Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBAW: Making Connections

Today's BBAW topic is about figuring out the balance between connecting with bloggers and still having time for real life. We are asked to share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. 

It's true, the world of book blogging is amazingly huge now. It's been interesting to watch it grow over the years. This week marks four and half years since I've been doing it and wow, it's changed A LOT. Thumbs up to the new bloggers who seem totally undaunted and just jump in there and make a name for themselves! You guys are amazing! It's lucky I didn't have such a huge amount of bloggers to deal with because I don't know that I could have done it!

I've come up with these few tips for connecting to a book blogging community (and I know there are several circles within the larger community and I think each of us just sort of ends up in one or two of them. Not sure exactly how that happens!) Hopefully they make sense. I look forward to what you all have to say on this subject!

Comment! We all know how important this is to connect. Bottom line, connecting WILL NOT happen if you are scared (or don't take time) to comment. Both on other blogs and back to commenters on your own blog. It's hard and I have been extremely lousy at this myself lately and I always feel so bad about that. But the only thing to do is, keep trying and if you have something to say, just say it!

Get Organized.Use Google Reader or some other way to organize the blogs you read. Keep it organized and visit your favorites often. They will learn to look for you and start visiting you back. Also, you can keep track of blogs that aren't really participating in things, and you can file them away in a "non active" folder, or unsubsribe, so you aren't wasting time there.

Participate. I think if you want to feel part of the community it's pretty important to participate in events such as BBAW. There's many of them. (Other examples that I know of are Armchair BEA, Dewey's Readathon and other spin off readathons, Bloggiesta, challenges, group reads, etc.) It really helps to let people know you exist just by participating in these events.

Twitter. I know I know, what does Twitter have to do with book blogging? The answer is, I don't know, but it sure seems like so much talk happens over there, and again, if you want to connect, Twitter is an awesome way to do it! Lots of book talk going on, lots of authors to follow, lots of conversations happening. It's a fun place, even if you are a bit quiet like me, you can still eavesdrop and sort of know what's going on. (If you want to find me there, I'm @SueySays.)

Don't Stress. We all have to not worry about trying to connect with everyone. There's just too many. Like for instance, this week and all the new and wonderful blogs we are seeing! I say, pick just a handful that you really seem to have a gut feeling about and then go for it with them, and don't worry about all the ones you are missing.

Stay Strong! I find that there are ups and downs with this issue of feeling connected. Sometimes you feel so good and wonderful and everyone is commenting and people like you and blogging is a happy thing! Then there are times when you feel like you are the only one out there, nobody seem to care about what you are saying, and you begin to wonder why you are doing this and if you disappeared would anyone notice. Yeah, it's the blogging blues. I feel it regularly. But the point is to just push through that when it happens and don't give up. Maybe take a break and start strong and fresh afterwards.

So there you have it! I hope it helps for those trying to find a place here with this crazy fun hobby! And if you still need a place, come on over and let's talk! :)


  1. Great advice, Suey! Especially the "Don't Stress" one.

  2. Good tips Suey. I think I am having troubles in all those areas right now. Hey, do you think I am suffering from the "blogging blues"? :) Maybe I have the "life is overwhelming" bug. Whatever it is, I am breaking out of it! :D

  3. I used to stress about not being able to read. Not any more. I know it will come back. And it is only novels that I am unable to read. I am reading a lot of online stuff, Poetry, News, Global issues, Scientific stuff etc etc.

    Here is my post:

    BBAW: Community thingy II

  4. Chris: Yes, I think it's so important that we don't worry about all that we are missing.

    Ibeeeg: It's my guess that it's the life is overwhelming thing. I do hope things calm down for you!

    Gautami: It sounds like the stuff you ARE reading is pretty deep. And as you say, the novels will just be waiting...

  5. Twitter is a common theme among the posts today. I confess that I an awful at keeping up with twitter!

  6. Amen to all of those, Suey! Very important and helpful tips.

  7. Great post! So many fantastic tips. I like the reminder to Stay Strong. It is so easy to get discouraged when your stats slide or you aren't seeing any comments. That is when I try to remember why I blog in the first place.

  8. I really like your advice. (And congrats on 4 and a half years!) More recently I've been trying to work on visiting a few blogs often instead of a lot of blogs rarely and it's a lot more fun that way!
    And I really appreciate the Stay Strong tip. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who has cycles of lots of visits, and then no visits.

  9. Stay Strong, especially, is excellent advice. I also find it really helpful to organize the blogs I read in my reader and am always tweaking my folder system there. And Twitter...I know, I know! I'm trying to get better about using it, but it's so intimidating :-)

  10. Oh how I love that little kitty picture! And good advice about not stressing--it's hard sometimes, though, when there's so much emphasis on commenting. Wish there was more time to do it all!

    And I'm always amazed when people mention they're too intimidated to comment. Book bloggers are the friendliest, huh!

  11. Good advice. And I know it is because you gave a lot of it to me when I decided to start a blog and it has helped. I'm having a bit of the blogging\reading blues lately but I'm trying to stay strong and ride it out.

  12. thanks for this helpful and encouraging post, Suey; I appreciate your advice.


  13. Google Reader was a life saver for me. I agree with your point about commenting. It's really hard to keep up with it sometimes, but it's so worth it.

  14. All your tips were great and useful. I utilize them all. I've come across Dewey's Readathon several times today in other posts as well, so I guess it's worth looking into.

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. A few people have remarked on the "community (circles) within the community" thing today. I think it goes along with your excellent "Don't Stress" tip, in a way: one way to manage community is to do it on a scale that works for you.

    And happy half-birthday to your blog from mine :-D!

  16. Love your recommendations! Having fun and not stressing are so importation. This is a hobby after all!

  17. Reviews: I know, Twitter seems to be loved by all, mostly.

    Andi: And all tips that I need to remember myself all the time!

    Teresa: Exactly, I do the same thing.

    Kathy: I like that... a few more often then a lot rarely. Perfect.

    Erin: I need to get my Reader organized in a big way. And we can be Twitter buddies now... awesome!

    Trish: I wish there was more time too!

    Jenny: You are a perfect example of how commenting (and other things) works. I hope your blues don't last long!

    L: Good good!

    Melissa: Yep, very true.

    Lena: You will must try the readathon. It's so much fun!

    Florinda: Happy half birthday back at ya!

    Amused: Exactly! And what a hobby it is!

  18. Great post, Suey! I love all your ideas, especially the ones about pushing through the blogging blues.



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