books, discussion

The Hiatus Is Over: Changes To This Blog

Hey y’all! Guess who’s back? Me!

(Please ignore the fact that every time I have made a similar post to this in the past I immediately dropped off the face of the earth again.)

If you’ve followed me for a bit, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting regularly at least once a week lately, in stark contrast to my mostly accidental multi-month hiatus. from previously (look, college is a busy time).

But, this post is about a renewed commitment to this blog and some of the changes I’ll. b making!


Why

Well for one thing, I started this blog in 2015, when I was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. This blog is pretty chaotically designed, and honestly I tried to hard to be bubblier and more interesting when I started this blog that a lot of my posts are filled with random, fake-sounding fluff. Though I might think it looks worse than it actually does because its categorically impossible to not think of the things you did at 15 as at least slightly cringey (even if cringe culture is dead).  I’m trying to be a bit better about being myself going forward. And also proofreading my writing, because apparently five years ago I just…didn’t.

There are some blog-specific reasons I want to revamp this blog, but honestly? Reason #1 is probably that in a year or so I will be applying to medical school, and I want this blog to look at least semi-professional if I want to put it anywhere near my medical school applications. This blog is a big part of my life, and a fairly comprehensive showing of my personality and interests. I just want admissions officers to see this blog as a reflection of my current self (and age), rather than just as a reflection of my high school self.

Some of my mistakes with this blog have been:

  • General blogging Mistakes – poor design, editing, grammar, graphics
  • Inconsistent blogging
  • Saying YES to too many reviews 
  • Netgalley OverLoad
  • Not Being A Good Community Member (I rarely find time to comment and blog hop and I want to work on that)
  • Being bad at posting reviews 

And I want to work on correcting as many of the as possible!


How

So, we went through the reasons WHY I want to change up this blog, now its time to get into HOW this blog will change (because an actionable plan is a necessary first step to change!).

First, I will be playing around with new themes and organization for this blog. I might change up the pages,  the menus, the side bars etc. Because honestly, this blog has changed once, pretty impulsively, in the 5 years since I started it, and both my taste and by generally capability for design have changed and improved over the years. I will also be making new pages, such as a review directory, and be rewriting pages such as my review policy.

I want to make this blog more accessible, and also just look better in general. I welcome all and any feedback, and if something just looks bad/clunky/worse or difficult to navigate, then let me know!

Next, these going to be some changes to old posts. There are over 900 posts on this blog, and a lot of them are what I see as “filler” from when I tried really hard to post for the sake of posting, and tried to churn out posts as fast as I could without a great eye for quality. I know more now, and I’m a better writer. I want this blog to look professional, and be functional. So, I am going to be deleting/archiving any old posts that I deem irredeemable (aka, bad posts with low view counts that no one wants to read anyway). Posts with a good idea and bad execution will likely be edited, though not completely rewritten. Stuff like tags, discussions and reviews will be left alone because they are a reflection of my interests and abilities at the time they are written, and I think I owe it to my younger self to let her opinions be out in the world. She worked hard after all.

I also want to generally be a better reader, and read more diversely and more oftenStephanie @ Adventures of a Bibliophile has a really awesome post about this that I highly recommend checking out!

Part of being a better reader is highlighting book recommendations by authors of color, queer authors and other own voices authors. I am also in the process of making a review directory, and I’m hoping to be able to highlight within that directory what books offer what type of representation.


So with all these changes, some bigger than others, what will this blog become?

Well, its still a book blog, thats not changing. I’ve expanded this blog from being just about books to also being about comics, and TV shows and just my general interests which gear towards the nerdy and academic. I’m thinking about blogging more about college, life, and research (and medical school when I get there). So let me know what you all think of that.

I will still be focusing on YA books as well. Even though I’m 20 now, I still. gravitate more to YA than anything else.  There will be the odd adult novel, or classic, or other genre I review or blog about, but I think YA is for any age (and despite what some people and publishers think, 20 years old is still a young adult). Its really a weird feeling having been in the community since I was so young (I started reading book blogs when I was 12/13-ish and started blogging at 15) and now being seen as an adult even if I don’t always feel like one.


Feedback Requested

So there’s a couple of things I’d like some feedback about as well.

For one thing, I’ve always been pretty bad with a lot of “classic” book blog post types. I rarely post reviews (though its something I plan on working on), and I rarely, near never, post wrap-ups, TBRs, 5-Star predications, reading challenges or other similar post types. So my questions are:

Are you guys interested in backlist reviews? Even if the reviews are short because I read the book months (or even years) ago?

Are any of the “classic” book blog post types that I tend to avoid something you’d like me to start doing?

What weekly/monthly book blogging memes or features do you want me to start doing? Or resume doing?


Posting Schedule

So, if you’ve been around my blog for a while, you might now that I am notoriously bad at sticking to a posting schedule. I manage it for a couple of months, and then everything crumbles into dust.

However, I’m thinking of using school breaks to schedule a larger bulk of posts, and weekends to schedule/touch up each week or two in advance, and overall be a more active blog again. Without a schedule, I’m worried it’ll be too easy to completely drop this blog again.

So I have some options and I’d like y’alls’ opinion on which schedule I should have / try to stick to.

Schedule Option 1: The Specific

This is the most consistent and classically “proper” book blogging schedule from what I can tell, but its also the one thats likely to fall apart the fastest, if I’m being honest.

  • MondayBookish Discussion; once a month
  • Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday (TTT)
  • WednesdayBook Review (Recent Read OR Backlist OR Mini-Reviews)
  • ThursdayBookish Baking (first week of the month), Throwback Thursday (second week of the month, when I have one to post), or Adulting 101 (third week of the month)
  • FridayThemed Book Recommendation or other miscellaneous post
  • SaturdayTags when necessary/tagged in something
  • SundayTBRs, Wrap-Ups, 5-Star Predications, Reading Challenges, etc. when appropriate

Schedule Option 2: The Flexible

This schedule has all the elements of the more specific schedule above, but with less pressure baked into it, lessening the possibility of me burning myself out.

  • MondayBookish Discussion; once a month
  • TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday (TTT) OR another book recommendation type post; when I have an idea or like the topic
  • Wednesday – Book Review (Recent Read OR Backlist OR Mini-Reviews)
  • Thursday – Other feature such as Bookish Baking, Throwback Thursday, or Adulting 101; most weeks but likely not all
  • FridayThemed Book Recommendation or other miscellaneous posts (including: TBRs, Wrap-Ups, 5-Star Predications, Reading Challenges, etc. if I decide to do these); when I have an idea (not forced)
  • SaturdayTags when necessary/tagged in something
  • Sundaynot likely to ever have posts

Schedule Option 3:  The Low-Pressure 

AKA, the least consistent option. Will probably be the easiest to stick to but might also be the least interesting/engaging. Might end up with periods of more posts/engagement and periods with less.

This is the schedule I’m leaning most towards, but I would love feedback on how to refine it and make it better. Are all these post types something y’all want to see? Is something missing?

  • MondayBookish Discussion; first Monday of the month
  • TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday when I particularly like a topic
  • WednesdayReview or book recommendation post each week
  • Thursday – not likely to ever have posts
  • Friday – A miscellaneous post at least once a month
  • Saturdaytags when necessary/tagged in something
  • Sunday – not likely to ever have posts

Please tell me which schedule you think would be best / most interesting!


New Blog Graphics!

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RiverMoose Reads78


The Elephant In The Room

Ads and Affiliate Links

So, this blog has never been monetized. When I started, I wasn’t old enough to have my own PayPal account or any other means of monetization, as most methods require you to be 18 (in the USA at least). And by the time I turned 18, it seemed like a lot of work at a time when I wasn’t as dedicated to this blog as I used to be.

I haven’t decided if I will monetize this blog yet, and I wanted to know your thoughts on it. For one thing, this wouldn’t happen unless I feel I can keep up with my passion and dedication to this. blog through the end of college and into medical school in two years. But, monetization might give me a little extra money to make this blog better, like my own domain, and nicer graphics.

But I will be fully transparent about this if and when it happens.


Just as a heads up,  this post likely isn’t going to have been posted until a lot of these changes are already complete, or at the very least largely underway so that I don’t get caught up in other projects and leave this blog hanging again. I’ll also likely have at least a month or so of buffer posts written and scheduled before the changes go live.

4 thoughts on “The Hiatus Is Over: Changes To This Blog”

  1. Welcome back! I am also revamping my blogging life going into this new year (and I may or may not completely forget about this goal in a month lol).

    I’m so impressed that you’ve kept the same blog since you were 15. I was the kid who went through 5 different screen names (RIP AIM) and tumblr names and whatever else, so I admire your dedication. It’s easy to look back and cringe at what we used to sound like, but I think there’s something to be said for having blogged at all! We’re all always growing, and that’s part of the process. I’m trying to give myself grace with my blog as well and let go of guilting myself for inconsistency.

    My vote is for schedule # 2, the flexible one. I think it’s good to have an outline of where you want to go, but also build in room if you’re just not feeling something. For me personally, reviews are really hard to write. I’m giving myself one review a week going forward, but I reserve the right to skip or post a backlist review from books I read in years past. You might also try bullet reviews if you’re feeling burnt out – those saved me from not posting at all in 2020! I love the graphics btw. Looking forward to following your journey again ❤

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  2. My vote is for “Low Pressure.” From my personal experience, I hated the pressure of sticking to a schedule, I like posting when I want to post not when others expect me to post. As for monetization, it’s something that I have thought about myself but a fellow blogger brought to my attention that bloggers only make $10 a year which to me isn’t worth monetizing my blog. I also love the new graphics you’ve designed.

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  3. Welcome back Sam! I don’t know if I’ve commented on your posts before, but I’ve been following you for awhile. You’re blogging journey reminds me a lot of mine (I started in 2015 as a college freshman with NO idea of what I was even doing and not really now either), and I really appreciate what you’re trying to do with this blog and can’t wait to see how you go about making changes and continuing blogging.

    These graphics here are very beautiful, and I think they’ll do great at attracting new readers. Also as a recent college grad myself, I love seeing how real life balances with others close in age, and I’d love to see you talk more about your college and life going-ons!

    Personally, I think you should post what you’re comfortable with, and don’t worry about stressing yourself out with posts you don’t enjoy or don’t want to write. Each blog is unique, after all. Flexible or a low pressure schedules are definitely easier to adhere to, and it would give you a chance to play around with different types of posts or days to posts. I do think even back-listed reviews could be nice, since some readers tend to prefer shorter review!

    I wish you the best in your blogging/reading/schooling this year. Can’t wait to see how things go, and hopefully I’ll find myself interacting with you more on here! (I am also bad at being a part of the community.)

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  4. Glad you’re back! And thanks for sharing my post – I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Personally, I’d go with the flexible schedule. I’ve realized recently that anything else isn’t worth the stress and my stats don’t change all that much when I post more often. Don’t make school miserable for yourself trying to post every day. And post whatever you feel like posting! I find it more enjoyable to read when bloggers are passionate about a subject, and I know I enjoy writing those posts more, personally. Good luck with whatever you decide! Just remember this is supposed to be fun 😊

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