Tier 1: The Individual
I think the number one item to being a successful blogger is YOU! Throughout the years, I have discovered that this blog exists because of my desire to write, to discuss books, and to share in the love of literacy. My passion for these three things is truly what keeps me writing here. There have been times that I have wanted to step away. There have been absences, and some that were longer than others. For some reason, I continue to return to my writing and to this community. Maybe it is because this connection has been my constant (I have moved twice to different states since the beginning of this site). Maybe it is because writing is a release for me. Maybe it is because I simply love talking books and it is better to talk to myself than to someone who looks at you like you are One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!
The point is . . . Your site has to be about you! You have to want to put in the time. Being a book blogger is a lot of work. It takes time and oftentimes, money. If you lose the passion and it becomes more of a dreaded chore, then you may want to ask yourself why you continue. Maybe you just need to make some changes. Maybe you need to not post every single day. Find your niche. Find your style. Take pride in what you do. Blogging can be a great reward in and of itself . . . if you want that reward to be blogging!
Tier 2: The Online Community
You will find some sites that have literally thousands of followers. Then, you have people like me that don't quite have that many! Is one better than the other? I don't think so! We just have different goals and purposes behind our sites. Personally, I don't shoot for the thousands. I have found a very devoted group that I can rely on interactions and friendships with. I choose to focus on those and cherish many of them as noted in my post from Monday. In addition, blogging is my hobby. As you discovered from Emma and I's interview yesterday, I am a busy person outside of my site. I simply don't have the time to market and post like some people do. Knowing your limitations and appreciating others are key.
Tier 3: The Community IRL
This level is one that is still fairly new to me and I continue to work on it on a regular basis. In fact, only a few months ago, I brought back a feature here called Literary Locals and have had a blast highlighting my local literary loves! And, without this last system, I would never have had my latest opportunity of branching out into the world of freelance writing which you can follow through my Walrus Report. You simply do not know what life may bring you in this area until you venture out and try a little something yourself!
Overall, I have grown over these past four years. I have seen my peers develop and I have experienced blossoming friendships that I will never forget. This community has so much to offer and I thank my lucky stars every day that I am a part of it! Today and every day, YOU are my lucky stars, and I am thanking YOU.