I actually had a bit of trouble keeping track of my blog anniversary. Some of you may know I started as apieceofparadis. And really, that blog wasn’t originally a book blog. I don’t really count those first few months when I was doing non-bookish posts. Then I changed sites. And then I changed sites again until I ended up here. With all the moving, I actually missed what I am going to consider my actual anniversary—February, 16th. Not on this exact blog address but when I started blogging. It’s the date I did my first released this week post, really turning this thing into a book blog.
But better late than never, right? In this post I’m going to talk a little bit about what I’ve learned, favorite books of the past year, and then will take questions in the comments for a follow-up post.
what I’ve learned/advice
- Give yourself a break. I love blogging. But when I feel pressured, stressed, or overworked blogging feels like such a chore. Times like that, I step back and give myself a break. I have taken multiple mini-hiatuses within the past year. I just know if I push myself to blog when I really don’t feel like it—and I’m not talking just being lazy—I will end up hating it. I feel bad about disconnecting myself from this community for a bit, but it is what’s best for me and my health.
- Create relationships. The main goal of your blog shouldn’t be getting followers: and you shouldn’t just mass follow other blogs to get follow backs. This really is a community, and I’ve learned that what is most important—and rewarding—is creating relationships and friendships with the other bloggers out there. There are so many people out there who have blogs I love reading and who I love interacting with in the comments.
- Planning is essential. When I started this blog I thought it was going to be a lot easier. I didn’t know the kind of effort and time that would have to be put in to make content that was quality and that I was proud of. I’m still working on it. I’m not a pro by any means. But, I have figured out what works for me when it comes to brainstorming, creating, and planning out content.
- It does pay off. I know I just said followers shouldn’t be your main goal. But it can be a goal. I know I have had certain benchmarks in mind when it comes to how many people follow my blog or how many views I get per month. And while sometimes it has taken a while, I have reached them and it feels great. Another kind of goal for me was to receive some physical copies of books for review, and that is one I’ve met within the past couple months.
favorite books of the past year (an abbreviated list)
- milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
- The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
- A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
- The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins