There have been moments where I catch myself wondering what I would do differently, if I were to start my blog all over again, knowing what I know now. I think I’d do quite a few things differently, for example I’d work on finding a nice colour scheme right of the bat. I wouldn’t use loads of bright colours in the posts to try and create visual hierarchy (please I don’t know what 16 y/o me was thinking when we have bold italic bold italic and all the different sizes for the text)
This post is part of Bookending Spring 2020! Today’s prompt is Begin Again from the lovely Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen
If you were to restart your blog/bookstagram/other media account knowing what you know now, what (if anything) would you change? What tips would you give to newbie bloggers?
~but on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again~
I have a confession. The title of this prompt automatically had me singing Begin Again by Taylor Swift in my head because I am apaprently that person xD Look I’ve loved Taylor Swift since I was like 7? I don’t know I do know I love most of her songs, her country songs have a special place in my heart. Anyhoo this post isn’t about Taylor Swift or my love for her country songs and current music…nope today’s all about what I’d change if I were to begin my blog again, knowing what I know now!
If I Could Begin Again
- tags & categories
- colour scheme
- scrap reviews from the get go
- make sure the blog is a reflection of me
I think these are the main things I’d change. When you start your blog everything can seem very overwhelming as the odds are, you’re new to everything. Suddenly you’re trying to figure out how to make a site look pretty, create awesome content and still have a life outside of that. It’s really hard and there are definitely going to be things, that go unnoticed because we only have so much energy.
Tags & Categories
I’d actually research how to use them properly. I still don’t use them properly, not tags anyway it’s something I still need to sort out and it’s a big tangled mess. Categories should be as few as possible, a way I go about making categories now and sorting them is this.
Am I going to be making more than 5 posts for this category? If yes then I’ll make it, if not then you should probably put it into a tag instead and find a category which fits it the best. I find it also helps to have some categories which are more open, rather than loads of specific categories. People who visit your blog may want to search via your categories and if you have loads…it may be overwhelming.
Tags should be used to make a post easier to search for. If someone searches for something in the search bar on your site, anything tagged/has the word phrase in should appear. At least this is my understanding of tags and categories now.
My blog has been through so many colour schemes it’s ridiculous. I would go with the colours that feel like me…so purple. (ahem the new colour scheme is what I would go with off the bat because I adore purple and grey as a colour scheme.) I’ve played with pastel colours, pink and yellow, random colours thrown together that we won’t speak of. None of them really felt like me though, at the time it felt right for the blog. However as I’ve grown, the blogs grown with me and if there’s anything, I hope you can take away from this post. It’s that your blog is an extension of you, if you want it to be. It can be anything you want it to be, so make it yours.
Oh boy graphics. For those who may not know, I took a graphic design course for 2 years, so for the first two years of my blogs life…ya girl was learning all about graphic design. It may explain why I was constantly changing things around here because as I was learning, I became disconnected from my own blog. I’d make graphics that both fitted the blog and I was proud of. When my blog went under Book Dragons I had a cute little dragon…which is cool and all but the dragon didn’t really feel like me? Not in the same sense as a cup of tea does xD
Graphics are important to your blog but if you’re not able to create your own, there are several book bloggers I know who take commissions. There’s also free resources online if you want to give it a go with graphics made by someone. Just make sure you check the copyright on them, and please don’t just grab anything from a Google search. There’s no guarantee it’s free to use/modify for use on a blog. Have a look at:
Pixabay is great for stock photos, Freepik is good for vectors/graphics as well having some stock photos and Canva is a really popular design tool a lot of bloggers use.
Scrap Reviews From The Get Go
This is something that I’ve always been insecure about. I have a book blog but I don’t post reviews anymore. In fact I only posted reviews in the first place because I felt like I had to. I didn’t start my blog to post reviews, I started it to talk about books, discuss various things and I’ve never been a fan of reviews. Starting fresh I wouldn’t post reviews because it’s not something I enjoy doing or posting on my blog. Plus if you really want to see my reviews, you can on my Goodreads. It’s ok to not post the same things as everyone else, it’s taken me this long to finally be ok with that. There are definitely days were I feel like I’m less than other book bloggers because I’m not boosting/promoting books and authors anywhere near the same as they are. But…it’s ok because I can help those bloggers by boosting their content.
Make Sure The Blog Is A Reflection Of Me
I mentioned earlier about how your blog can be an extension of you if you want it to be. It doesn’t have to be, it’s entirely up to you but for myself, I want it to be. It’s an extension of me in a digital space, where I can ramble about books, talk to people, make friends and have fun. How the blog looks is a projection in some ways of how I want my decor to look in my room. Purple and grey y’all it’s my love. Some of you may not want to put so much of your personality into it for whatever reason, which it also fine you can make your blog look however feels right for you. Just remember that adding even the teeniest piece of yourself to it (e.g your favourite colour) can make it feel more like yours rather than just this space on the internet you spend a lot of time on.
Advice For Newbie Book Bloggers
- blog hop when you can and leave comments, seriously don’t be afraid!
- look up book blogging 101/blogging 101 for lots of helpful tips, advice from other bloggers
- remember to have fun!
Something which gets repeated a lot is blog hopping and engaging with the community, which is kind of scary when you’re new, you’re not really sure what you’re doing. I promise you, engaging with other blogs is one of the best things you can do. I’ll link two of my Book Blogging 101 posts below which talk a bit more about engaging with the community as well Becky @ Uptown Oracle’s Blogging 101 series, which is super in depth and I always come away having learned something from her posts!
Would you change anything if you were to start your blog again? Thank you Isabelle for such a wonderful prompt and being an awesome host ❤ Make sure you check out the original prompt which is linked at the top! If you don’t have a blog, is there anything you’d change if you could start a social media account again?