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2016 Yearly Reflection - The Words

Ahh! The year of 2016 is over! Some might say it's a good thing, because 2016 has been pretty bad. I guess I can agree in some ways, but that doesn't mean that 2016 was completely bad! I mean, it might have had some downs, but let's give it some credit, okay? And let's hope it was alright because this is my first yearly reflection, even though we haven't had this blog or our bookstagram for a full year yet. (Shhh.)

What I plan to do in this yearly reflection is very similar to what I do in my monthly reflections. I'm going to look over everything, see what went wrong and what went right, what could use some fixing or tweaking, what needs to go and what needs to come, etcetera etcetera. I will also show you almost everything that I have planned for 2016, which, frankly, isn't a lot.

But anyway, let's begin! (This might take a bit.)

March - Beginnings

March! It was Saturday, March 12th when Em and I created our bookstagram and blog. We published a welcome post on the blog and some little "introductory posts" on Instagram, but it wasn't until the following Monday that we actually had some good content. These were the days in which our photography and editing skills were certainly something, but the nice thing was that Em helped me out with the blog! (As you can see, I'm not the best at keeping the schedule all by myself, haha.)

We only had 32 followers by the end of the month, at least according to the monthly reflection I had whipped up. (The first one, too! Here comes nostalgia.) There's one line in there that I think is a bit funny. I was talking about having a low amount of readers and followers, how it didn't matter, blah blah blah, that we would "still be doing [it] whether it be with 20 people or 1,000" and that we might "be a bit lucky in the way that we don't have as much pressure put on us!" I just find it funny that we're past 1,000 followers now and I still don't worry much. (Should I...?)

April - Trying to Get Situated 

Next up is April! (Obviously. Whoops.) Emily's decreasing interest in the blog was starting to show. Especially in our April 2016 Reflection, which she wrote. I remember she was not happy to write that, clearly shown in her first goal for May listed in that post ("make blogging less of a chore"). She still wrote three posts for that month, however, I did have to write a post for one of her posting days. 

For those of you who didn't know, Em used to write posts for Fridays. We were also supposed to alternate who wrote the monthly reflections, but April's reflection turned out to be her first and last.

As for our bookstagram, we only posted twice a week, but once we posted - don't get too excited - three times a week! Wow! (If you can't tell, I'm using an extreme amount of sarcasm.) Our feed also wasn't exactly pleasing, as we posted a lot of posts with text. 

May - Slow Progress

By the end of May, we had hit 80 followers, and while Em was not too happy, I was excited. Ah: the simpler days. We had also started to participate in shoutout-for-shoutouts, which helped us in our slow but visible progress on our journey. Journeys also include lows, and for May, that was dropping in pageviews for the blog by about 29%. Em also only wrote one post for the whole of May, with me writing the ones she missed.

June - New Experiences

June marked the start of a lot of new things for us! For one thing, it was our first month trying a photo challenge, and our first month with some pictures from Em's camera! Not that we really knew what we were doing in terms of using it or editing, haha. But we did hit 100 followers, so we must have been doing something right!

June was also a very independent month for me. It was my first month that I wrote all of the blog posts on my own. I also ended up taking pictures on my own with my phone instead of with Em and her camera. As some of you may know, she has another account, and she put a lot of her time testing her camera and such with that account. I still wasn't comfortable with the idea of taking pictures on my own, so we ended up not completing the photo challenge.

July - Big Time Independence

Did I say I was independent in June? Whoops. Talk about July! Once again, I wrote all of the blog posts for the blog, and I actually took almost all of the pictures on my own! While I used some of the pictures that I had once taken with Em, most of the pictures were my own. I couldn't figure out a theme, though, so they were all over the place: outdoor stacks and flatlays, indoor flatlays and stacks and such, props and no props, and good editing nowhere to be found! (I didn't even edit the pictures, haha.)

While I was doing things on my own, it was a good month. Pageviews for the blog increased, we got more followers and likes on our pictures, and I completed all of my goals for the month. A beautiful thing it is: having more time to devote to the blog and bookstagram in the summer.

August - Quickly Escalating 

August was a shockingly amazing month for us! We gained 278 followers in one month, which was a huge increase in comparison to previous months. We were also featured on three accounts, two bookstagram feature accounts (@bookstagramfeatures and @bookworm_insta) and one featuring "what's funky fresh in YA" (@yainsider). Part of this was that Em started to help with the pictures, meaning that we used her camera! We also settled on a theme, and I started to pay more attention to what other people were doing to see what worked. Another thing we did was editing pictures. I settled on a routine of editing pictures so that they looked better together.

Instagram also rolled out it's Instagram stories in August, which allowed advertisement for the blog without all of the clutter from posts with text on our feed.

September - Good Bookstagramming, Bad Blogging

September was a month of goods and bads. On the one hand, our bookstagram was pretty successful. While I was exploring slightly different variations of a combination of edits, we did manage to get 228 likes on one photo (a new record for us at the time) and increased our follower count by 243. We also got our second features on @bookstagramfeatures and @bookworm_insta.

However, the blog...? I was alright at first, but then I sorta kinda missed three posting days? Unfortunately, this was only the beginning.

October - Even Worse Times for the Blog

The blog - oh! - the blog. Did you know I only published two posts for the whole of October? Yep: that's right. Because of that, the number of pageviews to our blog dropped by 77% in comparison to September....

Still, I stayed active on bookstagram. We took pictures, I figured out an editing style that worked and I started to participate in more and mores sfs's, which, by the way, are a great way to gain followers.

November - A Steady Low

I was just riding some sort of wave where things weren't the best but weren't the worst. I missed two blogging days, but it was better than last month. Our pictures were good and all, but I missed a few days and had to finish in the early days of December. We gained less followers than October, but still gained a bit over 100. It was alright. Just...alright.

December - Trying to Repay it All

Beginning of December didn't look good. I tried to make up for my absence on the blog with some posts in the beginning, but then I dropped out of it again. In an attempt to make up for a short absence from bookstagram, I accidentally got blocked from writing captions, so I ultimately created an even longer absence. (Whoops.) But, I regained my footing and promised a good amount of posts come January. December was a month of trying to redeem myself.

So how was 2016 for Reading is Inevitable? Well, there were some lows - bad pictures, periods of absence, disagreements between Em and I - but in the end, it was good. For Reading is Inevitable, 2016 meant building up from nothing, from square one; from literally nothing to 64 blog posts and 288 Instagram posts with 1,277 people to see them. Thank you.

2017 Goals

  1. Work on the blog more! I really don't want this blog to be dead.
  2. Post twice a day regularly on our bookstagram. I've been wanting to do this! We don't have enough pictures in stock at the moment, but by the end of 2017 I want to regularly post twice a day.
  3. Find more great books to read through other book blogs and bookstagrams!


This Month's Popular Posts

March 2017 Reflection

Hello everyone! Since March has been over for a bit now, it's time for a monthly reflection! A good amount has happened over the course of one month, and I must say that this March reflection is much different from last year's! (This is the first time I can also compare months, which is exciting.)

So, here's the layout for this post:

Looking Back Into March
The BlogInstagramGoalsComparison - March 2016 vs March 2017
Coming Up in April
The BlogInstagramGoals
Looking Back Into MarchThe Blog
Pageviews increased by about 26%! Personally, I am glad with that number, as I know that after my period of absence here on the blog, pageviews dropped drastically. While they still haven't reached the numbers they did before, I am still glad to see progress. :) Additionally, I started posting regularly again, which is easier thanks to the new posting schedule. The blog also got a fancy new design! Overall, it was a good month for the blog.

Unfortunately, I never wrote down the f…

Navigating Bookstagram - Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - SFS

Hey everyone! Stressful weekend, but I still managed to get this blog post together for you. Hopefully a March 2017 Reflection will be coming up soon on Friday, one of the new changes to the posting schedule, but I have a somewhat busy week ahead of me, so we'll have to see what happens. (If you missed the details back in mid-March, then be sure to either check out the post here or visit the posting schedule page by clicking the tab above.) For now, though, it’s time to do another installment in the Navigating Bookstagram series, also know as the NBSTFSA series (I’m just kidding; no one says that). Today I will be covering shoutout-for-shoutouts. Ah: sfs’s, as they’re sometimes called. What are they? They’re exactly what they sound like: When one account shouts out another account in exchange for a shoutout from them. But what I specifically want to talk about today is entering shoutout-for-shoutout contests.

First of all, what is a shoutout-for-shoutout contest? (Warning: This i…

Two-Day Barnes & Noble Haul

Hello everyone! So a long long time ago on the 26th and 27th of December, Em and I went to Barnes & Noble and got some goodies. Since we got a good amount of stuff, I figured I might as well share what we got because who doesn't like that? (Especially all of you bookworms out there, the majority of my readers if not all of them, haha.) Between the two of us, we got a total of eight things, four each.

Day 1 - December 26th It was a good day, and a fun car ride for Em, as she was playing with her peach-colored slime. Downside of that is sticky fingers and needing a certain someone (me) to help her clean up, but it was alright for the most part.
After poking around a bit, looking at various things and going to the knickknacks and such first on Em's request, we both had two things we wanted to purchase. I had decided on two books; for Em it was a book and a little collectable. 

The first book that I got was I Wrote This For You by Iain S. Thomas. In the Barnes & Noble we …

Navigating Bookstagram - Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - Pictures (Part 2)

Hi everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts. I'm trying to get back on top of our bookstagram and our blog, so just hang tight!

Speaking of our bookstagram (and also our blog, actually), what seems like forever ago back in December I had promised to make a part 2 for "Navigating Bookstagram - Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - Pictures (Part 1)", since I had too much to say for just one post. Unfortunately, that never happened. But, don't fret, because here it is, only a few months late! (Heh heh...)

So, what do I plan to cover in this post? Well, I plan on talking about the following subjects (click the links to jump to that section):

Props - What to use, and when and how to use them
Editing - Do's and Don'ts, explanation of tools