I'm sitting at my computer right now in complete and utter shock. I may have started this blog over a year ago, but I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined how much I would learn and grow just by blogging about books. When I started Browsing Bookshelves back in April 2011, I took it up as a challenge to myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could start something and actually keep it going for longer than a month. In the first post I ever wrote I listed four goals that I wanted to accomplish after a year of blogging: write at least two posts a week, review around 50 books, meet some of my favourite authors, and blog about the things I love.
Not only have I met these goal today, but in my mind I've surpassed them! Since April 1st 2011 I have reviewed 73 books on my blog and averaged about three posts a week. I also had the amazing opportunity to meet incredible authors like Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver, and Tony Kushner! One of the things that I'm still in shock about, however, is the 186 GFC and 111 Facebook page followers I've received over the past year. I know these numbers are nothing compared to some of the other super popular blogs that are out there, but considering the fact that I figured I would never get more then 5 of my friends reading my blog I'm blown away by the following I've received! Every comment, follow, and referral has meant the world to me, and I can't thank every one enough for showing so much love and support!
Now for those of you who have just started blogging, or are thinking about starting a blog of their own, here are some of the things I've learned from the past year.
1. Blog About What You Love: There have been times where I've been tired and just wanted to give up and stop blogging altogether. My LOVE and OBSESSION with books, however, is the one thing that prevented this from happening, as I would get so excited about what I was reading that I wanted to share it with everyone online!
2. Don't Be Afraid To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I'm pretty shy at times and hesitant. When I first started blogging I was terrified to tweet my favourite authors or email publishing companies. As scary as that was for me, I realized that the majority of authors out there typically love hearing from their fans, and that most publishing companies really rely on the reviews of bloggers to promote their books! So don't be shy! Get involved in everything that blogging has to offer!
3. Be Social: Finally, one of the greatest things about blogging, is all of the great people you can meet who share your interests! Many of my friends from high school have enjoyed reading, but never to the full blown obsession that I possess. Following other book bloggers and getting to talk to them has been an awesome way to connect with other people who share my love of reading!
Soo this post turned out to be longer and more winded than I meant it to be. And there is so much more that I want to say, but to save you all from boredom I think I'll stop things here. I'll just finish by setting some new goals for myself for the upcoming year: to continue posting at least 3 times a week, to expand my network of blogger friends and publishers, to meet more great authors (and perhaps even interview them for my blog), and to continue to blog about what I love!
And now...for those of you waiting to find out who won my one year anniversary giveaway...drumroll please! Its Ikhlas from The Whimsical Whims of Ikhlas Hussain! Thanks so much everyone for entering!