Guest Post by Charlie @ Engrossed in a Good Book: What I’ve Learned in My Short Time Blogging

Hello hello! I know I’m having many collabs and blog tours and guest post-y stuff, but hey, gotta support my subjects!

Did I say subjects? I meant my people. My friends. Definitely not my mango subjects.

ANYWAYS*, this post is by Charlie @ Engrossed in a Good Book, who is my Little Blogger for Mikaela’s Project Big Blogger Little Blogger. She’ll be guest posting and talking about what she’s learned in her short time as a blogger!

If you’re looking for great adult books to read, definitely check out Charlie’s blog! And thanks to Mikaela for hosting this awesome project as well.

*I’m honestly so great at switching subjects omg.



The Mango Queen has very kindly offered me a guest post over at Forever and Everly and all due to the Big Blogger, Little Blogger project which is the brainwave of Mikaela.  I thought that since May has an extensive readership, I would use the opportunity to hopefully start a discussion and with any luck learn something.

I have been book blogging for less than two months but in that time there has been a fairly sharp learning curve here are 10 things that I have discovered.

Displaying What%20I%20have%20learned%20whilst%20blogging%20discussion.jpg

1. start off writing about books you already have—

—in the house or use your local library. I love libraries, they are the best thing ever and they buy a surprising amount of new releases all the time. The majority of books that I read are from my library.


2. netgalley and edelweiss+ are great but it can really get out of hand

—if you are not careful. This has been discussed in many places of the blogosphere, and in far more detail than I can give so check out these posts over at Bookishness and Tea and Heena Rathore P.


3. if an author is willing to spend money mailing you a paperback from abroad to get a review, they are desperate

This is not a good thing and the guilt of not being able to finish a poorly written book is not fun. An eBook as it is effectively cost free carries less sense of obligation. Of course getting ARC’s from publishers is different but I am not at that stage yet.


4. book bloggers are a friendly bunch 

Interacting with the community does encourage folks to check out your little place on the web. One of the good things about book blogging is the whole community thing.

Image result for we're all in this together gif
May: Memories, anyone??? *wink wink*

*Quick note from May: Interacting with others is how I got my blog noticed! *hint hint*


5. scheduling helps

Life does get busy and also with books from NetGalley and Edelweiss, there is no point in posting a book review way before it ever gets published. Much more sensible to write it and then schedule it for somewhere around the publication date.


6. memes are a great way of interacting with other bloggers 

Linking always helps the blog stats, especially if you check out other blogger’s posts and join the conversations. My personal favourites are Top Ten Tuesday, The Sunday Post, and It’s Monday What Are You Reading. Ohh, and I have started my own meme, Friday Favourites to give me an excuse to write about my not so recent faves, come join me.

*Note from May: Memes are definitely not necessary to interacting—I’ve never done one and I’ve got LOADS of amazing friends. (I think.)


7. growth is slow

But if you post good content regularly, people will read it, not a lot but some. At under two months I am pleased with the fact that I have 15 people who like my blog enough to follow.

Image result for slow gif
May: Slooooooooooow.

*Another note from May: Many of you have asked me how my blog grew so fast??? I DON’T KNOW. PLEASE KNOW THIS IS ABNORMAL SINCE I AM ABNORMAL AS WELL.


8. the free blog platforms are great 

They do have limitations but who cares because they are free. I don’t like wasting money, and the free blog platforms allow lots of bloggers to start writing and publishing without committing to fees etc. So much so that some very experienced bloggers never leave.

For example, Savidge Reads has been going for 10 years and he has been chosen as a judge for the Costa Book awards this year and he is still on I have tried Blogger in the past with one of my older non-booky blogs but abandoned it and came back to Others love Blogger though.


9. affiliate links don’t make any money, well not for me 

I will still be putting in Wordery links but probably only on book reviews. I tried Amazon but too many different countries made it far too complicated and didn’t make a bean. It seemed like such a good idea too.


10. aesthetics do matter 

It makes me happy to read blogs that look nice, and I just don’t read blogs if I am put off by a chaotic and overly busy layout as it gives me a headache (please no dark backgrounds behind white text).

Image result for cover eyes gif

I have been using Canva for making my blog graphics (because it’s free and easy) but there are many other options out there.

Making file sizes smaller (image optimization) really helps with load speed and also uses up less storage space on the blog server (free or not).  There is really good info on this on the support pages.


Well there you have it. This is what I have learned over the past two months. Now comes the fun bit: What have you learned whilst you have been blogging? Any hints and tips and words of wisdom are very gratefully received. And thanks again to May for the opportunity for a guest post on her lovely blog.



(I just realized that if you say, “Back to me!” in what I imagine to be an Australian accent, it sounds like “me” is “May”. #FunFactForTheDay)

Thanks so much for guest posting, Charlie! I definitely agree with some of your points, especially your points about aesthetics and growth. Interaction in the book blogging community is EXTREMELY important, and I hope your blog will continue to grow!

shall we chat

did you enjoy charlie’s guest post? as charlie asked, what have YOU learned while blogging? do you agree with anything that charlie learned? what patterns of growth have you seen in YOUR blog?

sign off 2.0

96 thoughts on “Guest Post by Charlie @ Engrossed in a Good Book: What I’ve Learned in My Short Time Blogging

  1. I visited Charlie’s blog and it seems awesome! As for her guest post, I agree with a lot of things she said – aesthetics, for one, are vv important. So is interacting with other blogs; when I started off, I expected people to come find me. But how are they supposed to find me if don’t know I exist? So I started looking for blogs with common interests as mine and it’s been working out well so far 🙂 I haven’t reached my blogging goal yet, but I’m willing to wait for it~

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh yes, aesthetics are SO important. (Not that I have an obsession with aesthetics, no…) Oh haha! When I started off, I followed other blogs immediately and commented to say hi and such. (Keep in mind I’d been wanting to have a blog for a while now. XD) What’s your blogging goal? And WAS THAT A HAMILTON REFERENCE. ARE YOU A HAMILFAN.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha, I created my blog on a random whim so I had almost zero idea what to do. My blogging goal is trying to reach at least 200 followers (which will take ages~) and YES THAT WAS A HAMILTON REFERENCE. I HEARD THE SOUNDTRACK LAST WEEK AND I’VE BEEN BLARING IT ON REPEAT SINCE THEN I AM SUCH HAMILTRASH.

        Liked by 3 people


                Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m jumping in on the Hamilton conversation! (I’m desperate for fellow fans. 😉 ) I hope you reach your goal (with your power of speech – unimpeachable). I have 55 followers and my goal is 100 for now.

          Aris, I read your Hamilton post and loved it! (The beginning of my obsession was similar to yours. 😉 ) I’m following!

          As for Charlie’s post, I thought it was really helpful! I have white font over a dark background, though… oops. Get I get any other opinions on my background? Should I change it to white? I like the grey tones the dark background adds but maybe it really is not the best route…

          Liked by 3 people

          1. YAY MORE HAMILFANS!! And thank you! I hope you reach your goal too 😀
            Yay thanks so much!! Your blog seems pretty interesting too!!!
            I think your blog is pretty easy to read, because it’s not really that dark. It adds to the feel of being at a bus stop, actually. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          2. ONLY NINETEEN BUT MY MIND IS OLDER. And agh, I’m sure you’ll get 100 followers in no time! 🎉


            Oh yes, white font over dark background makes it hard to read haha! Um, maybe you can go for a lighter grey background? I’d say white is the best to go for though.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. I’m also jumping in because I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT! But yes Hamilton I am adoring your conversation!

            And I completely agree with Charlie about aesthetics being very important. One, we gotta be able to read it and too, formatting and such can’t be all over the place with links overlapping or anything.

            As far as your blog goes, Rayne, I would recommend going for a white background with black font just for the sheer sake of it being easier to read. But take this with a grain of salt – it’s YOUR blog after all!

            And good luck to you and Aris (I love your header image btw!!) to reaching your goals!! Hamilton fans will RISE UP of course! ;D

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh yeah, we’re gonna rise up! We’re gonna fan this spark into a flame.

              Thank you, Bridget, I appreciate the feedback! I played around with some lighter fonts and it felt not as much like a bus stop. However, I’m not done exploring for a happy medium yet. 🙂 Thank you about the header image! My little sister is so photogenic. ❤

              Liked by 1 person

              1. YES REFERENCE BATTLE. 😀

                I agree with your order of priorities, May! For me, it’s more about the font than the background color for readability. Cursive or other distracting themes make it difficult to read something… so save the swirly fonts for titles, in my opinion and use simple fonts in your actual posts. That way you’re actually using more-difficult-to-read fonts to your advantage, cuz we all know pretty fonts grab the spotlight. 😉

                Liked by 1 person

    1. hrm, not sure why my blog automatically sent a comment to yours just because I linked to it. Not sure if it is a bad thing, what do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I 100000% agree with all Charlie’s wisdom apart from memes? I guess they help, but I’m less likely to click on that post, LET ALONE INTERACT but that’s because I don’t do memes. If I did, it would be a good source of networking? Let’s just say it’s not the most efficient. But other than that I VERY MUCH LIKED THIS POST. What I’ve learnt about bloggging? please, save this for a blog post. Briefly, it takes over your life, AESTHETIC IS KEY and comment on other humans’ blogs please and in times of need, HASHTAG it. PATTERNS OF GROWTH –

    Random day 1 – LOADS OF TRAFFIC
    Random day 1 – LOADS OF TRAFFIC
    Random day 1 – no cars today
    Random day 1 – LOAD OF TRAFFIC
    Random day 1 – some people were nice
    Random day 1 – icecream
    Random day 1 – penguns scattered
    Random day 1- no cars today


    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is so true! I have no idea what sparks a boost in traffic and what causes it to drop. I usually get most of my traffic in the week following a post (I only post once a month so…).

      I’ve never tried memes either. I just thought those were funny things you look at on Pinterest when you need a laugh.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I try to post once a week and even then i sometimes #fail?

        well there’s normal memes that you see online on like pinterest and tumblr and things. and then there’s BLOGGING ones which are like different UNIVERSE (they are so different) where someone sets up a topic to talkk about and on that spefic day you post according to that. E.G Waiting on Wedensday. Every wednesday, blogger who want to, publish a post about a book they’re waiting to read. The topic and day can be anything and more flexible e.g Top Ten Tuesday where the’re s a top ten topic given out (by the blogger who created it) like Top 10 Fantasy books and bloggers who want to link up to that blogger’s post and post.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I try to post once a week and even then i sometimes #fail?

        well there’s normal memes that you see online on like pinterest and tumblr and things. and then there’s BLOGGING ones which are like different UNIVERSE (they are so different) where someone sets up a topic to talkk about and on that spefic day you post according to that. E.G Waiting on Wedensday. Every wednesday, blogger who want to, publish a post about a book they’re waiting to read. The topic and day can be anything and more flexible e.g Top Ten Tuesday where the’re s a top ten topic given out (by the blogger who created it) like Top 10 Fantasy books and bloggers who want to link up to that blogger’s post and post.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, gotcha! Thanks for the explanation! Yeah, I see how that could be helpful for steering traffic your way… however, I think interacting with other bloggers on their own sites is a more enjoyable route (I’m not sure if I can say this because I’ve never done memes but…). 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, memes can be a little boring once your feed gets stormed with posts about the same topic. But they’re still nice to interact with others. 😉

      DUDE BLOGGING TAKES SO MUCH TIME I’M JUST DONE (not really). YAS with those #hashtaaaaaaags.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually think memes are a great thing to find new blogs to read and to interact with a lot of new people which can definitely help you grow your blog and broaden your reach! I used to really love doing both Top 10 Tuesdays and Top 5 Wednesdays because the link ups would provide a great list of blogs I could check out and also gave people the chance to see my blog too. But I’ve stopped doing both since because I haven’t found the topics as interesting.

    And, YES TO AESTETHICS. I am such a visual person and if I don’t find a blog appealing, I probably won’t spend much time checking out their content, which is sad but it’s still true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree but I don’t think memes are necessary but I do enjoy doing then sometimes, and I have found some great blogs through them. I guess there are lots of different ways to blog and no right or wrong way

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oh yes, memes are a definitely great way to interact with others! It’s totally not necessary though — and I personally get bored with tons of posts on Tuesdays or Wednesdays about the same topic. If I were to do a meme, I think I’d make it a little different from the topic haha!

      Well it’s not exactly sad??? I mean if a book wasn’t pretty, would I read it??? MOST LIKELY NOT. XD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, definitely! Tuesdays are usually not my favorite days to read through my reader either as its basically all just T10T posts, but in the beginning it definitely helped me out a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. did you enjoy charlie’s guest post?:
    It was loverly. *nods* *quotes things no one will get but me* *shrugs*

    as charlie asked, what have YOU learned while blogging?:
    Uh … nada? Okay, so, I guess I’ve learned that you should be aesthetic-y and not make a lot of grammar mistakes and be consistent and not all over the place … but idk. I’ve never really made blogging my primary focus, so … I don’t know.

    do you agree with anything that charlie learned?:
    I actually agree with all of it! I think. I mean, nothing really popped out at me while I was reading like, “OH WOW THAT IS SO WRONG!” so I assume not. XD Sorry … lackluster answers today …

    what patterns of growth have you seen in YOUR blog?:
    Eh … not really? I feel like every once in a while I get a follower and … it’s totally random. I do notice more activity after I post a post (ha), but, um … yeah, that’s not really … it’s to be expected. And I do tend to get new followers after new posts, too. So go figure. *shrugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, blogs definitely must be aesthetic! My eyes will hurt if they’re not. AND CONSISTENCY. Consistency is keeeeeeeey.

      It’s okay, Kell. I don’t expect anything good from you. 😉 😛

      Oh yeah, the followers I get are SO random, and nowadays they’re not ACTIVE followers??? Which makes me sad — because why follow if you won’t talk to me. 😥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, so important … I used to have an ugly random blog. *shivers at those days* *which were probably mere months ago* *shrugs*

        Oh, good. I wouldn’t want to raise anyone’s expectations only to smash them or anything … 😉

        Yeah, same here! They just follow and then there’s no commenting or liking or anything … and I’m like, “WHY DID YOU FOLLOW ME!?!?”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmmm, I definitely agree with the POST CONSISTENTLY piece of advice. I used to post like once a month and I was like “what??? why am I getting only .7 followers???” I HAVE FIGURED IT OUT NOW, THANKS. but also I MISS MY SCHEDULE sometimes? whatever.

    And also I so totally agree with the Netgalley./Edelweiss advice. PEOPLE’S, IT IS APPARENTLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO REQUEST BOOKS THAT YOU ONLY MILDLY WANT TO READ. especially if you’re a lazy potato (like me)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WHAT??? ONLY .7 FOLLOWERS AND ONE POST A MONTH??? WHAT IS THIS CRUELTY. And I will force you to post on the day of your schedule. Now let me go look at your last post and decide when the next posting day is.

      BUT… BUT THAT’S… good advice. Thank and thank.

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  6. Great advice! You’ve really got to look out when you start getting requests to read from all sides (not just the ones you request!) haha! I think everyone (yes…right?) learns the hard way that posting consistently is a major thing. (BUT OF COURSE LIKE THE HARDEST EVER WHEN YOU FIRST START OUT!) I liked your affiliate links thought… I’ve never tried it and always wondered if all that work to use their links works…

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    1. So far affiliate links have been a fair bit of added, and dull work with no gain at all. Of course my blog is really small but I have heard this from other bloggers too.

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    2. Oh, I probably would be so excited if people wanted me to review their book… but also stressed out. XD I actually came up with a schedule before I started blogging so I was pretty consistent. XD And yeah I’ve never tried affiliate links??? Too good to be true I guess. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love Charlie’s guest post! She is right, interacting with others is important– although I haven’t been doing that these past several months until recently due to being busy with school, ugh.

    Also, I know this is a bad place to mention it, but that collab blog post– can you choose half the points we made and write about it? I meant to email you but since we can’t use our cellular data and I’ve been out, it hasn’t been working well communication wise (so sorry about that!).

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True, and then we’ll have three. Just let me know what points you want to write about, and then I’ll take up the remaining three and start writing them on the plane back home.

        Also, I nominated you for the You’re Not Good Enough book tag! It’s super fun and it’s like the Hunger Games featuring literary characters. xD

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Okay, cool! I’ll do… the developing over time + respect one (the 1st), “don’t put a couple just to have a couple” one (the 3rd), and the conflict/flaws one (the 5th).

          And yay! Thanks so much, dear. ❤ I'll definitely check the post out!


  8. This is a great post, and even though a lot of these are things I never thought about when I started blogging they’re all things I experienced at one point or another, so all points I agreed with. 🙂
    Requests from NetGalley can easily get out of hand for me, I had to put myself on a self-imposed NetGalley ban a little while ago because I’d requested too many ARCs and nearly didn’t have the time to read and review them all. 🙂
    Also I definitely agree that memes are a great way to get your blog name out there, and in my opinion a lot of fun as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m glad that you’re restraining yourself from NetGalley haha! I’ve heard quite a lot of struggles from book bloggers and STRESS IS BAD.

      Memes definitely seem awesome! Sometimes it’s a little repetitive to me, but it’s still good for interaction. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I don’t need to at the moment so much, I only have one ARC outstanding and I’m reading it now so I should be able to draft the review pretty soon as well. But yeah there can be a lot of stress surrounding book blogging. 🙂
        I kind of like the repetition sometimes, I dunno as long as I enjoy posting them I will. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh this is such a fantastic guest post – and MAY, your comments through it all made me laugh, and THE GIF CHOICES. HSM and Zootopia haha, I laughed a lot.
    I wish I knew all of these things when I started blogging – things can get so overwhelming at times, and scheduling helps me BE SANE – or at least, pretend to be, because let’s face it, I’m not really sane. Is any book blogger, really?!
    Interaction also is so important to me, probably one of the most important things – without it, I know my blog wouldn’t be noticed at all and people wouldn’t comment on my blog posts. More importantly, I wouldn’t have met amazing bloggers and found out about incredible blogs like yours 🙂
    And now I’ll go check out Charlie’s blog! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Boy do I know netgalley can get out of hand… *laughs nervously* Also I’ve had a hard time growing my blog cause I’m so bad at reaching out and interacting with people *wrings hands*, whenever I try to talk to someone I alway feel like I’m annoying them…

    Liked by 1 person

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