Posted in Book Tags, Reading List

Happy Bookish New Year Tag!

Here we are, down to the final bit of 2018, and what a year it’s been!  Starting this blog and joining a whole new community as The Biblio Blonde has easily been my biggest accomplishment of the year… and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!  So, let’s do a fun post to celebrate this fantastic year of books and look forward to the next one!

Happy Bookish New Year Tag 2019 The Biblio Blonde

I’ve created this Happy Bookish New Year Tag for us to look ahead to 2019, and kick off our year of reading the right way!  Come play along!  Here are the rules for this tag:

  • Introduce the tag, and use the square picture above somewhere in your post.
  • Using the questions, tell us all about the reading you have planned for 2019.
  • Link your post back to this post, and comment on my post below with your link.
  • Share your post and tag additional friends!

Ready to check out my year of reading?  Let’s get this party started!!


The last book you’re finishing in 2018?

I’m finishing up with One Day in December by Josie Silver.  Yes, I know, everyone else read this book much earlier in the year.  It kept getting pushed back on my list for some reason, but really, what better time to read this delightful story than… December??


Title you’re planning to read first in 2019?

I’m planning to kick off 2019 with Anne Bogel’s I’d Rather Be Reading.  This slim volume is another book I’ve had on my list for a while.  It seems like it would be a perfect option to begin a delightful and wonderous year of a life spent reading!

Books from your 2018 TBR list that you’re pushing to your 2019 list?

Oh, I’ve got a few of these.  Apparently I got sidetracked a lot this year.  (I am, after all, easily distracted by shiny… hey, what’s that?  Ha.)  A couple at the top of this category include Orwell’s Animal Farm and Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness.  (For the latter, I might want to first re-read the entire original All Souls Trilogy.  Talk about getting sidetracked.  Oh well.)


Genre you plan to read more of this year, or try for the first time?

I’d really like to read more classics in 2019.  Not a steady diet, as I feel like these need to be contemplated and savored.  But more.  One on my list is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I started it years ago and set it aside for some reason, so I’m trying again.

Also in the plan is to collect more beautiful classic literature editions.  I have quite of few of the Collectible Classic titles from Barnes & Noble so I’ll probably start there.  I’ve also been eyeing these rather pricey but beautiful Puffin Clothbound Classics, like this set by the Bronte sisters.  (And don’t forget the lovely Puffin Book to Table Classics I described in this post.)

Reading challenges you’re planning to complete?

I’m still mulling this one over a bit.  One that I’m definitely planning is the 2019 Challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy, which is Anne Bogel’s blog and website.  I’ve already signed up for this challenge, which will send you information right now and occasionally throughout the year.

Also, I’m planning to join the Pingel Sisters as they kick off their new book club!  Not a reading challenge, exactly, but it’s nice to have a community of others to discuss the titles you’re reading.  They’re starting with The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, one that’s been on my TBR list for a while!


An author you’re looking forward to reading for the first time?

A few months ago, I purchased The Lying Game by Ruth Ware… and I still haven’t gotten to it.  (See: distraction, shiny objects.)  But I’ve heard so many good things about her books, and I’m determined to read at least the one sitting on my shelf!  Then I’m sure I’ll be ready for another trip to the bookstore.


If you could only read one book in the coming year, it would be…?

I’m going to go with… a book by the one and only Agatha Christie.  Mysteries are my thing, but somehow, I’ve never read anything by this legendary author, and it’s high time I experience it.  Thinking I’ll probably start with either And Then There Were None, or the beginning of the classic Miss Marple series, The Murder at the Vicarage.

Wow… I think I have a big year of reading ahead!  Which, really, is just fine by me.  I’m looking forward to immersing myself in these wonderful stories and lots of other great titles.

What about you?  I’d love to see the feast of books on your table for 2019!  Join me and post this tag for yourself… the rules and picture are back up at the top, and here’s a list of the questions to copy!  (I’ll tag some of you on Twitter!)

  • The last book you’re finishing in 2018?
  • Title you’re planning to read first in 2019?
  • Books from your 2018 TBR list that you’re pushing to your 2019 list?
  • Genre you plan to read more of this year, or try for the first time?
  • Reading challenges you’re planning to complete?
  • An author you’re looking forward to reading for the first time?
  • If you could only read one book in the coming year, it would be…?

Thanks again for a wonderful 2018… I’m so grateful for a solid start to my blog and for the new friends I’ve made along the way.  Happy reading, friends… and happy 2019!!

(This post contains affiliate links, which allow me the opportunity to earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.  Please see my policies for further information.)


Posted in Blogging & Social Media

New Blog? Here Are the Next 5 Steps to Take for Success!

Congratulations!  You’ve just launched your new blog!  So… now what?

If you’re a new blogger, you may be wondering what to do once you actually get the blog set up.  Here are the next five steps you can take to set yourself on a path to success.

Getting started is the first step to MAKING IT HAPPEN! What’s next?

1.  Decide on your niche.  It’s your blog, and you can talk about anything you want!  But if your first three posts are a brownie recipe, a review of a TV show, and a how-to on changing your own oil, it might be a little confusing to determine your target audience!  Your niche can be as broad or narrow as you like, but there should be some sort of theme.  Otherwise, how will readers know if they want to follow you or subscribe?

Now… if you’re writing your blog for your own personal satisfaction, or for your family, and you don’t care whether anyone else ever reads it, then the sky is the limit!  But if you’re hoping to gain a following, or possibly even monetize your blog down the road, a niche will help you settle into your own corner of the blogging world.

2.  Choose your social media platforms and set up accounts.  Social media is big business, and if you’re a blogger looking for an audience, you want a piece of it! With so many platforms, how do you decide which ones, and how many accounts to use?

My personal opinion: Select two or three platforms to start out. One I would definitely recommend is Twitter. One of the biggest surprises when I started my website was how HUGE the writing and blogging community is on Twitter. I’ve found a lot of other bloggers to follow, and they have been so helpful in networking, sharing one another’s work, and offering support.

Aside from that, choose another account or two that best fits your niche. (That’s why choosing your niche was step one!) For example, if you’re blogging about local interests or activities, you might want to get on Facebook to follow and interact easily with other local organizations. If your blog will be heavy on photography, that would translate well to Instagram. An account on Goodreads is the perfect fit for a book blogger, while Pinterest is great for all types of bloggers, and another one I would highly recommend you explore. (Want the rundown on Pinterest for bloggers? I wrote about it here!)

There are options for everyone! You can always add more later, but if you can focus on just a couple of accounts at first, you can build a good base while not spreading your attention too thin… otherwise you could literally spend all your time on your social media accounts instead of actually blogging!

3.  Write your first post! Already done?  Write another one!   The best way to build your blog is to get in the trenches and write.  Most of us, immediately upon setting up a blog, will write some sort of welcome post. That’s a great start, but the more content you get up on the site, the more people can read on their very first visit. And you know what they say about first impressions! In your very first week, if you can get another post or two written and published, you’ll be ahead of the game!

Now, even though we were talking about finding a niche… it doesn’t mean all of your posts should be exactly the same!  For example, I’m primarily a book blogger.  But in addition to writing reviews, I post lists of books, share posts from others, and write about blogging and social media… like this post!  So don’t be afraid to mix it up a little to keep things interesting!

4.  Network with and support other bloggers.  Blogging, above all else, is a social activity.  When you take the time to connect with others who are in the trenches with you, it’s good for everyone.  Bloggers who network learn from one another, promote one another’s work, and offer support on the days you want to throw in the towel.  (You just started, and the blogging world is shiny and new, but those days will likely come at some point!)

Find other bloggers on the social media accounts you’ve set up. Share your new blog with your friends and family and see what other blogs they enjoy reading. Read, comment, and follow when you find a new blog you enjoy. All of these activities will help you build connections.

closeup photo of person s fist bump
We’re all in this together… build connections with other bloggers!

5.  Build some margin and balance into your life.  Blogging can be exhilarating and addictive.  It can also be draining and exhausting, mainly because you’re the only one setting limits on yourself.

When you’re first starting, it’s easy to throw every moment of your free time at this new project, especially when you see so many bloggers posting like crazy.  Do yourself a favor: don’t.  Yes, you’re going to have to spend a substantial amount of time on your blog to achieve success, whatever success looks like for you.  But make time for other things.  Keep reading good books.  Keep going out with friends and participating in social activities. And whatever you do, keep sleeping.  Don’t stay up until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning trying to perfect a blog post.  Too often.  Not that I know anyone who’s done that…

Stay social and stay healthy.  Balance is key!

As a semi-new blogger myself, I know all the ups and downs you’re going through.  Take a deep breath.  And welcome to the blogging world… you’re gonna love it here!!

Want a few more tips?  Try this:  New Blogger Insights: 3 Things I’ve Learned in My First 3 Months!

Readers, what do you think… what’s your best “next step” for a new blogger?

Posted in Uncategorized

You can’t follow your dream if you’re standing still…

I once read a piece of advice that said:  Do one thing every day that scares you.  Not exactly a safe way to go through life, but then again, that shouldn’t be our goal.




Growth can be frightening.  Going after something you really want can scare you senseless, but leave you exhilarated at the same time.  And I think that’s called being really alive.  Staying in one place (figuratively or literally) doesn’t give us the chance to grow.  You can’t follow your dream if you’re standing still.

What’s your dream? Does it scare you? Does it thrill you? Then you’re probably on the right track. Pursue your passion!