Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Blogging Resolutions & Goals

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 with 11 comments
Last year around this time, I took a page out of many others' books and set myself to task with some book blogging resolutions.  I'm going to do that again this year because unlike in my life outside of book blogging, I actually found this exercise really helpful.  I'm not the best blogger out there, nor do I aspire to be so, but I definitely think I'm better than I was due to the changes I made to my blogging style over the course of 2013.

But before I get to my resolutions and goals for this year, I'd like to take a look back at those goals I set for myself last year and evaluate how I did, what I implemented, what I found didn't work for me...that kind of thing.  It just makes sense to review last year first and see if any of those same things still need work because, as in real life, I'm sure I didn't meet 100% of my expectations.  I'm a perfectionist, but I'm not that good.  =)

So, here are last year's resolutions:
  1. Take better notes
  2. Schedule more posts
  3. Post less promotional spots (book blitz, excerpts, tours)
  4. Review books immediately upon completion - eh, at least it doesn't normally take me a month anymore!
  5. No new memes
  6. Create an archive of reviews for the blog
  7. Update blog at least 2x per week
  8. Attend more book signings & conferences
  9. Visit/comment on other blogs & return blog comments
  10. Keep track of blog stats
Okay, so, I see some room for work there, but that's to be expected.  #1 is kind of null now because I've been better at #4 and because I'm actually using my Kindle's highlight and note features.  I am definitely way better at scheduling posts, though it may only be a day or two ahead of schedule.  Still...progress is progress, right?  I've also been better at only posting promotional material for books that really spoke to me as a reader, or that I was very much looking forward to.  I did only a handful of cover reveals and excerpts, and usually only for authors whose work I already knew and enjoyed.  I think I participated in less than ten blog tours, and the same goes for those.  No new memes...hmm...I think I quit doing one at the beginning of the year or maybe at the end of 2012, but I do occasionally participate in Top Ten Tuesday now, which I never did prior to this year.  Oops. But I really like that one.  And don't those two cancel each other out, anyway?

Unfortunately, I still have not completed -- or even started -- my review archive yet.  That probably should have been something I worked on over vacation/the holidays, but I've been sick, so nothin' doin'.  I am much better at updating my sidebar and menu bar items, so there's that.  And I do plan to work on my archive soon.  I have so many things I want to add to the blog.  2014 is my year y'all!

Oh, I attended the Maggie Stiefvater signing for The Dream Thieves tour and had her sign every Maggie book I owned...which was all of them except the anthologies.  And I attended Victoria Scott's signing/release party for The Collector at the beginning of the year.  Still didn't make it to any conferences, though. I wanted to, and I kind of had the opportunity, but I'm shy and had no one to go with, so...

For awhile there, I was very social, commenting and visiting everyone daily, but in the summer, work got a little chaotic, and that severely cut into not only my social time but also my blogging and reading time.  Still not sure how I managed to read over 200 books, but I did.  Imagine how many I would have read if work had been great!

As for keeping tack of blog statistics, I think I meant in the reading sense, not traffic-wise or anything like that.  I don't really do this for the traffic...I do it for myself and for those who love to read the same stuff I do. Traffic's nice, but I'd keep doing it anyway.  Back to my point, though...I definitely stepped it up in this respect.  I had a spreadsheet I used in 2012 to keep track of what I'd read, what I had to read, etc., but I think I added another ten columns to that sucker and it has really helped with my stress level.  You just wait till you see the charts and graphs because of it!

I'm just going to go back up to my little list and mark out the ones I feel I've mastered.  Hang on a sec. Okay, done.  And now on to 2014.


So, here goes.  My 2014 book blogging resolutions...and probably some confessions because that's what I do:

1.  Read more for pleasure - This is self-explanatory, but I think 98% of the books I read last year were for review.  Of the ones I listened to, probably 85% were actually for pleasure, but that's because I receive exponentially less audio for review.

2.  Create a review archive - For real this time. Like I said before, I search for my own reviews sometimes looking for this or that, and I have the darndest time sometimes trying to find what I'm looking for. So, this resolution is as much for me as it is for you.

3.  Force my co-blogger to actually do some blogging - Yeah, Mendy got busy with real life and forgot all about me...I mean, us.  A commitment is a commitment, am I right? Okay, I'm sorta kidding...I understand completely, but I miss having her brand of humor and review style on the blog.  It's so different from mine and I liked what it brought to the blog.

4.  Add a schedule tab on the menu bar - I stopped participating in challenges. I didn't sign up for any new ones this year, and the only one I kept track of was the Goodreads challenge.  And that's probably only because GR does it for me for the most part.  So, I don't need a Challenges tab.  I've been brainstorming what to put in its place, and I think having my reading schedule on my blog would come in handy.  Others can see what I'm going to be reading soon, maybe we can schedule buddy reads and what-not.  I don't know, I just think it'll make me feel even more accountable than I already do having the spreadsheet sitting on my computer.

5.  Stop focusing on reading "deadlines" - I know this is counterproductive to what I'm doing here, but I've usually been conservative?...cautious?...when posting reviews.  Meaning, I try to keep it within the six weeks surrounding a new release (three weeks prior/three weeks following).  But I see so many reading what I desperately want to read NOW and then immediately reviewing it with little consequence that I can tell.  The benefit to me is that I won't have everyone else's opinions clouding my judgment when the book finally does pop up on my schedule and I finally get to read it for myself.

6.  Be more social - I was better in 2013, but I wasn't stellar, by any means, at being social and approachable, whether it was on Twitter or Goodreads or even here on the blog.  I need to make myself available, put myself out there.  In real life, too...I really need to make an effort to get over my introverted-self and meet some of you beautiful book bloggers, you.  But also, I need to make time in my busy schedule to visit you all on your own blogs and spend time each week returning the comments left for me.  I feel like I've lost a few good friends over the last couple of years because I wasn't able to do this.  You get what you give, am I right?

Twinkling Stars - Happy New Year7.  Start using Overdrive - I managed to really cut back on how many physical books I bought this year, but I ended up giving Audible all of that money instead.  I have a membership, but my purchases on that site are probably unrivaled by  most due to sales, new releases, and trying to catch up on back-listed titles I missed.  But people keep reminding me of Overdrive, which can be accessed through your local library.  I've yet to try it out, but I have to or I'm going to go broke with my audiobook addiction.

8.  Stop hoarding books - Especially those that probably won't ever see a re-read.  Like, I bought each of the Matched books by Ally Condie as they were released because that's what I did back then.  But I highly doubt I'm ever going to read those books again.  I need to start donating more books to the library and giving them away here on the blog.  I'm constantly running out of room, and I can't fit another book shelf in my office.  There really is nowhere else to put one.  (P.S. I'm participating in the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway that technically starts on the 4th, so check back for that soon!)

9.  Cross-post reviews - I already do this to Goodreads and obviously to Netgalley and Edelweiss, but I often neglect adding reviews to Amazon and Audible, where applicable.  I just wish there was an easier way to do it than cutting and pasting everywhere.  Like, a button on Blogger that said "post to Amazon", etc.

10.  Post more discussions - These seem to be the posts that get the most attention, but that's not why I want to do more of them.  I just really like seeing what everyone else has to say.  I like to speak my peace and then listen to everyone else chime in.  It's interesting to see how varied we all our on different topics and I think it keeps this space fresh.  It can't all be memes and reviews, right?  I am definitely open to suggestions for topics, too.  I already have a couple in mind:  do you even care about memes anymore, or is that just for us book bloggers?  Are there any plain ole readers out there anymore, or did we all turn into bloggers along the way?  Things like that.  ;0)


And that about does it.  I have other goals for 2014, but those are the major ones.  I feel hopeful about my ability to conquer these feats of book blogging, too, especially seeing what kind of progress I made on last year's resolutions.

So, what are some of your resolutions for 2014?  Bookish or not.  We ain't picky around here.  =)  Seriously, though, I wish you all the love and support you need to accomplish whatever goals you've set for yourself in the coming year.  We all need a good support team.

Thanks for stopping by!  I appreciate each and every one of my readers, and I wish you all a prosperous and happy new year!



11 comments:

  1. You did really good in your 2013 resolutions/goals! Psh, you should be proud of yourself. I couldn't stop nodding towards your 2014 goals because I have many the same. I've thought about posting a schedule tab, but I hate being locked in, BUT I think it'd be nice to be held accountable, so who knows. I personally thought you were sociable ;) I get what you mean though. I constantly think that I'm just not doing everything I need to be doing, even in the connection department and I hate to think that I missed out on a great friendship because like you said, you get what you give!

    I know you'll be able to complete your goals, Jen :) Have a fantastic 2014!

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  2. Congrats on meeting so many of your 2013 resolutions and good luck for 2014! Overdrive is great, too, though I prefer hardcopies. Happy New Year!

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  3. such a good idea. I probably should make some book resolutions, but probably wont. I know I need to be more social. I slacked off since my grandson came along. Work and watching him is just taking up all my time. I am trying to post reviews sooner after reading the book. I am bad about that. I would love to do more discussion posts too.... I just don't know what to discuss. I do need to read more for pleasure than reviews for sure. Buddy reads is a great idea.... that may solve my problem on what to discuss. I need to update my review archive and update my cross reviews. I am horrible at both. Great set of resolutions and great job on the ones you were successful at from last year.

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  4. I hardly met any of my 2013 resolutions *blushes shamefully* But a huge well done to you for meeting so many! Wish you all the luck with the 2014 resolutions. Happy New Year :)

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  5. Reading for the pleasure of reading--I should have had that on mine. I didn't make 2013 resolutions because I had just started blogging but I'm hoping I can accomplish the ones I've set out for this year. I also should have added to talk to other bloggers at events. I'll see them and then hide because I'm so shy. Not the best way to make friends :-) I love your blog and reviews so keep up the great work Jen! <3

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  6. I made an effort tho read for pleasure last year and it was like a huge weight lifted off of me.

    I also cut way back on promotional stuff.

    Great goals - good luck!

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  7. yay for blogging goals. I completely agree with read more for pleasure. I struggle with this too and I don't have a quarter of the review books coming in as you do :o) Reading for pleasure is the best. It's like the book is so much sweeter. like that forbidden cupcake your diet plan does not allow for. Not that I diet and would know that feeling. Food is too yummy.

    I hope you and the family had a great New Years! :)

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  8. Happy New Year!!! Congrats on everything you accomplished in 2013. I wish you the best of luck for 2014.

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  9. Good job on the blogging goals. I'm actually checking back because I looked over my book giveaways and found that the hop you hosted (Summer Reads maybe?) was one of the best book giveaways I've had. So I was coming back to see if you're running any more!! Also hoping to see you give away that Matched set because I REALLY want to read those.

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  10. Great goal meeting last year, and good goals for this year. 2012 was the year I devoted to mood reading with no schedules, and it worked well for me. It really brought back my love of reading and blogging. My goals this year are to continue that, but to focus on my TBR pile, and series I've started but not continued.

    I decided to do something about my review archive and general behind-the-scenes tidiness by buying the Ultimate Book Blogger (UBB) Plugin. I now have to go through all my old reviews and update them so they appear in the auto-generating archive lists, but I think the work is worth it.

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  11. Wow you did a pretty good job on last year's goals! And you have a lot of good ones for this year, too. Cross-posting reviews is a good one. I always do it for ARCs, but I forget to do it when reviewing my own books a lot of the time. Definitely need to get on that.

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