Interview With A Book Blogger: The Espresso Edition
Hello darlings. Interviewing others have been a dream of mine for such a long time and I figured for The Seasonal Pages that I will get the chance to interview bookish souls such as authors & book bloggers while also speaking to small businesses. I will be making these interviews into a biweekly series, so you can get the chance to learn about others and find new people to be obsessed with.
One of my first book blogger's that I wanted to interview was Stephanie Whitman from the blog The Espresso Edition. The Espresso Edition is a book and lifestyle blog that focuses on weekly blog posts about everything dealing with books. She creates book lists, book reviews and stunning book photography that will make you make want to become an instant subscriber to her blog. Today, I decided to ask her about what it is like to be a book blogger and her thoughts on one of her favorite hobbies: reading.
Honestly, I can’t remember a time where reading wasn’t part of my life! I know my mom and dad read to me a lot when I was really little and when I was 6 years old, I read The Chronicles of Narnia, which spurred my interest in fantasy. By the time I was 8, I had my own library card, and the rest is history! I would check out as many books as I possibly could and devour them in just a few days. The quantity of reading dwindled in my late teens and early twenties, but came back in full force over the last few years!
Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer, The Comfort Book by Matt Haig, and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.
I had been fashion and lifestyle blogging full-time for five years and truthfully, I just felt like something was missing, despite how successful my previous blog had become. After a year of bookstagram and including some bookish content on my old blog (She Saw Style), I decided to fully rebrand to The Espresso Edition and consider myself a book blogger. It makes me much happier to talk about books than it ever did when I was talking about clothes!
Well, every day is different. Rather than doing the same tasks every day, I schedule certain tasks for different days. Mon-Wed I write new articles, which involves research, SEO prep, writing everything, titling my photos, creating graphics, and planning social media promotion.
Monday is also my Instagram feed prep day. Thurs-Fri are revamping and republishing days, which is when I go back through old articles on my blog and rewrite them, create new graphics, and schedule them to be shared again on Pinterest and Twitter. Thursday is my newsletter-writing day as well. In addition to those things, each day involves monitoring my Facebook group, engaging on bookstagram, creating new content on TikTok or taking photos (depending on the weather), etc. And this is the nutshell version of my schedule!
It’s way more work than most people think. Blogging in general is way more work - especially if you’re wanting to make it a career (or at least make an income from it). When I began to blog full-time, I traded a 40 hour work week that included steady pay for a 60-80 hour work week that paid way less (and sometimes didn’t pay at all). But it’s 100% worth it if you’re doing something that you love.
It was hard to launch a blog - and yes, hard to transition from what I was doing before to what I’m doing now. But I’m a self-starter and have a marketing mindset, so rather than relying on others to teach me what to do, I spent about 6 months researching everything I could find about blogging before even purchasing my first domain 6 years ago and it really propelled me through the next 5 years. I learned so much and while it was more work than I ever could have imagined, it was also hugely successful for a while.
When I decided to rebrand at the beginning of 2021, it nearly broke me. I can’t tell you how many times I almost quit blogging altogether just because of all the obstacles I had to navigate while moving domains and changing genres. Things still aren’t what they once were on my blog due to a really terrible website developer I hired.
The challenges of running your own business is that you don’t have a whole team to fix something if it’s broken - and you certainly don’t always have the finances to hire at all! I’m still learning how to navigate book blogging in comparison to fashion blogging because it is a whole other animal… and unfortunately, it seems to bring in far less income than any other blogging genre!
Fantasy, absolutely (specifically YA). It’s been my favorite genre throughout my entire life and I absolutely love talking about it. Contemporary romance is a close second!
Oh, I definitely do! Not because I feel obligated to, however. I read because it’s what I love and I motivate myself to keep pressing further into my reading list. If you’d told me just five years ago that I’d be reading close to 200 books a year, I would’ve laughed in your face! But I can’t help it when I’m constantly researching new books (or old) to share with my audience.
It has opened up a lot of really incredible opportunities - like interviewing my favorite author, working with publishers I’ve always loved, and reviewing books that I want the rest of the world to know about! In addition to that, the social media aspect has introduced me to so many other readers and I’ve made some incredible friends in the bookish community.
Starting a blog is a huge undertaking. Make sure that it’s something you’re willing to put time, effort, and research into. Don’t expect others to solve all your problems (ask Pinterest every question you have). Don’t expect to be super successful overnight (or even in the first several years). Be prepared to be dedicated and creative (don’t just copy what others are doing)! And of course, know that it can be one of the most rewarding hobbies or careers ever.