As of June 2018, I have been book blogging for one full year. It has proven to be a great way to 1) keep in the habit of writing regularly, 2) keep an account of the books I’ve read & reviewed, 3) connect with others who love reading and discussing the books they read.
I haven’t learned everything there is to know about the process but as I reflect on my year, there are some things that I’ve picked up along the way that I thought I would share through a series of posts about book blogging. I hope you’ll find these tips helpful. Feel free to tell me what you’ve been learning too in the comments.
Today’s post will cover Tip #4: Follow Other Bloggers. Read, support, and share their work with others.
Reflecting on My Journey | How did following other bloggers help me build community this year?
I will stick with the same Q&A format that I used in the first three blog posts in this series that covered, Blogging Regularly, Getting Social on Twitter, and Using Images to make your blog engaging.
Q: When did I begin following other bloggers?
A: Right away! As soon as I set up my book blog on WordPress, I jumped right in and used their Discover feature to seek out other writers who were reading and discussing children’s books.
Q: Why did I find it important to follow other bloggers?
A: I don’t think there is much to gain from this blogging experience if I choose to write in a bubble and not venture out and discover what others are passionate about. Following other bloggers has helped me build community this year; engaging with other writers as I read what they share and participate in the conversation by commenting. I learned that it is worth slowing down my scrolling in the WordPress Reader as I browse the content posted by bloggers I follow. I intentionally stop scrolling, click on a post, and then read it. It sounds so simple and silly even for me to even say this but you and I both know how well our brain is trained to just scroll, scroll, scroll on by. My tip then is, slow down and enjoy the read. Then go one step further and engage by participating in the conversation.
Q: What sort of bloggers did I follow at first and what types of blogs do I follow now?
A: I started out exclusively following book bloggers considering that’s what I blog about too but also because as a librarian, it proved useful to read the book reviews that were geared towards a K-5 age range. I am fortunate to read so many great books but I cannot read them all. I rely on the recommendations of my book blogging community to help inform my collection development decisions. This, of course, is in addition to the wealth of book suggestions I get on Twitter. And because I enjoy reading YA and will soon be volunteering with high school age students, I also read what others have to say about new books in that age range.
Outside of book bloggers, I began to follow sites that ranged in topic from poetry and building literacy through vocabulary, to cooking and traveling. It is great to venture out and learn something new, whatever the topic may be.
Q: So, I followed other bloggers, then what?
A: In most scenarios, after following a blogger on WordPress, I would then find out which Social Media platforms they were on. I felt like it was worth following them outside of WordPress as well, especially if they champion books and reading on those platforms too.
Slow your Scroll
Slow down and enjoy the read. Then go one step further and engage by participating in the conversation.
Don’t Just Follow | Engage, Like, & Share the Work of Other Bloggers
Here are 3 tips based on what I learned as a blogger this past year as it pertains to following others. I plan to continue on in doing these things as I keep moving forward in my own journey:
- Engage with other bloggers by participating in the conversation. Leave a comment.
- If I enjoyed what I read, hit the like button.
- Share blog posts that I read and enjoyed on Twitter (or any other platform you use) so that others might read and enjoy it too.
That’s it. Read, follow, and share the blogs that you enjoy because sharing is caring, right? I appreciate those who read and support my blog. It’s nice to have an audience to engage with. If you were looking for new blogs to consider reading and following, take a look at my list of blogs that I read regularly that have inspired me this year.
Check out these Blog Sites
(Some that I’ve followed for at least 1 year & others more recently)
Beagles and Books
Writer: Laura Mossa
The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story
Writers: Don Tate, Kelly Starling Lyons, Tameka Fryer Brown, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Gwendolyn Hooks, Crysal Allen, Varian Johnson, Tracey Baptiste, Jerry Craft, Paula Chase-Hyman
Writer: April Crews
Writer: Christina Reid
Jarred Amato | Project Lit Community Founder
Writer: Jarred Amato
Jill’s Book Blog
Writer: Jill Jemmett
Juliatorres.blog | Strength, Vision, Service, Exploration
Writer: Julia Torres
MG Book Village
Writers: Annaliese Avery, Jarrett Lerner, Kathie MacIssac, Corrina Allen
+ Many guest middle grade authors
Raising Readers…One bedtime read at a time.
Writer: Deane Metzke
Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)
Writer: Tara Lazar