This week is my two year blogoversary! (Really, it should be a year and a half, since I really started writing on my blog six months after I started it, but I gotta go with the date of my first post I guess!)
I've had a great experience so far in the blogging world and can't believe everything that's happened in the last year! I won Best Reviewer from the People's Choice blog awards, my blog was shortlisted for Best YA blog during Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and I reached 500 followers. I've made great connections with librarians, YA authors, readers and teens and I still get super excited when I read a comment from someone on my blog-I can't believe people read this thing!!
I thought I'd take my blogoversary to reflect on the things I've learned in the past two years of blogging:
Lesson Number 1-Enjoy blogging! Don't feel bad if it gets to be too much and take a break. This is a hobby and it needs to stay fun. It can be hard to balance everything in life and as much as I love blogging, the world will not end if I don't post something every day.
Lesson Number 2-Don't compare yourself to other bloggers. This can be really hard to do when you start out and see great blogs out there. But your blog is your voice and it needs to stay that way. Don't worry about getting to a large amount of followers or getting a copy of the latest popular read. Blog for yourself first and don't make it into a popularity contest-blog because it makes you happy.
Lesson Number 3-It's OK to say "no" to review requests. When I first started out, I thought I needed to say "yes" to every request I received. And I would get requests for books that really weren't anything I'd be interested in. I was also ending up with a large amount of books in my TBR pile I felt like I was never getting anywhere! I've learned to say no (nicely!) and not feel as overwhelmed.
Lesson Number 4-Rotate through your TBR piles-and don't feel bad about it!! I have three TBR piles-sent for review, library books, and books I own. I will read about three or four books sent for review, and then I'll rotate in a library book and book I own. This helps me feel less like my reading is a chore. Plus, it helps me make time to read books I bought last year and still haven't read!
Lesson Number 5-Be honest in your reviews. I tell my teens to write more than "I liked it" or "I hated it" when they write reviews. And I keep myself to that same standard. Some bloggers don't want to post negative reviews, but I will. But I won't write a negative (or even a positive) review without being honest. I'll explain what I liked about a book and what didn't work for me. I love doing this because it helps me examine myself as a reader and see what exactly I like and dislike when reading.
I'm not perfect and even though I may have learned these lessons, that doesn't mean I don't need a reminder now and then! I'd love to hear what lessons you've learned throughout your blogging experience!
It's not a blogoversary party without a contest!! Here's what's up for grabs:
Winner #1 receives a $25 gift card to the online book retailer of their choice PLUS an ARC of Being Nikki by Meg Cabot that includes a signed bookplate on the inside tile page, Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban, and Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
Winner #2 receives a signed ARC of Ash by Malinda Lo and Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton
Winner #3 receives a signed ARC of A Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan
To enter, fill out form below. This contest will end on April 30 at 9:00pm (central time). This contest is open to US and Canada only ages 13+.