Thursday, August 24, 2017

Think Different, Blog Different

I've finally taken some time to think about what's been missing for me when it comes to blogging, how I can refresh and revamp the content here, and what will make me happy to blog again.

First, the setbacks:

  • No interest in writing book reviews (most of the time)
  • Reading is not always consistent 
  • Blogging is less immediate than other platforms: Twitter, Insta, etc. 
  • Doing a lot of things besides bookishness (teaching, Etsy, cross stitch)
  • Annoying that my Internet life is spread out everyyyywhere
  • Want to feel more challenged/creative
  • Want the process of content creation to feel less formal
  • Don't always have time to sit down and write a post
What IS floating my boat right now? 
  • Watching creative, wide-ranging content like vlogs (follow-me-around, slice o'life videos)
  • Productivity tools
  • Tools that curate and synthesize pieces of the Internets
So what does that mean for this blog? 
  • A mix of content (I know this is fine with y'all...but I'm not always good at it)
  • Tools that bring things together here: Storify, YouTube vids, plug-ins)
  • A loose schedule: weekly vlogs, something bookish, something NOT bookish (most likely related to teaching, technology, crafting, etc.)
For the first time in ages, I'm EXCITED to blog. When it comes to changing things up, Bout of Books 20 is a good example. My old format, one post of updates here that I would edit every day throughout the event, did not appeal at all. My natural inclination is to post about the event on a variety of platforms: photos on Instagram, quick, on-the-fly updates on Twitter (along with discussion with other participants). The downside (for me personally) of doing the old one-blog-post-updated format is that it's conventional and I've been doing that for a very long time, and it doesn't pull things together in an interesting way that I'll remember. 

I chose Storify to pull all the platforms together. I can easily add text, images, pull posts from Instagram, Twitter, and all over the web. And an additional plus is that Storify has updated their platform since the last time I used it. It's super easy to embed, update, and re-order the elements of a story. 

I'm not breaking any major ground here, but it does feel great to re-evaluate at a deeper level. To really sit, think, and brainstorm. To figure out exactly what's been wrong and attempt to fix it. We'll see just how it goes! 

Have you had any ideas for refreshing your own blog experience? I'd love to know what you have in mind!


27 comments:

  1. I changed things up a little bit at the first of the year and, for now, it's working for me. I happy to see you invigorated!

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    1. It's almost a relief, isn't it, when you do a little change, at how good it feels!

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    2. I'm so glad it's working for you! It is kind of amazing how tweaks can help us feel refreshed.

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  2. I'm really glad I saw you talking about this on twitter (see, multiplatform thing is real -- I'm far more active on twitter than other places! but I digress...) because it's made me sit down and re-evaluate how I want to blog, too. I don't want a ton of videos but am intrigued now by the idea of a vlog -- esp b/c my straight up book review blog thing is just boring. I don't think readers like it, and I'm not sure I'm doing myself any favors.

    I've really gotten back into a lot my old "woo woo" stuff -- like tarot and kitchen witchery -- and I want to talk about it more. I'd been back-and-forth-ing on creating a separate blog for that, but ugh, like I have the time! so I'm going to try to integrate on the blog currently. I mean, my instagram really holds all my diverse interests already (books, tarot, food, knitting, my kid, cats...) so why can't other places? And I almost always get the most engagement on the posts that are books AND more personal me stuff ... so why don't I do that more?

    Anyway, thank you for being so open about this b/c you inspired me and I'm really grateful.

    Also -- link me some of your favorite vlogs?

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    1. This is such an awesome comment, Audra! Thank you for taking the time. Videos are surely not for everyone, but I'm actually finding them easier to create than most other content at the moment. It's not terribly formal (I actually don't like making very formal videos), and the longest commitment throughout the week is the editing time on Sunday. It usually takes me 30 mins to an hour to string all the clips together and do some trimming.

      I think it's great that you're considering including some tarot and kitchen witchery. I know I always appreciate getting to know bloggers beyond books, and I can definiely say I'd love to learn more about you and your interests! I've tried the separate blog thing, and it just doesn't work for me. Written content takes enough time as it is. lol

      You inspired me to draft a fave vloggers post for next week! I think it'll go up on Tuesday, so I'll tag you when it comes out. <3

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  3. I love the energy and enthusiasm in your post and hope some of it rubs off on me. I continue to think about blogging and all the posts I want to compose (book related and travel/photo essays), but I just can't seem to carve out any time! Between our travels and having visitors, I find I'm just not at the computer nearly as much as I used to be. Maybe all this will change when it starts raining?! Good luck, Andi. I love following your blog no matter what your style.

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    1. Thanks so much, Les! It definitely sounds like you have your hands full, and they're such wonderful changes. I've been loving the pics of all your goings-on. I want to come visit you! lol

      I hope you can find the time to post more when things settle in and the rain drives you indoors. <3

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  4. Yay for changing things up. Do what excites you. I'm not a video watcher but the mix of content here and on other social media is just fun!

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    1. Thank youuuuu! I think it's fun too. I'm glad others do as well!

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  5. Yay - so glad you'll be back in whatever form that takes!

    I've been kicking around how to move forward with my blog as well. Tried out a personalized book recommendation service that I'd like to eventually make a paid service...not at the moment b/c moving is sucking up all my time, but hopefully sometime in the next year I'd like to move forward with it. In whatever format it ends up taking.

    I'm also trying to figure out how to focus more on bookish community rather than me just spitting out what I think about every book I read. And full length book reviews are dwindling for me. Except huge books that I don't like (i.e. A Gentleman in Moscow) - my contrarian reviews of those tend to do well, weirdly!

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    1. Thank you for this awesome post, Sarah! I love long comments. <3

      I've loved your moving pics, and I'm so excited for you and your BUILT IN BOOKSHELVES! hahah I'm also really excited for your paid rec service. I think you would absolutely rock that, and I hope it works out wonderfully well.

      Gosh yes! Community! That's what I've missed the most about not blogging, and it's why I'm trying to re-focus in SOME way. I get snippets of those relationships around the interwebs, but it's just not the same. And yes! Those contrarian reviews, honestly, are so much fun to read! I love them myself. :D

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  6. Yay I'm glad to see that you're not moving on totally. But - did you notice you put "loose schedule" followed by "weekly" vlog :0)

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    1. HAAA! Yes, I thought about re-wording that, but the "weekly vlog" term is more about how long I take the clips rather than how often I post them. lol So weekly vlogs are a collection of clips from a week of my life vs daily vlogs that would be clips from every since day (can't do that). I don't mind too much if I get behind and don't post them every week.

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    2. "Every SINGLE day." I hate typos!

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  7. It's like we share a brain! I want to get back into blogging too but at my own pace. I was thinking of talking about a book I read but I'm not rushing to write a post. I want to change how I blog too. I can't see myself vlogging though.

    I've been watching a lot of YouTube. Mostly cross stitching, knitting, and crocheting videos. It's turning me into an online shopaholic though!

    I think maybe if I keep seeing more of the old timers blogging again, it might jolt me back into it. I'm so glad you're dipping your toe back in!

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    1. We do share a brain. We totally do. There's no one I'd rather share a brain with, in fact. I've been dipping into cross stitch and embroidery videos, mostly to find out how to do stitches I'm not already familiar with. It's an addiction!

      It would definitely help me to see more of the old timers blogging. I miss everyone, and it's like almost everyone has stopped!

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  8. I've been thinking lately about whether I want to continue on for much longer or how to do it. I don't have many ideas yet but know that just writing review posts isn't making me excited/interested anymore. I've just been doing it for too long! I guess we'll see if I come up with a brilliant idea to keep it alive or just let it go and stick to twitter/instagram for my book community. :P

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    1. I hope you can come up with some motivation and some ways to tweak your process so it's more fun! Don't worry about it if you're stuck. I do love Insta for a good fix.

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  9. I'm impressed just that you would take the time to reevaluate, let alone come up with such sweeping realizations. It makes me want to do the same thing...but I probably won't!

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    1. Thank you! I'm pretty stoked about it, and it happened all at once. I've wanted to re-evaluate for a long time, but it just swept me up in the past week, and now I'm bursting with ideas. Whoa! Just riding the wave! lol

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  10. I'm all for changing it up. Granted, I don't think I've made sweeping changes in years, but I enjoy and appreciate when others do so!

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    1. We've all gotta do what we feel like, right? Because this is supposed to be fun! I just had no idea how the election would put me in the dirt. It's good to feel creative again.

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  11. I have also felt like this, but I don't know what the solution for me would be. I don't want to write book reviews anymore. The community, for me, has changed too much.

    I'm glad you have found a solution for yourself. Excited to read your new content!

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  12. I can't write those in-depth book reviews anymore. Just.Can't.Do.It. So I've switched to a once-a-week mini review thing, in which I say what I want to with no particular format. Still like sharing my photo on Wednesdays. Still like talking about food stuff on Saturday. For the other days, I've gotten into roundups -- mostly as a way for me to remember what I want to read or wish I had time to read. I've been surprised by how popular they are (getting many more hits than review posts). The best thing I did was stop worrying about posting on a schedule (except Saturday's Weekend Cooking).

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  13. Isn't it interesting that most of the long-term "book" bloggers have just tapped out when it comes to writing long reviews? Did it take us years to understand that writing those was seriously cutting into our time to read the damn books, let alone do all of the other things? I gave up on Tumblr a long time ago because there just isn't time for all of the platforms, let alone writing those long reviews. Good for you to find something that works for you and to continue to explore new options for communicating your thoughts.

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  14. I'm glad you're reworking how you blog so you can enjoy it more! I'm excited to see what you're doing differently here :)

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  15. This was a very timely post for me. I have been rethinking my blog quite a bit lately. I know that I want it to stay, but I need to feel excited again about it and get me back to writing on a regular basis. I miss the writing and the interactions.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blogger has been a beast lately, so I hope you do not have any troubles leaving your thoughts.

 
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