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Armchair BEA | Day 5 | Blogging Advice | Give or Take

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads.

Welcome to the last day of Armchair BEA!

If you didn’t already know, I attend BEA yesterday! Check out what my BEA 2012 Take Home Results were!

Previous Armchair BEA posts

Armchair BEA | Day 1 | Introduction

Armchair BEA | Day 2 | Best of 2012

Armchair BEA | Day 2 | Giveaway | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Armchair BEA | Day 3 | Networking

Armchair BEA | Day 4 | Beyond the Blog

BEA 2012 | Take Home Results

Today’s topic is blogging advice, tips and tricks. We can either offer advice or ask others for advice. I’m going to talk a little bit about how I see blogging personally.

Love it or Lose it

I think the most important thing to do as a blogger (or any one really!) is follow your heart. That means do what you love and love what you do. If you’re not doing either of those things then what’s the point? If you don’t enjoy what you’re blogging about there’s only so much of that you can take before you burn out. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years, believe me that this is extremely important if you want to keep going!

Obligation Remorse

It took me a while before I realized (and accepted) that I can’t possibly read and review every single book a publisher sends me. It’s unrealistic for starters, not just because of the number of books I receive, but also because some of them I have zero interest in reading. I like to think that leaving those books in the lunch room at work is a decent thing to do. I also feature them in my Stacking the Shelves posts at the very least.


I don’t usually blog on a regular schedule. Therefore, I make sure my content is worthy of those that decide to stop by the blog. I don’t usually participate in daily or even weekly memes but I do enjoy sharing new cover art.

Reviews! I know I’m not a “normal” reviewer. My reviews have a unique structure that works for me. If I didn’t outline my reviews the way I do I’m not exactly sure what you’d get out of me! That leads me to….

Spoilers! When I first started reviewing books on here I probably did what most new reviewers do. I summarized the books like we used to do in grammer school for book reports! That is not what a review is. Reviewing is taking a critical eye to the story you’ve read and sharing those critical aspects with your blog readers.  I cannot express how much it infuriates me to see summaries instead of reviews on some sites. This is usually what I see when I check out a book on Amazon. I don’t want to know what happened! I want to know what aspects you loved or didn’t like about a book, you know, without the DETAILS! Leave the details for your book club!


The last piece of advice I would give anyone doing anything is put your self into it. Meaning, don’t be a robot or just some other person doing the same thing as the other person two doors down. Make it your own. Give everything a splash of your self. Personalize it. Connect with your readers on a personal level. That doesn’t mean  you have to share every last personal detail about yourself or your family. I know that I connect better and make an effort to visit sites where the author has presented themselves along with their content. I guess in the long run just be friendly!

What about you? What advice to you live by to make your blog great? Link me to your post for today or just shout it in your comment!

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog over the last week. A great big hug to the new followers on here as well as Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Goodreads!


Wife, mother of a nearly 7 year old daughter named Madison and new baby boy Riley. Avid reader on my Amazon Kindle. World of Warcraft and CS:S gamer.

8 thoughts on “Armchair BEA | Day 5 | Blogging Advice | Give or Take

  1. 🙂 Wonderful advice! I completely agree that reviews should be opinions. I love checking out blogs that I have writers I enjoy talking too.
    New follower 🙂

  2. I summarize the books I review but only the beginning action. Then I have a paragraph discussing my likes or dislikes about the book.

  3. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with not being able to review everything sent to me by publishers and everybody. Okay, honestly, it’s still taking me a long time. I’ve come to terms with not being able to do it, but I’m not over feeling bad about it quite yet.

    I’ll admit that I occasionally get carried away with my summaries, but I do my best to keep them spoiler free, and I never forget that critical eye part! 😉

    Great tips!

  4. Aghh! Spoilers! Sometimes I am halfway through a post before I realize I’m writing a book report!- maybe that is the middle school teacher in me!?
    I’m in the process of learning how to write quality reviews.. browsing blogs, reviewing my old content (and hanging my head in shame sometimes) has helped.

  5. Great advice! The “be friendly” seems like such a great rule. I also like the idea of a “Stacking the Shelves” post. Personalization is also really important, I think. Makes people want to come back for what you have to say.

    The structure of reviews is also something I’ve been thinking of a lot. I’d love to have some really great discussions about books I’ve read, but it does seem difficult to structure it without spoiling.

  6. These are all great tips! I definitely agree that you should love what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to mix up how you review things or the types of stuff you post. You might find a little something that makes your blog different or more fun for you in the long run.

    And of course, always be friendly to your fellow blogers and other readers!


  7. I agree that reviews are opinions. They are not set in stone. It gripes me when authors get mad. But that’s another subject. 🙂 Love your tips, Jess. I believe in being friendly and courteous. Unless it’s a spammer, then all bets are off. Ha! Enjoyed reading. *Waving peace sign*

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