Armchair BEA: Developing as a Blogger

Armchair BEA badge
Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Instead of going to BEA (Book Expo America) this year, I’m participating in Armchair BEA. We Armchair BEA-ers may have missed out on this year’s Book Bloggers’ Conference today, but we can focus on blogger development during this virtual conference.

First, pretend you are here, at the Javits Center in Manhattan, mingling with a few hundred other book bloggers:

Instead of going from more personal to more professional, I may be developing backwards as a blogger. My book blog started out as a professional sideline; I set it up to be a communal project for the library I worked at, but it was really more of a personal labor of love and I gradually let more of myself sneak into my posts.

Over the nearly four years that I’ve been blogging about books and audiobooks, I’ve tried to make my posts more personal and less strictly professional, but not too personal. I started out strictly reviewing books, but over the last couple of years have tried to be more of a friend in the book blogging world. I comment pretty regularly on several blogs, and each week I visit many others and comment frequently. This has helped me get more regular visitors to my blog, and more comments as well, which has helped me feel more a part of the greater community of book bloggers and, I think, has made me a better blogger, as well.

And, on a personal note, here’s the very good reason I traveled to Maine this past weekend with my family instead of jetting off to New York on my own this week:

Photo at Bowdoin graduation

(As an aside, I’ve twice now had would-be commenters mention that they had trouble commenting on some of my recent posts, but I can’t figure out what the problem is. If you try to comment on this post and can’t, would you please send me a quick email at lauriec AT baystatera DOT com to tell me whether you’re getting an error message or what is happening? Thank you!)

Visit other book bloggers who’ve posted about becoming better bloggers here, at Armchair BEA Central.

Armchair BEA is the experience for book bloggers to participate in Book Expo America (BEA) from the comfort of their homes. This experience is created lovingly by book bloggers specifically for our peers who for whatever reason are not able to participate in the main conference in New York each year. We bring publishers, authors, and bloggers together in celebrating our love for all things literary by hosting celebrations such as sneak peeks, daily discussion topics, and sponsored giveaways.

Thank you again to the Armchair BEA Blog Team for hosting this event!


22 thoughts on “Armchair BEA: Developing as a Blogger”

  1. For those of us who are introverts, Armchair BEA seems much less stressful! (Speaking personally, anyway.)

    I started my blog long before I started any official job, so I’m coming at it from the opposite side: learning how to integrate my professional life with my personal blogging. So far I’ve started featuring some of the displays I do in the children’s room, which is a lot of fun! But I’m still very new as a grown-up library worker, so I’m definitely learning.

  2. Sorry not to host you this year for BEA, Mom! I’m barely getting to go myself, so I’ll have to follow your posts to keep up. 🙂 Hey, at least at home you don’t have any trouble finding outlets for your laptop cord.

  3. Congrats to your daughter 🙂

    I don’t get very personal on my blog. I do a bit of that on Twitter. I mostly keep this blogging life separate from my family life. I think it’s because this is for ME. This is the place for mom to be JENNIFER and I like that very much 🙂

    1. I definitely understand what you mean, Jennifer! My kids are older now — that was our baby graduating from college! — so I have plenty of “me” time these days.

  4. Thanks for sharing those amazing pictures and congratulations also happy graduation that’s so awesome!

    Day 2 definitely made me aware and I learned a lot of stuff from you guys!

  5. Congrats to your daughter, bet you were a proud mum that day! I like when a blogger gets a little personal and let’s their personality shine through a little in their reviews. It helps form a connection and makes a review memorable.
    Totally agree visiting other blogs and joining in the discussions is the best way of integrating yourself into the book blogging community.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think your story is so interesting, it shows just how diverse our blogging backgrounds are! I love letting more of my personality shine through my posts. Sometimes I do get a bit sketchy if I’m revealing too much, but I think it’s just temporary shyness 🙂 you must be a proud mom ! Congrats for your daughters graduating!

  7. Congratulations to your daughter! BEA can wait until next year 🙂 I like that you’ve become more personal – I don’t think I was reading your blog when it was just reviews, but you’ve got a good mix of books and your life here. No problems commenting, sometimes it takes a few seconds to submit, but it works.

  8. Perfectly put Laurie! It’s the personality that keeps me coming back to a blog (although more time these days would certainly help with that…). I love getting to know bloggers through blogging and especially through twitter. While I would be an anxious wreck if I were at Jarvits this week with all of the other book bloggers, I’m glad to rub elbows with y’all here. 😉 Congrats to your daughter!! You must be such a proud mama.

  9. Since I couldn’t make it to BEA this year, Armchair BEA is picking up the slack. And I agree with Maureen that it’s less stressful than BEA. I never enjoyed the crowds, but loved meeting some of my favorite authors (even though I was struck dumb by awe)! 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Would love to have you comment!