Hi everyone! My one year blogiversary is coming up next week, and I wanted to spill the tea about some of the struggles and fears that I have (or had because some of these things I’ve overcome) as a book blogger: you can read about my blogging history here. Some of these things I feel like many bloggers have had at some time during their career even if you aren’t a book blogger! I also think that many bloggers want to put up this perception that blogging is an easy process when there are actually a lot of different aspects to it.
What DO I POST???
This is one of the first problems that I faced because when I started my blog, I knew that I wanted to write reviews of books, but I didn’t know how far I wanted to expand my content because book blogging is such a broad term that encompasses so many things that relates to books and bookish things. From the beginning, I tried to post things that I would like to read. When I was on Wix, I mainly posted reviews, wrap-ups/hauls, unboxings, and weekly releases, and I wanted to expand the scope of my posts but I didn’t know what the write because I didn’t have any feedback to help guide me; then when I moved to WordPress, it was like the floodgates of creativity had opened and I was writing posts that were more personal, creative, and informative because people were helping me see what type of content to write. Now, whenever I get idea, I try to sit down and write it out to see if it goes anywhere (and post it if it does). I’ve found that for me and my blog, some of my best content is about things where people get to see my honest opinions of the books I’ve read.
How do I grow my blog?
As a new blogger, you want to grow the amount of views/followers you have, but for many it doesn’t happen overnight. It can be very stressful because you can have these amazingly written posts and hardly anyone sees them; you share the posts across a number of social media pages, and it doesn’t help any. I know that I had this problem in the beginning because I was new to social media when I started my blog and didn’t have much of an online support group anywhere. One of the biggest things that has helped my blog the most is joining blogging groups (both the general blogging groups and the ones that pertain to the focus of your blog – music, lifestyle, fashion, cooking, etc.) because that’s generally where you can find people who are in a similar place as you and want to share their content and receive advice on their post. If you are a new blogger, I know that you want to grow your blogging platform quickly, but I advise you to do it at a rate you can handle because once your blog grows, you’ll probably start stressing about making thinks *absolutely* perfect and focusing on ways to expand the content and lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place.
Don’t focus on the statistics.
Blogging statistics can be both a good and bad thing. It’s a good way to see what is drawing in views, but it also makes bloggers feel the need to constantly do better and to grow in a way that is unhealthy to our mental heath because once numbers drop or straight-line, we push ourselves so hard that it makes blogging feel like work instead of a way to express our thoughts and can damper the quality of content.
I’ll be honest, I’m a math person. I love numbers and math puns. I’m that person who takes extra math classes as electives in school and can pick up new concepts after working a few problems, so naturally I was (and still am) obsessed with my blogging statistics, but in the beginning (referring to after I moved to wordpress and could easily see my numbers), it was almost an unhealthy obsession because I was constantly checking it and trying to find ways to better my blog to the point where I felt like there was a decline in content quality. This also caused me to feel burned out because I was pushing myself so hard to create fresh content that it was all I could think about when I wasn’t focusing on school. To help combat my obsession with stats and trying to get them higher in an insanely short amount of time, I had to start setting small goals that I would like to achieve, and I had to put my numbers into perspective to real life things. Like when I had a little under 100 followers, I told myself that that was the size of my graduating class plus about 15 people. On the opposite side, stats show us what is drawing viewers to our blogs. So, you can see which posts are in at the moment and help guide you to writing future posts.
What if I stray outside of posting bookish content?
Since the very beginning, I’ve been upfront about the content of my blog! I think it’s on my About page where I had stated that this is primarily a book blog with a few posts every now and then with life updates and music posts. Luckily, I’ve been able to incorporate things about my life and music into my normal book posts, but it’s always scary to post a full nonbook related post on my blog because I know that people generally don’t look at the About pages anywhere! Most of the time, people tend to respond positively to those nonbook posts because I feel like my blog is a very personal one (even if it is a book blog), and I try to make my responses to tag questions and reviews seem as if I’m actually having a conversation with you.
When will my content become unimportant?
Every so often, I have those moments of ‘when will my posts have content that isn’t relevant?’. I can kind of gauge how relevant the posts are by the stats and testing the waters by writing about things that I haven’t before or in a long time. The biggest thing to remember is that everything has its phases so you kind of have to shuffle back and forth between content. With some posts, you just have to just headfirst and not look at what’s popular at the moment (yes, I know that goes against what I just said but some people like the “unpopular” trends). My point is, if you write stuff that is something you feel strongly about, it’ll reflect in the quality and will naturally draw people in.
What book do I write a review about?
Personally, I go into each book with the intent of write a review. But it doesn’t always end with me writing a review because sometimes it feels impossible to coherently write me thoughts, or the review I have just doesn’t reflect who I am as a reviewer. I try to balance my reviews of popular or really hyped books to indie authors or those hidden gems. That’s just me though, there are a number of blogs that focus of just one or the other and that perfectly fine because we all have different thoughts.
I hope that this helps some of y’all going through some of these things! I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a while where I talk about my blogging fears and struggles! The format of this post isn’t quite how I had imagined it being but sometimes you just have to sit down and write before you lose confidence or lose the idea all together! If this is something that you liked/enjoyed/helped let me know below, and I’ll do another one! If you ever want to talk about books or blogging tips or advise, my DMs on twitter and Instagram are open, or you can leave it in a comment on a blog post! If you DM me please, mention that you can from one of my blog posts so I don’t accidently delete it thinking it’s spam!
Happy reading until next time,