This is the final day of Armchair BEA, and today's topic is (blogging about) blogging.
How do you blog? Do you post daily, several times a week, weekly?
Do you participate in memes, read-alongs, and challenges?
Do you post structured reviews on a regular basis?
What makes your blog distinctive: do you have a niche, do you blog about a particular genre?
Are you happy with the number of comments your posts generate? Do you comment back immediately?
Are you happy with the number of followers or subscribers you have? Do you have strategies for generating more followers?
Do you use social media?
Most bloggers have to make a decision about each of these questions eventually. Some bloggers devote many hours a day to their blogs, and they may post daily. At some time most bloggers have posted because they felt like they"should." And many bloggers seem to feel they need to apologize if they don't post for a while. My posting patterns follow the school year: When school gears up the second week of August, my posts diminish. During the school year I post two to three times a week-high stress months (usually October, March, and May) I may post less than that. I hate writing posts just because I feel I "need to." Those posts usually end up sounding strained.
I do like memes, read-alongs, and challenges because that increases my interaction with other book bloggers. The conversations and friendships that are struck up in these group activities are the most rewarding part of blogging for me. As I said in yesterday's post, it's about relationships.
One insight that I've come to is that the best blog posts are those that tap into the blogger's passion. While I initially wrote only about books, I found that when I wrote more personal posts that the feedback was very positive. When I write about things that are really close to my heart, like my teaching job, my family, or my favorite books, the response is gratifying. Two of my own favorite posts were about my father (Remembering Dad with a Book in His Hands) and a book I love with a passion (Middlemarch, My Love). I wish I could always write from that genuine, intense place.
The book blogs I most admire are ones where the writer has an original, distinctive voice. It might be informal and warm, or professorial, but the voice is authentic and unstudied. I would like to find that voice for my blog-and I think it is harder than it looks.
Generating comments is a struggle for me. Sometimes I post a review or write about a book that mean a lot to me, and there are only a few comments. There are blogs that I visit on a regular basis that generate dozens of comments for every post, and I want some of that mojo. Still trying to figure that one out.
"Followers" sounds vaguely cult-like, and "subscribers" seems very impersonal. The number of readers my blog attracts is important to me, but I don't like participating in events for the sole purpose of "getting followers." I'd like to attract loyal readers by writing posts people will want to read--but there are days and weeks when my posts don't necessarily have that much juice. I appreciate the readers who continue to stay with me through thick and thin. I do think twitter helps generate traffic to the blog, and also is a way of widening the circle of potential readers. Plus, it's addictively fun.
I do love blogging about books, whatever the occasional frustrations may be. As a book blogger, I have the opportunity to write frequently for an audience that shares one of my greatest passions. My book blog is very personal for me, and I am always thinking about what I want to write for my blog. Why I blog about books, how I want to write and think about books for the blog, and how I want my blog to be a part of the large book blog conversation are questions I find perplexing and engaging. What's your take on all this? Remember, comments=book blogger love.