400 follower Q&A explaining the start of my blog and how it’s grown + post shout-outs (pt. 1 of 2)

What do you guys think???

I’ve done yet another blog redesign, but this time, I actually think it’ll last? I’ve said that every previous time, but let’s ignore that. I’ve been working on all the graphics, and the color scheme since around June, and I’m now finally publishing this! I’m so excited, and I actually really like the look of it, so I hope you guys do too. Let me know in the comments down below!!

And now to the normal intro of this post:


Good morning my dear friends! I hope you have had a fantastic August. It’s so funny how weeks, months, and years fly by so fast, but then days take forever to end. And this lock-down is not helping things.

Nonetheless, hopefully this day will go pretty great since we’re starting it off with a 400 follower Q&A!! I am so happy to have reached this milestone, and I’m so thankful for every single one of you for following my little corner of ramblings and less than awesome designs.

Last week or so, I posted the 400 follower Q&A form for you guys to fill out, and I really appreciate all of you who did!! I’ve got a lot of questions, so I’ve decided to split this Q&A into two, this being the first part all about blogging, and then the next part will be about books, food, and my likes/dislikes.

This is going to be kind of long, so let’s get started!!

Continue reading “400 follower Q&A explaining the start of my blog and how it’s grown + post shout-outs (pt. 1 of 2)”

The Book Blogging Firsts Tag | ft. me sharing the cringey posts and designs from my past

Hey y’all! Hope you’re having a great week so far. Today, I’m going to be doing the Book Blogging Firsts Tag.

I was actually not tagged to do this, and like a responsible person, I should be doing all the tags that I have actually been tagged in, but I can’t resist anymore and I just really want to do this. I saw it on Charlotte @ Bewitching Books, Ravenous Reads‘s blog, and every time I see the questions, I get super excited and motivated to finish this post. I even thought that I’d been tagged in it and that maybe that was the reason why I couldn’t stop thinking about it, but no. I was not tagged in it, and I’m being totally irresponsible.

It’s also been a year and almost two months since I started this blog, so hey, it’s a great time to reflect on everything!

Be sure to check out Charlotte’s lovely blog! Without further ado, let’s get started!

First blog name and design?

My blog name has been the same from the start: Eternity Books. Honestly, I wanted to change it after a while, but then I read that if I did so, I had to change the URL, and people might not know the new URL, nor would they associate the new name with me and yadda yadda yadda, and I just got terrified and stuck with EB.

I don’t even know why I chose Eternity Books. Honestly this blog was just spontaneous and I didn’t think things through at all. Even my ex-pen name was horrible and spontaneous. If I could go back and re-do it, I think I would, so that I could think everything through properly, and choose a blog name that I truly liked and one that represented me and my books.

I sadly don’t have a snapshot of what my old design was, but I was using the Gateway theme. My initial thought was to change the design with the seasons I vaguely remember it had to do with eternal seasons or eternity?, so I started off with a gray icy mountain theme, and then in January I changed it to a pink/hot-dark-pink theme if that’s even a color.

This was my header at least, so it was that kind of peachy pink. It didn’t look good. At all.

And of course, I’ve had several changes over the past year, some big, some small, and I’ve changed things up yet again, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!! Did you like the old background or do you prefer this one?? And the sidebar. What do you think???

First blog post?

A Top Ten Tuesday. I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t start off with a post talking about my blog and why I created it, and I just jumped straight into a Top Ten Tuesday (that I shortened to five). It’s actually not as cringey as I thought it would be, but it’s still bad and I’m really not proud of it.

Also, my design skills? They were pretty much non-existent.

First Post

First book review?

My first book review was of Accused by Lisa Scottoline, and I’m honestly surprised that it was also not as cringey as I thought it would be. I’ve definitely grown, and my writing has improved. But I feel like I still sound the same, and I’m kind of realizing that this is my voice. That it has always been even though I wasn’t sure, and I felt like I didn’t know what it was. It was always there, and it just feels great to realize that it’s always been the same ever since I started.

First Review

First meme participated in?

Top Ten Tuesday. It was my first post and my first meme. The second meme I did after that was WWW Wednesday, and I’m still doing that to this day.

First Meme | Second Meme

First Discussion Post?

Lol. My first ever discussion post was a mini rant about Bloglovin’ and how I was upset that they were posting/sharing my posts on their website without my permission. And there was no simple way to say, “Hey Bloglovin’, stop putting my posts on your platform cause I don’t want it there!”. Anyways, it really annoyed me, and I thought it would be a great discussion that would have a lot of views and likes and all that…and it really flopped πŸ˜‚πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

I think it did worse than the rest of my posts at the time, and it kind of was the reason why I was hesitant to do another discussion. But anyways, here it is: my first discussion post.

First Book Blog I Followed?

The first blogger that I followed was Breanna @ Paws and Paperbacks. I just love the design of her blog and her posts. I was also really excited to become a part of the community, so yeah, I followed a whole bunch of blogs that day. Anyways, be sure to check out her wonderful blog!

First Follower?

That was the lovely Jenn @ Jenniely. She was my first follower and also the first book blogger to follow me. I can imagine the excitement that I went through when I realized that I’d gotten my first follower. So thank you so much, Jenn for that! Be sure to check out her lovely blog!!

First Book I Read Because of Other Bloggers?

Honestly, I don’t know. There are probably a bunch of books that I’ve read because I saw them on other blogger’s blogs what a mouthful but I don’t remember the first one. The one that I do remember, that was recommended to me by a fellow book blogger, is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. And I loved it. The wonderful person who recommended this book to me is Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads. You all really need to check her blog out because she’s amazing and I love her and her blog so much, even though we don’t read many similar books. But she still makes me smile, and it’s fun to just read her blog, and y’all need to go check her out. NOW. That’s an order. Go. Then come back.

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I’m going to assume that you followed my wonderful advice. Good job, and thank you. I’m such a drama diva queen.

Tagging:

Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea | Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads | Xandra @ Starry Sky Books

Dani @ Literary Lion | Paper Procrastinators | Miri @ The Book Dragoness

Nikki @ The Night is Dark and Full of Books | Jane @ Blogger Books

That’s it! What do you think of the new background? Do you like the new sidebar? What did your first blog design look like? What was your first discussion about? How’s your week going so far? Chat with me in the comments below!!

2019 Blogging Wrap-Up + 2020 Goals

Hey all!! Welcome back! I have finally finally done this post, 20 days later than I anticipated. But I’m really excited to see all the things I accomplished last year blogging wise, and share with you my goals for this year.

This is probably going to be a long post, so let’s get started!!

Blogging Stats:

  • Posts and Comments: I wrote a total of 179 posts last year, with 105,632 words. 105,632 words guys. That number just seems so big and absurd. That’s around 590 words per post which isn’t too long, but it’s still a lot of words. I also had a total of 1,996 comments, which I’m guessing includes my replies and pingbacks.
  • Followers: I gained 224 followers last year. 224!! Two hundred and twenty four. I can’t really believe it, that so many people actually liked my blog enough to follow. It means so much to me, and really, I never expected so many follows. I mean, my goal (that I set at the end of 2018) was to gain 40 more followers. 40. And I gained 224. Thank you so much to every single one of you for reading and following my tiny corner of the internet!! It means so much to know that you enjoy reading what I have to say!
  • Views and Visitors: In 2019, I had a total of 8,746 views and 3,260 visitors. It was kind of a shock, because most of those views tbh, came towards the end of the year. In Aug 2019, I went from around 700 views to 1,000 in September. And it’s been increasing since then. October and November were around 1,100 views, and then December was around 1,400.
  • May was my lowest month by far, because I took a month long hiatus. It was Ramadan, and I didn’t really feel like blogging and reading while fasting. But after I started Let’s Talk Bookish in August, my views went up by a lot, and Friday has become my most popular day for views. So, yeah. I’m super proud of this as well.
  • Now for a breakdown of the types of posts that I wrote:
    • 46 Reviews
    • 37 WWW Wednesday Reading Updates
    • 23 Discussions
    • 16 Book Tags
    • 5 Awards
  • Those amount to 127 posts. So that means I had 52 other posts which were random, announcements, or Monthly wrap-ups. Overall, I think I still did pretty well.

2019 Goals Review:

  • Write 200 posts ❌
    • 100 should be book reviews ❌
  • Read 100 books ❌
  • Get 40 more followers βœ”
  • Focus more on quality, not quantity (lol) ❔
  • Read more diverse books with either diverse characters, topics, or places βœ”
  • Be more creative with my posts ❌

Lol. Four definite nos, and only two definite checks. I was close for some of them though.

  • Posts: I wrote 179 posts which is 21 short of 200. I didn’t even get close with the reviews.
  • Books: I was 2 books short of 100, so I’m still happy about that.
  • Followers: I got 224 more followers and I’m seriously very very proud of that.
  • Quality vs Quantity: I really don’t know how to figure out if I did? I think, for the most part, it was more about quantity and keeping up with my posting schedule. But I did have a few quality posts that I loved writing.
  • Diversity: Yes. For sure, my reading has become a lot more diverse. I read about so many diverse characters last year, and that has led to me learning about so many things that I didn’t even know existed. So yes. This is a very big yes.
  • Creativity: Haha no. I don’t think I was really creative? Unless we’re talking about graphics/header images, then no, I don’t think I was very creative with my posts.

Most Popular Posts:

Let’s Talk Bookish – Bookish and Blogging Myths

Diversity and Representation in YA feat. a rant about ‘Americanism’

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee – Review

Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Behind the Blog: 200 Follower Q&A Answers

Favorite Posts:

Honestly, I can think of only three posts that I’m super proud of or that I loved to write: my second ever discussion post, my review of Six of Crows, and my discussion about authors inspired by the uproar with Kathleen Hale.

Diversity and Representation in YA feat. a rant about ‘Americanism’

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Spoiler Review

Let’s Talk Bookish – When An Author Has Gone Too Far

2020 Goals: Bookish, Blogging, & Personal

  • Read 110 books
  • Take part in two reading challenges (and stick to it!!)
  • Read at least 40 books with diverse main characters or topics
  • Try to read more Adult thrillers and mysteries
  • Get to 400 followers
  • Get through my 27 backlogged reviews, and review at least 50% of the books I read this year
  • Monthly views should be more than a thousand
  • Catch up on my blog hopping and stay on track
  • Get through my first year of dual enrollment (college + high school classes) successfully
  • Continue making healthier versions of my favorite desserts
  • Continue exercising at least 5 times a week

And that’s it!! I had a lot of great stats for 2019, even though I didn’t meet most of my goals. I also stopped the two reading challenges that I started last January, but this year, I will do my best to continue. Overall, I’m really proud of everything that I accomplished last year, and I’m looking forward to making 2020 even better.

Chat with me

What was 2019 like for you? Did you meet your goals for the year? What was your favorite post from last year? What are your goals for 2020? Chat with me in the comments below!

P.S. If you wrote a post on any of this, be sure to link it in the comments below so I can check it out!!

Tag Thursday – Blogger Recognition Award

Hey everyone! Welcome back. I hope you’re having a great day. Today I’m going to be doing the Blogger Recognition Award. Many thanks to Emer @ A Little Haze Book Blog for tagging/nominating me!

Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select up to 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How Eternity Books Was Created:

Last year December can you believe that it’s been almost a year?!!!, I decided to put my love of books and writing to use and create a blog where I could talk about them to my hearts content. I had just discovered book blogs and GoodReads the month before, and I also wanted to have my own creative space to do whatever I wanted.

To talk books with people who loved books.

To find new books instead of reading the same old Nancy Drew.

To make friends since I didn’t have any IRL.

I was lonely. Bored.

And having a blog seemed like an excellent way to change that. Actually, it was an excellent way to change that. Now, I have a community of readers, blogger and GR friends, a never ending TBR list, and a place that is all mine that makes me feel happy, (sometimes stressed), understood, and also accepted for who I am.

So thank you so much to everybody who has welcomed me into this beautiful community, recommended and talked books as well as discussed topics with me, and also to everyone who has been following this blog. You all made being a blogger such a fun escape, and I am forever grateful to every single one of you πŸ’š

Two Pieces of Advice:

If you’d like to see more than just two pieces of advice, and not just from me but also from other bloggers, check out my LTB post with advice for newbie bloggers!


#1: Blog for the right reasons

More than likely, you started your blog as a way to relax and have fun. So blog to relax and have fun. Don’t make it a chore that becomes super stressful for you, and don’t be too hard on yourself about anything. We’re all human, and trust me, we all understand. Stuff happens, life happens, and at some point, we’ve all probably been in your shoes. So don’t beat yourself up too much, and remember to blog for the right reasons.

#2: Reach out

I promise, we don’t bite. If there is anything you need help with, or a question that you’d like to ask, or maybe you just want to thank someone for something, don’t be afraid to do so. The book blogging community is super welcoming, and we love to chat. As long as you’re nice and polite, you are probably going to get an equally amazing response.

Tagging/Nominating:

Jane @ Blogger Books | Donna’s Reading Chair | Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea | Aimee @ My Addiction to Fiction | Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical | YOU

As always, no pressure if you don’t want to do the tag, and if you’d like to do the tag and I haven’t tagged you, go right ahead! Be sure to link back here so I can see your post πŸ™‚

Behind the Blog: 200 Follower Q&A Answers

Welcome everyone! Today I’m going to be answering the questions that some of you asked me on my 200 follower Q&A form. I hit 200 followers in October, and decided to ask you guys to ask me anything you’d like to know! It’s not a lot of questions, but I’m still super glad to answer them all.

Let’s get started!

From Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads:

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Right now, I’m not really sure because I haven’t had ice cream in a while, but I think I love vanilla and chocolate equally. If I had to pick between the two…I think I’d go with chocolate, because hey! It’s chocolate.

If you had to be stuck on a deserted island with 3 characters, who would you want to be stuck with??

Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic, Asher from The Fixer, and Inej from Six of Crows.

Kell, because he’s an Antari magician, so he’ll probably hopefully use a spell to get us off the island; Asher because he’d keep things fun, and interesting with a few explosions; and Inej because she’s sensible, smart, super agile, and maybe she’d teach me some of the things she knows (we can also cry over Kaz and his history together more like I’ll be the only one bawling my eyes out).


From Aimee @ My Addiction to Fiction

How did you manage to reach 200 followers? Do you have any tips?

Lol.

I don’t know.

I went to bed last night trying to answer this question, and I still can’t find the answer.

It’s kind of surprising that I reached 200 followers, because 1. I don’t think I’m a great blogger, and 2. I’m not a very good blog hopper/promoter. I really am not good at keeping up with all the blogs I follow, and commenting on their posts (I usually just read and like which is not good), and I’m working on that, but it’s a struggle.

I think that a mixture of blog hopping, doing book tags, being overly active, especially when I first started out, and taking part in the popular memes helped me get to where I am now. I also think I got more followers through Let’s Talk Bookish.

But what makes people want to follow me? Many of you (and thank you!!!) have said that you loved the design/theme, or my posts, and honestly, it makes me feel amazing and super proud of myself, especially because sometimes I think the design looks horrible and that I’m super annoying in my posts which I am.

So for tips: blog hop, get yourself out there. It’s the most generic advice ever and it works. I don’t have any social media (except if you count Goodreads, and even then I only know of a few people who found me through there), I don’t follow anyone on Twitter or Instagram, or wherever, and I seem to be doing something right, and the only thing that I am doing is blog hopping, being annoying sometimes, commenting with excessive hearts when I find someone who loves the same books as me, and just in general being a part of the community.


From Aria @ Book Nook Bits

What made you want to start a blog, and how do you post so often?

What made me want to start a blog: A mixture of boredom, no hobbies that stuck/no friends, a love of books, and a chance to be creative and do something that was my own. Last December, I didn’t really have any friends and I loved to read. I’d dabbled in painting, coding, writing, cooking/baking, but I eventually got tired of them, and I had just discovered book blogs, and I loved the idea and decided to give it a try. And I’m so glad that I did. I’ve discovered so many new books, people who love books like me, and I have something to do that I love except when it’s 7 in the morning and I just want to sleep

How do I post so often? By procrastinating? I usually wait until the last minute to write my posts, but I always keep a set schedule in my mind.

Monday: Book review or a monthly wrap-up or nothing if I don’t finish the post in time.

Tuesday: Another review, or the review that I should have done on Monday if I didn’t make it, or my off day

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: A book tag, or another review if I didn’t do a second one on Tuesday

Friday: Let’s Talk Bookish

So as you can see, it all depends on my mood, how tired I am, and if I finish writing a post in time. The only two days that there is a high guarantee that I’m going to post are Wednesdays and Fridays, but for the rest of the week, I flip flop and post based on how I’m feeling. And sometimes I don’t write any posts at all, and I only write a post on Friday so it all depends. I always try to at least draft a post every morning and maybe schedule it for later in the week.

I would not suggest you follow my method, and you should actually try and draft as many posts as possible when you have free time, and then schedule them through-out the week. I usually try to do that on the weekends (and I usually fail) so that way I’m not rushing to finish a post.


From Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea

If you had to change your name to a book character’s name, what would it be?

Probably Josephine “Jo” March from Little Women. I was obsessed with Jo’s name, and I still think it’s really pretty. Though I’d change the last name to Connolly. I really liked Puck Connolly in The Scorpio Races. So, Jo Connolly. I think it sounds really good.

What’s your opinion on liking “problematic” books?

I don’t think I’ve liked a problematic book before really? So I’m not really sure but I guess it depends. If the whole book is problematic, and everywhere you turn, you find something wrong, or someone says something that isn’t right etc, then yes, I think it’s, not necessarily wrong, but it’s not good to like such a book IF you don’t understand or see what the problems are.

For instance, some people may read the book, not notice all the problems everyone is mentioning, or just brush it off as a character being an idiot, or like it’s part of the plot for the character to be saying/doing things like that etc, and they like the book. You can’t really blame someone for missing that. This time last year, I probably wouldn’t have noticed any problems myself.

So I respect everyone’s decision to read whatever they want, and if they like it, then I’m not going to lose sleep over the matter. I can try and convince them of why it is problematic and why I think they shouldn’t like it, but everybody’s allowed to have their opinion, and to like whatever they want. Maybe there’s something else that they liked about the book, or maybe they didn’t see what was so harmful or problematic about it, or they might believe that it is the point of the author for the character to do XYZ.

Perhaps because we are reading the book looking for the problematic content, and they read the book with no idea about it being problematic, they saw the other good parts of the book while we were focused on all the bad things being said or done.

But at the end of the day, if they still like it, then well, life moves on.

Any tips for balancing blogging and school?

I’d suggest you try blogging ahead/scheduling posts on the weekends when you have the time, or setting aside 30 minutes each day to draft a post. By the next week, those 30 minutes will add up, and you’ll probably have one, two, maybe even three extra posts already completed.

Also, take advantage of the holidays!!! Thanksgiving break is coming up here in the U.S. and I’m already planning how I’m going to cram all my reading and blogging into next week starting from this Saturday to the Sunday after Thanksgiving though knowing me, I’m probably not going to write anything πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ. Holidays are the best time to draft a lot of posts ahead of time, and then when school resumes, you’ll have a bunch ready for those days that you didn’t manage to write anything.

Honestly, the only other thing I could say is to try and find a balance. Maybe your class load is very light and you have the time to blog 5 days a week, or maybe you’re like me, you have assignments to do, yet you still try and blog 4 times a week, or maybe all what you can manage is one post every week.

Find the right fit for you, and don’t feel too bad if you can only post 4 times a month. School is stressful. I’m pretty sure it’s a scientific fact and if it isn’t, it definitely needs to be. Trying to do more than you can handle doesn’t help, and beats (at least for me) the purpose of blogging, which is to relax and have fun while talking about books.

Who are your blogging inspirations?

Definitely you Caitlin!! I absolutely love your discussions, and your humor, and it makes me want to write better posts and be more creative with the topics that I discuss on my blog and with Let’s Talk Bookish. So thank you!!

Kat @ Novels and Waffles is also one of my inspirations, especially for design. Her blog is mouth-wateringly splendid and every time, it makes me want to go and do a rebrand, or try a different look with my graphics/blog. It also makes me seriously crave waffles 😭

Xandra @ Starry Sky Books is another amazing blogger who inspired me to start Let’s Talk Bookish. Her discussion posts are on point, and I love how she explains everything so thoroughly and in such a fun way.

Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads is awesome, and I love her and her blog, and even though we don’t read many similar books, or enjoy the same genres, she still inspires me to be a better reader and blogger overall. It’s one of those things that you can’t really explain, but she definitely does inspire me a lot!

These are only some of my inspirations when it comes to blogging, and definitely not all, because all of you who read my posts, like, and comment inspire me to continue blogging, and not to give up even when I just want to curl up and go back to bed. You are all awesome, and I thank you for being with me on this journey and motivating me to keep going πŸ’•πŸ’–πŸ’š

Chat with me

That’s it for today! Thank you to Meeghan, Caitlin, Aimee, and Aria for asking me questions!!

What do you think about liking problematic books? When and why did you start blogging? Who are your inspirations? Got any tips for posting more often or finding a balance between blogging and life? And for a random question, what did you have for breakfast? Chat with me in the comments below!!