Welcome to the first (of many I hope) Stop & Chat Saturday post here at Read. Sleep. Repeat.

do a happy dance &  throw confetti!

Stop & Chat Saturday is the product of me being ignored and my Napoleon complex not being able to handle that. I know that sounds horrible and a bit self centered but I really have no one in my day to day/face to face life I can talk bookish with, and that seriously starts to wear you down after a while. So now I turn to you, my dears, with my bookish question/ramblings/rants/concerns. Be afraid….be VERY afraid.

This week’s Stop & Chat Saturday is inspired by Rachel of one of my fave blogs, Parajunkee. You guys may not know this but I am a HUGE blog stalker. Amongst the blogs that I stalk I’m happy to say that I’m a frequent visitor of Parajunkee. I love her weekly meme/features, she is an AMAZING designer, and her tips are always helpful. In fact it was during one of my visits that I stumbled upon a very thought provoking and sore subject for me: “How to grade your blog“. The post was basically about how we, as bloggers, know if our blog is doing well, and what we can do to improve on whatever areas/aspects in our blogging to make us better. I highlighted, bookmarked, and memorized as much of the post as I could and to put it frankly, I thought the post was brilliant! 

I was coming up on my 3 month blogging milestone and I was at a bit of a stand still where numbers were concerned. I was starting to feel like I was failing at blogging. So you can see how a post about improving the “impact” of my blog was like a small miracle for me. But I started to twist what I was reading into a race to have more pageviews, more followers, more impact! I wanted to shoot to 10K pageviews a month in a blink of an eye. I wanted to have 1, 2, or maybe even 4K followers. I wanted publishers, book lovers, authors, and other bloggers to know my name. My goal became an obsession.
I went completely off the deep end. I started checking my GFC every morning before I got out of bed to see if I had gained any new followers. I joined more weekly meme’s in the hopes of generating more traffic. I even started to focus solely on ARC’s, thinking that would help. 

Maybe just a little?

I was never dishonest, or unethical, but I did become obsessed with the numbers game, and sadly, it took me 2 months to realize that my focus had shifted from blogging to numbers. I broke my cardinal rule of blogging: 

Blogging is a hobby, an escape, a little piece of the internet where I can just be. Don’t screw it up!

Obviously, now I know that I was a bit nuts but during that time I didn’t even notice the change. I know I’m not the first nor the last blogger to go to that dark number padded room, and knowing my thick skull it may happen again (though I seriously hope not) but I wanted to take this Saturday to remind bloggers of the reason you chose to blog by asking why you blog. Too often I see my fellow bloggers stressed and unhappy with blogging, and what better way than for them to remind themselves why they started in the first place?!  And to make it easy I will go first! =)

Why do YOU blog?

Why, Octavia! How thoughtful of you to ask me such an important question! I blog for so many reasons it’s hard to name just one, so I will pick 3.
  1. I blog to vent. I don’t have people in my face to face life who enjoy books, so I started blogging just so I could track down other book lovers and rant to them.
  2. I blog to make friends. I have some of the best bookish friends, and it’s all thanks to blogging! I’m not talking about your occasional “hey just dropping by the blog” kind of friend, I mean the ones I talk to daily via twitter/email/etc. I didn’t think I would make friends from blogging, but thankfully I was wrong.
  3. I blog because I really do love it. Once I got back to the basics and remembered that numbers won’t make or break me I was reminded of how much I really love blogging. Yes its a place to vent and met new people but it’s also a place for me to watch my growth as a blogger, my knowledge as a book lover and the passion I insist on sharing with EVERY ONE. I have a lot of growth ahead of me but I’m on a path that makes me happy.
And that my, brilliant and thoughtful Octavia, is why I blog. I’ve got good friends and great books, and thats really important to me. 

So link your answers up in the comments! Because I really want to know:
Why do YOU blog?

30 thoughts on “Stop & Chat Saturday: Why do YOU blog?”

  1. Haha great post! I definitely blog to rant. I literally have no bookish friends, or at least bookish friends who like the same kind of books as I do. It is hard to read some amazing books and just kinda sit there, and say to yourself, now what?

    I also blog to write. I’ve always loved writing, and I like seeing my thoughts expressed as words on a page, and I like that people read and enjoy those thoughts. I pride myself on my writing skills (most of the time), and the best way I can showcase them (outside of dry academic papers, boo), is to blog. I try to write the same way I talk or think, and I love the flow of words that just shows up out of no where!

    I’ve really tried to stay away from my stats counter. Like crazy. It’s not even worth it to look at it, because those numbers change and fluctuate, and you as a blogger have very little control over those numbers. I’d rather have a few, really honest and engaging followers than thousands of page views and no interaction.

  2. I think I had my “number’s don’t matter” breakthrough when my BF told me how that’s something I really can’t control. I’m happy (and jealous) that you have that concept already down. This post was something really near and dear to me and I appreciate your comment and honesty 🙂

  3. Love your post, and don’t worry I’m sure almost every blogger at some point has started playing the numbers game! Although I love seeing my blogger follower number raise, my favorite thing to see is great comments on my posts and making new bookish friends. I don’t make stats my priority, although when I first started I was a little stressed about it, but not anymore.

    I blog to talk books. I only have one really big book nerd friend in the real world that I can talk to about books, and although we read a lot of the same things, I still read many books she doesn’t. So blogging has been a great and fun way to talk books with many other book lovers out there.

  4. There are some really cool people in the book blogging world right?! I can’t believe all the friends that I’ve made and hope to continue making. I think that’s what helped me go ahead and get rid of GFC. I know my friends will listen to me and thats all I can ask for.

    Thanks a bunch for Stopping by and Chatting!

  5. Mainly I blog as an emotional outlet. There are not a lot of ways for me to vent and get my feelings out there in my real life. I was never able to stick with journaling. I love books, and so this is the answer for me. It makes me feel like I am contributing something and bettering myself, and since I started blogging, I’ve been a much happier person. I think I’m doing it for the right reasons. I still care about stats a little, but not as much and I think it has showed in my posts the last few months or so. You’ll get there!

  6. Thanks for the vote of confidence! Its so funny how as soon as I stop worrying about the numbers I wrote one of my best (in my opinion) reviews. And I completely agree with you about the emotional outlet. This post was the result of me feeling some kind of way about blogging and I had to share that or burst. 🙂

    I hope blogging continues to make you happy, and thanks for stopping by! =)

  7. I think we all go number crazy at some point, but it just gets to be too much. And once blogging becomes a job and not fun anymore it’s hard to keep up with it. I like your three reasons though. The bookish community is awesome and I’m glad you’re part of it!

  8. Aww shucks! When I first started blogging (all those 5 months ago lol), I didn’t know about this amazing community, but I’ve made some very dear friends and connects I can’t imagine being anywhere else!

  9. I love this post. Like, not silly fake ego-stroking declarations just for the sake of commenting, I seriously love this post.

    I’ve been technically blogging for about 7 months, but I say more like 3 or 4 since I had a few months when my laptop was kaputz and I couldn’t actually do any blogging. I already to that daily GFC check every morning…no good? Haha. I naturally have an obsessive personality, so that carries over to blogging.

    I do make a point, however, to remind myself that I don’t have to be the best or most popular. I don’t have to have hundreds or thousands of followers to have a good blog. Shoot, I love my blog! Even if it’s not the best, it’s something I genuinely spend time on, work on, so I’m proud of the little thing. I don’t have a ton of followers, but I have a few very loyal ones, which means more to me. I’ve made friends and found great books and great blogs, and I managed to feel just a little less nerdy about my bookish habits. (I sniff. Do you?)

    Anyway, since this comment is already turning into a post within a post, let’s just leave it with I agree with you, I love you for posting this, and you’re awesome.


  10. I know you didn’t mean to but you have definitely stroked my ego ma’am! I always felt like the odd ball in my family because of my bookish habits but, like you I’ve come to not just embrace it but showcase it (sniff). I appreciate every single post within this post, but your ego-stroking declaration (you walked into that one) is the icing on my awesome cake!

  11. Great post! I am just getting going really at Love.Life.Read but, there are times where I have caught myself because I wish I had higher numbers. Like you though, I step back to remind myself that I am doing this for a lot of the same reasons you do:

    1) To document my love of reading
    2) To socialize with other book lovers
    3) And a creative outlet for me

    Thanks for the wonderful post!


    Your 3 reasons are what it’s all about! Books! Fellow Book Nerds! And the best darn outlet since Facebook was first invented!

    Thank you for dropping by, and happy wishes for your blog!

  13. Loved this post! It really is important to take a step back and examine your reasons for doing something sometimes. This one hit home with me because I’ve very recently turned my personal blog into a book blog. Before, blogging was easy. I was really only doing it for myself so it didn’t matter if no one commented – but usually at least one or two of my friends WOULD comment. Now that I’ve converted, I’ve found myself falling into the numbers trap. I’m getting visitors – they’re few, but they’re there, right there on my analytics! But no one’s commenting on anything anywhere. Blog, twitter, tumblr, facebook, NOTHING. Not even the friends who used to comment on my personal blogs. Which is probably because none of them are interested in reading, especially not to the extent that I am. But still, a little support? I get really sad and defeated but I have to remind myself that 1. I’m doing this because I love books and I love blogging and this hobby has really given me something to look forward to and 2. I’m a super newbie. No one knows who I am yet, so it’s just going to take a little time and work to grab people’s interest. The important part is that I’m doing what I love – READING. The blog is just a hobby, and visitors/comments aren’t really a success or a failure.

    So nice to have found you! I’m already loving your blog – so take heart, here’s a new number for you! 😀

  14. Ain’t you the sweetest thing this side of the Mississippi?! I know exactly how you feel and believe me, you have just made a friend. I’m no pro at blogging but I will say have fun, be honest and just go with your gut!

  15. Oh yes Octavia, I totally was like that too at first. I would look at my number of followers, try to generate more pageviews, and put my blog name out there, but for some reason, I don’t anymore. I don’t know why, I just don’t. And I agree, that’s a VERY good thing.
    Okay, now onto WHY I blog.

    1. To keep track of all the books I read and what I thought about them. I’m serious. I read so fast and so much that books before college started that my feelings about them began to blur together, so I started a blog to keep track of my feelings and thoughts to share them with future me if I don’t remember.
    2. Blogs are pretty. And it’s pretty cool to say hey, I have a book blog!
    3. None of my friends like reading, so what’s a better way than to make a blog and share my love for reading with others?

    And that’s basically it. o__o

  16. Ohh that whole “to keep track of all the books…” is me to a tee! In fact that was the sole purpose of me getting a Goodreads account, but of course I wanted to grow and with that came Read. Sleep. Repeat.

    On another note: I LOVE PRETTY BLOGS! It’s like some sick obsession I have O.o

  17. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing! In just my 2 1/2 months, I’ve already become pretty consumed with my blog. I had no idea how much time it would take! But I’m someone who goes all-out when I commit to something. I assume (and hope) that I’ll dial back at some point soon, because I between my job and the blog, I have no free time!

    That all sounds like a complaint, but I love it. My friends aren’t big readers, so I have loved connecting with people who share my passion. Like you, I did not expect to make these connections so quickly!

    My decision to start blogging was very spur of the moment. I’ve been reviewing on Amazon for a while, so I thought a blog was a logical next step. I love having the outlet to express my opinions. Since my friends don’t care much about books, they don’t want to listen to me, and the great thing about blogs is that people can choose to visit or not.


  18. Stephanie you’ve wuickly become one of my great bookish friends and let me tell you YOUR BLOG IS ON FIRE!! Your post are always well written, your giveaways are ridiculous and people can tell that you are having fun! I’m happy you decided to blog because heaven knows I wouldn’t have found such a awesome friend via Amazon. 🙂 Although knowing Amazon they may start marketing friends soon lol….seriously beware O_O

  19. What a great post at a great time. I was just thinking that no one seems to stop by my public blog and I often find myself asking why bother, yet I still do it. I do it for me. I do it because I know the odd one or two people creep it (my numbers go up every now and then, so I know they are there, even if they don’t comment) I do it because the link ups have caused me to meet some pretty awesome bloggers (*cough* Hello Octavia!)

    I don’t blog about anything specific. Books, music, life. Whatever comes to mind. It makes it hard to join a specific blogging community, but makes for fun blogging time, which is really all that is important, right? =D

  20. Well my dear, I’m happy this post had great timing for you. You were the first friend I made via blogging and I would probab;y cry if you ever left. And no I’m not ashamed to play the guilt card on you!

  21. My coblogger and I blog because we email daily and we think we’re hilarious and if we’re hilarious we should put it in a blog. We have an extremely small following but we blog because we enjoy it. Would we love the freebies? Of course we would, but we do it because it’s fun. For now.

  22. Well it would be pretty darn selfish of you to keep your hilarious tendencies to yourselves lol. Its cool you have a co blogger to enjoy blogging with and as you both grow
    i hope that it remains fun for you!

  23. Oh wow. Love this new feature, and what a meme to introduce it…Fresh Prince <3

    Anyways. I noticed that you mentioned getting rid of your GFC widget the other day. I really commend you for that. Though few admit it, it is so easy to become obsessed with those numbers. My first few months of blogging consisted of gaining followers. Despite having 1000+ followers, I have realized that a small percentage really do care about my non-giveaway posts. Weird, but true.

    I also blog to vent, but many times I end up not sharing some ranty posts for fear of people getting butthurt. I really do want to have a reputation of a hag that is easily transfixed on you when you open up about controversial issues.

    Blogging to make friends is something I recently started to appreciate. In fact, Twitter has been the medium for this. I would have thought I would meet people as crazy as me such as the lady behind this blog lol. It is so cool how literature unites!

    Apart from what you mentioned, I also blog because it makes me more connected with the publishing/book world. I am more in the know about books than I ever was before. I know about upcoming releases, and even get the chance to read them. I would love to work in publishing one day, so my book blog has really helped me with getting familiar with that arena.

    This is such an insightful, honest post. Looking forward to the next one!

  24. First wow. I think this post is one of the biggest compliments I can receive from my BB101 posts. That it inspired you to write this blows me away. Thank you so much. I’m glad that post go you thinking and I totally get obsessed too. And it doesn’t get better — even when you get those crazy numbers. Because they go down and they go up. One day you have 700 pageviews where you normally have 1K and your like…what did I do? Is someone talking about me? Are people are boycotting me (yeah paranoid delusions) but after a few scandals you never know what happens.

    I think you hit the NAIL ON THE HEAD. I completely agree. Why do we blog? It helps to have affirmation in the form of numbers. And 100 is better then 2…but in the long run, if this is just a hobby. If this is just to spread the love of reading, I think the community as a whole is more important than a pageview or two. So connecting on social networks and discussing book with friends we meet via blogger because the greater focus. I think I’ve made some great people from blogging, I know I’ve one person in my area that I’ve connected with and become a real friend with and that is beyond words and pageviews. My online buddies too, while I’ve never had a face to face chat with have become an integral part of my life.

    But, then I also blog to bring attention to my design business, so that is where the professional part mixes with the personal hobby aspect. It gets kind of confusing at times, so I do those BB101 posts a lot of the times to focus my goals and thoughts for myself.

    Now I think I just totally rambled. But, I love this post. Thanks so much. And this a great new feature. Looking forward to more.
    Parajunkee recently posted…Time for a Quickie: Some Mini-ReviewsMy Profile

  25. Thank You! I really did love your post and I needed it more than I thought at that time.

    (Rambling is always encouraged and paranoia is a requirement!)

  26. I love this post. I’m only blogging 2 months and I know I need to take a little step back. I Need to stop my judging my blogs success on the numbers and just concentrate more on the satisfaction it gives me. I love blogging, it has fulfilled a creative need in me that I didn’t even know existed. It has also given my book nerd a voice that she doesn’t have in real life as I’m not surrounded by bookish people. Just need to stop obsessing on page views and followers as that is not really the point of why I do this. Great post 🙂
    Trish Hannon recently posted…Book Review : Screwed by Laurie PissnerMy Profile

  27. It’s all about that love for blogging! I was originally very ashamed about my “numbers obsession” but it seems most bloggers go through this at some point. Welcome to the awesome world of book blogging! I wish you luck and I hope you keep that love for blogging first. 🙂

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