And… we’re done! I hope you all managed to get tons accomplished on your blogs! If you’d like to share your progress or your crossed of To Do Lists, link up below.
Also, mark your calendars for the next Bloggiesta event. It will be September 17 to 20. (This is a change from originally advertised. Make sure you have it right!) I’ll be looking for mini challenges starting in August, so if you are interested, be thinking now and we’ll talk then!
Have a great rest of the summer and do lots of blogging!
Let’s get this Mini Bloggiesta weekend started!
HOW TO PARTY
- Bloggiesta begins now and runs through Sunday night… wherever you are. We don’t have specific starting and ending times…. just Saturday June 13 through Sunday, June 14… wherever and whenever you are in the world!
- Plan to spend as much time as you can working on your to do list and completing PAST mini challenges. (Since we don’t have knew ones this go around.) Don’t worry about having the entire weekend to devote to this, but do challenge yourself to put in some good hours to the project. The theme for this mini event is “Back to the Basics!” If you accomplish some simple basic blogging housekeeping tasks, you are doing it right!
- Feel free to update your progress any way you see fit. You can just cross things off your list, or write an update posts. We will have a Finish Line Post link up here on Sunday for anyone wishing to link up their summary posts (or crossed off lists.)
HOW TO CONNECT
- Much of our connection with each other will be happening on Twitter. Be sure to follow @Bloggiesta and the hashtag #bloggiesta.
- We’ll have just one Twitter chat this weekend on Sunday June 14 at 3 pm Eastern. Join us. Chats are a blast!
- Also, plan to do lots of blog hopping by clicking on participants links (See the sign up links here.) Send lots of encouragement everyone’s way and help out with your expertise on all bloggish things! This is a big part of the whole idea of Bloggiesta!
Thanks for coming out and having some Bloggiesta fun!
If you’d like to participate with us this coming weekend (June 13 and 14) for the Summer 2015 Mini Bloggiesta, it’s time to write up a To Do List, post it on your blog , then come back here and link it up!
We are keeping this mini Bloggiesta very basic. Take this weekend to do some every day blog maintenance and catch up. Ideas for a basic to do list can be found at this link. You are welcome to copy it and use it however you see fit.
We won’t have any new mini challenges this time around, but be sure to use the time to work on some past Mini Challenges that you missed during previous events.
There will be one Twitter chat on Sunday June 14 at 3:00 pm Eastern. We hope to “see” you there!
And now, here’s the linky. Be sure to link up using the direct URL to your To Do List post using you name, your blog and your Twitter account if you’d like us to find you there.
Thanks and have fun!
Coming up in three weeks is our Summer Mini Bloggiesta! Be sure to join us June 13 and 14 for a “Back to the Basics” Bloggiesta. We’ll spend the weekend doing some basic blog maintenance like archiving, reviewing, backing up, etc.
But the fun thing is, we’ll be doing it together!
There’ll be no new mini challenges for this Mini Bloggiesta. Use the time instead to catch up on some challenges that you missed from the past. (Here’s the link to the challenges from our most recent week long Bloggiesta.)
We will have one Twitter chat on Sunday June 14 at 1:00 pm MDT (or 3:00 pm EDT).
The linky for your To Do List and Sign Up posts will go up in a couple of weeks. Keep a look out for that.
Here’s hoping you can use this short quick weekend to get some blogging basics done before the craziness of summer truly kicks in full gear!
Please take a moment to let us know how your Bloggiesta experience shaped up this time around and if you have any suggestions for improvement. Thanks!
Our first week long Bloggiesta has come to an end! That was quick! What did you all think? Was it worth it? Did you get a ton done? I hope so and I hope you all had a great time doing it!
If you’d like to write and share your wrap up posts, or your updated To Do Lists, sign up in the linky below. We’ll also post a simple feedback form in the next day or two so we can learn more about your feelings on this event. If you have ideas for future mini challenges, you can let us know there.
The dates for Bloggiesta events for the rest of this year have changed slightly from previously advertised. We’ve bumped both up one week. Which means, the Summer Mini Bloggiesta will be June 13 and 14 and the Fall Bloggiesta will be September 17 through 20. Mark your calendars!
Thanks so much for participating!
Thank you to Rachel Noel from Purple Owl Reviews for hosting the Twitter chat today! The discussion was all about books and reading in general. I (Suey) missed about half the chat, but have managed to scroll back for a few notes.
What do you read and review on your blog? Pretty much everyone was all over the place on this one. Most people read everything but some said, “anything will romance” or “mostly fantasy” or “a lot of YA!” Some love audiobooks, some not so much. Some love ebooks, some not so much.
How do you find books?
- Author events
- my past life! (revisiting favorites)
How do you decide which books you read actually get reviewed?
- lots of people review everything they read
- some review if they feel they have something to add to the conversation
- many said they review the books from authors and/or publishers always, but only review the books from their own shelves if they feel like it
- some say they only review books that they are very passionate about!
What about if you didn’t finish them? Still review?
- yes, if it’s for a publisher/author
- no, no , no
- they get mentioned on the monthly wrap up post with reasons for the DNF
- yes, if there’s constructive criticism to give, or feel the need to warn readers
What about reading friends books?
- some said if they do read and review a friend’s book, they’ll give a little disclaimer
- it’s hard most people said, because if you didn’t like it… awkward!
- some like to be beta readers for their friends book projects
How do you avoid spoilers in reviews?
- give warnings ahead of time
- say “because reasons” as part of explaining the book
- only tell your feels about the book, and not stuff from the book itself
Do you feel pressure to rate a book high that is very popular and most people have liked?
- resounding answer… NO!
- Some said they felt this in the beginning as a newbie, but not so much anymore
- We concluded: books with lots of hype don’t guarantee a high rating
And what if you don’t like a book you read for a blog tour?
- tell the blog tour people ahead of time, before you review it
- find something positive to say
- talk about the book, and not the author
That’s pretty much what I caught from yet another quick and awesome chat!
The final chat will be tomorrow at 3 pm Eastern. We’ll talk about whatever strikes your fancy and give some feedback about the event in general.
Lots of awesome thoughts and advice were flying around the Twitter chat tonight! Thanks to Amanda from On a Book Bender for guest hosting and keeping things lively. Here are some thoughts that everyone had about blogging and balancing life and keeping organized.
The first question asked was: Where do does the pressure come from? The overwhelming response was… from ourselves. The point being, if we are feeling blogging pressure at all it’s because we are doing to ourselves. Everyone agreed that we worry about writing perfectly, wanting to do more, comparing our blogs to others, feeling some peer pressure, worry about content, and etc. But in reality, we do this pressure thing to ourselves. No one else is making us do this. That being said and agreed on, we discussed the following questions:
What are some signs you are having blogger burnout?
- withdraw from interacting and hide in a hole
- not knowing what to say about the books you’re reading
- feeling like you’re forcing content
- having a lack of motivation
- dreading writing a review, or even reading
- much apathy toward blogging and other things in life
How do you minimize the stress?
- be choosier about which books you read
- take breaks
- schedule posts
- remember it’s a hobby and not a career
- just don’t stress!
- give yourself a pep talk
- have a review reserve to fall back on
- don’t review every single thing you read
- recognize what you can and can’t do
- take time to do other hobbies
- break the self-inflicted rules (like “I must everyday! and etc)
What one thing would you eliminate from your routine if you could?
- reading ARCS
- cross posting
- writing too many reviews
- taking too long to write reviews
- the need to post every day
- getting on too many mailing lists
How do you keep blogging fun?
- talk to other bloggers
- blog what you want
- be friendly and visit other blogs
- participate in the community
- just keep going!
- learn and try new things
- be creative
- be silly
- write non-bookish posts
- have fun on Twitter
- do some memes now and then
- read what you want and not what you have to
- write posts that entertain yourself and make you laugh
What advice would you give… to yourself and new bloggers?
- It’s your blog, your rules.
- find a niche
- there are NO rules!
- be yourself and have fun.
- participate in the community
- be original
- make a list of ideas to fall back on
- don’t have high expectations
- don’t get on mailing lists
- be careful of requesting too many ARCs
- try things
- remember why you started in the first place
- blog for yourself and not your readers
- make lots of friends!
We had lots of fun chit chatting tonight! If you want more advice for dealing with the pressures of blogging, be sure to check out the links on this page.
At this evenings chat, hosted by Jessica from The Bluestocking Society, we concentrated on discussing all the various aspects of reviewing books on our blogs. Here are a few things that were brought up:
What do you think should be included in a review?
- the book cover
- a synopsis (most people use Goodreads, some write their own, most find it hard though, some read the synopsis, some skip it)
- your rating
- links to author’s page and/or twitter, other reviews, where you can buy the book, Goodreads
- if you liked it or not!
- book info
What should NOT be included?
- SPOILERS! (we discussed spoilers at length. Be sure to have a disclaimer if there are spoilers!)
- don’t tell us the ending, or if there’s a cliff hanger, or twists
- don’t link to illegal downloads
- don’t compare to other books, it might be an accidental spoiler!
- A couple of sites were you can talk about a book and not worry about spoilers: The Socratic Salon and The Book Spoiler
What do you like to see in a review:
- if it’s a series and what number is it
- gifs are fun sometimes, used sparingly
- quotes, sometimes. Many people find quotes a fun thing to include.
How do you get your reviews to be unique?
- change up the format
- include the first line
- thoughts on the first line or cover
- why did you decide to read this book?
- quotes and gifs
- be snarky
- interview the characters
- make lists
- create a discussion
- use bullet points
What other content do you like to see in book blogger blogs besides book reviews?
- personal posts
- recipes and food articles
- posts on crafting
- movie and/or TV reviews
- Top Tens
- The Sunday Salon
- lists and features
Some fun links to check out:
How to Write More Creative Book Reviews
A Treasure Trove of Blogging Ideas
Five Ways to Make Your Review Stand Out
Writing Negative Reviews
Brainstorming for Post Ideas
Blog Post Bingo
Today we talked about what makes a blog page LOOK good! Here’s what was decided:
What You Should Have
- an About Me page
- review policy
- rating scale
- contact page
- currently reading
- search bar
- social media follow me icons
- subscribe options
- recent posts
What NOT to Have
- moving images
- countdown widgets
- too many ads
- automatically playing music
- pop ups
- too many images
- links/images for every community you belong to!
What should an About Me page include?
- your personality
- who are you?
- what do you do outside of reading?
- what are your hobbies?
- what’s your bloggy background?
- some pictures would be fun!
- what makes you unique?
- what type of books do you like to read?
What makes a blog look nice and readable?
- lots of white space
- light backgrounds
- no script fonts
- no colored type (or very little)
- breaks in text
Sidebars and Menus
- maybe just have one sidebar with minimal content
- three column layouts are out!
- maybe you can get away with no sidebars? Maybe have stuff in a footer?
- drop down menus are nice, but no more than 5 to 7 links
- only have one row of tabs
Size? Any bigger then 700 px for your blog content area is too hard to read. Headers should be small, not take up the whole front page and should be no bigger than 350px.
We talked about so much more than this! At the end, we sent links to our blogs for instant feedback. If you missed out on that and are genuinely interested in feedback on your blog’s look, layout, colors, fonts, images, sidebars, etc. we decided to try having a link here for additional feedback.
Please, if you leave a link, plan to click around to the other links here and not only GET feedback but GIVE it too. Yes? Nice, helpful, constructive feedback!
Updated to add: Give your feedback by commenting on the person’s most recent blog post… or find their Twitter and send them a tweet. Will that work for everyone?