Tag Archives: January

Book Blogger Organization Challenge: February 2015


Welcome to the Book Blogger Organization Challenge!

If you haven’t heard of this challenge and are interested in finding out more, check out the intro post! But basically the concept is simple: Whether you want to dedicate a lot of time to this challenge or a little, I’m here to help you get organized and work on blog maintenance in 2015! Everything is broken down month-by-month so you only have to focus on ONE idea at a time. January seemed to kick us off GREAT! Let’s get ready for February!

Blog Maintenance

February is all about blog maintenance which may be the most needed and most overwhelming thing in a book blogger’s life. Personally, I TRY to do a good job of keeping things updated as I go, but sometimes things get severely overlooked or you want to change up a design or start a new index or keep on updating those old reviews. This month is the time to do it!


Trying to think of all the blog maintenance you want to do may get overwhelming really quickly. Break it down in sections to make it easier on yourself! Maybe draw up a list of everything you can think of that you might need to update on your blog — and remind yourself that THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO ALL GET DONE THIS MONTH — but it’s nice to be able to see what kinds of things you can focus on and what’s maybe less important that can be done later instead of right now.

After you know what you want to update, set some ATTAINABLE goals for yourself. Maybe update two old reviews each day in February or spend a weekend updating your review index. I know I have a LOT that I still want to do but I’ve recently learned that giving myself a respectable, solid number to accomplish or a task to complete in a specific time frame REALLY helps. I feel like I accomplished my goal and it helped me stay on task as well!


I mentioned above to make a list for yourself of what you might want to update/install on your blog. There are any number of things you can choose from (and this is an EXTENSIVE list to intentionally include as many possibilities as I can think of so don’t go TOO crazy):

  • Update indexes and/or pages (reviews, features, policies etc) — if you have the UBB plug-in, you can even finagle it to automatically update for you like my Book and a Beverage page! (Ask me how if you need help!)
  • Update old reviews — update old formatting and/or graphics to current. (I’m in the process of not only updating old reviews to my current format but also all the info for my UBB plug-in so that the index will always automatically update!)
  • Update memes/features — make new graphics to fit your current layout, update your features’ pages, make them more uniform, etc
  • Update your contact info — Do you want to have contact info in your sidebar? “About Me” page? New social media icons? Add more social media links? Remove some you don’t use anymore?
  • Clean up any missing images — Some of my old posts have missing images because I used a URL instead of an image I had saved. If you stumble upon any, remove or update them!
  • Clean up broken links — If you can, install a link checker (plug-in)! Ever see any broken links in your stats? You can start there too! Thanks to Jess for the heads up on the Broken Link Checker plug-in!
  • Update your SEOs — This is another thing I’m constantly doing! Any time I see an old post that I haven’t entered any SEO information for, I go back and update it. I use SEO Ultimate (and it comes with a 404 monitor too!)
  • Search for other plug-ins you may want/need — Want to change your fonts? Check out Google Fonts. Looking for those boxes with similar posts? Check out Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in.  Want a list of your most popular posts in your side bar? Check out WordPress Popular Posts. Looking for that plug-in that automatically posts old blog posts to Twitter? Check out Revive Old Post.


I get distracted. Very easily. So if I’m doing blog maintenance and I start to get bored, I REALLY tend to wander. If you’re a wanderer too, try to think of ways to stay on task! Set up a playlist or cue up a TV show (one you’ve already seen so you don’t have to focus on it) and don’t let yourself stop until it’s over! Or maybe you’re the kind of person who has to avoid music and TV and just power through what your’e doing. Either way, set yourself up for success by avoiding those little distractions!

Organization Tools Mentioned

Plug-ins: Ultimate Book Blogger // SEO Ultimate // Google Fonts // Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in // WordPress Popular Posts //Revive Old Post // Broken Link Checker

Have anything else you want to get done this February? Let me know! And don’t forget to share what you’re accomplishing this month with the hashtag #BlogOrganization!


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  • 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
  • Cross-posting
  • Sending reviews to publishers, sending review requests, Netgalley, Edelweiss
  • Finding all your stats, keeping stats updated

Book Blogger Organization Challenge: January 2015


Welcome to the Book Blogger Organization Challenge!

If you haven’t heard of this challenge and are interested in finding out more, check out the intro post! But basically the concept is simple: Whether you want to dedicate a lot of time to this challenge or a little, I’m here to help you get organized and work on blog maintenance in 2015! Everything is broken down month-by-month so you only have to focus on ONE idea at a time, so let’s hop into January!

Reading challenges, scheduling, & resolutions

January is all about resolutions and planning and usually by February, I’ve forgotten everything. I outlined some things to think about in the intro post but here’s a more detailed list of what January will be all about!

First things first. Get into planning mode!

If you want to get more organized this year, you have to start somewhere! First, figure out if you follow ideas better on paper or on the computer. Then, start your organizing! Buy a nice, shiny 2015 planner. Start writing things down in Google Calendars. Open up a Wunderlist account and start making lists!

I schedule my posts ahead of time (or I’m trying to get back in the swing of things), so I use Google Calendars to color code my posts. It’s super easy to drag and move things if I have to reschedule something so I move it on my calendar first and then go back and change it on my blog. It’s easier to visualize and see what I have scheduled this way!


Think about a place to start keeping track of all of your stats too! When’s the last time you updated your stats on Netgalley/Edelweiss? Is there a big difference in your stats since the last time you updated them? I started a Word Doc with my “canned intro”, personal info, and stats for my blog and social media — then whenever the mood strikes me or when I think my stats have significantly increased, I go back in and update. I just make it a habit of updating my stats when I go to request a galley by copying & pasting the Word Doc instead of going back and hunting down those stats each time!

Think long-term!

Did you do Jamie‘s End of 2014 Survey? I did in 2013 and couldn’t remember anythinggggg from the year as a whole. I made a “Best of 2014” shelf on Goodreads to help me remember which books were my favorite so I could keep track as I went along. (I’m also SUPER obsessed with creating shelves on Goodreads so you’ll see that as a lot of my suggestions haha!)


I know not everyone likes creating 50 million Goodreads shelves like I do though. There are tons wunderlistof other ways to keep track of things! You can use things like Google Drives or Microsoft Office to make lists as well as Wunderlist (becoming a quick favorite of mine!). Keep track of incoming books for Stacking the Shelves, which books you’ve borrowed or received from an author/publisher, which books are being released soon that you want to read before the pub date, etc. These are also great places to make to-do lists (Wunderlist is also great for this! You can check it off when you’re finished)!

If you do posts like weekly/monthly/yearly recaps, posts from around the blogosphere, or “best of” posts, spreadsheets (or word docs) are also fantastic ways of keeping track of those links and posts that you’ve stumbled upon and loved! Any time you see one, just immediately throw it onto your spreadsheet and you won’t have to go hunting for it later!

Planning 2015 Challenges

Research which 2015 challenges you’d like to take part in. (I listed a few in the intro post!) By now you probably have your intro posts up so now’s the time for scheduling! Lots of 2015 challenges are year-long and that involves some planning to keep up! Go through your TBR and pick a few to read each month. If you’re a mood reader, give yourself a good selection so you can always pass up something if you’re not in the mood for it! My best suggestion would be to go month-by-month to see which books best fit the challenge. (You can sort through your Goodreads by publication date to see which books are out when!)

When in doubt, pick fewer challenges than you think you can handle. I picked way too many in 2013 and ended up dropping out of ALL of them because it was too much work to keep up with! I wanted to be a part of every challenge but trying to read so many challenge books a month didn’t allow me to read what I really wanted to so I gave up on all of them!

Picking 2015 Resolutions

Do you have anything BIG you want to do with your blog this year? Maybe you want to go self-hosted, buy the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-In, purchase a new layout design, or add a new feature. Maybe it’s something as simple as trying a few books out of your comfort zone. Whatever you want to do this year, reflect on what you want to do with your blog this month!

I honestly haven’t looked at my 2014 Resolutions since I made them. I remember a few vague things but I really couldn’t tell you right now what was on that list. If you really want to try hard at keeping your resolutions, write them down somewhere! Make a list on your computer and put it somewhere you see all the time or draw up a physical list and post it somewhere in your house!

Find a Buddy!

Some people work better in groups or with someone else motivating them. If you read challenge books (or any books) better on a schedule with a friend, grab some people for a group read or a monthly “reading club”. It doesn’t have to be anything big so don’t over do it! This is also great for those big, scary books (like, ahem, A Song of Ice and Fire) because you have someone else “holding you accountable” for reading and they also motivate you to keep going!

Make Plans to Read and Write!

Some of us have such busy schedules that it’s hard to time the time to read. Maybe you’re someone who really does love blogging but have a hard time sitting down to write reviews or posts. Think about what sort of free time you have — maybe a day of the week or even time of day — and block out some time for yourself to read and write! Reward yourself with stickers (or coffee or candy — whatever works!) for accomplishing your goals!

Organization Tools Mentioned: Wunderlist // Goodreads // Google Calendars // Google Drive

Have anything else you want to get done this January? Let me know! And don’t forget to share what you’re accomplishing this month with the hashtag #BlogOrganization!


 Grab the button!


Updating old reviews, pages, layouts, features/memes, contact info, clean up images, broken links, SEOs + more!

January 2014: Recap & Wrap-Up!

I took 2014 by storm and tried to do as much reading as I could right off the bat! I don’t think I did too terribly… Lots of things already happening in January so let’s go go go with the recap!




  CRESS by Marissa Meyer  Into the Still Blue

Other Reviews Posted

Goodreads Reading Progress

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 2.59.48 PM

Bloggers featured on Book and a Beverage

Authors featured on Book and a Beverage

Other Features & Discussions


  • I’m working on a survey right now that I dubbed the Seriously Social Survey! I’ll be using the data for a future post on blogging + social media so I’m asking bloggers to take the survey to help with the data collection 😀
  • Reviews coming up for Days of Blood and Starlight, Night of Cake and Puppets, Cruel Beauty, Ask Again Later and more!
  • Catch me on the blog tours for NIL by Lynne Matson and UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody!

That wraps up January! I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by. A month of 2014 is already over! I’ve already been making great progress with my reading goals of taking it easy and just catching up on my ARCs and currently-owned books. Looking forward to more in February!