6 things I learnt after 6 months of blogging

Hi friends!

Can you believe I’ve officially been blogging for over 6 months now? It went by just so quickly – March feels like it was just the other day.

I want to thank everyone who’s sent a nice comment, given a like, or just stuck around. It’s been such a joy hanging out in this blogging community. I’ve adored reading other people’s posts and reading their views, and I feel like I’ve learnt so much.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the things I’ve learnt about blogging after all this time! Please note that these are just things specific to me, they’re not really supposed to be tips since I’m not at all an accomplished blogger and am still learning the ropes.

Without further ado, here are 6 things I’ve learnt in my 6 months of blogging.

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be prepared for the reading/writing slump

When I started this blog, I thought writing a post every week would be no problem. After all, I read more than 4 books a month, so surely I can write a review for each one that I enjoy?

This was back in March when I had just started my new job and didn’t have much of a workload. Things are very different now.

I’ve realised that I just do not have the energy to be reading and reviewing a book a week. So, I know now that it’s good to have reviews planned and written advance, and to diversify my archives and write not just reviews but recommendation posts and do tags etc.

you don’t have to read every single post that someone you follow has posted

Perhaps this a controversial point, but bear with me for a second.

When I started following blogs, I used to read every post that the people I followed posted. Literally every one, even if it was a review for something I had no interest in (sorry, but I don’t typically enjoy romance novels nowadays!). As I started to follow more blogs, the posts piled up, and suddenly I was stressed about missing someone’s post.

So, I had to escape that guilt and that weird stress (seriously, why am I stressed about a hobby?) and just read the posts that stood out to me and that I was interested in. Then, when I had an extra 5 minutes to spare, I would go through my feed to look at posts I missed.

Blog hopping and reading people’s posts is supposed to be fun, not a chore!

It’s a book review, not a book report.

Lately I’ve been cleaning up my earlier reviews and gosh, those paragraphs are long.

I’m so used to writing essays that I fell into that pattern for book reviews. I didn’t want to water down my reviews, but I know now I really do not have to go out of my way to write a fully fledged argument about a book.

Being concise has always been a problem of mine (literally the main criticism I got in my English classes) so it has been a struggle cutting down on my words and summarising things for easier reading consumption. I’m still learning, but I feel like I’ve made some progress on not talking a million words a minute about books.

don’t be afraid to promote your blog!

So, I still don’t really tweet about my new blog posts because it feels weird, but I’m trying to do that more often. After all, if I put a lot of effort into a post, why not share it with more people?

Plus, I can never forget about the time I tweeted about my ARC review for Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating, and the author Adiba Jaigirdar saw and read it (!!!) I got so much serotonin from that simple encounter, and it still makes me so happy to think about.

It’s okay to look at the stats.

I completely avoided looking at my statistics for the blog at the very beginning because I didn’t want to be caught up in the numbers.

I still agree that the numbers aren’t something to be concerned about, but I’ve realised it is good to take note of which of my posts are doing well. It’s helped me to see what people who read my blog like, such as the genres of books they like to read (or at least read reviews about), and overall what posts stand out more.

For example, my ‘books with summer vibes‘ post did surprisingly well, which I didn’t expect since I just wrote it wanting to bask in the final few weeks of summer and remind myself of previous summer holidays I spent curled up with a book. Seeing the number of views and the overall feedback I got made me thrilled and also provided me with a lot of ideas for new posts I could write.

I’ve also seen that book recommendation posts get more traction than book reviews, which isn’t surprising to me at all. However, since I do enjoy writing reviews, I won’t let the pressure for popular posts stop me from doing what I love to write.

Write what you love!

This is a very very obvious thing, but it’s still something I struggle with occasionally.

I feel this pressure to read and review ARCs that I don’t enjoy, even though I know I really shouldn’t feel that. I don’t have to review every ARC I read – as someone who juggles doing a full-time job and studying an online course, I want the free time I have spent on books that I actually want to read, and writing posts that I want to write.

If I’m not vibing with a post then I should take a break and get back to it. I don’t want to put out something I don’t like or that I consider low quality. While consistency is key, I also want to look back at the posts I’ve written and still feel accomplished about them.

At the end of the day, I love blogging, I love all the people I’ve met here and this little book blogging community, and I’m going to continue to write posts I enjoy writing until that spark fizzles out.

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Thank you all for reading!

Whether you’ve been here since I created this blog or just recently followed, I appreciate you all so much!

51 thoughts on “6 things I learnt after 6 months of blogging

  1. Congratulations on 6 months of blogging Saima! Here’s to many more!
    I agree with a lot of the points you made here, and it was a really good post! I get what you say about not looking at the stats, but after a point that’s what motivates you to work harder on the blog, at least for me!
    Great post and congrats once again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on 6 months Saima! And yeah I agree with everything you said – blogging is definitely so much harder than I expected it to be too and haha yeah recommendation lists always do so much better and it makes me a bits for my reviews but I’m still going to keep posting them!

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  3. ah, you are so right about some of the things here. being prepared for the reading/writing slump! Honestly, i was terrified when it first happened. lol. and yes!! reading other blog posts isnt supposed to be a chore. stats definitely motivate me to work at times! congratulations on six months saima!

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  4. Congratulations on six months of blogging, Saima! πŸ₯³ Apart from the fact that long, gushing, and almost totally incoherent book reviews are still my absolute favorites to read and write, I basically agree with everything you said here! Although I still hate that there just isn’t enough time to read everyone’s posts regularly πŸ˜₯ Still, I guess when you compare not reading every single post to only ever reaching out to a handful of people and reading a bunch of reviews on books that don’t even interest you, the alternative is much better! I actually almost never read reviews for books I haven’t already yet because I love going into my reading as blindly as possible 😁 So I’m completely with you!

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  5. congrats on 6 months saima!! so glad to be fellow bloggers with you πŸ’› i loved reading your thoughts on this post and i agree with all of them in my months of blogging ❀

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  6. Congratulations on 6 months of blogging Saima! You write like someone who’s been doing it much longer πŸ₯° Definitely don’t stress about all the ARCs – some bloggers manage to read and review loads, but I only read backlist books because I find it makes me feel under a lot less pressure πŸ“šβ€οΈ X x x

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  7. Saima!!! Congrats on 6 months. I completely agree with you about focusing on only writing about books you love. That’s something I have struggled a lot with recently. Here’s to more great months of blogging!!!

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  8. I completely agree with all of these things! I’ve recently decided not to review books that I didn’t enjoy unless I have something I really want to say about them, but when I started blogging I felt so much pressure to make sure every arc was reviewed on my blog. I’ve also noticed that recommendation posts get a lot more views than reviews do! In an ideal world, I’d be able to do more rec posts but they take me so long! Plus I really enjoy writing reviews! It’s sometimes difficult to remember that it’s okay if your blog isn’t the most super popular, fastest-growing thing as long as you’re having fun, sometimes I do get a bit too caught up in numbers >_<

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    1. ahhh Bertie I’m so glad you relate, especially because I look to you and your blog as an inspiration for me!! Recommendation posts are so time-consuming you’re right, and personally I do not read enough to write a lot of them haha. And yes it’s so important to just have fun with blogging!! ❀ ❀

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  9. Congrats on 6 months!! My blogging journey is very short so far (4 months) but I’ve had quite a similar experience. I especially struggled to not feel guilty about not reading every single post on my feed, but I’m getting better at it. I also totally agree that we should write what we loveβ€”yes, book reviews get way less traction, but they’re still one of my favourites to write too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah Maria you write like you’ve been blogging for so much longer than 4 months!! and ikr it’s hard not feeling guilty about not having the time or energy to read my entire feed, but I’m glad we’re both getting there. thank you so much and best of luck with your blogging journey ❀

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  10. Congratulations on 6 months of blogging! I love this post so much, so many important reminders. I also used to think I had to read every single blog post by everyone, but… it quickly became a chore and it shouldn’t be πŸ™‚ And yes to writing what you love! It’s so easy to get carried away and want to write what “works”, but I believe that when you write what you love, it shows in your posts, too. Also, it’s best to write something that makes you happy, that’s why we’re here! πŸ˜€

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