Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.
I’ve been single handedly running this book blog since 2013. All 664 posts currently on the blog were written by me. The graphics and layout were painstakingly cobbled together by me. Every typo, broken link, ugly mess, and minor disaster is completely my fault. Trust me when I say that blogging is hard. It’s much harder than most people realize. You have to know a lot about the subject you’re blogging about, and you also have to know a lot about blogging itself. Today, I thought we’d take a look at some of the non-bookish things blogging has taught me.
What I've learned from blogging
1. Website design. I don’t know much about the workings of the Internet, and it’s not a subject that interests me, but when you run a blog, you have no choice. You have to learn something about designing a website. I didn’t like any of Blogger’s premade templates and wanted to design my own, but I had no idea how to do that. How do I get the buttons in my sidebar to work? How do I get my header in the right place? These were all problems that I needed to solve.
2. Making graphics. This is one of the things I hate most about blogging. I’m not good at making graphics and never will be. (Check the graphic at the top of this post for evidence of my ineptitude.) But, blog posts that include graphics get more traffic. If I wanted more people to see my posts, I needed to teach myself how to make graphics.
3. Social media. Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Bloglovin’? Goodreads? When I first started blogging, I wasn’t on any of them. I still use far fewer social media sites than most bloggers, but I taught myself Twitter so I could connect with the book blogging community.
4. Making friends. Using social media and commenting on other people’s blogs was terrifying at first. What if I said the wrong thing? What if people hated me? What if nobody understood my weird sense of humor? Talking to strangers on the Internet is scary at first, but eventually those strangers become friends.
5. Persistence. Most blogs don’t get 10000 followers overnight. When you first start out, you’re going to spend a lot of time shouting into the void. I did. I sometimes still feel like I’m shouting into the void. If you want people to notice, you’ll just have to keep shouting until they do.
6. Good things happen slowly. Bad things happen all at once. It takes years to make friends and build an audience for your blog. Bloggers aren’t born knowing how to write great posts. In contrast, bad things can happen quickly. Websites crash. A comment you made is taken out of context and blows up on Twitter. When you’re a blogger, you just have to be patient and do the best you can.
7. The value of shutting up. I have a lot of opinions. I like to pretend that I’m the smartest person on Earth, but I’m definitely not. There are always people who know more than I do. Sometimes, I should shut up and listen to them instead of shouting my opinion across the Internet.
If you’re a blogger, what has blogging taught you?