Blogging advice! Part One – For Beginners

One of the posts that I love to read from other bloggers is advice posts. I wish so much that I would have seen some of these posts when I first started out because it could have saved me so much hassle, heartache, and tears. Yes, tears. When I first started my blog I knew nothing! I’m the type of person who jumps feet first into something if I want it bad enough and do my research as I go along. Looking back, I probably should have done more research, but I wanted this blog so badly! I wanted a place to talk about books as they’ve been a constant passion from a very young age. But blogging is a little more than just passion. Obviously, being passionate about something is necessary to maintaining a place on the internet dedicated to a certain subject BUT, feeling successful is what I think drives us all to continue. We need to feel validated in some way, shape, or form. Like people actually care about what we have to say. Blogs are, after all, a place where we pour our thoughts and hearts into! And in the beginning I struggled. So, I hope that these little tips can help you keep going and feel like you’re moving in the right direction. I will be splitting this post up into 2 sections (as this would be an  insanely long post if I didn’t!) so be on the look out for part two next week.

*** Disclaimer! *** I do NOT think I’m a blogging goddess! Quite the opposite! I feel like an amateur. I’m just a girl who loves books and puts a ridiculous amount of time and effort into my blog lol! These are just the tips and tricks that I’ve learned through my experiences and I hope these help you too! I still feel like I have SO much to learn and so much room to grow. But hey, if we aren’t learning then we’re doing something wrong!

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BE PREPARED TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON YOUR BLOG!!!

This is probably the number one thing I wish I could have known in the beginning. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but it would have prepared me for what was to come. I’m a quick writer. Once I have something in my mind it pours out quickly. But there’s also the time I put into edits, formatting, pictures, graphics, writing down ideas, chatting with the community, blog hopping and more. I first thought that I would spend a few minutes a day doing all of these things – WRONG! More like hours! This is something that comes with time. Balancing your life and your blog is a personal thing and no one thing works the same for everyone. Don’t get frustrated and just do what you can! Your blog is a hobby after all and should never feel like work! This is something you love and are doing for yourself!

PATIENCE!!

This is where you should all be screaming “take your own advice woman!” Trust me – it’s gratifying to see numbers and know that your hard work is worth something BUT it doesn’t happen overnight!! We all start somewhere. You just need to keep at it and not give up. Perseverance and dedication makes goals come to reality.

DON’T COMPARE!!

This is probably the biggest piece of advice I can give to a new blogger!! If you want to torture yourself, then go ahead, be my guest. But comparing your blog to someone else will only make you crazy! I watched a few other people who started at the same time I did reach 2-3,000 followers in their first 3 months…. no word of a lie. I sat there in tears watching their numbers grow and mine would inch up 1 or two a week. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. But here’s the thing – I wasn’t doing anything wrong! Except for the fact that I was comparing. There are so many different factors that go into the speed of growth and there’s no way to see everything little thing they are doing. Just do you and know that you’re doing great!

LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE!

It’s so hard not to look at those daily stats. Ok I admit that I do look at them daily. But the key here is to understand that the daily stats don’t matter. You’re going to have ups and downs. These are always due to the higher traffic blog hopping days, any features that you do. So many different variables! Want to see if your blog is growing? Then stop looking at the daily and look at the weekly. Better yet – go to your monthly! Those stats give you a better average of how things are going. It takes your ups and downs and brings it all together. If you’re moving in one direction or another, your weekly/monthly stats will tell you more!

BLOG FOR YOURSELF – NO ONE ELSE!

There’s some debate about this one actually and I actually agree with both points. Side one says – blog for yourself. Side two says – blog for your audience. While I understand doing posts that your audience enjoys, I actually think it should be the other way around. Your audience should be following you because of your interests and passions! When you’re excited and passionate about something – it shows! If your audience views something that you don’t particularly enjoy then try to put a spin on it to suit you and your personality. My point with this section is that when you try to be someone you’re not, it can easily feel one dimensional, inauthentic, and fake. When you’re true to what you love, it will reach out to the others who are passionate about the same things and that’s where your following will come from!

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Like I said, I am not a blogging guru. These are just a few things that I wish I would have known before going head first into my blog. I really hope this helps and maybe even eases some pressure and frustrations. I will be doing a post next week talking about increasing blog traffic. So I will talk to you all then! Feel free to enter any other pieces of advice and I may do an updated post in a couple weeks showcasing your wisdom! Lets help each other out and share our knowledge!!

Until next time, happy reading!

 

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93 Comments Add yours

  1. DL Jung says:

    Thanks for sharing this, especially that last point! It’s sort of the same thing when it comes to writing prose. You can’t write for an audience if you’re not also writing for yourself. I’m enjoying the process and hopefully one day I’ll have more than a handful of followers. Well done getting to 1000, congrats!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The first hundred or so is always the hardest. It feels impossible to get yourself found. You will get there! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Kristin says:

    It is so hard for me to blog for myself but Im trying! I am so multifaceted in my likes that I worry about overwhelming people with multiple topics!

    At the same time, I’m finding it highly freeing to sit down and share some of the other things I love. Like aromatherapy or photography.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Same!!! I’m all over the place with the things that I like. But I too love photography (which holy crap I can’t believe the detail you captured in that last one!!!) and aromatherapy. So I’m more than happy to follow your passions! I think everyone is a little all over the place so you’re not alone 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Kristin says:

        Aww thanks! I’ve been worried about sharing the creepy crawlies because some people are afraid! But, I love capturing them so…I’ve decided to start sharing them anyway.

        As for aromatherapy, I am hoping to begin my certification process in the next year or so. So, I figured that starting to establish a day for it would be good. I could do another blog but I don’t have time for that!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh wow! That’s so cool you’re going to do the certification! I only recently got back into oils myself a few months ago. It’s costly to start but I’m saving money by making my own soaps (hand, dishwasher, and laundry) and I’m saving on basic medications. There’s so much to learn!!

          Liked by 2 people

    2. enniyaya says:

      Same… I’m all over the place. It’s hard to target an audience this way! But I have so much to say about everything! Having a hard time tying in everything so my blog right now is more like… hmm a journal of thoughts and remarks.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Everyone has more than one interest so it’s only normal to be all over the place. I’m also into essential oils and cooking so I have to reign in that focus sometimes on the blog. But there are quite a few bloggers that I follow that will post about books along with tea, baking, journaling, and more. I think it’s great!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Kristin says:

        I’ve tried so hard to stay on one topic but I can’t fins time to start a blog for every different topic I blog for. So, I’ve said to heck with it. I’m just blogging everything I want. 😂

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for this post. This is some really good advice and I probably needed all of it right now! It’s exciting to start a new blog, but it’s frustrating to feel so proud of something and then not see your numbers go up quickly. Comparing myself to other blogs is definitely a bad idea. 😬 I’ll try to remember that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s exactly it. I was proud of all the things I was putting out there and no one seemed proud along with me. It’s definitely a hard thing to keep the motivation going. But as soon as the people that love the same things you do find you, it will all be worth it! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Great advice. Comparison is so damaging and discouraging. Blogging is all about being uniquely you – sharing your own voice with the world. Numbers are great, but they don’t define you. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beware Of The Reader says:

    These are all great advices Shanah! Yes we put hours and hours on our blogs but it does not feel like a chore at all just pleasure. Blog for yourself and don’t compare are the hardest ones but they are essentials. It’s difficult when you see other gorgeous blogs! I would also add: make mistakes and learn from them. I’m like youan all go first, try and adjust even if it should have been better maybe to read more beforehand. But tha’s how I learn LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m the same way. Thanks for adding your thoughts! I’ll be sure to include it in the other advice post!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lola says:

    Good post – my numbers are slow to grow, but I try and remember why I started my blog; for myself as a way of keeping track of my reading and other stuff, cause otherwise I just forget (Mrs Scatterbrain here!). I try not to get caught up in comparing myself to anyone, but I have found myself glancing at the numbers…. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Mrs Scatterbrain, I’m your long lost twin, Mrs Scatterbrain! 😂 keeping track of the books I read and what I thought about them is also why I’m doing this. And we all look at our numbers, no matter what anyone says. As long as you’re focusing on the bigger picture and seeing that things are steady and growing (even if it’s slow) then those are the numbers to keep in your mind. Not every month is sunshine and rainbows unfortunately. Those times are stressful. But it’s still my place and I love it 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lola says:

        A pleasure to meet you twin! 🙂 I love doing it, and that’s enough, isn’t it?

        Liked by 2 people

  7. This was actually super helpful and reassuring. Thanks so much for posting 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is a great post! I also just kind of jumped right in. I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time, but I am glad I started blogging. Posts like this are so helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who just started blogging and had no clue! That’s usually the way I do things and learn as I go 😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m usually a researcher, but for some reason, I just finally decided to start a blog one day after months of debating it. Then once I started it, I realized I had no idea how to do anything. I thought I would just post reviews a couple times a week. I had no idea that most people post at least 4-5 times a week and that there were so many things to talk about.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Lol! It’s amazing how many things there are to talk about! It just kind of creeps up on you! 😂

          Liked by 2 people

  9. abookcalls says:

    Great advice! I already caught myself at comparing my blog to other blogs and looking at the number of views I get even though I started only two weeks ago! (absolutely crazy! :D) Starting my blog this month was kind of a spur in the moment kind of thing. I had a free day and nothing to do and just decided I could start a book blog and start talking with people about the things I love…books. I still have a lot to learn though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like how I started – had a free day and started looking into blogging platforms. Next thing I knew I was writing a post…
      Best of luck with everything!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. abookcalls says:

        Thank You! And congratulations on hitting 1000! That number just sounds insane! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks! And yes it does sound insane!! Agree 100%!

          Liked by 2 people

  10. Marie says:

    I really love your advice here, Shanah, so many things I wish I knew before, and some things here I am still struggling with as well, like for the comparison, something I can’t always quite shake off, ahah.
    I really love how you say “My point with this section is that when you try to be someone you’re not, it can easily feel one dimensional, inauthentic, and fake”. I SO AGREE with this. It’s so important to keep on being yourself, try to do your own thing, whether you’re into writing tons of book reviews or more into discussion things, whether you love blog hopping or just check out other blogs sporadically, and so on. Best thing to do here is to be true to ourselves, it’s also the best way to be happy with blogging 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So very well said! I’m going to add this to the post at the end of this series with all the other advice from bloggers 🙂
      I’m better with reviews but wish I could do more discussions. But it’s just not something I’m good at. When I think of a discussion I’ll do it but I no longer try to push myself to do something that doesn’t come naturally!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Marie says:

        Ohhh, I’m eager to read this post with all bloggers’ advice, it will be great! 🙂
        I understand, and completely agree with you. I sometimes want to do more recommendations, or try out different things, but when I’m just struggling to find the words, I’m giving up. It shouldn’t be a struggle, blogging. Well, not too much of a struggle hahaha.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Same with discussions. I’ve given up trying to force myself to try it. It a topic comes up and I don’t struggle then ok. But I’m not going to do it on a regular basis!

          Liked by 2 people

  11. Great advice Shanah! Especially that last one! If you blog for yourself, you’ll attract an audience that makes it so writing for yourself *is* writing for your audience. Otherwise you’ll have to fake it for the entire existence of your blog, and that’s just no fun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad people agree with that point!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Charlotte says:

    Great advice!! 👍
    It definitely does take time to have a blog. Like one week I’ll spend hours on it and then way less the next week and forget I’ll need to be working on it. I guess it’s good to be consistent, but sometimes you’ll need a break from blogging because suddenly it’s not fun anymore! And you definitely shouldn’t compare yourself to other blogs ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s what I do too!! I usually spend a ton of time one week and plan a week or two worth of posts. It feels so good when that happens! Then you remember that you have to write them again and feel like I’m behind all over again
      But scheduling is a GREAT point! I need to add that to my list! I can’t believe I forgot!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Literary Lattes says:

    Thanks for sharing this Shanah! Great advice 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Alyssa Marie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It makes me feel better knowing that my hard work will eventually pay off with some patience and dedication! Awesome advice!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It really will pay off. Having patience in the beginning is sooooo hard though. My husband had to put up with me complaining and crying because I wasn’t growing while others seemed to be exploding. Once I took the pressure off myself and just started having fun was when things started happening 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Marta says:

    Amazing post! I actually did some deep research before creating my blog, but even though it has been almost a year and a half since then, I still feel like I’m starting out. I love this kind of advice posts, I always learn a new thing! 😀 And I’m working on not caring so much about stats now. It’s been easy, because I’ve been so busy that every time I open WordPress, I go straight to the comments section or the blog posts section and don’t even look twice at the stats page. But every time I do, I do get disappointed and that’s what I need to work on. That and not comparing myself to others – that was the true nightmare of when I started out, especially when I only had my bookstagram account 😦

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Sophie Li says:

    Love this post Shanah!
    I also think about blogging for myself vs. blogging for others. When I first started blogging, I wrote mostly for myself (that was when I assumed no one was reading anyway! lol!) But as my blog gained more followers, I find myself gravitating towards posts that are likely to get better stats, however writing these posts can be draining! Now I am hoping to write more for myself 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Naty says:

    This is such amazing advice, Shanah!! I wish before blogging that I had known it would take so much time and effort… and that it’s so easy to read what everyone else is reading and not picking up the books you actually want to read! 🙂 and I definitely still need to work on that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh great point! I’ll be adding this to the advice from bloggers list! There are quite a few times where I’ve picked up books because they’re popular opposed to picking up other books. Still working on this one myself!

      Liked by 2 people

  18. J.W. Martin says:

    Sage-like advice here. I count myself fortunate to know Shanah in the real world and bother her for advice constantly. And I mean constantly. Some days it feels like all I do is whine and then ask you what to do about said whining.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol it doesn’t sound like you’re whining! And I’ve been glad to be your springboard for ideas 🙂 message away any time!

      Liked by 2 people

  19. kyera says:

    This was such a great post with advice for people. Even if you’re not new to blogging, some of these things are important to remember, like don’t compare yourself to others! I think no matter how established you are or how long you’ve been doing this it’s important to remember.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly! I still find myself comparing. I think it’s something I will always do. But I don’t let it bother me anymore. Instead I’ve learned to use my comparisons to learn and find a way to make things my own 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kyera says:

        That’s a great way to approach it!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Wonderful post! I absolutely hear you about the time needed. I jumped head, feet, arms and everything else first as well, into this crazy blogging world. It is really not easy but thanks to posts like yours, it is achievable. Thanks so much. Will definitely stay tuned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay glad it helped! And glad there seem to be quite a few people that just jumped into things like me!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe that’s what you have to do though. I suspect if I’d ‘researched’ blogging more I might have gotten cold feet 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh I know I would have gotten cold feet! I’m easily scared away from things and don’t want to get overwhelmed. Jumping in made me just have to suck it up and deal with it 😂

          Liked by 1 person

  21. Jumping in feet first: Yupppp.
    I remember the day I thought of maybe starting a blog. Two hours later I was writing down all kinds of blog-name possibilities. By the time I got home, I pretty much was on WordPress creating the actual blog already, haha.

    Comparison = disaster. No one should do that!
    Although I do wonder sometimes what “good stats” are for a blog with a certain amount of followers. But that’s more out of curiosity than anything else. [And since publishers base their approvals on stats, it makes me even more curious haha.]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ok. Thank you for mentioning that you wonder what “good stats” are!!! I’ve had this on my mind a lot lately and you saying that made me feel a little less guilty. I always feel like I’m doing good for me (so that’s good enough in general) but I really do wonder how it compares to others. Like, what is the daily view average for most people? What’s the average like count? In the end, it doesn’t matter – it’s different for everyone and any day you’re getting views is a good day! But I still wonder….. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! It so easily feels as if you’re trying to be “better” than anyone else by just wondering about it but.. honestly, who can blame us? Pretty sure there’s a lot of people wondering about it but simply not want to say anything about it in fear of being frowned upon in one way or another, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You stole all the words right out of mouth! You’re right, it’s not to be better than anyone else. I’m just curious to know what the norm is!

          Liked by 1 person

  22. this is such great advice! i would have needed that starting out. this helps so much 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂 there’s a few more of these coming out over the next 3 Saturday’s. Next week is increasing traffic, the week after is making blogging easier, and the last one is advice from other bloggers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s so cool!! i’m really looking forward to the posts! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Straight from the mouth of a beginning blogger- this is teeming with helpful information, thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad this was helpful! There’s more to come 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to reading it all! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  24. HowlinBooks says:

    Great advice!!! I wish I had known how much time I would need to commit to doing this as well before I started but the good thing is I really enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! But I think that if I knew how much time this would all take I never would have done it. So maybe it’s a good thing I had no clue? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HowlinBooks says:

        That’s a good point!!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Run Wright says:

    Greta advice. I just found and followed your blog. I’ve had a site for several years now and am still learning and still building my blogging network. Wouldn’t mind adding you as a friend too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Finding the things that work for you is a struggle. But once you get there it will seem to easy. One of those face palm moments where you ask yourself why you didn’t think of it sooner. Best of luck! And hope this advice series helps you 🙂

      Like

  26. bookishpuffcorn says:

    This has been really usedul! Thank you for all the great advice! I just decided to start blogging and really didn’t know where to start. Your post gave me an idea 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yay! I’m so happy to hear that!!

      Like

  27. Reblogged this on CRYSTAL'S PHOTO-BLOGGING SITE and commented:
    Good Post.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Part one is a good post and I reblogged it on https://crystalsphotobloggingsite.wordpress.com and will be shared on LinkedIn Too.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. This was a great read! Also very helpful and motivational. I’ve been blogging off/on for years until a few months ago I decided to be more serious about it and put more time into it. I feel like I’m in a good place (for now) but just like you said, I invest a lot of time to my sites and just do what I can when I can. Sometimes that gets a little frustrating but I try my best not to let that get the best of me.

    Your 100% right, your blog/webiste should never feel like work and that’s what drives me. I’m developing structure for my site but everything I do is at my own pace. Thanks for the read and the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem! I hope it helped! It’s hard to keep the frustration away at times but if you take a step back before it gets to be too much, it hopefully becomes more manageable 🙂

      Like

  30. Really great post!!! 🤗 This really helps me! I am a new blogger and sometimes I feel the need to write for my audience, but I can’t forget myself! 💕 You seem like a cool person, and I like what you have written so far! Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

    You gained a new follower! Haha. CONGRATS!!! ☺️

    If you have the chance to check my blog out and possibly give me some advice or just read my material that’d be cool. No pressure. Hahaha. ✌🏻

    Nice to meet you! 💕

    -Kristen
    http://www.smittenwithkristen.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Starting out is hard! Until you find your momentum it will feel like a struggle. But you’ll get there!
      I’ll be sure to check it out as soon as I get the chance this weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for encouragement! 💕 And awesome, hope you like it!

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Thank you for this advice! Starting something new can be so scary, especially when all you hear are comments of doubt and constant questionings of whether or not it’s “worth it.” I will definitely keep your advice in mind as I continue on this journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I asked myself that same question MANY times in the beginning. I felt like I was putting all this time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be paying off. But you will get there. It will come out of nowhere and suddenly it will all make sense! Best of luck and keep at it!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. lovelifewild says:

    I LOVE writing poetry/ quotes , i love being able to relate to people i don’t even know through the power of rants and quotes ect, my page is still growing but come and give it some love x x x x

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Really good post for beginner bloggers. I started mine two days ago and I am still trying to find my way around WordPress tools. I d love to know how to increase traffic among people who are actaully interested in my content (paintings and sketching advice). Looking forward to your next article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. https://bionicbookwormblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/blogging-advice-part-two-increasing-traffic/
      That’s the link to the increasing traffic post if that helps. The first few months are so hard because you’re trying to find the people who have the same interests as you. One of the most important things is to get involved with other bloggers with interests like yours. Talk, comment, like, ask questions. Every little bit helps you meet new people and get yourself out there. Best of luck with your blogging adventures!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much! It is quite tricky indeed! I ll be keeping an eye on your posts for further advice! Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

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