Book Blogger Confessions is a new meme hosted by All-Consuming Books and For What It's Worth. You can find out all about it here.
Every second week there is one topic that has something to do with book-blogging that you can discuss on your blog.
Ooh, a blogging time machine? Yes, please! I knew nothing when I started blogging, so I could definitely use one. I'm in the mood for a list, so let's do this in list format - here are 7 things I'd like to tell my blogging-beginner self:
1. Blogger is not the only blog hosting site. I did absolutely no research about who should host my blog - Blogger was the only one I knew, so I signed up and got started. And that was stupid, stupid, stupid, because Blogger sucks. I wish I'd used Wordpress instead - from what I know, it's so much better! I know I could switch now, and I probably will, at some point, but for now I'm terrified of losing my content, so I'm stuck with Blogger. I wish I'd done some research and chose Wordpress instead.
2. Don't take yourself so seriously. When I started blogging, I thought my reviews had to be professional and serious and whatnot. But now, to me, the most important part is having fun with it. I'm not writing for some fancy-pants magazine - this is my personal blog, and I can talk about whatever I want to talk about. I don't need to analyze the deep literary meaning of a book - if what I liked best is the romance and the hot guy, I'll swoon about that. My reviews are my thoughts on books, nothing else. And I wish I'd had that kind of attitude from the beginning on.
3. Don't feel pressured to post every day. Today, posting every day is no problem for me - I just have loads of stuff to say, I guess. But when I started out, I did two reviews a week, and I thought I had to fill the rest of the week with memes. But it was just that - filler. I'd like to tell blogging-newbie me that it's okay to only post 4 times a week, and that quality beats quantity.
4. Don't go crazy about your stats. I was way too obsessed with my stats when I first started out. I had these weird fantasies that my blog would become huge overnight - umm, no. My blog grew gradually, once I'd put a lot of time and effort into it, but nothing is ever going to be huge overnight if you don't work for it. All those bloggers out there who have thousands of followers? They've been doing this for years and years. (Well, except for Giselle, because Giselle is some kind of evil genius.) Eventually, I stopped checking my stats every day or believing that GFC followers were actual readers. I just wish I'd gotten that sooner - blogging is so much more fun if you focus on the good and ignore the stats.
5. Use Twitter. I didn't get a Twitter account until I'd already been blogging for about 9 months, I think. Don't ask me why - I was an idiot. I didn't see how it would help my blog, or what the point was. Now, I couldn't imagine blogging without Twitter - it's so much fun to get to know other bookish people on Twitter! Twitter has let me meet so many cool people, and it's helped my blog in so many ways.
6. Don't be afraid to show your personality. This is one I still struggle with today. I feel that I often don't let my personality shine through enough, that I'm just writing these robot-like, boring posts. I think if I would have started out with a more personal way of blogging, it'd be easier now, since changing my style has proven to be pretty difficult.
7. Ask for help. Book bloggers are awesome people, and they'll help you if you ask them. Maybe don't ask one of the most popular bloggers, since they get loads of questions from newbies, but asking someone who's been blogging a little longer than you can be of great help. I wish I'd had the courage to ask more often, since there were so many things I didn't know when I started out. Everyone in the blogging community I've met is friendly and happy to help, and I wish I'd made better use of that.
So those are 7 things I'd like to tell the newbie blogger version of myself. These are the only ones I can think of now, but I'm sure there are more, since I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in a way, I kind of like that I found out a lot of this stuff the hard way - this whole thing has been a great learning process, and I love seeing how far I've come from when I first started out.
What advice would you give yourself with a blogging time machine?
(Note: I noticed some of the things I'm saying could be seen as kind of rude/preachy about how to blog right, or something like that. But keep in mind that I'm talking to past-me, not any other bloggers. And I think I'm allowed to be rude to myself!)