Bookish Discussion

Blogging: Things I Love and Things I Hate

Hello, friends! You didn’t realize this, because I always have a couple of posts scheduled, but I’ve been in a terrible blogging slump recently. No motivation, no ideas, no patience to sit down and write something. When I did sit down in front of WP, for example for our monthly wrap up, it took me three times as long to write something than usual.

Good news is, my slump seems to have officially ended, which makes me so happy and I wanted to share this bit of good news with you all. Especially because me conquering my blogging slump while writing a post about blogging is kind of fitting? I like that.

From this bit of rambling at the beginning (and the title), you have surely figured out that today’s post focuses on blogging, in particular, on the things I love and hate about blogging. I originally intended this to be a list, but it turned into a discussion with only a few main points, so uh, I hope you’ll still enjoy it?


What Makes Blogging Great

blog hopping

I love interacting with our readers on our site, but visiting others’ blogs, reading their content, and leaving meaningful comments is half the fun of blogging for me. I know there are bloggers who dislike blog-hopping, which is fair, but I don’t think I’d like to be a part of this community if I couldn’t interact with my favorite bloggers on their blog or on W&W. Not only do I love the posts my favorite bloggers come up with, but I also find them incredibly useful, as most of my to-read list is made up of books I discovered through book blogs.

I won’t lie, though, blog-hopping is time consuming and can take a lot out of me. This is especially true when I don’t feel up to blog-hopping for a while and I end up with hundreds of posts piled up that I need to check out. The bigger the pile gets, the more stressed I get, and the harder it becomes to actually start going through this pile. Even so, blog hopping is absolutely worth it, in my opinion.

creating images and styling posts

Okay, so that sounds way more professional than I am, but we’ll roll with it. I love creating header images for my posts on canva, and I’m surprisingly proud of most of the header images I’ve created. After I’m done with the header, I can start working on the formatting of the post, which is another thing I enjoy. I like to play around with the colors of the text, and enhance the post by adding pictures, quotes or gifs to it.

That said, this process isn’t without problems! Sometimes, nothing seems to be working, and I have to redo the post’s formatting over and over again until it starts to resemble something I could be happy with. At other times, an image I’d originally thought looked good turns out to look massively underwhelming after I place it at the top of a post, so I end up redesigning it. Even so, the satisfaction of having a post that looks good is well worth all the trouble.

What Makes Blogging A Struggle

writing introduction to posts

Look, I love writing posts, I do, but introductions to posts are a nightmare to craft! I’m at a point where the introductions I write always sound the same; they feel boring and bland, and it makes me wonder how you people get through them and get to the rest of the post. πŸ™ˆ Do you have any tips on how to write better introductions?? I’d love to hear them.

social media

I’m not good with social media, at all. I strongly dislike instagram, to the extent where our account is currently inactive on there, and I’m terribly intimidated by twitter. Instagram, I have a massive list of problems with which we don’t have time to discuss, twitter, though, is a bit simpler. I love browsing through twitter, quietly liking and retweeting stuff, but I’m intimidated by how fast paced the site is, and I always feel awkward when I reply to a person’s tweet, even if we’re mutuals. (Replying to someone’s tweet who isn’t a mutual? Unthinkable.)

I also struggle with “promoting” our posts on twitter. I want to word my tweets in a way that doesn’t feel too repetitive, but I always feel like I’ve failed on that front. On top of that, I never know when it’s okay to tag authors and when it isn’t. Typically, I don’t tag them in reviews because I’ve seen some authors say that they dislike to be tagged, even if it’s a 1000% positive review. Part of me thinks that’s completely fair – and it is – but another part of me feels like this puts added pressure on bloggers, as we try to figure out who likes to be tagged and who doesn’t.

Earlier this year, I’ve written mini reviews for two contemporary novels that became my all time favorites. Because these were mini reviews describing why these books became favorites and because I was proud of how the post turned out, I ended up tagging the authors. Both of them were so kind and liked/shared/replied to my tweet; it seemed like they were genuinely happy to be tagged. Even so, I won’t make this a habit, because (1) don’t want to make authors feel bad in case they hate being tagged, (2) don’t want to make myself feel bad because I worry over what they think.

On a similar note, I used to tag authors in recommendation posts, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and nice interactions from that. But now I rarely do this, because what if they hate it? What if I seem greedy for likes/retweets? I know for a fact that many authors love to be tagged – I’ve seen them mention it and some of the authors I follow always like, retweet, or reply to any tweets they were tagged in. So my point is – social media is a big can of worms that makes me nervous as hell.

Let’s chat!

Do you tag authors in your tweets promoting your posts? Do you think it’s fair to expect bloggers to *know* what each author prefers? What do you like/dislike about blogging?

61 thoughts on “Blogging: Things I Love and Things I Hate

  1. I relate so much to this post. I recently started focusing on Pinterest and spent a whole day starting and restarting my pin templates πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

    I’m also changing up I blog hop and use it as a way to “procrastinate”, jumping on when I would normally be on Twitter or YouTube. It’s made a huge difference!

    Glad you’re feeling better on the slump front!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Has Pinterest been useful for you so far? I’d love to use it if it’s at all useful for blogging, but I always give up after pinning like, two posts. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

      Haha, that sounds like a really good way to get some more blog hopping done! I should try it.

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Ughhh writing introduction is honestly one of my least favorite things about blogging too. Reviews seems easier since we can just get to the point, but for posts like wrap-up, it can feel very repetitive and boring real quick, especially since everyone is saying “I can believe how fast time flies” or something along that line πŸ˜… It’s really hard!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m in a huge blog slump as well. I might be able to get some reviews out soon but more creative posts or posts that require more work have been very hard for me right now.

    I just recently joined twitter and I never tag authors (but maybe I could? I just honestly never thought about it) but it’s been a great place to find new blogs to follow and to have a closer relationship with people I was already following. My problem with it is more that it feels very agressive, and yes the the fast pace is overhelming. Sometimes I want to reply to a tweet and I have to check the other replies first so I don’t say anything that will get people to attack me….. so I def need to unfollow some people πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “This is especially true when I don’t feel up to blog-hopping for a while and I end up with hundreds of posts piled up that I need to check out. The bigger the pile gets, the more stressed I get, and the harder it becomes to actually start going through this pile.”
    I tend to save the posts I want to comment on for later, too. And even if I don’t have hundreds of them piled up, my stress begin to kick in once I near ten πŸ˜‚. I mostly end up blog-hopping during the WE, unless it’s a post I can write a short comment for – but that rarely happens LOL.

    I’m remarkably laid back about Twitter. I try to stick to my people and not to get into discussions with strangers, but if I see a tweet from someone I’m not mutuals with that I like, I’m not afraid to comment. As for authors, you might remember a TMST post where I stated how I feel about that…I used to tag every author whose novels I gave 4/5 stars to. Then I realised (thanks to a post by Sam @ We Live and Breath Books) that sometimes my reviews contained a pinch of criticism that could hurt them nevertheless (and I’m not talking about the “Cons” section of my reviews, because when I truly love a book, I only use it to warn people whose tastes are different from mine that they could have issues with things that didn’t bother me, so I think I’m doing a public service both to those readers and the author, steering the wrong kind or readers away from their books). So now I only tag authors whose books I both loved AND didn’t have specific qualms about. That includes 4-star reviews as well, if I don’t have particular issues with them and only didn’t rate them higher because I have other books I loved more. I don’t think authors get to policy what we should or shouldn’t do, unless we’re actively hurting/attacking them. They can still opt out of reading reviews…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, same about the length of comments. πŸ˜‚ I know many people appreciate long comments – and I love writing them – but, boy, do they take time. πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, I remember your post on this question. I agree with you, I feel like it shouldn’t be our job to try to keep track of who likes/dislikes being tagged in positive reviews and posts. They can always just ignore the tweet if they want to. Still, this does make me feel anxious so I haven’t been tagging anyone in the past few weeks. We’ll see if that changes, but right now the anxiety of not knowing is just not worth it for me for a reply, like, or retweet. *shrugs*

      Like

  5. Veronika, I relate to this post so much! Especially your comments about social media. I have only just started posting my blog posts on Twitter, but even then I don’t post all of them because I’m not even sure what to write in the tweet!

    I also agree that interacting with authors is very stressful. I think the problem is that we are overthinkers, and so if we tag an author we might overthink it until we’re stressed about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I post about all my posts but I’m so unsure how to word my tweets, you’re definitely not alone in that.

      Yeah, I agree. In the past few weeks I haven’t been tagging anyone, because the anxiety is just not worth getting that reply, like, or retweet from authors. We’ll see if that changes one day. :/

      Like

  6. I tag authors if I am friends with them and/or I loved the book. I love Twitter and actually found this post because Offbeat YA retweeted it. I figure it’s ok to make a comment on other people’s tweets even if I don’t know them. Sometimes I find a new friend doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My social media game is terrible. I used to promote all my posts, but now I just do my book reviews. I include a good passage/sentence from the review and put a link. I only post positive reviews on my blog (I required 4 stars and up for the blog), so I am ok tagging authors. Some love it, some don’t respond, but either way, I got it out there, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think Twitter can be an intimidating space both because everything moves so quickly and because it so often seems negative. I think it’s okay to tag authors in positive reviews/recommendations, though, because I don’t see the tag necessarily as you saying anything to the author. It’s more like you’re recommending their book to other people plus doing the author the marketing service of directing a potential new fan to their feed. I know some authors have said the tagging stresses them out and they don’t like it, but I think the reality of Twitter is that it’s a site designed for socializing, so if you’re on there, you’re going to have people interacting with you, especially if you’re sort of a public figure. They have the option not to respond to any tags. I think that’s a perfectly valid response. Especially if they’re a bestselling author and the tagging is just overwhelming. I suspect midlist authors appreciate the promotional value of tagging more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about twitter. And yeah, I *think* it’s okay to tag authors too – and I know that many of them appreciate it so much which is always nice. It makes me happy when they seem happy by being called a favorite, or being recommended/reviewed positively. At the same time, I do worry a lot because of authors who hate being tagged. That’s a valid reaction – as is not replying to mentions – but I don’t think bloggers (who work for free 99% of the cases!) should be made to feel like it’s our job to look into who likes to be tagged and who doesn’t. It’s not like they have to interact with us if we tag them… Still, I have now stopped tagging authors, but I’ll see if that changes later on – it’s just not worth the stress/anxiety that comes with it for me right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Blogging definitely has a lot of pros and cons and it’s a constant struggle to not burn myself out.
    I think blog hopping is a huge part of this. I remember when I just started my blog, I had no idea how many people out there liked the same things as I do, and I think I only started figuring out how to interact with others well over a year into blogging πŸ˜€ I’m very glad I did though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I feel like it’s easy to burn yourself out because it always feels like you could do more – be more active on social media, follow more blogs, write more posts etc. Even when I have posts scheduled months ahead, I feel like I *need to* do more. It’s something that’s hard to control for me. :/

      Like

  10. Happy to hear that you conquered your blogging slump, that’s amazing! I loved reading your blogging discussion, as I could relate to so many things πŸ₯°

    I also enjoy blog hopping, especially when I see so many great and interesting posts in my feed. I do get stressed out a bit if there are too many posts I want to read, but reading them also inspires me – so it’s a bit of a paradox πŸ˜„ Ohhh I also love formatting blog posts and making them look nice, it can be so relaxing (except for when things aren’t working). I also love your headers as every one of them is unique πŸ’— Even though I’m intrigued by Instagram, I don’t really feel like it’s for me. Most importantly I hate that it’s not chronological, as someone who likes checking out all new content this would probably infuriate me πŸ˜… I’m more active on Twitter as well but it can sometimes be a bit too hectic for me. I don’t really tag authors anymore, as I’ve heard some don’t like to be tagged at all (even in positive reviews), so I’m cautious about who I tag 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caro! πŸ₯° Same! I definitely get inspired by all the wonderful bloggers I follow… but keeping up with all of your content can be so hard sometimes. πŸ˜… Thank you, I’m so glad you like my/our headers. πŸ˜€ Ugh, I agree about instagram – it’s very frustrating that it’s not chronological. It would give me posts from the big accounts I followed that (1) were multiple days old, (2) were already seen by me, meanwhile it would ignore the smaller accounts… Yeah, same. I’ve stopped tagging altogether recently. We’ll see if I ever get back to it, because I know many appreciate it, but the anxiety of not knowing for sure is not worth it for me right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Totally hear you about tagging authors! I only ever tag authors in tweets now when I’m specifically recommending a favorite book or mine or sharing what I’m currently reading: in both cases, the content is positive/promotional, so I feel like that’s okay and they’d want to see it. Otherwise, I don’t do it. But it’s so hard to figure out when it is and isn’t appropriate! I try to do what I think is right based on what I’d want to see if I were an author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s a good policy – and, like you said, it’s promotion so they should not be offended by that, right? While I think authors not wanting to be tagged is valid, I’m also mad this puts extra pressure on bloggers to try to figure out who wants/doesn’t want to be tagged. Recently, I decided to not tag anyone, but maybe I’ll change that.

      Like

  12. This a such a brilliant post. I love blog hopping, it has helped me make friends with so many other incredible book bloggers and it’s the reason why blogging can be so rewarding. Also I completely relate to not being able to think of new introductions to my posts – it’s so difficult! I’m glad your slump is over 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ Same – I met so many bloggers through blog hopping and I agree, the community and the discussions I’ve had with bloggers are what make blogging rewarding. Introductions are horrible, I don’t think I’ve ever written an intro that didn’t feel forced or boring. πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I relate so much to this post! I always struggle with writing post introductions too. It can be so hard knowing how to start off, so I can sit there for ages just trying to figure out my first sentence!
    And I’m terrible with social media too. I browse Twitter a lot, but I can never actually think of anything clever or interesting to say, so I hardly ever post anything, just the odd link to a new blog post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same – I sometimes just leave the intro part blank and go for writing the actual post in the hopes of getting some inspiration by the time I go back to write the intro. πŸ˜…
      Same! And some of real life friends have found and followed me, so it’s even more awkward to tweet stuff. πŸ˜…

      Like

  14. Congrats on conquering the blogging slump! I think I might be slumping a little at the moment, I’m just really struggling to find ideas I actually want to write about. I think I’ve got enough planned to get me through it, though.

    Honestly I’ve never thought that much about my introductions, I think I just say hello, throw in a personal snippet, then sum up what the post is about. And, of course, stick in a dog photo.

    I’m totally with you on social media though, I hate it. I tried using Twitter for about two weeks, then quietly withdrew and left it well alone πŸ˜… I used to use Instagram for my art but when I stopped drawing as much the account just sort of died, and honestly I was happy to let it. I enjoy looking through bookstagram occasionally but I don’t think I would ever actively participate. I can’t deal with all the algorithm struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – I hope your slump will improve! πŸ™‚

      Ah, I want your mindset – and a dog, because dog photos would surely make my introductions better. πŸ˜…

      Twitter is the devil, istg. It’s so awkward to tweet stuff – not to mention that a lot of the time I have nothing clever to say – especially since some of my irl friends found and followed me. I feel like there’s such a pressure to tweet something people will like – I’m not talking about many people, a few likes is enough lol – that I end up tweeting absolutely nothing in the end. πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great points! Interacting with other book bloggers is definitely a highlight of blogging! And I also really like formatting and creating headers for posts!
    I agree with the drawbacks too, I’m quite new to blogging in English, so I have no clue what to write on Twitter which sounds interesting for other people to click on the link. πŸ˜€
    I love Instagram though, well to be exact, I love the people I met there, not the site, because it’s getting worse and worse tbh. The algorithm sucks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Glad we like/dislike the same stuff. Ugh, coming up with clever/interesting texts to tweet about my posts with is near impossible, I hate doing it so much and I’m terrible at it. πŸ˜… I heard about the insta algorithm getting worse which is infuriating… it was already BAD when I left bookstagram, so for it to get even worse… :/

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m glad you’re getting out of your slump! Blog hopping is my favorite part of blogging. I try to do it every day. I’ve β€œmet” a ton of interesting people because of it. I have never tagged an author in any social media post. I’m too worried they’ll hate it, even if it’s positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! πŸ™‚ I agree with you – it’s through blogs that I’ve met with so many great bloggers, while I’m kind of bad at social media interactions. I’ve now stopped tagging authors completely. :/ I might get back to it one day, but right now it’s just not worth the added anxiety of “what if they get mad!?” for me..

      Like

  17. I’m the total opposite! On the other hand I’ve had to take a step back from twitter, and precisely because of what you mentioned. It became so fast paced for me. I used to be there all the time, updating, updating the timeline and trying to keep up with every conversation going on. Maybe I could handle this during college, but at some point I just slowly disconnected from that and switched my energy to Instagram πŸ™‚

    As for what I love/hate about blogging. There are so many things to like: the community, the more leisurely pace it has, the more lenghty discussions… One of the things I appreciate the most is that we own these spaces. In social media we’re all in the same place, and try to set the boundaries and rules, but our blogs are our homes.

    But, I hate that sometimes it feels harder to connect with others. With social media it’s like we’re all at a party, and we can talk and everything. And with the blogs, it’s like to interact we have to go visit each person’s house, hopping from one to the other. It works, but it isn’t as organic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s important to find what we have the time/energy for – I’m glad your decision to switch your energy to instagram worked for you. πŸ™‚

      Ooh, that’s a wonderful way to put it. We’re opposites, though, I actually prefer blogs for that very reason. πŸ˜… Maybe it’s because I’m introverted and I dislike parties and big groups in real life too; I’d always rather talk to less people or one-on-one which is impossible on social media but that’s how blogs work.

      Like

      1. I love that. It’s weird because I’m an introvert as well, but you know how tastes evolve and change. For example, Tik Tok feels like TOO MUCH of a party to me hahahah Maybe one day I’ll actually get into it and forget all about IG. The world of social media is fickle, but blogging is constant, and I like that too.

        In general more and more people seem to be having that switch, of realizing we need to prioritize our energy, and I’m so here for that. It makes our communities even better because we know we’re only going to be participating if we’re actually enjoying it.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. lol YES to introductions. Mine are all the same too >.< You can only say "hey here's what I'm about to talk about" in so many ways lol. Also, I'm with you on social media & twitter. I fail, idk how to do it πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love this post so, so much, it’s so relatable, too. Blog hopping might be old school, but it’s my favorite part of blogging, too. I love reading other bloggers’ posts and leave comments and chat with them that way, too, it’s just so great. I find that it’s such a little… extra thing, for me, too, when people take the time to read and comment on a blog post.
    I struggle more and more with social media, as well. I feel like it’s so necessary to be on social media as a blogger and content creator, now, but I spend so much time on social media every day for my job, I’m tired of it sometimes and… I don’t know ahah, I have conflicting feelings about it all.
    Loved this post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! πŸ™‚ I love blog hopping, and I’m glad that so many bloggers agree with that and still do it. It’s so nice to get meaningful comments and replies. πŸ™‚ I’m not a fan of social media to begin with, but I can see how having to do use it so much for your job would suck all the fun out of it. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I really enjoyed this post! I can definitely relate to how difficult it is to figure out social media; I never really understand it, personally, because there are so many nuances and differing opinions on everything. I also struggle with the introductions on posts. Half the time, I just want to be like, “Hey, I’m writing a new post, here it is,” and then just move on. πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I am with you on so many levels! Introductions are the WORST and promoting post is such a pain! I love Instagram and Twitter, but have no idea how to use it for growth – I use them purely for my own entertainment!
    Gemma | thatbookishgem.com

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I cannot properly express how deeply I connected to this post on an emotional level. Maybe it’s because I’m been feeling some burn out in some areas of blogging recently, or maybe it’s because you phrased everything more eloquently than I ever could, but I think this post is absolutely fantastic!

    For me, the biggest parts that bring me joy about blogging are writing posts, especially when it’s a joint post with Chana, editing posts, and getting and responding to comments.

    When it comes to writing posts, yes, I need to be in a particular mood to write in the first place, but once I’m in the mood I tend to have so much to say that it feels amazing to put down my thoughts into words. Writing posts with Chana is extra fun because we usually joke around half the time, and I tend to love what we end up with.

    As for editing posts, there’s something so satisfying about adding gifs and dividers, adding and linking book covers, and just generally formatting the posts. I find it so soothing to turn a mess of words and thoughts and turn it into something readable and focused with a bit of time spent editing.

    As for comments, I absolutely love receiving them, especially on discussion posts. Hearing what people thought and whether they share my opinions or not is always fascinating to me. The only downside to comments is that I put a lot of thought into my comments, which takes a lot of time, leaving me stressed when comments go unanswered for a while.

    I’d say blog hopping is in the middle for me. I enjoy reading and commenting so much (as you can see by my essay of a comment) but it can easily get to be too much. In cases like we had recently, when we basically didn’t blog hop for 2 months because of school, Chana and I usually sift through older posts and only respond to some, while the rest get unread. We do this that way we have a manageable amount of older posts to go through, so that we can start getting up to date with more recent posts as they’re published. Otherwise it’s way too overwhelming!

    And I find it so interesting that you dislike Instgram, and prefer Twitter. I refuse to get a Twitter account because of all the drama on there. I feel like it would negatively affect my mental health. But looking at pretty pictures of books on Instagram isn’t quite as troubling to me. Not that I really post on Instagram anymore, but I do use it to DM bloggers and such, so it’s still my platform of choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Malka. πŸ₯Ί I feel you on the burn out – uni takes out so much of me, and the fact that I’m sitting in front of my laptop for hours most days for online classes means that I don’t really want to sit there and write posts. :/ This is also why I’m super-behind on blog-hopping.

      I’m glad you brought up writing posts with Chana – I love working with Sabrina on posts together, those are always so fun. πŸ™‚ Also, love the way you phrased editing and formatting posts – it’s so comforting and nice to see the post starting to take shape and be more readable.

      I agree with you about comments – I too like to put effort into my replies and comments, which takes a long time. And I’ve been really slow with replying to comments, which is stressing me out quite a lot. 😦 Also, I’m the same way – I tend to get stricter over what I read and what I comment on when I have a lot of posts I should get to. I’ll still comment on the same blogs, but likely will only have the chance to comment on a few posts, as opposed to all or most of what I missed.

      I use twitter to dm bloggers, I actually don’t think I talked to anyone on instagram ever, haha. It’s just not a platform I like. I do understand what you mean about drama – and what bothers me is that it is constantly recycled, the same stuff (e.g. bloggers being paid) comes back every few months. At this point I tend to just stay way out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

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