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 Becca @ Reading Teen, YABC's Blogger Of The Month!!
Becca is a twenty-three year old girl who spends way too much of her time obsessing over fictional characters, whether it's by reviewing them, reading them, writing them, or even turning them into pups with her popular Cover Puppies feature. When she's not doing any of these, she's probably painting a bookish style tote bag, which she sells on her Etsy, Pivot Book Totes. In her spare time (what spare time?), she works at her main job as a carnie, setting up bouncy castles and all sorts of other fun stuff in the great state of Oklahoma. She's up for book flailing with you 24/7 over the interwebz as long as you agree to never under any circumstances call her Rebecca, because she feels old when you call her that.....
Twitter * Instagram
YABC: Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
HELLO! My name is Becca. I'm the resident co-blogger of READING TEEN & also the book cover tote lady behind PIVOT BOOK TOTES. I started blogging nearly 3 years ago (where has the time gone?!) on my own, but started co-blogging with Andye a little over a year after that, because trying to keep up with a business and my own blog was just way too much on my plate. Andye & I pride ourselves on having Reading Teen be a blog that welcomes every single demographic. Originally, it started out as a blog where parents could check out what kids are into reading, what books to get them into reading, and how 'clean' those books are. Now, it's evolved into a little bit of everything. We have a few guest reviewers on here and again, but whether you're looking for MG, YA, or even sometimes an adult novel here and there, Reading Teen is the blog to check out!
YABC: Describe how did you first get into blogging?
I first got into blogging, because I live in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and I don't have that many in-real-life friends. I needed a way to find people that were into the same things that I was (i.e. reading, fangirling, etc.). So, about a few days before New Years, I decided my resolution was going to be 'start a book blog,' which thinking back now, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. At most, I hoped to find an outlet for all my squeals after I finished a book. What I found was an entire community of friends from all over the world that are almost 25/8 ready to fangirl with me over anything. Starting a book blog was the best decision I've ever made. It gave my life so much meaning. I truly mean that.
YABC: What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
I'm really horrible at networking. I used to be better at it, but my biggest piece of advice would be to link your posts to every single social media outlet you have. It's automatic, so any lazy/busy bloggers (cough me cough) out there should totes be up for this one! If you really want to go the extra mile, I would say to tweet your post links (archived posts & new ones!) a few times a day with clever quips that make people want to read them. Think of all the click-bait articles you find on Facebook and what exactly made you want to read that story, and try to emulate that with your posts! I'm a huge advocator for twitter. I've found most of my success simply through that. Also!! Go to book events! I'm not meaning huge conventions or anything, but find a local book signing and introduce yourself. I had a ton of business cards printed and I passed those suckers out every single chance I got. You have to learn to be friendly and put yourself out there when promoting yourself and your blog. If they act weird about it, who cares?! You'll probably never see them again anyways, and what's the worst that's going to happen? They throw away your card and don't check out your blog? Ah! But think of the best that could happen by putting yourself out there? You could not only gain a new follower, but maybe, just maybe, a new friend.
YABC: What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
I think the best service you can provide your reader is to find out exactly what your reader wants. What exactly made people start subscribing to your blog? Was it a discussion post? Was it a top ten post? A review? Pay attention to what your readers respond and comment on most, and there's your answer! Also, interaction with your readers is crucial. Don't ignore replying to comments. A simple thank you on a comment goes the extra mile!
YABC: What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
My best strategy was finding other blogs/bloggers via bloglovin, google, twitter, and interacting with them. Commenting/tweeting/etc. Think of it like when you meet a new person that you'd like to be friends with. You don't just walk up to them and you're automatically bff's, right? You have to have social interaction, regardless if it's face to face or screen to screen.
YABC: How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I really want to improve how much blogging I'm doing. I've been so bogged down with my double jobs that I feel like I've been slacking on so many things this year. I feel like I haven't read a thing! I also would like to get better about DNF-ing books. It's been a work in progress over the years, but I'm getting better at moving on from a book if I don't like it. I think looking at my TBR Mountain helps with that! Haha!
YABC: Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
Oh, this is such a hard question! SO many people have impacted me in amazing ways in the blogging world! I couldn't possibly choose one, but I can choose 3 or 4! (This is like asking what my favorite book is! IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER!) Okay, so obviously my co-blogger, Andye (@ReadingTeen), has had a profound impact on my life. She basically took me under her wing, and I am getting teary-eyed just typing about it. Before I get all gushy, I'll just name my 3 others and move to the next question, but just know that each of these people are fantastic, beautiful, genuine, and all-around some of the best people I've met in my entire life. I followed most of their blogs for years before I took the plunge into the blogging world. They have impacted my blogging career in more ways than they could probably ever realize. Hannah @ Irish Banana, Liza Weimer , Mary @ Mary Had A Little Book Blog.
YABC: What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Hmm, I think the most challenging part was listening to all the veteran bloggers say that blogging takes a lot of time and effort. It's not something you can just start up over night and be super successful. HA! My past self scoffed at that! How in the world did they know that? Looking back after 3 years, and I'm laughing at myself. It was ridiculous of me not to listen to that very sound and extremely TRUE advice. Success never happens overnight (*unless you're really really ridiculously lucky or something. In that case, buy me a lottery ticket). It takes a lot more time, effort, money, missed sleep, missed reading time, scheduling, and so much more that I can't even think of right now because I've had so much missed sleep lately. Trust your blogging vets. They aren't lying when they say these things. Just stick it out. The time flies a lot faster than you think it will in the beginning.
YABC: What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
The most frustrating part of blogging I've found is the drama. Granted, EVERY group has drama. I don't care what kind of hobby you're into (I've done a lot of them...FFA, Band, Roller Derby, etc), there's bound to be drama. But lately, it's gotten to the point where I don't want to step near social media with a ten foot pole! My anxiety and stress levels are already high enough without seeing the redundant, repeat, stupid drama all the time. It frustrates me to no end, because it's something different every day, but it's the same ol' stuff, ya know? Either way, best way to avoid it is to keep on scrolling, stay away, and do what we all started blogging for to begin with! TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS! Shake it off, and keep on reading, friends! :)
YABC: Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
I would say some of my strengths that really made me stand out in the beginning were my creative posts. I got a lot of hits because I started doing things that not a lot of blogs were doing at the time. People loved it! Another was knowing my own voice and sticking with it in my writing. Write like you talk. Whether you think you have a voice or not, I promise you do and there are readers out there itching to find it and you! Having fun with any type of post also doesn't hurt!
YABC: Tell me about your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was definitely when I met Leigh Bardugo and Marissa Meyer last year at BEA and they both knew exactly who I was before I introduced myself because of my tote artwork. I burst into happy tears right in front of them, made a fool of myself, and also experienced one of the best feelings in the world: knowing that I had finally found my place in this crazy, mixed-up world. Second proudest achievement was when Andye asked me to be her co-blogger (I secretly cried when this happened too. Luckily, I was behind my computer screen so shhhh! Don't tell her. It'll go right to her head!)
YABC: How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Honestly, in five years, I would love to still be doing exactly what I'm doing now, except with way better time management. I need more hours in each day! I suppose I would also love to be doing the blog and painting totes full-time, while still being able to travel. Ideally, I'm hoping to be able to quit my normal job in the near future!
YABC: Anything else you would like to say?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME! This was an absolute blast! I consider it an honor being chosen as your Blogger of the Month for June! Truly thrilled! If anyone has any questions or would love to fangirl over books with me on twitter or instagram, hit me up! I love making new friends!
THANK YOU Becca @ Reading Teen for all your hard work and dedication to the blogging 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!!!