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 Melissa @ The Reader and The Chef, YABC's Blogger Of The Month!!
Melissa is a YA book blogger, bookstagrammer, and a Slytherin living in Mexico. Her favorite genres are fantasy, contemporary, historical, and basically all things YA with a hint of romance. When she’s not reading, Melissa loves to sing out loud, eat sweets, and take lots of bookish photos. You can find her on her blog, The Reader and the Chef, on YA Books Central as the Instagram Manager, and contributing posts on Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers.
YABC: Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
Hi everyone! My name is Melissa Robles and I blog over at The Reader and the Chef where, with the help of my sister (who is an actual chef), we talk about our favorite YA books and desserts (although these desserts are best appreciated on our Instagram account @thereaderandthechef). I'm also YABC's Instagram Manager & a staff reviewer, so I get to take even more bookish photos and spread the word about YABC's amazing work.
YABC: Describe how did you first get into blogging?
I first got into blogging almost 6 years ago, when I was turning 18. I had just received an iPod touch from my parents as a birthday gift and while I browsed the iBooks and Kobo apps, I noticed lots of YA literature, including a free novella of The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, which I quickly downloaded and loved. I then headed over to Harlequin Teen's page and saw them calling bloggers to add an upcoming book on Goodreads. That led me to sign up and discover all these awesome blogs who talked about their love for books, which I immediately knew it was something I wanted to do one day too. It took me 3 years to start my own blog, but I've been part of the community since I was 18 since I joined another two blogs before my blog as guest reviewer.
YABC: What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
An honest voice. For readers to trust your opinion. While reading tastes might differ, it is always great to know that when it comes to deciding whether a book is for them or not, your voice has a say in the matter.
YABC: What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Participating in blog tours! It's always an honor to be included in a book's blog tour, and thanks to all the special content from the author (plus a giveaway or two) promoted on Twitter and Instagram, I always seem to get more traffic on my blog.
YABC: What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
There was a time when I was juggling College and an internship, meaning that I was out of my house from , so it was almost impossible to keep up with my blog. I was exhausted all the time, but I somehow got through it without affecting none of my responsibilities. I still feel quite proud of myself for it!
YABC: What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
Promote your blog and create relationships on Twitter and Instagram. Join Twitter chats and visit other blogs. Interacting with the bookish community is the best way to go because just as you are trying to get more visitors on your blog, others are too. Besides, you will surely meet other amazing book bloggers and find blogs to inspire your own creativity!
YABC: Tell me about your proudest achievement?
To have my favorite author (Danielle L. Jensen) dedicate her new book to me. I feel blessed. I never expected that one day my favorite author, whose debut book was my first ARC approval, to honor me this way. She also allowed me to Beta her last two books, and I thought that was the ultimate honor, but I was wrong. This is what brings tears to my eyes. I'm so grateful.
YABC: How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Ah, well, after all these years blogging, I discovered I'm a night owl and my best work for blogging always happens when it's late at night. So during the day, I dedicate my time to interact with the community, promote my posts, and post bookish photos on Instagram. Once everything is quiet and there's nothing to distract me, I quickly write my posts and schedule them for when they should go live.
YABC: Where would you like to be in blogging ?
I wish with all my heart to still be able to say "I'm a book blogger" but also somehow find a way to be much more active in this community, to take my blog to the next level, whatever that may be. Anything can happen , but looking back to my already six years, I guess there's really a good chance that I won't ever leave this community. It's already my home.
YABC: Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
A few of my (many) favorites are Brittany from Brittany's Book Rambles, Sarah K. from The Book Traveler, and Helena & Becky from Book Nerd Addict. These ladies have been wonderful supporters of my blog throughout these years and each day they inspire me with their creativity. They are also my go-to people whenever I look for great book recommendations!
Thank you so much for having me! ♥
THANK YOU Melissa for all your hard work and dedication to the blogging & Instagram 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!!!