Blog Hops and Other Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Blog Resolutions for 2014

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Last year was a good year for The Book Stop, in terms of reading, posting, discovering new blogs and picking up new readers.  Still, the blog hasn’t changed much in the last few years, so 2014 feels like a year I should put more into it.

Last year my intention was to concentrate on my graduate classes, and in the course of that I discovered how much The Book Stop is not just a hobby, but a part of my life.  I don’t want to set it aside, even though I know there will be times that life is more important.

So, 2014 is going to be the year of The Book Stop.  I want to learn more about blogging.  I’ve picked up a fair amount in 3.5 years, but I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

So here are my blogging resolutions:

1)     Learn more about WordPress, blogging, and book blogging.  Find a class, read a book, or maybe attend a conference.  Has anyone been to the BEA conference in New York?  Is it worth going?  I’d also love to meet some other book bloggers in the Washington, DC area if anyone’s interested!

2)     Learn to make better use of Twitter and other social media.  This has been an issue for me from the beginning.  I still don’t really understand Twitter, nor do I see the value of a Facebook page for my blog. Should I be doing more with websites like BlogHer or BookBlogs?  And that leads to my next resolution…

3)     Pay more attention to my statistics.  WordPress is great about telling me where people are coming from and what they are searching for.  But I rarely think about it, and when I do, it doesn’t always make sense.  Why is The Kitchen House my most visited review, when it wasn’t even such a good book?  Why are most of my visitors coming from a literature study website called gradesaver.com?

4)     Pay more attention each months to planning my posts, rather than just posting on the fly. Believe it or not, I only discovered this year that Top Ten Tuesday posts topics way in advance.  Plan out each month which topics I mean to respond to, and maybe create some of my own regularly scheduled posts, like Book to Movie Mondays, or Writer Blog Wednesdays.

5)     Post more of my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and maybe find other places like BlogCritics to post reviews.  Suggestions?

6)     Here’s one I started thinking about last year: give other bloggers more credit for recommending books.  Half the books I read probably come from other bloggers’ reviews, so I should be giving credit where it’s due.  The trouble is, if I don’t note a recommendation immediately, I’ll never remember where I heard about it.  I’ve started noting where I read reviews on my “In the Queue” page.

7)     Update the look of my blog.  WordPress has tons of options, but I’m definitely graphically and time-challenged in this regard.  My blog is like an old sweater, it’s comfortable.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t due for an upgrade.

8)     Design some of my own graphics.  Like #7, it feels like it’s time I learned to actually create some of my own graphics.  I just don’t know how.

9)     Share more interesting articles and posts about reading, not just reviews.

10)  And last but not least, considering the previous 9 resolutions, keep having fun with the blog.  Read what I want to read, discover new authors, and don’t let it turn into a chore.  There will be days where I just don’t feel like writing, and that’s okay.  But most days I sit at my computer and it feels like home.

Whew!  That feels like a lot.  Happy 2014 everyone!

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Blog Resolutions for 2014

  1. You’ve got really good resolutions! I want to learn how to create my own graphics too but I don’t know where to learn 😦

    All the best to achieving your resolutions! Have a great 2014!

  2. I love #6. I need to do more of that, too, but I read too many blogs and can never remember who recommended what. I know some bloggers who post links to other bloggers’ reviews of the title they’re reviewing and I love that, but I’m just too lazy to do that myself. *Sigh*

    Good luck with all your goals!

  3. We have some goals in common, that’s for sure. I also want to learn more about blogging, specifically about wordpress.org. And I also want to use social media more effectively. And how to create my own graphics. And I really should put more of my reviews on goodreads and Amazon. I love blogging so much, but it does take a lot of time.

  4. Some impressive resolutions here. For your goal about wordpress, take a look at this site http://wpbtips.wordpress.com. It’s no longer maintained but has some excellent tutorials. I played with Bookblogs when I first started blogging but found it was too much of a place for authors (usually self published writers of YA fiction) to promote their books. I’ll be interested in your experience with Amazon reviews.

  5. I also don’t understand why my 5 top blogs are so far out in front of my other posts. But I figure that we don’t write for stats – we write cause we feel the urge and hope that someone out there in blogger land feels the urge to read it 🙂

    I’ve also been thinking about updating the look of my blog, but I’m worried that I might stuff it up completely!

    Good luck with your plans and goals.

  6. I’ve always wanted to go to the BEA and i think this year i might do it. They seem to have a really good program for bloggers.
    I think just about everything else on your list is on my list or should be. WordPress offers so much and I only understand a fraction of it. |Time to buy a new book?

  7. Great goals and may I suggest you look into the posts from Bloggiesta? They might have answers to some of your techie WP questions as well as how to use Social Media to work with your goals.
    I personally love Twitter but it took awhile to get the groove and it ebbs and flows for me. It is wonderful when involved with a tight group for a readalong, especially. I see no use for Facebook but I prefer FB as a way to keep in touch with family – though I admit I have allowed book bloggers to invade there – oh well. It’s all good, really.
    My blogging has finally settled into something that works for me and I don’t see an end in the near future. I’m just rolling with it, I guess.

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