Making The Switch - Not Such a Newbie Blogger
I began my blogging journey back in 2012.
My children were both at school all day and I found myself reading a lot in my spare time. Whenever I got to the end of a book I really enjoyed I wanted to talk to someone about it and seeing as no one in my family were readers I decided to start a book blog to record my thoughts. I had no clue about blogging apart from the other book blogs I had read so I was a complete beginner.
I started off slowly and gradually found my feet, adjusting the look of my blog and style of my writing. Twitter was a big help because I found other like-minded book bloggers who happily gave advice, encouragement and helped me find even more great books to read. I also discovered lots of authors online, some who went on to become my friends and this was when my blog (Me, My Books and I) really began to take shape. My confidence grew, particularly as my social media followers increased and I started receiving review requests - I just couldn't believe that strangers were actually interested in my opinion! Watching my blog grow and evolve into something I felt immensely proud of, gave me the biggest buzz and encouraged me to put everything into it.
When I had E, it had a serious effect on my ability to read and therefore blog. Before, I had been able to read a book in just one day and all of a sudden I was struggling to stay awake long enough to read a few lines! I felt like I was letting my blog readers down and I sorely missed blogging (and the blogging community) but I simply couldn't write a book review until I'd read the book. So when E was about 9 months old I found myself reading a mummy blog and the light bulb above my head lit up - it was the answer to everything, I could blog without having to read a whole book first, what a revelation!
I contemplated changing Me, My Books and I so that it would be both a book blog and a family blog but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So I decided to start with a fresh new blog, to become a newbie blogger once again. I bravely deleted my book blog Twitter account (and its 3,000+ followers) so that I could tweet from one account to make my life simpler. Then I nervously dipped my toe in the family blogging pool.
I quickly noticed that there were some differences between book blogging and family blogging (apart from the obvious)...
- As a book blogger it was always kind of frowned upon to make money from it but in this new blogging world it is perfectly acceptable, people are even making a career out of it - professional bloggers no less! It's rather inspiring.
- A book blog could be as colourful and fancy as you like but with family/parenting blogs apparently less is more, plain backgrounds and a clean professional look is the way to go. I must admit that I prefer this look, it's much smarter.
- There are only so many ways you can take a photo of a book and image size on my book blog was never a big issue. But after reading many, many blogging advice posts in my new blog world it is very clear that photos are expected to be as big as possible for maximum effect.
- I took the decision not to show any full/recognisable photos of my children on my blog so all photos have to be carefully edited, I didn't have to do that with my books.
- Book blogging was just for me but this blog is about my whole family and they love being involved (just not shown).
Making the switch has been a big learning curve for me and I've loved every minute of the challenge. Once again I'm enjoying watching my blog grow and finding my own style whilst trying to make my blog aesthetically pleasing for others too (I want my readers to enjoy being here as much as I do).
Keeping my book blog going was really important for me, obviously I can only post reviews when I manage to read a book so it won't be updated as often as my family blog but it was a big part of my life for a long time and I can't just abandon it.
I've written this post, hopefully, to encourage others who are thinking of making the switch to just go for it, you will probably have to get used to a different way of blogging and go back to being a newbie again but it's so worth it once you find your feet!
Did you switch your blog style? I'd love to hear about your experience?