Armchair BEA Day 3: Expanding Blogging Horizons

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Today’s Prompt

What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons? Is it a redesign of your blog? Have you branched out into freelance writing or even published a novel of your very own? Or, have you moved into a different venue like podcasts or vlogging? This is the day to tell us about how you have expanded on blogging in your own unique way. 

When Krysta and I first began blogging, I had no concept of “the blogosphere.”  I knew, of course, that other people blogged and that book blogs were in some sense “a thing.”  Primarily, however, Krysta and I were doing our own thing within that thing, writing what we hoped we thoughtful book reviews, posting them to the blog, and being incredibly startled when someone actually looked at them or, even more strangely, commented.

Over the three years that Krysta and I have been rambling along at Pages Unbound, “expanding my blogging horizons” has meant opening up to the book blogging community.  (After, you know, discovering it.)  I still blog for myself, and I believe firmly that that is something every blogger needs to do in order to stay motivated.  One should never feel pressured to read a book at a certain time or think that he/she has to read certain types of books or write certain types of posts in order to be popular or successful.  Reading, and blogging, should be about personal enjoyment and development.

However, it is fun, and often  rewarding, to consider what type of content one’s followers might like.  One doesn’t want to grub for followers or page views, of course, but…well, most of us are ultimately writing for someone, even if in a casual sense.  If we wanted our thoughts to be entirely private, we might have password protected websites or keep all our book reviews in private notebooks at home.

Once I realized that I, too, have an audience (once that follower count in the sidebar actually started going up!), I branched out into more types of posts.  I started participating in some memes like Top Ten Tuesday, I interviewed authors and bloggers, and I came up with some unique features  and events for Pages Unbound.   I also started actually promoting my posts and my blog on social media and other platforms.

In three years, blogging has grown from something Krysta and I did essentially in private (despite having a publicly available and searchable website) to a real conversation with other bloggers and book readers.  Interacting with others, and with others’ posts and features, has inspired a lot of new thoughts for me about reading, writing, and books, and it has been a great journey.

16 thoughts on “Armchair BEA Day 3: Expanding Blogging Horizons

  1. BookerTalk says:

    it can get lonely if you’re just talking to yourselves so yes, interacting with others is part of the pleasure of blogging for me too though I haven’t done anything like as much as you have


  2. kmn04books says:

    That’s so great that you’ve opened up more on social media about your blog! I’ve been finding that to be such a fun part of the experience and I’ve already met so many amazing people in the blogosphere! I’m excited to have found your guys’ blog🙂 Happy Armchair BEA!


    • Briana says:

      I put off joining Twitter for a very long time (I didn’t really understand the point or appeal), but now I’m hooked. It brings a little more traffic to the blog, as well.


  3. thebookdate says:

    I do believe interacting is important, and I try to comment as I can. However I bet you are busy as most of us are. There are some amazing bloggers around who are excellent at commenting and interacting and I know I appreciate it when they send a comment my way.


    • Briana says:

      Commenting is always a challenge. I try to reply to every comment on our blog, but, if there are a lot of them (like for Armchair BEA!), that definitely cuts into the time I could spend commenting on others’ blogs.


  4. Allison Bruning says:

    Isn’t blogging amazing. When I started blogging I had no clue as to what I was doing. Eventually, I started interacting with other bloggers and my blog has grown. I love to see the number of visitors grow on my blog. I’ve had a hard time getting people to comment on my blog but that is changing.


    • Briana says:

      Commenting seems to be a challenge for just about everyone. Sometimes I think that, even though our follower count has grown, our comment count has really not. But it’s true that people are busy. I don’t get to comment on others’ blogs as much as I would like to either.

      I tried the tactic of asking direct questions at the end of posts and reviews once, but, honestly, I didn’t think it made much of a difference.


  5. Lianne @ says:

    It’s interesting how there’s so many elements to blogging when you think about it. On the one hand, you’re putting your thoughts out there and you’re fashioning your blog the way you want.On the other hand, you’ve got an audience and you’re feeling out what works and what doesn’t. But I agree, it’s important that you’re enjoying what you’re doing, otherwise it’ll suck the fun out of blogging (and we wouldn’t want that) *nods*

    My Day 3


  6. revgeorge says:

    I like your blog. You do excellent reviews and I enjoy many of the other posts. I appreciate you taking the time to put out good work. It is hard to do so when there seems to be little feedback. Having a high number of people view your page is nice but it doesn’t give much personal interaction or give you much information on how to improve things or which directions you’d like to go with the blog.

    For me there are several reasons why I often don’t comment on blogs. Time is one but that’s usually not a big one for me. I’d say lack of motivation, or to put it in the vernacular, laziness, is one main reason for me. Also, I’d like to have something worthwhile to say by way of comment on a blog post. Finally, it doesn’t seem like the comment sections of blogs are good places for sustained discussion and debate on topics.


    • Briana says:

      Thank you! It’s very nice to hear someone likes our blog!

      I always think it’s better to have a few followers who actually read your work and occasionally comment than thousands of followers who aren’t really following along at all.

      Haha! Laziness kicks in for me sometimes, as well. I agree, too, with wanting to leaving interesting comments instead of just popping by and saying, “Nice post.”

      It’s a lot easier to have discussions on WordPress since I actually get comment notifications for those sites. Any comments I leave on Blogger are basically lost to the ether unless I remember to go back and check if the blogger replied.


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