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.
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.
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!