Third Blog Anniversary

Hard to believe, but I’ve only been blogging for three years as of today. It feels like something I’ve been doing forever, but at the same time I still consider myself a newbie. This is my 382nd post, so I’ve been keeping up an average of 2.5 posts a week.

By Joey Gannon from Pittsburgh, PA (Candles) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.
In general, if I think back to this time last year, I’ve been comparing/pressuring myself less – though I still push myself, e.g. to finish a few books on a topic by a certain date – and enjoying it more. I’ve had success in working towards certain goals like participating in shadow panels (for the Wellcome Book Prize and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award) and blog tours (I’ve done 11 so far and have another seven coming up by July).

I’ve particularly enjoyed doing author Q&As and highlighting seasonal reads, novellas, books about cats, and physical book traits. I especially like writing up bookshop visits and other literary travels, and discussing literary prizes. My supply of graphic novels seems to have dried up; for new releases I focus on literary fiction, historical fiction and memoirs.

Straightforward book reviews have always been less popular than book lists and other more tangentially book-related posts. Library Checkout posts are consistently well-liked, as were the “Books in Brief” sets of five mini-reviews I used to do. As I’ve noted before, my posts on abandoned books are always perversely popular.

Some of my favorite posts from the past year were on World Kidney Day, Mother–Daughter Author Pairs, and Book Hoarding, and my review in verse of Jonathan Eig’s Ali: A Life.

The numbers of likes seem to be less than informative as they simply reflect a growing number of followers – many of my recent posts have averaged 20–25 likes – so I prefer to look at comments, as it means people are truly reading and engaging. In terms of numbers of comments, my top posts of all time appeared in the last year and were:

Thanks to everyone who has supported me this past year, and/or all three years, by visiting the site, commenting, re-tweeting, and so on. You’re the best!

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37 thoughts on “Third Blog Anniversary

  1. I’m glad you’re enjoying blogging more, Rebecca. It can become a pressure rather than a joy. I rarely look at my stats these days which has upped my enjoyment considerably. I’d say my expereince chimes with yours for book reviews. It’s the previews that are my crowd-pleasers although they please me too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I occasionally glance at the daily traffic stats out of curiosity about which posts are interesting to people, but I haven’t looked at overall number of hits or followers in an age — and that’s probably for the best!

      I do love your preview posts. They always add to my TBR! Year-end roundups are always popular as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I always enjoy your library checkouts though they make me feel inadequate as you read so MUCH. The only ones I don’t read very thoroughly *hides beneath a table before typing* are the cat-related ones. I do like cats, but not to the extent of reading about them. I don’t comment as often as I should, but I do enjoy your posts for their variety, and the real insight they give into the books you are commenting on. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s okay, I don’t expect anyone — except, perhaps, my mother — to read every single post! I know I post a lot, and about such a variety of topics that inevitably some will be more interesting than others to different readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t believe it is 3 years!
    I have so many books on my TBR list and I pretty much know what I want (and don’t want) to read, so I am probably not quite so interested in your reviews.
    My favourites are when you go slightly off as a tangent – posts like how to cull your books, or sort your book cases. I also like ones about your travels and visits to book shops!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I probably most enjoy writing those book-collecting types of posts, too. I don’t find all that many opportunities, though we are going to Wigtown next month and that will surely be the subject for at least one post 🙂

      Writing lots of standard reviews — beyond what I’d publish as a quick response on Goodreads — gets boring, and I need to save some of that writing energy for paid reviews. So I’ll never be one of those people who gets sent a copy of every brand-new book and publishes 3 or more reviews a week.

      Like

  4. Congratulations! I also find that posts when I review lots of different things are more popular than straightforward book reviews. I guess it can be difficult to comment on a single book that you probably haven’t read. I’d be sorry to see straightforward blog book reviews go though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s probably rare for a review to introduce someone to a book they have never heard of; most of us in the blogging world are so clued-in to new releases we will probably already have an idea of whether or not we want to read a particular book. A certain *weight* of blogger and critic reviews, positive or negative, might change my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your posts always inspire me to think about books and book reviews, etc., in a different way. My favorite recent post of yours was your review in verse of the Ali biography–just wonderful. Don’t think I could ever even dare to imitate such a review! Congrats on your 3-year anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy 3 years!!!
    I’m so glad you decided to start blogging. I love all your posts, and hate to miss any. I especially love that, because you read so many books, you’re able to do theme posts featuring several books at once. If I could manage to plan ahead a little more, I’d like to do more of that. But I usually feel like I’m just barely keeping my head above water! Something to aspire to…

    P.S. I always love seeing your mother’s comments. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Naomi! You’ve been one of my most faithful supporters.

      I like to have grand plans, though they often end up shrinking as I go along. So I went from thinking I’d read ALL the books in my house and on my Kindle that had “love” or “heart,” etc. in the title for Valentine’s Day, to only including four, and one of those was skimmed. It’s probably for the best, anyway, as I would never want readers to be overwhelmed. The way I think of it is, I include such a variety that hopefully there will be at least one book that will appeal to everyone.

      I keep a blog ideas file on my memory stick and update it almost daily, with any review books, blog tours, regular features like Library Checkout, or holiday themes noted next to the relevant dates. Then if I need to fill in a blank I’ll look at my list of general ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Blogiversary! I love the diversity of your posts and also the fact that you’re honest about not finishing books, which makes me trust you more on books you like! I find that I get more likes and comments on my haul posts than my straight reviews, but I’m committed to doing both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The debate continues to rage on FB and Twitter about whether you should ever dare to write about books you didn’t like or couldn’t finish. I wouldn’t want to be an uncritical cheerleader. I’m not in my paid work, and I’m not on the blog. But of course I focus more on books I *would* recommend than ones I wouldn’t. And having a blog is a great way to get free books, whether print or e-, so I will always post a goodly number of straight reviews.

      Isn’t it funny how much people like seeing others’ bookshelves and purchases 🙂 Maybe it makes us feel better about the state of our own collections!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Is it only three years – I had a feeling you had been around for much longer. That’s praise by the way! Interesting to see your reflections on what has been popular. I find non review posts tend to get more hits but after the initial buzz they die away wheras reviews get picked up long after they were written….. You’ve reminded me that I forgot my own anniversary. Ooops

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy blogoversary. I enjoy your non-review posts the most. Cat-related: yes! big fan of those.I don’t have access to the vast array of books that you do, hence my preference for general bookish topics. Keep on blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations! Only three years?! Goodness.

    It always depresses me how relatively low-performing straight review posts are; in my more curmudgeonly moments (so, at least 70% of all my moments), it makes me wonder about literary culture on the Internet, whether people actually give a shit about what’s inside the books as much as they do about colour-coordinating the books. (This also accounts for my vexed feelings about Bookstagram.) BUT, that said, I adore your bibliophile’s-delight posts too—the tips about culling, the themed mini-reviews, all of it. You’re one of my very favourite book blogs; long may you continue!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Happy blog-birthday! I can’t believe you’ve only been blogging for 3 years – it feels longer (in a good way). I’m so glad we got to meet finally last year – and thank you for your unwavering support of my own blog and Shiny New Books. Your blog is one of the few on my bookmarks bar that I pass through most days to see if there’s anything new to read – I love the variety of your posts. Although I love the fun stuff, I remain a big fan of proper book reviews (single and multi). it’s opinions by bloggers I trust, which of course includes you, that helps shape my reading – whether it makes me grab a particular book or inspires me to go off on a tangent, Here’s to year 4! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on three years! My TBR list always grows with your reviews. Not sure you remember me, but you sent me Maya Lang’s book to review a few years ago. I just started a book blog as well and look to yours for inspiration. vagabondreader.com. Looking forward to following you in your fourth year!

    Like

    1. Hi Heather, thanks for stopping by! Good luck with your blog, too. I love your review of Educated — my book of the year so far. (I thought Maya Lang’s book was really underappreciated, and I’m hoping she’ll come out with another one soon.)

      Like

  13. Congratulations! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on what you most enjoy and what your stats suggest that others most enjoy. It can be disheartening to feel that single reviews are not as warmly received, but even if they don’t necessarily receive a lot of traffic immediately, sometimes they can resurface at a later date (or once the author has gone on to publish other works). Just keep on keeping on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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