Today is a special day for me. You’ve likely already guessed why simply from the title of this post, but in case you haven’t today is my one and a half year blogiversary. Originally I wasn’t going to do anything special, was just going to let this day go by like any other, but I’ve started posting discussions so thought I’d do something along those lines to mark the occasion.
Every time I reach a milestone like this it’s cause for a celebration. I never in a million years thought I’d last this long, I had three failed blogs before this one that tell that story, but somehow I did so I thought I’d share some advice; things I picked up over the past one and a half years I’ve been blogging.
What I’ve Discovered After One and a Half Years of Blogging
Work out early on what you want your blog to be.
This isn’t so much in terms of what you post, it’s your blog so post whatever you want, but what direction you want your blog to go in. It doesn’t matter to anyone else what your goal is. Are you blogging for the stats? For the books and ARCs? For the community of book bloggers? It’s completely up to you but if you work out what you want to get out of your blog it will make it a lot easier to succeed, whatever your goal may be.
The main reason my first three blogs failed was because I didn’t have a direction. I didn’t know what I wanted to post or who I was posting for and in the end that was my downfall.
Social media may be important to you, but it’s not necessary.
I’ve been blogging for a year and a half but I’ve only had a Goodreads profile for little over a month and a half, and I haven’t updated my Bookstagram account in at least six months. I don’t have Twitter, though it’s on my to-do list, and I wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to Bloglovin’.
The importance of social media to you and your blog is something only you can decide, but you don’t need a Twitter account to gain followers, you don’t need a Bloglovin’ profile to interact with other bloggers, and you don’t need Goodreads to request and receive ARCs. If social media isn’t your thing then don’t bother with it, focus on WordPress and dedicate your time to that.
Blog hopping is key, but you don’t have to follow everyone.
When you’re just starting out as a blogger it can be hard to gain the traffic that amounts to followers and likes/comments on your posts. The main way to get your blog out there is to comment on other people’s posts. It doesn’t matter if you go to the most popular bloggers you can find or others who are just starting out like you are everyone loves seeing comments or likes on their posts, and it gets your name out there.
For me building up my followers came from blog hopping. Putting myself and my blog name out there so people remembered it, and me, and eventually checked out my own blog in return.
However, as tempting as it can be, you don’t have to follow everyone who follows you. In fact I don’t recommend you do at all. It’s what I did when I first started out and all it meant was that I was following people who I had nothing in common with and whose posts weren’t what I wanted to read. It just resulted in me unfollowing most of them a few months later.
Blogging takes a lot of time.
This is the first piece of advice anyone will give when it comes to blogging, and possibly the one most people aren’t aware of when they first start out. I certainly wasn’t aware of how much time I would end up dedicating to my blog, and while it is 100% worth it in my opinion it is a lot of work at the same time.
It’s your blog so make your own rules.
You can create a schedule for your posts or not, you can comment and blog hope every day or not. No matter what you do you’re not likely to lose the followers you gain or the friends you make. Blogging is time consuming, like I previously mentioned, and everyone needs a break now and again, even if it’s just an odd evening here and there.
It’s OK to take time off, and I really wish this is something I realised earlier. People will miss you, your posts and your comments, but you’ll come back again and everyone will be waiting for you again. Life gets in the way and everyone understands that because it happens to all of us.
Above all, and most importantly, enjoy what you do.
There is no point in blogging if you’re not enjoying it, and I think this is partly what contributed to my first three blogs failing. The second you feel tired of posting or commenting or blog hopping take a step back. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing people will realise it, and like with reading slumps blogging slumps are not something you can force yourself through through sheer force of will.
Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:
How long have you been blogging? What’s been your favourite part of your journey so far?
What advice do you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out, and what advice would you give to any newbie bloggers out there?
Let me know in the comments below.