Hello! So I totally forgot about this, but WordPress recently reminded me that a week ago today was the day I started my blog! I cant believe its been a year already, it only seems like yesterday that I was choosing my blog layout and trying to figure out what to write. 365 days, over 200 posts later and here we are. I thought I would take this chance to tell you all about my first year of blogging, and maybe throw a little advice in there too. Hope you enjoy.
I’ve literally never felt so welcome in my life than when I joined the blogging community. Everyone is so lovely, even if you’re a complete newbie, there are no shortage of awesome bloggers that are willing to give you advice. I’ve made so many friends through bookish twitter, and here on my blog, and they have definitely helped me grow my blog into what it is today.
I doubted myself sooo many times in my first few months of blogging. I didn’t have enough followers, my posts weren’t getting a lot of views/interactions. However, it only took me a few months to realise that it takes work to grow your platform. I joined The Write Reads on Twitter (which is an awesome and supportive group of bloggers) and made so many good friends who told me my expectations were a bit unrealistic for this early in my blog, gave me advice on some ways to grow it and gave me the chance to take part in my first ever blog tour. Though I still don’t have 1000’s of followers, I’m happy with my blog growth and love the interactions I get with all my lovely followers.
Ways to grow your blog
I’m by no means an expert on this, but these are a few of the ways I’ve managed to get my blog out there over the past few years. Giveaways. Running giveaways helped massively increase my blog views and followers, just make sure that you include following your blog/twitter in the rules of entry. Blogging groups. I joined a couple of blogging groups and the support I got from these was amazing. The Write Reads is an awesome group of bloggers supporting other bloggers, they run posts of the day and mine received over 100 views… nearly more than I’d had in the previous month! WordPress Follow Train. Everybody wants more followers, so a follow train is a great idea of gaining some. Basically everyone that comments on the post follows each other. Win-Win.
Ahhh the end goal for a lot of bloggers. Though I see ARC’s as a massive bonus to being a blogger, they aren’t the be all and end all. It took me over 7 months of blogging before I got a request to read a writers book and 10 months before I received my first physical ARC from a publisher. I mainly reviewed books I already owned at the start of my blog, and then I found Netgalley.
Netgalley is a tool for book bloggers, or readers in general to get their hands on E-ARC’s (digital copies). I found this a really useful tool and managed to get hold of some awesome books through it for review. My only advice would be to be vigilant with how many review requests you send. I sent over 20 on my first try and got approved for nearly every single one, cut to me reading sooo many of them to make sure my review % stayed high enough. There are some amazing posts out there on how to use Netgalley to its full potential, but the one I found most useful was by Bookish Bibliophile and you can find it here.
I’ve literally never felt as old as when I joined bookish Twitter and had to google all the different terminology. I just about knew TBR, but then I started reading about OTP, ARCs and DNF my head started to spin. There’s are crazy amount of bookish terminology out there and Beth over at BooksNest has created a handy guide which you can find here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and if you’re new to blogging I hope this has helped you in some way.