Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted by Dani @ Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022. Since April 2020, the meme moved to another host, Aria @ Book Nook Bits. Let’s Talk Bookish is a meme where participants discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and share their love by visiting each other’s posts.
This week’s topic is suggested by our host Aria and is Tips For Newbie Bloggers. I’m around the blogosphere since 2017 and have had my fair share of doubts, quitting and coming back, switching blogging languages, going from free to self-hosted and back again… So I surely have experienced crash and error and therefore learnt a great deal about the aspects of blogging.
So, the first prompt of this topic is about what I’ve learnt since the start. Well, since I’m bilingual, I had the choice of which language to blog in. I only discovered Dutch blogs so far, so I decided to blog in Dutch. This worked quite well from the start. However, I moved my blog from free WordPress to Blogspot and although the creating was easier, I found the commenting and traffic a hastle. However, at that time a new trend appeared in the Dutch blogospphere, one where interaction decreased. So it was not my fault. However, after a year I went self-hosted and started blogging bilingual. This was because I got more and more involved in the international blogosphere, but didn’t want to decline the Dutch books and audience. Fast forward to 2020, my site was a mess. I switched languages multiple times. My work in communications had to do lots with it, because blogging started to feel like a chore after work. To make it easier for myself, I decided to go back to blogging in Dutch once and for all. However, the interaction within the blogosphere decreased even further and guess what, I went back to English. I actually felt like screamig into the void whilst blogging in Dutch. Thankfully I still had a hosting package. But doubt kept creeping in… I went back to Dutch again, but noticed I missed blogging in English too. Oh, the struggle of a bilingual blogger. Now, I have my Dutch blog self-hosted (which I probably won’t renew in 2023 because the prices are ridiculous!) and have a free English blog.
What I’ve learnt over all these years is that a social media presence is essential, especially on Instagram. Well, I first of all got locked out of my Instagram and second of all can’t take pictures due to my visual impairment, so that’s a problem. Since I’m also working 4 days a week, promotion is something that suffers first. Blogging as well, but a little less. I mainly am present on Twitter, even though that environment can be toxic. But for me, it’s easier to handle as there are no pictures involved. In terms of blogging, I’m still searching what’s working for myself, that takes years and honestly probably will never end.
When starting a blog, I strongly recommend you to NOT delete your free WordPress site if or when you go self-hosted. Because, the blog URL you had chosen, will be gone forever and you can’t make a new blog under that domain. I’ve experienced this with my Dutch blog. Also, it takes a long time to find your blogging voice and style, be patient. Try new things. Don’t focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimalization) all at once, first get blogging and writing experience. SEO takes a lot of effort to figure out and simply don’t start if you feel like you won’t have the time for it. Furthermore, create a standard banner set. This saves you a lot of work. For me, I hate creating banners because I have a little bit of vision left and making banners gives me a headache and they don’t look so fancy. Unfortunately, you need one as a featured image, because book covers from Goodreads won’t do as such on book reviews. Moreover, you need to create banners for your non-review posts eventually. Last but not least, be present on social media, but choose the platform that suits you. Many people are on Instagram and TikTok, but these platforms don’t suit me for example. Also, comment on or like other people’s blog posts so people know you’re blogging too.
I’m not sure whether I forgot something, but I’ve mentioned a lot I guess. Is there anything you would like to know? Ask away! Or is there anything you want to add? Do so in the comments.