the first time I came here, I thought it was one of the most beautiful blogs I had ever seen, and I spent ages just going through your posts and checking things out. Then I found out what a sweetheart you are, and yours is one of the blogs I stalk regularly now lol. Blogging has changed my life too...I was actually just thinking how strange that must sound to a lot of people, so I'm glad to hear you say it, too. I think most book bloggers probably feel the same way and get it. I don't have many friends who like to read, but it's one of my absolute favorite things to do, and so is talking about books, and I finally have people who get it and who I can share my love with. It's wonderful. :-)
    BTW, I see you're reading Wondrous Strange, yay! I hope you're enjoying it, I'll be back to read your review!

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  14. Wow what a very inspiring post! I started blogging only 3 months ago and I am loving every second of it :)

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  15. I am amazed that she you started your blog in March! You have come so far! I hope to be as far as you someday!

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  16. It is amazing how you can be introduced to things that are only in your dreams by simply doing what you love. I applaud you for already hosting events and meeting authors even though you have only blogged for a year. Have you thought about immersing yourself in other areas of this field in addition to learning web design?

    Regards,
    Darryl Tay

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