Blogging, BookTube & Bookstagram Oh My!
I started blogging years ago. I blogged about recipes, products, things I was doing day to day, sorority stuff, college stuff, but there was always the common thread of books. It’s been so long that I have no idea where I began blogging, but I ended up on Blogger and posted there for at least a couple years until I made the switch to WordPress, which is where I am now. I also made the decision to focus solely on books and in turn I deleted everything else.
In August I will be celebrating 3 years on BookTube. I began making videos on YouTube because at the time my dad was posting videos and suggested I give it a try. Before that I was watching, although not regularly. So I tried it and I was hooked. It’s such an awesome creative outlet. I did decide right from the beginning to focus my YouTube channel around books, essentially joining the BookTube community. Over time I have added non-bookish content which usually gets deleted later (there are still some).
Bookstagram or the Instagram community for book lovers is another thing I have dabbled with. I always start these new projects to “see where it takes me” and usually I get sucked in and continue with them for far longer than I thought possible. I did the same thing on my Instagram account as I did with my blog and even YouTube. I posted all the things. Then I narrowed down to books.
I realize that my potential success on each of these platforms is largely based on how consistent I am and how much viewers (you!) like the content I am putting out. I have had varying degrees of “success” and I crave more. I am always open to suggestions, feedback, advice, etc. I have struggled to balance my blog, YouTube, and Instagram consistently and I think that is a totally normal and understandable struggle for so many of us. This is not my job. It’s for fun. It’s a hobby and I will always treat it as such until I do get paid for doing this (i.e. never). As a teacher summertime is when I have the most time to let my creativity flow and dedicate larger chunks of time to my hobbies. That’s why you’re seeing so many more posts, videos and pictures.
Because of consistency issues I have battled back and forth if I should focus on one or the other. Because I can never chose I tend to pick one and pour my blood, sweat, and tears into it. Meanwhile I let anything else collect dust bunnies and cobwebs. Then just as I am gaining more popularity or “success” I think hey I am doing ok now, let’s see what that other thing is doing and I get sucked into balancing all three all over again. The fact of the matter is I love all three for different reasons. They are different even though the subject matter is similar. I get to be creative in different ways and they can compliment each other if you can find a good audience and balance. Since I have not been able to do either of those I trudge along in the hopes that practice does make perfect and that one day I will strike the balance that is needed to make me and you happy.
Completely switching subjects (and sort of the reason I am sitting down to write this) I am noticing BookTubers switch to blogging and I think to myself “hey I do that”. And it’s not just BookTubers (below are a few).
Riley Marie https://waywardbiblio.wordpress.com/
2 of my favs that do both
Alyxandria Ang (does both) http://www.thebooksbuzz.com/
twirling pages http://www.twirlingpages.com/
Alli Cherry http://allicherry.co/
Sarah Belle http://www.sarahbelleelizabeth.com/
Caitlin Bea https://thecaitlinbea.com/
I guess my point is that they have also felt the need to branch out. It’s not just me seeking another creative outlet, attempting to build a brand, or do something as simple as talk about books. I’m happy I am not in this alone. I like YouTube because I can see and hear the person talk. There’s a face with a name and I have felt my friendships build faster with these people. BUT… I adore blogging. There’s absolutely no set up involved. I don’t even have to be dressed. I can be sick or whatever. While the BookTube and Bookstagram community is huge the blogging community is ginormous and unless you have an audience from another platform to help boost your visibility it can be hard to gain your footing. And mediocre stats don’t help matters. At the end of the day it’s about having a place to talk about books, but if you feel like you’re just talking to yourself what is the point?
This is what I’m thinking about half way through the summer. I know I inevitably have to return to work and I’ll somehow (unsuccessfully) balance all three. However, I do stop and wonder sometimes what would happen if I chose? Or is mediocrity the best I can hope for?