My Advice for Starting a Blog
You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging here for a while (3 years? I don’t even know >.>), but what you may not know is that I recently have been getting a second blog up and running for my research lab (science!). I still remember back to when I was first starting up this blog and I’ll tell you a secret: I didn’t even know about the book blogging community! I just wanted to make a blog to try it out and reading was the only hobby I had ever stuck with long term so it seemed to be a reasonable thing to blog about, ha. If you really want to take a walk down memory lane with me, go ahead and check out my original WordPress.com blog ;-).
In any case, I frequently see advice from experienced bloggers to people thinking or in the process of starting a blog (such as Kelly’s post that originally inspired this one) and to be honest, those articles kind of overwhelm me even though I already have a blog D:
I’m definitely not saying that it is bad to plan, but I worry that someone thinking of starting a book blog will see all the advice out there and get overwhelmed and not try it out. My main piece of advice therefore is this: it’s okay not to do everything all at once in the beginning! When you first start your blog, no one will be reading it anyway so it’s okay to change things, change everything, early on. Look at me! I changed my blog name, address, theme, everything basically!
I think that all the advice out there is still helpful because they are great things to think about like:
- What kind of focus do you want your blog to have, since this can help you choose a name and theme that fits all you want to talk about (it doesn’t have to be just books! It doesn’t have to be all genres of books! Go crazy!).
- Whether you want to use a pseudonym and avatar to protect your privacy or not. This is honestly the most important thing to consider because it is the one thing that you can’t really go back on very easily once your name is out there.
- Maybe write a post or two before officially opening your blog so that you have a buffer, but I very much advise starting with one post a week, maybe two or maybe every two weeks, since it takes some time to get used to writing posts and thinking up content. Don’t stress yourself out trying to prep seven posts a week when you’re trying to figure everything else out too!
- Maybe think about whether you want to go self-hosted right away, but probably just go with a free platform until you know whether you like blogging or not ;-).
But sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet, pick a name you think you like, and start posting! The book blogging community has gotten pretty huge, it is true, but we’re all still excited to hear what you have to say about your latest read.
What I’m basically trying to say is don’t worry about making a mistake and not doing something perfect the first time because we’ll forgive you! Here are some things that I probably didn’t do right at first:
- Changed my blog name and didn’t redirect my original blog >.>. I still get a hit on that site now and again and keep thinking that I should officially redirect it, but it just doesn’t seem that important either ;-).
- Posted really short and probably ridiculously unhelpful reviews of books that I had read a long time ago and therefore couldn’t really remember. I applaud bloggers who can write eloquently about a book they read a month ago, much less a year ago!
- Almost certainly messed up the first giveaway I hosted. I don’t really remember the specifics now (at least I say I don’t >.>), but I’m pretty sure that I had to Google how to check if someone was following me on Twitter….
- Posted those annoying “I followed you, follow me back!” comments *hides*
- Made a fool of myself on Twitter. I still remember how excited I was when Giselle favorited a joke I made in response to her, it was a big moment for me, I thought about that joke for a long time ;-).
- Posted sporadically for a while, disappeared for a while when school got crazy, and then finally came back and actually started keeping to a schedule, ha.
- Sent out ARC requests that were never answered, oh well!
And I think I turned out all right, right???? You’re going to make mistakes or change your mind or become more interested in some other hobby for a while (but really, we always come back to books in the end ;-) ), and we’ll all still be here for you because we’ve all been through the same thing :). So just go for it!
Group hug! But seriously, do you have any questions for me about starting a blog or maintaining a blog?
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.