10 Pieces of Blogging Advice I Wish I’d Given My 2017 & 2018 Blogging Self (and My Advice To You!)

Seems like I’m just in the blogging-advice-giving mood??

And I’m not even mad about it!! Being the horribly, pathetically kind person I am, I love to hand out tips and help out in whatever way I can.

Today, I’m here to be a little sappy and reflect back on my previous years of blogging, but also give blogging advice to my younger selves (and to you!!). I don’t know what really prompted or inspired me to write this post, I just felt like it would be fun for me to write up, and also beneficial for old and new book bloggers!

Note: The first 5 are for my 2017 self, and the last 5 are for my 2018 self!!

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1. don’t burn yourself out

This is the #1 thing I wish I could have told myself when I started out blogging, because when I first began, I poured so much into it that I suffered from a burnout for an entire year. I posted like 3 times a week, followed 200+ blogs and commented on every blog post in my Reader, and in general just spent so much time and work on it.

Now, I still do spend a lot of time and work, but it’s a healthy amount. I’ve learned to prioritize school over blogging, learned to prioritize my HEALTH over blogging, and don’t overwhelm myself with blogging that it becomes something I start to lose passion over or motivation for. And I think that this is so incredibly important because!! burning out is one of the worst feelings ever!!! and I don’t wish it upon anyone!!!!

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2. be yourself

This one is a big one for me specifically, because I feel like the humor I’d tried to use when I first started blogging never came naturally to me! And I think part of that is because my blogging voice has evolved over time—thank god, 2017 me was annoying as hell—and so I feel like WHATEVER happened back then (don’t talk to me about it) of course felt unnatural. But I do think I also just tried waaay too hard to be someone I wasn’t and I wish I hadn’t done that!!

Both because it’s an absolute crime to be inauthentic to yourself and thus rob the world of your wonderful presence (picture me onstage in a wig preaching about being who you are) and also because I literally cannot look back at my old posts without horribly cringing and having to tear my eyes out.

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3. get a better sense of aesthetic

I mean, jesus christ, what was THIS:

I just. I don’t even have anything to say. To any new book bloggers, if you’re worried about not having a very good aesthetic, I can assure you, NOTHING is as bad as whatever cursed image I made. (And definitely NOTHING is as cringy as that, though I have to say, that “RIP!” looks pretty cartoony if that was what I was going for.)

Also, just a note, you are completely allowed to laugh at me for this, because you will never laugh more at me than I laugh at me. (One time I thought not being active for THREE DAYS was a hiatus. I was really something back then.)

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4. prioritize wisely

I guess this goes with Tip #1, since I prioritized blogging over pretty much everything else when I started out, including school and my health. If I’d prioritized one of those things over blogging, I would have spent less time on it and wouldn’t have burned out (or at least, not burned out as much as I did).

Last year I definitely got a lot better at prioritizing school and my health, and took the necessary breaks. But I honestly didn’t really prioritize blogging ENOUGH. So this year I better!! balance!!! both!!!! Third time better be the charm or I will actually throttle the universe!!!!!!

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5. STOP WRITING SUCH LONG POSTS

Okay, so this might not be THAT big of an issue, but I started out blogging and writing long posts, and now I can’t stop and it’s a problem because I talk too much!!! Like my last post? I just kept rambling and rambling and I noticed that it was over 2K words way too late.

My average number of words per post for 2017 was 1.5K words, 2018 was 1.67K words, and this year so far is 1.63K words. I definitely want to get it down to like, 1K (OR AT LEAST JUST 1.3K JESUS), because 1) reading that many words in one post is exhausting, and 2) writing that many words for one post is exhausting. (So why do you KEEP DOING IT MAY.)

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6. don’t let comments pile up you fool

This is the BIGGEST thing I wish I’d told myself going into my second year of blogging, because it was pretty much what just led to my whole Blogging Crisis of 2018. I wish with all my heart that I hadn’t let them pile up to the point of being months behind on replying to comments, because it has just led to so much guilt and self-hatred.

There are posts from more than a year ago, with comments that haven’t been replied to. I can’t even go back beyond February’s posts and reply to comments because I just feel so guilty. So to new bloggers: Try to answer your comments as soon as you can, because you don’t want to end up like I did!! (And if you’re wondering what I ended up like, it’s: completely flattened by the weight of my guilt!!!)

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7. don’t compare stats

This was a HUGE HUGE issue for me last year. I did so well in my first year of blogging (see: completely pouring myself into it and being generally unhealthy about it), and I knew I wasn’t doing as well in my second year. But seeing those stats be “proof” of that made it a lot harder.

I beat myself up over how I seemed to be regressing, rather than growing and improving. Stats aren’t the end-all, be-all, and numbers really do not define your worth, but it wasn’t really the views or likes that made me feel horrible but the number of comments, an indication of how much less I was actually talking to other bloggers.

Luckily, I’m doing a lot better at not checking my stats as often, and not caring as much about them!! It’s still an issue of course, comparing stats and overanalyzing them, but I definitely have a much more positive outlook on them.

(Also, not comparing stats can apply to comparing yourself to other bloggers, which you also shouldn’t do!! But I never really had that problem last year when my biggest issue was with myself.)

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8. write posts in advance!

I still struggle to do this this year (for example, I’m writing this at 2am on the day this post is supposed to go up later) but it was especially worse in 2018. I just… horribly procrastinated writing posts, and almost every post I published had been finished right before I clicked the publish button.

OR I finished the post after midnight and changed my blog’s time zone in settings so that it appeared to be published on the day it was supposed to be but actually wasn’t. Listen, if I can’t time travel, I’m cheating the system in whatever way I can.

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9. don’t obsess too much over ARCs

To be really honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem where I requested way too many ARCs or frequently thought less of myself for not getting like 18234 ARCs. I just think, compared to where I’m at now with not caring as much about ARCs and how healthier that is for me, I wish I hadn’t cared so much about them!

This probably might become its own discussion post later, but I think in general there’s a lot of pressure to want ARCs and to actually receive ARCs in the book community, and that fosters a feeling of being unsuccessful or less worthy of a book blogger if you didn’t get those ARCs. I struggled with that last year (as I think every book blogger will struggle with at least once), but now? There are books I would love to get in advance, but I just don’t feel particularly obliged to request them. I don’t feel a need to want ARCs or to get them, and it’s SO nice.

(There’s only one ARC I truly want right now and have requested, and that’s GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW, JIMMY PATTERSON PLEASE.)

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10. be kinder to yourself

As you can tell from the other tips I gave to my 2018 self, I definitely had a lot of guilt and self-hatred over what I felt like was me failing at blogging. And while I do think those negative feelings are important to motivate me to do better, I also think that I could have shown a little more kindness to myself, especially with all the mental health things I was going through!

And in general, I could just be kinder to myself. We could ALL be kinder to ourselves, even if we don’t think we deserve it. (Especially if we don’t think we deserve it.) I think it’s important to remember that we blog for fun, and because we love it, and if it ever becomes anything to negative for us, we need to take the necessary steps to ensure it’s positive again.


shall we chat

what are some pieces of advice you’d give your younger blogging self? do you agree with the advice I gave? how long have you been blogging?? (if you’re a new book blogger, say hi!! you’re doing amazing!!!)

p.s. I have a very!!! exciting!!!! blogging thing coming up, so keep your eye out for Thursday, June 20!! (my post about it goes live at 6:00 AM CDT 😎)

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90 thoughts on “10 Pieces of Blogging Advice I Wish I’d Given My 2017 & 2018 Blogging Self (and My Advice To You!)

  1. Wow, this post is everything I needed to read right now, so thank you for sharing your advice! I honestly love blogging, but it can so easily overwhelm me, which is silly since this is A HOBBY. The parts about being don’t burn yourself out and not letting comments pile up really spoke to my soul haha. Anyways, thanks for such an amazing post !!! 💛💛💛

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Awww, this is such good advice. I started blogging in 2017 and I got burned out pretty quickly tbh and was inconsistent for a while. When I started blogging, it was so exciting that I prioritised it over everything, even school which didn’t turn out well lol. So I totally relate to that piece of advice you gave.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This is all such brilliant and thoughtful advice. Thanks for sharing!

    Blogging can definitely become overwhelming and it is important to put yourself first. Thankfully, I always forget about the stats feature and rarely check it, but I can see how it would be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of obsessing over the numbers.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I LOVE THIS POST!!!❤️ Many of these things should also have told me myself some time ago, right now I’m at the most relaxed stage where I’m not thinking about blog stufs, like 24/7. I mean, I love blogging and I hope it’s something I do for many years but being more relaxed about it, is healthier 😊👏🏻

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This is an awesome post, May! I burned myself out in 2018, which was really unfortunate. I definitely have a bad habit of writing too much in my reviews and discussion posts. I have a lot to say, and before I know it I’ve spent an hour writing a review that no one is going to read! I beat myself up over it, and it ended up getting really exhausting. Once my personal life went to hell, I took a complete hiatus from blogging just to get myself back on course.

    This time around I definitely am taking it less seriously! I’m also trying to give myself a break in terms of how much I read as well. In 2017 and 2018 I was reading 2 or 3 books at a time at breakneck pace. Now, I focus on one book completely, finish it, write the review and then move on to the next. It allows me to focus on one thing and spend less time stressing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aah, thank you Bentley!! I’m sorry to hear about your burnout in 2018 ❤ And yes, same! I just start writing a post and then it's an hour later and I've written over 1K words and I have so many regrets. (But don't beat yourself up about it! Long posts are still great and awesome 💗)

      I'm so happy to hear you're being more relaxed towards blogging this time, though! And oh god, just imagining reading 2 or 3 books at a time stresses me out — I'm definitely a 1-book-at-a-time reader 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I so agree with all of this! I started blogging like last year and I was so active and achieved a pretty good amount in less than a month but like… ALL I DID WAS BLOG and I wouldn’t talk to my friends in lunch breaks at school because I was so busy checking stats, I’ve calmed down now and though my stats aren’t as high bc Im not posting every single day (sometimes more than once) I’m happier blogging and it feels less like a chore ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah I totally relate! With all the comments I’ve gotten on this post, it looks like a lot of people struggled with being too into blogging at the start, so you’re not alone ❤ I'm glad you're much more chill with blogging and feeling happier with it!!

      Like

  7. I needed this blog post right now, like, really, really did. Thank you for this wonderful advice, May and I’m so happy you learned to prioritize your health and everything else better, it’s so, so very important. I suck at that ahah. ❤ Thank you for sharing this wonderful, wonderful post and great reminder ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  8. “Don’t burn yourself out” is SUCH a big one for me. I was really good at posting (even inconsistently) for two-three years and then bam. High school + burnout + less time for reading absolutely killed me.
    This is such a good post May!!! And samehat at those old graphics; I have so many bad ones that I don’t want to think about.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. This has such good advice – all the blogging tips have helped me as a newbie haha, so thank you May!!
    It’s always so weird to look back on old aesthetics you’ve made haha, I always find looking back at anything old so cringe haha.
    I’ll make sure I keep all these in mind! 🙂 x

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I’ve actually been blogging for a long time. However, I just recently started my book blog (so in a way you could say I’m new) and I definitely wish I told myself a lot of these things. Also, I REALLY agree with writing things in advance. I’m terrible at getting posts up on time, but I’m slowly getting better by having things drafted in advance.

    I think one thing that really needs to be said to ourselves is to not just prioritize health, but definitely mental health. I’ve watched a few slip into deep depressions from not taking caring of their mental health while blogging. So I think checking in with ourselves to see how we’re doing and taking a break when needed (for snacks, drinks, or even just to play a video game) can make a huge difference.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, as a blogger who writes out schedules and plans ahead for blog posts, you’d think I’d also write those posts in advance, but nope 🙈

      Yes, I 100% agree! When I talked about health in my post, I meant mental health (but also a little bit of physical health in terms of sleep haha!). My mental health has definitely suffered because of blogging sometimes! Breaks are truly necessary sometimes ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I just bought a giant calendar recently to help better schedule and plan anything book related! So far it’s been really beneficial! So I do recommend a calendar if that’s your sort of thing! However, I’m still slacking and definitely need to get better at it this whole plan and scheduling thing!

        I definitely agree. Physical and mental health definitely need to be checked especially if you end up backed up on posts. Also, I feel like if we all had a mini fridge next to us while we worked it would help because then the snacks and drinks are right there, but that might also be problematic haha 🙈

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, a calendar sounds great! I absolutely suck at using any kind of planner though, so I don’t think it would be the wisest purchase :’) I’ve just been using a doc to type out my plans, but having a visual would definitely help me!

          Oh god, if I had a mini fridge right next to me each time I did something blogging-related I would just end up completely distracted by what I was eating 😅

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes! It definitely helps! I tried using a planner and for some reason that never worked for me either, so I can understand, but the calendar has been super helpful. No idea why! Lol 😂

            Hahaha but doesn’t that happen anyway with getting distracted by food?! I know whenever I go to the kitchen, I get so distracted on what I want for a snack and a pairing drink! 😂 I’m like a kid in a candy store only it’s my house and a pantry full of goodness!

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Ahh yet another great post! I’m only 6 months old as a blogger so…not much advice? But yeah, I would tell myself not to worry too much about my ‘voice’. It’s an ongoing process (still ongoing now!) and one I think will never end. We always keep changing. Also YES balance is important. I love blogging but it will be of less priority than my academics and real life and my own writing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aahh thank you Miri!! I’m glad you’re in the process of figuring out your voice — I agree, it’s a process that might never end as we grow and change! And I’m happy that you’re doing well with balancing out everything in your life!! That’s so important ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The stats one is so important – I used to overanalyze my stats at all times and it just leads to unnecessary stress. All of these are so useful for any new blogger (and they were a good reminder for me too)! Loved the post 💕

    Liked by 4 people

  13. (Not to add more to your comments with this, but) I totally agree about the ARCs. I went through a phase at the start of the year where I was all “I must finish setting up my Netgalley and Edelweiss accounts to be successful”, but now I’m just neglecting my backlist again, and really, my backlist needs some love. Like, a LOT of love. So, now I’m wishing I hadn’t requested the books… oh well!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah no, don’t feel bad about commenting! I’ve been much more on top of them ever since I got out of school haha ❤ And omg, I don't think I've opened up Netgalley or Edelweiss for like months 🙈 Good luck with getting through all your ARCs, though!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. omg yes to all of this!! i definitely agree with the aesthetics part. for me, if a blog looks nice and neat, i’m way more likely to read the content. my first theme was hideous, and i have no idea why people followed me when my blog was that ugly.. and I’m actually kinda grateful that i got rejected for most of the arcs i requested when i first started blogging, because what i’ve come to realize about myself is that once i have to read a book before a certain date, my body refuses to read the book. and i’m definitely guilty of letting comments pile up, and i felt so bad about it. luckily, i was able to catch up to them, but i went back to my first ever blog posts, and i saw that i missed two really sweet comments on them, and i wonder if it would be weird if i replied to them three months later 😂 wow this is a super rambly comment and i probably made zero sense, but my point is that this was a great post with such great advice! i love giving blog advice May!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, the way a blog looks is so important to me! I don’t know what happened in 2017, but I think the saddest part was how I thought everything I was doing actually looked good 😭 And aahh same!! I think my main issue with ARCs lies with eARCs (I haven’t been able to read one for months), but definitely any ARC in general can turn from a book I’m excited to read to a book I’m dreading, just because of a deadline lmao. And oh god, whenever I go back and read old posts and see tens of comments that are unanswered, I want to respond to them so bad but it’s been over a year 🙈 Thank you so much Caitlin!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. These points are so relatable! I didn’t burn myself out by trying too hard but in my first year of blogging, I posted almost everyday simply because I could and I was blown away by the idea that I could talk about whatever I want in this space. I just blabbered and somehow it actually got me a lot of views and followers and friends! But once I started looking at other blogs and seeing how they look better, sound better, are structured better, I started putting in more work into every post. I’m at a happy medium now where I don’t put in too much effort but it’s still affected me because now every time I think of a post idea, I think of how it would look to readers and more often than not, I scrap it. In my first year of blogging, I was so FREE. I just rambled and did not hesitate to post. And it actually worked out better then. I have no clue how to get that back and still keep a good “quality” of posts so… let’s hope I figure it out soon.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah it’s great to hear that you didn’t burn yourself out when you started out blogging! It seems like a lot of other bloggers did that and I’m glad you weren’t one of them. And I’m happy that now you’ve found a good balance, thought it sucks that you’re less free than you used to be. I hope you can exercise some more freedom (though I’m sure your readers will love your posts no matter what! 💗)

      Like

  16. And bless the repost! I spent too much time on my first blog and just killed myself over it for 5 years. We’re a little more laid back at Booked All Night and I love it. AND AESTHETICS! OMG! I made some cringe-worthy things in my first years of blogging. They come up in my Facebook memories and I just cringe looking at them. In total, I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years now. But Booked All Night just turned 3.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m so glad to hear you’re more relaxed about blogging now!! It definitely isn’t worth it to overwork yourself ❤ And aahhh yes, I am so tempted to delete old posts because of how cringy both the writing and graphics were, but I keep it as a reminder of how far I've come 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  17. THIS POST IS!!!
    i have been blogging for years now, but i deleted my old blog, when studying became too exhausting and i couldn’t keep up with everything. and now i just came back! and it’s all so new and familiar at the same time for me, it’s weird 😂
    and i totally relate to the obsessing-over-stats thing. it’s something i’ve struggled with for a long time. BUT YEAH, i hope i don’t start obsessing over stats again.
    AS ALWAYS, THIS POST IS AMAZING! *chef’s kiss*

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aahh MAHA!!! ❤

      Oh, I'm glad to hear that you took a break from blogging for focus on studying! It's so important not to overwork yourself 💗 (And though I didn't follow you back then I'm so excited to see what your new blog brings 💕)

      YOU ARE AMAZING!!! 💖✨

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This is really amazing advice, May!💓I really needed this post right now because I just got a tiny bit overwhelmed with blogging in the past few days, and while I was reading this I literally unclenched my shoulders and took a breath and remembered that it’s OKAY and it’s all going to be fine, so thank you for that reminder. <33

    Everything you said is such solid advice, and I love it so much. (Also I still need to follow a lot of it. Umm, yes I need to post tomorrow but have I written it? no) I think this will be especially helpful to me in the school year because it's super easy to get way behind, although school (and dance) is, of course, the priority at all times.

    This was a super rambly comment?? BUT THIS POST WAS AMAZING AND I LOVED IT🤗

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Ahhh this is the post I needed! I drive myself crazy with Blog stats and stuff like that. And I get so worried when I haven’t posted it a while. But I think I’m doing better now. Planning and scheduling really really helps. Thank you for these amaaaazing tips it’s really useful. Great post ❤☀❤

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You’re welcome! Every single one super hit home! In fact, I think I am finally recovering from overdoing it in blogland – hence me actually reposting and commenting again. *cheers* Welcome back me.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. This speaks to my soul so so so much, as am I trying to get back into the swing of things after an hiatus. Thank you so much ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  21. I have to say I completely relate to not comparing stats. I started in 2016, and then did amazing in 2017, and actually did better in 2018, but this year? Not so much. I dread looking at my monthly stats, and have just started looking at them less and less. I’ve learned to let go of it a little bit, and not worry so much about it, but every now and then it gets to me. Great post May ! xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aw, I’m sad you can relate to me comparing stats!! I’m really trying not to do it because it’s just so unhealthy to get into that mindset, and I’m glad you’re trying to do the same as well. Your worth is never defined by numbers and you are amazing no matter what!! 💖

      Like

  22. This post is amazing, May, and I can relate to it so much (especially the cringey old graphics and thinking 3 days off was a hiatus!). I also poured myself into the blog and community for the first year, and while it was incredibly fulfilling, when my health took a downturn back in March the speed at which I was consistently reading all the posts and writing all the things became unsustainable for me. I’ve spent the last few months crippled by my self-imposed guilt and not having the energy to hop like I used to, or letting my comments pile up for a month before I spend several days to catch up on them. Being an analytical person, it is hard to not compare my stats against 2018’s stats but I know that it is a direct correlation with pulling back and taking about 7 weeks off in 2019 so far.

    I am so glad you are working to be kinder to yourself, and I hope that you have less blogger-guilt! We are newer mutuals, but I can tell you are incredibly kind and passionate; you have nothing to feel guilty over.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Aaah THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! And oh wow — it’s scary how similar our past blogging experiences are? I’ve talked to other bloggers and how they also burned out after blogging too much in the first year of blogging, but everything you described sounds exactly like I went through. But thank you so so much, you are truly so kind 😭💖 I could say the same thing for you: You’re an amazing person and blogger and I hope you don’t feel too bad about your lack of interaction & stats recently, because it’s so important to take care of yourself first 💕

      Like

  23. Hi. I just loved your post. This was what I needed. I have been making the same mistakes that you did in your first year. Plus one collaboration of mine did not end well. So all of this made me lose confidence in myself and my writing. I am trying hard to re- prioritize things and bounce back. Thanks a ton for sharing this!😊

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Wow, okay! I did not mean to comment that. If that doesn’t show you that I am new to this whole thing, then I don’t know what does!
    I meant to say that I’ve read a lot of blog posts giving advice to beginners, and this is honestly the best one. I love that you’ve focused on giving advice for the emotional/mental part of blogging rather than just the technical side, because there’s hordes of information about that already. I really need to work on not getting too intimidated and just being myself. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, no problem!! Happens to all of us ☺💕 And aahhh you are too sweet to me!! Yeah, I definitely wanted to give more of a focus on the emotional/mental part of blogging, because I feel like that part was one of the biggest aspects of both my years blogging. But ah, happy to hear about you trying to be yourself!! It’s hard but so important, I believe in you ❤

      Like

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