The Blogger Recognition Award

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I was nominated by the lovely Rylee @ Hermit Odysseus for the Blogger Recognition Award! Thanks to Rylee, and if you haven’t yet checked out her blog, she’s got great reviews on there and a professional layout that I will never stop envying. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, get over there and give that blog some love.

So I’ve dragged my feet a bit on this post, in part because this is a tag that involves giving advice about blogging…and as we all know, I’m the first person you should be consulting for that. Ahem.


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  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

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I outlined my very first review, of Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Wings and Ruin, one day when I was bored in class. When I got home, it was a quick job of typing the whole 1600-word shebang (I had a lot of thoughts on that book) on Goodreads. I sat back and thought that hey, that had actually been pretty fun. Several more followed in the coming months, until I realised that I’d always wanted to start a blog and now already had the material for it. Plus, it would be nice to collect all my reviews in one place. And thus Serendipitous Reads was born in July 2017 under its original name of ‘Lowbrow or Literary?’.


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1. Write what YOU want to write.

Along the lines of Rylee’s first piece of advice to write for you, don’t get hung up on what other bloggers are doing. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of trying to conform to other writers’ standards. In some ways, blogging is like creative writing, and the importance of doing what you’re comfortable with is one of those ways. Unless you’re trying to make money out of your blog, in which case you should probably have picked a topic more lucrative than books, there’s no correct way to blog. If you want to write purely long, analytical reviews, do it. If you want to participate in Top 5 Wednesdays or Top 10 Tuesdays, go for it. If you want to do loads and loads of book tags, that’s okay too! You’re much more likely to enjoy and in turn continue blogging if you write for yourself.

2. If you’re allergic to Photoshop, Canva.com is your best friend.

Do a bit of blog hopping, and you might feel like every book blogger has the most beautiful, amazing, jaw-dropping graphics and all you have is a WordPress basic theme. While aesthetics are by no means a requirement for blogging, they can be a great way to enhance your content. If you have no idea how to use Photoshop, GIMP and the like, Canva.com is a free and highly intuitive tool to get you started with some simple graphics. Almost all of mine were made there!

3. Everyone appreciates comments!

I’ve been blogging for over a year and still get a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever I get the notification that someone stopped by my blog and cared enough to leave a comment sharing their thoughts. Many bloggers would rather write a post with a few comments and likes than one with dozens of likes but no interaction, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, even if it says nothing more than ‘great review’. The book blogging community are an incredibly kind bunch, and as long as you remain respectful no one will take offence to your opinions. Plus commenting is a great way to connect with other book lovers while increasing visibility of your own blog. It’s a win-win.


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Tagging a loooot of people this time round to spread the love. Don’t feel any obligation to make a post if I nominate you!

Paige @ Bookish Paige | Charleigh @ Charleigh Writes | Noyontara @ Noyontara’s Reviews | Jennifer @ Sleeping Suburb | Becky @ Velvet Spade Reads | Beth @ Reading Every Night | Brianna @ Brianna the Bookworm | Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books | Aurora @ Aurora Librialis | Mariam @ Book Mania | Jess & Teagan @ Fictionnochaser | Purple Manatees | Amy @ Bookish Heights | Tess @ thethumbedpageblog | Hamad @ The book prescription


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What advice would you give to new bloggers just starting out? (And also to me, because even though I’ve been at this business for a year, I secretly don’t have any idea what I’m doing.) Is there anything you’ve learned that most people might not know about? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below!

As usual, all the thanks for reading. ❤

28 thoughts on “The Blogger Recognition Award

  1. I love your advice! And thank you for the compliment––I’m so happy you like the look of mine!! I LOVE your graphics, and I totally didn’t know about Canva.com. I’ll have to check it out! And I agree, comments are the best. Interaction is such a fulfilling part of the whole blogging thing. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks! I was super impressed by your blog design the first time I saw it, and I was actually even wondering if it was created with some other software than WordPress because it was so unique.

      With regard to comments, I particularly love seeing different opinions on the same books and tropes–even if I liked a book, I enjoy reading valid criticisms of it, and vice versa.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My theme came from themeforest.net! I did pay for it—well, actually, my husband bought it and never ended up using it so I took it. It’s called Dawn. It’s not made for book reviews so it’s not perfect, and there was some difficulty figuring it out initially. There’s still a glitch I can’t figure out; a bunch of my reviews from early on we’re posted twice. But they have a bunch of themes to choose from! And there are cheaper ones too. There’s actually another blog that I LOVE the layout for but I have no idea what the magic coding was to figure out that one. It’s the-bibliofile.com — ugh, I still can’t get over how perfect it is!

        And I totally agree! I love seeing other opinions. Half the fun of a book is gushing about it with others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What is Canva.com?!? I feel like a whole world has opened up to me. I make my BF do my graphics because he is a Photoshop Pro and I’m… not 🙂 But now I feel like I can do some stuff and not nag him all the time. ❤

    Thanks for the nomination Alyssa! I'm super glad you're around ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for the tag! I appreciate it (and you!) and I can’t wait to do this one 🙂

    I loved your advice about blogging, especially the bit about making sure to write what YOU want to write. I think it’s so easy for bloggers -especially newer ones- to get caught up in what they think their audience wants to see instead of what they themselves want to write about. Such an important piece of advice; thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! One of the main reasons I never was able to start a successful blog before this one was that I always thought too much about what other people would want to see, and what I needed to write in order to get viewership. In the end I would get so stressed about whether I was writing the correct things that I ended up trying to write content I didn’t like at all and gave up before I even started my blog! As far as I’m concerned, there’s really no alternative to writing what you truly enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those are such great points, and I can completely relate! I’ve tried time and time again to create a blog in the past (at least 3 or 4 times) but would get too stressed about posting the “right” content, which only lead to me losing interest in blogging. I’m so glad I finally realized it’s best to write what I’m passionate about, and I’m happy to hear that happened for you as well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for the nomination! Love your advice. Haha, I’ve always been using Canva for school projects. Though for my blog images, I’ve been creating them in Adobe Spark, which is also pretty user-friendly. I really agree with your third comment. I used to be so scared to comment on other people’s blogs because I didn’t know what to say, but eventually, blog hopping became my favourite thing. Everyone is super kind and I love leaving comments for others. It really is the best way to interact with bloggers. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome for the tag! I haven’t heard of Adobe Spark before, I might need to check it out for when I want to take my next baby step towards beautiful graphics haha. I’m like you, I used to be intimidated about commenting and wondering if it was worth it unless I had something particularly insightful to say. But then I read a post on another blog talking exactly about how much bloggers appreciate comments, and I realised a simple ‘great job’ would do. Now I comment as much as I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh thankyou for the tag, I’m off to go type mine up and schedule it for tomorrow! It’s 3:25am.. oops

    And i highly agree with the whole ‘write what YOU want to write about’, i just feel like people get pressured too quick to follow a certain guidelines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No pressure! I’m sure you’ll have good advice to share, looking forward to seeing it 😉

      I feel like on a certain level guidelines can be helpful when you’re finding your groove, but they turn detrimental when people start treating them as rules. It’s a delicate balance lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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