Advise from the Book Blogging Trenches

blogadvise

Before I started my blog in late 2016 I read a lot of so called advise posts about how to go about making it. I was told pretty consistently to have a theme, a concept, and stick to it. My concept was to just talk about books, reading, and anything literature related that caught my interest.

Then, I started asking people questions. Something I was told, time and again, was to focus on only one genre. One brief conversation I had with another blogger was particularly memorable. She told me, point blank, that talking about more than one genre of book would lose me readers and credibility. That it would confuse people about who I was and what I was about. In her rather pithy last message to me she informed me that only an idiot would post across genres.

This was pretty much my response…

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I was told, so often, to pigeonhole myself. I don’t know about you, but that didn’t sound like a great idea to me. I don’t read just one genre, why would I only talk about one? Apparently, according to much of the so called advise I received, it would be to make my blog predictable in that my followers would always know the type of content coming from me. Why in the name of fiction would I want to be that dully predictable?

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Confused Jack is confused

Since that initial questionable advise, Literary Weaponry has gone through many changes and phases but one thing has remained consistent. I always, always, talk about the books that interest me. I’ve discussed ya fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, romance, thriller, science fiction, and pretty much any other book that I have happened to pick up and had opinions about. All of those opinions have been honest ones. No matter if it was an ARC, review request from an author, or a book I’d purchased myself my opinions were always my own.

As people, we aren’t all just one personality trait. You wouldn’t expect your friend Betty to always be happy and upbeat no matter the circumstance or Joe in accounting to always be a total grump (even though he usually seems to be). People have many faceted personalities. For readers, those facets reflect in our reading choices.

Am I feeling sloppy and sentimental? Then I’ll probably pick up a book with a romantic plot. Am I being a total grump and just want left alone? Then you’ll most likely see me with a horror/thriller. Just a run of the mill day? YA and adult fantasy are my pretty consistent go-to’s. But just as I am not just one personality or have just one mood, I don’t have just one type of book that I like.

Here is the thing that actually took me a while to grasp. If I don’t feel like reading then I just don’t read. End of story. I don’t push myself to pick up a book and trudge my way through page after page if I am not enjoying it. Why would I do that to myself? If I’m not in the mood, I’m not in the mood. I tried a couple of times early on because I felt like I HAD to do a review every week and you know what happened? I hated each and every one of the books I read those weeks. What is the point?

Now you may be asking yourself, “Amanda, what is the purpose of this post? You seem to be rambling a bit dear.” I know I am. My purpose is to tell people starting out the advise I wish I would have had in the beginning.

Be yourself

Read what you love

Don’t feel obligated to meet someone else’s expectations

Don’t apologize for being yourself

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What is some questionable advise you have received while blogging? Do you have any advise for other? Share it here!

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

 

 

12 thoughts on “Advise from the Book Blogging Trenches

  1. I do think book blogs do better if they focus on one genre but like you I don’t want to read just one genre so I’m afraid my content is all over the place. I’m not suddenly going to start reading only thrillers because that’s what’s popular at the mo and will bring me the most followers.

    The other piece of advice I’ve never been fully convinced by is that a great design is vital. I read blogs on the app so this fabulous design which people have spent days /weeks/ months on just doesn’t show. Not saying it’s not really important but it’s not worth beating yourself up if your blog isn’t as stunning as someone else’s.

    Honestly, focus on good, original content, let your personality shine through and enjoy it. It’s your blog and it’s a hobby not a job so it should be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that blogs do better when they focus on only one type of book or one general concept. They gain more followers but, in general, I don’t enjoy them as much. Of course, there are those like YA and Wine that focus on one and are fabulous.

      Also agree with the “design is vital” comment. Have you seen mine? It is nothing short of terrible but the blog has still grown consistently over the last year and I am both amazed and grateful for that fact. Reliable posting and genuine thoughts I feel make up for the lack of eye candy.

      I think that as long as people are true to themselves everything will be fine. It is when folks start posting what they think other people want to see that the quality of content drops.

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  2. Great post. I was obviously unaware that blogs that discuss one genre do better. My blog is literally all over the place and maybe that has lost me followers, but I guess that’s just the way it has to be. I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for the inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YES! This is me to a T! If I don’t feel like reading, I do other things instead. I’m honestly surprised at the conversations and “advice” people gave you; that’s total crap. I love all the different stuff you talk about. The popular booktubers, while read primarily YA, they do branch out with different genres in YA and they’re still popular. Keep being you on your blog! You’re awesome 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is total crap, isn’t it? See if I turn to a subReddit (even if it was one specifically for book bloggers) for advice again! And, sugar, you are awesome, too. Know it and own it. My wine and I may have just blown you a kiss. Own that, too, if you’d like. (This is a darn good bottle of Riesling…)

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  4. You are a girl following my heart!!! I so agree with you as I read diverse genres and love it. I also love interviewing authors, writing discussion posts, doing tags etc. So yes I’m seeing myself in you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t done an author interview yet. I admit, I am a little nervous about it. I’m not sure what I would ask but it something I hope to branch out into soon.

      I’m so glad you agree about diverse genres! I enjoy reading pretty much anything and I love to talk about it. I understand that some people like to just focus on one genre, and if that works for them then that is great! But it just isn’t for me. I just hope to help newer bloggers feel comfortable be who they are.

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  5. Lol! That’s really strange advice that someone gave you, I would never just read one genre. That seems really difficult. I read like 10 genres, pretty much whatever I feel like at the time. Also I’m not going to unfollow someone just because they review a book I don’t care about. Awesome post!

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  6. Great post!! I agree…why be predictable?? I actually like when book bloggers post lots of different stuff. Like, I follow book blogs but if they talk about movies, the world etc. then I don’t mind at all because sometimes we see the same stuff repeated over and over again. And only posting about one genre of book…I think that’s a good way to isolate your followers!! I agree with your advice, the most important thing is to be yourself and post what you love 🙂

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