So the other week saw in my 2 year blog birthday and despite not quite believing how quickly those two years have gone, it also got me thinking about how much has changed and how much I’ve learnt in these two short (but incredible) years since Jenny in Neverland was born into the blogosphere. So here are some things I’ve learnt since I’ve started blogging.
1) You will be jealous of other blogs and bloggers.
Over the two years, I’ve changed themes, altered my blog, made graphics then scrapped those graphics and changed my style of writing and blogging. But there will always be blogs that I will envy till I’m blue in the face for a number of reasons. Blogging isn’t a competition but I don’t think the pang of jealously every now and again for a prettier blog or that blogger who bagged that review copy you really wanted will ever go but that’s okay! As long as jealousy doesn’t fuel your blogging life then it’s all gravy baby.
2) It takes up more time that I originally anticipated.
I wasn’t as serious about my blog when I first started to what I am now; however, never in a million years did I expect it would take up as much time as it does. From reading to writing posts to making graphics and taking photos and juggling everything with every day life. Thankfully I’ve managed to bind blogging in to fit in with my life which is something that took a lot of time and will probably continue to change as my life changes (I wrote a blog post about How Much Work Goes Into Reviewing which ties in with this point).
3) You will not gain hundreds of followers over-night.
It’s very easy to be naïve about this, especially with the likes of Zoella and other famous bloggers and YouTubers in the spotlight 24/7. However, after realising that there are hundreds of other book bloggers out there, 99% of which had been blogging for much longer than I had, I stopped fretting so much. Now instead of trying to compete with everyone else, I try and compete with myself and make my blog the best it can possibly be in terms of quality in order to gain genuine followers who enjoy my blog.
4) You will not get along with everyone you meet.
The blogging community, like school and work, is full to the brim of different types of people and just like in every day life, you will not get along with all of them. But that’s okay and it’s not crucial you do. Over the two years I’ve realised this because despite having the love of books in common, there’s much much more to a person than their book tastes and their “much more” part might clash with yours.
5) You have to put your life first.
Blogging is hard work for many and for me, last year, it became too much and I was forced to go on a 6 month blogging break because I was just overwhelmed with the pressure of it all. Despite how much you love your blog, you need to put you and your life first in order to have a healthy mix. Your blog will still be there waiting for you when you get back.
6) You have to give some to get some.
The blogging world won’t come you to, you have to go to it. Or that’s what I’ve found anyway. I’ve learnt that you need to put yourself out there, really put yourself out there and follow that blog or leave that comment or email that publisher in order to gain opportunities and followers and friends you never thought you’d get. I’ve never had a problem asking for things, I figure if you don’t ask you don’t get and this applies to blogging too!
7) Passion is noticeable.
At a certain point in my blogging life, I was all about quantity. I wanted a post up every day and ended up writing rubbish for the sake of having a post go up on time. My heart wasn’t in it at all and it dragged me down and I honestly think my readers could tell. Lately, I’ve been much more about quality – not posting as much to spend more time on the posts I do write, taking more time over my posts and reviews and taking photos. Over the course of the two years, I’ve realised that readers know when you put your heart into something – it’s palpable.
Two years, on the grand scheme of things, is a very short space of time. Although it feels like I’ve been blogging forever, I know I’ve only scratched the surface and despite having come a long way from when I started, I definitely have a lot more to learn and expect I will learn over the next two years, four years or 6 years of blogging.