Top Ten Blogging Challenges

February 24, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 28

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new topic is given, and this week’s topic is:
top ten blogging challenges

This is “free for all” week for Top Ten Tuesday where we’re supposed to go back and pick an earlier topic that we missed.  But since the topic last week was the things we love about blogging, I thought it made sense to do a list of my top ten challenges.  I couldn’t make this a list of things I “hated,” because I would not be doing this if I hated it!  Below are the things I struggle with, and while it’s a long list, rest assured that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Where Did All the Time Go? 

If I’d known how much of a time commitment blogging required before I started, I might have been scared off.  There are many, many blogs that are much more developed than mine, and I have no idea how those people do it.

Over-consumption of ARCs

I’m sure this is something that trips up new bloggers.  We do this because we love reading, and all of a sudden, we have access to so many unpublished works.  It’s easy to lose control and soon find yourself completely over-committed.  And as publication dates come and go, and books remain unread and unreviewed, the guilt starts to set in.  I’m much, much better with this now, but I’m still digging out from my previous over-abundance of requests.

When Reading Becomes a Chore 

Annnnd…this is what happens after you over-indulge on ARCs.  That hot new ARC that everyone was clamoring for – you got it, too (YAY!)  But you haven’t read it yet, and now the reviews are coming in, and they’re terrible.  (Boo!)  Suddenly, that shiny new ARC isn’t so appealing anymore.  Or, you’re reading a book, and you’re just not getting along with it.  In your old, pre-blogging days, you would have tossed it aside without another thought.  But now, it’s not just a book; it’s a commitment.  This is the point when reading becomes a chore.  I’ve been blogging for a year, but I still don’t feel like I’m at the point where I can have more than a handful of ARC DNF’s.  I worry I’d get blacklisted by publishers (does that even happen?) and I worry about being perceived as ungrateful.  So I slog through these books, and I just hope that the next one is better.

Tis Better to Give Than to Receive? 

We know it’s fun to get ARCs and books, but it’s fun to give them, too.  I did a lot of giveaways when I first started, in part because it is just a fun thing to do, but also because I wanted to get attention for my blog.  That’s hard to admit, because it seems…cheap?  Like cheating?  Kind of pathetic?  I eventually got the feeling that I was “buying” followers, and that bothered me.  As I expected, a side effect of fewer giveaways is fewer pageviews, but I feel better about my blog now.  And I love knowing that even though fewer people are visiting, they are (hopefully) coming for content.  I still do occasional giveaways, and I still enjoy them, but I’m focused primarily on giving away ARCs that I received.  Speaking of…I’m giving away a signed ARC of These Broken Stars! 🙂

Save the Drama For Yo’ Mama

Every week it seems like there is some new “drama” erupting on Twitter or GR.  I put drama in quotes, because 99% of what I see is complete silliness and not worth the energy that people put into it.  I’ve unfollowed many bloggers I otherwise enjoyed because of their participation in this.  I know some people get genuinely upset over minor slights from authors or other bloggers, and I’m OK with that, even though I don’t really understand it.  I DO have a problem with the same group of people who constantly jump in with an almost gleeful manner, just to stir the pot.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

It’s sad but true, but there is jealousy in book blogging.  Whether someone else got the ARC you wanted, or they’ve got a fabulously designed blog, or they came up with some fantastic feature – there will always be someone else who is “doing it better.”  Be inspired by these people.  Think about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, and make your blog even better.  Do you like the funny blogs?  Or the personal ones?  Or the simple designs?  Or the flashy ones?  I know which blogs I admire, and I’ll often see them do something and think, “I wish I’d thought of that!”  But I also know that they can pull off their original ideas better than I could, just as I hope that no one can write a better limerick than me. 🙂

The Learning Curve

I’m still shocked by how much I’ve learned about Blogger initially, and now WordPress.  And I’m a bit overwhelmed by how much I still need to learn.  But hey, I managed to design my header, so there may be some hope for me.

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

I have yet to ask an author for an interview, and that is mainly due to a fear of a rejection.  I have done a handful of interviews, but those were in conjunction with a blog tour, when the author had no choice!  This is something that affects me in my personal life, too, so it’s not something that I will overcome easily.  But as I’m writing this, I’m thinking that I could set a goal to ask two authors for an interview this year.  That shouldn’t be too hard…should it???

Keeping It Fresh

There are only so many memes one can do, and I can only read so many books in a week, so I need to really exercise my brain to think of new ideas.  I fail miserably at this.  I’m very good at noticing when other people have great ideas, but I have a hard time implementing my own.  I actually came up with something that I *think* might be a great idea a few days ago, but it’s going to take a good amount of work and creativity to pull it off.  Which requires time.  Which brings me right back to the first item on this list.

Coming Out as a Harry Potter Virgin

I’ve promised myself that I would read at least the first Harry Potter book this year.  But after the last episode of GoT aired last year, I also told myself I would read the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire before the next season begins in April.  And I’ve read exactly ZERO of it.  So, I don’t know if my HP promise will hold or not.  But here they are on my bookshelf…impatiently waiting for me.

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Your turn!  Share your TTT post with me below!

Stephanie

28 Responses to “Top Ten Blogging Challenges”

    • Stephanie

      These were the prettiest covers I could find, so I had to have them. 🙂

      You have remarkable restraint! I could easily have that sort of limit for myself, because I have my local library is amazing, and I have so many books I’ve purchased but not yet read. But that kind of willpower would be too hard for me. 🙂

  1. Shelly

    I really like your list. I have a lot of the same challenges, and it’s nice to see them all laid out like this. I found myself nodding along and going “I totally do that too”. While I’m not a Harry Potter virgin, there are loads of insanely popular books that I haven’t read, so I kind of slink into the shadows when they’re mentioned. I’m still trying to figure out my blog and all that I want to do with it. Thanks for this list. 🙂

    My TTT
    Shelly recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday REWIND!!!!!My Profile

    • Stephanie

      One time when I admitted to not having read HP during a chat, someone blurted, “How can you be a YA blogger??” I had to laugh at that one. I don’t have a good answer.

      You’ll figure out your blog soon enough. It will evolve right along with you, and just when you think you have it nailed down, it will evolve again. 🙂

    • Stephanie

      I think one key to interviews is trying to put yourself in the place of the author. What questions would YOU like to answer, if this was your book? I’m sure they get tired of answering the same questions over and over, so I stay away from things like, “What inspired you?” If there was something particular in the story that really resonated with you, ask about that.

  2. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I only started reading Harry Potter this year too! (Actually, I read the first one last year, but still. I’m so new to it! And Pinterest has absolutely destroyed any of the “wow” factors, which is a pity.) I agree with your list, actually! So far I’m okay with keeping up with ARCs and reading habits, but I do get worried about all the little stuff. Is that blogger doing it better? Are they funnier? Do they do better reviews? I just have to chuck it all and have fun. It’s the only way. 🙂
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The Dark Side of Being an ARC ReviewerMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      Congrats on your Harry Potter de-virginizing! 🙂 And BIG congrats on staying ahead of your ARCs.

  3. bookmammal

    Nice list! I think the fear of reading becoming a chore is a common one–and that’s the main reason why,unlike many of you, I don’t post formal reviews on my blog. I never want to feel like I’m committed to reading a certain book in a certain amount of time when another might be calling to me! I really just want to have fun with my blog and informally share what I read. I don’t ever want to feel like it’s another chore to cross off my list.
    bookmammal recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday REWIND–Take A Peek At My TBR PileMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      That is a great attitude, and that is probably the only way to keep it from feeling (at least some of the time) like work. I’m glad you found a way that is working for you. Keep it up!

    • Stephanie

      Just think how much more time we’d have if we didn’t have to sleep. Could that be a superpower? If so, I might sign up for that one.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you, Chrissi! As long as figure out a way to work around them, we’ll be happy little bloggers.

  4. Farzy @ Boooks Keep Me Sane

    If I had known how much time it takes for me to maintain a blog I wouldn’t have made a book blog but on second thought, I really like to blog and I love sharing my passion with books. Last year I challenged myself to read 100 books and I want to meet the goal so bad I read one books after the other and at that point reading felt like a chore because I had a goal to achieve. There are downsides to blogging but I still like it 🙂
    – My TTT
    Farzy @ Boooks Keep Me Sane recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #5: Favorite Covers (REWIND)My Profile

    • Stephanie

      Congrats on achieving your goal! I’m sure that was a great feeling. I’m that same way. If I’m close enough to achieving it, I’d just throw everything else aside until it’s done.

    • Stephanie

      This is true – I think the novelty has worn off for me. But that’s a good thing. Now I can focus on doing what I want, rather than feel like I HAVE to do certain things.

  5. Valerie

    I definitely agree with you about the giveaways. Since I’m a new blogger and I don’t get physical ARCs or give away any books because I’m a broke college student, I had to work to get my blog out there.

    Other than that, I definitely enjoy having a blog, and I’m constantly trying to improve it graphically. It is definitely more time consuming than I thought it would be, since I always have to fix the layout or hunt for book cover images, etc. It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it in the end.
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #2My Profile

    • Stephanie

      It’s absolutely worth it. And not that it’s good to be a broke college student, but without the lift that giveaways provide, you can have a much better sense of the “real” things that work for your blog.

  6. Greg

    Great list. I can relate to most of those… I’ve done exactly one interview, and it was right after I started blogging. It was a good experience and the author was very gracious, but it’s just not something I do a lot of. I guess maybe I should work on that. And Harry Potter- yes I decided this year I’m going to read the series. I’m looking forward to writing reviews for those. 🙂
    Greg recently posted…Tunes for Tuesday #5 Missing PersonsMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      The first HP looks tiny, so I should have no excuse to not read it this year. Good luck to you, too, in getting it done, Greg!

  7. Aldrea Alien

    Hmm. I’ve never read HP. I have watched all but the last two movies so I guess there’s that. (Haven’t read GoT either, but that’s another story)

    My daughter on the other hand… she’s half way through ‘Order of the Phoenix’ and is obsessed about the movies.
    Aldrea Alien recently posted…To glossy or matte…My Profile

    • Stephanie

      I’ve seen all the films. I think I would have a better appreciation for them if I watch them again after reading the books.

  8. Reviews From A Bookworm

    Great pick! I agree with so many of these and am struggling so much with my ARCs atm – I am real new to blogging and eARCs and I went a little crazy. I’m still working my way through Jan releases and it’s not fun. I love doing giveaways as well because it’s so much fun and nice to reward followes, but I feel like I do too many atm and should cut down. Nice list 🙂 My TTT.
    Reviews From A Bookworm recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Just HAD To Buy But Still Haven’t ReadMy Profile

    • Stephanie

      Now that you know the pain of ARC-gorging, you won’t do it again. OK, maybe you will, but it won’t be as bad. 🙂

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