I can’t believe it’s already been almost a year since I started blogging! February 6th will be my one year anniversary! Whew does time fly! Starting out I had no idea what my site would look like in a year or if I’d even still be blogging. I’m really grateful for all of the help and encouragement I’ve received this year from everyone in the blogging world. I especially want to thank my friend Nicole at The Christian Fiction Girl. Her help has been invaluable to learning how to get up-and-running and plugged-in. My site would not be what it is without her help. So thanks Nicole!
I also want to give a special shout-out to my His Encouragement buddies. Each week on Thursdays we share a post of encouragement from God’s Word. This has meant a lot to me because while I love books and talking about them, I also felt convicted that I needed to make an active effort to share about Jesus. Yes, almost all of the books I review are Christian but I strongly felt that I needed to share about more than just books. His Encouragement has been a huge blessing and encouragement for me. Here are links to the other bloggers who participate, and who to contact if you’re interested in joining us:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories By Gina
Rebecca @Rev. Rebecca Writes
Yesterday I shared my 2018 Year In Review: My (Slightly More Than) Top 10. I was introduced to multiple new authors and exciting new books throughout the year. Yes, it’s been highly exciting to get the latest books often early so that I could share about them on my blog, but I’ve also come to understand just how helpful sharing reviews and creating hype can be. It helps books show up higher on searches, gets people interested and therefore boosting sales, encourages authors, and so much more. You don’t need to have your own blog to share reviews. There are multiple retail sites online that you can share your thoughts on. I didn’t start posting reviews until a few years ago when I started applying for Goodreads giveaways. Now I try to review everything I read and share on multiple pages.
Some good advice I received when I started out was to pace myself and not get overloaded. Starting out this was honestly hard to figure out. At first I thought that I would be fine trying to keep track of everything in my own head but especially once I started joining blog tours I learned there was no chance in that and bought myself a planner. It’s certainly helped me stay organized and be more aware of what my schedule is like for the month. It’s also helped me look and see if I’m over-extending myself or need to slow down on sign-ups for a bit. Having a planner is now one of my top pieces of advice for new book bloggers. I would be completely lost without my planner now!
I made it a point to focus on my blogging schedule last year to boost views but I didn’t really pay attention to how how many views came from social media clicks. I created separate profiles for my blog right from the beginning and I’m very glad I went that route. My blog automatically updates my Facebook and Twitter pages whenever I post. I was actually new to Twitter so there was definitely a learning curve to that and I had to start from scratch on followers. For Facebook I just had to create a separate page on my account and invite friends to like it. For that reason I focused more on gaining Twitter followers. Looking back on the year however, I learned that even though I had less Facebook followers, every month it was my biggest source of traffic (only second to the WordPress reader although it even beat that one month). I also finally caved and started an Instagram account, but I’ve had almost no presence on there. I should probably put some umph there too since I know how popular of a platform it is (although I still admit I’m not a fan of it).
So with 2018 (and my first blogging year) coming to a close, there’s much to reflect on and much to look forward to. Here are a few goals I have for myself going forward:
- Increase social media presence
- Devote more time to reading non-fiction (I generally have a non-fiction and fiction book going at the same time)
- Allow myself to actually take breaks (Not just because of feeling overwhelmed… but because I’m a book addict and need to do other things as well lol)
- Be more intentional about reading, commenting on, and sharing other bloggers’ posts
- Be more intentional with my time management. (Yes, I can read a book a day, but I can’t read and review a book a day along with visiting, sharing, posting and everything else)
- Go to CFRR! I already have my ticket, but just happy and anxious to go! (I will be taking a blog for that week since I’ll be touring DC for a few days after 🙂 )
- Go to Fiction Readers’ Summit! (Currently planned, but waiting on tickets to go on sale 🙂 )
- Read some old TBR items and not just new releases
- Have an official logo for my blog (I’ve been working on this but so far not happy with anything I’ve come up with)
- Not sure what else but didn’t want to end my list on 9 hahaha