Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Blogoversary to Me!! PLUS CONTEST!!

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+.

37 comments:

  1. I put that I was an old follower, but apparently I wasn't officially following. I just had you in my reader. I'm a new follower now. Sorry for the mix up.

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  2. Gread contest! And happy 2 years!

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  3. Way to go on your 2 year blogaversary. Mine is coming up in a couple of months too... eek.

    ♥Nely

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  4. Happy HAPPY Blogiversary! I love that! Have cake and a great book :)

    I enjoyed reading your lessons - all great points :)

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  5. HAPPY blogoversary! You give such great advice! I do think we all need to remember those rules/advice from time to time or else we'll lose interest in blogging.

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  6. Hey! Under "Name", I put Lena instead of Book Addict Girl. Just wanted to let you know I'm not lying when I said I'm an old follower, lol :)

    Thanks for having this awesome contest! AND HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY!!!

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  7. Congratulations on 2 years of blogging!! Yay for blogging librarians :) And thanks for the great advice, sometimes its hard to remember that you shouldn't compare yourself to other bloggers and to just blog for yourself, so the reminder is greatly appreciated.

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  8. Happy Blogoversary! Great advice.

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  9. Happy blogoversary!!! And you're absolutely right - you should blog because it's fun and you like it, not to win a popularity contest or because you feel like you have to. In fact, I've challenged myself not to look at my site stats at all in March (halfway through and going strong!). I'm doing it to remind myself that my blog shouldn't be about how many readers I have.

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  10. Your advice is precisely the stuff I (think) I learned this year too! Sometimes I don't follow the advice, but it is all true. :)

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  11. Congratulations. Two years, wow good job!

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  12. Chicklitgirl [Sadia Gilani]March 17, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    I put that I was an 'Old Follower' since I've been reading your blog since last year... but I dont have a blog, so its not like official...

    Anyway- HAPPY BLOGVERSARY! Thanks for reviewing such amazing books. I just finished Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, I thought it was really good. :)

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  13. Congratulations on your milestone. I always forget mine when it rolls around.

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  15. Happy Blogoversary! May you have many more!

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  16. Happy Blogoversary! You make some very good points. Especially on good v. negative reviews. Thanks for generously hosting such a fun contest.

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  17. Happy 2 Years!! I love your rules for blogging. Everything is so very true.

    -Lauren

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  18. Happy Blogoversary! You are an awesome blogger and an even better wife.

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  19. Isn't your husband sweet!!!!

    Love your advice. I'm learning to say no more and more to review copies - mostly because I hate feeling like I have to get them done in a really timely manner. I want to be able to read what I want when I want.

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  20. Happy blogoversary! As a new blogger, I really appreciate these tips. :) Thanks!

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  21. Your blog is and always will be one of my favorites! Here's to many more years of blogging and book-twinness! (:

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  22. Congrats on the Blogoversary!!!

    And thanks for the great contest!

    -Kelsey
    www.thedoortowonderland.blogspot.com

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  23. Happy Blogiversary! I love reading your posts!

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  24. Happy Blogoversary!! Great contest! :)

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  25. I'm uber late, but just getting around to the feed reader -- happy blogoversary!

    I love your blog -- you were the first librarian blogger I discovered and I'm so thankful and happy that you're still around. :D

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  26. Happy late blogoversary! :D I wrote on the entry form that I was following under a different name, but I'm actually following under the name Nonie. Sorry for the confusion!

    And thanks for keeping such a great blog!

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  27. 2 years! Wow! I just discovered your blog today and immediately became a follower. I love uncovering new Book Lovers in the YA world :)

    Thank you for sharing your favorites with us!

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