BBAW Day 5: Blogging

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Button

It’s with a heavy heart that I say the last day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is here. I don’t know about you, but I think this has been one of the best BBAWs ever. Maybe I just got to participate more this year because I’m not currently in school, but it really felt like the community was full of passion and introspection this year. There were some seriously thoughtful posts, some absolutely joyful posts, informative posts. It really was just amazing. Thank you to everyone who participated here and in BBAW across the web. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on BBAW, especially Amy.

So now, for the last day’s question:

The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

The Essentials

Your voice. The most powerful tool you have is the ability to sound uniquely like yourself. With that you can get an audience, get a community of people who are interested in your reviews because of you. Anyone can write a book review, but the ones that do it well are the ones who manage to infuse their self into the review and still manage to make it universal. It’s a hard thing to do, I know. I work at it all the time. It’s a lot easier when you feel strongly about a book, one way or another, but our voice should always be there.

Respond to your comments. This is something else that I try really hard to do. I believe in responding to most comments, if not all. Some comments just say things like, “I totally agree!” but even then I try to respond with a simple, “Hey, thanks for stopping by.” I don’t always do it, but it’s something I really want to do every day. I think it shows people visiting your blog for the first time that you are really involved with the people commenting. The conversation doesn’t just begin and end with your post, it keeps going long after. Sometimes I respond through a tweet, sometimes I respond to an email, but most often I respond directly to the comment.

Participate in the community. Whether it’s through the Readathon, BBAW, RIP or any other challenge, participating in the community is essential for me. I don’t always get to participate 100%. I don’t think I’ve even done a full readathon on the actual readathon date (THOUGH I WILL THIS YEAR!), but doing just a little bit helps.

New Essentials

Participating behind the scenes. I’ve been working behind the scenes for BBAW since 2009, but especially this year, I’ve realized that I love working behind the scenes on community stuff like this. I love making these huge community events happen. Especially now that I don’t have homework commitments, it’s a great way to spend my evenings winding down after work. This is something that I really want to keep doing in the future.

Tumblr. I like Tumblr because it’s a place for me to be a little less polished. Each blog post I write takes hours to complete, but a Tumblr post generally only takes ten minutes if it’s long and a few seconds if it’s short. It’s a place for me to let off steam, have a little fun, and still participate in the community.

Using Google Docs. Okay, I stole this one from Kim. I admit that! But it’s so true! We used Google Docs to help organize the interview swap this year and it couldn’t have been simpler.

Thanks everyone for making this BBAW amazing. I had such a great week!



16 thoughts on “BBAW Day 5: Blogging

  1. I agree completely with your ideas about showing who you are through posts and comments, and connecting in those ways, too.

    I’m interested in becoming more involved “behind the scenes.” I haven’t done that so far, and I think it’s time! Thanks for sharing, Lu. And I am glad I got to visit your blog this week. I’ll be coming back for more!

    Here’s MY BBAW POST and

  2. I liked your essentials!

    As our blogs are reflect our personality, we all look out for different blogging tools. One should go for that which suits her/his blog. One should always keep the reader in mind. After all, we all want readers on our blog. And comments!

    Here is my post:

    BBAW 2011: Blogging

  3. This has been an amazing BBAW! I’ve only participated in one other, and it was my first exposure to the wider community (= crazy overwhelming!), but this year has felt like it’s gone up a notch.

    Participating behind the scenes is something I would really love to do more of. I always seem to come across the event after the committees are in place, though — must work on my timing! I set up a Tumblr but haven’t gotten into the habit of using it yet. And as for Google Docs, they’re awesome! I love that I can access them from almost anywhere, even without my phone.

  4. I hate not being able to reply to all of my comments any more. 😦 I explain why on my about page, but I worry that those who haven’t read it/don’t already know me well will think I’m just being rude. But I’m not sure where else I could explain?

    1. I have solved my own problem! Turns out WordPress lets you change the text that appears above the comment box, so now anyone leaving a comment sees why I don’t reply to them all. Feeling much better! 🙂

  5. 😦 😦 😦 One thing that I HATE about my limited time is not being able to respond to comments. Most times the only time that I can get online is during my lunchbreak and depending on the post it could take me a good 10 minutes to respond to comments. And while I LOVE responding because I feel like I’m carrying on the conversation and acknowledging, I’m not sure anyone subscribes and reads them anymore. Ugh…it’s a huge sense of guilt and something I hope I can remedy. Wish blogger had a better commenting system–that would help, too.

    Anyway, great thoughts Lu, and I love the bit about being involved. It definitely makes a huge difference!

  6. I like that you include working behind the scenes – that is a way to give back to the community we try so hard to build. And not a bad way to network either! Thanks for putting in your time and energy to a great week for the rest of us!


  7. Great post Lu, and good points too. Finding a voice is an awesome thing to do, I remember when I started blogging I was just reviewing and staying pretty much in the box… it wasnt until I stepped into my own voice and my own little “this is how we do this at Book Journey” that my blog started to grow.

    I too love the behind the scenes stuff and have helped with Deweys Read A Thon, and now BBAW which both were a blast!

  8. I used to respond to every comment left, but I’ve been really remiss on that these past few months. I’m actually considering only religiously responding to those comments that necessitate a reply, like a question or a continuation of the discussion. I am a bit afraid of offending people with that though. We’ll see.

  9. I’ve been thinking a lot about voice lately. While I certainly agree with you about its importance, I worry that too many people confuse it with writing like you talk. I don’t have an actual point here, yet. I think this may be a Sunday Salon topic for me very soon.

    I also participated behind the scenes in BBAW this year as a judge. I enjoyed it. I found a few blogs that I’ll continue to follow, too.

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