Hello there, lovely loves! It’s Saturday! Which means I’m back with another special post for you! Saturday Special is a new bi-weekly feature here at bookslayerReads where I will be introducing experienced book bloggers and asking them “get to know you” questions, as well as questions about blogging tips and advice.
Today, we’ll be talking with Lara from The Book Heathen!
1) The question everyone wants to know… How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging in 2012, so that’s about 4 years. But I started with Blogspot and I didn’t like how limited it was, nor did I really understand how it worked, so I moved to blog.com, which was pretty great, a bit like WordPress, but the thing was it was ghost like, like no one was using it and I finally discovered WordPress and I was in love with it. It was so great to use and had nicer templates and widgets I fell in love with.
2) There are some really unique blog names out there… What is the meaning behind your blog name, The Heathen? How did you come up with it?
Ha! I’m no longer
The Heathen. I didn’t really divulge into the meaning of heathen, and I’m not a heathen, but the song heathens by twenty one pilots inspired the name, nothing else. I was really into the song, at the time I was revamping my blog.
Now it’s The Book Heathen and it makes a ton more sense. I love books and I wouldn’t let anything hold me back from picking or reading a book, I don’t have a fixed opinion when it comes to books.
3) Blogging can be stressful at times, so I’m always curious how long-time bloggers get through those hard times. What has been your biggest obstacle since blogging and how have you overcome it?
My biggest obstacle when it came to blogging was the fact that no one seemed to be reading my posts, just a few random people. Even those who followed me weren’t interested in most of my posts. I didn’t have a standard reader group, it made me feel like my writing was inadequate and I was lacking in general, so I really did not blog much or take blogging very serious until summer last year, and still I didn’t keep to it, till summer this year.
I overcame this, because I started interacting with others. I noticed I wasn’t interacting. I wasn’t put an effort to check out other people’s blogs, that interest me. I didn’t have a particular niche, so I revamped. I picked books, since I love reading so much, I thought why don’t I take book reviewing serious, for it would also give me a platform to discuss the books I read, find more books to read and make friends with fellow bloggers, who could teach me a thing or two about blogging. I followed more blogs, started putting relevant tags in my posts and made new graphics for my blog and now I’m only grateful.
4) Do you feel that you’ve changed as a blogger from the time you started blogging until now?
I’ve changed as a blogger and it’s very drastic to when I first started. Now I’m more serious since I have a direction I’m following. It’s because I actually have people who care about my blog posts, so I feel like I owe it to them and myself to make my blog a priority and obligation. I’m no longer worried about what I post about and I’m able to be me and free in how I write my post, for I am following my own writing and editing style.
5) What would you say the toughest pressure of blogging is?
It is really hard to find time to blog, when life gets in the way. It’s very hard to make time for blogging during the week, for I have school to contend with, but sometimes I find myself blogging during the week, because I really have to write a review on a book I just finished or I have a free spot.
My school schedule isn’t so complicated, for I have classes only on Monday to Thursday, so I tend to blog more during the weekend (Friday – Sunday) for it’s freest time I have during the school semester. Sometimes I spend a whole day, making posts and scheduling them to post on later dates, when I’m too busy, to have time for blogging.
So it’s really tough, not wanting to let your readers down, so I always have to ensure I find time to blog, especially during the weekend.
6) What’s the best thing about the blogging community, in your opinion?
It’s how supportive of each other we are. We bloggers are naturally curious beings, so we love exploring and encouraging each other, be it be simply liking a blog post, dropping a comment, participating in a blog event, tag, feature whatever it is, we love including and assisting each other and it’s just marvelous of the community.
7) Us newbies need some advice… can you help us out?
Yes I definitely can.
1stly Be you, don’t feel like you have to impress anyone, just keep it real.
2ndly Be honest, don’t water down how you feel about a book, because others may have loved or hated it. This is your own opinion, express yourself freely.
3rdly Don’t be like me and interact with others, when you don’t interact or reach out to others, blogging becomes lonely.
4thly It’s not a competition who has the most followers. Followers isn’t everything, all that matters i that the people who follow you, actually follow you for your blog contents.
5thly Explore the blogging community, discover all the nooks and crannies.
6thly Make graphics, add a bit of yourself to your blog design, use feature images add images to your posts, make it more than beautiful.
7thly Give credit where it is due, this is extremely important. Don’t take someone’s image and use it as yours or add someone else’s words to your post, without providing a link to the post (linkback, pingback?) or the author/creator name.
That’s all I can think about 🙂
8) Great advice, Lara! Thank you! I seem to have a problem with using my time wisely. Do you have any advice for us on time management specifically?
I don’t have any good tips. I say blog when you have time, but also keep in mind that you have readers, who would more than love to read your posts, so make sure you try to blog at least once a week.
9) When looking for new blogs to follow, what do you usually look for? What attracts you to them?
When I’m looking for new blogs to follow, I look at their niche and if it’s of interest to me, if the posts are beneficial for me, which are usually book bloggers, writers especially poetry and prose, music & tv show junkies or when I notice that someone is really dedicated to my blog post, commenting and liking my posts frequently. I love people who are interactive.
10) In your opinion, what do you think makes a blog “successful”?
That’s tough, what makes a blog successful. Hmm, I think a successful blog is one that manages to capture the attention of it’s reader, that has readers appreciating what they see and read and is mindful of its readers. A successful blog is a blog that posts regularly, one that captures the essence of the owner and stays true to its course.
11) You love to write… so what are your favorite blog posts to write?
I love writing miscellaneous updates, for they are so easy. It’s me giving a briefing on the things occurring in my life at that point, mostly when I’m too busy to blog or write a book review. I love writing book reviews, they are a challenge sometimes, for it’s not always that you know the words to express how you feel about a book. I also love writing stories, but I haven’t written one in awhile, that’s why I’m glad I joined Lia’s Short Story Society.
12) You love to read, so I can’t let you leave without asking you what your all-time favorite book is…
My all time favourite book, hmm that is a tough one. I don’t have an all time favourite book, but I have books I loved. I know a lot of people are quick to say Harry Potter Books, and the books are marvelous, can’t blame them, they are also one of my favourites along with the Percy Jackson and the Olympian series by Rick Riordan, Say You Love Me by Johanna Lindsey and Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas, although I love the entire Series The Hathaways.
13) There were so many highly anticipated releases in 2016. What would you say your top read of this year was?
My top read of 2016 is It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover, I really love CoHo and I feel as each year goes by, are writing is only getting better and better, this story is a very touching one and one dear to me, it was a really hard and emotional journey and the book really moved me, so it has to be my favourite book of the year.
14) If you could have dinner with one author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would have dinner with the queen herself J.K. Rowling, I mean who wouldn’t I spent my early days in life reading and getting myself lost in the beautiful world she created us and I’m more than happy she has brought it back for us in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, plus the fact we are getting more, it just makes me so giddy and happy. She’s a goddess in the book world, it would be more than an honour to have dinner with her and have the opportunity to meet her, even if I didn’t have anything to say to her.
15) Last question, Lara… tell everyone which post on your blog you’re most proud of. That way they can go check it out right now!
I’m proud of the post I Am a Feminist, for it’s a cause that really speaks with me and has made me realise that there are many errs in the way the world thinks especially when it comes to women and how they should conform.
I had so much fun answering your questions, Megan!
Thank you, Lara, for taking time out to answer my questions! And thank you for the wonderful advice. I know we will all take something from this post and I appreciate that so much! Check out Lara’s Blog for more amazing posts!
If you’d like to get in touch with Lara on Social Media, here are her links:
That’s it for this Saturday Special! I found Lara’s advice quite helpful, as I hope you did as well! Let us know in the comments below and we’ll see you next time!