When I first started this blog, it wasn’t for the ‘likes’. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and my friends and families often come to me for book recommendations.
I decided to start writing and documenting my own book reviews, as I thought other people might also be interested in discovering more books. Somewhat naively, I didn’t think there would be many book bloggers out there.
Obviously, I was wrong. There are a LOT of extremely talented book bloggers, who do it a lot better than me. They read more books, they write more posts, and they know more about the industry than I ever have.
But I didn’t let this deter me. I have a full-time digital marketing job and knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to dedicate enough time on my blog to make it more than just a hobby.
But, as a digital marketer, I know all the tips and tricks; I know how to write, and how to optimise for SEO. I know how to plan and schedule content, and I know what works well on social media. I thought this would help propel my blog to a modest readership level, but this has not been the case.
And that’s because digital marketing is tough. It really is. There’s so many factors and techniques that need to be combined for full effectiveness, and after spending a full day in the office doing it for other people, the last thing I want to do when I come home is do it all over again.
So I do the bare minimum. I read a book, write the review and post it to the blog. I tweet the link, tagging the author and the publisher, and then I cook dinner/do some housework/grab a glass of wine/watch TV with my boyfriend.
That’s not so bad, right?
But a year later, I’ve found myself disappointed. I don’t have a lot of traffic or comments, and when I post a tweet from my account I feel like I am talking to a brick wall for all the response I get.
It’s really disheartening, feeling like no one is interested in what you have to say. You start second-guessing yourself. Maybe I’m boring? Does my writing suck? Am I not funny enough?
The thing is, I know what the problem really is. I’m not marketing myself. I should be putting the same amount of work and effort into my personal blog as I do at my paid job, if I want to see the same sort of growth and engagement.
My point, I think, is that blogging is harder than I expected it to be. And it can suck, especially when you write (what you think is) a pretty decent book review and get no likes or comments.
But I’m not going to give up. I enjoy reading, and I now really enjoy writing my thoughts about it afterwards. It’s like keeping a diary, and it reminds me of all books I’ve read and enjoyed. It shows me more about my own reading habits that I didn’t realise before, like which genres are actually my favourites (I find myself reading more crime thrillers, despite claiming to be a huge Sci-Fi fan).
However, I DO want to be more involved in the book blogging community, and I want to grow my following. so I’ve come up with a plan to help get myself out there:
- Interact with other book bloggers on Twitter
- Comment on other book bloggers posts
- Create more varied content on my blog (instead of just reviews)
- Be more open (like I am now) to show some personality and build more genuine connections with my readers
- Strategise and plan my content/social media activity
- Attend blogger/networking events
- Have FUN and don’t be scared of feedback/criticism
It’s not a full-on digital marketing strategy. But I don’t have the time/budget for that and I want to make sure I do other things instead of sitting in front of a computer screen all day.
But I think this is a good starting place 🙂
What do you think? For anyone reading this, I’d really appreciate any tips/advice that you might have – and any confirmation that I’m not the only one who feels this way!