Tag it Thursdays: Secret Life of a Blogger

Tag it Thursdays: I occasionally get tagged by fellow bloggers to complete various tags. Once a month I will post my response. Please, feel free to tag yourself if any of these tags interest you!

This month’s tag:

The Secret Life of a Blogger Tag

I was tagged by my favourite rambling and ranting blogger, Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts to spill my guts with this tag. Thank you Joey for the tag!

How long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been blogging since April of 2013 which I’ve mentioned many times. I suppose the big “secret” is that I did have a brief Anime Series Review blog back in high school that I never really did anything with. I think back then, there wasn’t as many useful blogging platforms to use so it was a lot more html/css coding–which I enjoyed–but I found I spent more time formatting than watching anime which is what I wanted to do more 😛

At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?

That is an excellent question and one I’ve pondered a lot in the last few months when trying to figure out if I want to take my blog to the next level (ie WordPress.org). Right now I still have another year and a bit of schooling. Because blogging is a great stress reliever for me, I plan on continuing. (My dirty secret is that I’ve already started to schedule standalone reviews for 2016 so I will have material for the next little while). How long after that, I suppose it depends on my job and what ever else life throws at me.

What’s the best thing about blogging?

The main reason I started blogging was to have an outlet for all the books I was reading. I’ve shared it many times before, but not all of my friends read or it they do, they don’t read the same books. So I never felt like I had someone to share my reading experience with or talk to about books. Now, I have this community that loves (or hates) books as much as I do and I feel like it’s really improved my reading experience.

Oh, and now I have a place I can refer back to when it comes to reading books in a series! My reviews serve as refreshers for me personally to remember what I liked and didn’t about a book which really helps set the mood for picking up that sequel!

What’s the worst thing about blogging?

The compulsive need to always deliver is the worst thing for me. While I tote blogging as a stress reliever, it also causes me a lot of stress sometimes too.

In the last year, I’ve added more features to my blog and have started reviewing requests/ARCs and because most of those have deadlines, it adds pressure to something I consider to be a fun hobby and makes it feel more like a job. Then you start to think: am I posting too much? not enough? do I have enough followers? etc. That slope can be a slippery one if you let it be and sometimes I think it gets the better of me.

How long does it take for you to find/create pictures for your post?

I don’t really have many pictures on my blog besides book covers that I source from the internet; so I would say it takes me maybe 2 minutes? Movie posters for my Movie Mondays can take a little while longer.

The graphics for my features took anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. And that is mostly because I am a perfectionist or change my mind halfway through about what I want.

Who is your book crush?

You can find a whole list of my book crushes here for your reading pleasure. But I’ll go with my most recent addition to that list and that would be Oz from Nowhere But Here.

What author would you like to have on your blog?

As in to interview or as a guest post? I’m not sure. William Shakespeare?

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

This sounds like a question a sleazy person asks another when on the phone…

If you really must know, I wear clothes. There, mystery solved!

How long does it take you to prepare?

A blog post? It really depends on the type of post.

Standalone reviews can take 10 minutes prep (all the meta data like cover, synopsis), 15-30 minutes writing the actual review and another 5-10 for proofing and adding tags.

Series reviews can take anywhere between an hour to months! Because I need (usually) more than 2 books to make a series review, it can take awhile for me to read the necessary books.

Tags/Top Ten Tuesdays/etc can take 15 minutes to an hour depending on the topic or length of the questions.

If you are asking how long does it take me to get ready in the morning: the answer is 10 minutes.

How do you feel about the book/blogger community?

Overall, I think it is a really awesome place! I’ve “met” (ie virtually) a lot of cool people over the last year. I say “last year” because I really didn’t interact much with the community until then. When I first set this blog up I didn’t really consider myself to be a blogger. It was more of an information review website that used a blogging platform as it’s website template.

Now, that might seem contradictory to what I said earlier about blogging being an outlet but I’ll explain. When I decided to create my blog I just wanted to express my feelings about a book. I didn’t really consider the social aspect. I just wanted to give my two cents about something in the hopes that it might be helpful to someone else out there.

But now, I very much feel like a blogger because I really love talking to people and having those conversations about books, authors and characters.

What should be done to achieve a successful blog?

I think first and foremost you need to define what your idea of a “successful” blog is. Is it having the most followers out there? Is it getting 50 comments for one post? Is it posting something every day? Is it getting lots of requests/ARC offers? Is it relieving the stress of your everyday life by posting? Is it meeting lots of like minded people?

Blogging is a very personal thing to do and I think what bloggers get out of it varies for individuals. It’s easy to get caught up in the statistics of it all and that can either enlighten or dampen your blogging experience.

So know what you want to get out of blogging. It doesn’t have to be a set thing! My goals for success have changed every year! And once you have your goal in mind, come up with a game plan! Try new things, get feedback, explore other people’s blogs! Never be afraid to change things up!

Thank you Joey for the tag!

If anyone else wants to share their “secrets”, consider yourself tagged!

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Comments 7

  • I absolutely agree on everything you mentioned in this, Lauren! I don’t think any of us can deny that sometimes we get a little stressed over blogging. And I was the same way with blogging. I actually didn’t really know what I defined success as and didn’t even consider the social aspect. Actually I didn’t talk to anyone until two months into blogging and it really changed my outlook on the platform and blogging in general when I started to. When I did I think I enjoyed blogging way more. The late nights working on posts kind of become worth it if you know at least someone was reading them. But yes, all the satisfaction also comes from the blogger, too, though! And the idea of going to wordpress.org is intimidating for me, but I think it’d be exciting if you decided to since you’ve been blogging much longer than I have! Also, think of all the cool widgets and other jazzy features! 😛

    • I’m glad I’m not alone with these thoughts. Every once in a while the envy monster lurks to the surface but I’m really happy with how my blog has progressed this summer thanks to the dedicated effort I put in. I’m still struggling to find that balance between blogging and school–I feel like I neglect my blog come the school year–and I hope by the end of the month I can get a system in place.

      WordPress.org is very, very tempting. It would be so much fun to play around with all the features but I can barely manage the upkeep for this blog right now with school so I would be afraid it wasn’t worth my money. Maybe next year I’ll come up with a game plan (and way to pay) for wordpress.org and switch over 🙂

  • Wow, that’s a loooong time you’ve been blogging for. That’s really awsome! And I loved, loved reading your answers and I agree with all of them. It would be pretty great when you become self hosted, I want to achieve that one day as well. Here’s to hoping to that day! 🙂

    • You know, sometimes it feels like I just started blogging a couple of months ago. It really doesn’t feel that long!

      I’m really tempted to do self-hosting but I just don’t think I have the time to make it worth my money. Now that school has started I find I have less and less time to blog but it is still so so alluring. I’m sure one day we will both be able to get there 😉

  • I totally feel you about the blogging stress. Some days, I ask myself way too many questions about the amount of my post, the comments, the time spent on the blog and everything…it just adds up, and adds more stress where blogging should just be done for yourself, and no pressure in this 🙂
    I agree with you about, well, almost all of your answers, I think 🙂 and switching to wordpress.org would be wonderful, I’m sure you’ll have so much fun with this new platform. I hope you’ll do it, you surely deserve to, after all those years of blogging 🙂

  • Those questions are the worst–my mood really impacts whether or not I like or dislike the answers. In the end, I think it is worth it and I feel like I get more positives in my life than not.
    Which is why I want to try my hand at wordpress.org but it’s a big shift and I feel like school should be my first priority now…then once I have a permanent job, I’ll have the cash to spend on this hobby (the books to feed this hobby) 😛

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