Spring Bloggiesta Goals!

BloggiestaHappy Bloggiesta everyone! From yesterday through Sunday bloggers all over the world are taking part in a blogging fiesta. (I’m a bit late to the party) We’re catching up on posts, doing blog maintenance, and participating in blog-improvement challenges.

I’ve been a major slacker on some aspects of my blog, so I’m glad it’s time for the blogging marathon! It’s a great event to make me do the little things I never feel like doing, and I hope to learn some fantastic blogging tips along the way.

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Battling the Blogging Blues

blogging blues.jpgThe last few months have been a bit odd for me, reading-wise. Even though my page count hasn’t dropped off, I have felt like I’m in a reading slump. Don’t get me wrong, I have read some books that I’ve really loved, but I’ve also struggled through a few books that I couldn’t quite get into. Objectively, I can tell that these are very good books, and yet… reading them feels like a chore.

Despite my reading resolution at the beginning of the year, review copies have taken over nearly half of my reading, and it’s kind of bringing me down. I have so many books on my shelf that I want to read, backlist titles and classics I want to buy, and new releases that I didn’t review but that I’ve heard great things about… and I don’t have time to read them. My reading is scheduled through May, and I miss the serendipity of browsing in a bookstore, buying a book, and reading it immediately.

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Reading and Blogging Resolutions 2014

resolutionsIt’s a new year, and everywhere I look people are making resolutions to make their lives better in 2014 — to eat healthier, get in shape, be more productive, watch less TV, etc. I’ve been thinking about my own goals, and most of them are related to reading and blogging.

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish ask bloggers to list our top ten goals/resolutions for 2014. I’m not sticking to ten, but I am here to share my reading and blogging resolutions! Continue reading

Free Printable Blog Planner

It’s a new year, and many of us are making resolutions to become more productive, organized, and efficient in 2014. I’m a huge dork about organization (although you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the pots and pans under my kitchen sink), and for a long time I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to carry out my blog planning. I’ve had spreadsheets on my computer, Google calendars, random to-do lists written in notebooks… but nothing quite fit my style.

A few months ago, Rebecca of Love at First Book created her own blog planner and posted it to her blog as a free download. It’s a great planner, but it wasn’t quite exactly what I wanted — and neither were the dozens of other planners I found while browsing the web. I realized that the only way to get the perfect planner to suit my needs and wants was to make one myself. So, with a generous amount of assistance from Tom, a totally bad-ass designer and the best boyfriend ever, I cobbled together a blog planner that works well for me. Continue reading

Ten Things Every Book Blog Needs

Hello lovelies! As most of you probably know, Bloggiesta starts tomorrow! It’s an excellent event that challenges bloggers to improve their websites. It features tons of great mini-challenges hosted by bloggers who are eager to share their expertise on different topics. I’m not signed up to host a challenge, but I’ve had this post floating half-finished in my drafts for weeks, and I thought this would be a good time to share it!

I’ve been blogging for over a year and a half, and in that time I’ve read a lot of blogs. In browsing hundreds of sites, I’ve seen some really beautiful blogs with great features, and I’ve also seen some absolutely cringe-inducing pages. I’m here to share what I believe are the dos and don’ts of blogging: things your blog should definitely have, and things that are total turn-offs.

Here we go!
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Bloggy News: A New Look, 200 Followers, and a Giveaway!

Hello everyone! I have a few exciting announcements to make about Books Speak Volumes today!

First of all, the blog has a shiny, brand new header image! A huge thank you to my wonderful boyfriend Tom for designing it. Aside from being incredibly handsome, sweet, and funny, he also happens to be a talented graphic and web designer! You can see his other awesome designs on Dribbble!

I Love You gif

Thanks lemon pie, you’re the best!

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Full Disclosure: Complying with the New FTC Guidelines

On March 12, the FTC released updated guidelines for making effective disclosures in digital advertising. Beauty & Fashion Tech posted a great article about why this is relevant to bloggers who receive free products for review and how to comply. You should go read the full post, as it goes into much more detail than I will here. My aim in this post is just to address how I have made disclosures in the past, and how I will make them in the future to comply with the new guidelines. Continue reading