Being honest here again…

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Back in May, I wrote a blog post “Being honest here,” where I rambled about how I don’t know how or where I fit in in the book blogging world, and how I don’t comment on posts as well as I should. Today, I’m going to be honest again with how I feel about book blogging in light of a giveaway I ran last Sunday and then extended until this past Wednesday because I didn’t get very many responses.

In the May post, I mentioned how I don’t take review copies, I don’t do blog hops (except for The Sunday Salon, which sort of is one), I do readathons but on my own terms, and I don’t read your blog posts as carefully as I should and as a result, don’t comment as well as I should. It is on that last point of not reading blog posts as carefully as I should that I would like to focus today. In last Sunday’s blog post, I mentioned I was having a giveaway to celebrate the end of my birthday month. I only received one entry that day. [I did get six entries when I extended the deadline until Wednesday and I’m glad for those who participated and were able to pick up a free book that they wanted.]

Why is that? I think it is a combination of factors, not just that you might not have been interested in any of the books I was giving away, but also included:

  • that I had two posts that day, the main one on my looking back at June and ahead to July and the giveaway one with the giveaway only running that day. So you didn’t even know what books I was giving away unless you followed the link.
  • Who wants to click through to another link? I already had several links in the post. I get it. Eyes glaze over at all the links sometimes. I work at a library and we have signs everywhere. Eyes glaze over at all the signs, I get it. Too much information, too many choices.
  • The bullet point list nature of blogging, even seen right here, where the blogger puts up a bullet point list of his week. The reader skims and sees what applies to him or her, if anything, and then moves on to the next post after maybe a cursory comment.
  • I didn’t promote the giveaway on social media, until the next day when I decided to extend the deadline until Wednesday, because I envisioned the giveaway just being for my blog readers. Then when I did on Instagram, I put the announcement up three times, once on Instagram Stories, and felt like a book gigolo in the process.

So what does this mean for the future? I’m doing away with the bullet point list posts. I will focus on one topic: reading, for example, with my Sunday Salon posts, and if I do other posts on TV, movies, music, or my personal life, they will just be on that topic. That way, maybe, just maybe, you as a reader also can focus on what I’m writing about for that post and not lose the thread. Hopefully I won’t lose the thread either.

22 thoughts on “Being honest here again…

  1. I think part of the problem with linking to blog posts is the algorithm thing. You just never know if your posts are even going to be seen by people. I will sometimes retweet my own links at Twitter in the hopes that more people will see a link. At Facebook, commenting on your own post will sometimes make it more likely for people to see it, but I usually don’t bother. Drawings at my blog are a bust. Back when blogs were the in thing, I would get 20 entries. Now, I’m lucky to get 3. So, I don’t usually bother. I’ve just done one drawing for a romance novel because there wasn’t an option to *not* do a giveaway if you signed up to review. Not thrilled about that. I keep telling myself I need to just stop doing ARCs because I have more than enough of my own books and I feel like I have to avoid the library if I get too many. I love the library and don’t want to avoid it! So, maybe in 2020 I’ll just accept children’s books. We’ll see. I’m not a good blogger when it comes to visiting other blogs. I get you. I like the way you save your reading for Sunday afternoons. I should probably try that. I felt like I was spending way too much time online, for a while, so I cut back on blog visits and it became a habit just dropping in on a few favorites when I feel like I have a spare moment.

  2. I was disappointed to miss the giveaway but I was so swamped from that one week off at camp that I am spending all day today responding to blog posts. Well, all day between work stuff. My feedly has one month’s worth of posts. Plus, I need new glasses so I can only handle so much online stuff these days. I’m sorry you didn’t have more of a response.

  3. Whenever I do a giveaway I live in panic mode until I get one entry. Once I have one, then I’m good. You know what they say, It’s your blog . . . (ha!). Regardless, I like to be able to check in on you, whatever you have to say. I kind of miss the old days of movie watching and having fun on line.

  4. I didn’t enter because I’m kind of meh about contests and I get mad when I enter a contest and don’t win. I want to win EVERY time, which of course is ridiculous. So I don’t enter contests of any kind, really. Maybe once in a blue moon.

    I love bullet point type blog posts!!!! My favorite kind of blog post. LOL

    I always enjoy your posts, bulleted or not I’m always like “Oh yay Bryan has posted!”

  5. I have to second everything Amanda said. I own only books I’ve read and loved and want to read again. I also like bullet points in a blog post. I can read it much faster than a paragraph style post. Once upon a time I worked a day job that had me at the computer the entire time. I had all the time in the world to read blogs, connect, and comment then. Not anymore and that makes me sad. These days I’m lucky to hop on my laptop once a week and then I’m usually trying to use my time to write my own blog posts. I feel bad about not commenting much because commenting from my phone is troublesome. I honestly think its kind of hard being a book blogger with the way book blogging has evolved. I don’t accept advanced review copies, don’t participate in blog hops, don’t have time to take countless pretty pictures of books for instagram, etc. It’s difficult to spend a good chunk of time writing blog posts knowing that they probably won’t get many, if any, comments. I don’t fault anyone that but do miss the connections I made in my early days of book blogging. I understand that it’s easier to scroll through Instagram and I find that I spend more of time there too. But I enjoy it and I enjoy co-blogging with Tanya. We make a good team and it’s fun to blog together. So one way that I like to look at it is that the blog is kind of a time capsule for me of my interests and things at this time. Even if no one reads a post or a post in its entirety, I wrote it for myself too so it was still worth writing- if that makes sense. Anyway- I hate to be a lurker and hardly ever comment, but I suppose it’s better than not being able to stop by at all. 🙂

    1. I don’t fault anyone either. The blame somewhat on social media but also on our own attention spans… And just life, in general, with its own distractions. While I said here that I’ll stop bullet point lists, I probably won’t. But I do want to limit my posts to one topic and not jump around as much.

  6. Just FYI, I didn’t enter because I thought it unfair for you to stick you with the international postal cost if I did win. I did appreciate the thought, but I know how expensive it is.

    I don’t mind ‘mixed’ posts, I do read posts in full, but I usually only comment on one or two aspects of the post that I connect with.

    I do admire the thought you give to your blogging process, I’ve probably gotten a bit lazy with mine.

  7. Nice to see your thought process. I know for myself I’m going to be in for the long haul when it comes to marketing my next book on my blog. I have some ideas after being in the game so long, but I totally see what you’re saying. Happy birthday btw. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by last week.

  8. And then you get me who crams everything into one post. And I know very well from the comments that no one is reading everything. And that’s okay. I do quite a few memes, and so some people only care about responding to those aspects. I may go back to doing individual posts for the various topics again, but right now I only have time for responding to comments on one or two posts a week, and I’m trying out this solution. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not the most consistent blogger. Haha.

    I was gone most of June from the blogosphere, and so missed your giveaway. I don’t often enter them anymore though, to be honest.

    (As an aside, my husband is a bullet point blogger. He only blogs using bullet points. Although he doesn’t really blog much anymore.)

  9. I think the idea of getting rid of bullet lists is a good idea. Let me list the reasons I think so:
    – first, they are time-consuming to set up
    – two, it’s hard to figure out how to format them
    – three, then, even if they are formatted correctly, it’s easy to miss one of the points when reading through
    – four, I don’t always know how many bullet points to have
    – five, because if you have too many points, then people get bored and wander off, like you said
    – six, I’m done with bullet points now.

    Anyhooooo….good luck with the changes and sorry I missed the giveaway! I already told you about that 🙂

  10. Hello there Mr. Book Gigolo! I am always surprised at how few entries I’ve gotten when doing book giveaways, no matter how short or long the giveaway post is or how well I publicize them. I haven’t done one in ages for that reason. On the flip side, I haven’t entered one in ages because I already have so many unread books at home.

  11. I very recently was a working person who would often fly over blogs, briefly stop, shout out a quick hi, and fly on. I didn’t like that, though.

    I took over the Sunday Salon and joined the Classics Club for the same reason: I want to write and read with more depth. It’s lovely, of course, to have people stop by your blog and leave a breezy comment like, “Have a good week!” But I like it so much more when I feel like my blog post has been read and, perhaps, thought about.

    I love how you are always considering and reconsidering the elements of your life and how you end up reshaping parts that aren’t working like you would want. That’s how we evolve, I think.

    It makes me feel sad to accept sometimes that every book I read and love isn’t going to be universally read and loved. I have lots of troubles at my book club when I propose a book and it is shot down. And that’s also true of my blog. I am just a little blogger among hundreds of thousands. Thinking that is a little painful.

    Still, I’m happy we are book friends and can share our thoughts about stories and the world and life as honestly as we can, gently helping each other become a little bit better, a little more finished.

  12. I’ll be honest: First, I didn’t enter the giveaway because I don’t like to own books unless they are ones I’ve already read and loved and will reread many times. I’m unusual for a book blogger that way. There was only one book on your giveaway that I’d read, and it wasn’t one I needed to own, so I skipped by in order to let others win, you know? Second, I actually like bullet lists when they help break up the text of longer posts. Visually, they help keep my attention especially if there’s a lot of text in the post. Bullets, new headers that are bolded, etc. That’s just me, though – wanted to give you one small outsider’s perspective. I might not be the best person to ask though because I’m FAR from a typical book blogger!

    By the way, I wanted to say – have wanted to say to a LOT of folks – that I’m sorry I’ve been SO absent for the last two months. You know how crazy life has been and I’m trying so hard to get back to where I’m actually READING my feed reader rather than doing an overwhelmed “mark as read” bulk action. Summers are always like this, though – I find fewer people read/respond/comment/post in the summers, and I figure things will all pick up for me and everyone else in September. But I’m sorry anyway – I like to be a consistent commentor and this summer it’s just not happening!

    1. I didn’t promote it well either, but really I wanted it for regular readers of my blog and that mostly happened anyway. I got more entries when I opened it up to Instagram. And I hear you on bullet lists and headers. It does break up the text. I think for me what works are shorter posts, and maybe with bullet points (after all, I pretty much dream in lists 🙂) on one subject. Also not as much for readers with divided attentions to follow. And you have nothing to apologize for. Summertime is busy, agreed. And I always enjoy catching up with you, Jason, and your family on your blog.

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