It’s been a while since I dedicated an entire blog post to the art of blogging, I believe my last one was 10 Blogging Confessions: The Do’s & Don’ts which, looking back, there’s a few now on that list that I don’t agree with. But, lately, I’ve been pretty consumed with blogging or if I’m not blogging, I’m often thinking about blogging. Here are the 10 thoughts I have while blogging, let’s see how many you check off!
1. I wonder how my readers see me and with what tone they read my blog posts and comments
Okay, I definitely cannot be the only one who does this! There are times where I’ve noticed that I have the potential to be misunderstood because I’m pretty straightforward and tell it like it is which a few people might consider “aggressive” (bleurgh, hate that word). I’m not willing to change that perception because that’ll pretty much be the worst-case scenario. “Aggressive” and “outspoken” aren’t two sides of the same coin and it depends on who’s interpreting it. I’m going to take it as a positive, thanks to Suziey @ Of All the Books in All the Libraries (this is gonna be a flex):
If I had a penny for every time someone called me “self-possessed” or “calm”, I’d be as rich as J. K. Rowling, but, better yet, not disturbing your spirits with random toilet trivia.
I’m also wondering which tone my blog posts are read in: am I high-pitched like Rachel Green? Calm and measured like Kim Kardashian? Sarcastic like Max Black? Nasal like Jessica (Love is Blind)? As excited as Winston Bishop? I actually oscillate between the first two depending on my mood.
So, not to be all Peter Kavinsky about it, but what are your impressions of me, fellow readers? Which tone do you read my posts and comments in? Anyone who says Jessica from Love is Blind will be banned from my blog, just saying.
2. Am I posting too much or am I posting too less?
Another one I know every blogger has thought about or, at they very least, I know you’ve decided exactly how much you’ll post in a month! I know enough about myself to know that I can’t commit to writing more than three blog posts a week especially given that I write a lot for a single post, so I’ll be experiencing recurring burnouts if I post more than three times a week. But… I feel self-conscious if I don’t post for a week, so I remind myself that it’s not only okay to let myself breathe but my blog too. So, on occasion, I’ll go on a mini hiatus without warning.
3. Am I loving what I’m writing?
Now this is something that can really bother me. There have been moments where I’ve planned a super serious blog post like Look Around You, Incels Are Everywhere, but I come to a decision a fortnight or a month beforehand that I’m not ready to write on the topic just yet. Then I beat myself up about it because I know that it’s something that I’m passionate about, so why am I delaying it? Recently though, I’ve created a blog schedule for my upcoming posts, and, with blogging, you get to learn a lot about yourself and your blogging habits, so I’ve figured out when I’ll be ready to write on a serious topic which is working out a lot better for me… and my sanity. Another thing that works for me is scheduling lighter posts in between or putting a fun/different spin on a book review like 5 Things I Loved About Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or with a new angle like are Nina and Matthias basically Jon Snow and Ygritte? in my Crooked Kingdom review.
Shameless self-plug, but best believe in the emphasis on shameless.
4. I need to write up reviews quicker than I’m reading books
Oh, to be a book blogger and face ever-accumulating pressure to review books… while you burn through more books… while you buy even more books that you won’t read until a good three years.
5. Are people getting annoyed that I’m blog hopping in chronological order?
For a long time, I’ve been eating food in a very specific order and subcategorising my wardrobe. Blog hopping is no different. It goes Reader tab, Manage, then blog hopping from Z-A (yeah, I know, daredevil, I am). So, I’ve been reading your blog posts from where I’ve last left off which can be quite a while ago… and then it basically becomes like liking someone’s Instagram photo from 47 weeks ago. I’m sorry, I can’t change this, I just can’t. I can only apologise. I absolutely have to go in order just in case I end up missing reading a post I would have enjoyed. Which leads me to…
6. I have to limit liking comments
I am compensating for blog hopping in chronological order by not liking comments unless it’s to signal that this conversation has come to an end (no malice intended, I promise) just like you would say LOL to end a text conversation.
7. How should I deal with trolls?
One of my friends gave me some great advice when I dealt with backlash for my post Hermione Granger – 10 Reasons Why Your Fave is Problematic: “don’t feed the trolls.” I expected disagreement, and it didn’t cause me to retreat, but I was getting comments from people outside the blogging community which included a lot of swearing and there were one or two that were so crude that I had to moderate it as spam. Some of these arguments were nowhere near as reasoned enough to even dignify with a response. But reading Osi’s post about whether the use of swear words is appropriate, I think I’ll stick to allowing the comments, but I’m not responding to it either. You can change my mind with well-developed reason, otherwise you’ll be yelling into the void, and that sounds like a personal problem to me.
8. Am I taking too much time writing up my book reviews?
I can take a good few hours when writing a book review. I have to factor in tailoring my content, using SEO best practice, undertaking any additional research (like I did for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Review and Why the Sansa v Daenerys Feud is not Anti-Feminist), finding quotes, designing images for both Pinterest and Twitter, sourcing images, adding my Connect with Me section as well as Ko-Fi button, and including summaries, pages, publisher, etc. A lot of detail goes into writing book reviews. I could write shorter posts, but I enjoy writing in-depth reviews because that’s why I started this blog after all, to talk as much as possible about books!
9. Blogging can be pretty consuming
A few weeks ago, I paused What the Love? on Netflix because I suddenly got an idea for a blog post. I’m a rapid brainstormer as it is which can be exhausting for my family: “I have an idea!” “Oh no, what is it this time?” I can’t stop generating ideas which can sometimes rob me from truly living in the moment. I might be overcompensating for my prior staggering levels of impulsiveness, but I gotta get back my ‘seize the day’ joie de vivre, the right parts, that is. So, why not combine both post-depression long-term planning skills with my former even bolder self? Together it works out as an excellent enterprising mindset. Which leads me to…
10. Is there anything more I can do?
What I have right now is what I’ve been dreaming of for years (well, two years). I’ve been able to make a lot of blogging friends, gush over books, connect with people who’ve gone through the same things as I have, and blogging has also reconnected me with art of various mediums. I do arts and crafts with my cousin, design my own clothes for Eid, I’ve remembered to take selfies again, I’ve designed images for work, and I get to hear people’s stories. Blogging has been a joy and opened up a lot of opportunities for me, and I have to remember to be grateful.
*** Before I wrap this up, I have to mention that some of my comments have been going to the spam folder. I need to tone down with the exclamation marks and emoji use, so please bear with me in this enormously trying time. ***
What are some of the thoughts you have while blogging? What tone do you read my posts/ comments in and how do you see me as? Do you worry a lot about how you’re blogging? What are some things that you’ve learned about yourself or discovered through blogging? Let me know in the comments!
Connect with me:
-Let’s talk all things books on Goodreads
-Talk politics, books, TV shows, blogging and life with me on Twitter
-Be blessed by my adorable face on Instagram
-Check out what I’m pinning on Pinterest
& if you should feel so generous, why not…
I have just one word for you.
Or rather three words in total.
You are awesome (MashaAllah).
Aw, Aquib, you are so lovely, thank you, I hope you’re doing well, may Allah (SWT) keep you and your family safe in this difficult time.
I think so many of these things while I am blogging. I think it’s something we all do. I just try not to overthink and go with what feels best
I’m definitely overthinking whether to post more right now, but like you said, what feels best is to make sure my health comes first!
The thoughts are fair thoughts but if I’m being honest you shouldn’t worry about these things because if someone doesn’t like ur posts or they have something negative to say about them (which would be stupid considering they are amazing) then they can just click that little arrow in the corner and go away!
U know just saying 😂
Paha, I think most WordPress bloggers tend to just mind their own (I would love to have a debate though, and I trust our fellow blogging community to make reasoned arguments), but it’s the one who aren’t bloggers, but find what I write from google search & they come here and verbally yell. But, eh, whatever, it’s quite funny the way the arguments are put forward, I just can’t take them seriously!
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😂 It can be hilarious I bet that.
Generally, I feel like people only sign up to wordpress if they’re there for a reason. No immature people or people who cause petty arguments. It’s why I love this site.
Oh my God, just the other day, I got hate mail because someone was angry over a post I wrote in early 2019! I was shocked at first because they were actually swearing. Then they went stalking my twitter. I swear some people can get really crazy.
I’d be happy to debate with people on WordPress, with actual bloggers, we can trust everyone to behave respectfully at the very least.
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Wow- people 😂😂
What can I say- people can be crazy 😂
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I can relate to so many of your thoughts on this list! It’s crazy!
I’m glad to know we all feel these things, and we’re not alone in it all. Great post!
That’s so good to hear! It’s nice to know that a lot of people relate because some of these thoughts drive me insane lol.
Thank you. ☺️
This list is just so relatable! Specifically, am I posting too much or too less? And lol, mini hiatuses can’t really be avoided.
I think mini hiatuses need to be included as part of intro to blogging. Welcome! You’ll be needing plenty of recurring breaks. Enjoy!
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Some random responses…
2. On posting frequency. I have no idea how much I should post in a month. I have, over the years, attempted to stick to various schedules but life always gets in the way. These days, I post when I have something to say and don’t worry too much about how much time passes from one post to the next.
5. On blog hopping. Why not? I have to admit that I don’t really use the WordPress Reader — I use a generic RSS reader that allows me to follow blogs from anywhere, as well as news, short shories and anything else that provides an RSS feed. And I tend to flip between moving through the feeds from oldest to newest, or scanning headlines if there is a subject I’m particularly interested in.
6. On liking comments, I’m with you wholeheartedly. I generally use comment likes to acknowledge that I have read the comment when I have nothing further to add.
7. As for trolls, always keep in mind that it’s your blog and your rules apply. You are under no obligation to respond to, or even allow, any comments. Whatever moderation rules you want to apply are entirely up to you. I did look at the comments under your Hermione Granger post — there are some there that I would have deleted, and banned the commenter as well.
Ultimately, blogging is something I do primarily for my own benefit. As such, I am careful not to let it become a chore and to not beat myself when my over-ambitious intentions inevitably fail.
2. I think we’ve all created a whole blogging schedule and then created a whole different schedule a few weeks later when we realise that it’s not going to work & then completely abandoned that schedule too. God bless whoever is able to keep one and stick to it… but, like you said, life happens! For now, I’m sticking to posting at LEAST once a week. I think, by doing so, it simply allows my content to breathe. But I guess that varies from blogger to blogger depending on post length. For bloggers who write shorter posts, it works great doing multiple posts a week! I’m taking on that tip, when I have something to say, I’ll write – and I think I’ll include that for books I DNF’ed!
5. I’ve seen RSS reader floating around, but I’m still not quite sure what that means or how it works. Is that available on WordPress reader? Or is it basically the same thing? If it works for you, that’s great! Chronological order works best for me because I really don’t want to miss out on anything that I would have enjoyed reading!
6. I think I might go ahead and not even like comments anymore! If it’s a simple reply-comment and I have nothing further to add, I won’t be liking the comment, but, rest assured, I’ve read it! For longer conversation threads, I’ll press like as a courtesy!
7. I’m not sure how to go about banning the commenter as I know that a few of the trolls do not have a blogging account, and they’re most likely to be one-time commenters rather than repeat offenders. But it did take me by surprise seeing how vile some of the comments were, I don’t think the post warranted such a response. I don’t take it too seriously or personally because it’s more so a reflection on the commenter than it has anything to do with me.
I completely agree with you! When I find that a post that I’m writing is draining my energy, I try to put a fun spin on it, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. But, yep, so with you on over-ambitious intentions, I find that having an intention like that also takes away the fun in writing blog posts! Thank you for the wonderful comment, it gave me lots to think about!
RSS is basically a file that contains all the updates on a website (every new post on a blog, for example). An RSS reader, or news aggregator, pulls all these files together so that you can follow multiple sites from the same place.
WordPress reader is, as far as I can tell, a very basic RSS reader and one geared specifically geared towards following WordPress sites. I use a more general purpose reader (Newsblur) which allows me to follow content from WordPress and elsewhere, and to organise the feeds in a way that works better for me.
At the end of the day, though, whatever works for you works for you.
Ah, I understand now. What I find really cool is that you have the ability to organise your feeds, I’d love to be able to do that on WordPress because I’m following bloggers who blog on different topics. I love books, but I’m interested in politics and mental health too and personal posts, I hope this is something that WordPress looks into sometime in the future.
The first one was a very big issue for me (and still is) mostly because I’ve had so many people that know me personally tell me things like oh, they don’t get my sense of humor or that I’m too dark and sarcastic a person at times… I really have to edit and think okay how are people who don’t know me going to read this.
But we make it work right?
Also I really should try blog-hopping in chronological order usually I’m just all over the place, get overwhelmed and give up until I try again 🙂 I might have to steal that idea!
I remember when I first started reading your blog posts, I initially couldn’t comprehend the dark humour, but now I find it really funny! I think it’s worthwhile to note that eventually people will understand you, and you can’t really do much or shouldn’t do much to change how you’re perceived because that’s your own voice and, from what I’ve seen, your opinions aren’t harmful, so I hope you don’t feel that you need to filter who you are to suit your readers.
I’ve gotten to the point where it’s “take me as I am”.
I have a full-on schedule for how I blog hop, I’m also going through likes on posts and then visiting their blogs (and if it’s someone I’m already following, I check out the last three posts from where I’ve left off)! Yep, try a trial run and see how it works for you!
Love this article 💗. BTW… I hate trolls. Lol
Thank you! 💛 and, yep, they’re the worst!
I have to say you come across as a lot more serious/less relaxed on your posts than you do on general conversation. But that’s not a bad thing! I love reading your posts!
And I’ll confess to my (lack of) method to reading blogs: any time I get the new post notification, I open the post and bookmark it (don’t ask how many bookmarks I have) until I organically get to the post – which can be a few days, a week, a month… who knows?
Hope you’re doing well and staying safe! ❤
I had a feeling I might come across pretty serious to some bloggers, but I literally write the majority of my posts with a smile! If “less relaxed” means passionate, I’m happy with that because that is definitely me lol.
Yep, I remember you saying you save posts to read for later around a year ago! I’ll bookmark posts when it’s got something I could apply in some part of my life!
Thank you, I hope you are too. 💛
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Ha, I love passionate people, I’d never complain about passion in any way, shape or form!
It makes sense, I sometimes do save stuff I want to read again later for whatever reason. It’s always good to have those important posts/articles handy, after all.
I’m safe and virus-free, here’s hoping we’ll all be until this ends!
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