Not All Fun & Games: The Pressures of Book Blogging

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This post is going to be a part of my book blogging tips series of posts (even though it’s only the 2nd one it’s still a series!) and one in which I’ve been having a lot more experience with lately. While book blogging is a super fun and wonderful hobby to have it still has its downsides and those are what I’m going to be talking about in this post.

I’m not trying to scare anyone away from starting a book blog but I thought it’d be a good idea to get some of the cons to book blogging out there in the open since they are important too! So hopefully this will either help some of you know what you’re getting into or it will remind those of you who already blog of some of the things we go through.

Here’s a link to my other Book Blogging Tips post: How to Start a Book Blog!

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The Pressure of Consistent Posting 

This one is definitely one of the bigger pressures for me because sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to get lots of posts done to schedule for later and then you may end up going a day or two without ANY posts getting posted! This can ultimately lead to feeling the pressure of trying to post consistently even if you get up a few posts every week you can feel that it “isn’t enough” when really YOU decide what’s enough and what’s not on your own blog.

Sometimes this can lead to a blogging slump (which I’ll discuss as well) and you won’t feel motivated to post at all let alone consistently.

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This is why it’s important to take breaks when you need them and de-stress yourself!


The Pressure to be Unique

This is actually a little more minor than some of the other topics I picked but it is definitely still a pressure. With so many other book blogs, bloggers, and weekly bookish memes it sometimes can feel hard to be 100% unique with your own blog, posts, and ideas. It’s definitely easy to do weekly memes since those post ideas are already thought up for you and as I said it can feel harder to come up with your own ideas when you have such easy access to others.

I know such things, for me, can lead to feeling like your own ideas and blog “aren’t good enough” which definitely is NOT the case. If you can’t come up with post ideas it’s 100% fine to do memes, I love memes! It may also be a good idea to take a break and try brainstorming ideas and then come back to your blog too.

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The Pressure of Blog Stats

I think this is definitely something we can ALL relate to, right? Watching our blog stats day in and day out and probably feeling at some point that they (once again) “aren’t good enough” or “why don’t I have lots of views/followers?”.  The pressure to get “better” blog stats is immense when it comes to blogging, we all feel it!

It also gets worse when you’re on hiatus or in a slump because those stats will decrease even more, the key is to not get caught up in your stats because they really aren’t that important. Your stats don’t make your blog wonderful YOU do.

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The Pressure of Gaining Followers

This one goes hand in hand with the stats thing I mentioned and once again I think this is something we can all relate to. It’s always nice to get followers it makes us feel good because someone cared enough to follow our blogs and read our posts! So of course it’s easy to get caught up in gaining more and more followers and wanting our blogs to be “big”. However, it’s important to remember followers are not everything and your blog is still amazing because of the work you put into it and not the number of followers you have!

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The Pressure of ARCs (Advanced Review Copies)

ARCs are a really big thing in the world of book blogging and they can actually add a lot of pressure though. Such as trying to get your hands on them, over-requesting and getting approved for more than you can handle, and lastly trying to get them read before their publication dates! Of course ARCs are a wonderful privilege but they can get overwhelming sometimes.

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The Pressure of Catching Up on Posts

The longer you’ve been blogging the more you’ll run into other wonderful book bloggers to chat with and follow! So of course all those bloggers add up quite a bit after a while and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to catch up on everyone’s posts which can ultimately, like with me, make you feel guilty for being behind on posts. I find it helps a lot to dedicate a certain amount of time just for browsing other posts that way you catch up without feeling too much pressure.


The Pressure of Commenting

This goes for commenting on other blogs as well as catching up on comments left on your own blog. As with catching up on posts it can be hard to find the time to give your comments the proper amount of thought and therefore it’s easy to put it off. The amount of comments and posts can get overwhelming sometimes so like I said earlier it’s a good idea to take separate time for JUST catching up with comments.


The Pressure of Reading/Blogging Slumps

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Slumps come around when you burn yourself out on something from doing too much all at once. Reading and blogging slumps go hand in hand too, you either can’t read and don’t have enough material for posts or you can’t post and then you have nowhere to discuss the books you’ve been reading! Sometimes you just need a break and it’s 100% okay to take that break, come back when you want to everyone will still be here for you!


The Pressure of Blog/ARC Envy

You know that tiny little inkling of jealousy you may get when you see someone’s gorgeous blog design? Or someone whose blog has thousands of followers? Or a blogger who has that ARC of a book you’ve been really looking forward to? Yeah we all get a little blog/ARC envy every now and then and sometimes that will make you feel some pressure because you’re thinking your blog isn’t “good enough” for all of that.

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The important thing is to remember to keep your blog fun and know that eventually you WILL get that many followers and you WILL get that ARC you’ve really wanted just keep working for it!


The Pressure of Review Requests

This isn’t as big of a pressure as these other points I’ve brought up but it does still show up every now and then for me. When you’ve been blogging for a bit you will be approached by self-published and Indie authors to review their books now this can go along with ARCs and the pressures that come with those or it can be a different kind of pressures, such as feeling guilty if you do not want to review the book. You are, however, never obligated to accept a review request if you don’t want to!

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Sidenote: another thing that can get pretty annoying about review requests is if you state which kinds of books you read in your review policy and people STILL send you the requests. Or if you state you are NOT accepting review requests and STILL get them. I always feel you are 100% in your right to not only say no but also ignore requests from people who did not take the proper amount of time to properly read your review policy.

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What do you think are some of pressures of book blogging?

Do you experience any of the ones I listed?

How do you deal with some of these pressures? 

Let me know in the comments! 

The Sassy

How To Start A Book Blog: Steps, Advice, & Tips All In One!

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I’ve decided to start doing some How To posts here on The Sassy Book Geek about book blogging and all of the wonderful things that come with it! When I was thinking of starting a book blog and when I finally did, these types of posts were super helpful and I’d like to try and provide that for others as well.

I’ll be making this into a kind of series of Book Blogging Tips so you guys will definitely be seeing more posts like this that will hopefully help you out if you’re a beginner or even if you’ve been blogging for a while!

This post (as you can see) will be all about starting a book blog and then some tips and advice about what to do once you have it up and running!

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Picking Your Genre/ Focus Of Your Blog

1.) A big step you need to take before doing anything is deciding what kind of blog you want to run.

Do you want to focus on romance novels?
Young Adult books?
Sci-Fi and Fantasy?
Or maybe you want to do a little of everything?

This is all about what YOU want to talk about and share with everyone on your blog! It’s also helpful for other bloggers to find your blog if you have a set focus or genre of books, being a YA blogger myself there’s nothing more off-putting than checking out a blog that says it’s YA and then see nothing but reviews for adult romance novels.

2.) Another HUGE step is picking out your blog name, of course! Try coming up with something catchy and creative, your blog name reflects you after all. I suggest trying to come up with a name that involves something that means a lot to you or something that mirrors your personality. I definitely don’t claim to be great with coming up with names and I’m actually pretty bad at it. The Sassy Book Geek comes from my love of books of course and all things “geeky” and my friends are constantly berating me for my “sass” so tada The Sassy Book Geek!

Here’s a few blogs I follow to give you some inspiration!

copy-of-top-ten-tuesday2Picking A Blogging Platform

First things first you need to decide whether you want a free blog or a self hosted blog, which you pay for. There are pros and cons to both of course some being that with a self hosted blog your website will be http://www.yourblogname.com while with free blogs it will look like http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com. So of course having your own domain name has a nicer ring to it than the free blog one but free is free, right? Then sometimes (as with WordPress) paying for your blog opens up the right for you to have 100% customization options so you can do a lot more with your blog design.

Personally I think everyone should start out with a free blog that way you don’t waste any money before you know you’ll stick with it! Here area few ideas for free blogging platforms:

  • WordPress
  • Blogspot
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr
  • Weebly

Of course I will direct everyone to WordPress because that’s what I use and I find it to be quite user friendly!

Designing Your Blog

This, like your blog name, should reflect upon your personality and well….your blog name as well. So if you and your blog name are fun and spunky go for some more bright and vibrant colors in your blog design!

I’d also like to note that if you go with WordPress your blog design is kind of limited because you are only allowed to choose from a few free templates that you can’t customize 100% without paying. However, this does not mean you can’t take a free template and totally rock it by adding your own designed headers and graphics! I highly suggest using Canva to design said headers and graphics.

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Important Blog Pages To Have

Of course there as many options for pages on your blog as you want there to be but there are a few that are essential for your readers to easily navigate your blog. These pages should be up and running before you start posting.

1.) About Page

I think it’s absolutely essential to include an About page on your blog I find it annoying personally when I want to know more about the blogger and there’s no information to be found! Having an About page also makes linking your blog to tags etc. a lot easier.

2.) Contact Page

Including a contact page will make it infinitely easier for other bloggers, publishers, or authors to get a hold of you. This may be for any number of reasons from asking you to participate in something to promote your blog or review requests. So be sure to include your email address or any other ways people can contact you.

3.) Review Policy

This almost goes hand in hand with your contact page, if any publisher or author wants to send you a request to review a book it’s a good idea to have a page like this explaining what you will and won’t review that way no one’s time is wasted.

Be sure to include:

  • Whether you are or are not currently accepting review requests
  • How long it will take you to read/review the book
  • Genres you will review and genres you will not review
  • Your preferred format for reading (print copies or e-copy formats)

4.) Review Index Page

This is not a page you necessarily need up and running right away but it’s definitely a good idea to add this page once you start posting book reviews. I find it pretty frustrating when I go to a blog and want to browse through all of their reviews and there’s nothing there!

Picking Your Rating System

Most people go by the 1 to 5 star rating system or occasionally 1 to 10 star rating and you definitely don’t have to do stars either you can pick whatever you like! I’ve seen people use skulls, Tardises, teacups, and an assortment of cute animals too. I find it nice to know how other bloggers rate their books and so it’s nice to have a page or something in the sidebar explaining your rating system.

Your Blog’s Sidebar

There are a few things you should be sure to include in your sidebar that will make it easier for readers to navigate your blog.

1.) Search Bar

It’s quite annoying to go onto another’s blog and be looking for a specific post and not be able to search for it at all. Do your readers a favor and make sure you have a search bar on your sidebar!

2.) Ways To Follow Your Blog

Of course you want to make it as easy as possible for readers to follow your blog, right? If someone can’t find any easy way to subscribe to your blog they will more than likely leave and then you miss out on a potential reader/follower. So be sure to include your blog platforms widgets and an email subscription widget as well so people can follow you!

3.) Social Media Links

You can of course just include these on your Contact Page but it’s far easier for readers to see these links on your sidebar and follow you!

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Do An Introductory Post

Say hello to all of us out here in the book blogging community by doing up a post to introduce yourself!

Promote Your Blog

This can be done by promoting your blog on your social media or by blog hopping! I find that blog hopping is very helpful in finding not only new bloggers to chat with but also to gain new followers. Please do not spam other people’s blogs constantly with links back to your own blog, instead try to leave thoughtful comments and hopefully they’ll come check your blog out!

Start Posting

The best way to start giving your blog a start and gaining followers is to generate content so to do this get reading and do up some book reviews. One of the other best things to do is join in weekly memes which can be Top Ten Tuesday, Top 5 Wednesday, or many other bookish memes out there. Not only are they a lot of fun to do but this will also help get your blog out there and start chatting with other bloggers!

And remember the rule: quality over quantity when it comes to doing up your first posts.

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Hopefully some of you found this post to be helpful whether you are wanting to start a book blog or have already started but need some direction!

Do you agree with my tips? 

Do you disagree with any of my tips?

Are there any tips you find to be helpful when starting out?

Are there things you wish you knew when first starting your own blog?

Please let me know in the comments!

The Sassy