Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I love the beginning of the year when everyone seems to be energized. I think for book bloggers in particular, we need these times to evaluate our blogs and come up with new strategies to keep the fire going. I always feel burned out by December, so I’m happy to have come up with some bookish and blogging goals to start out the new year. Here are my top ten:
Refocus my blog and make each post count. What I mean by this is that I’m taking control and I’m not going to post anything that doesn’t speak to me. I’ve actually accomplished this already, to some extent. I have completely stopped reviewing indie books. And this isn’t to say there aren’t great indies out there. But each indie book I read takes the place of a book on my TBR pile that I’ll never get to.
I’ve also stopped doing blog tours, unless it’s a book that’s already on my radar or a book from an author I love. Here are some scary stats from last year: I participated in 28 blog tours in 2013, and out of all of those, I would have normally chosen to read only SIX of those books. That means I read twenty-two books last year that I didn’t enjoy very much and that I never would have picked up if it weren’t for the blog tour.
I am also completely cutting out “filler” posts like Book Blitzes or Blasts, unless it happens to be a book that I want to read. The bottom line is that I want to promote books that I love. I didn’t become a book blogger to offer up free advertising to people I don’t know who have written books I’ll never want to read.
Read at least one “ME” book a month. When I think of all the 2013 books I wanted to read but couldn’t, because I had too many review books or blog tours to participate in, it makes me cry! Seriously, things are going to change around here! I solemnly swear that I will read one non-review book each month, even if that means bumping a review book.
Stop worrying about blog stats, the number of comments I get on posts, and how many ARCs I receive. There is so much competition among book bloggers, and I’m getting tired of it. I want to get to a place where I appreciate the comments I do get, and be grateful for those publishers, publicists and authors that I’ve developed relationships with and who send me amazing books.
Re-do my blog design. It’s the new year, and so it’s time to redesign the blog! I’m going to go with a simpler design this time, and I can’t wait to get started. I’m not sure when this will happen, but hopefully by the end of the month.
Update and organize my “Reviews” page. Oh boy. This is a total FAIL for me. I have not added my reviews to my review page for AT LEAST A YEAR!! People, that is not good. And I know it, but it’s just one of those things I hate doing, so I put it off and then forget I even have a review page!! Ha ha. Really, this task will take hours and hours to do, but I need to get it done. And once it’s up-to-date, I need to KEEP it up to date!
Become an affiliate with Amazon and The Book Depository. I’ve actually applied already to become an Amazon affiliate, but I haven’t heard back from them. Does anyone who’s already done this know how long it takes to be approved (or not!)? I know it won’t make me rich, but it might give me a few bucks to help offset giveaways.
Put my reviews up on Goodreads and Amazon in a more timely manner. I’ve been lazy about this in the past, and I know how much authors appreciate reviews on these sites, so I’m going to try harder to keep up. It takes time to do this, which is why I put it off. For Amazon, it’s a simple matter of copying and pasting, but for Goodreads, which lets you use HTML formatting, I like to make the review look nice and italicize book titles, etc. So it takes more time. Barnes & Noble? Forget about it! I rarely post my reviews on B&N anymore. And the reason is simple. It’s just too much work. They only allow you 500 words, so I have to basically rewrite my reviews in order to get them up on the site. Does anyone else feel this way about B&N, or is it just me?
Find more book blogs I love, comment more, and reevaluate the blogs I’m following. Commenting on other blogs is HARD WORK. It takes time. I don’t always have time to do it, but when I do comment, I always leave a thoughtful and sincere comment. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and when I read something that makes me want to comment, I immediately do so, because otherwise I’ll forget and never get around to it. If I’ve left comments on your blog, it’s not just because you’re commenting on my blog. It’s because I love you and we seem to have a lot of bookish things in common!
Likewise, I do subscribe to some blogs that I just don’t seem to have much in common with, so this is the year I weed out those blogs.
Write more discussion posts. 2013 was the Year of the Discussion Post! Did you notice how all of sudden everyone was writing discussion posts? And they do bring more traffic and more comments, so all around I think they’re a good thing. But coming up with something original is hard, since it seems like everyone kind of rehashes the same discussions over and over. But with so many opinions in the blogging world, it’s nice to see different approaches to the same topics. I didn’t do many discussion posts last year, but I want to try to write at least one each month in 2014.
Host less giveaways, unless the publisher is paying. I got myself into a tangle this past year by doing too many giveaway hops. They’re fun and they do increase traffic, but they also cost money. This year I’m cutting back. Plus I hate the thought that a lot of people out there are only following me because of my giveaways. That’s enough to make me quit blogging.
So, those are my goals! I’d love to hear what yours are, link me up to your goal post, or let me know in the comments if we have any goals in common:)