Sunday, April 24, 2016

SFF: The 5 Mistakes You Made With Your Blog You Wish You'd Never Done in the First Place

Sunday Fun Five #52:

#48: The 5 Paper Books You Treasure Most
#49: The 5 Books That Had You at "Hello"
#50: The 5 Résumé-Worthy Talents of the Average Book Blogger
#52: The 5 Mistakes You Made With Your Blog You Wish You'd Never Done in the First Place
For the 8th of May: #53: The 5 Choices You Made With Your Blog That You're Most Happy About

A Countdown of

The 5 Mistakes You Made With Your Blog You Wish You'd Never Done in the First Place

5. Assumed Established Bloggers Had It Together/Popular Blogger Idolatry
If a blog was over two years old and had lots of comments, I was often hesitant to even stop by and read the posts. Clearly this Blogger (yes, capital B) had it Together and never had reading slumps or other such mundane problems this lowly newbie blogger had. Therefore, they did not need me... other than to read, and be in worshipful awe of their posts.

Ironically, half the bloggers I idolized aren't even around any more!

4. Only Mingled with the Newbie Bloggers
Because I had such thoughts about popular and established bloggers, I often would only hang out with the newbie bloggers. The problem with that was... many of those newbie bloggers aren't blogging anymore!

...where are all the bloggers disappearing to?

3. Read/Requested a Lot of the Pretty Looking ARCs
I think most bloggers have done this at one point or another- you request the most fantastic looking and sounding ARCs to be sorely disappointed in them. I still do this, but I have limited my selections to only the ones I'm almost 80% sure I'll enjoy- therefore, usually no romance-heavy books (which I can love or hate just by a few wrong or right paragraphs).

2. Not Commented on the Right Blogs
I did comment on blogs when I started out, but I'm not so sure I commented on the right ones. There are some bloggers who will never, ever comment back, or be curious enough to click your profile pic and even glance at your blog. Sadly, I did end up commenting on quite a few of *those* blogs in my first year. There's no sure tell of who will comment back and it's gauche to comment simply for a comment back, but... yeah, I don't comment on unfriendly blogger's blogs much anymore.

My favorite old design header... I painted it myself. ;)
1. Design
I think I would've been happier with my blog a lot earlier if I'd found a simple design and stuck to it (like I have for about the past year now) instead of changing it every three or so months like I did the first time around. True, nothing was appallingly wrong with the design, and the color scheme has remained very much the same, but there is something restful about focusing your energy on blog posts and reviews, as opposed to frenetically wasting time and energy changing your design.

Do you have regrets about blogging, or any mistakes you wish you hadn't made? Share them so I can commiserate with you!


  1. I love the header that you painted! The colors are all so gorgeous together! One of the only regrets as a blogger for me is definitely not regulating my ARC and R&R intake in the beginning. Because of my inability to control myself (BOOKS!!), I ended up with a whole lot of stress which is never fun. It's been a learning experience though :) I'm also guilty of number 5. When I first started blogging, I was really intimidated by the bloggers who had so many followers and had been around for a long time so I didn't really want to follow them/comment on their blogs but I've since gotten over that and they'll all such wonderful people!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thanks, Laura!
      A few R&Rs did end up making me stress out in my first year, which is part of why I dropped off accepting them. It's hard not to idolize some of the bigger bloggers- but now I realize they, too, are human beings with wants and desires that aren't always fulfilled by reading books and blogging. The book blogging community has been pretty wonderful in my experience as well!
      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. Oh God I still absolutely cringe when I think about this one thing, which is that I wrote a really, really mean post about a book I hadn't even finished reading, and the author linked to it from her website with a frowny face. I could not have felt worse. I guess it's good it happened early on in my blogging career though! I learned the lesson early that anything I ever say on the internet is findable by anyone else on the internet.

    1. Oh my- I would be embarrassed as well- but as long as you're honest about it, I wouldn't feel too bad. I have a scathing review of a book I read two years ago here, and I can honestly say I wouldn't change a sentence. If the author stumbled upon it and felt bad, I hope she took it as constructive criticism: write about what you (personally) know, and don't rely on *one* person's secondhand info as your sole source of research.
      And yes, you can find anything on the internet, and it never seems to completely disappear (which is why I try and edit a post 3 times before publishing it).
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience, Jenny!
      ~Litha Nelle

  3. My first three blog designs were gag me AWFUL! I cannot even fathom that I thought they were okay! Ha ha. There is one blog I used to visit quite a bit that had a chat feature, but they never replyed to the comments, so how is that a chat? I enjoyed your list. :)

    1. Mine were basic, uncustomized Blogger templates with tacky-ish headers, but not too atrocious. I think my favorite one ever is the one I have now- it's simple, but it has my dragon bookends, which I've almost always had in my header design. A chat feature would be kind of fun... if you ever got a response. Really, for that, I'd just put in a live Twitter stream of my profile into my sidebar. I think the worst ever blog designs are those with music that comes on automatically ON THE MAIN PAGE. It freaks me out whenever I come across one, because I usually have my own music playing while browsing blogs.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La!
      ~Litha Nelle

  4. I can relate to many of these. :-) I am having someone design a blog header for me to see how that will work for me. My problem is I get bored so easily with my look. I change it up about every six months of so. To be fair, my poor husband is the one who ends up creating my headers since he knows more about that than I do.

    I'm with you about commenting. I gravitate more towards blogs and bloggers who reciprocate comments--it doesn't have to be every post, but once in a while is nice. It makes the blogging relationship seem less one-sided. I like the interaction piece, not just seeing my stats go up because of page views (which I actually don't follow anymore--that was one of my blogging mistakes early on: following my stats. So stressful!). I also like it when people reply to comments. I admit I am not always quick at responding or commenting on other people's blogs, but I eventually get around to it.

    #3 is still a weak spot for me, especially now that NetGalley exists. While I only request books on NetGalley I really want to read and would likely buy on my own anyway, there's still too many of them. They should have a cap since obviously my impulse control is poor. Haha

    I also can relate to #5. Especially in the early years of my blogging. I was so intimidated by the "bigger" more popular blogs. I still am in some ways.

    1. I thought I would go stir crazy when I didn't change what is now the current design for six months- but then it stuck. I'm not changing my header, but the background might be switched eventually. I have a terrible habit of being attracted to gaudy, visually painful patterns for backgrounds.

      I keep stats more as a novelty than as a guide- I'm always curious which posts are liked the most, and which the least. Usually, the posts I feel I slapped together end up being highly viewed. It does feel one-sided when no one ever responds, and sometimes it can feel awkward, like you're an unwanted guest. I dumped the sites that made me feel that way.

      For some reason, I've been able to keep my NetGalley request/review score above 80%. However, I am also tripping over my own TBR, so I clearly am not above temptation yet.

      I usually don't follow popular blogs, because it feels like I'm a stranger among a group of best friends. Though most bloggers are IRL strangers, some make you feel more that way than others.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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