Welcome to YABC's monthly special feature post,
Blogger Of The Month!!
Each month YABC will be interviewing a different blogger and highlight all of their hard work within the blogging community!!
Introducing Julie @ Julie Caught Reading & Contributor for YA Interrobang, YABC's Blogger Of The Month!!
Hello! I'm Julie, a former blogger turned sort-of-blogger again.
I used to blog at Bloggers[Heart]Books, but left in May. Since then, I've been writing more for YA Interrobang, helping create and run Blogbound Con, and job hunting. But lately, I'd noticed that I was slacking off in certain areas in my reading. And since I have some definite goals for my 2017 reading, I thought a sort of blog to track my reading would be helpful for me!
I can write about books without writing reviews and can highlight my own reading progress and my challenges and I can do it all casually! So it works nicely for me.
If you want to know more about me? Well, I'm a cat loving, 22-year-old, recent college graduate with aspirations to work in publishing and maybe someday actually finish and publish a book. You can find me on my bookish instagram, my twitter, and YA Interrobang. Additionally, I run #quietYA's twitter and tumblr and do freelance work.
YABC: Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
Well, my name is Julie and I used to blog at Bloggers[Heart]Books. I blogged there from the time I was 15 until last May, around the time I graduated college. Since I started blogging, I realized I really love publishing and wanted to be involved, so I've been working and taking on all kinds of roles related to publishing since then! Right now, I'm a freelance editor, writer at YA Interrobang, writer for Pique Beyond, and co-founder of Blogbound Con as well as #quietYA.
YABC: Describe how did you first get into blogging?
At first, I was invited to join a group blog by my friend Lanna. We had bonded on a Twilight forum over our love of books and she thought it'd be a fun idea. I posted a review or two, but I didn't get really into blogging until one day when I was procrastinating working on NaNoWriMo. Sometimes, procrastination is a good thing! (And I still won.)
YABC: What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
At this point, I still think twitter is one of the best networks to use. It's the easiest place to link your posts and for other people to share it widely. Using hashtags and interacting with other bloggers is especially helpful for growing your audience because...it's a way to make friends. And your friends want to support you! Instagram and tumblr can be really great, but they don't have that same level of convenient interactions and sharing.
YABC: What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
Authenticity. Even when I was blogging and reviewing regularly, it wasn't technical aspects or frequent updates that kept me interested in a blog. I love people who were unashamed to be passionate about a book and I love bloggers that had a lot of voice in their writing. And I love bloggers who don't stick to the norm, but post the kind of stuff that makes them happy. I think enthusiasm is contagious, so bloggers being true to themselves makes reading and being a part of this community more fun.
YABC: What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Tweeting. A loooooot of tweeting. Once I got caught up in tweeting regularly and joining the community on social media, I made friends and learned what people were interested in reading about and could write discussions posts and recommendation lists based on what all of us were interested in.
YABC: What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
The most challenging thing was deciding when to leave and explore other avenues. I had a lot of close calls for leaving - back in the days when bloggers were stalked and harassed pretty regularly especially. That was scary as a teen still living with my family. But I had to keep asking myself if I loved blogging. As long as I enjoyed what I was doing, I would keep doing it - why would I continue in a hobby I don't love? I always knew I wouldn't be a traditional book blogger forever, but I decided to stop when I wasn't interested in writing reviews anymore. I'm still not, but I have other outlets that let me do the kinds of blog posts that I do love writing.
YABC: What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Probably that it's kind of an echo chamber. As a community, we tend to get excited and boost the same handful of books each season, letting dozens of others kind of fall off the radar. We miss out on so many quality books while discussing the same handful that seemingly everybody got a chance to read early. It's less of a problem now, though, as the community keeps growing and becoming more international and intersectional and it's easier to see a wide variety of books get discussed.
YABC: Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
I think it probably is my love of books, which has been a lifelong love affair. Yelling about books and the satisfaction I get when somebody tells me they're picking up a book because I loved it is the most rewarding thing for me. My love of learning probably also helps, especially with my current projects. I love researching and falling into google holes and investigating to find the answers to understand all about the publishing process. And knowing the publishing process helps me figure out the best way to share my love of books.
YABC: How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Write. Things. Down. I was the kind of kid who never had to study, but it was because I took notes and paid super close attention during my classes. When I take the time to physically write things out, it sticks in my head better and I keep track of deadlines and ideas. I used to just write down whatever I thought of on post-it notes and slap them up in my work space, but that got kind of sloppy and things got lost, so now I'm a bulletjournal convert. I write down all of my ideas, any deadlines they have, and when they're supposed to get posted.
YABC: Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
I've always loved April at Books and Wine because she's so blunt and honest and we have a lot of the same taste in books, which definitely helps me fall in love with a blogger. I also adore Jamie at Perpetual Page-Turner because she does her own thing. She comes up with new, inventive kinds of posts and doesn't worry about posting strictly reviews and she's honest about what's going on in her life and when she needs to mix things up. Her design is also amazing. One of my newer faves is Jen at The Bookavid. She focuses a lot on finding diverse books, calling out problematic books, and she offers up a ton of tips for bloggers that are super useful. She's helped me pick up or avoid a lot of books in the past couple of months.
THANK YOU Julie for all your hard work and dedication to the blogging/booktubing community and thank you for taking time out to allow us to interview you and share your thoughts with all of our readers!!! Keep up the good work and looking forward to all of your future posts!!!