BBAW-Fostering Community

bbaw

Today’s topic at BBAW:

The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect!

I have been blogging for four and a half year now; however, I am still fairly new to book blogging. This blog here is less than a year old so we are still in the process of building a community and readership.

There are a few things we do at QGR to help build community around our blog:

-We aim to keep the discussion going in the comments, which translates to replying to every comment we get on a post we’ve written. There may be occasions where this falls through the cracks, but I’d say overall, we are pretty good at this. When we see new readers leave a comment, we visit them and leave a comment back.

When it comes to reading and commenting on other blogs in general aside from replying to what we receive at QGR, I can only speak for myself here.  I have a folder in my favorites dedicated to book blogs. Anytime I come across a new blog that I like, I favorite them. On the blogroll located on the header I have listed blogs that regularly visit us and bloggers that any of the QGR ladies have formed a personal relationship with. (note: this is not a complete list and still a work in progress.) It is an ongoing project. After Armchair BEA, Molly put all the blogs that came to visit in our google reader for our shared email account and divided them up between the five of us. I usually spend about half an hour in the mornings visiting blogs, going methodically through my various lists.  I also make a point to visit and leave a comment on everyone who has left a comment on each post during the week, be they regulars or newbies. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I’ve gotten around to everyone. Sometimes I am really good at this. Other times not so much.

-Another thing we do is participate in memes. We are selective around these parts. We don’t want to be overloaded with memes; however, memes can be fun and can be useful for building readership. We participate in Teaser Tuesday every other week, which Margot spearheads. She takes the time to get everyone’s teasers, write up the post and visit, visit, visit.

-We also love us some blogging events. I am a BIG fan of Dewey’s 24 hour readathon. I have participated in every single one since fall of 2008. I LOVE it. In May we participated in Armchair BEA, and now this week it’s BBAW. I love all these events because a. they are just plain fun. b. It is great exposure to meet other book bloggers. I always discover new favorites at these things. c. It is a way to put ourselves out there and give others a chance to discover us.

That’s an idea of how QGR operates. What about you? What are your favorite community builders?

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19 Responses to BBAW-Fostering Community

  1. Erin says:

    Great list! Memes are fun, but a blog can definitely get meme-heavy quickly, so I appreciate the ones that are careful to keep their other content going as well. I LOVE events, too, especially BBAW and Dewey’s Readathon. So much fun! I also love reading with other people and find it’s a great way to connect. Hey, we’re all going to read anyway, so why not coordinate once in a while?

    • jehara says:

      I think Dewey’s is my first favorite. I love knowing that I have an entire 24 hours guilt free to devote to reading and that there are loads of people all over the world doing the same thing. That is just so cool. There is a fun and vibrant energy that surrounds Dewey’s Readathon. Only a few more weeks until the next one, too. Woot!!

  2. Great tips! Working your way into the community can be intimidating!

    • jehara says:

      This is very true. Especially now when it has become so large as opposed to four years ago when it was much smaller. I started my personal blog around the time the book blogosphere seemed to really get off the ground, but I didn’t consider myself a part of the community as my blog wasn’t solely focused on books. I was more of a lurker. I am excited to now be a part of it even if it does take time to make ourselves known. 🙂

  3. I love participating in events like Armchair BEA. It’s been the best way for me to meet other blogs similar to mine. I am not a great meme participant, I may do one once a week when my creative juices aren’t following that day.

    • jehara says:

      The events are my favorite. We only participate in one meme every other week and have experimented with a second one in the off weeks. But I think one meme a week is plenty.

  4. Great tips, jehara! Events like BBAW really seem to get this community hopping!

  5. Florinda says:

    Since you have a group blog – a community within a community – I think you have a unique take on the topic, and some excellent tips, particularly re: replying to comments!

  6. Great tips! And I agree about being selective over which meme’s to join in. There are so many!

    • jehara says:

      This is so true. There are way too many to keep up with them all. Plus when memes take over the content, the blog becomes less interesting. Memes require a fine balance to be useful and enjoyable. Plus they are a lot of work to keep up with. 😉

  7. Trisha says:

    I used to be so good at responding to all of the comments left on my blog. But that is the first thing to get pushed aside when life gets busy, so I’ve been seriously remiss on that front for months!

    • jehara says:

      I completely understand. I didn’t respond to a single comment while on vacation as I was on computer hiatus. Then when I got back I felt overwhelmed by going back and responding to everything so I let that one week go. Sometimes you have to just let it go and start fresh. 🙂

  8. Heather says:

    It’s been so hit and miss with me on book blogging. With part-time school and being a first-time mom it’s been a bit overwhelming at times. So I go a month or two blogging pretty regularly and visiting and then get stuck for another couple months. So even when I’m not blogging too much I always enjoy coming here! You all give me so many ideas for my blog..one day! Thanks for all the great stuff! Love you, ladies!

  9. kaye says:

    I like how you guys keep the discussion going in the comments–I like how your posts lead to discussions.

  10. Michelle says:

    I think the events are one of my favorite things about blogging. There are so many great ones, but they are relatively spread out throughout the year so no one feels too overwhelmed. They are a great opportunity to build one’s community and find those unknown, new-to-you bloggers that may not hit your radar at any other point in time throughout the year.

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