21 September 2018

Thoughts on 10 Years of Blogging

Thoughts on book blogging at Beth Fish ReadsLast week I hit my 10th anniversary here at Beth Fish Reads. I didn't want to let the day slip by without notice. To celebrate, I'm sharing some random thoughts about my decade of blogging life.

My original idea for Beth Fish Reads was to write about audiobooks and the activities I engaged in while listening, such as cooking, gardening, walking, and doing various forms of needlework.

I didn't realize that blogging could take on a life of its own, leading me along new paths.

The very best part about blogging: I've made some amazing friends in the last 10 years, and I've been fortunate enough to meet many of them in real life. Some no longer blog, but I still keep up with their lives through mutual friends or social media. I had no idea that the community of book bloggers would be filled with so many wonderful people. Thank you all for friendship and support--and a special shout-out to the class of 2008 (a book blogging boom year).

Here are some short takes on the past 10 years:

  • My first post on September 13, 2008, was about wine! My second post was a short book review, in which I never actually name the book I'm reviewing: I guess I thought readers would get that information from the cover photo and the post title! By September 30, I had written two posts about audiobooks, though I have almost never written about gardening or my other hobbies.
  • Thoughts on book blogging at Beth Fish ReadsOf the 3222 posts I've published here, 573 have the label "audiobook." Some of my earliest book reviews were written as if I read the book in print, even though I actually listened to it. There wasn't much support of audiobooks in the book blogging community in 2008.
  • I've written 458 Weekend Cooking posts and have enjoyed getting to know an international community through that meme. As much as I like to write about food and cooking, I've never once been sorry I became book blogger instead of food blogger. Truly.
  • Other stats: You'll find 511 Wordless Wednesday photos and way more book reviews than I can count. I'm sad to report that my review index stops in early 2017. My blog has had 3,380,510 page views since its birth (I suspect that's a pretty small number for 10 years), and current traffic is a little less than 1600 hits a day (if Blogger can be believed).
  • When I look back on some of earlier reviews, I can't believe I had the time and energy to write such detailed analyses. This review of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, written in 2009, is an example.
  • My most controversial post was my review of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Rereading my thoughts just now, I still stand by everything I said in the review and the comments.
  • Among my most popular posts were the two I devoted to culling my library. My first post was general; my second post included a flow sheet! I really need to go through a major culling again. Sigh.
  • The major highlight: I was the APA's Book Blogger of the Year! Wooo hoo! Such an incredible honor and thrill--I still can't believe the magic of it all. I loved every second of being at the Audies and having an evening of red-carpet excitement
Thoughts on book blogging at Beth Fish ReadsAnd, of course, thoughts on the future:
  • Blogging is really hard work, but I love having a record of the books I've read (even if I'm bad on indexing). I'm happy with my current system of publishing all my short reviews on a single day (Monday). I'm pretty sure I'll never go back to the long form.
  • I like doing a roundup of some sort every week. It's a great way to share titles I'm looking forward to reading, to recommend books, and to feature a genre or imprint I hope will catch your interest.
  • Wednesday photos will continue to appear when I have something to post.
  • I plan to host Weekend Cooking into the next year.  I still love hosting and reading all the linked-up posts.
As long as people continue visit Beth Fish Reads, I'll be writing about books (especially audiobooks) and food. The only real change is this: I no longer pressure myself to produce daily content; I'm glad to put that behind me.


Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 9/21/18, 7:06 AM  

Congratulations! And I love hearing about what you originally intended your blog to be vs. what it actually came out to be...mine is the same way!

Marg 9/21/18, 7:26 AM  

Congratulations on your blogging anniversary.

I think that you have to continue to evolve otherwise you become stale. I certainly look at some of my old posts and wonder how I did that.

I am glad to hear that Weekend Cooking will continue for a while yet. For a long time it is the only thing that kept me blogging!

Molly 9/21/18, 8:01 AM  

Congratulations on reaching such a milestone anniversary!
I'm glad to hear you will continue your wonderful posts. I enjoy them all (and someday hope to return to the Weekend Cooking gathering).

Simon T - StuckinaBook 9/21/18, 8:11 AM  

Many, many congratulations! I always love to see book bloggers who are still thriving after all these years. (I started around the same time, and there were definitely a lot fewer of us then :))

bermudaonion 9/21/18, 8:38 AM  

Congratulations on 10 wonderful years! I've loved getting to know you - virtually and in real life! Cheers to the Class of 2008! ;)

Kay 9/21/18, 8:51 AM  

My congratulations as well, Candace! I think many of us have seen changes in the book blogging community and I also know that we've all had changes in our own blogs. You're one who has stayed the course and stuck around. I'm one who has come and gone and come and gone. I think it has taken me a while to find my own rhythm and also to be happy with how I'm doing things. At this point, it's for me and not for anyone else, including publishers or other readers. I like to get good 'marks', but the friendships are awesome and I just like talking about books. Here's to blogging as long as we think it's fun!

rhapsodyinbooks 9/21/18, 9:00 AM  

Happy 10th! Mine too was in August, but since it wasn't happy I didn't mention it, ha ha! My most fun stats have to do with the spam attracted to the blog. And I wish it had stats on typos. I bet I'd beat many other bloggers! :--)

Raima 9/21/18, 10:19 AM  

Congratulations on reaching this milestone! Your blog was one of the reasons I started blogging myself, just a few months after you did apparently (my own 10 year anniversary is in December). Thanks for being such a great inspiration and for showing us all how it's done.

sherry fundin 9/21/18, 11:26 AM  

Congratulations on the blogging birthday. Wow...ten years. I wonder how many hours were spent blogging. lol
sherry @ fundinmental

cindysloveofbooks 9/21/18, 4:14 PM  

Happy 10 year anniversary. Its hard to believe its been 10 years. My blog turned 10 in late August. Candace, I was lucky enough to meet you a few years ago and its a honor to call you one of my blogging friends. Here is to another 10 years of blogging :)

fredamans 9/21/18, 4:33 PM  

Happy 10th blogoversary!!!!!!!!!!

Carole 9/21/18, 6:36 PM  

10 years is a monumental achievement. Congratulations. Thanks, too, for Weekend Cooking which I love to support. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Shaheen 9/22/18, 3:36 AM  

Congratulations. I hit 10 years this year too, but I was commenting on peoples blogs in 2008, but not blogging myself until 2009 as I was not sure of photo content then. Like you I no longer put pressure on myself to blog every day, the first few years I was blogging almost every day. I get about the same traffic every day, but these days for me its about sharing and enjoying the engagement with those who continue to read. Here to another 10 years. Best wishes

Kaye 9/22/18, 3:38 AM  

Congrats on keeping your blog going so long. I almost wish I had kept mine going but when something becomes a chore instead of a joy, it’s time to let go. I still use my blog , )Pudgy Penguin Perusals ) as a record of what I read.

You are so right about the wonderful people in the blogosphere. I felt like I knew them personally. Reading about the death of one of my favorite bloggers, Cairo from a Lovely Shore Breeze, truly saddened me even though our only contact was through our blogs.

Keep on keeping on!

Heidenkind 9/22/18, 4:44 AM  

Happy 10 year bloggiversary! It doesn’t feel like a decade has passed but I guess it has!

I read your review of Mockingjay and I couldn’t agree more. I wanted to light that book on fire but unfortunately it was on my Kindle and I didn’t want to punish the other books for that one’s awfulness.

JoAnn 9/22/18, 8:09 AM  

Congratulations on 10 years!! There have been so many changes in the past decade, but I'm glad so many of us from the "Class of 2008" are still going strong. Here's to the next ten!

Sue Jackson 9/22/18, 9:24 AM  

Congratulations on your Blogiversary!! And on the award you won - that's wonderful & well-deserved.

You stats had me jumping over to Blogger to check my own :) Not as impressive as yours, but I noticed Blogger is only counting "all time" stats starting in 2010, and I started blogging in 2006. They have also started limiting their search function to recent years which is making me crazy because I write book columns where I sometimes want to look up an older review or list - grrr.

I have always transitioned to short reviews, though I still do separate posts for them. Trying to leave more time for paid work :) though I do really enjoy blogging, for all the reasons you said!

Anyway, of course, I love your blog & always enjoy visiting - here's to another 10 years!


Book By Book

gluten Free A_Z Blog 9/22/18, 9:42 AM  

Wonderful post. I may go back and read some of your highlights from other years that I missed

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 9/22/18, 11:51 AM  

So glad you are still here! Here is to many more years as long as they bring you hoy!

Vicki 9/22/18, 3:40 PM  

Happy 10th Blogoversary! I agree with you on how wonderful book bloggers are. I've met some great people since I started my blog.

Marge 9/24/18, 6:53 PM  

Beth, I have so enjoyed reading your reviews throughout the years. I've read many books because of your recommendations. I, too, listen to many adult books on audio. I've just subscribed to HiBooks since I usually wait for the audiobooks at the library. As an elementary school librarian, I write about children's books on my blog once a week. I appreciate the time that it takes to write a post. Thank you, thank you!

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours 9/24/18, 9:24 PM  

Congrats Beth, and to many more! I'll be hitting 8 years in a few days

Daryl 10/1/18, 9:52 AM  

happy anniversary - belated - i too started back then ... i was posting every day for years i even had two blogs for a while lately i just dont find the energy for it .. but giving it up is equally hard .. and one of the very best things was/is meeting other bloggers and the friendships that have grown!

hhtp://ellenbest24.wordpress.com/ 10/3/18, 6:48 AM  

Happy tenth i have flipped this so as to return and read some more.

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