Welcome back to Mug Monday! So glad you decided to pop in and see what new news I have in store for you.
Let´s get my well-being out of the way before we start this explosive post.
I have the flu…. again. It´s like this never ending nightmare that comes back. I´m a clever one, though. I figured out WHY i´m being attacked by viruses or germs. My girls drag it home from school. I swear on all that´s pink and fluffy, some parents need to learn to NOT send their little angels little shits little precious mini me´s to school when they´re sick. I´m slowly fed up and will probably end up contacting the school principal if this shit continues. Not that she will do anything…. But complaining does improve my mood.
I´ve been successfully living off soup, crackers, dry toast, tea, water and of course… I live in a sea of Kleenex. Fun times.
Back to the topic:
It´s February. This might not mean much in general, other than it´s still winter. But for me, February means much more. It´s my birth month. In a few days from now I get to spend the one and only day of the year being pampered and get showered with Amazon gift cards ( because for some reason my family doesn´t believe in gifting Amazon gift cards on Christmas ).
It´ll be a one man fest ( until the kids come home from school ) and I will make sure to enjoy every single minute of my day without my mother in-law and her absurd demands for cake.
A little private fun fact from my trusty private treasure chest:
My mother in-law truly demands I serve cake and coffee on my birthday. She once explained that it´s not only polite but it´s also sort of an exchange. She gifts me something and I serve cake in return.
In other ( unspoken ) words: I don´t deserve a gift if I don´t have cake. Good thing I didn´t marry her * snorts *
As for books:
Forgive me if there hasn´t been much of that lately ( please re-read reasons above ). It´s been kind of rough for me. And you know what sucks even more? I have untouched book mail I haven´t had the energy to open yet. 5 Amazon and 2 Book Depository packages. I´m gutted.
Nevertheless- I´m determined to get back on track because I´m bored out of my wits.
So, my piss poor attempt at a Mug Monday Feature will hopefully be the start of something better. Voila!
See? I have my Kindle fired up and ready. * sigh * Maybe after my nap. And after I tried getting a review scheduled. God, haven´t done one of those in ages.
Okay, that´s it for today. My deepest apologies for boring the bejesus out of you all.
So, I had an idea. Granted, it´s nothing outrageous but I thought it would be interesting to review my own blog. To see what worked really well and what didn´t, ergo: which posts received the most views in 2018.
I´m not normally interested in numbers and stats. I work with numbers all day so I´m not too keen on checking more out in my spare time.
I will say though that I was a little surprised when I reviewed my own blog the other day. Shocked, even. From all the posts I´ve posted last year the ones I thought weren´t worth it generated the most views. And then I realized that my blog had gone through a phase where reviews were more popular than discission posts and the other way around.
I´m not sure if this has something to do with specific books or authors, or if it has something to do with the right targeting, using the correct keywords, but it was definitely something to think about.
If I´d sit down and take my time to analyse everything ( which I won´t because I don´t have any nerves left ) I might get behind the actual reason as to why certain posts gained a nice amount of views and why others haven´t.
So, without further ado here are my most viewed posts in 2018.
The one topic I never thought would get attention was the Faleena Hopkins post. Dear pink fluff, that one sky rocketed and showed me numbers I haven´t seen in years. For some reason, I wasn´t too late for that gossip and thought I´d try to write a post about it. If only I were better at the gossip game….
The next surprise was the What Does A Book Blogger Do post. I never thought anyone would be interested in finding out what it is us common foot folk do. I guess I thought wrong.
And then the Religion In Romance Novels post. This one is very tricky as it didn´t generate lots of views on the day I posted it but it is the post with the highest views in 2018. To be honest- I wasn´t sure in the first place if I was doing myself a favor by posting an article on religion in romance novels. I don´t believe in God and was afraid of the backlash from religious fanatics. In hindsight, I´m glad I took that risk, though.
These posts were extremely fun but so exhausting to create. I bow before all the hotshots who do these posts all the time because I couldn´t. Not even for all the glorious views they´ve generated. I have a few more book cover trends posts I want to upload this year but the rest? I need to be in a good mood to create another 10 funny…. .
Reviews are a universe of their own. Sometimes you generate views with a popular book and sometimes you don´t. Sometimes an older book gets all the spotlight. That´s just the way it is. Many things have to be taken in consideration when it comes to romance reviews.
1) Romance is not the most popular genre ( it´s children´s fiction and fantasy, for those of you who wanted to know ). Statistics show that women´s fiction doesn´t sell as well as YA fiction, historical fiction and mystery / thrillers do. I´m not surprised and can live with this.
2) Views vary with the type of publishing. I´ve had more views for a world wide bestseller than I have had with the majority of my books from self published authors.
3) Timing is everything. From what I´ve noticed, the timing plays a crucial role when it comes to reviews. If I wanted for my blog to achieve something then I should be glued to my laptop screen minutes before release day or for any new reveals. This generates views. Strike while the iron is hot. But since I´m a lousy book release spy I end up reading and reviewing new releases much later and that generates less views ( for me ).
♥ July, August, November
And here I thought people would be on vacation and doing… vacation things instead of reading posts during the summer. I was wrong. November doesn´t surprise me, though.
Not bad considering how much I slacked. That´s roughly a post every other day.
All in all I can´t say 2018 wasn´t successful. And looking at how well some posts did I do think I have a better picture on what type of content works wonders for my blog and which don´t.
Have you reviewed your blog? Do you check your stats regularly? Let´s chat ❤
Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a wonderful day.
I thought of quite a few ways on how to show my appreciation for all the follows in the last few days but I wasn´t able to come up with anything overly genius or boujee enough that would show my gratitude. I guess you´ll have to settle with a simple yet meaningful
Thank you all for the kind support you´ve shown after Beth´s @Books Nest post on her Twitter. ❤ And THANK YOU, Beth, for taking the time out of your day to share some book blogger love.
Sadly, it would take me ages to thank each and every one who has followed me this week. If you happen to belong to the Twitter bunch then I hope you feel the thanks. If you don´t belong to the Twitter gang then I hope you feel the same appreciation.
I think it would be a good opportunity to introduce myself. I mean- You really have no clue who you´re dealing with so it only makes sense to give a quick run down on what you all have gotten yourselves into. *gg*
Sure, you can read my About Me… But that´s boring ( going to have to update that in the near future…)
Ready? I know I am.
My name is Morgana and I´m…. over 30. No, wait, I´m actually closer to 40 now but who cares about that, right? You´re only as old as you feel. 80% of the day I feel like 130 years old. The other 20% of my emotional household is still stuck in my mid 20´s.
If you´re wondering about the name… Don´t worry. You´re not the only ones. Yes, I was named after the witch from the King Author legend. Dad was a fan of the movie Excalibur and I had to pay the price for his fan girling over Helen Mirren in the 80´s. Pronounce it the way you want because it´s not possible to butcher it even more than it has been. Makes good for a unique blog name, though. 🙂 ( Plus, I´m a fan as well, so…Dad´s forgiven )
I´m an american living in Germany, a mom of 2 girls, married, I have a degree in Chemistry, my favorite color is blue, I´m short, extrovert, my hobby is taking naps and drinking hot chocolate…. I love to go out and meet with friends, favorite genre to read is romance and sometimes fantasy, and I´m a passionate book blogger. To help you paint a better picture of my life I´ve created a small graphic to help better understand.
I basically drink too much hot chocolate, nap whenever I can, think a lot, and read ( whenever the girls aren´t around )
As for the book blogging bit- I´m a semi experienced blogger turned hobby book blogger. Many many moons ago I decided to go pro in the book business but found it too exhausting and demanding. After a minor burnout I took a much needed 1 year break away from the blogsphere and ended up coming back with a different plan – One that suited my purpose much better. Here I am now, 9 years later with a clean slate working my blog at my own pace.
Speaking of blogging: Here´s what my book blogging life looks like.
Spying. Because I´m a book ninja looking out for the newest reads, comparing prices, etc.
Getting excited everytime I find something during my spy sessions. Most of the time I get excited when I spot a book (s).
Ending up on the sofa with a mug in one hand and a book in the other.
Reading is high on my “How to make Morgana happy” list. Review writing isn´t. I don´t know… I´m not very fond of typing up reviews, especially when it´s a review for a less than 3 star read. I do it anyways, though, because I believe it´s necessary. You can´t have the good without the bad, right? As long as everything is done with respect then all is allowed.
My 3 most popular moods during or after reading:
Disappointed. Confused. In love.
There´s really no other way to explain myself better.
There ya have it. That´s me neatly presented to you with a little over 700 words.
If you decide to follow my book blog regularly then you´ll find that I try to balance the normal read & review out with discussion posts and other fun features / themes. I also try to do at least 3 posts during the week and spend the weekends catching up on the blogs I follow.
Since my private life is filled with work, being a mom & wife and LOTS of reading I hardly have enough energy to hang around other social media much. Juggling Twitter, Instagram and my blog is a challenge sometimes so I´ll often just concentrate on my WordPress instead of hanging all over the place. If you do happen to want to hunt me down on Twitter or Instagram then feel free to hit me up there!
OKAY, NOW I AM FINISHED.
Thank you again for the follows. I´m looking forward to reading all the future goodies you´ll be sharing on your blogs.
The 13th Day Of Bookmas and I´m going to do some major personal note revealing. This is probably going to be the most intimate post you´ll ever get to see from me. Why?
Because you´ll get to see:
my * cough cough * shitty handwriting
my questionable ideas
the weird blog stuff I plan
And of course, I´ll take it all a step further and reveal a side project I´ve been working on with my oldest daughter ( Don´t worry, it´s book related ).
Take a seat, bookish Padawans. It´s going to get juicy. Fingers crossed that you won´t fall off your chairs out of sheer boredom.
PLEASE NOTE that this post is 100% personal. Meaning this isn´t educational or even meant to be helpful ( although I wouldn´t mind if you do seem to feel moved to use whatever tricks / ideas / tips I reveal. Y´all have my blessings)
But before I grace you with my weird shit creativity… I´d like to say that none of what´s revealed is in any way a guide or a template for proper book blogging. We all know there´s no right or wrong way to go about this business / hobby of ours. What works for me might not work for others and all that shibaz.
As a seasoned book blogger I´ve learned that keeping a schedule is key to a less chaotic blogger life. With all the books us book bloggers purchase, read and review – We can easily get lost in the paper jungle and end up not being able to tell the difference between up and down. In the beginning of my blogger career I started out with Google calendar. But I ended up hating it so I began going the traditional, old school route by using pen and paper to make notes or keep up with new releases and all that.
I´m a pen to paper type of woman and prefer journals over making notes on my phone, etc.. I cannot begin to tell you how many journals I have ( basically because I like to ignore the journal mountain I have growing in my trusty pseudo office ). I use journals to write down all kinds of book blog – ish stuff. Whether it´s for scribbling down new releases, author names, my own ideas… I always reach for a journal.
As of now, I´m constantly using these babies.
My Trusty Blogger Journals
Work That Shit journal: This is where I write down the authors I want to look up and where I try to shift and mold the post ideas I come up with during the day. Let´s take the Bookmas theme I´ve got going at the moment. It´s in this journal… everything all mapped out.
Blogs To Follow journal: This might be strange to some but I do make notes of book blogs I want to not only follow but also keep track of. Here´s some ugly facts: I don´t scroll through the WordPress Reader. Not because I´m not interested… It´s more because I hardly have time between work, the kids and maintaining a household. By the time I go online I´ve missed too much and really don´t want to spend 4 hours scrolling the Reader. I know- It´s an ass move towards the blogs who follow me but I really can´t invest more time than I already am investing. NOTE: This is for WordPress blogs only.
Create A Dreamjournal: Or in other words: My junk journal. This is where I keep literally all kinds of shit. Instagram ideas, blog post ideas, hashtags, book event layouts, spy dates, Skype sessions with authors, bloggers and close friends who so happen to be involved in the book world… It´s all in here and it´s ONE HUGE UNORGANIZED MESS.
Yes. Believe it or not- I have 2 1/2 pages full of hashtags. This started during the time when I thought I could beat the algorithm on Instagram by using the right hashtags. I gave up shortly after because this became exhausting as hell. I also have a page dedicated to Twitter hashtags and Fb hashtags ( because my old ass had to learn the hard way that a hashtag isn´t always the right hashtag )
I also used to keep track of various social media book blog groups / book pages / Streetteams, etc. by writing down the groups I followed ( to save time ). Now I don´t work bookish stuff on FB anymore.
Ideasjournal: This is a place to think. Write down what works for my blog and what hasn´t worked and what I think could work but still have to think through. This is also the a journal I use to keep track of book costs. I, unfortunately, don´t have money growing in my garden so I like to make lists of the books I buy and keep a tight lid on booksih shopping lists. I also use this journal for my mother – daughter book projects.
Aah, yes. The mother – daughter project I mentioned earlier. In the pic above you can ( barely ) see pricings from various online print services. Eve and I have a side project called The Book Owls where we do book charity. That´s right. I don´t just book blog.
The Book Owls is an organization that helps less fortunate children havebetter access to books.
The idea for this happened when I was with the girls book shopping. Eve caught wind of a mother explaining to her kid that she didn´t have money to buy her kid a book. To my utter shock, my kid walked to the kid and told him “Don´t worry. My mommy can buy you the book.” And that´s what I ended up doing. I also gave my daughter a gentle speech on how she can´t do that without consulting me first. If she had asked I would´ve said no. But she unintentionally put me on the spot. After that I thought long and hard about how to give kids easy access to books.
Trust me- This wasn´t easy and it took me quite a few journals to come up with a solid plan on how to approach this idea. Fast forward a year….
Eve and I are organizing book flea markets for children´s books ( ages 0 – 12 ) where children can sell their own used books for no more than 2 euros per book. The pic above shows the prices for swag we give the young sellers at the end of the book flea market ( including promo posters, etc ). This is a great way to spread the book love with the younger folk. And of course, all this is non-profit.
We also collect used, in good condition, children´s books in the village we live in and bring these to orphanages, hospitals, and to other children organizations.
Right now, the babe and I are working on a book treasure hunt for our young village members. We bought 2 books ( for each gender ), wrapped them in red and blue gift wrap and will announce in the village FB group that we´ll be hiding these books on one of 3 playgrounds. The first children who find the books can keep them. All they have to do is create a post in the village FB group to let us know that they´ve been found.
If you don´t see a blog post from me from time to time for a few days then I´m actually working on our mother – daughter charity project.
Phew! That was personal. But hey- I promised insight. Now you know I´m desperately trying to buy my way into heaven.
Just kidding. There is no heaven. Let´s take a step away from the charity stuff and move back to the book blog reveals. I have more pics of notes in my trusty journals.
You may have fun now.
And then there is this gem. Yes. I´m a crazy organized bitch who likes to neatly put anything bookish in a folder. I have 9 years worth of book paper shit.
This folder holds book signing tickets ( or anything book signing related ), author letters and cards ( yes, I get the occasional thank you and Christmas card ) and of course, my favorite swag. Behold!
In the last picture on the left side you can even see a postcard from my first blog, The Divas Book Blog. This I used to send out to authors, signing events and other blogs as a means of self promotion. BTW- That system works wonders.
So there ya have it. I´m stripped bare. You know my organized / half organized – half messy / less organized notes. You now know how I actually work my blog. Wait. That´s not true. You haven´t seen my Google Drive yet. Blog notes are worse there.
Will any of this help you? I doubt it. That doesn´t mean I wouldn´t find it cool if someone were able to take something valuable away from this post. Even if it´s to NEVER copy my approach to book blogging…. ❤
Now that you know me I think we can get married now. Who´s first? Lol
As always… I´m looking forward to reading your thoughts in the comment box below. Feel free to ask questions if you have any. Are you shocked? Stunned beyond words? Or do you keep notes as well? How do you stay organized? Let´s chat. ❤ ❤
Thank you so much for finding interest in this post. Feel hugged if you enjoyed reading about my book blogger notes.
For some reason I have the urge to continue the 12 Days of Christmas song. If I wasn´t so lazy right now I probably would sing it. But since I can´t be bothered… I´m going to spill some Book Blogger T.
How I Come Up With My Blog Content
Yupp, us book blogging folk are an organized chaotic bunch who do almost everything for books ( the keyword is `almost`. I haven´t seen book bloggers selling their bodies for books or in the name of books… yet. Although, who knows)
I´ve mentioned before that sometimes our book blogging days can be easy going and some days can be dragging. It all depends on our moods and our abilities to come up with topics to write about.
It´s a 50 / 50 thing for me. I have my own good and bad book blogging days, just like everyone else does ( at least I hope that´s the case ).
But when the good days hit? I´m on a flippin´ roll!
My biggest problem is: I have ideas. I have quite a few ideas just waiting to come to life if only I didn´t sometimes have the memory of a goldfish. Meaning- I can be mopping the floor when an idea strikes and 3 seconds later.. POOF! Gone. Just like that.
What about writing down my blog post ideas? Sure. I do that. But when you´re mowing the lawn or picking up a hoard of pre teenagers from school you´re not going to think about a pen and paper. You´re not even going to pull out the phone out of fear some 12 year old will want to add you to their Snapchat.
It´s not easy for me to scribble something down real quick. But when I do manage to write down an idea I´m more than excited to work on it.
So, where do us book blogging people get our ideas?
I´d say the same way authors get theirs. Sometimes we see someone / something and an idea hits us. Sometimes we get inspired by someone else´s post. It really depends.
DO NOT confuse being inspired with stealing content. You might not believe it, but there´s a difference between the two. But that is another touchy bedtime story for a another night. And trust me when I say I WILL tackle the Being Inspired vs. Stealing topic very soon.
So, where do I get my ideas? I´m glad you asked.
For me- the best way to come up with ideas is by…
Chatting / talking with friends. There´s nothing more fab than having a simple chat and being inspired by a topic.
Reading blog posts from fellow book bloggers. While this may seem like stealing- It isn´t. Not if you either give credit or remodel the post to where you can call it your own. Communication is also something that helps prevent being accused of stealing.
Real life events.This happens way too often. Remember my Stop Interrupting The Reader post? That was born out of frustration. Hours before I typed that post my mother in – law got on my last nerve by constantly interrupting me while reading. I don´t have much time to read during the day as it is. And when in – law – dearest sees I´m reading and still decides to interrupt me a few times because she´s bored… I will get annoyed and inspired to write a blog post about it.
Reading books.This is also very helpful. Reading books can inspire me to write about almost anything. Characters, Heroines, writing style, editing, tropes,.. you name it! It´s all there for the taking.
Observations. I have lots of Eureka moments. I´ll be doing something and then suddenly realize I´m doing something weird. For example: I snack a lot while reading. A post idea for that would be “My Favorite Foods To Eat While Reading”. Or I´ll prepare my sofa with pillows and blankets before reading and realize I have a reading ritual. A “Reading Ritual” post is born!
Before Bedtime. This is the worst moment for me to come up with an idea (s). The absolute worst. When my head hits the pillow I have about 5 minutes before I´m out like a light. In those 5 minutes I become a flippin´mastermind and have so many ideas for future blog posts.
You see? It´s simple. Coming up with ideas is a piece of cake. But with that being said- Not every idea I have is a good idea or works out the way I want it to.
You should see my draft folder. It´s busting out of its seams with unfinished blog post ideas. Some of those ideas might never see the light of day. Some are being included in this December Bookmas special * wink *
I´m curious: How do you come up with your blog content? I´d love to find out what inspires you. ❤
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the 4th Day of Bookmas!