Jan 15, 2016

Nearly 2 Years of Blogging Experience

This is Jillian, and ever since 2016 came two weeks ago, one of the things I thought of, blogging-wise, was how two years has almost reached its peak since I first started blogging in 2014. It's pretty hard to accept that fact because sometimes it feels like it hasn't been nearly two years. Sometimes I tell other bloggers, "I just started blogging last year," and then I look what year it is, and I notice that it's been two years.

And, like, HOW?!

Two years. 730 days. Within that time period, I have learned so much about book blogging and the bookish community in general. I also not only learned about things within its literary content, but also things that relate so much to what we see in life today.

Blogging-wise, I learned...

It takes time to grow out your blog.
I've always been fascinated by people who have been blogging for less than a year, and yet they have over 100K pageviews and a huge following. (Again, how?!) But when I started out blogging last April 2014, I had everything down to zero. I had no followers, no comments, no reviews. I frequently visited the huge blogs and compared myself to them, and it only made me really upset because I couldn't have as much people to interact with as them. 

But I learned that patience plays a huge role here because it DOES take time to grow out your blog. It takes effort, commitment, and creativity to get people to like your blog. It might take months to achieve (in my case, it took around 2 or 3 months), but you'll see how much you grow if you can simply wait.

Numbers don't define you.
The number of followers, pageviews, Twitter favorites, or Facebook likes DO NOT define how great you are as a blogger. Yes, I did feel bad at once point because of my small following, but that is just going to let you down if you permit it to. You are more than the number of likes or favorites you get, so don't let those numbers dictate your ability to blog. Those numbers mean nothing, I tell you.

It's all about interaction.
If you're blogging with the sole reason to get ARC's, then you are NOT getting it at all. Blogging isn't about getting free books, ARC's, or free e-galleys. It's about sharing your love for books, interacting with readers, and sharing mutual interests! ARC's are so often associated with greed that it's not right to choose that over the people you get to talk about books with.

Personally, I learned...

We are diverse.
All my life, I've grown up in the Philippines. I have never lived in any other country longer than a month, so this pretty much makes me confined to a culture and lifestyle that I was born in. Reading books changed a lot of that for me. I was able to see how a German child felt in the destruction of WWII. I experienced how living in Prague must have felt like. Furthermore, I was able to witness how Spain's Civil War must've affected people who experience it.

Overall, this world is so different -- far different than the culture I came to know all my life. Through blogging, I learned so much about diverse books that helped me realize how different other cultures could be, and how different other people really are. We are all culturally diverse, and this community and its books taught me that.

Open-mindedness is the key.
Yes, I learned to be more open to different things and to accept them as they are, no matter how different. This community is so different, and I get to meet lots of bloggers from countries I've never been in. I also get to read books that were set in so many different places apart from the US, and it really did help me to be more open-minded in the face of different people, books, and cultures. 

Open-mindedness is always the key. If you're not going to learn to accept different books, people, and cultures, you're never going to learn to appreciate anything. And I like how blogging books helped me learn that, and all those other things I've learned. I had no idea that this hobby could turn into something more than just a hobby.

What are some of the important things you learned through blogging?

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