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.
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 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, I 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!
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.
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.
To go along with what I said about guest posts, author interviews, and blog events, I am happy 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!