Kernels of Nonsense: I’ve Been Bad, Bad Book Blogger

Welcome to another edition of Kernels of Nonsense. Here I discuss random bookish and blogging topics and hopefully start a dialogue with you. As always, it’s the beginning of the year and so I am aiming to do more of these posts, but only time will tell. Today I’m discussing reasons why I am a bad book blogger. These are aspects of book blogging I often see other people excel at and in which I fall short. These are areas where I’d personally like to do better, but more often than not, I miss the mark. Hope you enjoy this self-deprecating post and maybe it will make you feel a little more comfortable sharing a few of your blogger failings with me.

1. I Suck at Blog Hopping

Do you know how much I appreciate the bloggers who consistently comment on my posts? I appreciate them so much. They make me feel heard and make me feel like I am doing something right as a book blogger. I try my best to always comment back and usually succeed. The problem is me initiating the interaction. There are days when I am exhausted replying to comments and commenting back or I’ve just finished putting together a post, and when I think about blog hopping, I have nothing left in the mental gas tank. I do manage to do some blog hopping throughout the month, but it’s never as much as I want to do.

2. I’m Not a Bookstagrammer or on Facebook, Nor Do I Have a YouTube Channel

Anyone who knows anything about book blogging knows that right now Instagram is the place to be. Way back when I first got into social media, tumblr became my home and though tumblr is all but dead, I still find myself using the app whenever I snap a few bookish pictures. I never made the leap to Instagram and now it feels too late. I also know I lack the talent, imagination, and time required to take good enough pictures for the place anyway. I am one of the few people who has never been on Facebook, not even for my blog. Booktubers are a big thing as well. Sometimes it feels like this is where publishers are willing to invest time and money and us traditional book bloggers get left in the dust. While I don’t think I’d be bad in front of a camera (that’s a lie; who even likes their face?), I am kind of a perfectionist and I can see myself obsessing over the little things in a video and then scrapping the whole thing because I’m so dissatisfied. I don’t know if I’m missing out not being on these platforms, but every time a publisher asked for numbers for these, I feel like I am.

3. I Don’t Interact Enough on Twitter

I actually do have a Twitter account, but I always feel like I’m not very good at it. Some people are so good at shouting about their favorite books all the time and I feel productive if I mention them once or twice. I’m terrible at interacting on Twitter as well. I do a decent amount (this is the lie I tell myself), but let me tell you, there are an innumerable amount of times where I have typed up a reply and then promptly deleted it. In fact, I often type up tweets and then end up deleting them. I have the most fun on Twitter when I do bookish chats, but it never feels like I do enough throughout the year.

4. I Don’t Come Up With Original Blogging Ideas Throughout the Year

You know those bloggers who are super creative and they have some incredibly unique series of posts going on at one time or another? How do they do it? Sometimes I’ve got nothing and it just feels like my blog is staying afloat with the same ol’ memes and reviews. I’d love to incorporate more original content, but I lack the graphic designer skills, I can’t put together a playlist because I’m still obsessively listening to only Hamilton, and any readathons or blog ideas I have crumble in my head at the very thought that no one will end up joining. Any original ideas I do have are just being recycled by me every year, so they aren’t new.

5. I Struggle All the Time With Reviewing

I’m like a little boat that keeps sputtering and sputtering and can’t quite get itself to move forward. Reviewing is something I really do enjoy, but it’s also the most difficult aspect of blogging in my opinion. I can put together a meme post real quick and even this post right here is taking less time than most of my mini-review posts. Perhaps it is because I am a perfectionist that I struggle so much with the reviews. Sometimes it’s that first sentence I can’t quite find the words for, other times I am lost trying to find the right words for a synopsis, and sometimes I just lack any kind of motivation required to write a full review. Mini-reviews have helped in this area, but I still kind of feel like a failure when I’m not pumping out a decent amount of full reviews throughout the month.

Bonus: A few blogging activities that I’ve always been interested in, but usually fail to join because I’m so good at being a bad book blogger – blog tours, readathons, author interviews, street teams, book conferences, and author signings.

Do these failings sounds familiar? Do you have any advice at getting better in any of these areas? Any blogging failure you’d like to get off of your chest? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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58 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense: I’ve Been Bad, Bad Book Blogger

  1. I completely identify with every point you make! This is the first time in two days I even opened up WordPress and I am generally pretty awful about comment 95% of the time. I just often don’t feel like I have much to say (this comment is an anomaly). The only social media I do with the blog is twitter and I suck at it. I would absolutely never do booktube. I think I came up with one non-review, non-recap, non-meme post last year. And the other day I sat down to write a review and it had been like a month since I tried and it took me FOREVER because every single thing I said was stupid.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t even mention my bloglovin’ feed, but you just reminded me that I haven’t looked at it in foreeeever. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with original ideas. I remember it being easier when I was a newbie, so maybe the more you blog, the less you have to say. That’s kind of horrifying. *laughing through tears*

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is definitely relatable! (Let’s not even talk about the fact that I haven’t blogged in over half a year.) I do have an IG account, though, because it’s easier to manage. You don’t even have to have amazing photos. I just like that the pace is faster, the reviews are shorter, and I interact there more than anywhere else. I’m a flop at Twitter as well. Honestly, I mostly use it for following news.
    I also struggle with reviews. I’m amazed at how many you write. Like you, they take me ages, since I’m a perfectionist too. That’s one of the reasons I like IG. I either write short reviews or no reviews, just “this book is amazing” and still manage to convince people to read things.
    I get far more recommendations from IG these days than from blogs. Yours is one of only maybe two where I actually still read the reviews. 🙈

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now I wish I was Instagram, so I could interact with you more. Sometimes it feels like I’m just on Twitter as a way to keep up with everything and not interacting. I used to write around seven reviews a month, now it’s more like four or five. I don’t know how I did it. I’m so honored that you’ve stuck with me, Maraia.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Commenting back and blog hopping is something I want to do more but right now life is hard and I struggle! Twitter is my least favorite social media and Instagram my favorite! Now writing review is either very easy either …daunting!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, your aesthetic is lovely. I can’t figure out how to make my blog pretty to save a life.
    I wouldn’t worry too much about social media; if you don’t enjoy those platforms it shows. But if you’re worried about twitter I’ve seen some nice threads where they comment about the book they’re reading every couple of chapters; thoughts and quotes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Honestly, it took a while for me make graphics that felt like me. And I’m kind of nervous to ever give the blog a makeover. I don’t know if I’d be able to create good enough graphics again. Canva was a lifesaver when I was a blogger newbie.

      That’s a good idea. I think if I consistently talk about what I am reading it will feel like I have an actual Twitter presence rather than just RTing stuff. Thanks for the advice!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Girlfriend everything you listed is a full-time job. I tried bookstagtamming for a while but it took up so much time and money. And if I didn’t have that time/money for bookstagram, I definitely don’t have it for youtube.

    I’m a hit or a miss for blog hopping and Twitter. Some days I live on Twitter and other days I’m not on it for weeks. I try to blog hop on my commute as well, but that depends on how tired I am.

    So keep doing what you’re doing l, you’re doing amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 1. Blog hopping is challenging. I’m constantly culling the list of who I visit. There are people who come to Grab the Lapels for my discussion posts, and that’s it. Should I read ALL of their posts because they stop by for one type of my posts? Eh. And some people write posts about how they loved a book so much they can’t add anything to the conversation or know what to write, and I think, “then why am I reading this?” Blog hopping is hard because you want to honor your time and friends equally.

    2. I try to switch it up on Facebook and post bookish memes, and that gets more people paying attention, but according to my stats, they’re not visiting GTL to read a post afterward, so I don’t know why I do it. I also don’t understand Bookstagram. Isn’t it literally just a picture? And it everyone is taking a PICTURE of the book, what’s the point?? The YouTube Channel folks I don’t follow because I can’t be putting head phones on randomly, and I definitely blog hop randomly.

    3. It seems like everyone is selling something on Twitter, even if it’s their own reviews.

    4. Not sure what you mean.

    5. I TAUGHT how to write a book review in college for 10 years, and I still struggle with it. Writing is hard. Period.

    Bonus: the only reason I do readings is because I’ve done them for so long, and I live in college towns where readers come all the time. Granted, they’re not mega famous people.

    WE’RE WITH YOU!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Blog hopping is so hard. It’s not something I ever considered before becoming a blogger. I am the wrong person to give info on Instagram. I have no idea and I don’t have an account, so I don’t really know what goes on over there. I don’t watch Booktube because I honestly can read a post faster than watching a video. It’s comforting to know these aren’t just areas where I struggle and that every blogger wishes they could be better. Just feeling the pressure a little more as of late.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wrote a post that I think captured some of your (and other bloggers’) concerns that’s scheduled for tomorrow.

        I also did not know about blog hopping when I started. I had a built-in audience at first: all the small-press authors whose books I read shared my reviews to hundreds of people on Facebook for me.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I pretty much am right there with you on all of these. I check my Feedly each day, but I only comment, when I feel like I have something to say. I have my Sunday Post people, my TTT/CWW/STS people, and reviews when I know something about the book. Twitter is really the only place I try. I used to interact on GR a lot and really miss it, but time! I was 4 reviews in the hole yesterday. I caught up and then I finished another book. I just didn’t know what to say! I admire those awesome content creators, that’s not me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have a Facebook page for my blog, but it’s still fairly new and I don’t use it as much as I should. I’m on Instagram, but it was a personal Insta before I added Bookstagram type of stuff, so it’s really just a mix and I’m okay with that. I’m not on Youtube. I would not do well making videos, and I don’t really care to watch videos, so nope. LOL

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ugh girl, I feel you so hard! It’s been especially bad for me since I took my blogging hiatus. Now, I cant’ bring myself to chat people up as often on Twitter, and my blog hopping (as well as responding to comments on my own blog) is practically dead. D: If only I had better time management skills, this could be doable, but my lazy-ass self is not letting me do that. 😂

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Twitter’s been the biggest struggle for me (okay, really Instagram, because my camera skills are limited) in part because I’ve lived so long avoiding actually tweeting. I’ve been a serial lurker, but now I must shout from the rooftops! I’m getting the hang of it, but I’m having to unlearn so many of my habits.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I definitely agree with you on a lot of these. Coming up with original content is HARD. I try to do something on Mondays that isn’t a meme or review, and right now I’m running out of ideas! I’m not great with social media, I’ve never done Twitter and I only just joined Instagram. I don’t think it’s too late for you to join! My pictures are nowhere near perfect, but I still have fun with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I feel you on all of these. And it really shows on my blog traffic how much of an invisible kid I am in the community. But either way, I still do what I can. I’m trying to get back bookstagram but I can’t get satisfied with my photos so my feed is all over the place. but it’s definitely never to late to join the fun 🙂 I also struggle with reviewing as a whole and my reviews don’t get a lot of traffic. So I’m working on switching to mini-reviews instead. but they’re also taking forever. hahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Oh my gosh Alicia, you are being way too hard on yourself!!!! But I understand because I feel similarly about so much- I know my blog is not one of the most creative ones out there, and I feel like my reviews all start to sound the same if I’m not careful… plus I have not been great at blog hopping either. It does take way more mental energy that you’d think! As far as IG, I love it but def use it on the more casual side. Not all bookstagrammy. And I AM GLAD I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE STILL OBSESSIVELY LISTENING TO HAMILTON! Lol! I think your blog is wonderful and you should give yourself a break ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But it’s just so easy to be hard on oneself, haha. Yes, blog hopping is so draining, especially if you’ve been working on the blog beforehand and there are just so many blogs! I honestly can’t remember the last time I downloaded a new album. I just play Hamilton on Amazon Music over and over, haha. Thank you. I think this post is my first step to letting go of these shortcomings.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I try to keep up, too, but always fall behind because I do have a life…though it often doesn’t seem that way. I have trouble writing reviews unless I launch into them right away after reading a book. If I delay for any time, I usually lose interest in reviewing the book because I’m on to something else.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I struggle hardcore with the review aspect of my blog. I keep telling myself that I’ll only get better at reviews through writing them, but I feel like my reviews are of lower quality than some of my other posts and I hate putting bad stuff out there. Really, I need to just keep at it, but it can definitely be difficult.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Reviewing is hard. I do wonder if we kind of set ourselves up for failure because we are always reviewing. Wondering if choosing to review less would help with that burnout feeling. Changing the formula to how you review might help. I love having a mini-review option for myself. I think in October, all I wrote were mini-reviews.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. I think you are a good, good book blogger. None of that makes you a bad one. ❤
    I struggle with blog hopping and replying to comments. It can take me up to 2 weeks at the moment. It is what it is. I try and schedule in some time every week but other things get in the way or my mood is bad. What does help is having a place where you can safe the posts you want to read to come back to. I do it on my email and on feedly. That way they don't get lost in the sea of blog posts.
    I've been on bookstagram for a while but trust me, it isn't as fun as it used to be. Mine is slowly dying to be honest. I can't find the motivation.
    Twitter is so difficult sometimes. I delete a lot of typed replies too. I'd love to do more bookish chats on there but they always tend to be in the middle of the night so I rarely can participate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Annemieke, I so appreciate it. Yes, I have a post from a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t get a chance to reply to all the comments. Feeling kind of guilty about it. I’ve heard lots of issues with Instagram, which makes me hesitate. I might just give it a try though. My issue with chats is they are at the end of the day when I’m already feeling drained. I wish there were more on the weekends.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Wow, this resonates. Reviewing has lately been been taking me 80 million years lately (okay, fine, it’s always taken me forever). I’ve been working on a review of The Wicked King for… almost a week? The tab has been an open tab forever.

    I go through phases of intense demotivation, sometimes which doesn’t help. (My most intense dubious blogging move was going on an unexpected hiatus for 8 months… I’m trying not to look at it as a failure, I think I needed to recharge?)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sometimes I spend up way too many days getting a review together because I can’t get started. It’s always easier to write them in your head than typing them up. I hope you find the right words for your Wicked King review. I think it’s definitely okay to let yourself recharge. I try to take breaks even if I don’t necessarily feel like I need them. It’s so easy to burn out.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I am definitely right there with you on so many of these! I am pretty good at blog hopping, but I am completely shite at any and all social media related events. Anytime someone RTs something I post, I feel so great and I’m like, “I should do that, too! Spread the world of blogs I love!” and then I never do, because I don’t think I’m on social media enough? I can’t even pretend to be talented enough to be a Bookstagrammer or confident enough to be a BookTuber, that’s for sure. And I wish I could make better graphics for my site, but it’s just not in my area of expertise!

    For what it’s worth, I have always enjoyed your blog. It’s a joy to read and I think your posts are always so engaging and interesting! Plus, your layout is gorgeous, so I’m really glad I follow your blog! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right? Some people are so good at social media and I just feel like I’m accomplishing something by just being on a platform. I appreciate your kind words so much. Thank you. Sometimes I want to change up how the blog looks, but I’m afraid I can’t produce something that looks as good. I also wish I was better with graphics.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 100% yes, definitely agree with this. I also don’t know where everyone gets the time to be so involved in multiple platforms on social media. I’m lucky to even try! I understand that, too! I have no doubt it’ll look just as great if you decide to mix it up (maybe one day, we’ll both level up with graphics. One day).

        Liked by 2 people

  19. I think a lot of bloggers will sympathize with these struggles!! I ADORE blogging (and I think we’ve both been doing it for about 5 years now!) but it’s a LOT of work to do all the associated social media, blog hop, attend events, read + review, etc. and it does seem like a lot of the pub interaction goes to booktube, which I would LOVE to do but I just don’t have the time right now (maybe one day!) I have to remind myself often that this is for FUN and shouldn’t be overwhelming (though it can be if I miss one weekend of creating content/interacting/social media, since I do most of my blogging related activities on Saturday/Sunday)

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I painfully relate to everything you’ve listed 100% 😭 As much as I want to join the bookstagram community, I simply do not have the skills needed to survive there. And I totally relate to having a hard time coming up with original blogging ideas. I rarely do posts other than book reviews, memes and blog tours/blitz/cover reveals. I am the least creative person in the world, I swear! 😂 Also, I wouldn’t have thought that you find reviewing books challenging! I mean, I constantly read your book reviews and I always find them riveting & always helpful. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I feel like bookstagram is super hard to break into. I wouldn’t even know where to start. It can really feel like you aren’t creative enough when there are sooo many talented bloggers. I personally wish I could do graphics for different books. That always seems really cool to me. That’s so sweet! I appreciate it so much. I pour a lot of blood and sweat into those reviews, figuratively speaking, haha.

      Liked by 2 people

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