Wednesday, September 14, 2011

BBAW: Community Part 2.

In today's daily topic for BBAW, we are asked to talk about finding out place in this big community, as well as our tips for cultivating relationships with our like-minded book bloggers.

When I started my own blog, I knew nothing about the larger book blogging community. In fact, I didn't really consider myself a book blogger until I realized that I seemed to click with this amazing group of people!

At the start, I had a hard time determining where I fit in. I was originally finding a ton of YA themed blogs and my classics project didn't seem to fit in anywhere! It was only after quite a few months that I began to regularly seek out bloggers who reviewed classics (there aren't as many of us as there should be!). However, I am usually a pretty diverse reader in terms of genre, so there were a lot of bloggers I began to follow who have nothing to do with reading classics.

One of the things that helped me as a new blogger was joining in on certain memes. And while I have never been a huge participant, filling one out every once in awhile is a great deal of fun and the perfect way to find new bloggers to read. This definitely helped me as a new blogger.

But what really got me involved in the book blogging community was participating in some of the big events. While I was around for the October 2009 Read-a-thon, I was so new that I didn't know to sign up or anything. When April 2010 rolled around, I made sure to participate and visit other blogs. This really gave me the opportunity to branch out into reading even more blogs by the people who came and commented on my own posts that day. Since then, I make a concerted effort to participate in the 24 hour read-a-thon every time, and this past time, I even hosted!

I also joined my first readalong in April of 2010 (The Brothers Karamazov hosted by Bellezza). It was another way of communicating with bloggers with similar bookish tastes. It helped me meet a few other bloggers and become part of the community.

The other big event that I began to participate in on a regular basis was the Classics Circuit. This is probably my favorite "event" in book blogging, as it gives me a chance to explore writers with other people. I think it is a great way to promote what I find important, and I have participated in almost all of the tours since I discovered it.

Most importantly, however, I became a bigger part of the community by simply writing. Without real content on your blog, it is hard to form relationships with your readers. From the beginning, I wanted to speak from my heart and I try to remember that in each post I write. I have also tried to branch out to the community by hosting readalongs/group reads for classics, as well as being involved in other events as they pop up. I think that to feel accepted by any group, you need to be an active participant. I try to do this as much as I can around my busy schedule. Nothing bugs me more than when a blog is all filler and no substance. The number one way to get more readers is to read, then write about it. Memes, surveys, and the like are fun, but after a while, I want to get in your head about your thoughts on what you are reading. After all, isn't that why we're here in the first place?

In the future, I hope that more people will be inspired to start new events and things for bloggers to participate in. I love joining in on readalongs, featured series, group reads, and discussions. I am also hoping to discover more bloggers from my own state (Michigan), since I feel we are in the minority! But anyway, I love the interactive nature of blogging and I hope that we all strive to achieve more of it!

Be sure to head to the BBAW website to see what others have to say!


  1. Great post, Allie. The read-a-thon has been a big community connector for me as well as other events like Bloggiesta and a few memes. :)

  2. I love your readalongs! Even though I never post on the correct dates or anything, they provide a great kick in the pants to get certain books read.

    And yes yes yes to the 24 hour readathons.

    This mostly YA blogger LOVES your mostly classics blog :-)

  3. I agree, those big events help to immerse you in the community. I am thinking about joining in the group read of Dracula.

    I'm a MI blogger, I live on the west side of the state!

  4. Hello! I've come across you twice in the same hour, once via Roof Beam Reader and now as part of BBAW. I read classics so hopefully I'm pushing us out of that minority status, if just a little! Looking forward to reviews like you can't believe.

    Also, I don't recognise some of those events (I haven't been around that long) so hopefully you'll be the catalyst of my participation of them. Happy reading!

  5. I love your tips. When I first started blogging I wasn't sure where I fit in either. I read such an old selection of books from every genre. I remember being really excited when I foudn your blog because it made me realize that someone very similar to me (about the same age, newly married, no kids, etc.) actually loved reading classics like I did. It was an awesome thing to discover.

    I participated in the 24 read-a-thon for the first time in April, which was great. My first read-along was actually Cranford, hosted by you! Thanks for being part of my introduction to the book blogging world.

  6. Yes, the readathon is a fantastic way to get involved! Readalongs, too, or even just coordinating reading with another blogger for a book or two. I'm currently in the process of finishing up the final few books I had accepted for review so that I will have time to do things like the Classics Circuit, which I've been wanting to participate in since I read about it. And YES -- content is key! I'm quick to unsubscribe to a blog that's all filler and no content, as it usually doesn't feel like there's a passionate blogger behind the posts.

  7. I haven't participated in any readathons, but I would really like to join in on the next one. I use to work weekends, and I would be so sad that I couldn't participate.

    Great post!

  8. I love the Classics Circuit! Unfortunately, I've never once been able to sign-up in time to host on my blog. =/

  9. I loved your post! I feel like kind of a misfit blogger because I read YA and classics. I can't just read one genre or the other - I love both! It's so nice to know that other people have similar tastes in books as me (even though you only blog about the classics:). You've inspired me to get more involved in the classic book blogging community. I whole-heartedly agree with being honest in all your posts. I can see that you do and I always try to do the same. Thanks so much for your post!

  10. I mentioned your readalongs in my post today. I've done a couple and I've really enjoyed the blogger interaction they encourage. :)

  11. The Big Events in the book blogging world really create a community feel, as do readalongs, so I'm right there with you on thinking they are important (and fun!). Challenges used to be my go-to for interaction, but more and more I'm preferring readalongs.

  12. I'm so glad you joined in The Brothers Karamazov! That seems like a million years ago... :)

  13. "Without real content on your blog, it is hard to form relationships with your readers."

    Agreed--and this is probably my biggest blogging problem! I enjoy commenting on others blogs, participating in community events as I'm able, but I've had trouble creating the time necessary to get much book-length read and therefore getting content on my blog--and I know the blog has suffered because of that. Thank you for the reminder that I need to do better!

  14. I have never in 2 years done a meme-I think I will give a few of them a try next week

    Hi, I am stopping by from the Philippines to visit your blog via the list of posts for Day Three

    Please Stop by My Blog if you Like To See My Ideas on Community Building

  15. I love your "voice" in reviews. You make the books so approachable. I always like reading what you have to say, and I certainly trust your reviews! You inspired me so much, when I first started book blogging, to make a "project" out of the classics -- to give it my passion. I love the snarky, funny classics blogs, too. But I really connect with your voice and style. I love the way you speak from your heart.

  16. Thanks for mentioning the Classics Circuit! I am so glad you enjoy it. And I've really enjoyed finding more classics-mostly bloggers through that. I'm pleased, though, with the number of bloggers that read classics AS WELL AS other stuff. It shows that you don't have to be a "classics blogger" to love reading the classics, to give them a try, or even to just weave them in to your regular reading.

    I sometimes wish I enjoyed other books (i.e., modern) so i could branch out to more blogs, but then I think, I have a hard time keeping up with the classics ones, so I'm good :)

  17. I just started my own blog, but since I read pretty much every kind of genre, I think it'll be pretty hard to find a niche. The Classics Circuit looks really interesting! I just visited the site and subscribed by email. I can't wait to start participating. I'm just sad I missed the sign-up for the Gothic Lit tour. That would have been fun.

    I'm also looking forward to Dewey's 24-hour read-a-thon next month!