I have been active in the book community for five years now, and pretty much throughout I have been juggling my book blog and my Youtube channel to use as different outlets to talk about books. I get a lot of people asking me how the hell I manage to keep up both (especially as I have a full time job as well) and so I thought I would write this post.
To be honest, there’s no secret method or recipe. Book blogging is hard enough work as it is, especially if you’re posting several times a week, and Booktube by itself is probably even harder, depending on the person behind it. A lot of hours go into writing and formatting posts, coming up with a schedule, setting up, filming, editing, and uploading videos, and that’s without all the reading that we all do in order to keep our book blogs and book channels going. Throughout the five years that I’ve been doing this, I have put in well over a thousand hours into both ofmy bookish outlets, and it’s been tough.
I haven’t always had to juggle both, though, as I have occasionally gone on a blogging break, or – more regularly – a Booktubing break. Blogging for me is easier because I don’t have to get dressed and tidy an area of my room or make myself presentable. I can just lie in bed and write. But for the most part, I have managed to balance my book blogging and Booktubing quite successfully.
My biggest tip would be to come up with a schedule. I use Google Calendar to help me with this, as it’s a useful tool to create a visual of what exactly will be going up on both outlets each month. My June calendar looked like this:
As you can see, I colour code. I have different colours for my blog and for my channel, and different colours for when something is scheduled, in progress or is still just an idea. Until recently I didn’t actually include my Booktube videos in the calendar, but since I’ve started scheduling videos in advance, it’s proven to be incredibly helpful. My blogging colours are green (scheduled), orange (in progress/book read), and blue (idea/placeholder), and my Booktube colours are simply pink for scheduled and blue for an idea or placeholder.
The schedule really helps me stay on track and it prevents me from getting overwhelmed. A couple of months ago I was a good couple of weeks ahead of schedule, and it was SO relaxing. I’ve fallen a bit behind now because I was lazy on holiday, but I’m hoping to get ahead again eventually.
All of my schedules go out of the window when it comes to my other site, Recaptains, though. I started Recaptains a couple of years ago with Judith and some other ladies, and since then it’s exploded and we get so many requests for recaps that it’s impossible to keep up. I recap when I can, and I try to recap a book as soon as I’ve finished it if it’s in a series, because that makes it easier. Sometimes I write up to five recaps a day because I get so into the zone, and other times I won’t write any for weeks and weeks.
Another tip would be to interact with both communities. There is a little bit of a split between the normal blogging community and the Booktube community, but both are freakin’ awesome. I have friends in both, and they really motivate me to keep this stuff up, whether it’s because we’re talking about books that we want each other to read, or content we’d like to post. Staying motivated is key because without motivation your content will suffer, and eventually you’ll get so tired of doing this that you’ll fall off the face of the Earth. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.
I don’t think you should come into the book community looking for internet fame or free stuff. If you’re not passionate about books then that will show, and people aren’t going to be interested. More importantly, you’re not going to be interested. So love what you do and it’ll make planning and scheduling and posting so much more fun.
I wish I could give good tips on when to actually write the posts or how to find the time, but right now I’m kind of just cruising along because I am so damn busy. Typically, I try to write all of my posts for the coming week (of which there are usually between three and five) at the weekend. Usually this happens on Sundays, but that’s not always the case. For example, I’m writing this post on Monday evening, because yesterday I was just too exhausted. I would really recommend having a set time to relax and write, though, because that’s what helps me.
I have to record my videos at the weekend as well, because of work and real life business. I don’t have a set day or time, but I try to record at least two or three videos at once and then I can get them edited ASAP and schedule them ahead of time. This makes things a lot easier as I work during the week and I don’t like having that hanging over my shoulder. Recording videos in chunks is probably the biggest tip I can give you, although beware of burnout. I once recorded six videos in one day and I’m pretty sure I was monotonous and droopy-eyed by the end of the last one.
But, mainly, what it comes down to is not worrying and taking it as it comes. I make an effort to balance my book blogging and my Booktubing because I love doing both. I love both communities, and I love shouting about books. I’m also quite an organised person in general and I like sticking to schedules (or, at least, coming up with them) so why not do both?
Do you blog and Booktube? Or do you balance a couple of blogs at the same time? Let me know how you do it!