So today, March 5th 2017 marks exactly one year ago to the day when I started blogging and my little blog The Tattooed Book Geek was thrust into the blogging world!
It’s achievement unlocked, though as a PS4 fan it should be trophy! I’m still quite surprised that I have made it to a full year of blogging, it is time-consuming but also really fun with a real sense of achievement and I still find it cool to think that and say ‘I have a book blog’ – reading is cool people! 🙂
In my time blogging I have posted:
- 382 posts (memes, discussion, book haul, musings, reviews and poetry amongst others).
- Gained 1,260 wordpress blog followers (a few email and bloglovin to).
- 42,052 page views (he best ever being 856 with 233 FB shares for the post).
- 15,269 visitors.
- 8,063 comments.
- Over 1,000 Twitter followers.
- The Tattooed Book Geek blog Facebook page currently has 156 likes.
I’m really not sure if these figures are good or not?? If not then I’m a good sport and we can all have a laugh at how bad they are! 🙂 But for me personally, when I fully didn’t expect to gain any followers at all, the fact that anyone bothers with me and this blog is still a surprise and a truly wonderful thing!!! 🙂
The Story Behind The Blog:
Lots of you will already know the story behind The Tattooed Book Geek, I actually posted it a few weeks ago as part of my blogger recognition award but repetition never hurts and for those of you who are unaware the story goes.
I just sort of stumbled into blogging and the story behind The Tattooed Book Geek is rather boring and paints me to be quite sad, get out the world’s smallest violin and label me weirdo. Until the beginning of 2016 having a book blog wasn’t something that I’d ever really considered, I wouldn’t say that I’d scoff and deride the idea more that, I’d never thought about it.
I had won a couple of Goodreads Giveaways in December 2015, reviewed the books (I like to think I’ve got slightly better at reviewing since then) and I was lucky enough to get a book from Twitter to and at the back of my mind I started to consider that a book blog might be an idea, it would allow me to offer my thoughts on books and also allow me to be part of a community of book lovers (not knowing many readers myself).
But there was a lot of unanswered questions, I’m not the most confident person at times and I needed to think it through, would I suck at blogging? Would I enjoy it? Would I stick with it? Would anyone bother to follow my blog? Would people think my reviews were terrible? Lots of questions that I didn’t know the answer to and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to take the leap from book lover to book blogger.
Anyway, I went on just being a book lover and reading my books. Then sadly, my dog, Sully took ill (she’d be laying on the sofa next to me while I was reading most of the time) and things didn’t go well, after a couple of weeks it was found that she had terminal cancer, no hope and needed to be put down. She went to sleep for the last time on February 19th 2016.
It hit me hard, I’m not going to lie, act tough and macho and say it didn’t matter, it did and it fucking killed. I needed something to take my mind of things, the loss, unhappiness, dark thoughts and perhaps even boredom. Melodramatic maybe, but pets are more than animals and are part of the family, they give love unconditionally and are always there for you. Any animal lover will agree, a pet deserves to be mourned, to be remembered.
So, the idea of blogging resurfaced and I created a blog on blogspot, it only lasted a couple of days, I hated the interface, my heart wasn’t in it and I didn’t enjoy it. Suffice to say, it got deleted and cast into the vast cavernous abyss of failed blogs.
I decided to give it another go on a different blogging format and tried WordPress. To cut a long story short, on the 5th March 2016 The Tattooed Book Geek was born and it has somehow survived up until this very day!
I thought it would be cool to recollect and think back on what I’ve posted throughout the last year, looking back on my favourite posts.
My Favourite Posts:
- Cancer Ramblings About My Father – This post is very personal to me and as real as it gets, it was one of the first posts that I posted way back on March 9th 2016 and includes the poem I wrote for my father’s funeral.
- Annoying Tropes in Fantasy: A humorous perusal of overused tropes in my favourite genre – I love Fantasy, it is my go to genre to read but at times there are lots of overused tropes and I look at these in my own sarcastic and fun way.
- Top Ten Finished Fantasy Trilogies You Should Read – My list of ten finished Fantasy trilogies that I think every fan should read, this post garnered me my most page views in a day (856 with 233 FB shares) thanks to tweets about the post from Fantasy authors Mark Lawrence and Robin Hobb.
- The This Is My Genre Tell Me Yours Tag – This was my attempt at creating a book tag, it was also my way to wax lyrical over Fantasy but as a tag it has done really well (I’m still shocked) and it is still awesome that I occasionally still see it around the book blogging community.
- The Tattooed Book Geek Top Ten Books of the Year!!! – This post actually meant that I had made it to the end of the year for 2016 and that was pretty cool being able to offer my books of the year list.
- An Open Letter To The Uninformed Masses and The Haters – A fairly recent post about issues surrounding bloggers being bullied by Indie authors and other people deeming book bloggers to not be ‘real readers’ it’s an important subject and I did myself proud with this diatribe.
- Reasons To Love Fantasy – My favourite genre and my reasons why I love it. Though I only really needed one and that is, Fantasy is awesome!!
A couple of other posts deserve mention to, when I started blogging I never expected to get anyone to appear on my blog, the thought never crossed my mind, but I have been lucky enough to be part of a few blog tours along with authors also visiting and these two fully deserve mentioning.
- Red Tide by Marc Turner Blog Tour (Guest Post) – Turner’s work, The Chronicles of The Exile series is one of my favourite current Fantasy series and to have a favourite author of mine appear on my blog with a guest post was amazing.
- Nicholas Eames Author Interview – Eames is the author of the fantastic 5* read Kings of the Wyld, I absolutely loved the book and when I was given the chance to interview him it was wonderful getting another (new) favourite author of mine to appear on my humble little blog.
My Favourite Review:
- Wrath (The Faithful and The Fallen #4) by John Gwynne – I was privileged to receive a copy of this from Pan Macmillan to review in November, a massive UK publisher and they honoured my small blog with a copy of this amazing book, how cool! I would have purchased the book anyway as it is my favourite Fantasy series and I had been eagerly awaiting this, the fourth and final installment since reading Ruin (the third book) way back upon its release in July of 2015, a wait of over a year but it was well worth it as Wrath turned out to be my book of the year for 2016. For me, it was awesome to review a book from my favourite series on my blog and I hope I did the book justice.
My Favourite Poems:
Poetry is a hard one to decide my favourites on, or as it is also known ‘misery’. While I only write with a simple rhyming style, all of what I write has meaning to it, some more than others but there is always at least a little meaning in the words. It’s quite dark and isn’t happy but it helps to get the feelings out by expressing them, it’s cathartic. And some of you seem to like the poetry and it evokes some emotion, you crazy people!!! 🙂 My favourites would have to be:
- Journey of my Life.
- Letting Go.
- A Poem to the World.
- The Wrong Goodbye.
- In Solitude.
- The Meaning of Pain.
I honestly didn’t know anything about blogging when I first started and I’m still not sure I really do as I was once told that I’m not a typical blogger – hello Inge! 🙂 But I think I muddle by in my own way and would like to think that over the course of the past year that I have learnt a thing or two and have managed to turn The Tattooed Book Geek into a not too shabby blog??
Things I’ve learnt:
- Blogging takes up your time! You have to put many hours into creating, maintaining, reading other blogs, writing reviews and posts, etc.
- Blogging takes time! Some may garner overnight success and accrue thousands of followers in a matter of weeks but for most of us getting anywhere takes many months. Don’t get jaded or disgruntled because you haven’t many followers, likes or comments. Simply put out the best content that you can and that you want to and the rest will come in time. To paraphrase the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come”.
- If you’re thinking about starting a blog as Nike say, Just Do It! Trust me, if I can make a blog then anyone can! 🙂
- You will have a love and hate relationship with it, one day you will love it and the next you will hate it but the tough times are something to endure.
- Be yourself, let your personality shine through in your blog, make it your own and do what you want, there are no rules to conform to.
- Your opinion is valid, this goes to those who shy away from discussion posts and commenting on them. We all have different thoughts and opinions, don’t be scared to express yours as all thoughts are valid.
- Enjoy it. This perhaps goes against the love it/hate it dynamic that you will occasionally have but blogging should be fun and you should enjoy it. It’s a hobby just like reading, don’t stress it and enjoy the ride.
- The book blogger community is awesome! Everyone is friendly and makes you feel welcome.
I’ll never be someone who writes eloquently with perfect prose, grammar and punctuation that’s not who I am, I’m just a book lover and as such, my blog isn’t the equivalent of a university lecture by a professor, it’s more akin to a anything goes house of ill repute full of debauchery! 🙂
Anyhow enough about me, this is for you, the people and what I really wanted to write is thank you! To every single one of you who has followed my blog, liked, commented, shared, retweeted, read, checked out any post that I have posted and spread the word, it means more than you could know that you have all taken this journey with me and bothered with my blog from the very first to the most recent.
Also a massive thanks go to the publishers and publicists who deemed me worthy to be on their mailing lists, for someone who lacks confidence in their reviewing it is a great feeling to know you think me worthwhile of reviewing your books
I can on occasion babble but the only words that fit and with no joking or sarcasm as is my usual inclination I say to you all simply thank you!!!!!!
Now please, if you’d all go forth and tell the world that there is a wonderful blog ran by a great guy (self promotion never hurt) just waiting to be discovered I’d really appreciate it!!!! 🙂
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