Let’s Discuss – I Wasn’t Stressed About Blogging Until I Found Out I Was Doing it Wrong

January 29, 2015 Let's Discuss 81

Okay, I have to start off by saying that I don’t really think I’m blogging wrong (but that got your attention, right?).  But I was inspired to write this post because I do sometimes feel under pressure to blog a certain way (or to avoid blogging a certain way) and I start to stress out when I feel like I’m not making everyone happy. And here’s the thing – THAT’S ALL ON ME. Because the reality is, you can’t please everyone. And, honestly, you shouldn’t even want to. What kind of person would that make me if my main focus was on making everyone else happy?

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of talk about the problems with the book blogging community. Now, I have to confess that I’m a somewhat insecure person sometimes, so when I read posts or messages from other bloggers that I admire and trust about things that are going “wrong” I tend to internalize that. I immediately start to wonder if I’ve been part of the problem. I read a post complaining about bloggers who only blog for the ARCs or for publisher contacts, and I think, Wait, like ARCs, and I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I’d love to have more contacts with publishers. Am I a greedy ARC blogger?  Then I read another post that talks about how they don’t like blogs that use giveaways to gain followers, and I think, I have giveaways. And I make following my blog an entry option (sometimes in multiple ways). Oh no! Some people hate that! I read a post about how someone hates spoilers, even if the blogger just mentions something basic like the fact that there is a twist in a book (not hinting at what the twist is). Sure enough, I think, I mention it when a book has a big twist that I loved (or hated). Oh no, I’ve been posting spoilers!!

I start to second-guess myself. I start to worry that maybe I’m doing it wrong

Insecurity

I have to confess that I really have to fight that instinct – that desire to please all the people. Awhile back, I put up a post about getting followers and following back. After I posted it, I noticed my Bloglovin’ number go down for the first time ever. Can I just tell you that I was devastated. So, the number went down by like four people, big deal, right? But this was tangible evidence that people didn’t like what I had to say in that post – they didn’t like it enough that they actually unfollowed me!! My insecurities went through the roof – I totally said the wrong thing and I made other bloggers not like me! It’s like a people pleaser’s worst nightmare.

(Honestly, I had to force myself to add a link to that post even now because I still have weird fears that people are going to go over and read it and decide I’m the “wrong” kind of blogger. And then I worry that saying I’m a people pleaser and that I want people to like me will make some readers not like me … it’s a sickness. I know.)

YIKES! Insecure much?

But then I started to notice something. Sure, there might be someone who says they hate giveaways, but then I read this other post by someone who says they love them. And maybe somebody can’t stand the least little tiniest hint of a spoiler in a review, but then there’s someone else who actively seeks them out and who is disappointed when a review doesn’t give them any hints about what’s to come. And there’s someone who hates the very idea of ARCs, or blog tours, or challenges, or memes, or commenting back, or GIFs, or follow-backs or … you get the idea. But then there’s other people who LOVE those things.

So, the bottom line is, I can sit here and stress about whether or not I’m doing something wrong, or I can focus on what makes me happy as a blogger. And that will probably grow and change as time goes on, and that’s okay too. I don’t want to over-analyze every move. That’s not the type of person I really am. I also don’t want to let my insecurities start to get the best of me (that one’s harder – you’d think by now I’d have gotten past that completely, but I think it’s a lifelong process, really.) I’m not gonna lie and say that I will no longer care what anyone thinks of me because … well … that would be a lie. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it, that’s for sure!

So, how about you? Have you ever read someone’s blog post about something they hate or they’re frustrated with and suddenly worried that you were doing things “wrong”? Or are you one of those self-assured people that knows what you like and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks? (If so, yay for you!!)

P.S. Ironically, right now, I can almost guarantee that someone is reading this post and thinking, Oh, no! I’ve written a post about how I hate blog tours (or giveaways, or people who want ARCs or …) Sorry if I’ve made you feel like you were doing something “wrong.” The purpose of this post is NOT to say that people shouldn’t have their own opinions or be able to express them however they want – it’s just to say that I shouldn’t stress about other people’s opinions so much! And that, my friends, is a worthy goal.

2015 Discussion Challenge3

81 Responses to “Let’s Discuss – I Wasn’t Stressed About Blogging Until I Found Out I Was Doing it Wrong”

  1. Kim

    I can relate with this so much, although I try to assure myself in my head, because I seriously cannot handle the stress of college and the blog together. I always tell myself that blogging is for fun, and if I let it stress me out, then I better just stop.
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

    • Nicole

      Yes – in general, I try not to let blogging get overwhelming or stressful. I’m actually pretty laid back about it. But then when I started reading posts where people are frustrated about this or that, I started to second-guess myself and get worried. Just remember – your blog is for you!!

  2. kindlemom1

    You make some really good points and I learned long ago that I wasn’t going to be able to please everyone, not with my reviews and now with discussion posts. I don’t want blogging to be work or at least, not feel like work and I certainly don’t want to be comparing myself to others out there. If I do, I will go nuts and this will stop being fun so I try to be as chill about it as I can. Would I love more comments and followers? Of course, who wouldn’t but I also love the ones I have and the friendships I have formed because of them so I can’t complain. 😉

    • Nicole

      Exactly! And, for the most part, this has always been my philosophy too. Lately I just started reading a bunch of things about people who were frustrated with the book blogging community and I started to let it get to my head, though. I figured out that I just needed to let it go.

  3. S. J. Pajonas

    Well, this is what authors go through too. What if I write something people hate? What if they hate cliffhangers and I put one in? What if they hate non-alpha heroes, and I choose something else? Ugh. THE CIRCLE OF DOUBT. It swirls in our brains over and over. The fear of everyone hating something we worked for months or years on. But we have to be the same, focus on what makes us happy as a writers. Hugs. We’re all in the same boat. You keep doing what you’re doing. Your opinion matters just as much as anyone else’s, and your opinion on YOUR blog is worth keeping 🙂

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Book Chat #7
    • Nicole

      Oh, yes – I’ve definitely thought about that for authors. I honestly don’t know how you do it. I only edit other people’s books, and I still get stressed when I read a negative review for one of them – and the fact is that you can’t possibly please everyone. No matter what you write, someone will wish it went another way. Someone will think that one character was annoying or that twist was predictable. You have to have thick skin! SO thankful for you authors who put it all out there and refuse to give up! 🙂

  4. Molly Mortensen

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who worries about these things. I always think I’m doing something wrong. I try really hard not to spoil anything, which makes writing sequel reviews difficult. Good job deciding not to let it bother you. I don’t really think there is a wrong way to blog.

    Molly Mortensen recently posted: Top Ten Books on my Might Read List
    • Nicole

      I had a feeling I wasn’t alone in this, which is why I decided to write this post. I can’t be the only one crazy enough to be insecure about this sort of thing! I just needed to get some perspective on it all, and I’m so glad I did.

  5. Jolien @ The Fictional Reader

    You are definitely not the only one who worries about things like that! I only started blogging last September and so many things make me feel insecure. Like what if I read something different than what I usually do and no one wants to read the review? Or everyone hates that I provide a link to the Bookdepository that is an affiliate link -and of which I have made no money so I don’t get why people hate it so much…

    I feel like this all the time!

    • Nicole

      I remember being blissfully ignorant when I was a new blogger, actually. I just went along and did my own thing and just assumed it was all okay. It wasn’t until later that I realized there were all these expectations! LOL! So now you can feel good knowing that there are plenty of people who don’t mind a bit about your Book Depository links – really, that’s what I’ve learned. Just do what makes you happy!

  6. BRITTANY T

    I liked this post. You absolutely not alone. I hae been wondering about what this drama is lately as well and if I have somehow contributed to “the issues”. I personal,y remeber your last post and LOVED it. I believe I ranted a bit on there as well. I think it’s easy for bloggers who have tons of followers to poo poo on giveaways and whatever else smaller/newer blogger do to get followers. A ton of blogs I followed were for giveaways but now I get thier email and read thier materials. Point in case this exact post. I don’t think there is a wrong way to do anything in the bloggin world. The only thing that might be misconstrued as wrong is the intentions of the blogger (ie is she only in it for the books) but I’m sorry I find it silly to not admit you love arcs. I love the poop out of those suckers. I want my readers to get excited about up and owning books and to do that I need to review the up and coming books. I vary it with older releases but I’m getting off topic. I think is ashamed that there was ever even a stamens made where someone told someone else the “right” way to blog. The best part about all these blogs are they are unique to the person running them filled with thier own unique thoughts and idea. Who the hell would want to read the same shit over and over. NOT I! I thrive on the diversity and it should celebrated not condemned. End rant! Keep up the good work Nicole cuz I for one love your blog and those jerk faces who unfollowed you are simply missing out.
    ❤️Britt @ please feed the bookworm & Winterhaven books

    • Nicole

      Aww … Thanks, Brittany! That’s exactly what I’ve figured out. I could try to please everybody, but is never succeed, so I really just have to please me. And I have plenty of loyal followers who seem to like my blog just the way it is, so why did I even stress about it? I LOVE my blogging community and that’s what’s important!

  7. Kelly Akemann

    I totally had this feeling at the start of this year. Hence my reasons to change the way I am blogging. Which is a true relationship to my insecurities. But I have to say I feel a lot better about it now. I need to write for me and definitely read for me. And if that blog tour sounds fun then I am going for it! Or if that ARC or bestseller, feels right, I am going with that too!

    • Nicole

      Okay, Kelly – I have a really crazy confession to make. I did not know you had a blog!! Is that not the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?! I mean, obviously, I knew that you write reviews on Goodreads (which is where I’ve seen them), but I just thought you were following along with my blog because we knew each other as kids and you love books, you know? For some reason, I’ve never seen you mention a blog and so I never even looked for one (even though all I had to do was click on your name). All this time, you must have been wondering why I never commented on any of your posts!! I’m following you now, I promise! (Hangs head in shame).

      • Kelly Akemann

        You are so funny! I got into reviewing because of goodreads and my cousin who reads and reviews for her blog. And big confession – I created the blog only to qualify for ARC’s. So for the first year (?) I only sent my goodreads reviews there. But I am morphing my blog this year. Awww I am growing! I am no where near as awesome as you are at this, but I am learning for sure. 🙂

  8. Karen Blue

    Oh my! I am so there with you. I almost hate reading discussion posts knowing something will be irritating to something and pertain to me. I don’t have many followers, but at this point I am just so content to do my own thing, I know people will eventually follow. Or they won’t. Because everything I do is “wrong”. I just want to read good books and use my blog to gush about them.

    Karen Blue recently posted: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
    • Nicole

      Yes – I love discussion posts, but I just have to always remember that it’s just someone’s opinion, and I don’t have to stress if someone doesn’t like something on my blog!

  9. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    This is a great discussion. It’s easy to start out blogging saying “I’m just doing it to please myself,” but then when the followers start coming (or not), it’s so hard to not begin obsessing about them and how they are reacting to what you post, and trying to please them, even if only subconsciously. But I think we can’t really go wrong if we are honest, and share real, true experiences and opinions.

    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted: I'm in Shiny New Books!
    • Nicole

      So true! I went from being blissfully unaware of what other people think to being way too critical of myself to this new, happy medium. I hope I can stay here!

  10. Silvara

    I don’t stress so much about what I read on others blogs. Like someone saying they hate such-and-such a thing. It’s more just me stressing that I’m not posting enough, or writing things people are interested in reading.

    I love all my followers, but mostly I started the blog for myself. Because I thought it would be fun, and I’d be able to find other people who were interested in the same stuff. And as long as I’m happy, (and people aren’t avoiding me like the plague, or saying how much they hate my blog), then that’s what ultimately matters the most.

    Not to say that when I read a discussion post where someone hates such-and-such, and it’s something I do, that it doesn’t give me that sinking feeling. But I try to remind myself that just because this person hates it, doesn’t mean that these other people won’t like it.

    • Nicole

      Exactly. You have a healthy attitude about it all. That’s where I’ve gotten myself, but it took me a little while to get to this point!

  11. Cynthia

    Great post!! I am such a perfectionist and so insecure. I have to try to refrain from comparing myself to other bloggers. There are so many awesome blogs out there (yours included, by the way) and it’s hard not to fall into the comparison trap. But at the end of the day, I have to remember why I started blogging to begin with. If I start changing to be like other bloggers or to gain more followers, I wouldn’t be me. Of course, having more bloglovin followers would be great. Haha. But I can’t stress about it. Great discussion.

    • Nicole

      Oh yes – the comparison game. I could write a whole other post about that (actually I have it on my list). We’re so hard on ourselves sometimes and it’s hard not to judge ourselves based on what we see around the blogosphere!

  12. Kathryn@Book Date

    Rings a bell with me. When I was working if the boss made a general statement at a staff meeting about something he didn’t like I’d think it was me! Rarely was! Recently I have read posts like the ones you mention and I think I should scurry back to my blog and change what they are subtly looking down their nose at. For example I like to list with bars down the side of my blog my challenges and the progress. It goes way down below where it ‘should’. I also like to comment back, evidently only first time bloggers of one or two years do that! It does make me feel a bit insecure too. However I think I am blogging for a hobby and I should be able to do what I want. So when I forget I’ll remember to reread this post!

    • Nicole

      Ha! Your comment about work made me laugh because that would totally be me too. I personally love commenting back because I feel liked it gives me a chance for a back and forth relationship with other bloggers. I get that it’s hard to do it with every single comment, but I still try!

  13. Julie @ Chapter Break

    Excellent post! Really, blogging based on our own interests and not caring whether others like it or not is the best goal, but a difficult one to stick to. We blogger really like reassurance that people are reading and enjoying our posts. But I also think posting opinions, especially controversial ones, gets the most views and interaction. I do learn a lot about blogging from seeing other people post about what they love or hate, but I also see if that fits my blogging style. We grow as bloggers and change our interests and opinions over time. For example I used to love doing blog tours and now I stay away from them. I don’t think either way is right or wrong, but a matter of preference for the blogger.

    Julie @ Chapter Break recently posted: Chat Between Chapters: Serial Addiction or OCD?
    • Nicole

      I agree that posts that talk about the things we like and dislike get a lot of attention. And I honestly like reading people’s opinions about things- and I think everybody should be able to complain now and again when they want to. I just have to let it go when someone says they don’t like something I do!

  14. ShootingStarsMag

    Great post. I think it’s easy to feel insecure about blogging and wondering if you’re doing the “right” or “wrong” thing, but you’re totally correct when you say you have to do what’s best for you. I try not to let other things that people say bother me too much. I’m definitely one of those people that want people to like me, but when it comes to blogging, I try not to take things too personal.

    -Lauren

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross
    • Nicole

      You’re right – really, whether or not someone likes my blog doesn’t say anything about me personally, so why should it bother me?

  15. Fari @My Little Corner of Books

    OHMYGOSH YOU GET ME!!! Honestly, I wanted to blog because one of the only times I don’t feel insecure is when I’m talking about books (unless I’m talking about YA and you’re talking about classics, using big words and seemingly all so smart… you meanie!XD) but then I didn’t realize that even in the blogger world, where I’m supposed to not feel insecure cuz I’m DISCUSSING BOOKS there’s a “but actually!” *shrugs* I’ve decided, screw it! If I want someone to follow me back, I will write “Followed you via Bloglovin'” or whatever and make them do what they will. I WILL pile myself with Netgalley ARCS and when I (IF I) ever do giveaways, I WILL have options like “Follow via Bloglovin'”. Whoever hates that, well that’s their problem.

    But of course, it isn’t that easy. And every time someone says that they like a blogger with a distinct and unique voice, I hurry to the blog to read over my posts to see if I sound dreary and boring. When someone says that they hate gifs in Reviews, I will go to my Sinner Review, which is basically a review in gifs. When someone say that they find reviews without a gif or two to be quite boring, I go look at my reviews where it’s only just word and word after word. *sigh*

    Awesome post! Love it! 😀
    ~Fari 0:)

    Fari @My Little Corner of Books recently posted: Queen of Shadows, I bow down to you! (WOW #12)
    • Nicole

      So glad I’m not the only one with this sickness! We definitely need to stick together and remind each other that we’re totally doing it “right”!

  16. Alison

    Great post! I have struggled with this stuff in the past, and this year I just decided to do what makes me happy instead of trying to people please. I’ve actually found that I’ve gained more followers with this approach than I did trying to please people!

    Alison recently posted: Review ~ Cinder by Jessica Sorensen
  17. Lola

    Great post! I agree you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t aim for that, the peopel who like what you write will be here and that’s what’s important, right? And concernign spoilers, while I hate them I do think that while soem things like mentioning a twist could be seen as spoilers in a very strict sense I do think those are okay. Else you can’t write a review anymore.

    I think I’ve become a bit less insecure since when I staretd blogging, but I still stres ssmetimes. Like when one of my Lola’s Ramblings posts doesn’t get as much comments as normal I worry it isn’t a good post and people don’t like it (like the one of last week). But in the end I figure out it’s okay when one or two posts don’t get as much comments. And as long as I keep doing what I enjoy on my blog, the people who enjoy what I post will stay. And if they unfollow it might make me a bit sad, but if they don’t want to follow my blog anymore they should have that choice.

    I think it’s always difficult to put yourself out there, whether it’s with a blog or a book, people will react on it and soem will like it and others not. I think it’s important to focus on those who do like what you write, but it can be hard sometimes to not let it get to you when someone doesn’t like it.

    • Nicole

      Yes – we can’t overanalyze every little thing or we’ll drive ourselves crazy! That’s when blogging is just no fun anymore.

  18. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Excellent post, Nicole. I’ve felt like I’ve been blogging the wrong way before but honestly, there’s no such thing. Everyone can blog how they want, and shouldn’t change it just because someone else thinks it’s bad or completely wrong. It’s your blog, your content! And only you can decide what you wanna do with it xD In a way, I guess this is what authors go through, too!

    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted: Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
    • Nicole

      Exactly! There is no wrong way. And even if someone thinks there is … well, that’s just their opinion. Nothing makes their opinion more valid than mine – at least not when it comes to my blog!

  19. Jennifer @ Books That Hook

    I think that as long as you are consistent and your readers know what to expect from you, you can do things your way.

    For example, people who follow my reviews can expect that if there’s something wrong with a book, I’m going to give my opinion about it. I know this goes against some people’s “positive-only” philosophies, and if that’s the case, they have a choice to not read my reviews. Some people will appreciate my honesty; others won’t.

    Like you said, you can’t please everyone.

    I don’t stress about doing something wrong. I just stress about how to get more people to follow. A lot of times I feel like I’m talking to myself.

    Since we don’t get paid to do this, it’s ultimately our choice how we want to do it. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way as long as you are consistent and respectful.

    • Nicole

      This is the perfect example of one of those things that people have strong opinions about. Some people will insist that people who don’t post many negative reviews aren’t critical enough, while others say that negative reviews are mean-spirited. It’s the perfect example of a case where it’s impossible to please everyone. So you just have to please you!

  20. Paij Slater

    I should probably follow stuff like that but I do this for myself and myself only. I am always thankful for those who visit but I don’t even think I know how many followers I have. I love getting comments and I love doing giveaways but even I i didn’t get comments I would blog anyways because it’s fun for me! Your blog is always awesome so don’t py attention to any of that other stuff 🙂

  21. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    You are SO not alone! It is so ironic, because I have a similar post coming up, but it is kind of a long story to describe it, but the bottom line is similar- you need to do what makes YOU happy as a blogger. I like ARCs too! Honestly, no one can tell me they don’t, or they wouldn’t accept them. And they DO.

    As for your following post, I re-read it, and then I read the comments, and I had agreed with you completely, and apparently left you TWO ridiculously long comments stressing my agreement. And honestly, overall, people seemed to agree. Those 4 unfollows were likely just a weird coincidence. And, you were probably hyperaware because of the post. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t kind of break my heart when I lose followers (it SO does, even though I shouldn’t let it get to me), but I have to tell myself that those were likely the people who just followed to win something- and hope that the real readers, the people I have connected with, are still there. 99% of the time, they are 🙂

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Review: Dove Arising by Karen Bao
    • Nicole

      Now I can’t wait to read your post! You might be right about the fact that it could have been a coincidence about the followers, but I always have a pretty consistent slight uptick in followers each week (which is oddly somewhat smaller since I switched to WordPress – but that’s a whole other topic), and this was literally the one and only week that my number went down overall. I couldn’t help but make the connection and worry a little that I’d actually offended some people! But I’m over it now (okay, mostly). I really do feel like I’ve got a much better perspective on this lately!

  22. Ella

    I think this pretty much sums up a writer’s life. You put your heart into something and then sit on pins and needles waiting to see if people like it and then you’re upset when they don’t. At least for a minute. Writing, whether it be a blog or a book, can be a very vulnerable thing so I think it’s natural to worry about making others happy. You are not alone! 🙂

    • Nicole

      Oh, yes – you authors have it WAY worse. No doubt. I started writing a book for NaNoWriMo in November (I “won” but the book isn’t nearly finished yet) and I’m already suffering from paralyzing doubt before it’s even finished. I have the utmost respect for authors because you have a tough job and need very thick skin. So, let me just tell you now that you are amazing. AMAZING!! 🙂

  23. tonyalee

    I use to get really upset by post like that. Like, you post too many reviews! TOO MANY GIVEAWAYS. TOO MANY TOURS. And while I see both sides, I don’t think *many* do it to be any kind of way. I don’t, and I am at that point where I just don’t care what people think of what I do. Not the best thoughts to have but… it is what it is.

    I do think I had a more.. I DON’T GIVE A S$#@ attitude before I realized that bloggers have been “burned”. I don’t care what people think, but back THEN I didn’t think about what I said. Like, I wrote a post about 10 things I hate/irritating and it was mean as heck. It wasn’t meant to be – but looking back it has come across as me “preaching” on what is right/wrong.

    Also, I have had people message me and tell me they are stop following because of

    tonyalee recently posted: When I’m Not Blogging…. Take 2
    • Nicole

      Funny how you can look back at an old post and think, “How could I have written that?” We live and learn, right?

  24. Tsuki

    I think for me it became about the ARCs. I’ll be honest I love ARCs but at the same time I have a life and struggle to read them in a timely manner. If I do read them in a timely manner, sometimes I have nothing to say. Don’t you hate that? Sometimes I just want to say, “Eh it was okay” and that’s it. I really have no concrete reason for why it was mediocre but it was. So I struggle to write the post and then I put it off. Then NetGalley makes you feel guilty by showing a low percentage of follow through. Then the publishers keep sending you emails about letting them know when you post a review.

    So this year I decided to let the mood take me. I’ve been doing television reviews. I’ve been discussing things I watch and characters I like. I’ve been reviewing books I have something to say about. Most of all I scaled way back on ARCs and Galleys. I figure I should do what I want since the blog is really for me to communicate with others.

    • Nicole

      That’s great that you’ve found what works for you and you’re just going with it! You’re totally right – blogging is for you and not anyone else!

  25. Liliana @ Lili Lost in a Book

    I’m gonna be honest and say I’ve never really thought of this. No, I’m not really all the self-assured, but I post what I want how I want and I welcome peoples comments as they come. Although I will admit that I’m right there with ya about the whole ARC thing… I like ARCs, does that make me a greedy blogger?? Gods, I hope not! Lol.

    • Nicole

      I’m really glad that you aren’t affected by anyone else’s opinions. Ironically, I actually welcome people’s comments completely – I’m the type of person who doesn’t mind at all when people come out and say they disagree with me (as long as they’re not mean about it – but I’ve honestly never had someone post a rude comment on my blog). My issue is much more subtle – I just get all worried that I’ve offended people or aggravated people when I read something really negative about something I have done on my blog in the past. It really is just an issue in my own head – and I think I’ve figured that out recently, which makes it easier to stop doing that to myself! 🙂

  26. Kritika

    This is such a great post, and I’m glad you brought it up. I’ve been noticing the same thing lately – I saw someone complain about how they hate how some blogs do giveaways ALL THE TIME, and that put a damper on me wanting to do more giveaways (I’ve done a grand total of 2 so far hahaha).

    I also didn’t request a lot of ARCs last year (10, maybe), but this year I’ve been doing that more. Some books I request because I’m really excited about them, and others I request because it seems like *everyone* has an ARC and is talking about it and I feel left out – like I’m doing something wrong and am not part of “the club.” I know that’s silly, and that blogging is about what you want to do, but I definitely understand feeling insecure sometimes.

    Kritika recently posted: S&S Bingo Challenge: Update 1
    • Nicole

      Yes!! I’ve found myself changing my blogging in subtle ways because I suddenly feel like I might have been doing something that a lot of people don’t like. For example, doing a spotlight on a book without reviewing it so that I can offer the giveaway. This is something that I never did A LOT, but I did do it sometimes if it was a book that looked really good to me and I thought it might be one my readers would be interested in. I know that I have some followers who really love giveaways and this was something I could offer them that didn’t take a ton of time on my part. But I really almost never do it any more because I got strangely self-conscious about it. Like it was something that serious bloggers just don’t do. Well, that’s kind of silly – if it can be of benefit to some of my readers, the others can just ignore those kind of posts every once in a while, right? I mean, that’s what I do if there’s a post on another blog that I’m not interested in. No big deal.

  27. Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA

    Blogging isn’t stressful at all for me so I’m always surprised when other people say how stressful it is. (I’m not talking about you. I see comments about it being stressful a lot.) It’s fun for me, otherwise why do it? It certainly isn’t for the money.

    I have posts that get no hits. I wish people would read them, but as long as I had fun writing them, I don’t care that much. I wouldn’t continue to blog if none of my posts got hits and comments, but there are enough people who visit who do like what I post for me to keep at it. Some people hate blogs that are mostly reviews and memes. Guess they won’t be reading my blog then. Oh well. I don’t like or follow every blog out there either.

    I’ve found that I’m a lot happier now that I’m no longer following the people who try to tell others how to blog. I followed them when I started out because they seemed to be some of the big bloggers, the ones everyone followed. I quickly found out that most of them weren’t for me.

    There are some blogs that offer a lot of great tips, especially for newbies, but I think I mostly know what I’m doing by now and I know how to use Google if there’s a specific thing I want to know how to do. (Sometimes I find my answer on those “you’re doing it wrong!” posts.)

    Jenna @ Rather Be Reading YA recently posted: Weekly Rewind: January 25-31
    • Nicole

      I’ve found a lot of times people aren’t really even trying to be bossy and say that this is the “right” way to blog – they’re just expressing their opinion about something and I’m so much of a people pleaser that my internal radar just goes off. It’s really silly, which is why I decided to throw that radar out the window! 🙂

  28. Topaz @ Six Impossible Things

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this on my blog for ages and ages, and look, you just said it PERFECTLY. I am so insecure when it comes to these things – it’s possibly even worse because I’m part of many communities, not just book blogging. So sometimes I see writing bloggers talking about how they hate when unpublished authors give out tips and I’m sitting here biting my fingernails, wondering whether I should stop doing that… and then I see design bloggers admonishing others not to give out free wallpapers and I start running myself in circles wondering whether I shouldn’t be doing that anymore…

    Well. You get the point. It’s all the things you mentioned x2839740293847. 😛

    I am trying to get to the level you’re at, though, where I don’t let others’ opinions affect me quite so much. Sometimes it’s really helped me see where I’m going wrong, but other times it just makes me unnecessarily worried, and more stress can never be good. Here’s to doing our own thing and forging new paths through the blogosphere, yes? x

    Topaz @ Six Impossible Things recently posted: A Love Letter to Myself
    • Nicole

      Yes, if you try to please everyone, you’ll just end up making yourself crazy!! Just by the law of numbers there have to be people out there who disagree with things you’re doing. But, just always remember that there are also always people who totally agree with you too! It’s great to learn from others, but not when we let it stress us out!

  29. Sharon @ Sharon's Book Nook!

    I’ve felt that way several times that I’m doing things wrong and blogging can be frustrating enough to do in the first place, but my love of books keeps me going. I get disappointed when I see my followers drop even if it is only by 1 or 2 and then I wonder why and is it something I’ve said. But like you’ve said you can’t please everyone so I try not to dwell on that fact, to keep my sanity at least. 😉

    Sharon @ Sharon's Book Nook! recently posted: Shh! by Stacey Nash – Cover Reveal
    • Nicole

      I love blogging, so I’m definitely not planning on stopping. It was discouraging when I saw people stopped following me after that one post, but I’ve gotten over it now. Well, mostly. 🙂

  30. Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

    Well,unfortunately,insecurity is something you have to deal with when you are a book blogger:)

    I can relate to each and every thing you said up there Nicole.Addition to that,I also start to panic when I get comments from famous bloggers on my post disagreeing with what I’ve said.I feel so devastated to the point where I actually want to delete the whole post in fear of being judged and disliked.

    • Nicole

      Awww … so sorry that you’ve felt this way. Just know that opinions are opinions, and the bigger bloggers’ opinions aren’t any more valid than your own. I know that’s hard to keep in mind in the moment, though. I think your blog is great!!

  31. Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

    Excellent discussion! Have to admit that I stressed a whole lot more when I first started blogging, but then a very wise friend pointed out that there are NO rules to blogging! Despite people who post lists of how to blog, so long as you’re pleased with what you post, then you’re doing it right! Took me a long time to believe that, and to be honest I still struggle with it sometimes. But that’s the beauty of blogging, as we can make it what we want!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such... recently posted: January Wrap Up
  32. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    You definitely shoulda blog however it makes you happy. It is too much worrying about all the people we can’t please and if they aren’t happy with your opinions or how you do things then it’s probably for the best that they not follow. I’m a big believer in reading blogs that I enjoy and whenever I’m not I usually un follow as well because then your reader just gets clogged if you don’t. At least you know there are still plenty of folks that are interested in what you say. And it’s great that you talk about your insecurities on it! I’m sure we all feel some of that!

    • Nicole

      Yes – I’m sure people subscribe and unsubscribe all the time, but this was the first time I ever saw an overall downtick in my numbers and I all the sudden got really self-conscious about that post! I remember freaking out and thinking that I upset some people! Ha! I’ve (mostly) gotten perspective on it now – but, obviously I still stress about these things a bit from time to time (but I’ve learned to let it go A LOT faster and not focus on it at all).

  33. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    Haha, that’s so me too! For a while I would read the ones on blog design things that annoyed people and worry that my blog design was turning people away. But you’re exactly right, you need to focus on what makes you happy since you’ll never be able to please everyone! I see no reason that people would unsubscribe because of your followers post, it might have just been a coincidence ;-).

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings recently posted: Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}
    • Nicole

      Oh, I love your blog design!! I remember that it was one of the first blogs that caught my eye when I was first blogging. But, I know that lots of people say that the trends are simple and clean lines and all that – I stressed about that too! Guess we’re rebels, going against the trend! LOL!

  34. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    The way I avoid personalizing posts about what people like in blogs is to write the blog I’d like to read. As long as I know I’m doing what I want to see in a blog in terms of my ARC excitement, replying to comments, review format, etc., it’s easy to feel happy with my blog because I’m pleasing myself instead of trying to please everyone else.

    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted: Nonfiction Friday
    • Nicole

      That’s a great philosophy. If you put things on your blog that you’d enjoy reading, you know that it’s perfect for you!

  35. Lakin

    I am terrible about worrying what others think. Last year was my first year blogging, and I really wanted to write some discussion posts, but I was honestly terrified to. What if other people don’t like them? What if they think I sound stupid (that was the biggest one)? What if I think of a better way to say it after its alread been posted? This year I finally got over it, and starred writing and posting lots of discussions! And you know what? It’s okay if other people don’t like what I have to say, because it’s what I feel and I enjoy it! I can’t say that I never care, or that I never wish I got more comments, or that I never stress, but at least I’m doing what I enjoy! Great post!

    • Nicole

      I’m glad you’re doing discussions now. I agree that it’s hard to completely ignore other people’s opinions, but you always have to remember that yours is the one that counts most!

  36. Jen @ The Bookavid

    Nooooo…
    all my biggest fears in one post.
    I’m so incredibly insecure when it comes to my blog, you have no idea! I find myself changing my theme every other day or changing something else about my content/my blog’s appearance because I think that’s the reason why my blog isn’t really kicking off.

    Blogging and building a following needs time, the ratoional part of my brain knows that. But then there’s still the little meanie saying “you’re doing it all wrong.” I feel this post deep in my soul

    • Nicole

      I have really gotten A LOT better about this – even since writing this post (I think it was somewhat freeing to write it!). I’m not going to stress about pleasing everyone – I just want to meet my own goals!

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