10 Things I Have Learned as a Blogger That Make Life Easier

In June, I will have officially been a blogger for 2 solid years. Some days this feels like a small amount of time, while others, it quite frankly feels like an eternity. Books, Vertigo & Tea is the only blog I have ever written and I am not sure I have reached that level of handing out advice just yet, but I have learned a few things over the couple years that make my life as a blogger better.

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Ten Things I Have Learned as a Blogger That Make Life Easier

  1. These 10 things will not hold true for everyone because we all blog with different goals and desires, but that is why I love this community and these are my 10 facts (or 9 😉 )that help me love it more.
  2. For me, it is all about the community. If you are not networking and reaching out, you are not experiencing the real benefits of being a connected blogger.
  3. Finding your distinct voice will only enhance your time blogging and grab you the ideal audience.
  4. Turning off stats even occasionally can be healthy. I made the decision last year to stop posting stats and viewing them daily. Now I spend my time worrying about others things, like what I want to post next (which is way more fun). I now look at specific insights only to determine which posts my followers enjoy the most and when I should be posting them.

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  5. Blog for yourself. It can be easy to feel the pressures of new releases and current trends, but in all reality, if you are not reading and sharing what you enjoy, your content will fall short. Lack of enthusiasm is a killer. I only pick up new and popular titles I am heavily interested in.
  6. Mix it up! Many of us started because we are book reviewers, but that does not mean we are limited or defined by this. Offer the occasional discussion post or share something nonbookish that you enjoy. Encourage people to get to know the blogger. I love introducing films and other topics with my Friday Favorites.
  7. Scheduling will make your life as a blogger much easier. It has taken me a year and a half, but I finally have a healthy schedule that allows me to share, catch up, manage social media and still be able to enjoy reading, life, and work. But some weeks will be harder than others. Don’t kick yourself when you need to skip posting.
  8. Limit social media accounts to the ones you are most interested in. Social media is a huge time sink if I am being honest. By limiting your social media accounts to ones you specifically enjoy, you are more like to find it easier to divide your time and provide quality content. Trust me.. I have a dying Pinterest & Tumblr account.
  9. Avoid the drama! Just like any community, you will encounter some negativity. Someone will always have something disagreeable to say. The key here is to remember that you have the ability to pick and choose your own battles. I prefer to unplug for a few days if I see too much of this on Twitter or Facebook (these seem to be the most ideal hangouts for aggressors as they offer a wide reached sounding platform). I am not telling you to avoid speaking out, but remembering you can turn it all off can really save your mental health as needed!

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  10. Have fun and when you do not, take a break. While blogging is a hobby for most, it is a demanding one. We put a lot of time and resources into it. It can start feeling like work and often is. Stepping back is often necessary to recharge and ensure we continue to find our passion. And life happens. Never feel guilty for needing a break.

How do you maintain your enthusiasm for blogging? Do you have any tips or advice for others that might find themselves overwhelmed?

Let’s Chat,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

69 thoughts on “10 Things I Have Learned as a Blogger That Make Life Easier

  1. I can’t believe you have started blogging only a half a year earlier than me 🙂 I always thought you had been blogging long before I was! But then again, I guess in the beginning, a half a year is EVERYTHING 🙂

    You are absolutely right about networking. Every time I think about it, I feel like that’s the main element that makes you come back, that gives stuff back so you feel like having this “unpaid second job” 😀 it’s so worth it – because of the people.

    Also, I totally and absolutely don’t understand Pinterest xD I have tried.. lol

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  2. Fantastic post as ever Madame du Tea.

    I definitely agree with you on the points. I actually have a blogging tips post in the land of forgotten dreams or as it’s also known the draft folder and mine share many of the same sentiments as yours. The tips are finished, I just need to write a fun introduction and decide if I want to offer it up on twitter for contributions like I did the review requests post.

    Ah, community, that’s a tough one for me as I often don’t think I’m part of the community and then people always tell me that I am.😂

    Insights, don’t think that would be good for me, last time I looked my foul mouth, sarcastic and controversial posts do far better than reviews, etc.😱😂

    Nice to see that you address the drama and negativity and not just make out that it doesn’t exist like many do. You echo my own thoughts about it that blogging is a community ergo, there’s bound to be some negativity in it.

    Perhaps I’m not the best person to mention negativity though as I, myself have been called a negative influence.😞🙄 Which I feel is unfair as I don’t have enough to be any sort of influence but also, I’ve been far more positive towards the community than the few times I’ve been negative.

    Totally agree about twitter and FB. I’d say FB is worse as at least with twitter it’s often anonymous and people don’t name the author, bloggers or person whereas in FB with the groups and the knowledge that the person isn’t in the group they often seem to share names, etc.

    Once again, great post.👌📚

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  3. Great post, Dannielle. I’m with you on all points although I rarely write non-review posts and I’m rubbish at the whole online community thing. I have recently found that not being governed by the latest releases works better for me. Oh drama! In my opinion it’s better to walk away and ignore as it’s not worth the energy. I also think that what is read online can often be misconstrued. When I volunteered at the Samaritans we had to have two people responding via email due to this issue. I’m currently on a month’s break but so far it’s not working very well 😂 Hope you are well xxx

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  4. Whenever I see someone who has all 57 socialsite buttons on the bottom of their wordpress post, I know I won’t be getting any undivided attention from them. Heck, my personal foray into tumblr and facebook showed me the Law of Diminishing Returns, so I’m glad you called out that “focus on one platform”. It shows when someone does that…

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  5. I’ve pared my social media down so much in the last year, and it’s been so helpful not just to keep from wasting time, but to keep from losing my mind! I’ll admit, though, that I need to spend less time on Pinterest. I should just delete it from my phone.

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  6. I agree with all of this! Though I have yet to rely on the scheduling post of wp but it is one feature I am most looking forward to take advantage of 🙂 Great post!

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  7. I completely agree with all of your points! The main points I always try to focus on is enjoying the community, limiting social media, scheduling and staying away from drama… Taking a break whenever I need it. And blogging for myself of course. It might feel that way sometimes, but our blog is our little personal space on the internet and we should be the only ones in charge of the content. 😉 Loved LOVED this post! ❤

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  8. Great points across the board here!

    Though I particularly agree with blogging for yourself. When I first jumped into blogging, I did it as a way to force myself to read more as I was graduating from college and wanted to get back into the habit. Slowly I found myself gravitating not towards titles I was excited to read, but rather titles that were popular in various circles, or titles I was requesting on Netgalley to stay current. Without that strong desire to read it, I was really limiting my drive to make it through some books.

    I’m all about reading and blogging for me this year. I’m only reading the things that call to me, and trying not to plan too far ahead. I think it’ll help keep me from burning out.

    Also agree with you on limiting time on social media. Instagram in particular is a killer for me. There are so many accounts and so many beautiful photos, but it’s definitely something I have to limit myself to checking less frequently now.

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    1. You are so right! I went through a spell of not reading after graduating as well, and the blog has certainly upped my game. But I also fell into the trap of trying to stay current at some point. So now I only pick up arcs or new books that I am truly interested in and wanting to read. I am much happier blogging for me 🙂 And it sounds like you are as well! Social media is such a terrible time sink haha. Twitter is the worst for me. I admit to spending 30 minutes the other night reading one dramatic thread.

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  9. Preach, babe! All those 9 points are spot on. I don´t think there´s a huge difference if you´ve been blogging for only 2 or 10 years. The concept basically stays the same ( with a few adjustments here and there over time ) The whole idea is to not make it an impossible chore. We´re supposed to enjoy blogging, right? This is an exclusive hobby So, having fun should be the golden rule. Once blogging becomes a burden then it´s time to rethink and redirect or it´s time to take a step back for a while.
    BLOG FOR YOURSELF: I had a different blog which I ran with 2 others before. It went extremely well for years, but neither of us were blogging for ourselves. That was reason #1 why I left and started new.
    FINDING YOUR DISTINCT VOICE: You don´t have a voice when you blog with others. You create a voice that works for all and either live with it or suffer and lose interest. Reason #2 why I left.
    IT`S ALL ABOUT THE COMMUNITY: Yes!! So true. There´s nothing greater than making new friends who share the same interest and having the chance to see other creations, now. Back then we charished the community on a superficial level. We knew names but were ignorant towards the content from those names.
    AVOID DRAMA: Also very true. Also something neither of us did back then. Author drama, reader drama, blog tour host drama… 5 years of drama. I wanted out. Now, I ignore whatever negativity, drink hot chocolate and flip off anything that bugs me. Lol
    I think you just revealed the perfect recipe for book blogging. It really is all about doing what you fully enjoy and making the best of it without having it eat up the complete day.
    WONDERFUL post! This needs to be shared. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. You are too kind ❤ I feel like I have so much more to learn, but these things I am certain of (although I know we all have various goals). I do not think I could ever co-blog. I need my creative space to be all mine. And for some of the very reasons you mentioned above! If I may ask, how many years did you do so?

      And drama is everywhere. I so dislike it! It is not only a waste of time and annoying, but often makes those involved look foolish.

      Thank you ❤

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      1. I´ve been blogging since 2010. Quit the ex blog after 5 years. Had a wonderful 1 year break from book blogging then decided to build it all back up at a pace that suited me and not the book universe. And do it alone. Having the chance to do as I please, when I please, without having to wait for feedback from co-bloggers is much more fun and also less stressful, as well.
        It´s not that I would never recommend co-blogging. I would. But it definitely restricts creativity. There are many pros and cons to co-blogging but I can´t ever see myself doing it again ( I think I have an idea for my next blog post. THANK YOU! ❤ ).

        Drama…uugh. * eye roll * I can live without that too.

        Here´s a little secret I´ve learned in the 8 years I´ve been blogging: You never stop learning. I still have my " Woah, I didn´t know that." moments. Which is fine and sort of necessary. Imagine not being able to discover new things regarding book blogging – the act itself would become dull and monotone.
        ❤ ❤ ❤

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  10. Great post! I’m branching out into more longform blogging from Tumblr and would love to build more of the kind of community you were talking about. Do you have any suggestions or groups worth recommending?

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    1. Online book groups through facebook and Tumblr can be incredibly helpful for establishing connections! But it pays to be selective, as I have learned the hard way that not all groups are equal or for me 😉 I recently left a ton. I have managed most of my networking and connections through blog hopping and commenting as well as twitter. It pays just to hop around and get to know others. As far as on Tumblr though, I am afraid my account does terribly. I had little luck with it and ended up here. I would love to hear how it goes for you! Best ❤

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  11. Only two years?! It seems like I’ve been reading your blog much longer! Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!

    I agree on reading for yourself. There are tons of new releases I want to read, but I’m taking a step back to finish Team of Rivals, which is nearly 800 pages. And I’m really enjoying feeling free to just read what I want and relax about it!

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    1. Aw, thanks so much Krysta! I cannot believe it will be two years honestly. I think reading for ourselves is key on so many levels. It really shines through in content when we are exploring, sharing and discussing what we are truly invested and interested in. Good luck with the 800 pages 😉

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  12. I love every single point on here 🙂 For me the biggest (and most encompassing) thing I’ve learned is that my blog is an off-shoot of my reading habit, not the reason for it! If I’m not reading what I love then I’m unhappy on and off my blog, which totally defeats the purpose of having one. It’s easy to get swept away in a trendy book or new release sometimes, but I try to always keep that at the back of my mind 🙂

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  13. Great post Danielle, I couldn’t agree more. I almost never look at my stats, I just don’t care. I am quite happy to have a small amount of followers and just chat regularly with the same handful of people. I just want to read and talk about books, I didn’t care about being popular in high school and I don’t care now haha.

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  14. So much yes to distinct voice! That collective that was started to “help” newbies a couple of months ago, ugh. I wanted to comment so badly on some of those “do this – not that” posts, but I didn’t want to start any drama. Basically beyond making your blog easy to read, easy to navigate, and not having so many widgets that it takes the blog forever to load, it is your own vision. 💜

    Scheduling is my number one downfall. I should start small, like scheduling a bunch of Cover Conversations. In fact that’s one of the reasons I started doing that feature. Epic fail. Ha ha. 😝

    I love the community aspect and I am happy that you are in it. 😘

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    1. Thank you La La ❤ Which collective, if I may ask? I tend to avoid many groups when they start passing out too much advice haha. I am down for tech tips and anything that facilitates ease, but all in all, I have always been a "do it my way" kind of gal haha. But we all continue to learn as we go. I think I would still be a scheduling nightmare if illness did not necessitate it. Now if I do not have a least three posts a week scheduled, I may have none when a flare up hits ❤ I am so happy we have met!

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      1. It was like this blog hop thing someone started, and what was making me twitch was most of the contributors were basically newbies themselves, in my opinion. Heh heh. One of them (she may have been one of the hosts) is actually an old blogging buddy of mine who just started blogging again after a two year hiatus, and she is kind of clueless as to what is going on in the book blogosphere these days. There was a lot of outdated and “cookie cutter” advice being thrown around: like the copy and paste blog commenting strategy, and formulaic outlines for reviews. Ugh. 😩

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  15. This post was like therapy for me. I actually recently considered quitting blogging altogether (I know, after 3 months ha ha) because I felt like I couldn’t do it “properly”. Then I realized that my expectations were entirely self-imposed! I think it just takes awhile to figure out what one wants from blogging, and sometimes you have to find a balance between what you want and what you’re able to actually do. I would love to be more active on social media and get way more followers, but I just can’t right now. I need to just let it go and focus on enjoying what I can within the limits of my reality. For me at this time that’s following the handful of blogs I love (which includes yours) and forming a real connection with those bloggers. Basically, community!

    I hope you’re doing well! I like to think you’re getting lots of rest, snuggled up in a giant pile of pillows and drinking the best tea ever while you watch something awesome on Netflix or read. And the non-hubs needs to be massaging your feet or something, might as well go all out with this vision. Take care!

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    1. Aw Cahleen ❤ I read your post last night. And I have felt your pain and struggle. Scheduling and older kids allows me more time now when health plays nice, but I am guilty of setting high self expectations as well. It sounds like you realize it and are tackling it in a healthy manner though. I just stop and remind myself it is a hobby ❤ I would be crushed if we did not get to interact and trade thoughts. Our chats are often the highlight of the day for me.

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  16. Thanks so much for these wise insights Danielle. My major dislike when it comes to blogging is the constant need to be interactive on social media. It is not that I don’t enjoy supporting other bloggers and having them support me back, it is just that, like you say, it is a huge time sink hole. I spend WAY too much of my time tweeting and posting on Instagram. I do this to support my blog and the blogs of other people who I admire. It is a valid reason, yet it drains me and makes the time spent doing it seem like ‘work’. I see no way of avoiding it though if I want to be a respected and supportive member of the book blogging community.

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    1. I feel you so much! I want to be supportive and active in the community. We do it all for the right reasons, but it often leaves little time to read and actually blog. It is healthy and I hope for most, understandable to take breaks from social media. You do more than enough ❤ I have to be honest, while I am aware of who shares and comments on my posts, I really feel no less of the others that I know do not. So hopefully many are the same in that regard and understand we all have different approaches or limitations. Lord, I disappear for days when flare ups hit and miss a ton – xx

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  17. What a lovely post! I only recently found that when I schedule my posts I feel more relaxed and worry less about posting often. That said, I needed a month-long break from blogging because of school and stress that had been building up, and I’m so happy I took the time to myself. I absolutely agree with you when you write that our mood translates to our posts. I know I couldn’t have turned out enjoyable content in the place I was at the time. I just found your blog and I’m very happy to be following such an amazing blogger 😊

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    1. Thank you so much Rita! Those breaks and even scheduling can really help keep the passion for this hobby alive. I was hesitant to schedule because illness can unexpectedly knock me out for the week and then others see me posting but not responding. I see now that it is a necessity though and most utilize it and get it 🙂

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  18. Some very good advice here, Danielle. I blog because I love the reading and writing community, I enjoy discovering new books and like having a platform to share my own scribblings and thoughts. I hardly ever look at stats because I am not motivated by them but rather by the learning value and friendships.

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  19. So agree that blogging is all about the wonderful community 😀 It can be really good to turn off the stats and scheduling definitely helps. And yep, SM is a time sink and full of drama- I really like to avoid that too. And your last one really makes me feel better about how many breaks I had to take recently. Seriously amazing post!! I think we can all relate to it! ❤

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  20. Brilliant post, Dani and I can completely stand by your statements! I especially love point 9! This is so me, I do choose my battles and actually, most of the time I choose NO battles at all- just take a wiiiidddeee birth and all is good- some of those blow-ups and dramas have nothing to do with me anyway soI ain’t going to put my fingers in the pie and draw out the verbal diarrhea thread!
    One thign I am failing with is scheduling- seeing how busy life has gotten it would be my one saviour but when I do have time to write posts, my brain doesn’t function 😀 I hope to one day be in this same position as you are- solid with scheduling and all this time management 🙂

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    1. Ah yes haha. Some people seem to live for that “verbal diarrhea”. I have noticed some bloggers will even go out of their way to involve themselves when it clearly was not their argument (they claim this to be heroic but we know better 😉 ). Drama loves drama I suppose haha. I am all about that wide berth 😉

      I feel you on the scheduling. Lately, I have managed, but there have been more times than not that my brain denied me access when I really need to write and schedule 🙂

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  21. Such a great post! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to share the tips that have been working for you. I’ve really been struggling lately with blogging because of how busy my work and home life have had me. I wish I could make a few clones of myself to assign to all the different parts of daily life. There could be Work Clone, Reading Clone, Writing Clone, etc. 😛

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  22. Thank you for your great list of things you have learned in your blogging life! 🙂 I never look at stats (or very rarely) because they make me anxious and therefore I never like seeing how many views I got, how many followers, because that usually ends with stressing out. Blog for yourself is also a very good tip! It’s always important to do what YOU feel passionate about 🙂

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  23. Some great points here Danielle! Because of how self hosting works I don’t get a look at my stats unless I hunt them down and it has been really nice just posting what I want and keep forging ahead. I am surprised though when I get a look at the popular posts. Finding your voice is also so important… it’s basically putting yourself out there and asking for rejection… but being authentic is less stressful and creates lastingly friendships which way out weigh those who may hurt your feelings.

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  24. Brilliant list, Danielle. I totally agree with you on all fronts. I find it incredibly important that everyone understands (even if its later in their blogging life) that it isn’t about stats! And doing it for yourself and enjoying it all is so crucial! Anyone who finds misery in this should really stop and re-examine their goals (and life!). And connecting with everyone is soooooo key! Speaking of connecting.. the recent loss of two bloggers who seemed to be everywhere was a bit of a shocker but also such a huge revelation to how much connecting with each other can have quite the impact on our lives! 😮

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    1. Yes. I have been disheartened by those losses. It really solidifies the fact that we must never take this time together for granted, even in this community ❤ Each interaction is incredibly valuable and impactful. I wish I could say more, but to be honest, I am struggling in that area a bit at the moment. I can say, I am thankful for you Lashaan and every single person I have been blessed to call a friend and supporter as a result of this blog. Thank you.

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