54

[LET’S CHAT] What Makes An Original Book Blogger?

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Ah, yes, one of the biggest questions when you enter the blogosphere: do you have to be an original blogger?

I feel like that’s something that every blogger sees as some sort of requirement. Even in my own post when I talked about what makes me follow a book blog, I said that I really liked seeing original content that would continually inspire me. And, also, who wants to see a blog that looks like pretty much every other blog? We don’t just push creativity and non-conformity in the blogging world, but pretty much everywhere. How many times have you heard someone say that they’re tired of superhero movies and sequels and want an original movie? Or someone saying a song is overrated because it sounds like every other song on the radio? Or someone complaining about how a TV show is using the same old tired cliches?

But, is it necessary to be completely original as a blog? There seems to be a sort of look-down on people who just post memes and tags and awards, and even some people who have pretty much sworn off all of those things in favor of original content. So I wanted to talk about my experiences with all those things, because I am the blogging queen.

(Just kidding, I am 100% not the blogging queen.)

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So, of course, you’ve probably heard of these things called weekly memes, and contrary to what I used to think, memes aren’t just those things that get popular on Twitter and become annoying after a day. Basically, there’s a concept, and you’re supposed to pick books relating to that concept. Some of the popular ones I’ve seen around are Top Ten Tuesday, Saturday Situation, WWW Wednesday, and Waiting on Wednesday. There are definitely a lot more out there, and several for pretty much every day of the week.

If you’ve been around since the very beginning, you’ll know that I used to do WWW Wednesday for the month of January. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying them, and, surprisingly, they weren’t really doing too good in terms of stats (even though I’ve seen so many people say they’re memes do the best in terms of stats), so I ended up quitting. It’s definitely worked for me, since I’ve now opened up a spot that’s been taken in favor of more original posts, but I know that might not work out for everyone.

I’ve definitely seen a general consensus that seeing too many memes when you first stumble upon someone’s blog makes it less likely for them to stay, and I’ve also seen some people say that they just straight up avoid their Reader on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of the amount of memes. I definitely get it; I feel like with WWW Wednesday and WoW, it’s hard to really say something other than, “Oh, cool; I loved those books, and that one’s on my TBR! Here’s my link!” and “Yes, I’m super excited to read that book as well! Here’s the link to my post!” With TTT, I can definitely find something to comment about, because I’ve seen several people turn those posts into something creative (like what Cait @ Paper Fury does), but even if it’s just a list, I can always find something to relate to!

I don’t know if it’s a way to meet new people, but I have seen lots of people say that’s how they got their outreach when they were first starting out, so I can see why new bloggers like me jumped on the train! Personally, I don’t think I was really discovered by my WWW Wednesday posts, but I guess it might depend on what type of meme you’re doing.

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I guess you can say it’s mixed regarding tags and awards. On one hand, I feel like they’re fun and easy to do, especially if you don’t have something to do that day, and it’s always fun being tagged in an award. But, I’ve also seen some bloggers say that they think that they can get boring every once in a while, which they definitely can be, depending on the tag. There are some tags that I’ve managed to turn into full-blown post ideas, so they’re not completely useless.

I used to do tags a lot, and those who’ve been here around since the beginning, again, know that all I used to do were tags and reviews, before I got sick of it and opted to do more original content. And, as you guys know, I’m a huge planner when it comes to my blog, and even though I’ve been nominated in so many blogging awards and tags, only about three or so tags are on my agenda until August of next year, and don’t even get me started on blogging awards. I just feel like I’d rather post a Let’s Chat or a recommendations post or a list over a blogging award, because even though they’re nice, I don’t get excited about posting them. So, I decided that since I’ve been nominated for so many, why not just combine them all into one huge Q + A post? That way, I don’t have 248028 awards to do, and it’s fun and creative!

I’ve seen some people say that they don’t do tags and awards anymore, which I can totally understand if you want more original content on the blog. I think some tags are definitely fun to do since they reveal more about yourself, and same with blogging awards because you usually have to list facts for those, but I feel like they’re best in moderation, so I reserve them for every once in a while or when I just have nothing to post (which will probably never happen, so there’s that).

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As you guys probably know, I freaking love lists. Basically, for me, what falls under the “List” category are Monthly Recommendations, Anticipated Releases, Monthly TBRs and Wrap-Ups, and Book Playlists can be put under this category.

I did a lot of lists in February when I was trying to branch out in terms of more original content, and I was very happy to see that it gained so much popularity. I thought it was not only a great way to try something new on my blog, but I also got to share a lot about myself (my favorite ships, my favorite series, some facts about me, etc.), and I love doing that since it reminds everyone that there is a human being behind the blog. I also got a lot of comments from those types of posts, so they obviously push people to talk and share about themselves as well!

I’ve never done monthly TBRs, and I have an entire post dedicated to that whole subject that you can find right here if you’re interested. But, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t do much in regards of Wrap-Ups anymore. I realized during the month of March I really didn’t feel like doing a Wrap-Up post, and I realized that I don’t HAVE to do them at all. It’s my blog, and I can do whatever I want with it, so I chose to just skip out on it and just continue on with the month with more original content that I was really excited for. I like seeing other people’s wrap-ups, but it’s just something that I don’t really like doing, so I decided I wouldn’t.

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Ah, yes, the real money-makers. It seems to be that everyone in the book blogging community agrees that discussion posts are what’s really good for your blog and are what rake the numbers in, which is definitely true. When I posted my first ever discussion post – which I was incredibly nervous to do – I was blown away by how many likes and comments I received from it! And I realized how much fun it was to write that discussion, so I thought, why not keep doing this?

People seem to worry a lot about the topics they discuss, though. Some people never know where to get their ideas from or don’t really know how to get their thoughts into a blog post. Some feel like so-and-so topic has already been talked about by SO MANY PEOPLE, that their input will mean nothing in the long run. But, I definitely don’t think you SHOULDN’T talk about something just because someone else already has, and I don’t think that you have to be completely original to write up a discussion.

Personally, when I started out blogging, after getting frustrated with my lack of original content in January, I ended up brainstorming. So, really, pretty much all the discussion topics I’ve come up with have been thought up months ago. I don’t think I’ve ever thought up a discussion post the month of, basically. I use Discussions to talk about things that I don’t think too many people in the blogosphere have already talked about, and Let’s Chat is more for topics that have already been discussed by a range of people, but I just want to put in my own two cents anyway. Obviously, I post several Let’s Chat posts a month, but only one Discussion per month, and that works for me. They tend to get noticed a lot, and also generate conversation, which I love.

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So, that’s basically all the categories I can think of.

Hopefully, there aren’t many more than that. For me, the answer to the question is no, you don’t HAVE to be a completely original blogger. It’s pretty hard to come up with an idea that someone hasn’t already thought of and written down. But, it does seem like the general consensus is that bringing something new to the table can push your blog to several heights and even get better stats!

Let's Chat

What are your thoughts on each of the categories? Is there one you prefer over the others? What do you think makes an original book blogger?

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21

[AWARD] The Versatile Blogger Award

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So, I was tagged by the wonderful Beth @ Reading Every Night for this award! You can find her post here. She is literally the sweetest person ever, always leaving super long comments that brighten up my day and her blog is terrific! 

The Rules:

1. Show the award on your blog.

2. Thank the person that has nominated you.

3. Share 7 different facts about me

4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice (lol no)

5. Link your nominees and let them know of the nomination (still no)

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1. I haven’t watched any of this year’s Oscar nominees. I mean, I didn’t watch last year’s either. Or the year before that. I’m hoping to at least watch some of them, though, especially since everyone seems to love La La Land and Moonlight.

2. I don’t like classics. I mean, some of them have really interesting concepts, but the writing is so dense that I can barely stand it, and they can be so boring. So far, the only classic I’ve read and liked has been Lois Lowry’s The Giver, which I read back in the seventh grade.

3. I like EDM. I’m pretty sure that if I told people this in real life that they’d be surprised because I’m a quiet person and I like to read, but I love EDM. Galantis, David Guetta, Kygo, Zedd, The Chainsmokers, and Flume are some of my favorites. I know, it’s shallow.

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4. I used to write books on Wattpad. And I was sort of semi-famous? I got likes and comments, and my most popular story got over 20,000 reads, so that was cool. I ended up deleting all my stories because I wasn’t in love with it anymore, but it was definitely a big part of my life back in middle school.

5. I get spoiled easily. Books, movies, TV shows. Everything. Just a small list of things I’ve been spoiled for: Clockwork Princess, The Blood of Olympus, Allegiant, Crooked Kingdom, Champion, Crown of Midnight (I actually spoiled myself, that’s how prone to it I am), Sons of Anarchy, the most recent season of How to Get Away with Murder, etc. I’m a spoiler magnet.

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6. I read Percy Jackson before Harry Potter. I used to do summer track when I was younger, and those track meets would literally last all day long, so I decided to bring a book with me. My mom had a habit to buy my brother books even though he doesn’t like reading at all, so I’d often read them for myself. I had to rush, so I just picked up whatever books caught my eye, read a couple of sentences, and determined from there if I should read it or not. I picked up Harry Potter, but didn’t like it (the horror!), but after reading the chapter title of The Lightning Thief, I decided to read it. Obviously, the rest is history.

7. I’ve only gone to one concert. I’m not really into huge crowded places in the first place, so I don’t really think it’s a travesty, but my mom surprised me with tickets to a Lorde concert in the sixth grade. It was brilliant (and, yes, I’m still waiting for new Lorde music, unfortunately).

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I still have one more blogging award, so I’m going to leave nominating for then. I’m already running out of people to nominate that haven’t done it. 😂

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Also, I’d like to take a moment and thank all of you for nominating me for so many of these awards, not only in such a short amount of time, but also since I’ve only been blogging for a while! I didn’t think I’d get any of these for months (or anything else that’s happened), so thank you! And another huge thank you because, somehow, I reached 100 followers on Monday! Excuse me while I squeal copiously because I honestly didn’t think I’d have so many people who’d follow me, especially before two full months of blogging, nor did I think I’d ever get this volume of liked or comments. It means so much to me. ❤️

25

[AWARD] Mystery Blogger Award

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“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

So, for some reason, I’ve been nominated for another blogging award by Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books! Thank you so much; I can’t believe I have a second blogging award under my belt now! I’ve now been tagged in so many things; I’m probably going to replace my WWW Wednesdays for a while!

The Rules:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
2. List the rules
3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
6. You nominate 10 – 20 5 people
7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
9. Share a link to your best post(s)

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1. I have never listened to the Hamilton soundtrack. I know, I know, this is basically blasphemy. I’ve heard fantastic things about Hamilton, and because of the Booktubers I watch, I have heard some of the lyrics, but I’ve never listened to the full soundtrack. Please someone tell me I’m not alone.

2. I run track and field. I’m great at it, not meaning to brag, but I freaking hate it. With the passion of a thousand suns. The only reason I’m doing it is because my mom thinks it’ll be good for my college resume (even though I don’t want to even do track in college, but that’s another story for another day).

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3. I love Gordon Ramsay shows. Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Masterchef, Hotel Hell, I’ve pretty much watched them all. I don’t know, I just love watching him scream and curse at stupid people. I would just die if I got to meet him or even eat at one of his restaurants!

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  1. What are your goals for this year (reading, blogging, life, everything or anything you want to share)?

For reading, it’d be to finish some of the series I’ve been leaving unfinished over the year, complete 20 series/trilogies, and read 200 books. For blogging, it’d be to have this blog for one year, since I’m determined not to! And, personally, probably to work on not being quick to anger, since this entire election has just left America for the worse and everyone is constantly arguing and generalizing. I want to try as hard as I can to not generalize people (even though I’m sucking at it, but whatever).

2. What’s your favorite TV show at the moment?

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Uh, I’m not watching much TV right now, but the last TV show I was obsessed with was this show called Eyewitness. Basically, this teen gay couple are making out in a cabin, and get interrupted by a murder spree. One of the boys, who continually insists he’s “not gay” (this is a lie, obviously), wants to keep their entire encounter a secret, so they both decide not to tell what happened, while one of the boys’ mother is a police officer who’s investigating said murder spree AND the murderer is running loose trying to find and kill the boys and try to get the police off his back. Yes, it’s as good  and twisty as it sounds.

3. What’s one place you’d love to visit, fictional or not?

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Okay, I’m going to try to avoid the stereotypical Hogwarts answer, and go with Night Court for fictional. I think this is a totally obvious answer as to why. And for real life, I really want to go to the U.K.! I will go to the Harry Potter Studios before I die.

4. What do you like the most about blogging?

Well, in the short time that I’ve been blogging, I think my favorite thing is interacting with you guys! My family isn’t huge on reading and some of my friends read, but not as voraciously as I do. So, this is one of the few places I can go and I feel like people understand what I’m saying when I talk about ARCs and understand my awful book fandom jokes.

5. Funny question: Tell us an embarrassing blogging or non-blogging story!

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Well, this is going to be an embarrassing non-blogging story! Last year, my family and I went downtown for the 4th of July, and I was reading this gay romance novel that was super smutty on my phone. I was super bored, and I started reading it, and there was this smutty scene coming up, and some guy tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, straight up, “What are you reading?” Of course, I had a mini heart attack (he probably hadn’t even seen what I was reading, but I was panicking, all right?), stuttered out, “Nothing,” (that was an easily spotted lie) and quickly walked off. Embarrassing.

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I don’t have too big of a blog yet, so it’s not like I have many posts to choose from, but there are a couple that I’m definitely proud of!

Why Have I Not Read You Yet?

[DISCUSSION] Is It Really Too Much?

My All-Time Favorite Series

All-Time Favorite Stand-Alones

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Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm

Ali @ I Wuv Books

Kelly @ Kelly’s Rambles

Mia @ Pen and Parchment

Puput @ Sparkling Letters

My Questions: 

1. What are some of your favorite movies?

2. Do you have any pet peeves?

3. What are some of your least favorite book covers?

4. What is your most anticipated 2017 book release?

5. Weird Question: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

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And that’s it for the Mystery Blog Award! I only have one more left to go! I’m going to try as hard as I can to not become backlogged with tags and awards. I’ll probably fail that resolution as well.

And also, a huge, huge thank you to all of you concerning what has been happening in the past week or so on my blog. Seriously, this is insane. I’ve gained so many followers, views, likes, comments, and awards, and it’s been happening so fast that I can’t even believe it’s actually going on. I honestly feel like I’m going to wake up and find out it’s all a dream, or this is all going to go away, but thank you, because it means so much to me especially since I haven’t even been here for two months!

Also, I feel like I haven’t written a review in forever on this blog, so the next two days should have reviews! I’ll be posting my ARC review of a sci-fi/horror called Ubo, and I’m hoping to finish Caraval by Wednesday so I’ll have a review up then! I know there are so many people anxiously waiting for me to finish it, and, no worries, so far, I’m in love. And I call dibs on Julian.

47

[AWARD] Blogger Recognition Award

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First of all, thank you so much to Jess @ Beacoupbooks for tagging me in my first ever award! I’m still not over it, since, you know, THIS IS MY FIRST EVER AWARD. I’ve only been here for a month and a couple of days; I don’t deserve this.

Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

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Oh, God, my story is actually quite dull. I used to be a huge Goodreads user, but I found it really tiring and ended up deleting it in late October. I mentioned in a sort of throw-away comment that I might start up a blog, but didn’t seriously consider it until December. That’s when I started obsessively looking up “How to Start a Book Blog.” I think Cait’s blog (paperfury) was what really pushed me, and on December 20, I took the plunge and published my first post! If you’ve been here since the beginning, you’ll know that I actually had an old design (this is actually my third lol) and the first name for my blog was “fractured spines,” mainly because all variations of “cracked spines” were taken, and I hated it, so I stumbled upon “well-thumbed” after Googling book-related words, and “the well-thumbed reader” was born!

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Apparently, I’m supposed to be giving advice to newbie bloggers, which is sort of weird for me to do since I still consider myself a newbie, so I have zero certified experience, really. But, I’ll give it a try!

1. You don’t need all the social medias.

I remembered going into full-on panic mode when I was looking through 39747 “How to Start a Book Blog” posts, and 99.9% of them were constantly telling me to get Instagram and Pinterest and Twitter and Bloglovin’ and Goodreads, etc. I am not a social media person, as I’m sure you guys know, and it really stressed me out to know that I might have to sign up for all of them and juggle them. But fear not, I ended up not giving in. I quit bookstagram after two weeks, I don’t use Pinterest that much, I don’t use Twitter because I don’t like it, I have a Goodreads that I’m still unsure if I want to use, and I have Bloglovin’ which is pretty easy to deal with after you get sort of used to it (and also pretty great for those who want to follow you, but aren’t on WordPress). I will say, I got some traction on my blog when someone tweeted about one of my reviews, but most of my views/follows/comments have come from the WordPress Reader, my Books Amino account, Google searches (which, what, how?), and sometimes from Bloglovin’. I’ve used zero social media, and I have over 71 followers, and I consistently get 10+ likes and 30+ page views on my posts. Don’t stress about it. If anything, commenting on other people’s blogs is key.

2. Don’t be afraid to request e-ARCs/ARCs.

I signed up for the big bad scary world of Netgalley just a couple of weeks ago, and requested SO MANY BOOKS. I thought I wouldn’t be approved for any of them. Imagine how excited I was when I got an e-mail from the publicist of Penguin Dutton saying that they’d love for me to read an e-ARC for Final Girl (if you’re new here, this is one of my most anticipated 2017 thriller/horror releases, and it got 5 stars). I only had around 30 or so followers. Recently, I sent in three requests to Penguin Teen for physical ARCs, and, yeah, I might not get them, but I don’t know if I don’t take the plunge. Don’t be afraid to request, because who knows what will happen? You don’t always have to have a billion followers.

(But don’t go around requesting TOO many books; then you’ll be run over with all these books you’ve been approved for and you’ll be crushed by your TBR.)

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Um, I have no idea who has or hasn’t done this, and I’m not sure I can conjure up fifteen blogs, so I’ll try to get as many as I can!

Marija @ Inside My Library Mind

Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

Kelly @ Kelly’s Ramblings

Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers

Sam @ Clues and Reviews

Allonsythornraxx @ Allonsythornraxx (this made me realize I don’t know your real name!)

Chelsea @ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

Janel @ Keeper of Pages

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Aaaaand, that’s all I got! You definitely don’t have to do this tag if you don’t want to, but you guys all definitely deserve the award! 

And that’s it for my first ever blogger award! I’m still over the moon about it!