Has blogging opened up opportunities for you beyond getting free, advance copies of new books? Has it helped you get offers to write or review elsewhere (maybe even for pay)? Have you gotten invites to special events or places you might not have been to otherwise?
Well, my answer to the question above would have to be no. Being a book blogger hasn't afforded me any special privileges and even free books rarely come my way since so few publishers are willing to send books internationally. But even though I don't get invited to special events and am not offered gifts and special promotions for my readers, being a book blogger has been a wonderful experience that has taught me more than I had ever anticipated.
Through blogging I learned some invaluable skills about developing relationships online and how to use social media to promote yourself and your website. I learned about the importance of regularly visiting other blogs and leaving thoughtful comments and to not only promote my own content but also the content of my online friends and acquaintances. I suddenly realized that my years of blogging had actually taught me skills that I could use in the workforce, skills which every business now considers to be valuable. So I decided to begin offering my skills and experience to small businesses to help them develop their own online presence, the same way I did with my blog, and I already have my first client.
When I began my blog I had no idea that I would stick with it for so long or that the experience would impact me the way that it did. I don't know if my new plan to become a social media manager will take off or not but I'm excited to try and I'm so grateful to everyone that had helped me along the way.
P.S I can't believe that I had forgotten to mention one of the greatest things that has happened to me as a book blogger, though if you are a regular reader then you already know about it. . An excerpt from one of my reviews was published inside of a book! That was definitely one of the highlights of my blogging career.
P.PS. And how can I not mention the opportunity that being a blogger has given me to develop relationships with some of my favorite authors? While I am sure the authors would have happily interacted with me even if I wasn't a book blogger I never would have dared to reach out to them if it wasn't for my blog.