June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA: The Future of Book Blogging

This post is part of my week-long participation in Armchair BEA 2012.

The Future of Book Blogging

What I think is most important about book blogging is that you be yourself. It's a tip we learn for real life application since we're little kids, but I think it's said so often because it's so true. Why I think this applies to blogging is that you need to have your own voice and do what works for you. As much as you want your blog to be popular it will ring false if you try and be hip and funny if that's not your natural voice. You're far more likely to gain a solid following if you write posts in a voice that is honest and natural than if you try to write something you think people want to read.

I also think it's important to schedule your blog and write when you want to. I have to admit I do struggle with this. There was a time when I had a post scheduled for every day, and I loved that consistency and the visitors it brought along with it. But once I was working full time? Not an option for me. The thing is, I'm a high stress person. I need "down time" where I can just relax and do nothing. And as much as I love blogging, I don't want it to take away from my time reading or watching TV or hanging out with family. So sometimes I have posts every other day and sometimes it might be 4 or 5 days in between posts. Would I like to be more consistent? Yes, definitely. But is it worth me stressing over? No. I do struggle with this, like I said, but I'm becoming more and more okay with it. After all, this is a hobby and something I choose to do.

This leads into my questions for everyone:

  • How do you keep blogging stress-free?
  • How do you balance review books with books you bought/borrowed from the library?

It's hard when you have so many books you have for review and posts that you promised others. I think we all go through "blogging slumps" from time to time as well. It can be hard to say no, and then when you're behind on posts it can be very stressful, so I'd love to hear everyone's tips and advice.

When it comes down to it I think what is most important for me is remembering that "be yourself" tip and just trying to take one post (or one day or one week) at a time. My vision for Book Labyrinth mainly consists of trying to keep providing high quality and honest reviews for my readers, and also continuing to work hard at connecting with fellow book lovers both online and off.

This has been a great week for Armchair BEA -- thanks to everyone who has stopped by, both new and returning visitors.


  1. :) To be yourself is wonderful advice! And I understand the need to post as often as you want and the need for relaxation time.
    I hope you enjoyed ArmchairBEA!
    New follower :)

  2. I like to post 5 times a week. I have to say, some days when I have no post scheduled it is really nice to relax and just read. Blogging can be so time consuming. This week alone I have been double posting, which is killer. Looking forward to the much needed relaxing for tomorrow. I don't really get any review books yet, except for a few here and there but I think I like it that way. I like to be able to read what I want when I want. When I do have review books I try to schedule the books I have to get done around highly anticipated releases, like I did with COLS. I'm probably not very helpful. LOL Good luck! :)
    My BEA post

  3. I try to do all my posts 1-2 days a week in correlation with memes. For example, Mondays I do What are you reading? To help me plan. I usually write my half posts and schedule them for following days. On Friday I do FF and write and schedule the other half. Hope that helps!

  4. It's great that you have more or less found a comfortable rhythm.

    I have found that the longer I blog, the less stress there is because I don't let it overtake me. Still struggle with combining that with being consistent.... so I am a work in progress.

    Also learned to be really selective with what I read, whether ARC or personal reading. That time is precious and shouldn't be wasted. Now, I really research just about every book I get; I look at reviews if it is an older book, look at the author's past books, length, etc.

    1. I definitely try and do the research as well, and I think I am in a PRETTY good place... I just tend to always want to read something from the library or my own collection right when I need to read one of the review books. I definitely want to cut down even more on review books I accept, and I've been pretty good about doing that over the past couple of months.

  5. "How do you keep blogging stress-free?"

    Well, it's a bit easier for us since we have 4 people to share the blogging task, but sometimes we create stress for ourselves accidentally when we forget the schedule... :P But yeah, deciding that we would post on a regular, reasonable schedule is the biggest factor in keeping We Heart YA a fun, non-stressful project.

    "How do you balance review books with books you bought/borrowed from the library?"

    Easy: We don't accept review books. :P Seriously, there is SO MUCH READING we want to do, that there's no way we could take on every freebie/ARC too. That said, it does mean that we end up spending a lot of $ on books. So there's a trade-off, but we think it's worth it.

    1. *When we forget whose turn it is, to be more specific.

      Also, we decided early on we didn't want to blog just for the sake of blogging (i.e., talk just for the sake of talking). We wanted to have something to say, to add to the conversation, and to engage with other bloggers/readers.

  6. How do you balance review books with books you bought/borrowed from the library?

    I totally neglect reading my own books for review books, it's sad, I have dozens of books on my shelves (books that I purchased myself) sitting untouched on my shelves for over a year, whereas when I receive a review book I read it almost immediately (I feel obligated to read it ASAP)- I've tried to start balancing it out better, reading two review books, then a book for myself, two review books, and so on.

  7. I keep blogging stress-free by doing exactly as you say- write when I want to. Otherwise, I get burned out pretty quick.

  8. I'm the same way Ashley. I'd love to blog everyday, but I need down time too, especially when I'm working. I've pretty much been falling asleep almost as soon as I get home and finish dinner recently. :P That definitely makes it tough to blog lots. :P And I also agree that you need to be yourself when you blog. :)

    How do you keep blogging stress-free?
    -- Hmm, well I just try to not let it become work. I try not to let it feel like I HAVE to post all the time. If I've had a rough week, I might not even post memes if I just really need a bit of a break. I think it's important to just take a break if you need one, and to let it stay fun.

    How do you balance review books with books you bought/borrowed from the library?
    -- I'm not very good at keeping a balance, but I do try. It's tough though when you get a huge stack of books from the library and they all have close due dates. :P If I just don't have time to finish a library book though and I can't renew my hold, I just have learned that I have to let some books go that way. Anyway, for a balance, I usually end up reading library books or books I own when I'm feeling stressed. It takes a bit of the pressure off of having to review something right when I finish it. It also helps when you're reading something completely based on your own choice. :)

    Great points, Ashley, and awesome questions! :)

    1. I'm with you, I read the ones I want when I'm feeling stressed. Even though I have review books it's not going to kill me to have the review up a month after the book releases. It's almost better to have different reviews at different times (within reason), because whenever I see a zillion reviews on release date I tend to ignore them anyway. I'm reading books for fun right now, and even though I'm feeling a bit guilty I'm really enjoying not having to worry about reviewing them.

    2. That's so true. I tend to ignore reviews once I've seen a bunch of the exact same ones, too. Same here. Sometimes I end up reviewing the books I read on my own too, but I like that I don't feel like I have to.

  9. I am always in awe of solo bloggers who are able to post so often. When I was doing it alone, I had about one post a week, two if I was feeling inspired. The only reason (honestly) that our blog is pretty consistent is because my cobloggers are on top of their game and we work together.

    I love what you said about having your own voice. Another important aspect is having something to say. Sometimes I go to blogs and it is just "here is this cover! *squeee*" or "I liked it" or something. I love going to blogs where I can tell the blogger has thought about the post and actually has something to say beyond the generic statements.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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