Armchair Bea: About Blog Development

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Design credit:
Emily of Emily's Reading Room
Today's discussion topic is about development of your blog with the main question being "What have you done to get better as a blogger...and what do you want to do?" To participate or read on other bloggers visit Paths to Becoming a Better Blogger--Discussing Development

When I started reading a lot again due to health issues I was convinced there was some website where bookish people could keep up with their reading and maybe get recommendations from someone else on their next read. I found The Librarything and started using it. Now the social aspect of the Librarything does exist but I found it a pain to navigate so I never used it much which obviously not really helped with my plan to get recommendations from other people. But I started a new job and had less time to log every detail of my reading life anyway so I just kept it there.
When I moved to my new house I came in the situation that I had only half an hour of commute a day on my bike so not much reading done while commuting but a lot of free time to spend reading. That is when I went on the look out for the social aspect again and landed on Goodreads.
Goodreads is social, the groups are easy to navigate and though I knew they existed I never knew about the impact but there where a lot of people with their own "little" website where the blogged about their reading habits, life and other bookish things. I started stalking a few people to see what that whole community was about and what it was like. There are so many different combination and things beautiful blog designs that do not read great and not so pretty blog designs with great stories and everything in between.
At some point I knew I wanted to do that. Not so sure about my writing skills I knew one thing and that was that I needed a pretty lay out which I felt comfortable with. So on the look for a site platform (Wordpress or Blogger or something else entirely) on the look for a lay out while I kept stalking book blogs to check what I liked and not. Preparation is half the work right!!

Now with my blog live I started looking for community help with making it better. I stalked Armchair Bea last year. I stalk Parajunkee who is giving great tips in her Book Blogging 101 posts. I secretly strolled trough the Bloggiesta tag and read what other bloggers do to make things better and picked up on the things I thought would work for me and my blog. This year I decided to join in on those activities too and get feedback from other bloggers.

There are still many things I want to do with my blog though in a way I am satisfied too. I have a small group of loyal readers now. I would not mind if it would become more but actually I am pretty proud that I managed to gather those already.
I would like discussion posts. I love when I see them on other blogs, well written opinion pieces or ramblings about a subject where other people react on. But truth is I am not sure I would be very good in those so it would have to be a subject I would have to feel really strong on to write a proper post. Maybe someday...
I would like to have contact details of people who publish the books I want to read and write about on my blog. But I do not have the courage to write them anyway at this point yet. Maybe someday...

So what is it that I feel like I want at this moment with my blog.
First I want to fine-tune things, upgrade my writing and my reviews.
Second I want to create a look and feel on my blog where people will start to recognize me on.

But the most important thing I want to get out of blogging at this point is something more personal and has nothing to do with books. I am not a very brave person when it comes to social skills. Some people admire the fact that I have the courage to go out to dinner by myself if the situation asks for it (or I really want to eat in a restaurant and cannot find anybody else to join) but truth is I am not so great in asking other people to join me. Not because I am scared but because I simply forget. If you would ask people in my surroundings they do not really see this but it is how I feel. Making the thing I want to develop most with my blog to get in contact with people who read books and are passionate about them and actually make real contact and maintain those contacts. Because I feel that is one of the most important things of being a good blogger.
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Kriss Morton
AUTHOR
29 May, 2013 delete

Parajunkee is awesome!!! Love her stuff! She does graphics for a couple of friends blogs and she has great posts. You and I are both doing the Mystery Challenge! How are you doing this year? My DAY 2 Post

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Tanya Patrice
AUTHOR
29 May, 2013 delete

Excellent post! That last part in particular - making real connections - resonates so much with me. I'm very similar to you, and I think at long last, after 1.5 years of blogging, I think I've met 1 bloggy friend. I'm just not that ... open I guess.

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29 May, 2013 delete

I think you do a great job, Ciska! Your blog looks fantastic, you're a lovely person, and I love popping over to see what you're up to. Plus I'm always happy to find bloggers who don't just keep updated on the latest YA or sexy reads but who read all sorts, because that's the kind of reader I am. Likeminded people and all. Keep up the great work!

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Sarah
AUTHOR
29 May, 2013 delete

"Some people admire the fact that I have the courage to go out to dinner by myself if the situation asks for it (or I really want to eat in a restaurant and cannot find anybody else to join) but truth is I am not so great in asking other people to join me. Not because I am scared but because I simply forget."

I COMPLETELY get that! I'm the type of person perfectly happy to be left alone (and usually prefers it), so I have to remind myself to be interactive every now and then with other bloggers. I'm a lazy friend, lol.

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29 May, 2013 delete

Really nice, considered post. And I like your goal to make and maintain real and good contact with others. That's mine too. Daunting, but enriching methinks :0)

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Andi
AUTHOR
29 May, 2013 delete

Amen to making real connections! That's the stuff that keeps people happily blogging for eons rather than hitting a wall and falling out of the blogosphere. Enjoy the ride! Bloggers make such a great community. :)

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29 May, 2013 delete

I definitely can relate to the social skills. I'm working on talking more on twitter & not being afraid to comment on "big" blogs & such.

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Sandy Farmer
AUTHOR
30 May, 2013 delete

We book bloggers really do seem to be an introverted bunch for the most part! Way to put yourself out there!

Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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30 May, 2013 delete

I agree! It is fun and rewarding to make connections with other bloggers. I hope you try making contact with author's in the future, they are wonderful people to become friends with (bloggers are too) I'm an introvert too so I understand, as I never really know what to say on twitter. Fantastic post!

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30 May, 2013 delete

Great post. I love, love, love Goodreads and the social aspect of blogging and discussing great books with others. Hope you have a great ABEA Week! I"m already a follower but now following via G+ too. Here's my Blogger development and favorite books by genre post if you'd like to stop by.

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Nise'
AUTHOR
30 May, 2013 delete

I sadly neglect my LibraryThing and Goodread account. Continued success in your blogging endeavors.

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30 May, 2013 delete

This is a wonderful post :) Making connections is an important aspect of this whole book blogging world. It's not always the easiest thing though because you kind of have to throw yourself out there!

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