On book blogging expectations vs. reality

When I started blogging, I expected so many things to happen. Some did. Some others didn’t. I thought of the way blogging was supposed to be, when I was just a young blogger having created this little corner of the internet a couple days ago and trying to figure out just how I was supposed to do this thing. And now here I am, two years later, wondering just what the f*** happened to these expectations. Blogging is, in our minds, a lot of different things. It takes loads of different shapes, but one thing is for sure: now that I’ve seen and experimented blogging from the inside, I can say with certainty, oh, boy, was I wrong about blogging.

What changed? Maybe we should make a list.

I thought book blogging would be easy.

Ha.Ha.Ha. Book blogging is everything but easy. There are so many different things to think about when you are book blogging, and most especially when you are kind of like me, meaning a perfectionist obsessing about something until it is just right. With blogging, you have to actually have ideas for blog posts, which can take…a second if you have a brain overflowing with ideas or like, a year or something if you’re feeling in a slump, uninspired and everything. There is just so much THOUGHT that comes with blogging – or at least, for me, and all of this brainstorming isn’t easy.

I thought all that mattered was what I wrote.

Don’t get me wrong. For me, when I read a book blog, I pay a lot of attention to what other people write, and it’s their blog posts, in the writing sense, that has a lot of importance to me. I’m hoping it is the same way for people reading this blog post at the moment. THAT BEING SAID, there are so many other aspects of blogging that matters, and I tend to notice it more and more. There are the way the blog posts are formatted, that makes us want to read it more. There is the blog overall appearance, which, because we are visual human-beings, has a lot of importance as well. There is this whole visual aspect of everything, really, that matters a lot, both when I read a blog and when I try and think about my blog.

I thought book reviews would be my most important posts ever.

This is sad, but book reviews aren’t the posts with most success, on my blog or on other blogs, from everything I have heard. Book reviews ARE important in the strict sense of the term, meaning that we ARE doing good by reviewing books and sharing the bookish love. We are promoting books. We are loving it. But in blogging, if I first thought book reviews would be the most important posts here on blogs, they are clearly not the most successful.

I thought I would have to read A LOT MORE to “make it” as a book blogger.

When I first started, I wasn’t reading too many books per week, per month, per year. I still loved reading, but I thought that I would have to step up my game in order to align with the gorgeous book blogger reading 12 books a week and fangirling about them all. Well…not everyone does that, I found out. I also found out that it’s okay to read at my own rhythm, it’s okay if I read one book a week. As long as I’m loving it.

I thought it would be a fun hobby to do on my spare-time.

Biggest joke ever. Book blogging is consuming my entire life and I am making my whole family contribute. Whether they want to or not. Whatever.

I thought I would be doing this alone.

I am. In a way, since I’m handling this little blog on my own. Except for the time when my sister contributes to it, brainstorms with me and hold me when I’m having emotional breakdowns (I think I might be a pretty intense blogger here). Well, I am not. I found that the community is HUGE, and it is here. With me, sharing my blogging struggles, sharing the love, always here to turn to to fangirl about a book or complain about bad tropes and blogging and overall love it. Blogging seems solitary, but it’s not.

I thought I would never fit in.

I’m French and English isn’t my first language. I found out that the blogging community was massively dominated by American bloggers. I thought I would have an emotional breakdown and give up a long time ago, being not able to face the ones able to get all the ARCs because of geography, able to go to BEA and just overall able to chat together while I’m here with my French-ness, no ARCs and not a way to teleport myself.

I was wrong. I found out that there are so. many. international. bloggers. SO MANY. I found out that no matter where I am from, whether or not I can get all the ARCs or go to the big bookish events, I CAN fit in. It’s all a matter of not being too afraid, being yourself and just blog your heart out.

I thought I couldn’t “make it” as a book blogger.

“Making it” has so many different meanings, depending on how you see it. Can you really “make it” in the sense of being rich and famous, having books every day in your mailbox, billions of followers and talk-shows and such? No. Making money as a book blogger is hard, controversial at times, and not the question I want to tackle here.

Truth is, without talking about money here, you can totally make it. You can be the best book blogger you want to be without money or fame involved, just with you. By setting and meeting your own expectations, whether they are statistical (getting more visits, trying to get more followers) or bookish (reading more books, getting out of your comfort zone). You can make it by loving it every single day, despite the struggles. You can make it as a book blogger by being proud because it takes a whole lot of time and work and you are doing it anyway.

Do we share some of the same book blogging expectations? How did this measure up to reality for you? What’s one GOOD (or bad) thing about book blogging that you didn’t expect at all? Let’s chat in comments!


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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

375 thoughts on “On book blogging expectations vs. reality

  1. I love this post! I’m working on a food/travel/lifestyle blog but I have many of the same sentiments. My blog has been live for about a month and my expectations have been challenged at every turn. It’s nice to know others have similar challenges along the way. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Maire,

    I didn’t know you before today, and I’m glad WordPress showed me your blog. I’m starting now in this world. Last year I started an Youtube channel about books, I made six videos. I thought videos would be easier to reache people than blogging (i know, it is stupid). It was so much fun, but with no results at all. At first I thought that I was going to change de world, but then I found out that there are like a million people doing better, doing more, and with a lot of miles behind them. I’m stick to the fun of it. I’m loving your blog, by the way!! Please, keep going!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sara! Nothing about doing videos is stupid, there are tons of booktubers out there πŸ™‚ Also, I think what matters the most here is that you are having fun, whether it’s with blogging or booktube or both πŸ˜€ Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m feeling the same. Blogging was nothing like thought it would be, but I’m so grateful because I meet so many friends in this community. People who support each other and will always help me whenever I need. Not to mention, meeting people who love what you love.. READING.
    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing. πŸ˜πŸ‘β€οΈ

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so true. I mean I have these thoughts and ideas about what I have to blog. I care about what I write. What you told is exaclty what I think everyday. Once we start doing something, we need to stick to it. But there are various other components in play, they won’t just make it easy for you. I have this urge to complete a book just so I can review it and in that process the beauty of the book is lost. When I see book vloggers talk about books I feel like nothing. But, the only thing which should matter to you as a book blogger is how much can you spread through your post. I like the fact that you think like this.
    ~ Sritha Bandla

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I really enjoyed your post! I struggle a bit with perfectionism as well so my heart goes out to you. My biggest problems are (1) I only write positive reviews so sometimes I don’t post for a while because I am going through a whole bunch of books that are not worth talking about and (2) I can’t seem to be brave enough to tell people I know about my blog. I really appreciated your perspective!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ohhh, well I get it about the “telling other people” about your blog. It makes me nervous everytime, but it’s such a huge part of my life, some people can’t NOT know haha. Also, if you don’t want to post reviews about books you did not enjoy, did you try out writing other kind of blog posts like tags and discussions? If that’s your kind of thing πŸ™‚ Thank you for your comment ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh no, don’t sigh -yet! haha. I feel like I made this sound excrutiating ahah, but I love blogging with all my heart. Of course there are expectations and disappointments, but connecting with other bloggers, writing blog posts and sharing hte love about thing we love is the best thing, and it’s a lot of fun πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s Selma again. Thanks for replying to my post. Well see, there you have it. You replied to each and every person who left a comment. That takes time. Don’t know if I could follow in that way. But I know that here is where the fun lies. Perhaps because I haven’t had THAT particular experience (of having to reply to comments) but some days I don’t even know where the reply button is (😩)
    I want to be able to interact like you are here. I want part of that fun too. Maybe one day…
    And how do you go about getting WordPress to put you on their Discoverable LIST??
    In the SHARE portion, I tried Sharing to WordPress in hopes of getting on that Discoverable LIST, but that resulted in a new link title on my website. Not what I expected. I want to make that list so others can find me and read me. But HOW!?
    I think I want to reblog your post. Yes, please let me do that. Thanks. Selma

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It does take a lot of time and energy to answer to every comment, but I love doing it and it’s part of the reason why I love blogging: to interact with people πŸ™‚
      I wish I could give you a tip about that, but to be honest I have NO idea how that happened…
      And of course, feel free to reblog this if you want to! Thank you so much for all of your support, it means the world to me ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice post! I started my blog a month ago for the sole purpose of encouraging myself to read more and to also find like-minded people in the process. Since both things have happened, I consider my blogging experience so far to be a massive success despite only having 1 follower to show for it πŸ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thank you so much, Bridget! I’m so glad to hear you’re having fun blogging so far and hope you found tons of great books to read in the process πŸ˜€


  8. I can definitely relate to this. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just knew I wanted to write and I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to write about. But, I didn’t realize what it would become for me, which is actually great because I enjoy it so much. Especially because the community here is always so nice and welcoming.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you could relate! ❀ It's so good that reality is so lovely, and the community so good and welcoming – it's part of the reason why I love blogging so much ❀


  9. Hey Marie!
    Great post! Just like you I feel like I need to obsessively perfect every post before I publish it which is most often a barrier to me publishing frequently. I tend to also have writers block and I worry if every post is good enough. I am trying to change my thinking and be myself when I post because at the end of the day it’s your writing and what your interests are that will make you stand out on your blog.

    Best of luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hey Marie, this is exactly what I wanted to read about and you just made my day… Uh actually night ;).
    I have joined this platform today in the hopes of becoming a book blogger. I can read upto 2-3 novels a day, especially if they are part of the same series, have been doing so for 2 years now and since a few months I wanted to start the blogging my views. Well, it was good to hear that the community here is welcoming and I am hoping to gain some great friends.
    With Love,
    From India πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  11. So true! I’ve recently started my book blog, I have around 3-4 book posts so far (it’s not entirely about books), but since it is in my native bulgarian language, I assume I won’t be gathering many many visitors πŸ˜€ Still, I do enjoy every second spent managing my blog. Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is fantastically on point! I really do empathise with everything you say here. That feeling when you’ve invested god knows how many hours into a book review, only to receive very little traffic/feedback afterwards can be… quite demoralising, to say the least. I’m a lit blogger from Hong Kong, where English reading isn’t the most prevalent activity, so the struggle to establish an immediate community is real. Baby steps, though! It’s approaching 2 years since I first started, and I’m determined to keep at it πŸ™‚

    Would love some feedback on my blog as well, if you ever happen to drop by: https://classicjenisms.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Jen! I hope you’ll keep on blogging, the book blogging community is big and I’m sure you’ll find your kind of people πŸ˜€ I hope you’ll keep on having fun πŸ˜€


  13. So great to read something that shows I am not alone in my dreams and worries about blogging! Reactivated my blog in January and feel I am my own worst enemy with all my ‘having to get it right’ hang ups. Mine is a little bit of a hotchpotch of topics at the moment, am trying the approach of writing about whatever I feel like and hoping that in time it narrows down to a more focused blog ha ha! Thanks for sharing this honest and funny post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahah we really are our own worst enemies when it comes to blogging – I guess sometimes we can’t help but be hard on ourselves, maybe a bit too hard. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, I hope you’ll keep on blogging and loving it ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m new to blogging and I love reading, but I don’t think it would fit into the theme of my blog (being an expat in Sri Lanka). Maybe if I can find some books about the country it would be lovely to give it a shot.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well to each their own after all, you can blog about whatever you feel like, and maybe throw in some interesting books about the country you’d like to talk about πŸ™‚


  15. I enjoyed this post and totally agree. I have longed to start a blog for sometime. The most difficult part for me has been finding my niche or voice. I blog primarily about family and our adventures and thought, how hard can it be, its my family!?! Boy was I wrong!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I want to start blogging and have written my first blog but not published it because I haven’t finished putting up my profile. This was a really useful blog to read and your English is great! Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 2 people

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  18. A great post that came at the right time for me! I’ve only just started in the grand scheme of things and felt like I had an original idea (pairing books with a suitable whisky). I’ve found, like you, that it isn’t the reviews that tend to garner most of the attention.

    It’s damn hard to take – but I guess we don’t know what we should expect when it comes to blogging.

    Your site is a great example of what a blog should be as far as I can see, and your honesty is a stunning breath of fresh air.

    Best of luck keeping it up

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Blogging has always been a cherish-able hobby for me. I have skipped from various themes and genres and still exploring. Your post clearly shows that you have gone through test and trial and I feel like learning is the best thing you can achieve at the end of the day.

    Glad I came across such a beautiful blog. Keep inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I just started blogging about two weeks ago (which you can tell when looking at the overall appearance of my blogπŸ˜…) and I am still trying to find my footing. I am a German living in the UK and English isn’t my first language neither

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wooow… Pressing send too earlyπŸ™ˆ so to finish my comment of, while English isn’t my first language either, which naturally (at least for me) makes you quite conscious about your writing. But from the little I have seen so far I totally agree that the community is massive and extremely forthcoming and open for newbies such as me😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you’re not the only one conscious whenever you write – though, I used to think and overthink everything a lot at the beginning, and now I just, type away ahah. The community has been so welcoming and warm, I feel like it’s okay if I make a mistake. I’m glad that you started blogging and I hope you’ll have a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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