Blogging Life: 6 More Things I Have Learned Since I Started Blogging

 

I recently took a small hiatus to rest and recover.  My time away from the blog, long or short, always allows me to reflect on how much I am enjoying the process, what I am learning and what I could do to improve that time. This is the cycle of my brain in pretty much all aspects of my life. So today, it felt appropriate to share several more things I have accepted learned since I became a blogger.

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6 More Things I Have Accepted Learned Since I Started Blogging

(These are simply personal reflections and not intended to be advice. I do not do advice.)

  1. Finding that distinct voice that I mentioned here, is actually quite a process at times, at least for me. Maybe it should not be, but it is. In a world where there are over 440 Million Blogs (according to the internet), we are each small fish in a very large pond. Depending on our personal goals, making our own mark can be challenging. I find myself constantly discovering new ideas and content the inspire and influence me. This also means I am constantly assessing the direction of the blog and the content I want to provide. In other words, I never seem to have a clearly defined direction. Who am I as a blogger? Which leads us to number 2.

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  2. I am living in a perpetual state of “winging it”. No matter who much I plan and organize, there will always be something. I am simply not an individual who has the ability to plan months of content in advance (not for lack of trying), and when I begin to gain a firm hold on posts life seems to inevitably happen. Be it health, family matters, or even just simply brain fog and lack of creative inspiration, I am destined to fall behind at least once a month. Setting unrealistic goals and spending hours on end trying to catch up will only worsen the situation. Sometimes I just have to roll with the punches and hope for the best. This can include last-minute content that is drafted sometimes only a night in advance.
  3. While I avoid stats like week-old leftovers, I value followers with all of my little <3. After all, I do this to be part of a community. It is always refreshing to see new faces and know that I have like-minded individuals I can share my passion with. I spent over a year and a half feeling guilty and concerned about each health break and hiatus I had to take. I was nervous that I would lose some of you and perhaps disconnect with the community in some way during my unplanned time offline. I was wrong. Breaks are not something I plan to make a habit of but they are beneficial and not detrimental. The book and blogging community is incredibly supportive and understanding. Not only do each of you continue to encourage me to take the necessary breaks, but I often return to several more new faces and feeling ready to tackle new content.

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  4. It is ok to deviate from the normal topic from time to time (or even often if that is your thing). I am a book blogger in the sense that this blog was created to share my love of all things books. Every social media account attached is also focused on books. Reviews, book photos, book discussions, interviews, you name it. But that does not mean I cannot talk about other things. In fact, I have found that post such as my Friday Favorites are normally well received. The ability to branch out at times and share other hobbies or passions helps maintain my enjoyment of blogging and recharge the creative fuel! And I feel like this helps with number one ⇑, finding the distinct voice.
  5. I will always preach that blogging is a hobby and should never feel like a chore. But sometimes it does, and it will. I have goals for the blog and the connections I want to establish within the community, and with those goals come some commitments. I have to accept that to achieve some of my personal goals I will need to put in some work, and work is a chore at times. But the important thing here is that I am reaching for something I desire and am passionate about. So it is not detracting from my overall enjoyment. Passions and hobbies can include aspirations and working hard to achieve these is simply another extension of that commitment and enjoyment.

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  6. I will never have all of the answers or win the internet. Each day will be a continuous process of learning from each of you and growing on a personal level. Embracing this aspect of blogging allows me to enjoy it to the fullest.

I wanted to do something a little different today and ask you, what are several things you have learned since you started blogging? I would love to know! So I am inviting you to share a post or your responses on social media and tag me or this post so I can see!

Let’s Chat,

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91 thoughts on “Blogging Life: 6 More Things I Have Learned Since I Started Blogging

  1. Blogging is a life style and in many ways a stepping stone. I love that I can often talk about other things that I’m not known to discuss and it still interests others. Blogging is an outlet for me, but it is also my way of supporting and being a part of the Bookish community. The friendships and the opportunities that this has given to me are invaluable and I will never stop blogging for those reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Briana! I have to admit that too often others tell me to stop allowing it to be a chore. I tire of trying to explain I have goals I am passionate about so therefore it may be a hobby but I am putting work into it to make desirable things happen. Working towards things or putting a lot into them certainly does not strip away the enjoyment when we are passionate about them!

      Like

  2. Your No.5 rings so true for me. Maybe in a slightly different way, because unlike you, I do enjoy having a schedule, and I’ve been making it work for a few months now…I even have a bunch of posts scheduled for September and October. But overall, whether it’s about planning posts or having goals, some work is involved. Hard work at times. And it doesn’t always repay, but…it makes one feel alive and even a little proud, doesn’t it? 😉

    Roberta R. @ Offbeat YA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Roberta! I do keep and enjoy having a schedule, unfortunately with my current health and life situation it just never Carrie’s me put very far (usually only a week or two). I hope that gets better in the future 😂 And yes! We must put a bit into it all and that has it’s own rewards I do agree 🖤

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  3. I totally agree with 3rd point. This community is very flexible and understanding and i love it for making me feel that i belong here. I’m really grateful for that.
    I have read on many blog tips posts that you should schedule post before and if possible in weekends but i’m also not among those who plan or schedule unless they are cover reveals or blitz for which I get ready html from tour organizer. All other post are made a day or two before or many times when i feel for it. It works for me!
    Another thing i have learned is not all social medias work for me.
    I think different things works differently when it comes to blogging, one should do what they feel comfortable for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly 🖤 It is certainly a very individual and personal experience that we have to tailor to our own needs and goals. I particularly agree about social media. It is an incredible waste of time to try to invest in it all and really seems to pay off to just find what suits your own preferences! Such a great point.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, you really don’t want to know what I’ve leaned since I started blogging!😂

    My main thing is and it took me a while but I champion my blog, my rules, my voice and what I learned is that it is my blog and I can write what I want, how I want and that some will like it, some won’t and not everyone will like me (hashtag hated) but that the issue then, is with them and not me and that you should be able to blog how you want on your own blog.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I really enjoyed reading this, Danielle! ❤

    I haven't been blogging for very long, but I always feel "bad" whenever I don't have enough time to comment, and read other bloggers' posts! And I love that you addressed how blogging is a hobby, and something we love, but it can still be "work" and a "chore" sometimes.

    Wonderful post! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Lily! It is a hobby, although I know it is also much more for some. But we tend to be very passionate about hobbies and this community, and we have goals. It will require some work at times or take a bit from us. I think that is normal 💜 but it is also more than ok to step back and take those breathers or rechargers as needed. Don’t feel bad about not being able to keep up with everyone else all of the time. It is impossible. I have tried haha. We all understand 🤣💜

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post.

    It is funny you should mention scheduling, etc. Up until the end of last month and this, I’ve been strictly a “wing it” blogger. I finish a book and write the review and post, hopefully within 3 days of finishing the book. Any of my “series” posts were written the day they were posted. I encountered problem because I’m such a mood writer. Some days I wanted to just write and write and ended up posting a review and some longwinded piece of nonsense, then other days I just didn’t want to write if my life depended on it and I had a review of a 1000page book to get through. So I’ve started scheduling my book reviews now, about 3 weeks out. It gives me enough room to even out those write, write, write days with the dry ones. We’ll see how long it last.

    I’ve also found that someone has to be ready for something before it will work for them. I’ve heard of and know bloggers who do the whole scheduling thing but I wasn’t ready for it. It is why I am always leery of handing out advice (loved your little cross out by the way) on things that work for me as the best way. Because it won’t work for anyone else 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I am kind of mood writer so I can relate 😊 the big thing with me is that I am actually a huge scheduler but my health and these flare ups constantly interrupt it. I can have a month of post planned out but then end up in bed for a week unable to write them. So now I am learning to sort of just always wing it and write when I can 😂 Although being truthful, I still am much more relaxed when my scheduling goes as planned.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome back! ☺
    I have lots of ideas but I can never draft a ton of content ahead of time. I whing it 99% of the time, usually just writing out a review on the spot. It’s not that I don’t care. I’d love to be able to schedule posts in advance but like you said, life gets in the way and I just don’t have that kind of time. One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept is the constant up and down in numbers. When they drop I fear I’m not connecting to readers. Maybe they aren’t enjoying my blog anymore. Then I start thinking about reinventing or redesigning which is exhausting lol. You’re right about it being a chore at times because as you said we have commitments and sometimes it’s work to meet those commitments. I’m rambling… lol. Great post as always 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🖤 Ah that constant up and down with numbers can be. Huge stressor. It is one of the reasons I try to avoid them. It will have me pulling my hair out truthfully.

      I have always been a huge planner, but life and health prevent me from being able to always sit and draft my posts up as planned also. So too often lately, I wing it also 😉 💖

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  8. I’ve learned to just do my own thing and not be swayed by the hyped books that everyone else is reading. Usually, I don’t enjoy them so it’s not worth the effort to track it down and slog through it.

    In other words, you don’t have to be one of the cool kids to succeed! It’s okay to be the nerd reading the weird books. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. #2 is totally me. I have a calendar and try to plan posts a month in advance, but I still feel like I’m scrambling for ideas at the last minute. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that self-promotion is okay. Actually, it’s the only way that people will know you exist. For my first 2 years of blogging, I was terrified to include links to my blog in comments or mention it on social media. I didn’t think anyone cared, and I didn’t want to seem needy. As a result, nobody visited my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful learnings and so true!! I think all bloggers can relate to these! I know I do, particularly the finding your voice, winging it and changing topics comments. It’s a constant struggle, but kind of an awesome one. Glad to see you’re back to blogging and hopefully feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello lovely, I always keep an eye open for your posts because no matter what the subject is you usually manage to cheer me up or raise a smile, some days I’m just not well enough to get online but it’s always nice to know when I get back the ‘community’ is still here with open arms and I count you and your blog as one of those …. so after all that waffle all I really meant to say was you must be doing something right lol … take care of yourself 🙂 xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really like blogs who give a little peak at who they really are and show some of their personal life.. be it a trip they made with pics, or something they baked, or more personal stuff. I consider some bloggers friends but these insights create even more connectivity and getting to know someone. I know we’re also here for the book tips and all but making friends on top of that is even so much better. I don’t have a problem with finding my voice, I’m quite the opposite, in 10 years from now I’ll still be the same voice, with the same lay-out probably.. which I know isn’t a good thing always either. I always get stuck in safe routines. At least I already know my problem.. maybe I can start a five year plan to start doing something about it :-). I don’t mind if people don’t post regularly.. it’s like friends, always nice to see them again and you value them even more sometimes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so wonderful Inge 🖤 and definitely among those I now call a friend. I do agree that is always so welcomed to see more about the blogger and who they are. Yes we come for books, but show us who is behind them and the post! 😉 And there is nothing wrong with a routine that works. As soon as I have one dialed, I will happily settle into it 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The biggest surprise was how supportive the blogging community is! It’s the biggest perk of doing all this. Then I did ont expect it to be so addictive! And to take so much time 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a time commitment that I don’t think anyone is ever fully aware of until they jump in, but you are so right! The community makes the experience and effort incredibly rewarding! I cannot imagine my days without the interactions and joy I take from blogging. It is such a healthy outlet too!

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  14. Wonderful and such true points! It’s hard not to worry about stats, getting posts ready, not being able to visit everyone all the time, but I guess blogging is something we do because we WANT to in the end. If it’s no longer fun, it’s so much harder to keep it up… And taking little breaks and downtime does help a lot. I’ve learned the hard way myself that the most important thing is just being me… Not anyone will like it and I don’t think my posts are all that special, but writing those rambles are like therapy for me so I’m not giving it up easily. 😉 Plus, getting to talk books with all of you is a huge bonus. ❤ ❤ The community is always so supportive and so are you my dear. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw thank you! ❤ I love this community to bits, especially since it's my main outlet for talking books… In real life, people don't really get why I love reading that much. (One of the reasons almost nobody knows I blog about books. My hubby tolerates it but only just, mostly because he doesn't understand why I should want to spend so much time reading and blogging. xD )

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m sure you’re not surprised, but out of all these lessons learned, I resonate the most with number 5. I am a firm believer in setting and achieving goals. But everything is truly about Work/Life balance. I’ve found that when I want to focus on my goals outside of blogging, I will often end up letting some of my blogging go. For example, I recently got back into playing video games. This cuts out about 2-3 hours of blogging time a week. There are only so many hours in the day, after all!

    I love hearing your lessons. Keep sharing your reflections. They help us all better understand ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah you are a woman after my own heart! I also recently began attempting to game again. Albeit at a slow pace with my symptoms. But it is a hobby I miss terribly 🖤 I hear you. There is a constant pull between that work and life battle. But I trust us to follow our intuition and know where to place our resources when needed. Thank you Jackie 💖

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  16. This make me think so much of the last days, when I sit down but rarely find the will to blog and even to read.
    But maybe I’m slowly turning on active.

    Also, sometimes, even if really rarely, I get doubts about my voice. What actually makes me different or “The Reader in the Attic”? Like, how people feel the likeness to my voice. But in the end I just write. Because one thing that I learned about my blogging is: just write. Things will come out eventually and you will probably find your road without even notice it

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wonderful post, and I am glad that you reflect a bit after a mini-break! These are great lessons; and I resonate with all but the planning – I am the polar opposite than you LOL. I get a TON of inspiration in waves and the only way that I have found to be consistent is to ride the inspiration wave (where I literally draft like 2 guide posts, discussions, and create upcoming features) and then schedule them out months in advance LOL.

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    1. Aw thanks! This was in my spam 😭 I am not sure we are so different in the planning other than the fact that I am not able to do it anymore since I cannot sit and type long enough without getting sick. I will still have my calendar drafted up for days haha but then have to scramble and write posts last minute after a spell 😂 but you are way more organized than I am. I know because you have shown me lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. UGH 9 times out of 10 this week when I try to blog hop at work I get stuck in freaking spam and it is driving me bonkers!!!

        Oh believe me, I still struggle sometimes with getting to reviews on time with my mood reading *stares at Contagion which is scheduled for Sunday and I haven’t started it yet and I am currently like 65% thru Evelyn Hardcastle, this is fine*.

        Did you happen to see the spreadsheet of organization that I posted? I think it may have been right before you had to go on hiatus. Maybe some of it will be useful? https://readervoracious.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/free-bookish-blogger-templates/

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Really nice list of lessons you’ve got there, Danielle. Totally agree with you on everything; not so surprising to be honest. 😀 I think winging it is definitely the way to go. Ideas can come out of nowhere and it’s always good to jump on them when they appear. I do like to set some vague scheduling goals in order to make sure I always do something on the blog and stay connected with y’all. Thanks for sharing and stay real with yourself. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I always love this topic when it is presented like this, and not the “do things this way if you want your blog to be successful posts”. Truth be told, I don’t care for cookie cutter blogs that try to follow the latest book blogging “formula”. I like seeing everyone’s special loves and quirks. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really could not agree more. Following your “heart” and inserting yourself into your blog tends to make it most rewarding not only for followers but yourself. This helps you attract an audience that is like minded and allows you to stay true to yourself and do what you enjoy 😘💜 for example, I am primarily books with a dash of chronic illness, anime and well life because that is how I roll 🤣 I just put it out there. I would rather have 10 true friends and followers from the experience who get me then the masses that I have strain for. And speaking of which, I am so thankful for you! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Great post Danielle. I agree with you on all these especially about blogging remaining an enjoyable hobby. It is easy for it to start feeling like a chore especially when one is overwhelmed with ARCs and reviews. Its nice to remind ourselves about why we started blogging in the first place. Thanks for sharing this.

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  21. I agree about finding your voice. Especially because, well, if you’re not a hyperbolized internet personality, you will probably end up sounding like a lot of other people xD cause we people are so much alike when we talk, really 😀 (I am still not sure whether I have a voice or a style. I guess it’s one of those things that it’s hard to notice when you’re actually… you?)

    Lately I’ve also been mostly running on reviews, and not original content. Because life! It’s so good to just write reviews sometimes though. I know it’s not as good for the blog, but it’s good for me xD less thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely have a voice and great original personality that shines through on your blog 💖 so you have no concerns their my friend! But it can be overwhelming in this neverending sea of bloggers.

      I am also running out of original content for the same reasons. Life happens. Sometimes we just have to go with it and do what we need to do! Xx

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  22. I relate to this so hard.

    I’m at a point where it’s really difficult to balance blogging and my regular responsibilities, so my blog has started feeling more and more like a chore. And I love it when I actually sit down to blog, but usually, it’s just nagging at the back of my mind like “YOU SHOULD BE BLOGGING OR THINKING ABOUT NEW POSTS OR SOMETHING”. And I can’t do that all the time.

    Thanks for giving me some strength and validation that I’m not the only one experiencing this:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much Anna! I am sorry you are in this struggle for balance right now. I am too familiar with it. My illness and life can pull me away for periods of time and quickly turn it into a nagging obligation. But just remember it truly is not going anywhere and this community is always here! We all go through it and understand 💙

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  23. Lovely post!
    I agree about blogging being a hobby but we also want to improve. I think it’s normal! Like people who love knitting will make more elaborate pieces as time goes on for example. And i bet they would sometimes stress about their knitting too 😁

    Bookish people are generally very nice and quite chilled, and the community it awesome and supporting, at least that’s how i found it so far ❤️😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I don’t always want to hear “stop making it a chore” haha. I have goals with this hobby and things I am trying to do. This is normal when we are passionate about something 🖤 and aside from a few (because you will find them in any community 🤣) book people are fantastic!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I struggle so much with your first point too! For me it usually hinges on wanting to write reviews that strike a balance between a conversational and professional tone, a compromise I rarely feel like I meet when editing a final draft. And although I know that our personal perceptions can be particularly resistant to outside opinions at times, to this observer you most definitely have a unique and much-welcomed voice ♥

    Also I love reading these types of posts when you share them 🙂 It’s reassuring to know that these kinds of thoughts may evolve, but not entirely go away, and we can use them to hone whatever skills or hobbies we’re practicing with our blogs. Finally, amen to #5! Even hobbies require a bit of time and effort if you have goals associated with them. I think the idea that a blog should *never* feel like work or inspire any stress whatsoever is a little misleading. We own our blogs—and it shouldn’t ever feel like the other way around—but whether we just want to join a community, hone our writing skills, or even build up a large, engaged following, each of those aims requires a certain amount of work and that’s ok 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so glad to see people admitting they agree blogging and hobbies can and will require work at times 🙌 I have to admit I get tired of being told it should not. I am trying to accomplish things. Let me be happy putting in the extra work to do so. We do all have goals and desires 🖤 knowing you can relate to these means a lot to me! I am not alone in this massive pond of bloggers. I am in good, no fantastic company 😘

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  25. Danielle enjoyed this post. I think I’ve discovered for myself as a blogger is that it’s NOT a competition! There will always be people that will get more books, more ARCS etc etc and that’s just life. If it becomes a chore, refocus…this is a hobby and it should never feel like a chore or external pressures. If I commit to something it must be done, but I find I don’t request for as many galleys or books from publishers when my reading pace isn’t good. Thanks for an amazing post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words and sharing! You are so right. It is most certainly not competition and the minute we allow it to feel like one, we are destined to fail. There will always be bigger fish. This should be enjoyable and done at our own pace with our own goals and desires in mind – xx

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  26. Thank you for the invitation- Now, be prepared. Lol.

    Wonderful post! It´s so fab to see your blog progress and how you view your blogging experiences. Because blogging is so different for everyone. ❤ I hate to break it to you, babe. You´ll always be winging it. No matter what it is- you´ll be winging it. Lol. It´s a curse but you can make the best of it and just…wing it with confidence ( fake or not- no one needs to know. Lol ). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Always with style and confidence! ❤ Thanks ❤ It wasn´t as good as yours, though. You always have so many meaningful things to say! I´m having a full on blogger envy moment. It seems like you have your blog more together than I ´ll ever have. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Loved reading your insight Danielle. I am the biggest “wing it” blogger around! I almost never schedule posts ahead of time. Basically I post as I go along. I really wish I could be one of those bloggers with all their shit together, but in the 2.5 years of blogging I’ve never had anything together lol

    Liked by 1 person

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