I’ve been blogging for about four and a half months now, and when I started out I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. From scrambling to finish last-minute posts, to pouting over ARCs I was denied, to cackling over my own jokes in Goodreads updates, it’s been a wild ride and I’ve learned so much.
Like so many other people, I started book blogging because I love reading and talking about books, but I don’t have many offline friends who still read much. In doing my early prep and setup work, I became aware of just how many book blogs already existed, and I had no idea how or why anyone would read mine; my first post was definitely a yell into
the void the vast interwebs. I also had no idea what to post, so my next ten or so posts were all pretty basic reviews.
Joining the New Bloggers discord was perhaps the most impactful moment in my early blogging days. Suddenly I had fellow bookdragons and bookwyrms to talk to, who had
wisdom experience and advice and general opinions to share, and when I started really engaging with the bookish community, I made rapid progress. My stats did increase, but more importantly, I got to know my fellow book bloggers — which is huge, because we make up so much of each other’s audiences — and engagement etiquette, formatting conventions,
Such a huge part of my blogging journey has been influenced by the friends I’ve made along the way. You all have helped me figure out WordPress and ARCs and blogging etiquette, challenge my perceptions on privilege and access, plan for (re)branding in the near future, and so much more. [Side note: There are so, so, so many resources I could have linked here — I’ve been working on a related project which should soon be ready to publish, so keep an eye out for that!]
I’ve come a long way since hitting publish on that first post, and I’m so glad that I decided to take the plunge. Getting started was, in a lot of ways, the hardest part for me.
Which brings us to the here and now. Every week brings something new: a different topic to write about, a new way to analyze my reading / blogging data, more friends to talk to. I’ve moved away from posting reviews because they’re really not my favorite to write; discussions and guide / resource posts are more interesting to me. My blog planners are overflowing with post ideas (including a bunch of tags I’ve hoarded), fellow bloggers and authors I want to work with, miscellaneous tasks to optimize my reading and blogging.
Since we’re on the topic, here’s my Tidyathon list, which is itself a work in progress:
🗹 List and set up recurring blog maintenance tasks in Todoist
☐ Standardize review formatting, including affiliate disclaimers and book details
☐ Fix/replace hard-to-read post headers
🗹 Link posts and recommenders on my recs from bloggers GR shelf
☐ Declutter TBR and maybe-read shelves
☐ Finish and publish resources project
☐ Update reading challenges & bingo boards
🗹 Update review archive pages
☐ Update review tags page
🗹 Update review policy
☐ Write up collab/guest post policy
☐ Experiment with scheduling social media posts
☐ Think about rebranding possibilities, especially with graphics and titles
I do have finals coming up next month, so I’m kind of in a holding pattern until those are over and I have time to plan and implement bigger changes on this blog. In the meantime, I’ve been gradually working my way through the above list on slower days / weeks.
These early months have mostly been focused on getting established, figuring out what I do and don’t like writing, exploring different niches, scheduling time in my week to write and bloghop, et cetera. Now that I have a better idea of what has been working for me, I feel that I have a solid enough foundation to really start experimenting. (And yes, Soph, I’ll make sure to try everything out on my test blog first. 😜)
Going forward, I would love to do more collaborations and guest posts with fellow bloggers and authors; feel free to let me know if this is something you’d be interested in working on with me! I’ve also got a few post series and blog pages in the works — as part of my ongoing fight against perfectionism, I’m planning on unveiling them pretty soon instead of continuing to sit on and tweak them in pursuit of an unattainably high standard.
My goal is for this blog to be a helpful resource for fellow readers, as well as an interactive space, so if there’s something you’d like to see (and/or collaborate on) please do let me know!
How has your blog changed since its start? What are some of the biggest lessons and takeaways you’ve picked up? Is there anything you’d like to see more (or less) of on book blogs in general?