how I’m blogging differently now

I’ve mentioned here before that this is not my first go-around with blogging, even though this is a new blog. Before blogging at A Word and a Whisper, I blogged for about 6 years, experimenting on different platforms, but mostly on a WordPress blog you probably haven’t heard of, because I started out as and remained a teeny-tiny blogger for my entire blogging career. I learned a lot through my old, now no-longer-existent blogs about what I like and don’t like and what works and what doesn’t work in blogging for me. I’ve already noticed some things I’ve been doing differently this time around the blogging bend, and wanted to reflect and share some of them today:

  • Blogging about what I want. This probably seems like a given and a little silly, but I am much better at writing posts about things I enjoy posting about now. I don’t feel as obligated to consistently do weekly meme posts, which I do enjoy, but sometimes I don’t want to do the topic or something and now I don’t feel like I have to do them which is nice. I am also simply much more in tune with what I want to post and don’t try to follow what other bloggers are writing about as much.
  • Not writing reviews. I do love talking about books and recommending books, obviously, but I don’t think of A Word and a Whisper as primarily a review blog, as I used to with my former blogs. I write a lot more bookish discussion posts and casual book recommendation posts that I enjoy more. I do have a couple review-esque posts coming up, but they’re not traditional essay-long reviews that I used to feel like I have to write. I still write about books of course, since this is a book blog primarily, just in different ways that I enjoy more.
  • Engaging with the community more. Something that I always felt was totally missing from my previous blogging experience was actually feeling like a part of the bookish community. I always felt that nobody would notice if I stopped blogging because I got so few comments, likes, and didn’t really talk to people online because I was so shy and didn’t think my opinions really mattered or that people would want to talk to me. Since starting this blog, I’ve made an active effort to comment on other blogs, respond to my own comments, and comment back. I think that has already made a difference in how I feel about blogging in terms of validation and also I think I’m already making a tiny footprint impact on the community.
  • Following the right bloggers. There is obviously no “right” way to blog or really “right” bloggers to follow, but I feel that I am now following and interacting with bloggers who are more similar to me in personality and in how they view blogging than when I started. I think when I first started, there were few book blogs and a more “big” or “celebrity” bloggers, who I did like, but also made me feel too intimidated by to talk to since they were so popular. I think blogging in general is a lot less serious and drama-fueled than in the past, people are friendlier and want to engage more, and I’ve found bloggers who care about issues I care about in the book world, which makes me feel like I’m on their level even though I’m new versus feeling like I’ll never reach their level of fame.
  • Not trying to be like everybody else. This, I think, goes along with writing what I want to write about. In the beginning, I was just so enamored with the concept of book blogging that I wanted to emulate the style and topics of posts that other book bloggers wrote. However, I eventually grew frustrated by this because I felt like I was doing all the “right” things, but not getting anywhere in terms of “success” or in the community. In retrospect, a lot of the blogs that used to exist did sound kind of the same; people even wrote about the same books a lot of the time. It seems to me that bloggers now are much more interested in being individuals and not doing the same-old, same-old in terms of blogging.

Mostly, I think what’s different about my blogging experience this time around is that I’m doing my best to do what I always wanted to do when I used to blog. I’m trying to be braver and less shy online and actually talk to people, which is helping me enjoy the day-to-day of blogging a lot more. I’m putting less pressure on myself to do what everyone else is doing and on blogging a certain way. In general, I’m simply trying to make blogging more fun and use it as an outlet as opposed to making it something I feel obligated to do.

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  1. Fantastic post. You may not have made it out to be an advice one, but you’ve brought up some interesting and valuable choices though.

    And I completely agree with you about reviews. You aren’t obligated to write them.

    1. Thanks! I feel kind of weird being a book blog that doesn’t focus on reviews but it’s making me much happier and freer in blogging in general so it works 🙂

        1. exactly! when I was still reviewing, I felt so much pressure to review everything I read, so when I didn’t feel like reviewing I ended up feeling guilty, which is no fun.

  2. This is such a great post! I relate to a lot of this, especially when it comes to blogging about what you want. I don’t enjoy writing book reviews and it held me back from starting a blog for so long – cause I felt like I HAD to write reviews to be a “real” book blog. That sounds so silly now, cause of course I don’t have to. Lots of people who enjoy doing that and are really good at it already do, and there’s room for all kind of bookish content. I hope you keep enjoying your blogging experience more this time around! 😊

    1. thank you for your thoughtful comment! I also just thought for so long that book blogs HAD to have book reviews, so I don’t think it seems silly at all 🙂 it’s so freeing when you finally realize your blog is yours and therefore you can do whatever you want!

  3. Oh this is such a wonderful post, I love it. I’m so happy you’re focusing on writing blog posts that inspire you and that you want to write. I also used to do lots of memes, but with time, they became more of a chore to write and I’m glad I gave them up to write other kind of blog posts. What matters is that we put out there was we love, it makes blogging easier and much more fun! I’m also thrilled you are interacting with people you like chatting with and you feel like are “right” for you – we are all equals here after all and it’s important to surround ourselves with the right people 😀

    1. I agree! I think part of it was because I was so young when I started and there weren’t a lot of other teen book bloggers around so it was a lot of 20-30 somethings. Book blogging felt like this elite thing to me for so long and I felt like I’d never be as good as people I followed. Now, I feel so much more secure because I’ve found a community that I both admire and see as peers who I can actually talk to, so it’s just so much better 🙂

  4. Some great things to think about. My blog is still pretty new (under 1 year old) so I’m still figuring out my groove and it’s so easy to fall into what everyone else is doing. I know my biggest issue is sometimes I just don’t read a lot of books that I want to do big reviews on but I feel like I HAVE to include a certain amount of book reviews either way.

    This post has made me think I might need to redo the way I do my reviews to something I enjoy writing more. Plus experimenting is always fun!

    1. It is hard to figure out what you want to do at the beginning. Even though this isn’t my first blog, it’s still new, and I’m also still trying to find my flow and figure out what I want to do with it.

      And yes, I highly encourage experimenting! It’s always fun to discover something new that you like to do that makes blogging even more fun and makes you stand out 🙂

      thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  5. I relate to this a lot. Before my new blog, I was blogging for fun and just write whatever I want. Then, since I realized that I love blogging, I make a new blog. The new one is for a real post like reviews and just the ‘right’ posts. But, I was so pressured that I even don’t want to write in that blog 🙄. So, yeah I think we put too much pressure on ourselves and comparing our blog to other popular blogs and come up thinking our blog is bad. Yeah, but seeing more friend writing things they love is making me realize, the more you enjoy doing it, the better your writings become☺️. Thabks for writing thiss. Means a lott♥️

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