5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started [Book] Blogging

For those who are not aware, I have been blogging for about 12 years now. I started with a simple review blog back in 2007 where I just post basic reviews of the books I read. Throughout the years, my blogging has changed and evolved, I’ve started and trashed a lot of blogs a long the way, I’ve tried writing about lifestyle, being a mom, etc., but I still go back to the niche closest to my heart – book blogging.

While it seems like I only started blogging yesterday, the years have added up and I’ve learned so many things (most in just the recent few). As much as I’ve grown and changed as a person, so has my blogging. Here are some of the things I’ve learned through the years. Whether you are a new blogger or have been blogging for a while now, I hope these lessons encourage you.


1.Book Blogging Will Cost You

Whether we like it or not, books (plus the electricity, the internet, and the countless snacks we eat while reading and blogging) will cost us a pretty penny. Most book blogger are like me – our blogs are not monetized and we don’t have affiliate links. As much as blogging seems to be a full time job (even if we do it in our spare time), it doesn’t pay like a regular corporate job would. Heck, the reason why I have a corporate job in the first place is so that I can support my blogging expenses. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. There are [book] bloggers who have gone on to monetize their blogs and are also getting paid from their affiliates, some have even become authors themselves and now have best selling books. I chose not to monetize because the blogging in itself is enough of a reward for me – reading my books keeps me sane, writing and designing stuff in my blog keeps me sharp, and the whole thing keeps me grounded. My mental health is a lot better because I have my books and my blog as an outlet. It’s also a huge plus that I get sent ARCs to read, and meet and be friends with fellow bookworms and book bloggers.

Thank you so much Sarah Andersen for such an accurate description.

2.Humans Beings Are Not Perfect

I say this because I have met so many people throughout my journey with blogging. I have met pretty amazing and supportive people – some could become your mentors, others are allies, all are friends who we know we’ll be comfortable in gushing over a book with. They won’t judge you for what you want to read and your opinions on certain topics. Having conversations with them is like a breath of fresh (intellectual) air.

And then there are some who are less than desirable. The people who think they are experts at this blogging thing and thereby have the right to critic anyone for their different opinions and then put them down just because they are not of the same mindset. These people must be avoided at all costs. It’s sad how they choose to be unkind when kindness is easier to share.

3.We Are Not Experts

I always say I have a degree in book geek. On a serious note, I do have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. Despite my education I’ve never regarded myself as an expert in literature and writing. Criticizing a book doesn’t mean I’m better than the author, it’s just that I’ve probably encountered a work I feel was written better or that I liked better. My blog[s] have always reflected my honest opinion of what I thought about the books I’ve read (and anything else I might have written about) and I’ve never been technical in how I write. Over the years I’ve been able to find my own voice and I’ve stuck to it ever since.

4.Put Yourself Out There

Growing your blog is not just purely getting followers and readers. When I started blogging in 2007 the only social media I’ve encountered was possibly Friendster, MySpace, and Multiply. Facebook was young and it would be a few more years before were introduced to Instagram and Twitter. Book blogging’s life blood comes first from the bloggers who write them and second to the people who read and share them. We now have online book communities where we can meet people, learn a lot of things (coding anyone?), and share our work. Part of the reward of being a book blogger is reading about how people have discovered books because they saw your review and recommendation. Meeting new people also means supporting not just a fellow book blogger but anyone else who has their own way of expression.

5.Never Lose the Passion

It’s only been more than 2 years since I decided to finally take my blogging seriously and maybe take it to the next level. I don’t remember how many other blogs I’ve started then abandoned. I’ve gone on long periods of time where I didn’t read book or write my reviews. I’ve been discouraged [by people] and maybe even lost my motivation. I asked myself why I even bother writing. I’ve seen this happen to others.

I learned is that it’s ok to take a breather. Take a break from the grind, go on a hiatus to find meaning and purpose again, and be reacquainted with the passion I know I still have. I realized blogging is like one of my favorite books, it will always wait for me to come back when I’m ready.


What did you wish you knew before you started blogging?

21 thoughts on “5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started [Book] Blogging

  1. I’m the same way! Although i’m self-hosted now, which is yet another expense to my blogging, I choose not to monetize it. Why? well because the hobby is important to me in itself -and I don’t do anything else than work and blogging, In fact I don’t have much friends out in real life..- I can afford it, and it’s important to me, period.

    All good ones mentioned ! Taking a hiatus is good, and also is not having a specific “branch” or multiple ones. Now that I’ve opted to post about various things and not solely books, It’s so much less stressing! Do I feel like writing about games? I can do that! Do I wanna speak about my mental health path? right on! I’m not fitting myself on any box – although reading and blogging is my main “topics” I also do many various other stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yep! sure, people might not like how “unconsistant” you are in your posting – but what matters the most is that YOU like what you are writing. I much more prefer someone who post diverse things but it’s clear that said blogger enjoy themselves, than having all the same topics but you can tell the blogger themselves kind of hate it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Agree. The writing reflects how much tjr blogger writes about something so if I deviate and post a mental health article or a movie review it means I feel strongly about them. And of course if adds flavor to the blog. Too much of one thing will eventually become boring.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I have other blogs I started but trashed as well. 😜 Including changing the name of my blog! It’s such a shame to hear of some that think they are experts and put people down. Not cool! We’re just hear to share opinions and chit chat like long time friends. Thanks for sharing!! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Whaaat! Wow..these people have serious issues. That is not cool at all!! I’m sorry you had to go through that! 💕 I actually don’t like using Twitter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah. I was called a jerk, a recist (if all things), and a few other names. It was worse for one of my other blogger friends from my country. He was litterally bashed and told he was condoning the acts of a certain author (I don’t even remember the issue of that author anymore) just because he was hosting a local blog tour. It was horrible.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, blogging for so long. I’m someone who’s had a few blogs too, but now settled on this one where I finally feel more free to be myself. I think the biggest thing I wish I knew was that people will accept me for being me. My new blog isn’t actually following any particular niche, although I do a lot of books on it, and I share honest opinions on life and other stuff. My previous blogs I always felt a little nervous sharing my own opinions on some subjects, but the funny thing is that the more myself I am, the more wonderful people I meet and conversations I have with others who think similarly or with people who accept me for who I am. Congratulations on blogging so long and for not giving it up, I know plenty of people do give up for good when they get blogger fatigue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s rewarding to see that finding our own voices is the only trick in the book that will actually make blogging a delight. I’ve seen so many tips saying “Find you Niche”. Well I think that has now changed to “Find your own voice”‘- we are more accepting of a blog and blogger who has a voice that is true to it’s creator than one that just writes too much technical content.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it’s definitely more leaning towards finding our own voices now which is a good thing. I think niche is a good way of building an audience faster but whether that’s a worthwhile audience and if they’d stay with you long term when we might have breaks in our blogging time is another question. Much better to have a real person and a more personal blog, it just grabs my attention more too. 😊❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with all of the above. I started my blog this January and I confess I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I am still learning. So probably this I would have liked to know :it’s, like everything else, a journey. Also, that I will need to do some serious introspection and get to really know myself in order to write the post I want and is right for me. I love this last part though

    Like

    1. Congratulations on taking that step on starting your blog!

      Despite my years of blogging I am also still learning a lot of things too. We all have to roll with the times but also not lose sight of who we are as a person. I like that you are in the process of getting to know yourself more to be able to write the posts you want. Be genuine is one of the most hard but admirable things a person can be in anything we do in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a great post. Ive also had other blogs before landing on a book blog. The best thing Ive found book blogging and is the welcoming community and the connections made. Theres nothing quite like it.

    Like

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