Discussion: What advices would you give baby or aspiring bloggers? Is blogging worth it?

Hi dear friends,

 

I am back for another discussion post as I love reading your reactions, remarks and thoughts on these posts! Many of your comments already gave me food for future discussion posts!

Today’s topic is : what advice would you give new or aspiring bloggers? And is it worth it beginning a blog?

First thing first: is blogging worth it?

As we all know it blogging is a huge time consumer! I really underestimated the hours it would take to blog on a regular basis.

First to set up your blog (see below), to update the blog and to feed it with (hopefully) interesting content!

Honestly it’s like a second job as far as time is concerned.

 

BUT

I also did not expect to love it so much!

Yes there are times when I feel a wee bit discouraged. When I write a post that I think (obviously) is the next Pullitzer in the blogging world and it gets nearly no likes or comments. Or when I spent hours working on a graphic and it gets no mention. Or …

 

Yet I never regretted beginning this blog.

Because:

1) I learned so many different things! Photoshop, Instagram, how to interview authors, some CSS and html coding …I could go on and on.

In life I have a real thirst for learning. I don’t think we are too old (or too young) to learn new tricks or technologies.

 

2) I’ve become more outspoken and daring!

If there is one thing talking and following US bloggers taught  me it was to promote myself! To dare messaging authors I had never spoken to and ask for an interview. To contact publishers to request for an egalley. To shout to the world that “I am good and I am worth it!”.

In my national culture we are rather “humble” and it’s frowned upon to tell others that you are good. It’s considered gloating. But when you witness other cultures, especially our American friends, it’s considered as an asset! And rightly so!

 

3) I’ve made friends who share common interests! I’ve opened my bookish world to other genres.

I’ve tried science fiction thanks to Shanah and Alexandra. I tried some mystery thanks to Norrie. And maybe one day I’ll try mild horror thanks to Laura, who knows.

 

To make it short: yes it is worth it but you have to be ready to sweat blood and tears.

 

Second thing: what advices can we give beginners?

I will give a few here but I would love reading your advices in the comments below!

1) On the technical side, choose wisely your content managing system. In other words: the tool you will use to create your blog!

 

I wrote an article some years ago on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org (you can read “The Wonders and Traps of blogging” HERE) but the big differences are:

-Wordpress.com will update your blog while on .org you will have to update and maintain your blog alone.

-On WP.com they could shut down your blog (it is unusual and would follow some illegal or offensive published content certainly) and you have a limited number of plugins and space (or you have to pay lots of money to get more).

So if you don’t know anything about blogging and are not interested in the technicalities, WP.com would be the best choice for you.

WordPress is not the only managing system of course! You have Joomla, Blogger, Wix, etc.

 

2) Follow and engage with others in the blogging community!

If you create a blog it is probably because you want to chat with other book lovers (or food lovers or …). Go look for them! Like and leave comments on their posts if you think they are great! If you don’t interact with others there is a high probability that you won’t get likes or comments either! Even if you write the most wonderful post if you have no bloggers friends your range will be very limited!

Plus visiting others is the best way to keep ideas coming and discovering new books, authors, trends etc. Broaden your horizon!

You’d be surprised to discover new likes.

 

3) Find your own voice, be yourself.

 

I think this is a very “evident” but important advice. It’s also one that is not easy to follow right away.

When I began blogging I had no idea of what my “own voice” or “signature” was. Should I stay neutral (see last week’s post)? Should I get personal (but not too much as we have a certain “duty of confidentiality” at work and my family would not appreciate all their intimate moments being displayed)? Should I be serious, only writing well built and well thought serious reviews? Could I be a little bit wild as it is in my nature? Etc.

After some months I discovered what and how I liked to write. Some days I am a jokester. I love taunting people. But always good naturedly! Other days I would rant. Because I am a passionate person. When I am in I am all in. I am also deeply loyal and supportive so don’t touch my authors and my friends else! 😀  And aesthetic is very important to me so I learned Photshop, used Canva, Pixabay etc to make lovely graphics.

If I did not like a book I will tell it because what’s the point in lying right?

Don’t try to imitate others. Be inspired yes! But don’t be a clone because that won’t be you and it will feel fake. People are no fools! And you soon will lose interest.

So do you!

 

And HAVE FUN! This is a hobby and it should never feel llike a chore!

 

There are many other advices that I could give but I want to hear  YOUR thoughts! So what advices would you want to share? Shoot!

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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40 Replies to “Discussion: What advices would you give baby or aspiring bloggers? Is blogging worth it?”

  1. It took me a while to find my own voice on my blog, too. I was always myself, but I didn’t always ‘sound’ like me in my blogposts 🙂
    And I started at blogger, then switched to wp.com, and now, I’m on wp.org with Brandee. We enjoy having more freedom to make our blog exactly the way we want it to be.
    Great post, Sophie!

  2. StackingMy BookShelves says: Reply

    This is an amazing post! Yes, so much advice and so worth it. I don’t make money from it nor will I ever but I made friends and people that I talk to about everyday things. In the end it’s a time consumer but great!

    Mary

  3. Fabulous advice, Sophie! We’re 4.5 years in and I definitely think it is worth it too! The one thing I wished I knew at the beginning was it’s okay to say no. We accepted so many arcs from authors who emailed us and they weren’t always the best fit. Now we accept what we think we’ll love, and it’s a much better decision for us and our tbr.

  4. Such a fabulous post! I’m sure this will be really helpful to newbies and aspiring bloggers 😀 I definitely agree it’s worth it- but yeah you’ve also got to sweat blood and tears 😉

  5. Just imagine…if you influence just ONE person, if just ONE person sees a book that you post about, if you make friends with just ONE person…you’ll have enriched the lives of that ONE person and yourself too! 🙂

  6. Great Post, Sophie! Yeah, Blogging really feels like a second job! It takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work but it’s totally worth it when it brings great joy.

  7. I love blogging and I totally think it is worth it!!! <3 And my biggest advice to newbies is to not stress too much and just enjoy it! Don't try to copy everyone else, just do what you want and you will find amazing people with similar tastes!

    Also I love that American's help you be more assertive and outgoing <3 Most people make fun of us for that stuff and don't think of it as a positive attribute, but I love it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well I don’t make fun of you Brittany! I think it’s a strength and comes in handy!

  8. Yes, blogging is time consuming and sometimes difficult, but it’s absolutely worth it. I’ve made some wonderful friends through blogging!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Teri! If we could visit every blogger we often speak with I think we could travel the whole world!

  9. I think blogging is worth it. I get to talk to people from all over the world, and I’ve met a bunch of book lovers. I’d tell new bloggers to comment, comment, comment. If you want blogger friends, you can’t just sit around and wait for people to find you. You have to reach out to other people.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly AJ! You are like the new kid in school. You have to go to people, talk to them if you want to make friends 😉

  10. Amen to blogging being like a second job! I think the one thing I didn’t realize 3-4 years ago was how time consuming blogging would be. And not just creating posts. You have to factor in visiting other blogs, commenting on other posts, replying to comments on your own posts… and you still have to find time to read so you actually have something to blog about. LOL

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahahah yes Tanya where is the reading time? Before blogging I read 250 books a year. Now around 100 LOL

  11. I think that you hit the nail on the head with the “have fun” part! I think that sometimes it all becomes overwhelming when you suddenly have all of these commitments and comments to respond to. Keeping a positive perspective really helps. Great post! 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you! And yes having fun is the most important! We have a “real job” that is not always funny so it’s important to keep blogging a hobby.

  12. Im serious because that is my nature. I love reading your blog because it’s fun and surprising every day.
    While I do like it and don’t want to give it up, depression has taken me down. It takes a whole day to make a post, where it used to take a few hours.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Jennifer! I am so sorry you are feeling low. I have never suffered from depression but my husband has been depressed for years and the struggle is real. Maybe we should think about posts that are easy to make when we feel low? Asking not too much work but allowing you to stay present on the blog?

  13. I love your blog, Sophie! I’ve met so many wonderful people within the blogging community- kindness and generosity is a keystone to success!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Jacquie you are so right about kindness and generosity! I have noticed that bloggers are supportive and kind. By the end of the day, when you’ve listened or watched so many sad news on the television, you could think that the majority of people are bad. Then you come to this community and realise it’s just the opposite! Most people are good and kind. It’s only the “bad seed “that screams louder. So we have to listen to our little community. Honestly you all give me so much energy!

  14. I agree that blogging can be a whole lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. For me, blogging has opened doors and motivated me to write a book (and now I have an agent, so who knows where it might lead…) 🙂

  15. This is a really great post, Sophie. I agree with all of your tips, especially the one about following people and getting involved in the bookish community. That’s the best part about blogging, in my opinion. 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly Suzanne! You don’t always have book lovers around you but you can meet in the blogging community. Plus we are from so many different cultures and horizons it’s just afscinating to learn how everyone is living, reading and thinking!

  16. I feel like I am still learning a lot, but I am enjoying the journey. It’s nice to have a community of people, who appreciate reading as much as I do, even if we don’t all read the same books. It’s fun to fangirl together too. I NEED to get better at graphics. I can format a page like nobody’s business, because I used to write software and whatnot, but my knowledge of graphics programs is sad. I envy all your awesome custom graphics.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Sam we should form a partnership what with you about writing software and me knowledge of photoshop and the likes 😉 Start our own business. Think about it: no more commuting, no more absentee bus drivers! LOL

  17. I second everything you shared, Sophie. I have another. Find a schedule that works for you when posting. You can always switch it up. I started my blog seven years ago and I’m still adding new things to it. I hope to be around for many more years too.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh that’s a wise one Laura! It’s been more than two years that I began blogging and I think that I am only now finding a schedule that works for me. Not to mention that my work can be very time consuming with the commuting and it sends to hell my best laid plans to blog!
      I am currently admitting that I can’t post every day or I have to schedule most of my posts on the weekend. Else I can’t blog hop on the week days as I am tired after my work day. So I have to choose: write and post on week days or blog hop and comment. That’s why I plan my discussions and reviews on the weekend. To leave more room to blog hop and like on the week days.

  18. I totes agree with the sentiment of having fun!
    I think blogging is worth it if we don’t take our hobby too seriously. I mean it’s possible to make money, but that’s a very small % of people who do that.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      ha Norrie so far I have never made money of blogging! Paid for the hosting, for photoshop, for having giveaways as I want to share the love but making money …certainly not! But that’s an important point you are raising here as many begin a blog thinking that they’ll have brands flocking at their doors and sending them goodies (books for book bloggers) to feature on the blog. It happens yes but to a very few number of us!

  19. My advice would be to make sure you’re enjoying what you’re reading, not just doing what everyone else does. Reading should make you happy, not stressed!

    Great post!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes! That’s so true Katie. No need to add more stress to our lives here. And thank you!

  20. I’m loving blogging and finding other bookworms and finding what works and what doesn’t. Of course my TBR list is growing my leaps and bounds but it’s all good. 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahahaha yes Anne Marie the perk or blogging is finding many new great books to add to our TBR even if our wallet might complain!

  21. A timely, and thoughtful post, Sophie. We all ask ourselves, I’m sure, why do we do this? And the simple answer has to be, because we love doing it. I agree with you on the hours it takes, and the rewards blogging gives us, but only if we’re willing to invest the time and effort.

    And while in relative terms, it’s easier these days to set up a basic blog and get going, the important thing to remember is content. Beginners need to think about what it is they want to give (posts, graphics, creating memes) and hour many hours a day or week that will be, as well as what they might receive for all their hard work (passing visitors, regular readers, likes, and comments).

    You also find community, as with book bloggers, and through that, people who end up being online friends. For me, the rewards out weight the effort, because I love that I’m connected with so many great bloggers across the world.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly Alexandra! The community is priceless! I’ve made friends all over the world and some are loyals for years now. Even if I have never met them face to face I think there is a deeper understanding of who a person is when you write and converse in such a way.

      1. Oh, indeed. Connecting with so many wonderful people, for me at least, is the reward. 😀

  22. I really agree with you on how much time blogging takes up, but absolutely loving the work that I put into it! I don’t know if I ever really understood what ‘labor of love’ meant before starting my blog. I really like how you listed out the reasons you don’t regret starting your blog, and those other skills – like learning to be more assertive – are so invaluable!

    Your advice on the importance to visiting other blogs is spot on in my experience, and is honestly my favorite part of blogging. Finding your “voice” takes time, and it can change over time, but it has increased my enjoyment tenfold.

    Great post!!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Kaleena and “labour of love” is such a perfect expression! I’ve seen your post on statistics today and yes you told us you took some time to find your own voice! Your intake about what day and hours were best for posting is really interesting!

  23. Love this post! Thanks for the tips 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You are most welcome Jordyn!

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