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Friday, 15 January 2021

A to Z Reading Challenge 2020


A to Z Reading Challenge 2020: A Recap of all the books I read



A to Z Reading Challenge 2020 

A Round Up of All the Books I Read for This Challenge


This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.


In 2020  I decided to take part in the A to Z Reading Challenge organised by Bookstacks and Golden Moms.

Here's a round up of all the books I read throughout the year as part of the A to Z Reading Challenge:


January
February

March
April

May

June
  • N/A

July
  • N/A

August

September

October

November

December
  • N/A

A to Z Reading Challenge 2020

A to Z Reading Challenge 2020: A Recap of all the books I read





Did you take part in this reading challenge? How did you do? What reading challenges are you planning on doing in 2021?

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Best Reads of 2020

Best Reads of 2020: My highest rated reads from 2020


Best Reads of 2020

My highest rated reads from 2020


This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.


I don't know about you but I find it's always nice to look back over the past year to see all the books I read. I do this at the start of every new year. 

I use Goodreads to help me keep track of what I read, when, and what rating I gave it.  It's always interesting to see how many books I gave each rating.

2020 was not an easy reading year... It wasn't easy really in any sense. In fact, it was just plain hard for the most part. I struggled at times to be in the right frame of mind to read. I just couldn't concentrate on any kind of book. Even when my mind was in the right place to be able to read I still struggled as having the kids and my husband home all the time made it hard to find quiet time for myself without distractions or interruptions. 

Whilst I might not have read as much as I would have liked, I am happy to see that I enjoyed a lot of the books I read over the course of 2020. 

For the purpose of this post I'm going to be looking at the top reads of 2020. My highest rated reads from the year. 


5 star reads


Poison Orchids by Sarah A. Denzil  - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Hidden Pearl by JE Laufer - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

What Would It Take by EL Dubois - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling - My ReviewGoodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link


4 stars reads


Assassin's Creed Renaissance by Oliver Bowden - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Chocolat by Joanne Harris - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Break Up Boot Camp by  Beth Merlin- My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

1996 by Kirsty McManus - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

Killing Me Softly by Bianca Sloane - My Review - Goodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri - My ReviewGoodreads - Amazon Affiliate Link


Best Reads of 2020: My highest rated reads from 2020

You might also like: The Clock Reading Challenge


What were your favourite books from 2020? Do make a "best of" list of the books you read each year? How do you keep track of the books you read and how you rated them? 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Book Spotlight: The Unadjusteds By Marissa Noelle

Book Spotlight: The Unadjusteds By Marissa Noelle

The Unadjusteds By Marissa Noelle


This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.



Today I'm part of a virtual book tour organised by The Write Reads for The Unadjusteds by Marissa NoelleThe tour for ‘The Unadjusteds’ will run from January 11th to January 22nd. 


Genre: YA SFF

Page count: 414 

Book Spotlight: The Unadjusteds By Marissa Noelle
Sixteen-year-old Silver Melody lives in a world where 80% of the population has modified their DNA. Known as the altereds, those people now possess enhancements like wings, tails, and increased strength or intelligence. Although Silver’s parents created the nanite pill used to deliver these genetic modifications, Silver is proud of her unadjusted state.

However, when the president declares all unadjusteds must take a nanite, Silver has no choice but to flee the city with her father and some friends to prevent the extinction of the unadjusteds.

With Silver’s mother in prison for treason, Silver’s father is the unadjusteds’ only hope at finding a cure. But time is running out as Silver’s father is captured by the president’s almost immortal army. Vicious hellhounds are on Silver’s trail, and her only chance to recover her father involves teaming up with a new group of unlikely friends before all humanity is lost.


About the author

Author Bio (from http://marisanoelle.com/ )

Book Spotlight: The Unadjusteds By Marissa Noelle

MARISA NOELLE is a writer of young adult and middle grade novels. She leans towards grounded science-fiction, urban fantasy and paranormal but mental health issues are important to her writing too.  Published books include: The Shadow Keepers, The Unadjusteds, and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep. You can find out more about them in the books section.

Growing up, Marisa had plenty of ideas for career and still regrets not moving to Hawaii to train dolphins and pretend the real world didn’t exist. Struggling with anxiety and anorexia lead her to the field of psychology. Heavily influenced by underdog movies such as The Karate Kid she realised her mission in life was to help other people, through any medium. Embarking on a psychology degree, she wanted to emulate her hero, Jodie Foster, from Silence of the Lambs and actually tried to secure work experience at Broadmoor. Thankfully she left the idea of criminal profiling behind, but uses many of these aspects in her novels.

Book Spotlight: The Unadjusteds By Marissa Noelle

You might also like: 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers

Friday, 8 January 2021

My 2021 Reading Challenges

2021 Reading Challenges: Challenges to help motivate my reading in 2021


My 2021 Reading Challenges


Challenges to help motivate my reading in 2021


This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.


I find that taking part in challenges helps keep me inspired and motivated. In fact, I take part in a lot of challenges throughout the year. For example, I'm doing a different fitness challenge for each month of the year during 2021 (January is the squats challenge). 


Challenges help keep me focused and so I always try to take part in at least a couple reading challenges throughout the year too. 


For 2021 I've picked two reading challenges to participate in.


The Clock Reading Challenge

Hosted by me! #ClockReadingChallenge


Info Link: https://www.jolinsdell.com/2021/01/the-clock-reading-challenge.html


I've decided to create my own reading challenge this year just for fun. The goal is to read 12 books, each with a number from 1 to 12 in the title.


I got the inspiration from this Pin I saw on Pinterest:



The Clock Reading Challenge 2021


The A to Z Reading Challenge


Hosted by Bookstacks n Golden Moms


Info Link: https://bookstacksngoldenmoms.com/2021-atoz-reading-challenge/


I've tried doing this reading challenge multiple times over the years and although I've come close several times I've yet to complete the challenge in full. I also want to get better about my participation in the challenge (not just the reading goals). This year I'm going to try and remember to upload my links to the monthly check ins and maybe try to conquer the mini challenges too.


Last year I tracked my progress with a list of the titles I read, up dating it on the graphic each month. This year I'm doing the same thing but instead of writing out the titles and author names I thought I'd post the book covers over the letters.


Maybe if I only have space for one book cover per letter I won't end up reading multiple books for the same letter like I have in the past... at least not until I have a book for all the letters. Worth a try. Also I think the collection of book covers will look much cooler ;)


The 2021 A to Z Reading Challenge


If you're still looking for reading challenges to fit into your goals for 2021 I suggest checking out this awesome 2021 master list of reading challenges by GirlXOXO


2021 Reading Challenges: Challenges to help motivate my reading in 2021



What reading challenges are you planning on participating in this year? 


Thursday, 7 January 2021

The Clock Reading Challenge

 

The Clock Reading Challenge Making time to read more #ClockReadingChallenge


The Clock Reading Challenge

Making time to read more


I've decided to create my own reading challenge this year just for fun. 


The goal: to read 12 books, each with a number from 1 to 12 in the title.


That's just one book for each month of the year so if you're looking for an easy reading challenge this is one for you! 


The officially hashtag for the event: #ClockReadingChallenge


Where the idea came from: I got the inspiration from this Pin I saw on Pinterest:



Keeping track of your progress: I've created this graphic so you can fill in your clock with the book covers of the books you read. Hopefully at the end of the year your clock will be complete. 


The Clock Reading Challenge Making time to read more #ClockReadingChallenge

The Clock Reading Challenge Making time to read more #ClockReadingChallenge


Want to join me? To sign up just post a comment below. 


You might also like: The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers


Looking for more challenges to do this year? 

Try the Blog Audit Challenge 2021 and the Social Media Audit Challenge 2021


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

2020 Challenges: December Update

  



This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

2020 Challenges: December Update

December was a productive month on one hand, and a complete failure on the other. 

I did the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with Google Garage and passed the final exam. Here's my certificate:

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with Google Garage certificate for Jo Linsdell

I'm really pleased with what I learnt in the course. It covers a lot of different topics related to digital marketing and although a lot of it I already knew before starting the course there were a few things I didn't. It also gave me a few new ideas I want to try out in the future. 
The Blog Audit Challenge 2020

This is a challenge I created aimed at improving our blogs. You can find full details here in case you missed the introduction post. 

Our focus for December was on know your stats. 

The December challenges:

1. Check your analytics

In November 2020 I took the beginners course offered by Google at Analytics Academy. Here's my certificate:

Google Analytics for Beginners certificate of completion for Jo Linsdell

Since then I've been checking my analytics more often.


2. Use your stats to plan for the new year

Where is your traffic coming from?

I love how international my site has become. Here's where my traffic has come from this year (top 10 countries in order):
  1. United States (44.88%)
  2. United Kingdom (8.82%)
  3. India (7.67%)
  4. Pakistan (3.48%)
  5. Canada (3.33%)
  6. Australia (1.91%)
  7. France (1.83%)
  8. Germany (1.65%)
  9. Italy (1.26%)
  10. Philippines (1.20%)
Something else I noticed from looking at my stats is the varied age range of my readers. I love that my content appeals to such a mixture of people. 

Demographics for www.JoLinsdell.com for 2020



Which are your most popular blog posts?

I was surprised to find out that my top 3 most popular blog posts this year where in fact all from 2018. They are all also very different from one another. 

60 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers (4.61k pageviews in 2020)
Blog Audit Challenge: Keywords and SEO (4.39k pageviews in 2020)
I Love That Book's Show Tag (1.86k pageviews in 2020)

My most popular posts that I created in 2020 where:

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: October Challenges - the focus of which was on getting social (1.47k pageviews in 2020)

As a book blogger I'm obviously particularly interested to see which of my book reviews got the most traffic. 

Most popular book reviews from this year in terms of pageviews were:

Harry Potter (1.57k pageviews)
Reality Girl (1.43k pageviews)
Eat, Pray Love (1.36k pageviews)

It's interesting that these books are all from different genres and have absolutely nothing in common with each other. This actually makes me really happy as I have very varied reading tastes and so it's great to see that my reviews are popular no matter what genre they are. 

How can you improve your bounce rate and user flow?

This is something I've been working on this year and I have seen an improvement, however, according to my stats for the most part my user flow drops off after the 3rd interaction. I'd like to improve my user flow even more in 2021 and so will be continuing to update my internal links within my blog posts. 

My current bounce rate is 1.95% though so I'm still happy with the result. The length of session duration has increased considerably this year too averaging between 2-3 minutes.

If you want to know more about the industry averages for bounce rates check out this article What's A Good Bounce Rate by ezoic.

Is your blog mobile friendly?

I use a responsive template for my site so I'm good to go on any device. 

What worked? 

My informative posts brought in a lot of traffic this year. I'm really pleased that these types of posts are going down so well with visitors to my site as I love helping others. I want to be a valuable resource for people interested in books, blogging and marketing so this shows that I'm on the right path. 

Notable stats for 2020:

30 DA
237K views
71 posts

3. Plan your content calendar for January

Map out the blog posts you intend to create for publishing to your blog in January so you can start the new year with a bang. You can of course, plan further months too if you wish. 

I've already started to set up and schedule blog posts for January. So far I've got quite a good mixture of content as I'll be participating in some book tours, have more books I've read that I need to review, and of course, my 2021 challenges. 

For 2021 I'll be hosting another Blog Audit Challenge 2021, and a new challenge... the Social Media Challenge 2021

Take into consideration information like "which days get the most traffic" when scheduling posts for publication. 

Week days users visit consistently throughout the day mainly between 8am and 8pm. Monday is my highest traffic day.

Also consider how you promote your blog posts and use social media to build your blog brand. Think about what changes you could make, new sites you could try out, etc...

This is something I want to improve on. I'm a bit of a social media junky but I don't always use it to promote my own stuff as much as maybe I should. I'd also like to expand into using more social media sites on a regular basis. For example, I'd like to get back into using Instagram and LinkedIn more often. 

And now on to my reading challenges... I didn't do great with these this month. In fact I did terribly. December with kids is always super busy and despite everything that has happened/is happening in 2020 this tradition continued this year too. Hence, not as much reading as I would have liked. 


The Audiobook Challenge

This challenge is was created by Eline from Lovely Audiobooks. I'm doing it as a year long challenge. 

Zero new audiobooks to add this month. 

I'm really glad I tried doing this audiobook challenge even though I completely and utterly failed at it. I did listen to a few good audiobooks this year though that without this challenge I might not have been motivated to try. 

The Audiobook Challenge 2020 Progress Report


Audiobooks listened to in December:
  • 0

The A to Z Reading Challenge

Next up is the A to Z Reading Challenge

I didn't reach my goal for this challenge either. I didn't do too badly though with 19/26 letters.


2020 Challenges November Update: the A to Z Reading Challenge


Books read this month:

I didn't finish any books this month but I did start to read You Saw Too Much by Adam Nicholls and Jay Nadal (I only read the first 5 chapters so I'll be counting this one towards new years goals).


Armed with a Bingo

I'm also doing the Armed with a Bingo challenge.

Again, I failed. I don't feel I did too badly with this challenge but I could definitely have done better. 18/25 boxes ticked off. 


2020 Challenges November Update: the Armed with a Bingo challenge.


Books read this month:
  • 0


2020 Challenges: December Update


How did you do with your 2020 Challenges? Did you take part in the Blog Audit Challenge? Have you read any of these books? Join the conversation in the comments section. 

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