Hi everyone! I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time, but one thing or another was always getting in the way. I was nominated by the wonderful Ashley @ dear world… as well as Jesse @ Books at Dawn. A huge thanks to both of them for thinking of me and nominating me! The award was originally created by Eve @ Edge of Night.
~ Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post.
~ Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.
~ Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night. That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!
So I’ve been blogging for a little under a year now. I still consider myself a youngster when it comes to blogosphere, because I know so many people who have been doing this for at least a couple years now. I started blogging after I discovered BookTube (which is book vlogging on YouTube, for those of you who didn’t know.) I saw so many people doing bookshelf tours, book hauls, wrap-ups and book reviews, and I got sucked into it. I’ve been reading since I was very little, and I always thought of reading as a private hobby, so imagine my surprise when I found that I can do so much more with my reading. Since I was – and remain – too shy to actually start my own YouTube channel, I thought I’d make a blog. I’d been fandom-blogging on Tumblr for a while, and I created a side-blog on Tumblr that revolved around books.
For the first couple of months – from October to early January – I posted book reviews on that blog. I accumulated a humble following – a couple hundred people or so. But after a while, I started feeling dissatisfied with the community. I felt that my book reviews and my original content was being ignored among the huge variety of the things I reblogged, like book photography, recommendations and the like. Which is when I started digging and found WordPress. I realized that I can form a focused community on this website who actually read my content. Which is how Bookshelves & Paperbacks came to be.
For the most part, blogging has been a delight. It has been a reprieve from the everyday stresses found in life. It has been a tremendous tool in communicating with so many people who have similar tastes as me. It has showed me that I can further this ‘private hobby’ of reading and really do something with it if I want to. I’ve been contacted by authors and agents, and it’s the single best feeling in the world to know that people value your feedback, your opinion, and your thoughts on a piece of work.
But sometimes blogging can get stressful. It’s not as easy as it looks, I assure you, which is why I’ll be giving you some advice.
~ It’s Not About the Followers ~
I started my blog with good, pure intentions: I wanted to write my thoughts on books I read, and I wanted people to read my reviews and interact with me. Over time, my competitiveness really got to me. I’ve always been a very competitive person. I love to be on top, and I consider my ambitiousness to be one of the worst things about me, because it can really bring out my ugly side. (I’m sure I was sorted into Slytherin on Pottermore because I’m so ambitious!) When I saw that other bloggers had more followers than me even though they started out at the same time, I would get put off. I would often wonder what I was doing wrong, how I can get more followers, and that took the fun out of blogging for me.
If you do that, STOP! Stop and take a deep breath, and think about WHY you started blogging in the first place. Was it because you wanted to blog? Or was it because you wanted followers? If it was the latter, you’re not going to be happy while blogging. If it was the former, you’ll eventually get back on the right track.
~ Take a Break If You Find Yourself Under Pressure ~
Sometimes, it’s not easy to post every single day. Sometimes, you get bogged down with the everyday realities of life like work, school, family, love, friends and it becomes impossible to balance all that with blogging. So don’t beat yourself up over it. And if you find that you’re placing blogging above everything I mentioned before, take a break for yourself. Schedule a luncheon with your friends, or go watch a movie with your siblings, or join a club in school! Blogging and this community will always be here for you when you get back, so don’t lose your sanity over this.
~ Never Write Content to Please Others ~
I guess this can sort of relate to the first piece of advice I had to give you. It’s always nice to take requests and suggestions from the wonderful people who follow your blog and read your content. But often, when you find yourself wondering if your readers will like this or dislike that, you’ll drive yourself crazy. You can never know what every single reader of yours will want. So it’s important to write what YOU want to write. Make a list of all the requests, suggestions, the things you’ve been tagged in, award nominations etc. Sometimes, you’ll have a free day, and you’ll have no idea what to post. Go to that list and pick out something you want to post- that way, you’ll be posting what you want to everyday while also listening to your readers on your ‘off-days.’
~ Be Yourself ~
This may sound like a total cliché, but I’ve said it time and time again- be true to yourself. Blogs can be important. Publishers, authors, agents might be coming to your blogs frequently in hopes of tracking down potential reviewers. And I know you’re aware of that. I was aware of that, which is why I started curating my posts to satisfy these people. I tried to make my writing super polished, super professional, super organized. And while it’s always important to hone your writing skills, if you think too much, your writing will start sounding sterilized. Your blog is YOUR blog. Make sure your personality is projected. Make sure your readers know WHO they are reading.
~ Natalie @ Natalie’s Novel Obsession
~ Leona @ Leona’s Blog of Shadows
~ Mallory and Maria @ readsbymandm
~ Anastasia @ Read and Survive
~ Cat @ Cat’s Shelf
~ Becca @ Becca and Books
~ Alysyn @ reinreads
~ Nikki and Amy @ Every Book You Need to Read and More
~ Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much
~ Precious @ Clockwork Desires