I can hardly believe I celebrated my four year blogiversary last week. Sometimes it feels like I set it up yesterday… and yet it also feels like a significant part of my life at the same time. When I was younger I was terrible for starting projects and never seeing them through. When I started Reviewsfeed I had no idea if this was going to be one of those projects. I’m glad to say that’s not the case and I have learnt a lot over the last four years… About blogging in general and about myself!
I will admit that when I started out, I didn’t really have much of a clue about what I was doing. I was reading other blogs in the run-up to setting my own up, but ultimately everyone has their own style. So, I had to take the plunge and find my own way of doing things. I also wasn’t very regular in posting for the first few months – but that’s okay because I was just finding my feet then. It has been a steep learning curve but also lots of fun. If anyone is considering setting up a blog then I really recommend it… providing you know what you’re signing up for!
Running a blog is a huge commitment. A book blog even more so.
Aside from the several hours spent drafting, editing and publishing posts a week, there’s also all the reading to go along with it! If you love it like I do then it doesn’t feel like much of a chore, but it does demand a lot of your time. If you’re only looking for a casual hobby then maybe this is worth thinking twice about.
I love my blog. To look back at the content I’ve created, all the reviews I’ve written and the interactions I’ve had with other readers and authors alike is a pleasure, and I hope it will continue to be so. I may have slowed down a little this year but that’s only to avoid burnout. I ended up taking on a lot last year with the house move and subsequent renovation, exams for work and keeping full pace on the blog. That’s a lot to take on! Towards the end of the year I was growing a little tired of juggling it all and I don’t regret the decision to slow down with my reading. I’m still blogging regularly and I hope you are enjoying the content I’m creating?
I don’t regularly look at my stats but to look at how far I have come in the last four years honestly amazes me! I would never have thought that many people would want to engage with my writing and to actually consciously choose to read my opinion on something. So, to find that I’ve had over 13,000 views in the last four years is crazy!
It was hard work in the early days. I had to actively go out and interact with other people to draw them to my blog and so every view was hard earned. Now I am a lot luckier and that I get at least one or two passive views a day without having to go out and find people. That’s not even something I try to do anymore. I engage with the content I’m interested in and ultimately I want other people to do the same with my blog.
So, 13,000 views and nearly 600 posts later, what have I learned?
Blogging is something you really have to want to do. There will be times when you don’t feel like it, or you will struggle to write a particular post. The underlying love for sharing my views and hoping to inspire other readers to pick up a book is what keeps me going. More than that though, I do it for me. I enjoy reading and taking the time to put my thoughts together on a book. It’s almost a way to relive the narrative and enjoy it for a second time.
Having stopped taking review requests over the last few months I can honestly say that I actually prefer not taking them. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed some great books from authors who have approached me for a review. But equally, taking them on can result in a bit of pressure. Not only is there a time pressure to get it done and reviewed, but there’s also the difficulty if you don’t enjoy it as much as you hoped. I’ve been reading books that I wanted to pick up over the last few months and I found the experience a lot more enjoyable. Free books aren’t the be all and end all. Whilst I will still take the odd one here and there, I will be taking on less in future.
Access to free books is honestly the wrong reason to be a book blogger. You can put in a lot less time and effort by signing up to a library! When you first get started and get your first advanced reader copy it’s really exciting… but personally I think the novelty wears off. I do like to sign up to blog tours though. These are quite good because you don’t necessarily have to read and review book in order to contribute to the tour. Typically, I used to always try and review a book and rarely did I share an alternative feature post. However, I’ve been doing this more this year and I think the variety is honestly better for my blog. So, don’t be frightened to ask to just share a promo if you don’t have time to read and review a book – no one thinks any less of you for it!
Blogging is a labour of love. It’s not always easy but it’s something I look forward to doing every day. Whether it is picking up a new book to share my thoughts on or finding new ways to share book related content, I love posting it for you!
I hope you guys really do enjoy the content on my blog – here is to the next four years!