Let’s Talk Bookish: Tips and advice for new bloggers

Hello, and happy Friday! I had finals this week, but thankfully that’s over and I’m done with school for the next four days over the long weekend. I’m really excited for this week’s Let’s Talk Bookish post, and I hope that you find at least some of it helpful; I really liked writing it, and thinking about the sorts of things that would have helped me when I started blogging, or that I would recommend other new bloggers to do.

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion post created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and is hosted by Rukky and Dani @ A Literary Lion! This week’s topic is top tips or dos and don’ts for newer bloggers , suggested by Rafaela @ The Portuguese Bibliophile).

What are some things you wish you had been told before you started blogging? 

There are lots of things that I wish I’d been told before I started blogging. When I started my blog, I didn’t know anything about how to blog well, how to interact with others in the blogging community, and really anything. Here are five things that I wish I’d known, or that I’d been told when I first started blogging:

1. Don’t be afraid to make friends

Bloggers can be intimidating. And some more than others. For a while when I started blogging, I would stray away from blogs that seemed to be much much bigger, and much more popular. Or, I would read a post from one of the bigger blogs and then wouldn’t comment because I thought the blogger would find it annoying.

I really wish, thinking back on it, that I’d just gone for it and written that comment. What would be so crazy to me when I first started blogging was that some of the bloggers who I was too nervous to interact with before are actually some of my friends now!

The thing is, if you comment on a blog that seems really popular, the worst that can happen is that the blogger won’t respond to you. If this happens, then it’s fine! Don’t take it personally; bloggers are busy and it’s easy to fall behind on notifications if you get a lot of them. Best case scenario, they reply to your comment. This is what happens most of the time, and as straightforward as it might sound to old and new bloggers, this is something that really held me back in the first couple months I was blogging.

2. Visit other blogs, and comment on their posts

Bloghopping is such an important part of blogging. It’s a way to build up friendships, and over time you can really get to know someone through the conversations you have in the comments of lots of posts.

You can become part of a really great community through bloghopping, and visiting new blogs is a great way to meet new people. You can also find a lot of inspiration from looking at lots of blogs. You might find a new way to format reviews, or you stumbled across a really fun book tag that you want to try.

As long as you don’t copy anything from the blogs, then you should totally go ahead and keep building up your blog from what other stuff you’ve seen on other blogs.

3. Try not to feel pressure to post reviews, tags, or particular types of posts

There are lots of different types of posts out there that you can write, and for this one, I’m going to focus in on if you’re more specifically a book blogger. A lot of people participate in the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday, where people make lists of books surrounding a certain post. This can be a really fun way to discover the opinions of lots of other bloggers, and see what recommendations they have.

That’s just one example of the many that there are out there, and it’s easy to get sucked into them, and to feel like you have to do one or a lot of them. It’s really important to try out new things, but to not feel like you have to post something just because it’s trending or just overall in general gets more views.

4. Don’t focus on stats too much, but don’t necessarily completely ignore them

It is so, so easy to get sucked into focusing in on stats while blogging. For me, it started as something cool. I could see that five, maybe ten, maybe twenty people visited my blog in a certain day, and then I could see where in the world they were, and what blog posts they went to.

These features are cool, but it can soon lead from you checking them out a few times a week to obsessing over them all day every day. This has happened with me, and although I do think I’m better with it now checking my blog’s stats a lot is something that I do find myself doing quite a bit.

5. Don’t feel guilty for not posting, or not bloghopping a lot, or just not interacting a lot

And last, but definitely not least, don’t feel guilty for not having time to post, or to visit other people’s blogs, or for being behind in notifications. Blogging is a hobby, and it’s really important to remember it as such. It’s fun, and is something that I lot of people spend their time on, but if you can’t get one post out for no matter the reason; maybe you were too busy, or just not feeling like it, it’s not the end of the world.

If you miss a post you’d planned on writing, or can’t read any other blogs one week, it’s okay. No one is going to be mad at you, and no one is going to be frustrated. In the end, you’re the one dictating how this goes. It’s your blog, and you can make it however you want it. It should be something that makes you happy, and not something that you are feeling guilty about a lot.


What do you think are the BIGGEST Dos and Don’ts for people who are newer to the blogging world? Give your fellow bloggers some friendly advice!

I think that this week’s prompt is really great. One of the LTB topics when I first started was tips for new bloggers, so similar to this. It was well over two years ago, but I remember constantly referencing them for all sorts of things when it came to being a new blogger. So now that I’m past the section of things I wish I’d known when I was starting out blogging, here are some dos and don’ts for new bloggers.

Dos

1. Make sure you are always blogging for yourself, not others

This one is really important because it’s easy to lose yourself in trying to make others happy with how your blog looks, and with what you write. It’s easy to look at patterns in your posts, to look at which ones get the most views, and then to just decide to stick with them even if you don’t necessarily love writing those types of posts.

2. Spend time messing around with how your blog looks; make it something you’re proud of, it should be something that you really love and are happy with

There are lots of different places where you can make websites, and they are all very customizable. WordPress, what I use, Google Sites, Wix, Squarespace… all of them. There are ways to switch up the color pallet, try different kinds of graphics, or add a new background image. There can be a lot of trial and error in doing this, but if you mess around with it for long enough, it will be really rewarding

3. Experiment with posting: try new things, different things. You don’t have to stick to anyone 

You shouldn’t stop at experimenting with how your blog works. When you’re just starting out, you might want to just stick to one certain type of post because it seems easier, or maybe just because it’s what you’ve learned how to do. But, it can be really nice to try out different things and to figure out what works best for you. If you post a lot of reviews but find yourself tiring of them, maybe try and take a break from reviews and focus more on weekly memes like Top Ten Tuesday. Switching things around like this can give you a great chance to discover exactly what it is what sorts of posts you like to write.

Don’ts

1. Don’t just visit other blogs for views on your own blog

It’s really important that you’re not just reading blogs, and scrolling through and liking them in hopes that they might like yours. That isn’t the right way to bring people to your blog, and to gain an audience.

2. This carries to comments asking people to view yours (Exception if you’re sharing a bookish meme like a Top Ten Tuesday)

A second way that you shouldn’t use to bring people to your blog is leaving comments specifically asking people to view your blog. Genuine comments about the contents of a post are always fantastic, but posts more along the lines of “Hey, check out my blog. Here’s the link to my recent post.” I get those a surprisingly large amount, and I usually just don’t respond.

It’s one thing if you comment on someone’s Top Ten Tuesday post, talking about what they wrote, then at the bottom put the link in the comment. A little self promotion is always good. It’s just the rude, blunt comments that push you into visiting blogs that I think bloggers should stay away from writing.

3. Try not to compare yourself to other bloggers; it’s hard, but what matters most is that you love blogging and that you are having fun with it, not how many followers you have or how many people like each one of your posts

When you’re starting out blogging, you also really don’t want to compare yourself to other bloggers. This isn’t just an issue when you start blogging; it’s so easy to spend your time looking at other blogs thinking about how yours is similar, or different, or smaller, or how it feels better than yours.

There are going to be lots of blogs were more followers than you, and what really matters is that you are having fun with blogging. There are a lot of things that go into being confident and having fun with blogging, and I hope that these tips help!


Wrapping this up…

This is on the longer end of my Let’s Talk Bookish posts, but I really loved writing it. I hope that at least a couple of these tips were helpful to you, or that it was at least fun to read.

What is one thing you wish you could have done when you started blogging? What do you think about all this advice? Chat with me in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Tips and advice for new bloggers

  1. For me, the biggest thing to do – even if you may not like the style – is join WordPress. Blogger is super customisable and that’s great, I used it for years. But I also lamented over not getting any traffic and couldn’t work out how to even get people to visit. I decided to join WordPress a year ago and the difference was shocking – people follow me? And comment? And actually view and like my posts? It’s so worth the difficulty to actually feel seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such great advice!! I don’t have much experience with platforms outside of WordPress, so it’s really interesting to hear your experience with going from Blogger to WordPress.
      I do know that without the WordPress reader, and that whole system, my blog would not be where it is today, and the platform really allows for bloggers to really connect in amazing ways!

      Like

  2. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what you’ve written here! My favorite part about blogging is probably the community, so finding people you are on the same wavelength with is definitely something that will make any blogging journey better! I often find it hard to make time to really go bloghopping and give posts the attention they deserve, but it’s really the best way to strike up a first conversation and also just to see what’s out there. (Although I agree that you shouldn’t necessarily compare yourself to others.) Really great tips!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The blogging community really is so fantastic!! I also really struggle with finding time to bloghop and visit lots of other blogs, but when I do I’m always able to have really great conversations.
      I’m so glad you agreed with these tips, and thought they were great; I often end up feeling like I don’t have enough experience with blogging, so it’s nice to hear that.
      Thank you so much for commenting, and happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.