i’ve only been blogging for a year, but it feels much longer than that. (i know, stereotypical and a bit sentimental but IT’S TRUE) SO, i’ve decided to take a look back at fetus xan and give some words of advice. maybe if i knew these things, i wouldn’t have started blogging in the first place… or i would’ve been more motivated than ever. i guess we’ll never know. but here are some things i’d like to share to my past self, and also the n00b bloggers out there who are thinking about joining the bandwagon.
blogging is extremely time-consuming
i started a blog because i thought it would be less time-consuming that youtube-ing, which i suppose is still true. BUT that doesn’t mean blogging isn’t time-consuming because it really really is. i feel like this is something everyone underestimates. the time i put into writing a single review + discussion post is probably 2+ hours. there’s the organizing-thoughts, the writing, the coding-into-wordpress, the graphic-making, the gif-searching, the book-photography, and more. there’s also the READING and note-taking part. i spent a lot of time thinking of, designing, and adjusting my blog theme, which isn’t even related to the actual content. THEN, there’s the blog promoting which is going through ALL your social media sites and sharing your posts and interacting with others, CONSTANTLY. and don’t even get me started on blog hopping/commenting. i could go on and on about that. (i actually did in THIS blog post) (see?! blog promoting – which includes linking to old posts – is time-consuming) the time and effort put in is probably equal to a full-time job.
commenting and interacting is a must
when i started blogging, i didn’t understand the concept of comments. sure you can comment on another person’s blog and someone can comment on mine… but WHATEVER. i was terrible at interacting in the community (what is twitter lol) and only promoted my blog through instagram, and that was only sorta promoting not really promoting. i don’t know how i got anywhere. when i actually started using my twitter, it was like
don’t go crazy with the arcs
when i first found the existence of ARCs (advanced readers copies), i was so excited and wanted, like, ten. i get to read this book before it’s released? and be with the cool kids “in the know” with the publisher? YES COUNT ME IN THIS IS GREAT. ARCs are not as shiny and precious as they seem. i made a netgalley account, read through books that looked “cool,” and clicked request request request. what i DIDN’T know is that you need to finish ALL those books you got accepted for – before their release date. if i don’t? you probably won’t be getting any more ARCs in the future. also, what happens if i didn’t like ANY of the books you requested for? awwwwkward. the publisher gave me all these books to review and i didn’t even like it; reading it felt like a chore. conclusion: don’t go requesting for every other ARC; only the ones you REALLY want to read. i know it’s really tempting to request, but DON’T DO IT.
the community is the best thing in the world
i’m still surprised by how wonderfully fantastic everyone in the community is. sure, there’s the occasional person who plagiarizes and does all the horrible things, but 98% of the time everyone is beautifully kind and perfect pretzels. *massive hug* i’ve been active online before blogging, but it was with my personal account, making online relationships with other ballet dancers. compared to the blogging community, it was so tense. i love the online ballet friends i’ve made, but it was hard to find people who weren’t shallow and obsessed with follower count, etc. :// however, the people who weren’t like that are spectacular. anyway, when everyone in the book community (like, EVERYONE) welcomed me with open arms… *breaks down sobbing* THANK YOU FOR BEING SO AWESOME.
you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT with your blog
this is the thing i really wish i knew. when i saw all these blogs posting only book-related things, i felt obligated to the same. i felt obligated to review every book i read. i felt obligated to schedule posts months beforehand, as they’d said they’re doing themselves. after a few months of feeling guilty every time i wrote up a post last minute, or something about my personal life, i gave up these stupid rules i put up on myself. if it’s something i want to write about and share, why should i stop myself? because there’ll be less comments and page views? is that REALLY why i’m blogging – for numbers? NO. blog about whatever you want; you’d be surprised by how many people are actually interested and care.