Edited to add: More thoughts about the Blog.
Before I can look forward to 2009, and create some new goals for the new year, I have to reflect back on where I've been.
I started Young Readers in July of 2007. And that first year I had 101 posts in six months. Not horribly bad. But not quite what I wanted either. I don't know if I was naive to think I could do a post every day or not. In 2008, I posted 232 times. There were four months out of the year--July, August, September, October--where I seemed to have everything under control. Averaging five or six posts a week. I was comfortable in my routine. The other months I was still struggling a bit to find time to post.
I suppose I have several issues going on:
a) I'm not ever quite sure if Young Readers should remain Young Readers or if I should merge the content back into my main blog, Becky's Book Reviews.
On the one hand, I like having all my board books, picture books, early chapter books together. If I were a parent, I would find it convenient to have only reviews of books appropriate for kids. Without having to wade through all the other content on Becky's Book Reviews--my challenges, my YA novels, my reviews of adult books, my memes. Having a specific focus--book reviews for kids age 0 to 10--can be a good thing. You know what you're getting each and every time you visit.
But on the other hand, I'm not seeing much payoff. I just don't think that Young Readers has even a tenth of the readership that Becky's Book Reviews has. My stats are dismally low comparing the two. And there aren't as many comments either. Now I know that there are a few readers--hey Cynda--who keep up with Young Readers. But I don't have much "proof" that readers are out there. That they care.
Because I feel invisible, I feel okay slacking off. I feel like no one will notice if I miss a day or two or three. Hence why there are great big gaps in my posts.
I don't know if the lack of readership is because
a) I'm not consistent
b) I'm not providing quality content
c) less interest overall--more readers care about books for older readers 13-to-adult
d) parents with young readers have less time for blog reading in general, so they only follow one or two
e) parents with young readers don't have a clue about blogs to begin with, let alone mine
f) people who visit my main blog aren't aware of this one
g) people who click on blogger profile name, Becky, only visit one of the blogs I'm author of...and most likely it isn't Young Readers. It's Becky's Book Reviews. Which I suppose is as it should be. After all, it is my main blog, my baby.
h) maybe they can sense that Young Readers will never be "my baby" the same way that Becky's Book Reviews is.
i) My main readership (BBR) is not from the kidlitosphere, but from the challenge crowd and/or the general book bloggy world.
b) Do I have the time and energy to divide my time into thirds? What am I getting out of keeping everything separate? What amount of time should I be spending here?
I have a problem with balance. Technically speaking, it only takes a few minutes to read a picture book. Each book is read at least twice--that is if it's a board book or picture book--and sometimes I even take it to another person for feedback--mom, sister, friend, Sunday School class, etc. I'll then review it. Sometimes reviews take ten minutes to right. Sometimes they take a bit longer. Theoretically speaking, I should be able to set aside thirty to forty minutes a day. But for some reason, I'm not able to make myself do it every day. I don't know if it's lack of discipline or lack of motivation.
So is it realistic to set a goal for four books a week? I don't know. I know I have a problem with delivering 7 a week. Sometimes, I'm lucky to get in 2 or 3 a week.
I don't know how to do outreach. I think my blog is meant for parents, teachers, librarians, grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents, anyone and everyone who has a "young reader" or two in their life and wants to know which books are being published, which ones are good, which ones are great, etc. How do I bring in new readers? How do I let others know about the blog?
I'm clueless as to how to go about that.
So my goals: to get a clue! Does that count? No? Okay, how about these:
To determine once and for all which direction I want Young Readers to take. Should I keep this one separate from Becky's Book Reviews?
To be more consistent in blogging. To have twenty posts per month at least.
To try to give equal time to books reviewed for this site.
To create/maintain a blogroll for this site.
To feature more books by baby reviewers.
© Becky Laney of Young Readers