Good morning everyone. I am in the process of expanding what I do here on MaineMuse. One aspect will be guest bloggers. Today we have a wonderful woman, out of Montana, who is a book blogger. Her post today will talk about what that entails. I think this post is informative and a great read. The cute pictures of the kitty is Ramona’s companion, Olive Kittenridge who was named after one of her favorite books (Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout).
Here we go.
What Does a Book Blogger Do?
Confession time: I hate being asked, “What do you do?” I’ve always disliked the question because it connects our worth directly to our job, and we are each so much more than what we do for a living. I always answer the question, though I clarify what I do for work versus what I do for enjoyment.
Last year, I made a conscious switch from answering by saying I’m a book blogger to saying I’m a book reviewer. More often than not I received a quizzical look or non-response when I said book blogger. Book reviewer, people can visualize, even though that’s a tiny portion of what I actually do.
So what does it mean to be a book blogger? That varies based on the individual. The more established I become as a blogger, the more I’m surprised with all the non-bookish components there are to what I do! I strive to build a personal brand and offer more than book reviews. Besides the blogging part, I run a book club and a lending library. Giving personalized reading recommendations is one of my favorite things to do.
So, here’s a sneak peek into what I do as a book blogger!
– I read. A lot. I’ve finished 171 books so far this year. On average, I read about four hours a day. This includes 30-60 minutes of non-fiction each morning and about an hour of fiction at night before bed. In between, I listen to audiobooks whenever possible: driving, walking my dogs, housework, doing a jigsaw puzzle, or cross-stitch. I sneak in reading time whenever I can by carrying a book at all times. I read in check-out lines and waiting rooms.
– I write. Before anything else, I’m a writer. This is how I process my thoughts and emotions. I’m constantly jotting down words and lines so I don’t forget my ideas. I split my desk time between writing for my blog and writing for essays and stories I hope to get published.
– I research. Most of the blog posts I write requires at least one Google search to back up my facts or find book titles to fit a theme. I like to use auto-complete as a tool for new ideas – it tells me what people are most commonly searching. I also work to stay up to date on current popular titles and upcoming releases.
– I use social media. Every day I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest (which is more of a search engine than social media.)
– I use technology. Writing a blog post is the “easy” part. Next comes formatting, which includes finding appropriate photos and links to add and optimizing my search text for search engines. Then comes promoting my post, which goes back to social media. Sharing my posts there and creating pins for Pinterest is crucial to getting eyeballs on my site.
That is the most frustrating aspect of blogging. Initially, I expected that integrating useful blog posts would stand out on their own. So I spent almost a year sending my hard work into the abyss that is the internet and getting minimal views. A little research and online courses taught me that top-notch content is only one piece of the puzzle. Promoting that content is crucial, along with making sure I’m creating content that readers are actually looking for.
– I network. This post is a perfect example. Sharon reached out to me to review her books months ago. I invited her to write a guest post for my blog, and now she’s reciprocated. It’s important to me that my site contains ideas and content that differs from my own. To make that happen, I’m always on the lookout for authors to interview and people to contribute guest posts.
– I get moving. Sometimes there’s not much differential between when I’m working and when I’m not. I make an effort to move physically every few hours and to get outside at least once a day (Montana winters can make that challenging!) I limit my screen time to certain hours and use Do Not Disturb mode on my phone for some boundaries.
If all of this sounds interesting, please check out my website While I Was Reading and join my community! I’d love to hear from you and even give a book recommendation or two if you’d like!
And if you’re up for a challenge when it comes to your reading habits, check out my 2021 While I Was Reading Challenge.
Bio: Ramona’s mission in life is to connect with others through stories. She is a writer of non-fiction and readers of all genres. Her website, While I Was Reading, is dedicated to all things bookish as well as book reviews and recommendations. Her highly intuitive nature and wide reading range allow her to make spot-on personalized book recommendations, which is one of her favorite things to do. She runs a book club and a personal lending library from her home in SouthWest Montana. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.