Yep, it happened. I reached 100 followers. I’m shocked, you’re shocked, we’re all shocked!
So I thought as a way to celebrate, I’d give you some blogging advice (from a total amateur) of all the things I’ve learned thus far in my 3 months of blogging.
Okay! Before I begin, I just want to start out by saying THANK YOU for commenting and liking my posts. I appreciate everyone joining in discussion topics, for telling me “I’ll add this one to my TBR!” after reading one of my reviews, and by giving me your own recommendations. All of this encourages me to keep sharing and I really appreciate you for taking the time out of your day to join me in this enthusiasm for books!
Without further ado, I thought it could be beneficial for some of you to read the advice that I’ve come across (and taken to heart) as a newbie blog and through personal experience show what ended up working for me. So, if you’re a newbie blogger as well (heeeyyy!!) maybe this will help you out in reaching 100 followers too (if that’s one of your goals).
Take time to come up with your design.
Some things that you might want to include on your blog would be:
- A “logo” or header image that displays the title of your blog.
- Social media icons. Having other social media accounts that promote your blog can also increase traffic so display your social media accounts through pretty icons. How about some like these? You can find a lot of free options like this if you do enough searching on Pinterest. Or you can make them more personable to you – like mine for instance!
- Featured images for blog posts. Maybe come up with a standard design for all book reviews, hauls, discussions, etc., this way it will be much easier to put a post together – all you’ll need to change on your image would be the title of your blog post!
- Graphics and reaction gifs (I make my own because making gifs is a fun hobby for me, but you can just save them from google) just like herbs and spices to sprinkle life into your post! And by graphics I mean in the general sense of that word such as text dividers and flowers and watercolors and what not scattered throughout your post. I’ve seen a lot of people use the stuff that Angie Makes offers for free. Her blog is a great resource! Or, take a second to browse through a board I created on Pinterest that includes a lot of freebies.
- A signature to end your post. Close each post with just your name in a nice handwritten font. You can find a wonderful array of free fonts on dafont.com, which is my personal favorite website! (I have way too many fonts. It isn’t healthy.)
- Create an About page. Frankly, I think this is so important! My own personal experience is that not many people view my about page (y u no like me?!), but it is always the first thing I look for when I visit a new blog. I love reading a bit about you and what I can expect to find on your blog. So go crazy with your graphics and make your about page really stand out!
I’ve generally found when I’m happy with my design (my blog just screams ME!), that it actually in turn inspires me to blog more!
I also find other blogs with poor design, i.e. hard to read font, harsh colors, formatting all over the place, etc., to not be as enjoyable to read so I do find design (even though you might view it as superficial) to be essential.
Plus I just like pretty things. So, there’s that.
Also, if you’re wondering “How do I put all this stuff together?” Well, I personally use Photoshop, however, there are free options that will allow you to do some of the same things. Hop on over to this post that Analee over at Book Snacks wrote of all the free resources that are available.
The best gift you can give yourself is working on future posts TODAY (or whenever you know you’ll have time to write) so when the time comes and you are absolutely swamped and know you won’t have time to blog for a considerable time, it won’t matter because you finished and scheduled posts two weeks in advance and you don’t have to worry about it!
SIDE NOTE: I’m not here to encourage anyone to avoid blogging breaks. Take them when you need them! There is nothing wrong with saying, “ya know, real life is getting way too busy to keep up with my blog,” because at the end of the day our blogs are hobbies. We’re not getting paid to post anything (unless you are???). Don’t kill yourself with overworking on a blog for the sake of that unattainable goal of being “popular.” Does anyone ever reach their own definition of popular? Probably not because as soon as we reach one goal, we make another one.
But if you do have the time to get organized and plan future posts, do it! Here are some tips I use to help me plan out my fortnight (sometimes even a month when I’m feeling ambitious):
- Seek inspiration! I look at blogs and also booktube channels and see what they’re posting. Plan out posts that occur on a monthly or weekly basis such as wrap-ups or hauls. Seek out tags (don’t just wait until someone tags you in a post!) and consider participating in memes like Top Ten Tuesday or Waiting on Wednesday. Memes aren’t for everyone, but if you find yourself struggling to come up with a topic, this will help!
- Don’t be afraid to take a post out of your drafts and schedule it. Actually, that usually sets the fire under my butt to work on it so I don’t accidentally have an unfinished post publish. That would be a tad bit embarrassing for me so to avoid that, I work a little bit at a time on posts (when I run out of ideas on any particular post, I will jump to another scheduled post) until I’ve done this enough times and I have a completed topic I am happy with.
- Finish at least one book per month with the knowledge that you WILL review that book no matter your opinion of whether you loved it or hated it. Get some sticky notes and tab pages where a quote gets your attention or whether a controversial topic pops up. This way when you’re writing your review, you can easily flip back to those pages and talk about them!
- And lastly, come up with a blogging schedule that works best for you. If you’re someone who struggles coming up with topics, don’t post something every day. Post every other day or once a week. But once you know when you’d like your posts to go public, it’s easier to plan out everything and become consistent.
It might seem like a lot of work at first, but it saves you a lot of grief and stress in the long run!
And there you have it! I hope you found this somewhat helpful??? I know I don’t have very much experience at blogging so I’m sure I’ve missed out on many important points, but hey! I tried!
Thank you all again for 100 followers!!
Talk to you later!
NOTE: All gifs shown were created by me, but feel free to use wherever (just don’t claim as your own)!