Saturday, November 11, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 109: My Favorite/Least Favorite Aspects of Blogging



Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @


For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.


This Week's Question

What is your favorite part of
blogging? Is there a least favorite
part of blogging?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth @ 





My Answer

When I first started blogging, back in 2010, I had NO idea just how rewarding, fascinating, and downright enjoyable it would turn out to be! And I began blogging thanks to a suggestion by a coworker. She encouraged me to try it, telling me that I was a good writer. I was hesitant at first, but then decided to take the plunge. I'm SO glad I did, too!

As for only one favorite part of blogging, I can't say there's just ONE. There are several aspects of blogging I love and enjoy! 

The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that I blog about books. YAAAAAY!!! i LOVE everything about blogging about books -- discovering new books on other blogs, getting free books in the mail to review, creating new blog posts in which I express my passion for books....just EVERYTHING!! 

I could also see myself blogging about art, which is another passion of mine. I just don't have the time, though. I would have to create another blog dedicated exclusively to art. I've seen book blogs that combine the topic of books with other topics, such as cooking or gardening. That's fine for whoever wants to do that. It's not my style, though. I prefer to have a blog dedicated to only one topic. 

In order for me to have an art blog, I would have to attend gallery openings and do some networking in the Miami art community. Sadly, I just don't have the time, or access to transportation, to be able to do these things..... My consolation is that I can post about art books on my second blog, MindSpirit Book Journeys, anytime I want to!

Another favorite part of blogging for me is the interactions with other bloggers. I'm a firm believer in replying to comments left on my blog, and also commenting back on the blogs of those who have left comments on mine.  Some people don't have the time to do what I do. If I run out of time myself, I will at least comment back on other blogs. I just feel that this is common courtesy. 

Happily, I have made some super nice blogging friends, and they usually leave comments on my blog, on a pretty much regular basis. How I wish I could meet them all personally..... Here are some of them: Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews, Wendy @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty, Barb @ Booker T's Farm, Michele & Mckenzie @ A Belle's Tales, Brian @ Babbling Books, Stephanie @ Bookfever, Greg @ Book Haven, Verushka @ Pop. Edit.Lit (for some reason, I couldn't link up her blog title, so I used her name instead), and Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles!   These book bloggers are all great blogging buddies!

Another favorite part of blogging for me is designing my blog. I did a lot of experimenting when I first started out. Finally, I settled on the present design, which is based on a template provided by Blogger, the blogging platform I use. The background image, which I have nicknamed "Cosmic Blue", was also provided by Blogger. I'm  very happy with the current look of my blog! Once I settled on this design, I decided it would be my final one. No more experimentation! After all, as the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". My current design is certainly not "broke". I am totally satisfied with it, as it fits my blog's title perfectly. And I adore my blog header and blog button, which were designed for me by the super talented Jennifer Johnson, of Sapphire Blog Designs!! She's a fan of the color blue, too!



This is my header for most of the year. During October, November, and December, I use seasonal headers instead. 



This is my blog button. Both header and
button were designed by Jennifer.


As for the least favorite aspect of blogging, I would have to say that it's the unfortunate fact that Blogger frequently has glitches. Strange things sometimes happen when I'm creating a post. For example, I usually select the Verdana font when writing my BBH posts. Well, sometimes, the post editor will NOT put in that font, even after I have selected it. Other issues I've had are just as annoying -- like I won't be able to align my text with a book cover pic, when I'm creating a book review post, or the spacing between post components will be all wrong, or the text color won't change, etc. 

Whenever one of these issues arises, I have to stop what I'm doing (yup, in the very middle of creating a post!) and send feedback -- along with a screenshot -- to Google. I also have to close down the post editor in the browser I'm using, and switch to another browser in order to attempt to correct the problem. I use Firefox most of the time, and usually switch to IE or Chrome in order to correct problems. Sometimes I'm successful, but sometimes I'm not.... ARRRGGGHHH!!!

Because of these issues, some bloggers actually prefer Wordpress, another blogging platform. They say that it's better than Blogger, with fewer glitches and more and better plug-ins. These statements may be true, but I have preferred to stick with Blogger for several reasons, the first being that I'm terrified of losing my entire blog if I attempt to transfer it to Wordpress. I could always ask Jennifer to help me with this, but, of course, I would have to pay for her services. Even if I did do that, though, I would lose the current look of my blog, obviously, as I'm using a Blogger template and background image. I love my current look too much to lose it! 

Another thing about Wordpress -- one that I don't like -- is that they don't allow bloggers who use the Wordpress blogging platform to publish blog tour posts on their blogs. The Wordpress higher-ups consider these posts to be spam. I think this is totally unfair! Blog tours are mostly for Indie authors. So does this mean that these authors, who, for the most part, cannot afford the expensive publicity of the big publishers, are not allowed to promote their hard work? According to Wordpress, they're not. 

Unfortunately, I don't usually get a lot of comments on my blog tour posts, which is yet another "least favorite" part of blogging for me. I guess many bloggers and blog readers happen to agree with Wordpress.... But again, this is just not fair. Yes, I know that blog tour posts frequently don't contain original content, but, they're a great way to discover books we book bloggers might not find out about otherwise. 

In my case, I do insert some original content in those tour posts that are labeled "spotlight" or "blast" posts. I came up with the idea of including a mini-review with these posts. I do this with spotlight posts that include an excerpt from the book being promoted. The mini-review analyzes the excerpt, not the entire book.

This Wordpress policy is also unfair to book bloggers, as it means that these bloggers are only allowed a limited amount of freedom as to what they can post on their blogs. Again, this is totally unfair, not to mention extremely dictatorial

So, as you can see, I'm sticking with Blogger! And I sure hope Google doesn't adopt the Wordpress policy, and start prohibiting blog tours, too.....

It's been a challenging, although certainly FUN, seven years of blogging, during which I've exercised my creativity, discovered some fascinating books, and made some great book blogging friends! So I'm raising my cup of Java to many more years of blogging, not only for myself, but for all of you fellow book bloggers out there!




What are your thoughts on
this topic?
If you're participating in this hop,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!!  
 




4 comments:

  1. Amazing, amazing, amazing answer as always, Maria.

    Such a thorough, interesting, and thoughtful answer.

    I did agree that other bloggers are the best part.

    I am afraid to move to Word Press too for the same reason.

    YOU ARE THE BEST!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Awwwww.....you're SO SWEET.....THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

      You are SO right that one of the best parts about book blogging is the community!! It's people like YOU that keep me coming back to the blogosphere!!

      You know, nobody wants to blog in a vacuum. So, if bloggers don't interact, where's the FUN?! Yes, it's time consuming to have these interactions, but they are SO worth the extra effort!!

      I think other bloggers feel the same about transferring their blogs to Wordpress. Maybe they don't object to the blog tour restriction, but they probably feel the same way about the possibility of losing their entire blogs.

      YOU ARE THE BEST YOURSELF!!! <3 <3 <3

      Thank you for brightening my day with such a LOVELY comment!!!! <3 <3 <3 :D :D :D

      Delete
  2. Great post Maria.

    Thanks for the mention.

    You should really be happy about about your blog design. There are other fantastic looking blogs out there but I I think that your's is the the best looking book blog that I have ever seen. You put a lot of thought and talent in to it and it shows.

    It seems that so many book bloggers mention how the interactions between book bloggers is one of the best things about blogging. The community is absolutely fantastic.

    I also sometimes think that I would have been better off had I gone with Wordpress from the beginning. I also fear moving.

    I do not participate in blog tours but I agree that that their policy is unreasonable and it restricts ones's freedom.

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Brian!

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, BRIAN!! :D :D :D

      You're very welcome for the mention!! You're one of those GREAT bloggers who always comments and comments back, plus your blog posts are ALWAYS interesting and thought-provoking, as are your comments. :D :D

      Thank you SO much for your compliments on my blog design!! I certainly worked a lot on it!! When I first started blogging, I tried out several different Blogger templates and backgrounds. I finally settled on the Picture Window template. And I fell in love with this background when I first saw it!! The only thing missing was the header. I tried creating several, but, not having any knowledge of PhotoShop, I couldn't achieve the effects I wanted. I did my best with Picasa, which was a photo editing feature provided by Google. I stress the word "was", because Google has phased it out..... Now I have to search for another such feature on the Web. And Picasa was free, too....

      Well, anyway......Then I met Jennifer Johnson, and asked her to design a header and blog button for me. I LOVE the results!! Plus, they fit in PERFECTLY with the rest of my design!!

      SO I really appreciate that you love my blog design! You know, I recently received a direct message on Twitter from someone -- I won't say who -- who actually told me that they had some suggestions on how I could "improve" the look of my blog, so I could get more readers! And I never even asked for this person's opinion!! Needless to say, I totally ignored this message. Lol. So your praise for my blog design really means a LOT to me!! <3 <3

      Yes, most of us in the Book Blogger Hop have mentioned the book blogging community. It IS fantastic!! I treasure my blogging friendships, Brian! Bloggers like you, Elizabeth, and the others I've mentioned really make it rewarding to blog about books!

      Yeah, maybe it would have been better for me to have gone with Wordpress from the beginning, but, well, it's really too late now. I do NOT want to have to give up my blog design! And I'm glad you agree about their absurd policy on blog tours. They shouldn't be restricting bloggers' freedom like that.

      Thank you SO much for such a thoughtful, WONDERFUL comment!! Hope you have a great weekend, too!! <3 :D

      Delete

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