The last time I was tagged, I was about 10 years old, and it was during recess. HA! Seriously though. One of my deep, dark, bloggy secrets is that I get a little envious of bloggers and their circle of blogger buddies who tag each other to do these fun little questionnaires. But now is my time! Thank you, Vlora @ Reviews and Cake!
How long have you been a blogger?
Uh. For a really, really long time. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been involved in the blogosphere for about sixteen years now– that means I started blogging when I was about eleven. I stumbled across a website called Expage, and its there that I starting practicing HTML, creating layouts, and writing about my day. I perused the Way Back Machine and discovered one of my very first layouts. My webpage was called “Blueberri Frazter” (no idea what that even means, I’m pretty sure I just liked the sounds of the words), I loved Garfield because he was “soooo kool”, and I was obsessed with getting people to sign my guestbook (the equivalent to comments today). I can’t believe I just shared this with you. It’s really quite embarrassing! (Also, that purple marble under my page title used to roll across the screen. I never had enough scrolling marquees on my page).
My design skills eventually improved, especially when my parents bought me Paint Shop Pro for Christmas, and eventually I made an online friend who offered to host me on their domain. Aside from owning your own domain, having a friend offer to host you was the pinnacle of success back in the early 2000s.
Books & Tea is my first and only experience with “niche” blogging. All of my earlier blogs were personal blogs, and I just wrote about the woes of high school (and the excitement of marching band).
At what point do you think you’ll stop?
Considering I’ve been blogging for sixteen years, I cannot imagine life without this hobby. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
What is the best thing about blogging?
Connecting with people, for sure. Back in the day I made some pretty good interweb friends, and we still keep in touch today! Connections in the book blogosphere are a bit more challenging though because this niche is competitive. Still, there are so many bloggers that I admire, and in my headcanon we are BFF4Es.
It’s also great to discover people who are passionate about books. It boggles my mind how often I read that statement when bloggers discuss their favorite thing about book blogging. Sometimes it makes me wonder if most people in the world are closet-readers afraid to admit their love for stories.
What is the worst thing about blogging, and what do you do to make it okay?
We are an opinionated and passionate bunch of bloggers, eh? And sometimes that creates friction. I’ve read many confrontational posts over the years (and of course a bunch of reactions to said post). Sometimes it’s great to see the rallying support of other book bloggers, but sometimes the negativity of the situation is frustrating and overwhelming. I just want this community to be so full of love all the time, but I understand that is unrealistic, so I always try to remain an observer on such occasions.
How long does it take you to create or find graphics for blog posts?
Considering most of the images I use are book covers, not very long! But even when I attempt to make my own graphics, it still doesn’t take me that long because they’re usually pretty simple. I use canva.com, which offers templates to get the creative juices flowing. Now original photographs? That’s another story! I’m using original photographs more now than I have in the past, and that is time-consuming; plus I have to overcome feelings of self-consciousness because other book bloggers’ bookish photography is far superior to my own.
Who is your bookish crush?
Do you mean what book character do I have a crush on? Honestly, I don’t fawn over book boyfriends because my own non-book boyfriend is such a stud muffin. But, if I had to choose, it would be Ron Weasley. Now, if this question asked me which characters I admired, the list would be much longer, and it would most definitely start with Hermione Granger.
Which author would you like to have on your blog?
The queen herself, JK Rowling!
What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
What a strange question. I’m usually found wearing jeans and a sweater, even in the summer time. Sometimes I loaf about in my pajamas, especially on Sundays.
How long does it take you to prepare?
Another strange (and vague) question! I’m going to say not very long, for the most part. Usually I blog on the fly, but occasionally I’ll plan out a series or a theme to write about all month-long. I usually write those a few weeks in advance because I want to make sure I have enough content that qualifies as a “series” before publishing.
How do you feel about the book blogger community?
I’ve stuck around for over four years, and I have no plans on leaving anytime soon. I think that says a lot, right?
What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
- Interact with your community— seek out other blogs and leave them lovely comments. Usually they will return the favor! Participate in events like Alexa’s Book Blogger Love-A-Thon or Rinn Reads’ Sci Fi Month event, or even start your own and invite other bloggers to join.
- Create original content— which is totally hard, I know. It’s easier to quickly publish a meme post, but it’s more rewarding to spend time creating blog series and “discussion” posts.
- Be consistent— this is something I struggle with. I always come up with excuses about being busy or being worn out from work, but really I just lack the discipline to sit my tookus in my seat and craft posts. Our community used to be obsessed with blogging every day, which is an unrealistic goal for many of us, but consistent posting or posting a-plenty will keep an audience checking back
- Get a little personal— as in write about yourself sometimes. You don’t have to share with the blogosphere everything about your life, but I know I stick around a little longer when I actually get to know the bloggers behind the books.
- Be genuine— your passion for a topic comes through in your writing, and if you’re just in it for the ARCs, readers will be able to tell.
Tag! You’re It!
Jessica from JB & Tea
Syc from The Lit Mermaid
Beth from Fuelled by Fiction
Monica from Tomes Project
Melissa from Readerly Geek