Kat and I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus since March. When Virginia locked down due to the pandemic I started taking to Kat about finally migrating our site to WordPress as a project and distraction.
In the mid-2010’s moving to WordPress was this rite of passage for book bloggers. The process always looked intimidating so we put it off for years. I started researching and found the process was more streamlined than I remembered. I’m moderately tech-savvy and felt I could Google my way through it. Also, the new Blogger made me ready to jump ship.
I want to be transparent about the cost for anyone looking to make the switch. We went with DreamHost’s Shared Unlimited Plan which (when the promotions finish) will be $9.95 a month to host two websites. We already owned our domains which cost $10.00/a year. WordPress has a huge library of themes but I’ve always liked the simplicity and style of Sky and Stars Designs and Hello Yay Design’s themes which range from $10-25. Overall it is an investment we were ready to make, but I want to make it clear that you can have a great book blog using only free resources.
I was intimated by WordPress at first but I’m loving all the plug-in and functionality. Big props to Amber at DuLivre for helping us figure out how to use the star ratings.
For months we’ve been re-formatting, categorizing and planning post and during that time being a spectator in the online book community sometimes made me doubt what I was putting so much work in.
I am glad the capital “C” conversations happening in the book community around diversity and social justice are happening. I think it’s great (even if it makes me feel old) that we are getting younger people in the community who were teens during YA’s big boom in the 10s. For a while it felt like a lot of book bloggers were millennial readers (like me) who were drawn to YA and book blogging because reading and YA wasn’t as popular when we were teens.
On the other hand, there have been some things that have made me reconsider moving forward with book blogging. The fact that there are TikToks and memes about how afraid people are of the book community is disheartening.
We all make the choice to join this community for different reasons, for some it’s to build a platform, to make friends, for creative expression, to find community or to connect with authors and publishers. I feel like a lot of issues arise because we all come in wanting and expecting different things.
For me, I keep blogging to share my opinions with other book lovers and publishers. I like checking in with a community of readers who would have validated me as a teenager. Plus, I enjoy having a log of my thoughts on every book I’ve ever read.
Kat and I never set out to create a big or influential blog. The closest thing to a scandal we’ve had is when an author commented they felt a quote we pulled from an interview wasn’t accurate. So, maybe that’s why I sometimes don’t understand the race for clout or to build a fanbase.
To keep myself motivated and not fall into another hiatus, here is what I’m doing:
Curate my feed
I use Twitter as a way to see what the “cool kids” are talking about and I’m working on curating my feed to book people I find interesting and incisive.
Blog Hop Daily
I want to visit and follow more book blogs. Every now and then I’ll go down a rabbit hole of finding new book blogs and adding them to my Feedly.
Discover and explore new platforms
I’ve had 3 failed food review blogs and consumer blog before starting this one. I really want to use things I’ve learned book blogging to build a new blog
Are you apart of the book community? What made you want to join the book community? Leave a link to your blog /bookstagram/booktube down below!