All posts by SueySays

Dates for 2015 Bloggiestas

We have dates for next year’s Bloggiesta events! Please mark your calendars!

Mini Winter Bloggiesta: January 17, 18…and 19th? (this one will be on the MLK weekend holiday… thinking about carrying Bloggiesta through the Monday holiday.)
Main Spring Bloggiesta: March 23 through 29 (We’ll give a week long event a shot here! Spring cleaning Bloggiesta!)
Mini Summer Bloggiesta: June 20-21 (Bumping this a little earlier from our usual July dates)
Main Fall Bloggiesta:  September 24-27
See you there!
Also, we’ve created a Facebook Group for Bloggiesta. If you’d like to join come and request membership. We’ll also ask you to fill out a form to let us know who you are. You’ll see that over on the page. Thanks!

Sunday Twitter Chat Wrap Up: Ideas and Feedback


Sunday we had our final Bloggiesta chat for this event. We got a bunch of feedback and ideas for future events. Here’s some of the things we talked about:

Some of the things participants accomplished this go around:

  • wrote and scheduled reviews
  • set up google calendar
  • emailed authors for author spotlights
  • cleaned up Goodreads account
  • visited lots of blogs
  • set up anchor links
  • updated review archive
  • cleaned up labels
  • scheduled posts

Future Mini Challenge Suggestions:

  • a challenge on past challenges
  • pros and cons on Goodreads-like sites
  • tutorial on scheduling software…like Buffer
  • ideas on making and receiving better comments
  • when is the best time to schedule posts
  • simplifying blogging
  • incorporating other media/posts into blogs
  • idea generators
  • how to plan themed events and engage authors for said themes
  • creating a blog planner
  • “to hash or not to hash”

Other Suggestions

  • themed chats are nice, but also have a free for all chat
  • have a Facebook group (not just a page like we have now)
  • have an event that’s a week long, perhaps in the spring

Any other suggestions or thoughts? Let us know in the comments! There’ll also be a short feedback survey up soon. Thanks for participating!

Bloggiesta September 2014 Finish Line


Another Bloggiesta bites the dust! Here’s hoping you’ve all had a wonderful time working on your blogs these past four days and managed to get lots done.

We’d love to know how it went for you! If you’d like to share a wrap up post, please do so by linking up below.

Also, stay tuned for Sunday’s Twitter chat wrap up post… and a short feedback survey. Those’ll be coming soon!


Saturday Twitter Chat Recap: Book Blogging Basics

On Saturday, we chatted specifically about book blogging. Here’s what we decided:

What are the elements of a good book blog?

  • Usually some sort of reviews or talking up books.
  • Book discussion posts.
  • A good mix of both!
  • Promoting books and authors, but not too much. A good balance.
  • Making book lists.
  • Showing a love for books and wanting to introduce people to them.
  • Having variety and originality. So important.
  • Maybe an original feature.
  • Writing more important than features though.
  • Make your promoting sincere.
  • Some giveaway perhaps, but not tons.
  • You have to figure out what “it” is that your blog needs!

What about reviews? 

  • Just tell me if you liked the book! Did it suck? Did it rock?
  • No spoilers… PLEASE!
  • Short synopsis, if any at all.
  • Do mini reviews for those books you didn’t like too much.
  • Try to do them right after you read them.

What are your favorite tools you use for book blogging?

  • UBB (Ultimate Book Blogger plugin)
  • Editorial Calendar
  • Goodreads
  • Excel
  • Google Calendar
  • Coffee and M and M’s
  • Pocket
  • a notebook
  • Twitter
  • Evernote
  • Photshop
  • PicMonkey
  • NetGalley
  • my Kindle

What’s the best part of book blogging?

  • the people
  • other bloggers
  • the community
  • readers that get me
  • making friends
  • connecting
  • talking about books
  • (do you see a theme here?)
  • bottom line: We are all awesome!

Advice to fellow bloggers?

  • Be yourself!
  • Be original.
  • Proofread
  • Be polite.
  • Post what you love.
  • Have fun.
  • Take notes and jot ideas down.
  • Be helpful.
  • Get involved.
  • But don’t try to do too much either.
  • Take a break when you need it, but don’t announce all your breaks.
  • Visit and comment on other blogs.
  • Don’t stress. This is FUN!

Now…. get blogging!

Twitter Chat Recap: All Your Blogging Problems Solved!

Did you miss the Friday chat? In which we solved everyone’s problems? Here’s a run down of what we talked about:

Problem: I struggle with creativity and coming up with ideas.

Solution: Use idea generating websites like Hubspot and Portent.

Problem: How do I use WordPress?

Solution: Play with it! Learn it! You’ll get it! And use the Ultimate Book Bogger plugin, for sure!!

Problem: How do I keep up with and keep track of reviews?

Solution: Use google docs, anchor links,  and create review indexes and archives.

Problem: How do you make your headers and logos?

Solution: PicMonkey! Photoshop! Picasa! Make cookies for a graphic designer!

Problem: Have you ever tried vlogging?

Solution: Check out BookTubers on YouTube. A whole other book community. If you are scared of being on camera, try podcasting. Maybe learn video editing. But it’s not necessary.  Some brought up a controversial panel at last year’s BEA where there was a pretty huge debate about vlogging. Hopefully, we’ll all just be friends!

Problem: Rafflecopter for giveaways?

 Solution: Lots of people use it but Giveaway Tools is starting to be popular now too.

The discussion morphed into meeting each other at BEA or some other big event. Who would be shy and who wouldn’t? Maybe a Bloggiesta meet up sometime? How fun would that be!!!

Blogging and Life Tweet Chat

Today we had a Twitter chat about how to balance blogging with our real lives. I thought it would be fun to list here some of the things that were mentioned.

Suggestions for Ways to Manage Time and Maintain Balance

  • set a timer
  • shake things up and do things differently
  • schedule posts ahead of time
  • keep notes while reading
  • write down blog ideas right away
  • use your life as part of your blog inspiration
  • keep perspective
  • readers won’t care if you give yourself a break
  • use your free time wisely

Words of Wisdom and Advice to Those Struggling

  • do what you can when you can
  • take a break if you need it
  • don’t force the blogging
  • blog about the struggle
  • remember to breathe…blogging is supposed to be fun!
  • don’t pressure yourself
  • remember, readers are forgiving
  • love what you write about
  • write when you can then schedule posts
  • don’t beat yourself up, love yourself!
  • remember why you blog
  • read lots of other things for inspiration
  • have fun, stay connected, keep reading
  • jot down prompts
  • do a personal post at least once a week
  • trust others

Some Favorite Tools Mentioned

  • Evernote
  • Hootsuite
  • Google Calendar
  • MS OneNote
  • Buffer
  • Editorial Calendar plugin
  • Exel
  • reading journals
  • old fashioned appointment book

What other suggestions to you have for bloggers struggling with balance and time management?

Bloggiesta September 2014 Starts Now!

Mark, get set, go! It’s time to fiesta! Get working on those blogs! And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to link up your To Do Lists on this post here. That we we’ll see everyone that’s participating!

And…in case you are new to this event, here are a few things to remember.


  • Bloggiesta begins now and runs through Sunday night… wherever you are. We don’t have specific starting and ending times…. just Thursday September 18 through Sunday September 21… 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 mini challenges. Don’t worry about having the entire four days to devote to this, but do challenge yourself to put in some good hours to the project.
  • Feel free to update your progress any way you see fit. You can simply cross things off your list, or write a couple of 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.)


  • Much of our connection with each other will be happening on Twitter. Be sure to follow @Bloggiesta and the hashtag #bloggiesta. You can also check out everyone’s Twitter handle on the sign up list and follow them.
  • Be sure to join us for the Twitter chats. They are a blast! We’ll be having themed chats again. Here’s the schedule:
    • Blogging and Life (Time Management): Thursday September 18 @ 2 p.m. Eastern
    • All Your Blogging Problems Solved: Friday September 19 @  6 p.m. Eastern
    • Book Blogging Basics: Saturday September 20 @ 11 a.m. Eastern
    • End of Event Wrap Up: Sunday September 21 @ 1 p.m. Eastern
  • 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!
  • Be sure to participate in as many mini challenges as you can! The new ones are listed here, and previous challenges are listed here. Give our awesome challenge hosts lots of link love and ask them lots of questions!

And that’s about all there is to it! Go forth and blog your hearts out!

Bloggiesta September 2014 Mini Challenges


It’s the eve of yet another Bloggiesta! Welcome to the party! Below, you’ll find the list of our current mini challenges. Here’s hoping you see something you’ve been dying to learn how to do! Or something that inspires you to learn things you’ve never dreamed of!

Have fun clicking around and exploring and adding to your to do lists. Please be sure to thank all our wonderful hosts! They spend lots of time making these awesome challenges for you!

Amanda Shofner has a challenge giving us even more lessons on Google+. She’s calling it Google+201. For last Bloggiesta’s first Google+ challenge, check out Google+101 here. (@amshofner)

Wesley from Library Educated brings us a tutorial on MailChimp. (@whoffs)

Allison from The Book Wheel teaches us how to make anchor links. (@TheBookWheel)

April from The Steadfast Reader gives some hints about writing a negative review. (@steadfastreader)

Come and learn about browser extensions from Brianna at The Book Vixen. (@TheBookVixen)

Berls from Fantasy is More Fun brings us a challenge all about Flickr! (@BerlsS)

Katie from Doing Dewey teaches us all about Riffle. (@DoingDewey)

Stephanie from Cover 2 Cover shares her book organization tips with us. (@GoreLenore)

Becca from I’m Lost in Books has many Instagram tips for us. (@imlostinbooks)

Aloi from Guiltless Reading encourages us to make a book map! (@guiltlessreader) Aloi also has an awesome blogger template giveaway going on for Bloggiesta. Be sure to check that out!

Stacy from The Novel Life teaches us how to work with a blog designer. (@thenovellife)


Bloggiesta September 2014 Sign Ups

Welcome bloggers! It’s time once again  to sign up for the quarterly blogathon known as Bloggiesta!!

The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing. Spread the word and get all your friends to come and fiesta with us!

We’ll officially get started next week on Thursday, September 18, but today (and all this week) you can sign up by linking to your to do list posted on your blog and letting us know what you plan on accomplishing during this four day blogging fiesta.

If you don’t know where to get started, you can find a sample To Do List here.

Most bloggers use the time to do pesky tasks that they are always putting off. Things like fixing the header, adding sidebar content (or deleting!), catching up on archive lists, fixing labels and tags, learning how to finally do… whatever it is you’ve always wanted to do!

For more ideas, check out our past mini challenges here. You can always work on those things you missed from previous events.

Our new list of mini challenges will go live sometime the day before the event on Wednesday September 17. As always, we have some awesome things planned! Don’t forget to check back here that day.

Also, be sure to add the Twitter chats (#bloggiesta @bloggiesta) to your calender.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Blogging and Life (Time Management): Thursday September 18 @ 2 p.m. Eastern
  • All Your Blogging Problems Solved: Friday September 19 @  6 p.m. Eastern
  • Book Blogging Basics: Saturday September 20 @ 11 a.m. Eastern
  • End of Event Wrap Up: Sunday September 21 @ 1 p.m. Eastern

And now, the To Do List linky! Please sign up using a link that goes directly to your To Do Lists! Also, if you are on Twitter and would like other participants to be able to find you there, add that just after your name. Thanks!

 “Your Name” from “Your Blog Name” (your Twitter name)

For example, mine would look like: Suey from It’s All About Books (@SueySays). And remember, plug in the URL that links up to your to do list, whether you’ve already posted it, or are just posting it today.

Spread the word!