Have you ever gone back and looked at your old posts and realized just how much you’ve changed your book blogging habits, opinions and processes? I’ve been blogging now for four years, and I can definitely say that I’ve grown—both as a reader and as a blogger. It can make me cringe just a little bit when I look at some of my baby-blogger posts and think, “Why on earth did I think that?”
This is especially noticeable to me when I look at posts that give “advice.” Sometimes I look back at those old posts and I feel almost hypocritical because, while the things I was suggesting were great for me at the time, I’m no longer following my old advice at all anymore. Either I couldn’t stick to it, or it just stopped working for me as my blog grew.
Does that mean the advice was bad? Should I go and delete those old posts and pretend that they never existed? (Hide the evidence, so to speak.) I don’t think so. I think the methods I was using were great for where I was as a blogger at the time—and the advice I gave would probably still be helpful for newer bloggers now. Plus, it’s good to see a progression, right? Why try to rewrite history?
I thought it might be fun to look back at some of my old discussions and tips posts and see what I think about them now! I’m prepared to cringe a little, and that’s okay. 🙂
2013/Early 2014 (The Beginning):
- I didn’t post many discussions in my first months of blogging. Most of my early “discussion” posts were me asking people for help and advice. I had no clue what I was doing with this blogging thing, so I wrote posts asking people about what tool they used for commenting, or begging for BEA advice
- I also posted my very first Spam-a-lot post, which makes fun of the spam comments I’ve received. I still do this every once in awhile today (I have some fun ones saved for an upcoming spam post right now, in fact), so I guess some ideas stick around!
Second Half of 2014
- I posted my very first real discussion in May of 2014. It was about how the length of time I waited after I reviewed a book could affect how I rated the book. I was wondering if I should change my reviewing process. Actually, I find that I still have this very same issue and I really haven’t changed my reviewing style much—though I do tend to wait longer to write most of my reviews nowadays. I give this post a thumbs-up for current relevance!
- Then I posted some random fun discussions that get a general thumbs-up for relevance because, well, they’re just fun:
- A post all about the FEELS (which includes cute pics of my kids when they were little that made me ooh and ahhh)
- Whether or not insta-love could ever work. (I still haven’t read the sequel to the book I raved about in that post—boo on me!)
- When I get my best blogging ideas (at super inconvenient times)
- How my reading habits have changed (I read more Indie books back then, and I’m a bit sad that I don’t do that as often now), the YA trope of love from afar (I guess it happens in real life more than I realized)
- A fun Halloween feature asking if you’ve ever had any supernatural experiences or if you believe in it.
- A post telling you about how I’m a disorganized blogger. (Oh, yes, I still am!)
- A post about trying to cull my TBR (still an impossible task!). I actually wrote another post about this impossible task at the beginning of 2016.
- A few that I shrug about:
- In July of 2014, I pondered adding a co-blogger to FYFA. Although, I’ve considered this strongly at some points (and I still sometimes think about it), I’ve never actually gone that extra step and done it. Maybe it will happen in 2017? Who knows?
- I also asked for advice on Pride and Prejudice related movies, TV shows, etc. after I finally read the book. I never did actually watch (or read) any of them, though, so I guess this one gets a thumbs-down. Why ask for advice if you’re not going to take it, Nicole?
- I told you Why I Can’t Choose a Favorite of Anything. But I actually think I have settled on the Unwind Dystology as my favorite series of ever. It’s always the first series that pops into my head when I think about books I love, so …
DON’T Follow My Advice! (Or Maybe Do? If You Want to.)
But here are a few posts that really struck me as possibly hypocritical:
- Are the Number of Followers You Have Important to You? Basically, in this post I talked about how I always follow back and how and why I get my followers. Except I don’t follow all of the advice I gave in that post anymore.
- I don’t always follow back (though I still usually do). I’ve gotten a teensy bit pickier about what types of blogs I follow.
- I don’t focus on email followers at all anymore—though I actually think I probably should because email followers are probably some of my “best” followers. But I actually barely follow any blogs via email anymore because it got too overwhelming and my inbox turned into a crazy nest of insanity and made me cry.
- I made a statement about how having a lot of followers would help you get ARCs. Ummm … I don’t know where baby-blogger me got that idea, but I don’t think it’s really true. At least that’s not the only element. I mean, sure if I had only 100 followers, publishers probably wouldn’t send me stuff, but I think the biggest factor here is time. I’ve proven myself by being around (and being very active in the blogging community) for four years, so I’m just now starting to get publishers who are contacting me about books. It took hard work and lots of time to get here—not lots of followers.
- I do still love Bloglovin’! And I still pretty much ignore Facebook. I’m a lot more active on Twitter, though (which seems to be kind of sort of essential in the blogging world). Bookstagram really wasn’t a thing when I wrote this post.
- I recommended Feature & Follow Friday, which I no longer participate in, but I actually still think it’s great advice for newer bloggers! I also suggested hosting giveaways (or doing tours with giveaways). Again I don’t do as much of this anymore (I almost never do tour stops that are just spotlights with a giveaway, for instance), but I think it was a great way to build up my blog in the beginning. (In December of 2014, in fact, I wrote a whole post about why I was taking a break from blog tours.)
- Sometimes I contradict myself practically right away. For instance, in April of 2015, I wrote a post called Why I’m Thinking About Changing My Ratings. And just ten days later I wrote a post entitled What I’m Doing Instead of Changing My Ratings. See why you can’t trust me? (To be fair to myself, I was very unsure in that first post and asking for advice.)
- Do you Use Affiliate Links? I wrote a whole post about how we should support each other by trying to shop through each other’s affiliate links whenever possible. Except …
- I removed Amazon affiliate links from my blog altogether. I just wasn’t making any money from them and they felt like more trouble than they were worth. Plus, my husband now works for Amazon, and I wasn’t sure if that would somehow be a conflict.
- I tried. I really tried. And for a little while I went through someone’s blog every time I went to Amazon, but I could never quite turn it into a habit. Eventually I mostly forgot about it. I’m so sorry!
- My Quest to Organize My Bloglovin’ Feed I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t keep up with Bloglovin’ as much as I used to. It’s still my go-to feed, but now that my blog is bigger and things are crazier in my household, I find that I have trouble with keeping up with just replying and commenting back, so my Bloglovin’ feed is like my third tier of blog searching—and I’m not getting to that third tier nearly as often as I used to. My Bloglovin’ feed is undoubtedly back in disrepair. So is my advice in this post still good? Probably—but I don’t follow it very well. (If you’d like to follow it, also check out my post about how to create folders in Bloglovin’.)
But these old “advice” posts are still great! (At least, I think so.)
- Faith in Blogging: How to Stay True to Who You Are Without Rocking the Boat
- Your Blogging Style – Can You Change It? Should You Even Try?
- The Fine Line Between “Inspired By” and “Copycat”
- I Wasn’t Stressed About Blogging Until I Found Out I Was Doing it Wrong ***This is probably actually my most useful post of ever. Why? Because I talk about how you just shouldn’t worry so much about other blogger’s advice or opinions! Including mine!
Have you ever looked back at your old posts and wondered what you were thinking? Ever taken the time to take a walk down memory lane and check out those “early” posts? I want to know!