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What We Learned Our First Year of Blogging [We’re Turning One!]

July 1, 2017 was the day Crystal and I became a blogging duo. For that reason, though the Ginger Mom existed before that, July 1st will forever be our blogiversary! And that also means that the Ginger Mom is about to turn ONE!

it takes two of us

If you were raised in the 90’s, then you probably recognize the movie this GIF was taken from – It Takes Two. It’s very fitting for this discussion because it really does take two of us to make the Ginger Mom work. I wouldn’t be doing this – at least not successfully – without her. And there are a few things we’ve learned in our first year of REAL blogging.

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Be present.
A while back, I asked a fellow blogger how she reached 300 followers in only a couple months. Her answer? Each day, she commented on TEN new blogs. New blogs. Not just the same old circle of friends that you find within the first couple weeks (but you guys are AMAZING and we love you dearly – you know who you are!).

So, comment. Be present in the book blogging community. But don’t just repeat the same “great post” over and over. I will, of course, tell someone their review is great if, in fact, I have read it and it is great. Not because I’m being lazy but because I believe that we, as bloggers, need to hear that someone enjoyed what we wrote. Also, don’t comment “hey, cool blog, follow me back please.” Don’t make it look like you clicked on the first link you saw, scrolled all the way to the bottom and added a random copy and paste comment to their post. No one wants to see those.

Remember, while you’re being present in the community, also be genuine.

Own your voice.
What do I mean by this? If you are a bouncy, boisterous, energetic person don’t try to tame that down just because you think people might not like you. The ones who do will keep coming back if they know that you’re being genuine. That energy is also what’s going to make you stand out, defining your uniqueness.

i am a dork

Yes, I am a dork. A geek. A nerd. A ginger. And proud of it. I own it. It shows in our blog. And it’s something that our readers respond to.

Do you like saying “y’all” instead of “you guys”? Own it. Do you like color (and lots of it) splattered all over the place (like a certain Ginger we know)? Own it.

If you’re less than genuine with your blog, your readers are going to be less than interested. You have a style already. Just own it. Me? I like fairytales. I love reading them and I love writing them. So, when asked how we got our start, I decided to write a little post in fairytale “once upon a time” format. Because it was genuine to me.

Don’t do it for the views.

what
This one sounds a little backwards, doesn’t it? But trust me on this one – it goes hand-in-hand with owning your voice. If you’re putting up random filler content, just for something to post, your readers are going to notice. Blog because it’s something you’re PASSIONATE about. It doesn’t have to be books. We’re passionate about books so that’s what our niche is. BEFORE you start blogging, figure out what it is you want to be blogging about. The people visiting your blog are going to notice a difference. Trust me.

Go easy on the book tours.
This is a big one for me. It’s why most of my past blogging attempts have failed. Do not agree to review more than you have time for in your schedule. This goes for blog tours – but they look so good! I know, I’ve been there – as well as unsolicited reviews that you’re going to start receiving from authors. Pace yourself. If you take on too much at one time, you’re going to get overwhelmed and your blog will turn into this greedy, time-sucking chore monster. Again, trust me. There will always be more books but if you lose the passion for your blog, it may not come back.

Proofread before you hit Publish.
This is one I cannot stress enough!

please princess bride

As professional readers, we are very critical of the books we review. A book that has been poorly edited is difficult to read, at best. Many times, it results in a low star rating. But, as authors of our blogs, we often forget that someone is out there reading our content, as well. And if there are spelling and grammatical errors scattered throughout, it can be distracting. It may even result in a reader deciding not to return because reading our content was just too difficult.

We’ve all been there. Late nights, rushing to get a review up for our tour stop the next morning. There is nothing more embarrassing than having an author point out an error in an interview you did with them. Mortifying. (Okay, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic). But it IS embarrassing. It’s also easily fixed. Read over your content before hitting publish. It will be worth it in the end 🙂

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Are you new to the blogosphere or are you an old pro? If you’ve been around awhile, what are some things you’ve learned? Let us know in the comments below the best piece of advice you have given (or been given) since you started blogging. And as always, thank you for visiting! To my partner in this whirlwind adventure – I couldn’t do it without you. I love you! 

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30 thoughts on “What We Learned Our First Year of Blogging [We’re Turning One!]”

  1. Absolutely yes to #1! I’ve only been blogging for 2 months and I’m maybe fifty people away from 300 followers, and that’s absolutely how I got all of those followers – by searching out new blogs and commenting and exchanging ideas. Oh, and also being really active on Twitter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some fantastic tips, thank you! I started blogging around the end of July 2017 and still feel as if I am learning something new every day. I worried a bit at the beginning because I have a mixture of books and languages on my blog, but those are two things I feel really strongly about so I’m just going to keep going with them! Your blog is lovely 😀

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  3. Happy blogiversary!
    I’ve been blogging for quite a while, even tho my book blog is only about 6 months. I used to write a personal blog back in the day.
    What is generally true, and not only for bloggers, is that people appreciate others who show interest in what they like, what they write/talk about. Commenting is a good way to get to know others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats – I’ve been watching and marveling at your evolution, growth, and constant development. Flexibility and finding your joy are beautiful things.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m new to this blogging thing so I love all the fantastic advice you have given here. I will be taking this on board and also interested to see what further advice I can read from your followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve done it a couple times with previous blogs, and almost got in over my head in the beginning with this blog. It really does take the fun out of it. But it’s also extremely difficult to resist LOL.

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  6. Congrats on your anniversary and some very good advice. I love the comments on owing your own voice and also being present in the community. It’s one of the reason I love doing the blogging comment challenge each summer – making new blogger friends I might have not met otherwise!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on turning one!

    I am fairly new and just stepping into the community aspect. I did have a lifestyle blog a LONG time ago, but book blogging is totally different! I am still finding my voice, but at the moment I try reading my posts out loud to see if they feel natural.

    Proofreading. Ahh! I swear I check my post about 5 times but still manage to find typo’s later!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love these Megan! Such great advice! I love your point about owning your voice and allowing it to show in your Design! Obviously I love color too, lol. And it shows! It also means I have so many varied interests that you certainly won’t get bored with what I post. Also it’s great advice to reach out to newbloggers. I made a goal to do that more and I still haven’t yet. I’m still trying to keep up with the lovely people who visit me but hopefully I can get to that in the latter half of the year! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely love this post! I’m fairly new to blogging as well, and it’s super helpful! Especially #2, because I’m still somewhat struggling with finding my blogging voice at times, and it’s good to be reminded of this.

    Happy blogiversary! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Blogiversary! 🙂 Your pieces of advice are all spot on! I think that the best part of blogging is the community. Taking part in weekly memes and tags is a great way to connect with fellow bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

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