How did this Happen? What I did not know about blogging one year ago.

How did this happen? One year of blogging already?

This week I got this little picture in my mailbox:

12 months of learning the ropes and knowing I still have much to learn.

12 months posting and hoping someone would read and like what I wrote.

12 months to get to know YOU.

12 months crazy busy as I posted  570  posts in 365 days!

12 months of highs but also lows when doubt had me in its clutches.

 

Today I want to thank you. You all wonderful bloggers. Without your passion, your kindness, your help, your comments I would never have had such a fantastic year!

 

What I thought blogging would be or “when Sophie had a plan set in stone… and got derailed”.

 

I did not know I would have to make noise

Naively I thought that I would post and everyone would like and comment. Imagine my surprise and unease when I posted my first post and …nothing happened! This seems obvious to many but I did not realize that you had to have people following you if you wanted some like and interaction. I had to work hard especially as for many and many months I did not appear on the WordPress Reader. I was INVISIBLE! It was a wake up call and a very humbling experience. I would have to work and earn my likes! Fortunately I love challenges and working hard 😉

But that’s something people don’t tell you when you begin blogging. If you don’t have a wide fan base on some social media or lots of friends you will have to grow your community.

I still recall the joy I felt when I read my first comment ever!!!

 

I did not know blogging about books was much more than writing reviews

It is a book blog so of course I would post reviews.  Wait! What? You can also interview authors? They accept? Even for a small fish like me? Yepee!!!

And what is this strange beast that’s called a Meme? I know of mumus but memes? And a Tag? An award even! Well it seems like fun!

Oh and this blogger had a really interesting discussion about ebooks versus paperbooks or pet peeves or…

Suddenly book blogging seemed such an ocean of possibilities!

 

I did not know you could be personal and emotional. Rant, cheer, confess…

When I began I thought that I would be “professional” only. No need to really know I had a bad day or that commuting took many hours. This is serious stuff! Speak about books then retreat.

Then I stumbled on bloggers like Shanah @bionicbookworm or Jay @ThisIsMyTruthNow or Dani @TouchMySpine and they were talking about their lives (see all their links below)! And it was interesting because they allowed me to feel the person behind the pen. They could be my friends in real life!

I soon read with great interest these posts just to get to know them. Because what’s important is the blogger’s personality. These are the kind of blogs that I prefer.

Now I try to let people see the “real me”. The flawed one. The passionate and the one making mistakes when answering the sirens call of a shiny plugin LOL

 

I did not know blogging was addictive

I thought I would post once or twice a week. I have a job managing two teams and long commuting hours. Two kids, a dog… I would not post more. I began with one post then another then.. I was addicted to blogging. I never expected to have so much pleasure in WRITING. Not only writing reviews but discussion posts or interviews. Blogging is like a drug and when you can’t post something is missing. Yet it’s wise to have a breather sometimes. To get a new perspective and come back with more ideas and enthusiasm.

 

I did not know blogging came with mastering the art of making graphics or taking pictures

I thought: “OK Sophie you write the text of your review and you post it. Easy peasy and quick.” Ha! Little did I know that a post is so much better with some beautiful graphics or GIFs. Of course you can have blogs with text only. But I found it so much fun to create graphics, teasers, etc. To play with fonts and pictures. I’m a very visual person and used to draw and paint. Blogging was an open door to endless creativity. I have a BLAST creating graphics! Granted posting a simple review takes twice as much time as before…

 

I did not know a blog was like your home: you want to redecorate sometimes

My hubs the IT guy told me: “Choose a theme and stuck to it. It’s only a hobby so it will be enough.” But when you blog hop you get ideas! I had blog envy!!! I know that’s bad, really, really bad. But come on! Have you never drooled on this gorgeous blog? Or found that this idea to feature a book in a colorful square was genius? No? Well you are a Saint but I’m not. 😉

I had a choice: change my theme or improve with CSS

I tried to change my theme thanks to my husband who installed a test site. I could try everything without too much fright. Every time I chose another theme to improve some feature other features that I loved disappeared. I always missed something.

So I did the unthinkable: learn CSS coding and HTML coding. I’m still at a very basic stage but I learn at my own pace and now I’m happy with how my blog is looking.

I always admire white and pastel sleek blogs. But when I try it for my own blog it’s just not me.

I’m a passionate and vibrant personality. I love colors but I don’t like mess or an orgy of colors. So I chose bold colors for my icons and a striking girl for my header. I improved the font on the widgets making them more visible. I changed the fonts of my titles and menu. I also added fonts in my posts. I also wanted to feature my bookstagrams, something that I discovered while blogging and took like a rash!

Now I’m a happy blogger especially after Wendy @birdiesbookblog explained how to build that famous colorful square around my books synopsis.

 

I did not know it would be so hard to follow my feed

When I say follow my feed it’s not answering comments as that is quite easy. No it’s about liking and commenting all your very interesting posts! WordPress is a fantastic pool of creative and interesting people. I want to like and comment so much more than I do every day. Sadly life is extremely busy for me and I always feel frustrated and guilty for not commenting more. This for me is the hardest and most frustrating part about blogging.

 

I did not know bloggers were just fantastic and such a tight knit and supportive community!

This is the most wonderful of my discoveries this year. YOU! Your support, your friendship, your passion, your creativity amaze me every day! When I began blogging and made mistakes I barely asked a question on a forum that I got several bloggers answering my call and helping me. It’s been like that all along! You also answered when I asked if someone would be interested in posting collaborative posts. Wendy worked with me for some Mini Me posts. Talia @redhotink wrote with me our series about USA: The Good, The bad, The Quirky and we had a blast! Poulami @daydreamingbooks offered to host one of my posts and Melanie @MNBernardbooks invited me to take part at her Halloween event.(all links below)

It reminded me that our world is not mostly populated by hateful people but by caring and loving people. Blogging every day and witnessing the support this community gives is a fantastic boost!

 

 

So I’m ending this very long post with a shoutout for some bloggers that I got to know and appreciate. In no particular order:

1 Poulami @daydreamingbooks with her K-Drama reviews, book reviews and spot on insight of the bookish world

2 Mandy @bookprincessreview with her lovely blog, gushing personality and interesting reviews

3 Talia @redhotink my partner in crime and book mate

4. Raven @dreamyaddiction with her very interesting reviews and similar taste in book

5. Flavia @flaviathebibliophile for her incredibly beautiful blog and upbeat personality. She has an endless supply of energy and leads buddy reads.

6 Wendy @birdiebookwormblog for her original posts, her honest and insightful reviews and her generous help

7 Shanah @bionicbookworm for her kindness, her generosity, her interesting topics, her endless supply of ideas and her support

8 Kristin @kristincravesbooks for her graphics, her topics, her dynamic personality

9 Dani @touchmyspinebookreviews for her honesty, her vulnerability, her authenticity and her generosity

10 Trisy @bobosbookbank for her daily comments. She was among the firsts to give me some feedback and I love her to pieces

11 Jay @thisismytruthnow for his intersting daily posts, his brilliant prose, his kindness, his dog Ryder (love Ryder!)

12 Susan @susanlovesbooks for her engaging personality, weekly Netgalley book haul, First Line Friday and so many more

13 Adrienne @darquedreamerreads for her sass and her kindness. For her insight on all that is bookish and for her gorgeous blog!

14 Melanie @mnbernardbooks for her lead in many bookish discussion, her writing, her bite and kiss personality (Melanie you give it honestly but you also loves and praise all the same)

15 Last but far from least Kim @byhookorbybook   for making us care! She is passionate about so many things happening into the world. This woman is just fantastic!

These are only a few.

Thanks to all of you for making this year so magical!

 

What did you not know blogging would be?

 

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

 

 

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40 Replies to “How did this Happen? What I did not know about blogging one year ago.”

  1. Happy blogiversary my beautiful friend!! I am so glad we met and I enjoy reading your blog posts and chatting with you on all things bookish! <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Adrienne! I love your blog and posts plus your bookstagrams but you already know this! To another wonderful year

  2. Ahhhh thank you so much Sophie! And this is such a neat idea for a post!

    I’m really happy that I got to meet you, and discuss books with you this past year. And I hope that we stay in touch, and keep discussing and having fun in 2018! <3

    1. Also congratulations on your blogiversary!!!!!!

    2. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Haha Flavia thank you! You know that I love your blog and it was time I let it know. I hope to follow and comment back more in a few weeks. With Xmas and all it’s a bit hectic!

  3. Omoooo!! I’m late to the party! Congraaaaatulations on your 1st blogiversary!!! <3 I'm so glad to have you as my friend, don't stop being this amazing!!! And thank you for the shout out!! <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Poulami and don’t worry! I often comment late so who would I be to judge right 😉 You are most welcome! I’m so happy we are friends too. You open up my horizon with your K Dramas LOL

  4. I’m so happy you’re around this blogging world, Sophie! And I’m so glad we’re friends.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Wendy! And I hope everything is better or at least easier at home now! Expect a proposal LOL

  5. Happy First Birthday to Beware of the Reader. This is a brilliant post: dynamic, chatty, informative and fun. You’ve worked really hard over the last year, Sophie, and you deserve all your success. (You’re right, book bloggers are such a supportive community). Keep up the good work.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Alison!!!! And I promise to still work hard for at least another year and hopefully many more to come <3

  6. Congratulations on 1 year and over 500 posts, that’s amazing! I’m so excited for you. And I’m very glad we became friends. This was a truly remarkable post, completely shares your wonderful personality and fantastic approach to blogging. I loved learning the whole background to your story. 🙂 I also appreciate the shout out — that was very kind of you. HUGS!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Jay!!! Your positive words made my day 🙂

  7. Congratulations on your first blogiverary Sophie! An amazing accomplishment

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much! I never thought I would do it LOL

  8. Yay, awesome post. Happy blogoversary, my dearest friend. You were one of my first blogging friends. I still remember when I first stumbled on your blog and how awesome you were. I love your blog because it is 100% you. Thanks for the friendship, love, and support. I hope you have another awesome year of blogging in 2018. Yes, blogging forever!!! Haha. #hugs. ❤️

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Geybie!!! And you too as we created our blogs at the same time. Have much fun in 2018 😉

  9. Congrats on your one year Sophie! Blogging is always such a journey. I’m glad you got to meet so many great people!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Annemieke! And I hope to meet even more this year 😉

  10. Wow! Sophie this is an incredible post! It’s such a great recount of your entire journey! And wow… all the things you crammed into one year… I loved when you mentioned your husband saying oh this is just a hobby so pick one and stick with it but then he happily made you a test site and I’m sure he helps with coding too… hahhhhaha, such is a bloggers life! ♥️ Here’s to you sticking around for another year… Now I’ve got to check out some of these bloggers… though I LOVE Raven and Poulami!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hi Dani thanks for commenting! And yes my husband helped me countless times! He was just grumbling, huffing and puffing but he said one day that he was proud of what I had accomplished 😉 Made my day!

  11. Congrats Sophie on this 1 year milestone. I am so happy for you. And I love this honest post of yours. You wrote all the things which all new bloggers go through. Once again Congrats.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Aditi! That’s because we went through all this that we are so ready to help others I think 😉 Happy Sunday <3

      1. You’re absolutely right! 🙂

  12. Fantastic post Sophie! I think you pretty much summed up what all of us were going through our first year. All the points you made could have been on a post written about my first year.

    I’m so happy to have you in my book community. Let’s look forward to our second year.;-)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I’m in for ours second year Corina! And stay tuned with this Best of 2017 Challenge because …you’ll have a surprise showing how much I’m in awe of your blog! <3

  13. Omg Sophie! You gave me happy tears and made my day so much brighter!!! You are such an amazing woman and I am so blessed to have had the pleasure of meeting you. Your kind words mean the world to me. You have such a beautiful heart and generous soul! I have been wanting to comment on your posts since I met you but because I was using mobile app it wouldn’t allow it but am so thankful I was able to get on a browser and respond! You are amazing and I really couldn’t thank you enough for your beautiful words. Your post was fantastic and spot on with so many! You are such a huge asset to the blogosphere and things just wouldnt be the same without you! Your blog is amazing and so is your Bookstagram! Never change!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Wow Dani you just made me blush 😉 Thank you for your kindness and don’t stop making us laugh with all your pics and move us with your stories 😉

  14. Congratulations!! I can not wait to see what this next year brings!

    This was so sweet and you totally made my night! I am so happy that we have connected through books. It’s been awesome!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Kristin and you are totally right! Books connect in the best way. To our second year together. Happy Sunday <3

  15. Congratulations Sophie! I always giggle when you leave your snarky comments to me and my Netgalley haul!! You are the best and I’m thrilled to know you and look forward to getting to know you better. Xoxo

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I promise to make you giggle for at least another year Susan! 😉

  16. Oh My Gosh! Sophie! I don’t even know what to say! Well, first of course: CONGRATULATIONS!
    You and your blog are amazing! I always look forward to your posts whether they’re book reviews or discussion posts, etc. I think what makes a blog successful is the passion its creator puts into it. Your blog is beautiful and fun, and it’s one of my favorites!

    I’ve been blogging for 3 1/2 years and I’m still learning. I’ve mastered gifs, but I still haven’t figured out coding, or uploading videos, or more graphically pleasing aesthetics like the borders you mentioned. Maybe after the new year I can summon some courage and see if I can add something new. See! You’ve inspired me!

    And once again I can’t tell you what your support and kind words mean to me! Don’t get the wrong impression, but you made me cry again.

    Here’s to another wonderful year of blogging my friend!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Kim!!! And if you ever need a hand at coding just let me know and if I can help I will 😉 Now have a fantastic Sunday and keep posting! <3

  17. Sophie you’re so AWESOME!! Congratulations my friend!! xoxoxoxo

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you sweet Trisy!!! 😉 <3

  18. Well done, huge congratz on a year.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much!!!

  19. Congrats on your 1 year anniversary! You made it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes! I never believed I would have so much fun one year ago! Thank you <3

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