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2013 Rewind - The Blogging side

By 10:48 pm

WARNING: This'll be a REALLY long post so I'll put key points. A lot of discussion mushed into one...

The Blogging Side of this year
Intro -

I'd be lying if I said this year was uneventful! So many things happened including the start of my blog (May 10th). Sunny has been trying to get me to blog for ages but I always turned her down because I thought it was a waste of time. How sorry I am for even thinking that and I definitely learnt my lesson of keeping my mouth shut until I try it. I wouldn't have been able to get to this spot without her or the Goodreads group Teen Bloggers. Whenever I had troubles with my blog or as far as to choosing my next book, Teen Bloggers was always there to fall back on for support an help.

One thing I like about the whole blogging community is seeing other peoples blogs improve whether it were the designs or just the content, it definitely grew throughout the year. In saying that I would probably have to say the same thing about me. My first review I had no idea what to say and it was the shortest review I had seen in my life. But now my writing has improved and I find it a lot easier to put my thoughts into words. (Even if it's still a little choppy here and there)

Benefits - 

As much as I saw blogging as a fun hobby I can't say that my intentions were all that pure. The idea of getting free books was definitely alluring. This is the awesome rewards of being a blogger. As in one of my discussion post - How Has Blogging Changed Me? - I stated that when you blog you are always up to date in the new releases and popular books. It made it a lot easier for me to know what I wanted to read next as when I was just  a reader, I just walked into the library and just chose whatever book had a nice cover. This saved me from a lot of reading slumps but put me in many. 

Challenges -
- Publicising 

My biggest challenge was and still is publicising my blog. I am very happy with the amount of followers I got and the feedback has been great but I still want to widen the amount. Sometimes it's hard being a blogger and you get so excited to see some comments and you open your email and there are 0 comments...

Some days you get heaps and then the others you get like none. It's a sometimes thing unfortunately. 

- Reviews

Reviews were also hard to get into but that just improved over time. There is no set rule for writing reviews, it's really up to you. Each blogger has different styles which sets yours apart from everyone else. As a tip I would just say keep changing it up to keep it interesting. Add pictures or a gif every once in a while. 

- Design 

Design was also really hard for me. It's funny looking back at my old designs and comparing it to now. Thank god Sunny recommended me (which I recommend to you) an amazing graphic designer, Emma,  who owns the blog The Graphicness. If you're in need of a new design (header, background, button, banner etc) she is definitely the best person to go to. It's free (at the moment) and she does exactly what you want. 

If you guys have been following me since the beginning, you'll know that my previous header was horrible. But Emma was able to incorporate the original header into this new one and it just looks so much better!

My original header

- Fonts

I don't know whether I'm alone in this but fonts always challenged me! Nothing ever looks perfect to me on my blog. I remember I used to drive myself crazy just constantly checking on it when I first got it. Now I tend to avoid looking at it otherwise it just makes me upset or fills me with rage.

- Blogger in General 

Now this doesn't mean I'm changing to word press or anything but Blogger just annoys me. Sometimes I think it does it to annoy me. I am having this issue where I can't get the preview when I'm fixing the design and it says it's a temporary problem but I dunno...a couple months doesn't sound temporary to me. 

- Motivation 

I think every blogger can relate to me when I say motivation. Sometimes I think I suffer from blogging slumps (it's a real thing) It's the same with reading but you just lack the motivation to do anything involving a blog.

Book Slumps -
I know I'm not alone when I say I suffered from this more than once this year. There is no winning when it comes to this. I usually fall into these when there are no new books at the library or book store and I just have nothing to read but I can also fall into one having too much to read! I can't win! Next year I aim to try and keep myself occupied and not fall into as many. I also want to write a post next year on how to avoid them and get yourself out of one but first I have to figure out the solution my self.

Twitter -
I'm not a big fan of all these new social media sites and I don't usually take part in them, but somehow Sunny managed to convince me to get it. This has actually been really helpful because it helped publicise my blog and keep up with everyone elses posts. It also helped finding out about the latest giveaways and just general bookish news. It also meant I could find out about book events near me that I was able to attend this year. If you don't have it I highly recommend you get it. It's not a waste of time and even if you don't own a blog it just helps you to keep up with all your favourite blogs. 

So this post turned out to be too long and I have much more to say so I'm splitting it into two parts. The blogging side of this year and The bookish side. This'll make it easier for you guys and I don't want to just pile it on you. Feedback will be much appreciated!

Thank you
- Francoise


  1. Hi, I love your blog. Really creative! Could you check out my blog tell me what you think and, uh, um, write a review to it? I'd really appreciate it and I'll return the favor, and tell all my other blogging friends. Thanks
    From your friend( add me ) on goodreads

  2. Such a lovely blog you have here, and you are totally right when you say 2013 is eventful, for most bloggers, it seems! =)

    I'm surprised you've only been blogging for less than a year- because your blog looks AWESOME right now, as do your reviews. When I first started reviewing, I was surprised by how little I wrote, because I'd been reading some reviews that just went on and on. I was told that with practice, they would get longer, and now, I find that I have to restrict myself!

    I hate when you write an awesome post, yet there are 0 comments. It can be SO frustrating, especially with discussion posts that you work so hard on. But then there are days when I'm exhausted, come online just to see if I have 1 or 2 comments, and I have nearly 10, even without doing my commenting for the day. Those days more than make up for the slower days. =)

    It seems like my book slumps are different from others- I normally just lose the motivation to read sometimes, and that can be easily fixed. Most of the time, I don't have the time to read, so whenever I do read, I always treasure the time. This prevents me alot of the time from falling into book slumps, simply because I don't have the time for those. ;) Treating reading like an escape rather than something you have to do is a great solution, at least for me.

    I was really hesitant to jump on the Twitter bandwagon as well, but I am SO glad that I did!! Twitter is really what allows me to make bookish friends, because writing out random Tweets is easier than trying to start a conversation via comments or even email. It's just easier to communicate (and of course, fangirl) on there, so I've made some of my bestest blogging buddies through Twitter. I also agree that it allows me to find bookish events. I'm fortunate to live in Texas, so alot of Texas bloggers are always tweeting about events that I would have missed, so that allows me to go to them and meet some of my favorite bloggers. :D

    This was a lovely post, Francoise, and I can't wait to see the bookish side of this post! <3

  3. Great Post Francoise! I really enjoyed reading this cos it's been really cool seeing your blog change. It's been so good to have a friend to share it with. I think that this post would also be really helpful to new bloggers out there. I definitely think one of our New Years resolution should be to post more of our discussions. It's so depressing getting in a slump and also writing posts that receive very little comments. The Teen Bloggers group was a amazing help.

  4. Fab post! I really enjoyed reading about your blogging-experience within your first year; and agree that it can be disheartening when you log onto your email and find no comments waiting for you - especially after all the hard work that goes into a post! Social Media, just like Teen Bloggers for you, is where I find all the help I need! I also love the community - book bloggers and the best! I'm glad Sunny finally talked you into joining our crazy-world.

    By the way, you have a new follower; I have no idea on why I wasn't following you before!


  5. I totally know what you mean about falling into book slumps even when you have piles of books to get through! That's usually how I end up getting them - because I am just so overwhelmed by the amount of books I need to read and review... Or I'll feel like I need to prioritise review books when I really want to read a book that ISN'T a review book... Sometimes, as a book blogger, you can never win! *sighs in exasperation* I'm not so proud of my first reviews either *headdesks in shame*, and when you put in so much effort in a post to find out there's no comments, yeah, that's disheartening. >.>