TSS: Anniversary Special: Pros & Cons of Blogging

March 9, 2014 Bookish Chatter, The Sunday Salon 17

  Yesterday, Jenn’s Bookshelves turned six years old! I must say, it’s been a wonderful six years. As I was contemplating how (or if) I was going to celebrate this year, I reflected back on some of the more interesting things I’ve experienced as a blogger.  A few years ago, I shared some advice that I’ve learned and discovered over the years, a post called Things I Wish I Knew as a New Blogger.

This post has certainly gone through several revisions. First I focused on the more negative experiences I’ve had as a blogger. Then I tried to soften it up a bit and found myself reminiscing on the fun things I’ve experienced since I started this blog.  The end result: I’ve combined the best of both worlds in this Pros & Cons of Blogging post!  I tend to ramble so I’m going to do my very best to keep this short! Cons:

  • Entitlement. It’s such an ugly word, in my opinion. We, as people, as bloggers, are entitled to nothing. Truly. As I say over and over again, having your name on an area of the interwebz entitles you to nothing. I don’t care if you have 5 or 50 or 500 or 5,000 followers. Making a scene because you didn’t receive a particular ARC or access to a particular author doesn’t make you look important, it makes you look like an idiot.  I’ve seen it online and in person and it’s embarrassing and insulting to see bloggers behave this way.
  • Hoarding/bragging:  I always say you aren’t obligated to review every ARC you receive. True statement. That said,  you should probably review at least some of the copies you receive. After any major book conference, dozens of posts or videos will pop up, bragging about the books they snagged. How many of those are actually reviewed? The books are there they can get promo prior to publication. Not to serve as a bragging point. Not sell them on ebay. Or, you know, if you’re not actually a blogger anymore, maybe you should stop asking for review titles entirely?
  • Bullying: Bullying is not accepted from children, so why do people find this acceptable as adults!? Don’t gang up on someone because they didn’t like a book you loved.  Or conversely, if you didn’t like a book, fine. State your opinion, but not brutally. Book bashing is simply an attention-getter. There are more professional means of displaying your opinion.

And now, the lighter side of blogging, the perks of blogging!

  • Friendships-some of the friendships I’ve formed over the past six years are some of the strongest I’ve had my entire life. We all have a connection, a love of books. A need to tell others about them.
  • Community– Side-by-side with friendships, the community of book reviewers and bloggers is an amazing one. We’re supportive of one another, providing advice and support when needed.
  • Opportunity: the connections formed during this six years of blogging have provided me with endless opportunities, including opportunities to provide books to the less fortunate, introduce children to some really phenomenal books and authors, as well as opportunities to write for various publications.

Notice I didn’t mention access to review copies at all? While this is a benefit of blogging, it is most certainly outweighed by the benefits I have mentioned above.

So there you have it. My pros/cons of blogging, based on my six years of experience. What are yours?  Are there benefits I didn’t mention, or pet-peeves I’ve overlooked?

17 Responses to “TSS: Anniversary Special: Pros & Cons of Blogging”

  1. April Books & Wine
    Twitter: booksandwine

    I so agree that the best perks are friendship and community. Some of my best current friends are people I met blogging and I think my life would be sorely lacking without those people. I also love the community and how we all come together over things like 24 hour readathons and such.

    I think you covered it pretty well and concisely.

    Also, how whack that people still ask for ARCs despite not being involved with publishing/the bookish community anymore. How weird!

  2. Surly Bookseller

    Happy Anniversary! I’m just now dipping my toe back in the blogging waters, and although I’m doing it just for a fun way to help ME remember what I read, I still get a charge when I know people actually read it. Here’s to lots more years for you!

  3. Tif
    Twitter: tiftalksbooks

    Congratulations on 6 years!! I will be celebrating 7 years in a few short months. Boy, how time flies when you are having fun!!

    I completely agree with your list, both the pros and the cons.

  4. Diane (bookchickdi)
    Twitter: bookchickdi

    Congratulations on six years, what an accomplishment. I love this post!
    I do enjoy donating my ARCs to adult homes, teachers in inner city schools and anyone else who can use them. I also love finding a new author and book I love and telling as many people about it and hearing back from them how much they love it. It’s a great feeling!

  5. Ann Walters

    Congratulations on 6 years of blogging! I’ve been blogging for just 6 months, and it’s been an unexpected pleasure “meeting” veteran book bloggers online. I love your blog and your support of indie booksellers.

  6. SuziQoregon

    Congrats on six years! I totally agree with your list of pros and cons. I started my blog as a reading journal for myself and a few select friends. The community of readers and friends it led me to was truly a surprise and something I treasure.

  7. Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks

    Happy Anniversary! Prior to twitter I was almost a lone blogger, following a few book blogs and mostly blogging about books I was buying or borrowing from the library. I just looked, that was April 2011, so in just 3 years my blogging life and book blogging in particular have changed dramatically. I learned so much from you and other reputable book bloggers/reviewers. Thank goodness!
    I love your thoughts on whining, I have found the same thing to be true, and when I see a blogger complaining about tours they didn’t get, or an arc they didn’t get etc I cringe. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been disappointed too, but I’m so lucky to receive the perks I have, hardly worth crying over.
    Great post Jenn…looking forward to many more years of sharing books with you, and hopefully finally meeting in person!

  8. Shannon @ River City Reading
    Twitter: rivercityreadin

    Congratulations on 6 years! Totally agree with you on the negatives, but feel like it’s possible to surround yourself with more of the positives (the great community and friends!) and let the hoarders/entitled’s self-destruct. You can only hold on with that attitude for so long. You must be doing it the right way to be six years strong!

  9. Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)

    Congratulations on six years! I’m fairly new to blogging (just under 2 years) and was so pleasantly surprised by how welcoming (and large!) the book blogger community is – thank you all! On the negative side, I find myself putting off reading the books I really want to read in favor of participating in blog tours and/reviewing ARCs. Maybe chalk this up to being new and feeling like I need to say yes to everything that comes my way. After a few months of lots of tours, I have cut back my schedule and am focusing on reading from my personal TBR list, which I’m very excited about!

  10. Kailana

    Happy Blogiversary!! And, yeah, hoarding is silly. I remember so much drama after big conferences with their huge piles. Even if I wanted to do that, I only have so much space. I would rather get books I actually want to read! (ahem, well, eventually… Or I wouldn’t have an insane TBR… lol)

    And yeah, bullying is the worse.

  11. Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune

    Very nice post! I think you hit it right on the head with all points, Jen. Your cons are all pet peeves of mine as far as things I see around the blogosphere and I have to bite my tongue quite frequently. But oh, the pros do so outweigh any negatives!

  12. Tanya Patrice

    Happy Blogiversary!! Blogging has a wonderful and a … not-so-great side, but I have to say I heart book bloggers 🙂

  13. Trisha
    Twitter: Trish422

    Congrats on making it 6 years! And I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the pros and cons, especially in regards to review copies which I’ve always felt were nice perks but not really necessary.

  14. Kelly from Readlately.com

    I actually think having access to too many review copies can be a negative! I very much try to review most copies I receive but having too many (and no will power) can be overwhelming.

    By far the most positive thing for me (my blog is a year and a half old) has been the sense of community and belonging – finding people online who love books as I do – a parallel I don’t seem to find in real life.