There has been a lot of talk online at the moment about blogging, the community and how we all treat each other, along with the amount of work bloggers seem to put in that no-one is aware of. I wanted to talk about what i’d known before i started blogging for today’s post.
In all honesty, if i’d read some of the comments online recently before i started to blog, i would have never started this. There’s a lot of negativity about how much work goes in to blogging, getting ARC’s, making contacts in media and with authors and pretty much everything else that’s blogger related.
Admittedly, i wish i’d have known how much work it takes to actually keep a blog running smoothly and successfully with little recognition. I love writing and sharing my thoughts and the ‘work’ i put it doesn’t always feel like work, but it takes a very long time to build up a group of readers and a following on social media to actually class yourself as semi-successful at what you do. I really love putting the work in, but especially at the start it takes a while to build up momentum enough to carry on.
Speaking of that, i wish i’d known that everyone builds their blog at their own pace. If you work hard and constant, you won’t necessarily build a following as easily as other people. I’ve now been working on this blog for three years, and i’m only just settling in to a flow of what is working and what is not – and most of all what i’m enjoying writing and working on.
One of the other things i wish i’d known is how ‘in’ the community you have to make yourself. To be known and to make you feel some kind of recognition, you have to get involved with anything book related you can. I thought blogging would be quite a reclusive thing, i’d started in Uni and figured it was something i could do from my bedroom and everything would be fine. But it wasn’t until i started to talk to more people online, attend events, bloggers groups and even larger events such as YALC that i started to see the benefits of knowing people and making contacts. If i’d have known this from the start i think i would have thrown myself in to the social side of blogging a whole lot more. If i’d had known the importance of replying to comments on posts i’d have done it sooner and more regularly.
Once i started to blog (quite long after i started to blog) i realised just how important it was to observe other people. Look at as many blogs as possible and create your own ideas from what they are doing. Look at layouts that work and what you like and adapt those to fit your own blog. A massive part of learning to blog is looking at others and seeing what works. I wish i’d done a little more research before i actually decided to sit down and write posts.
Although there are definite things that i wish i had known before i started blogging, i also am very happy with how i’ve slowly built up the blog to be what i want it to be. I’ve now found a flow i’m happy with and i’ve made contacts that i actually want to be in contact with. Luckily i’ve made some friends through blogging and there are a lot of negatives you can give to what you should have known. No-one tells you that you will make friends that are wonderful, no-one tells you that you become heavily invested in books and making content and being the best you can be. No-one tells you how important books become in your life and they definitely don’t tell you how much you’ll actually spend on books (oops).
Hopefully this post can help out someone who is looking to start a blog. I personally wouldn’t change anything that i’ve created so far. But these are just some things that i wish there was a massive sign post to before you decided to create your own page.