Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I've Learned About Blogging This Year and 2011 Goals

So, 2010 year was a huge year for this blog. I gained so many readers, friends, and contacts, each of which I'm incredibly grateful for. And with another year comes some new knowledge, which I figured I'd pass along to others, and as a constant reminder to myself:

1. Don't take on too much. This is one lesson that I learned the hard way. I was signing up for book tours left and right, and they all ended up coming in really close to each other. With all of the other books I had to review, it quickly became too much very fast. When life is hectic, I can usually get a book a week read, so when you have three books one week, you can see how this would be a problem. Now, I only rarely sign up for ARC tours. (I do not blame the tour site runners in ANY way, just to be clear. This was completely my fault.)

2. Read a book that isn't for review once in a while. At one point this year, blogging had me SO STRESSED. I was ready to take an indefinite hiatus, it was getting so bad.

Instead, I went to my bookshelves and picked out a book that I'd won from a contest a while ago. Meaning: I did not read a review book. For the first time in a long time I read a book for me and no one else, and it helped so much more than I would've thought. It just goes to show that you have to read for yourself too, otherwise this thing becomes very un-fun very fast.

3. Don't spend three hours a day going through blog posts. Yeah, there was a point that I would wake up, eat, then go to the computer for a couple of hours to catch up on blog. I wasn't even commenting on blogs, just looking at what had been posted, and it was slowly taking over my life.

Now, I use Google Reader, and I have a folder with a couple of my favorite blogs. I still don't get the chance to comment as often as I'd like, but this way I actually get to READ blog posts and it only takes a half hour a day, usually.

4. Stay organized! Dude. This is probably the most important lesson on the list. I cannot tell you how much staying organized is important. I'm homeschooled, and with me driving around for me AND my sibling's activities, I'm always on the go. So I usually pre-schedule posts. It's not always super reliable, but lately I haven't had too many issues with it.

I also find help in keeping a calender for the month in a folder. This includes books to read, when to read them, when to put up the review, etc. It actually helps a lot. It just keeps me focused, I guess.

With review books, I keep a spreadsheet. When I posted about review books taking over my life, a commenter recommended this, and I love it! Though I don't update it as much as I should, it lets me know who sent what first and stuff like that.

And I've got a few blogging and reading goals for next year. They are:

Read more!!! (I'd LOVE to average two books a week instead of 1)
Read more blog posts and leave more comments
Host more interviews
Read one Harry Potter book a month (I've never read this series and I'm dying to!)
Read more books I own (as you've seen, there's a lot)
Get my review pile under control

What are some things about blogging you've learned this year? And what are your goals for 2011?


  1. only recently started a blog, had it for under a month. I can totally understand the go to bed thinking about it, how to make it better that I forget to post up something because I am fiddling with everything else, structure, appearance, placement etc or i post too many things, and then wake up, check my blog, emails that I forget to eat breakfast until an hour later but I guess i have just started it, I reckon once i have everything set up it will be good. I have decided to keep a file of back up reviews and interviews to keep from getting into the oh my gosh I need to update something. I suppose I still need to learn the chill the hell out part of blogging but I am enjoying it though so that is a plus. Though once hols are over, there will be less time for it but still its cool!

    My goal would be to get my blog out there! :)

    I really like your blog!! its pretty darn awesome :)

  2. Yikes, I felt as if I was reading the post I need to write. A post that as of yesterday is being written. It's crazy what we try to cram into a day.

    Getting organized is definitely key. Unfortunately for me I seem to have lost my keys.

    Love the ideas on here. Between writing, reading, taking care of a family, co-running a crit group, maintaining an adult authors blog and my YA blog, and other multiple sites it's easy to get buried in the pile of "to do".

    I'm thinking a schedule mapped out on the calendar would be just the trick...may also need a timer, because I tend to get off track, unless it's 'edit time' then I'm all business.

    Great post. Hope you like huge responses. :)

  3. Great post! I usually pre-post things for a week and then I get caught up in school work and then it all gets me in a ruffle. Good idea for the calender. I'm thinking of getting a planner myself. It's so hard for me to check on which days I have booked and which days are free. Happy New Year!

  4. This is a really good post and some of your advice is very helpful.


Your comments feed the greedy comment-addicted blogger inside of me. Thanks for keeping me going.