Blog Archives

Morning Meanderings – the first in a week New Book Window and a WINNER!!!

 

Good morning!  Can you believe this is the first Morning Meandering in a week?  Last week was all banned books week… all week.  :D  After a crazy busy and fun weekend I made it home yesterday afternoon tired but happy.  Pictures from the bike ride will show up on Saturday. 

Yesterday afternoon I took down the Banned Books display from the library and brought “My Precious” books home and switched out the window with “Spooktacuar Reads” for October for all ages.  I put up a shelf of books for children, middle grade, young adults and adults.  I use my own books or print covers of the books and put over a small box so that we don’t pull books off the library shelves – I wasn’t to be sure that if someone sees a book they would like to read, they have the opportunity to check it out – which yes, I also checked our on-line library catalog to be sure all the books int he window are books the library has.  Yes, I can be anal.  :D

So here is a pic of that window:

 

 

I didn’t go all scary – but good mysteries and for the younger kids a couple about pumpkins too.  :D

 

I do have MANY winners yet to pick from Banned Book week but that is going to have to wait until tomorrow I will however tie up my giveaway from the Bloggiesta post, which is:

 

Kimberly of The Windy Pages!!!

 

Congratulations!  :D  I will get that sent off to you in the next couple of days here.

 

Today I work and tonight is our book club review of The Wizard Of Oz!  Expect great pictures to show up from that one as I know a few of us…a re planning to dress up and you never know what can happen when the Bookies get together!  It is going to be a busy – but fun day!  :D

 

 

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Bloggiesta Start up, Banned Book Hop, and An EPIC Meryl Streep fail

Good morning!  Today is the official starting day to Bloggiesta Fall 2012!  Bloggiesta is an awesome time to out and do a little blog maintenance, learn some new tips (yes, even us long time bloggers can learn something new!) and just overall come out the other side feeling awesome about out GREAT blogging community and our blogs.  I love being a part of Bloggiesta!

For me this time around Bloggiesta is going to be surrounded by major going ons in my life and on the blog but I am going to do whatever I can to participate as much as I can.  I am hosting a mini challenge and a gift card giveaway for the event.  I am also hosting a huge Banned Book Party for Banned Book Week that starts Sunday and I am organizing that and participating in the banned book hop (I know, I know….I have said yes to too many things…. :D ) with a giveaway as well as the daily giveaways and awesome Banned Book posts that will start up here on Sunday and go through next Saturday.

Did I mention that tomorrow I am hosting a family reunion here at my home for about 50 people?  :shock:

Life….

is never dull.  :razz:
For my hopes and dreams of Bloggiesta this time around here is my to do list:

1.  Catch up on the reviews I need to write (currently that is 4)

2.  Visit at least 10 new blogs a day throughout the weekend.  (I love visiting blogs!)

3.  Update my side bar to my current reads

4.  Participate in as many of the mini challenges as I can.

That’s it for now – due to obvious reasons (see above) I am going to keep it small and if I can add to this, which I suppose as I look at the mini challenges I will)….

Meryl Streep Movie Night – 1st night…

Quick update on last nights movie night at my home.  I had rented from Netflix the movie The Deer Hunter for our first Meryl Streep Movie night gathering.  You can catch all the details on that here.  So I prepared some cheese and grapes and crackers for my guests and when they arrived we proceded to go watch the movie. 

Except…

the movie wouldn’t load. 

I took it out of the DVD player and it was cracked on the bottom.  NO KIDDING!  :shock:  By the time we were deciding what to do it was 7:30 pm, we called out one local video store who did have a copy but when I looked on line I realized it was 3 hours long.  3 HOURS????  I didn’t even know they made movie that long in the 70’s!  SO…. instead we watched My Sisters Keeper as sadly I had no Meryl Streep movies that I own (s0 my bad!).  My plan is today to pick up the video store copy and I will watch it perhaps tonight or tomorrow night – but I will get it done and we will have our discussion… it may just now have to wait until after Banned Book Week.  :D

So that is what is happening here.  I would love to hear about your weekend plans.  Are you participating in Bloggiesta?  In banned book week? 

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Bring the Hits: Building a blog audience

Happy Bloggiesta!!!  (If you have not connected yet with Bloggiesta hurry over to the starting line now!)  This is going to be fun!  I hope everyone is ready to do some fun bloggish “to do’s” this weekend!  I know I am. 

My name is Sheila and I created this little world you are seeing here called Book Journey.  I started blogging in June of 2009 with a book review and no idea what I was doing.  For my Bloggiesta mini challenge I am going to give some tips I have learned along the way to help build an audience to your posts.

1.  So you have written what you believe to be an awesome post.  You hit publish and you excitedly await for people to visit and comment and join in your thoughts.  Everyone loves comments.  They are, as my friend Amanda said once, the bread and butter of a book blogger.  So knowing this, instead of waiting for people to find us, we should also be going out and finding them.  Set yourself goals – maybe visit 5 or 10 new blogs a day that you have not checked out before.  I find many new blogs to check out on the sidebars of the blogs I enjoy reading.  Visit.  Leave a real comment that would make that blogger want to see who you are and what you are about.  You may be surprised how many of those bloggers will come and see what you are blogging about right back.

In the early days of my book blogging, I visited and visited and visited… by doing this people knew I was out there, and many of my readers today have come from those early days.  Once you have them as regular readers, you tend to pick up some of their readers as well.

2.  So….. now you have people visiting, what are you showing them?  When the visitors come to your blog, you want to have your best post us front – after all, this is company!  :D  By saying the best post, I mean write posts that are informative or fun, whatever you are writing about.  Think about a first timer to your blog, is what you have written here going to cause them to follow you, or come back and visit again?   When I write a review that has a lot of passion for a book I really enjoyed or something crazy in my life, I want people to read it – laugh with me, share their thoughts with me – even be frustrated with me. 

3.  Blog layout.  Take a moment and look at your blog with an objective eye.  Does it have curb appeal?  Are the colors easy for visitors to read.  Is it easy to find where to comment?  Is the sidebar(s) if you have them, neat and current? 

The Mini Challenge

My Challenge for you , if you choose to accept it, is to go and visit 10 blogs today that are either new to you or you have not visited in a while.  Leave a good comment that contributes to the post.  Come back here and let me know in the comments that you did this and if you discovered a cool blog that you enjoyed and will probably check out again, let me know that as well.  You can enter this mini challenge once each day of Bloggiesta – in other words, you can visit 10 blogs or more each day of Bloggiesta and let me know each time here and I will enter you for each f the three days you participate.  Yes, up to three entries per person.  After Bloggiesta I will draw a winner using random.org for a $10 gift card to Amazon that will be emailed to you.  If the comments reach over 75, I will add a second winner of a $10 gift card. 

Throughout this weekend by doing the mini challenges you will find all sorts of awesome tips from some amazing bloggers!  Your blog can come out the other side of this weekend all shiny and new and tweaked to awesomeness!  Have fun! 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

Since I was out of town last weekend I never got the previous winner posted so this is the two week ago winner and this past weeks winner using random.org (because that is how I roll!)

 

Last weeks winner: Martha E!!!

It was a fairly decent week this past week.  I had no construction in the house except for early in the week, and now we are on hold waiting for a wood order to come in that has me hoping (Fingers crossed!) that it will be early this week so I can finish my book room before the family gathering on this coming Saturday. 

The things I posted here on Book Journey this past week were:

 

 

The Snow Child By Eowyn Ivey - audio review

 

What DO You Do With All Those Books?  (Early shots of the book room partially finished and discussion over the books…)

 

This One Is Mine by Maria Semple - Bookies Book Club read for Sept and probably the snakiest review I have written in a long long time

The Meryl Streep Movie Club is born this coming Thursday at my house – and on the blog!  Stop in and check it out and maybe chat along :D

AND it is the last week to sign up to participate in the Banned Book Week Party here!

 

As for this week, any moment now I am going to realize that I did invite over many many relatives for next Saturday and I do need to prep my home, the garage and figure out what I am going to cook.  When that happens, I suspect I will be moving like a mad woman and that will requite either 80’s music (do not judge!) and/or audio books :D

SO….  for this week… my plan is:

 

As I am participating in this wonderful idea – my priority book is 47 for this week:

 

The intense, personal slave narrative of 14-year-old Forty-seven becomes allegorical when a mysterious runaway slave shows up at the Corinthian Plantation. Tall John, who believes there are no masters and no slaves, and who carries a yellow carpet bag of magical healing potions and futuristic devices, is both an inspiration and an enigma. He claims he has crossed galaxies and centuries and arrived by Sun Ship on Earth in 1832 to find the one chosen to continue the fight against the evil Calash. The brutal white overseer and the cruel slave owner are disguised Calash who must be defeated. Tall John inserts himself into Forty-seven’s daily life and gradually cedes to him immortality and the power, confidence, and courage to confront the Calash to break the chains of slavery. With confidence, determination, and craft, Tall John becomes Forty-seven’s alter ego, challenging him and inspiring him to see beyond slavery and fight for freedom.

 

 

And in preparation for Banned Book Week I will be listening to:

Does Jerry Renault dare to disturb the universe? You wouldn’t think that his refusal to sell chocolates during his school’s fundraiser would create such a stir, but it does; it’s as if the whole school comes apart at the seams. To some, Jerry is a hero, but to others, he becomes a scapegoat–a target for their pent-up hatred. And Jerry? He’s just trying to stand up for what he believes, but perhaps there is no way for him to escape becoming a pawn in this game of control; students are pitted against other students, fighting for honor–or are they fighting for their lives?

 

 

 

 

What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while’s he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He’s a wallflower–shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen’s story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school–how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs–but he must also deal with his best friend’s recent suicide. Charlie’s letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings:

 

I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they’re here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It’s like looking at all the students and wondering who’s had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why.With the help of a teacher who recognizes his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like kudzu. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realization about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie retreats from reality for awhile. But he makes it back in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of “being infinite,” is a kindred spirit to the generation that’s been slapped with the label X.

 

 

 

Oh and lets not forget that next weekend is also the Bloggiesta which I am going to squeeze in around the family thing because Bloggiesta is really that AMAZING and sleep is truly… overrated.  :razz: 

It should be a pretty great week.  I want to know about yours!  Are you participating in Bloggiesta?  Banned Book Week?  And what are you reading?  Be sure to use the hashtag #IMWAYR if tweeting on “The Twitter”  :D

AND be sure to link up your What Are You Reading post below! 

 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

and those of you who read mainly children’s through YA reads – please ALSO link your post here:

Morning Meanderings…. I BLEW UP The Blog

Wait for it…

Good morning.  In care you are wondering what happened around here…

I happened.

Give a girl a Bloggiesta weekend and well..anything can really happen.

I wont bore those of you who have already been here since Saturday afternoon but for those who have not here is the short version of what happened:

1. Went to change from 2 sidebars to one

2.  Seemed easier to change who theme to a single sidebar

3.  Became a CRAZY BIG project

4.  Changed theme.

5. Changed theme again.

(* note:  I may change it again, there is one more layout I want to look at so just bear with me while I go but more dynamite.)

 

Now – like the header, still trying to get used to the pink (not really me but it is not changeable except to powder blue), not sure I like the comment boxes either but I think it is growing on me.

There is the story. :D

A few of you have asked where Coffee Cup is (used to sit on the upper right sidebar).  I was actually going to switch out that blog widget BUT- now I am so impressed that a few of you asked about it and realized it was missing that I think tomorrow morning I am going to introduce you to the real Coffee Cup.  To the average reader that may just seem a little C R A Z Y, but hey, first of all don’t judge :razz: and second of all Coffee Cup actually comes with a great story… one so good, I think I will add it to my About Me page after that post goes up tomorrow.

Ok…. moving on… I need to announce winners from the Bloggiesta weekend.  Give it up for the winners of my mini challenge, using random.org they are:

$20 Amazon Gift Card:  alexia561

$10 Amazon Gift Card:  Tanya Patrice

next up… winner of the Descendent movie:

Pinkim35

and last but not least the winner of the YA choose what I read contest and win it for yourself:

Mary Preston

 

All winners have been notified by email and gift card winners have been sent out this morning.  :D

How super fun!  Congrats all!  I have work, and hopefully play, and then I want to READ.  :D

Bloggiesta Finish Line!!! WOO HOO!!!

*GASP*  *dragging myself across the finish line*   *raises a pinky to tap the finish line ribbon then passes out and trampled on by other Bloggiesta participants*

LOL

I am here! CHA CHA CHA!

What a weekend eh?  I logged in a whopping 27 hours on Bloggiesta.  (Pretty impressive as I only put in 5 hours on Friday and then was gone the rest of the day and evening.)

My to do list was:

1.  A new blog header

Done.  In fact you may come to Book Journey and go “OMG Becky, LOOK AT HER BLOG!” and uh…. yeah…. I pretty much changed the whole thing.  :shock:

2.  New blog widget

Not yet.  Not sure what I want to do yet.

3.  prep posts for upcoming reviews

I prepped 8 upcoming reviews, pretty much everything I have had my hands on this week and what coming next.

4.  Write posts for movie/book reviews that I have completed  

Done.  5 posts written and I have a few more ideas to create draft posts.

5.  Participate in mini challenges

I participated in ALL the new 2012 challenges (with at least a comment if I could not participate)

Promoting your blog on Facebook:  While I do not want a Facebook page for Book Journey, I did learn a few things about social media and put a LIKE Facebook button on my posts.

The Mr. Linky How To was great!  I use linky every week for the Monday meme but I know a lot of bloggers do not know how to use it. 

Top Ten Basics for HTML was very useful and bookmarked for the future.

How To Embed a YouTube Video, with wordpress.com I do not have any problems with that but it was interesting to see how it works for other platforms.

Themed Pages was BRILLIANT and I tool away a lot from this one.  I never thought about how those pages could be draws to my blog if named correctly.  My new layout allows me to add many pages in a “non cluttered” looking way so I will be working on this more later tonight.

The Pinterest challenge and how to use it with your blog intrigues me.  I asked Joy to hook me up with a Pinterest invite (something I have avoided until now due to I was afrad of the time suck and my body would be found years later stuck on a Pinterest page….) However, if it can promote Book Journey I am willing to take a look. :D

My own challenge, referring to increasing your blog traffic through comments is still going on here until midnight central time.  Throughout the weekend I have commented on at least 100 blogs.

  Twitter Me This and Blogging was a fun post.  I do have my posts linked to go to Twitter automatically.

Five Ways To Make Your Reviews Stand Out introduced me to Fyrefly which is pretty sweeeeet!  I totally saved that link too!

Windows Live Wire (or from this point forward known as WLW) looked really interesting.  I have not heard of that before.  I am going to check it out more later.

Get Noticed By Search Engines taught me a lot!  While it appears that SEO and wordpress.com are already bosom buddies, I did not know about tagging photos in the additional space or the importance of key words in our posts OR The Google ad words Key tool which like I said…. I learned a lot about this! 

Sidebar Help chewed me up and spit me out the other side.  (Thus the major blog changes)  :razz:  Actually this challenge pointed out what I already knew… I had too much going on taking away from the blog itself.  I cut from two sidebars to one and tonight I will be organizing them yet more and making pages for those who do not need to be on the sidebar…. clean clean clean!!!

Five Tips To Writing Fast Reviews, gave me tips on how to be more proactive in my writing and cut out the distractions.  This is something I need to continue to work on. 

Eight Ways To Freshen Up Your Content reminded me that it is ok to bring up those old posts again that drew in great discussion. AND she mentions J Kaye… who was awesome.  And a true blogger icon that I learned a lot from.

MOBILIZE!  Says Florinda and I have been interested in knowing more but not sure if I am there yet.  I am going to go back to this post again but I think wordpress has a widget that links you right up.

Social Media Icons hooked me up with some pretty cool buttons that I downloaded and plan to work on later tonight for the sidebar :D

Plug Ins and Widgets for WordPress sites is mostly (plug ins) for wordpress.org but interesting to know what i would be dealing with if I ever decide to self host.  Widgets however… I love.  :D

Goodreads challenge was a reminder of all of the awesomeness of Goodreads.  I use that and liked hearing more about it.

What Is Rafflecopter?  This challenge not only let you know all about it, you are linked to how to use it… which I did.  Which was fun.  :D

Blog events anyone?  This was a smart idea for a challenge.  We were asked to connect to an upcoming bookish event and there were choices.  I chose Book Chick City’s 100 Books in A Year Challenge, signed up and I am in.

Policies!  Always important, I learned about these on the first Bloggiesta but we do need to be rmeinded to update them to current every few months or so.  Also the idea of a giveaway policy I found to be very helpful.

Back Up That Blog!  Another great reminder.  Easy to do on wordpress.com (a button and a download!) but looks pretty easy on other platforms too.  Read this post and you will want to be sure you are backing up that blog!

6.  Clean up/update side bars

A work in progress, thanks to the mini challenge on this as well I received some great ideas!

7.  Send out author chat questions to 3 authors

Did not happen… not sure when it will honestly.

8.  Prep a blog survey to use in April

Not yet but this is staying on the to do this week.

9.  Draft some fun discussion posts (one drafted… two more ideas formed….)

I drafted two ideas and have written down three more.  Excited to move on these.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the results of Bloggiesta spring 2012.  I did more than I planned and I am walking away with a totally different looking blog.  During my visits to other blogs I picked up some pretty sweet ideas I hope to implement and plan to go forward with a neater more organized, easy to follow blog.

Did you participate in Bloggiesta?  If so what was your favorite part?  If not, looking at my links above so any of those topics interest you?

Morning Meanderings… Sunday Salon Bloggiesta Style!

WAIT!!!!!!  Don’t go!  It’s me Sheila!  You are at the right place it just looks different around here.  Ummm…. here is what happened. 

So I am doing Bloggiesta this weekend and if you don’t know what that is it is a weekend set aside to catch up on reviews and bloggy maintenance type things as well as learning new things like SEO and HTML, and how to bring traffic to your blog.  What happened was I was going to clean up my sidebars, you know… take out old things, put in new, update…. stuff like that.  Something I have been meaning to do for a while.  I then thought, are two side bars too much?  Is that too busy?  A lot of blogs I read have one sidebar…. so I chose a new theme…. that really goofed things up for a while and I am still not happy with where my header lies, and I still have to update the sidebar.

*sigh*

The mad side of Bloggiesta…

So anyway…Good morning!  WOOT! As you can tell from what I have said so far the weekend has been busy – but fun.  I love going around and seeing what other bloggers are doing.  I love participating in the mini challenges and learning new things.  My own mini challenge, which is about driving blog traffic, is still active for the rest of today.  Stop by, check it out… you may find something useful as well as the other challenges too.

As for what arrived bookish like this week, that is a two-part story.  Below are the books, and the DVD I received in the mail for review:

The Thirteen, Aleppo Code, More Like Her, We Heard The Heavens Then, Sunday Salon

Yes.  That is Alvin and The Chipmunks, Chipwrecked.  Do not judge.  :razz:  And the creepy cover of Thirteen calls to me… so what does that say? :LOL:

The second half of this story is I received a SWEET box of YA books from a publisher this week that had me dancing around the house.  I posted about this on Friday and you can check it out, shooose what I read first and you could win it!  :D   Seriously!  Go check it out:D

As far as today, I have church here in about mmmm….. 15 minutes.  And then I am coming back to Bloggiesta until late morning when hubby and I have to deliver a trailer to another town so I will be MIA for about an hour… but then back to the blog.  Things I still want to accomplish today.

What is your Sunday plan?  Are you on the Bloggiesta wagon?  If so what are you LOVING?  If not, watcha doing today?  Anything fun?

 

Morning Meanderings… My VERY OWN Book Fairy!!!! + Giveaway!

Good morning!  *yawn*  How we all doing today?  I missed the afternoon and evening of Bloggiesta yesterday as I was trying to get some errands done, then came home, changed and we had dinner with friends and then Hunger Games (yes, a second time!) and home around 11 pm.  Then…. I slept a little later than usual but I am here now and I have exciting things happening here.  :D

About a month ago I was contacted about the book club I am in by a publishing company.  They had read my Making Of A Book Club post and were bouncing ideas off me for a YA on line book club.  I was happy to help as Sheila + talking books = Happy Sheila.  :D

We had some conversations back and forth where we discussed ideas, promoting, etc… and in the end she offered me some books as a thank you.  I chose three from her list but she added to it and my very first mystery box of books arrived yesterday on my door step:

 

and in this group would be the very first April on Line Book Club pick:

Are you just LOVING that cover?  I am!!!  SO more on this hopefully going into this next week… I will give you info on the book club, the who, the what, the when…. I am just waiting on an email first to make sure they are ready to launch!

 

 

AND in honor of Bloggiesta happening right now this weekend (info below) I would love you to tell me which of these gorgeous books to read first and then I will read it and send it to one lucky random.org winner.  Yes, you pick the book for the picture above, I read, then send to you. 

 

This year Bloggiesta is being hosted by It’s All About Books and There’s A Book, and you can see all the mini challenges here - and there are giveaways!  :D

Here is my “work in progress tasks for the weekend” :  (which I will cross off when I complete them):

1.  A new blog header

2.  New blog widget

3.  prep posts for upcoming reviews

4.  Write posts for movie/book reviews that I have completed  (five written and drafted!)

5.  Participate in mini challenges  (three done!)

6.  Clean up/update side bars

7.  Send out author chat questions to 3 authors

8.  Prep a blog survey to use in April

9.  Draft some fun discussion posts (one drafted… two more ideas formed….)

Happy Bloggiesta!!!  Don’t forget my mini challenge this weekend with gift card giveaways :D 

Morning Meanderings… Bloggiesta KICK OFF!!!!

Good morning!  Happy Bloggiesta!!! Doesn’t that make you just think of great things like nachos and taco’s and enchiladas…. hmmmmm.. maybe it is too early to think of those things.

Bloggiesta is an event that was started by Natasha from Maw Books in 2009.  It was designed as a time that we as bloggers can learn more about our blogs, how to make them look appealing, how to drive traffic, HTML, side bar links, post writing,social networking, embedding pictures and video, search engines, how does your blog rate… and more!

Bloggiesta holds a special place in my heart as it was June 2009 when I started blogging and well… I knew nothing…. NOTHING about blogging.  A week after I started book blogging, the first Bloggiesta was happening and I jumped at the chance to participate.  Bloggiesta really saved me.  I signed and participated in every mini challenge.  I learned so much that weekend, and from the start of Bloggiesta to the end, my blog looked completely different. I was thrilled.  :razz:

Now here we are in 2012 and I am so excited to not only be participating in Bloggiesta, but I am also a Mini Challenge host.  This year Bloggiesta is being hosted by It’s All About Books and There’s A Book, and you can see all the mini challenges here - and there are giveaways!  :D

For the kick off, I am posting my weekend to do list :  (which I will cross off when I complete them):

1.  A new blog header

2.  New blog widget

3.  prep posts for upcoming reviews

4.  Write posts for movie/book reviews that I have completed  (as of noon on Friday three written and drafted!)

5.  Participate in mini challenges  (two started)

6.  Clean up/update side bars

7.  Send out author chat questions to 3 authors

8.  Prep a blog survey to use in April

9.  Draft some fun discussion posts (as of noon on Friday one drafted… two more ideas formed….)

Hope to see you on the blogosphere this weekend – and stay tune, not only am I offering the giveaway involved with the mini challenge, but I also am planning giveaways all weekend long as part of the Bloggiesta Fiesta!!!  OLE!!!  Find me on Twitter at:  bookjourney

Are you participating?  Let me know and I will be sure to stop by and cheer you on!  :D

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge!!!! May The Odds Be Forever In Your Favor!!! March 30 – April1

How to Build Readers for your Blog through Commenting

 


Hi Bloggiesta people!!!!  Lets give it up for all the hard working behind the scenes people making Bloggiesta possible this year!  WOOT!  WOOT!

My mini challenge here is about building a reader base and seriously, don’t we all want that?  I mean there is one thing I see book bloggers say all the time, they do like comments.  It has even been said that comments are the heart of book blogging…

we do like to discuss books don’t we?  :razz:

So while my mini challenge is not going to be technical about CSS, or about repairing broken links, or anything awesome like that… you need to realize established blogger or just starting out… comments are the heartbeat of the blogger, and sitting around waiting for them is not that way to build up your readers.

When I started blogging in June of 2009, I seriously did not have a clue as to what I was doing.  I knew I liked to write, and I knew I got excited when someone commented on something I wrote (shoot, I still get excited when people comment!)  I felt I could write a good review, I just had to figure out how to get people to find me and read them.  I was confident enough to believe if I could get people to come and check out my blog, they may find something they like and come back again… and maybe… again.  :D

To make this happen I started making it a point to go out and visit and comment on blogs.  I set a goal of at least twenty a day.  I found them through links provided by blogs I was already reading, and by people who commented on my blog.  I discovered quickly that when I went out and provided a real comment on a blog (Not a “I’m just hopping through”, “Nice post!”, or a “come and visit me too!”) often, these bloggers would come and check out my blog in return.

My commenting on other blogs provided a way for me to build my own reader base.  It’s true.

So here are a few do’s and dont’s  I would ask you to consider for commenting:

 

DO:

Leave a genuine comment that shows you actually read what the post was about, this along with questions to the blogger can create people clicking back to your blog

Share if you have read the book as well, or one similar, or plan to read it… it builds a common interest

End posts with a question to your readers, it encourages conversation

Respond to comments on your blog, it creates conversations and your readers may stop back again to see what you have said in response to their comment. 

DONT:

Leave comments with a link back to your blog, your name is already a link to your blog (*unless you have multiple blogs and need to link so people an find your posts)

Say you are “hopping through” unless you truly are on a blog hop and so is the blog you are visiting.


AND… post well.  When your readers arrive on your blog have something interesting for them to read about.  If you are new to blogging, check out closely the blogs you enjoy reading.  Why do you enjoy reading them?  Do they have interesting posts?  What about their writing appeals to you?  Do they have a lot of comments and conversations stemming from their posts?

Growing my readership was and still is a constant work in progress.  I love to comment, and yes, I know between reading, and writing posts, commenting is just one more thing…. but I know it works, and I know it is appreciated by all the hard-working bloggers just like you who are writing and reviewing and posting and building their own readership as well.

My mini challenge for you (if you choose to accept it) is…

1.  Go and comment on at least 20 blog during Bloggiesta and then come back here and let me know in a comment that you did AND

2.  in the same comment let me know one thing that you are hoping to learn or accomplish during Bloggiesta

The winners of my mini challenge will receive (using random.org) a $20 gift card to Amazon (available to anyone who can use an Amazon gift card (this will be delivered to the winner at close of Bloggiesta through email).

AND one runner up will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon.

This is a sticky post and will remain at the top of the blog until closing on Bloggiesta.  All new posts will be below.  Watch for additional giveaways below during Bloggeista weekend!

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