Welcome to the Book Blogger Organization Challenge!
I’ve been blogging for about two and a half years now and I always try to keep my blog and blogging life as organized as I can, but sometimes it’s just a LOT to take in all at once. I’m always a big fan of Bloggiesta and using that time to get more organized but depending on what weekends it falls on, I can’t always participate due to my schedule and I have SO many things that I need to work on that I just can’t quite do it all in one weekend. So the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would work well for a six month-long challenge!
To just say “get more organized in 2015” is still pretty overwhelming. I’m sure a lot of us want to work on some specific things but if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to work on updating reviews then somehow end up working on Goodreads and then before you know it, you’re just rearranging your books on your bookcase again which is not even what you meant to do. (Trust me. This has happened MANY times.) Instead of just saying, “Pledge to organize more in 2015”, I wanted to break it down month-by-month and even week-by-week if you so desire! There’s a lot to try to cover regarding “blog maintenance” and to focus on a year even seems overwhelming so I thought six months would be nice! Each month in the challenge will have a different focus with the last month revisiting everything you’ve done so far in the year.
EDITED 12/16: The more I thought about this challenge and how different it will be for everyone, the more I just want to throw in my two cents here for everyone looking to get organized this year — take it from someone who loves to stick their hand into way too many cookie jars — Being organized is NOT about planning every single thing. Being organized is about having a game plan, trying to stay ahead or things (or catch up on things) but NOT overscheduling yourself or stressing yourself out! There are too many times I (for example) tried to plan out my exact TBR or gave myself a strict reading schedule and that not only didn’t work and made me feel like I “failed” but it also discouraged me in many ways. So yes, getting organized does require a little extra work, but it should really be more about figuring the ways you can set yourself up for success and not about scheduling every single little thing. Capisce?
Let’s kick it off with January so you can get a feel for the challenge!
JANUARY 2015 ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
JANUARY’S THEME: Reading challenges, scheduling, & resolutions
January is the month of resolutions and I know I don’t usually end up keeping many of mine because once the month is over and that resolutions post is written, I never look at it again. It’s also the time when we’re most gung-ho about year-long challenges! Year-long challenges tend to check in monthly but somehow I usually end up dropping all plans for challenges by spring because I’ve over-scheduled myself (even during the year I promised I wouldn’t do that), so I think January is a great time to make some goals and then make up a schedule to keep them! It’s also the time of year when a lot people star to think about the “big picture” of their blog when making resolutions so here’s what January will focus on:
- Planning 2015 challenges
- Research which 2015 challenges you’d like to take part in. See below for some ones that I’ve found and if you know of any more, leave them in the comments!
- Pick a few specific books to read each month. I know some people mood readers and can’t PLAN which books to read (totally me) but last year I picked a few ARCs that I wanted to read in a specific month (or books for other challenges/read alongs, etc) and then I was able to read them within that month but any time I was in the mood for them instead of “read by X” date (which usually made me NOT want to read them).
- Schedule challenge intro posts!
- Picking 2015 resolutions
- Think about what you want to do with your blog in the year to come. (Or even the next few months) Do you have a “big picture”? Anything specific you’ve been meaning to do? (Add a new feature? Finally switch to self-hosted? Add a co-blogger? Try new genres?)
- Make a list and pin it up somewhere you’ll see pretty often (fridge, office, wall, etc) so it won’t fall by the wayside.
- Make a Goodreads shelf! Have some books you know you want to read in 2015? Make a list on Goodreads (or a physical list) with new or older reads that you want to read this year.
- Schedule resolution post!
- Find a buddy!
- Work better with motivation? Find a blog maintenance buddy & work on things at the same time!
- Need someone to help you through some reads? Been meaning to read some big books but are intimidated by them? Grab a friend to do an informal read along!
- Make plans to read and write!
- Not everyone does well planning ahead or writing things down with a specific schedule… but if you’re one of those people (or want to try) now’s the time to look for a nice planner. Treat yourself with a nice one and maybe even fun pens or stickers to help keep you motivated to keep track and also stay on track! Pen and paper not your style? Trying using Google Calendars or Wunderlist! (Also super easy to move things around!)
- Are you someone like me who has a limited amount of time to read or write? Try to pick a day/time to work on blog things or to read. Make a plan so your parents/sig other/friends will know you’re busy and you can schedule around it.
2015 READING CHALLENGES
105 Challenge (hosted by ReadWriteLove28) // Around the World Reading Challenge (hosted by All About Books) // Authors A-Z Reading Challenge (hosted by Samantha Lin) // Book Blog Discussion Challenge (hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addition and It Starts at Midnight) // Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge (hosted by The Book Vixen) // Debut Author Challenge (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) // Dive Into Diversity (hosted by Rather Be Reading and Reading Wishes) // Full House Reading Challenge (hosted by Book Date) // Library Challenge (hosted by Book Journey) // Out-do Yourself Reading Challenge (hosted by The Book Vixen) // Pre-Printing Press Challenge (hosted by All Booked Up) // Put the Library on Hold (hosted by The Emerald City Book Reviews) // The Re-Read Challenge (hosted by So Obsessed With and Belle of the Literati) // Reading Challenge Addict (hosted by Reading Challenge Addict) // Reading England (hosted by Behold the Stars) // Reading Road Trip (hosted by She’s Got Books on her Mind) // Series a Month Challenge (hosted by Love at First Page) // TBR Pile Challenge (hosted by Roof Beam Reader) // TBR Reduction Extreme (hosted by All About Books)
I put rules in quotes because really, there are no “rules” to follow. This is titled as a challenge, but it’s more of a way to consistently keep organized. The guidelines are simply this: follow the month’s theme and work on what you can. Not everyone will need each bullet point. Some people will think of more things to add under the theme. (Leave a comment if you think of some so I can update the post!) Work on anything related within the given month. There is no “failing” in this challenge. If you’ve done anything to work on your blog, you’re a success!
- The Blog Organization Challenge will run from January 1st to June 30th. If all goes well, we’ll start all over in July (blog maintenance is constant!) and even add more things to work on because I know I won’t think of everything as we go along.
- Participants can join in at any time! It’s never too late to join. I have a linky for sign-ups below (no sign-up post is required but feel free to spread the word that you’re joining in!) and do whatever you can each month. Everyone is bound to have a busier day/week/month so just do what you can when you can! And don’t forget to grab the button!
- Feel free to make your own “mini-challenges”! I won’t be officially hosting any mini-challenges but if you have a discussion, how-to, or mini-challenge (past, present, or future), send me the link and I’ll include it in appropriate month’s post!
- Want to chat about it on social media? Use the hashtag #BlogOrganization! Find a buddy, grab some ideas, get motivation, ask questions… Sky’s the limit!
Grab the button!
Want to see what the upcoming months have in store? Here’s a general outline of what we’ll be focusing on each month!
- JANUARY: Reading challenges & resolutions
- Picking challenges, making resolutions, scheduling, forming plans, picking reading/blogging buddies,
- FEBRUARY: Blog maintenance
- Updating old reviews, pages, layouts, features/memes, contact info
- Clean up images, broken links
- MARCH: Social Media + Review Ooutlets
- Update social media accounts: bios, who you follow, delete old accounts you won’t use, resolve to use some accounts more
- Organize Goodreads shelves: duplicate copies, version of books, creating shelves, removing shelves
- APRIL: Graphics, HTML, CSS, Plug-ins
- Update graphics for posts/memes/events, update button, update header
- Learn Photoshop/Gimp/PicMonkey
- Brush up or try to learn simple HTML and CSS (for layouts, fonts, etc). Take this month to delve into the scary world of coding! (Or at least teach yourself one new thing!)
- MAY: Book clean-up + spring cleaning!
- Culling shelves, giveaways, donations, giving back borrowed books
- Reading books you were given as gifts, ARC catch up
- Rearranging shelves, updating Goodreads again, giving back borrowed books
- More cross-posting & cleaning up GR shelves
- JUNE: Freebie
- Recapping what you’ve organized, focus on biggest area of need, review TBR list