Someone recently contacted me regarding my blog/my reviews and the exchange felt extremely déjà vu. It reminded of the day I first started my blog. So, I decided to write a mini series on my blog on blogging and designing things by yourself. This post will mainly be the "fundamentals"/101 post. Also, apologies for being gone for a month. I've been in a major book slump and not particularly inspired lately. 

1. Your Blog's Main Focus

I knew right off the bat that I wanted to create a book blog. I knew booktube was a thing but book-blogging was totally new to me and blew my naїve mind. You meet so many people that are just as enthusiastic, if not more, about books. Everyone is super nice and you have a platform to express your opinions. It's amazing interacting with readers and sharing your thoughts.

Find something you love and are passionate about. It's definitely difficult to stay passionate about something, I experience it all the time, and that's totally fine! You don't have to stick with just one thing, dabble in things and see what you like. It's your platform and you curate your content.

2. Come up with a blog title

Coming up with a blog title is one of the hardest things about starting a blog, in my opinion. You want a short, catchy and available name that you won't want to change. A short and catchy name makes social media so much easier and changing your name often will make things confusing for your readers. You don't want to be confused with someone else. Remember: short, catchy and available

3. Picking a blogging platform.

There are tons of hosting sites out there. But, bloggers tend to use Wordpress or Blogger starting out (I use Blogger, if you didn't know, that's why there's 'blogspot' in my domain). If you're deciding between the two of these, I have an old post where I compare the two: WORDPRESS VS. BLOGGER. You DON'T HAVE to use those two! Explore your options and find what works for you. If you don't like having the .wordpress or .blogspot in your name, you can always purchase your domain for x-amount a year. I believe the wordpress prices are cheaper than the blogger ones, don't quote me on that. (I checked my prices and .com would be $12/year for this blog...)
P.S. I just remembered about Tumblr. I don't know much about book-blogging on Tumblr/Tumblr in general, but I think it's a great option. I've seen like 2 book-blogs and I think the layout is so much more appealing and clean. You can make it look really aesthetic and professional on Tumblr.

4. Develop a schedule

I post sporadically. This post is my first and probably last post for this month. I did the whole "scheduled" posting, once every 3 days, and my blog stats weren't as great a when I posted sporadically. You should be consistent with your posting, but you shouldn't overwhelm your followers with a lot of posts. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR STATS! Find a schedule that works with you and try to stick with it. The longer you stick with it, the easier it is for you to adhere to it. Looking at my posts per months, I don't post less than 6 a month (now I do). Sometimes I even have 12 a month. So, try to post 1-3 times a week?

5. Develop a basic format (blog and posts)

Blogger and Wordpress have pre-made templates for you to customize. Start basic and then embellish. Find a layout that works with you, adjust the width of your blog, select fonts for your blog, and develop a color palette. (Mine will always be black & white, with some color). I also have a format for my book reviews-title, author, publisher, publish date, etc. Following a format makes posting a little more organized and uniform. You can focus more on the writing once formatting is out the way. It's also nice to have things look related when you're crazy like me.

6. Develop a style/voice

When I first started blogging, I was bouncing off the walls and doing other cringey things. I was unintelligible, cursing and a little too honest(?). Fortunately, there were people out their that stuck along, thought I was funny and liked my blog. I'm still super honest but I've limited my bluntness, just a tad. There's also more order and my content is more "refined". Develop a writing style that will make you stand out and be consistent with it. Let your personality shine through and let people get to know you. I guess people really liked my animated tone, lol...

There's a lot to do when you start a blog and do not fret if you don't get everything done. Your blog is a work in progress and you'll constantly make changes. It took me almost 2 years to grow as a writer and I'm still unhappy with the way my blog looks. You'll make so many changes throughout your experience. I've had countless formats, too many headers to even count and so many trial & error experiences with coding. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to go at your own pace, do what you want and get to know your platform. Really get to know your website interface and the features it provides. You're constantly learning new things.

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