The reason I created ‘Flights of Fancy’ was to give myself a mental outlet. They’re like my online reading, and now blogging, journal for stray thoughts. Plus, maybe someone else feels the same and we’ll be able to bounce ideas back and forth.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the logistics of blogging, and why I work the way I do. I’ve started to write similar blog posts before, but never saw them through. I have the bug today so I’m getting it all out now. Hopefully someone gets something out of it, other than me.
I see a lot of discussion posts online talking about their interests when they’re visiting other blogs. I read them because I enjoy other’s opinions, but also because it gives me ideas for Birdie Bookworm. It makes me look at my own online space critically, and I think it’s helped me make positive changes. It also sparks thoughts on what draws me in; what I look for when I’m surfing.
I never planned on doing a subjective post like this. I dislike the idea that people might think I’m telling someone else how they should blog. I’m not. I have my interests, and other readers will have differing interests. Plus, don’t we all design our sites, and choose our topics, in the same style as the blogs we enjoy reading? My opinion shouldn’t sway anyone from running their blog however they love it. However, if you also like knowing what your fellow reviewers enjoy, below is my list of likes and dislikes.
- Discussion Posts
- This is at the top of my list. I love the posts that spark discussion or debate.
- Nice images, but not too many gifs.
- Gifs are hilarious, but too many of them spark my migraines. I’m delicate. 😛
- A blog design that gives me an idea of the authors personality.
- Just a little something. An intro, or a picture, or something that tells me about the author.
- Minimal Blitzes
- There’s definitely a reason for Blitzes, but I’m more of the opinion piece type.
- Sporadic Book Reviews
- I love reading book reviews, but I’m also nervous of spoilers so don’t read all of them.
- Interaction is the whole reason I started blogging. I love the community, and having the opportunity to get to know everyone.
I guess now when I’m reading over my list, my favorite blogs to follow are the ones where I get a sense of who’s writing, both by the amount of themselves they’ve put into everything and by getting the chance to have a conversation.
When I started Birdie Bookworm last year, I had this idea that I would write and people would magically come. If you build it, they will come, right? I’m sure that’s true, especially if you’re using your tags and categories for the reader, but I kept hearing if you follow others they will then come to look, and possibly follow back. Action helps. I had this notion it was cheating or something, like I was hunting them down.
I ended up giving it a try, and I’m really glad I did. Yes, I did get followers who just followed back automatically, but I also found a lot of people who were genuinely interested in talking books with me. Not to mention, spam followers are going to happen no matter what. I’ve realized my followers list is a wild beast that can’t be controlled.
I also have a confession, I used to be awesome at visiting every follower I got. I’d go to every one and check out their blog, peruse, and very frequently follow back. (I didn’t always, because as I mentioned some of those followers are spam.) These days it’s gotten a lot harder, so if you’ve followed me and I didn’t follow you back, pop in and chat with me. I’m still pretty good about following commentators back. 🙂
I’ve said it a few times already, but I honestly believe interaction is the best and most important part of this online community. It’s the interaction that makes all the hard work worth it.
I’ve always tried to make visiting, and commenting or liking, other blogs a priority. I’m pretty good at bouncing around every day, or every couple days, so I stay mostly in the loop. What I’m not so great about is immediately return commenting when someone comments on Birdie Bookworm. There’s something that makes me feel uncomfortable about going to someone’s blog only to find something to comment on. Maybe this goes back to my need for interaction to be organic, but shouldn’t commenting happen because readers have something to say, and not because they feel the need to reciprocate? I love the feeling of finding a blog post I truly connect with, and adding to the conversation.
Obviously the process of commenting and interaction works differently for everyone, and my intention isn’t to put down anyone’s routine. The topic of commenting is one I think about frequently, and I enjoy writing it all down and having the opportunity to discuss with all of you. I love all comments. I always appreciate them, and I try my best to read everyone’s posts and add my opinions when I have them.
Oh boy, do I love discussion posts! I love to read them, and I love to write them! Of all the blog categories out there the discussion pieces are my favorite. It gives us an opportunity to really get to know one another. In every discussion post you leave a piece of your personality behind, and you become more familiar to your readers.
HOWEVER, sometimes coming up with a topic is hard! It’s especially hard if you have a brain like mine. My mom didn’t believe medical labels, however if she did I’m pretty sure I would have been diagnosed with ADD. I’m okay with it. Knowing why my brain feels so scattered helps. I’m aware of how I am, and I can alter my behaviors accordingly. For instance, when I come up with a discussion topic I need to immediately start writing it. Seriously, like right away. I can’t just make a list and come back to it because I won’t remember what I was imagining. Once the inspiration is gone, it’s over. There’s no getting it back. I have a google doc of Discussion topics that have become meaningless. I know how excited I was for “Book Bucket List”, but I can’t remember what it was supposed to be about. True story.
Right now, in this discussion post all about blogging, I’m over 1000 words and each one is flying out of me easily. Know why? Because I stopped writing a review in the middle and jumped over to write this IMMEDIATELY. Right when I felt inspired. I honestly think that’s the key! Don’t wait.
(Btw, this is also true of chores at home, tasks I need to remember, or information I need to pass on. There have been many times I’ve called to give my husband a message at an inconvenient time, but it’s because I won’t remember when it is convenient. Thankfully he knows me, loves me, and understands.)