Tuesday, January 12, 2016

5 Things You Should Know Before Joining the Book Blogging Community

When I decided to revive this blog, I did it without really planning to. I just took a look at it on my Blogger page and was like, “Oh, let’s give this thing a try.” And then bam, I spend the rest of the day searching for a new template and racking my brain for possible blog posts. Eventually, I came to realize that book blogging (or even blogging in general), doesn’t come with just happiness. It can corner you and trap you in a hole and make you suffer from stress if you don’t handle it properly.

Now, I’ve come to realize that I really should have planned how I was going to revive MWH and not just immediately start blogging again because I wanted to at that time. Blogging comes with commitment. You can’t just quit halfway through because you want to – especially if you’ve already gathered quite an audience.

Thus, from the (almost) four months I’ve been blogging in this community, I’ve come to realize the following things:

There will be envy

Unless you’re an amazing person who can control envy or just shove it away like it’s an ant, then this one will be quite a problem for you. Once you’ve picked a blog design and start posting regularly, you will come across other blogs. Lots and lots of other blogs. And eventually you’ll find some that you’ll think has a better layout than yours. Or receives more ARCs than you do. Or maybe even posts better content than you do.

One thing I really can say about this is – don’t get jealous. Sure, that gal might have a better blog design than yours, but that doesn’t hinder the fact that you’re still attracting readers, right? Then that means you’re posting interesting content, and that’s what’s honestly more important.

Or sure, you feel like she writes better posts than you do. Make it your motivation to write better. Don’t just let the jealousy eat you. Search for blog post ideas on Google. Or look up something about how to write quality content for your blog. Aim to be better.

And about ARC envy – I know. I understand you want to receive more ARCs because it sounds “cool.” Or it can give your blog a reputation. But that really isn’t the case. Your blog can be better off without ARCs, honestly. It’s even much less stressful, since ARCs come with the job of reviewing them, especially with a deadline.

I know most of you have read these stuff from other blogs countless of times already, and that I can’t really say much more about this since I’ve only been blogging for a while, but it really is true.

(Plus, I’ve come to think that reading published books is even better than reading ARCs, since you’ll get to read the book in its finished form, not with the one that still has a lot of possible errors or scenes that need to be added or deleted.)

There will be stress

Blogging is hard, generally speaking. You’ll need to publish posts at least once a week to attract your readers. You’ll also be replying to comments, or checking out other blogs and comment on their own posts. You’ll be forcing your brain out with new blog post ideas that don’t come in the most desperate of times. And eventually, you’ll get stressed out.

So decide wisely if you’re willing to have time for doing those while you’re juggling some other stuff for school or work or something else, or you might end up giving up on your blog or going on a really long hiatus.

Which is why I’ve learned to follow a blogging schedule, basically. And it really helped. Now, I normally post twice a week (excluding memes that I post on Fridays and weekends) or more, when I really can’t wait to let you guys read a post of mine. Following this, I’ve scheduled my posts within those two days and listed them in a planner so that I will be aware of the posts that will be published on my blog for a specific day. Ever since I did this, I’ve been less stressed than I was three months ago, thankfully.

You'll need to know about e-mails, graphic designing, and a little bit of coding

Maybe even more, especially if you want to be cheap. I, for one, don’t plan on spending money for my blog unless I have my own money I can spend, so I spent all these months figuring out more about coding, graphic designing for post headers, Mailchimp, how to get readers using social media, and more.

Wait, what? “That sounds like such hard work!”? Sorry, it’s really part of the deal, unless you want to talk only to yourself on your blog. Blogging isn’t just about typing those words out – you need to really work hard on your blog to get more people to find out about it (and come back again as well).

But, if you have loads of money and are willing to spend lots for your blog, then maybe this one wouldn’t be much of a problem for you.

You'll be stuck reading books a lot

Which is probably not a bad thing. It might even be your most favorite thing to do while blogging. However, if you read slowly, you might want to pick up the pace a little so you can post book reviews on a weekly or biweekly basis. Or twice a month. Well, it really depends on the type of book blog you run (if it also mainly focuses on book reviews or more on bookish topics).

Just be aware that when you read a book, you’ll most probably have to review them for your blog so you’ll have a book review to publish for your own readers (unless you’re a gifted speed reader. Because if you are, then I greatly applaud you.)

Choose your blogging platform wisely

If you search enough, you’ll find a lot of blogs debating about why *blogging platform name here* is better to use for blogging than *another blogging platform name here*. And usually, it’s between Wordpress and Blogger. Personally, I didn’t really care about using any kind of blogging platform when I revived MWH out of the blue. However, I was thankful that I used free Blogger instead of free Wordpress, especially since you can upload your own template on Blogger while free Wordpress only offers limited ones.

But I won’t be spending the rest of this article saying why I really chose Blogger. I’ll save that for another time.

So, you think you’re up for the real thing? I always enjoy meeting new bloggers, so don’t hesitate to comment below if we haven’t talked much yet or are planning on building a blog yourself. I’ll be your moral support from all over here in the Philippines! *puts swagger glasses on*

Have you got anything you wanted to tell your pre-blogging self before you decided to delve into this community? Feel free to share them below!

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Mara @ Mara Was Here

*Pops confetti* Congratulations, you've reached 'till the end of this post! I'm Mara, 15, and I love anything bookish and graphic designing. I also spend 90% of my life fawning over fictional boyfriends and smelling books. Thanks for hanging out at my blog! (And yes, that's me sniffing Six of Crows in our car.)

1 comment:

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