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#DiverseBGBloggers, #DiverseBookBloggers, blogging, board games, books, branding

Two Month Blogging Reflections

reflection

I have blogging since June of 2015, however I did not start blogging ‘seriously’ until of August of 2016. If you take a look at my archives, you will see how sporadically I blogged for the first year and a half and the changes I have made since this past August. In the beginning of August, I connected with some folks a part of the #DiverseBookBloggers community and asked for some advice on blogging. First, I rebranded, creating a logo, my blog Twitter handle, and an Instagram account. Then, I committed to a three post a week schedule, alternating between posts about board games and books. Around two to three months of doing this, I now have close to 300 Twitter followers and 80 blog subscribers.

Community

I want to thank the amazing community of board game content creators and book bloggers I have found in the past two months. Without my connections with #DiverseBookBloggers and key blogger/content creators who retweet, read, and comment on my blog, I do not think I could have sustained this momentum. I have met so many fantastic people through this experience (not in person yet!). Actually, this weekend I am attending the Granite Game Summit in New Hampshire and it will be the first time I will meet someone I am connected to on Twitter in real life – kind of scary and kind of awesome! I have a lot of love for my community. I have great conversations with you all and love reading your reviews, insights, and thoughts. By far, above everything else, the community I have found is the best thing to come out of blogging. I cannot thank you all enough.

Challenge of Board Games and Books

I have found a challenge in who is interested in my blog because my topical split between board games and books. I have thought about focusing on one but I have found I cannot let either go. I love books and I think I am a better book blogger in general. However, the fight for social justice in board gaming is just starting and I feel like I need to add my voice into the conversation. When I post about games, such as my response to Waka Tanka, I see the kind of impact I can have on a hobby I love. I eventually want to start a podcast on the topic of board games and social justice, but for now, I will continue to post at least once a week about board games.

Self-Care

Self-care is naturally hard for me because I realize my own socialization around worth and value – doing things for myself is not valued. Plus, most of my self-care revolves around board games and books, so naturally I am also on social media or blogs when taking care of myself. I have been on the brink of burning out a couple times in the past two months and I have great reminders from my partner and from my community that it is okay to put my blog down every now and then and take time I need doing other things, like clean my apartment. I have done a couple of thins to help out in my own care. I turned off Twitter, Instagram, Litsy, email, and Facebook notifications to my phone. I have also scheduled times for reading and writing (I fail utterly in the mornings to stick to these schedules) and I try to plan out my To Be Read lists the month in advance. When it comes to gaming, IΒ do not have a strict regiment mainly because I do not focus heavily on game reviews. All of this plus the support of my community and my partner has helped me stay relatively healthy through this process. After two months, I think three posts a week is very sustainable!

Social Media

I have found out that social media is a huge chunk of how successful bloggers connect and get their content out to the world. It is also the main source of online community for bloggers and readers alike. I went off the deep end with social media, diving into Twitter (2.6K tweets in the past 2 months), and recently creating a Facebook page for the blog. I am not really that great at Instagram and/or Litsy, but I do enjoy Litsy a bit more. Further, I have a personal Goodreads, but it is a mess and I really need to reorganize the library shelves. I am on every single one of those social media every single day, whether it’s to tweet my own stuff and thoughts or to help support others in my community. I still need to find adequate balance in my social media usage; however, I recognize it’s importance and attribute a lot of my growth in the past two months to the relationships I formed over Twitter.

The Future

I am excited for my blog moving forward. Like I mentioned above, I have been in a better habit at planning out my posts, my “To Be Read” lists for each month, and games to be played. Although I feel like my blog is more book heavy, I may start dabbling again in board game reviews more. Part of my goals moving forward is to change my game review structure to feel more like my book reviews. I have found the rigidity of my game reviews have really turned me off from doing them. In addition, I hope to have room for guest posts, blog events, and also author interviews. I have seen how insightful and wonderful both of these can be on blogs and I want to provide similar reading experiences for my audience. To straddle both of my focuses, I hope I can also add publisher, designer, and artist interviews as well as guest posts from other board game bloggers.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported my blog (and related content) over the past couple of months and a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported me in this effort over the past couple of years.

native-hawaiian

To go along with what I said about guest posts, author interviews, and blog events, I am happyΒ to announce my first attempt at a blogging event for the month of November and possibly beyond depending on how it goes. I plan to feature many posts highlighting Native Hawaiian authors #ownvoices through book reviews, author interviews, and guest posts. I am looking for submissions now. Please check it out!

Native Hawaiian #OwnVoices

 

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Discussion

19 thoughts on “Two Month Blogging Reflections

  1. So great to hear about your journey so far and especially glad to know that you’re able to mange your self care. I struggle with that a bit myself, so it’s always great to see someone who does well 😊 Three cheers and best wishes for the future!

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Vijayalakshmi Harish | October 17, 2016, 2:02 PM
  2. Brendon, I am so happy you are part of our community. You will always have my support and I wish you much success in your blog. For only being around a couple of months, you’re doing great! If you keep blogging consistently, promoting your blog by blog hopping, and building your social media brands, I think you’re blog will only keep growing!
    Social media is very important for any blog, but it can be a HUGE distraction for us. Honestly, I would be a much more productive reader and blogger if I didn’t spend so much time on SM. Hah! But without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So I have come to consider my time on Twitter as an investment on the future of my blog because a new Twitter follower could be a potential blog follower one day. It’s not guaranteed, but the promise is what keeps me Tweeting away! It’s also fun. πŸ™‚
    I think you should continue blogging about board games and books. If you can keep the momentum, you have the potential to gain two audiences for an even bigger following.

    I would like to help in your Native Hawaiian #OwnVoices project. If you provide a list of potential reads, I’d be happy to read one of the books and cross-post a review. I’ll do some research myself when I have the time.

    Good luck with everything! Thanks for being so awesome, kind, and supportive.

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Read Diverse Books | October 17, 2016, 7:15 PM
    • Thank you so much for all of your support! I do enjoy social media most days, besides days like yesterday -_- but starting conversations and reading others thoughts in a thread format is a pretty awesome thing. I’m getting more into Litsy although I don’t post or go on too much but I like seeing blurbs and photos of books.

      Thank you for all your support on my Native Hawaiian #OwnVoices event. I am compelling a list of reads, although I am running into problems finding Native Hawaiian authors versus folks who were born or live in Hawaii. Kiana Davenport is a multiracial Native Hawaiian author and I got her book House of Many Gods. She also has a couple of other books published. I’ll get back to you with a little longer list!

      Like

      Posted by Brendon | October 19, 2016, 6:44 AM
  3. Thanks for sharing! I can vibe with a lot of what you said, as a pretty new blogger myself. I love reading your blog. It combines lots of my favorite things, like games and books and social justice. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Sarah @ Reviews and Readathons | October 17, 2016, 8:30 PM
  4. I’m so glad to have met you through the #diversebookbloggers tag, and I can’t wait to see what you have coming up next! If you ever need self-care reminders, let us know and I’ll do my best to tweet at you to tell you to go to bed or have some fun or something! You have to take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Ceillie Simkiss | October 18, 2016, 2:19 PM
  5. I’ve really been enjoying reading your DSFF Book Club posts, and even dipping into some of your gaming content. Do keep taking care of yourself and avoid blogger burnout!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Shay Shortt | October 18, 2016, 10:44 PM
  6. Brendon you are such a gem of this community – your posts are always amazing, and I can only marvel at the time you spend planning, reading, and commenting on others’ blogs (AND being on sm!!) Your kindness and encouraging words has meant a lot to me, personally, and I can only thank you for them.

    Keep up with the self care (if there’s anything I can ever do, let me know!) and I can’t wait to see your Native Hawaiian #OwnVoices campaign!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by whatthelog | October 19, 2016, 5:32 PM
  7. Thank you πŸ™‚ your words mean a lot to me! I really enjoy hopping over to your blog to read your latest post or review. Thank you for all of your support and interest in helping out with the Native Hawaiians #OwnVoices event! I’ll send you a message about book ideas.

    Like

    Posted by Brendon | October 20, 2016, 10:53 AM
  8. I think that board games and books go together very naturally. For instance, many board games these days are story driven, which is a great connection to reading. I haven’t read many of your board game posts yet (I’m fairly new here), but I think reviewing new games, or even a new strategy to a game, could be an easy tie in to book reviewing.

    Like

    Posted by Grab the Lapels | October 20, 2016, 10:27 PM
  9. Congrats on reaching two months of really focused blogging! I completely understand where you are coming from– I blogged for about 9 months without reaching out and establishing a community. I wanted to do this for *me* and figure out if I liked it, but once I realized I loved it, well… it’s easy to prioritize blogging over other things! I’m so glad to see that you’re aware of the importance of self-care. πŸ™‚
    I’m impressed that you have a Twitter network. I honestly don’t really get Twitter. It doesn’t appeal to me, and I find it hard to keep track of everything as it moves. It requires far more attention than I am willing to give it.
    You focus on what makes you happy. Your writing is awesome. We will follow you whether you talk about books, gaming, social justice, or whatnot.

    Like

    Posted by Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku | October 21, 2016, 10:49 AM
  10. Congrats on your blogoversary, Brendon!! So glad you started blogging and joined #DiverseBookBloggers!πŸ™ŒπŸŽ‰ You’re doing excellent and such important work and your posts ate always super smart and insightful!
    Definitely take care of yourself and don’t burn yourself out. I once disappeared for almost a year and ppl still came back, book bloggers are awesome😊
    I really love twitter cause we all hv great convos and get to know each other. But social media definitely overwhelms me a bit, so time consuming. I should prioritize blog hopping ober that maybe. But so I love getting a look at your gaming focus even if I don’t comment much on it.And quite a few bloggers do books and movies etc, so don’t feel like you should choose one!
    Best of luck with growing your blog and I’m very excited for Native Hawaiian ownvoices!πŸ“šπŸ™Œ

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Anonymous | November 1, 2016, 3:38 PM

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