Two Years On and I Still Don’t Know What I’m Doing

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Hello lovelies,

I can’t niece it has been TWO ENTIRE YEARS since I started blogging. Thank you all so much for following me, liking my posts and giving me feedback. You’re all excellent people!

My (now defunct) first blog started out as a kind of diary/vanity project but I found that it was all a bit of a jumble. I started over, focused on one topic (books!) and got myself into a regular blogging schedule (sort of). I feel like I’ve learnt so much since 2015 that I’d share some of my observations with you…

1. Do your research.
When I first started, I assumed that everyone’s blog was just a diary. I quickly learnt that blogs were so much more than that! I’m always amazed at the quality of some of the articles that I read on here and how you can create a blog about literally anything. When I decided to start a book blog it felt like I’d really found my tribe and I love picking up ideas for posts from other bloggers.

2. Get involved.
I remember being terrified of publishing my first post, even though I was sure that no-one would read it. I was scared to follow anyone because I wasn’t sure of the etiquette – should I like some of their posts or comment on their blog before I commit to following them? (I’m still not sure about this – what do you guys think?)

However, I quickly realised that in order to grow my blog, I had to engage with the blogging community. It is scary to post a comment (or even to just like a post) but unless you reach out, no one will know that you’re there. Plus, everyone I’ve encountered has been super friendly and helpful.

3. Don’t be impatient.
If you have a blog where you talk about predominantly non-YA, non-bestseller books then you’re not going to get 1000 followers overnight (particularly if you are as fond of blogging holidays as I am). Don’t worry about the stats, keep plugging away and eventually you’ll build up a base of likeminded bloggers. It takes time but it’s worth it.

4. Don’t underestimate how long blogging takes.
I could literally turn this blog into a full time job. I don’t have time for that, so in order to be able to post anything, I decided pretty early on to keep graphics to a minimum and to just concentrate on content. It works for me. I also try to stick to a schedule, otherwise I’d write three posts a day for two days then nothing for a month. Little and often is the key.

5. Take advantage of the free WordPress blogging courses.
If like me you grew up in an age before the internet was invented, you’ll probably struggle to take advantage of all the exciting things that you can do with your blog. I found the courses (Writing 101 and Blogging 101) really helpful and I gained a lot of confidence by completing them. I’d highly recommend them if you’re just starting out.

What other tips would you recommend? What else have you learnt from blogging? Let me know in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Two Years On and I Still Don’t Know What I’m Doing

  1. Congrats! I agree with all of your points here. I’ve been blogging in various formats for many years, though I, too, am old enough to remember when these new-fangled things called “weblogs” started to appear. The most important point you mention is to not worry about the likes or the follows – write because you want to, not because you want people to like you. My blog in its current format is mainly so I can better remember what I read, so while it’s nice that people like my content and I enjoy interacting with those who comment, that’s not really its purpose. Because I’m not exclusively writing about YA or bestsellers or including a ton of gifs in each post, I’m never going to get a ton of traffic, but that’s okay! Those also aren’t the types of blogs I frequent and I enjoy being in a small corner of the community.

    As far as you liking and following others’ posts and blogs, I say like and follow away! As long as you are constructive and kind in your comments, I can’t imagine anyone would express any issues. Intellectual debate is always fun, but there’s no need to denigrate another’s work entirely. (Not that I think you would do that, but I always wonder why people do…is it that hard to just find another blog to read?)

    Anyway – Happy 2nd Blog Birthday! Here’s to continuing the bookish love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Veronica, thank you! I completely agree with everything you’ve said. I’m still not sure whether I should give a few likes and comments before I follow a blog, or if i should just follow away without interacting first? What do you think? 😊

      Like

  2. Congrats! And weighing in on the comments/likes/follow thing.

    I hate to say it, but it really depends on you and the particular person you are thinking of following. I always follow someone then start liking and or commenting on their posts. I’ve done one way and the other and both have their disadvantages. Commenting right away means you can potentially stick your foot in your mouth. I did that in a big way on one blog that I still remember. The poster was talking about some books he really liked and I chimed in about how much I hated them and thought they were trash. If we’d been friends, it would have been fine. But it came across as me being a huge jerk, even though I wasn’t trying to be. I’ve also only liked for several months and then commented. The issue with that is the person thought I was just following them to get them to follow me back.

    It’s a complicated issue, isn’t it? Well, I hope you can figure it out πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops! Oh dear, that sounds super awkward. I hope you got everything straightened out 😊The consensus seems to be that there isn’t a right or wrong way of following/commenting so I think I’ll stop worrying so much and just go with what I feel like!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done with your two years, but even more so with these sensible conclusions about blogging. You echo the type of advice I have been banging on about for ages now. I hope that many new bloggers read this, and actually think about what you have written here.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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