When I told myself I would start a book blog almost 5 years ago (okay. I think I need a moment. I’m so old???), I never, ever thought blogging would be like this. After so much time spent on it all, creating Drizzle & Hurricane Books and, over the years, changing it and exploring it and making it grow as it is now, I feel like I know some things about book blogging now that I didn’t back then, that day I sat on my bed and created my blog.
Today I’m here to share them all with you. These tiny, big things that might seem obvious now as you’re book blogging and have been for years. These things that might be new to you as you just start out and don’t know, really, what to expect with your blogging adventure at all.
8 things you need to know about book blogging
1. The time it takes 🕚
Let’s state the obvious. When I first started, I had no idea that book blogging could take so much time. I thought I’d write a quick review or something and post it and that’d be it.
I think it’s one of these moments I look back on and laugh at myself and how ignorant I was.
I spend on average almost as much time blogging as I spend on my full-time job, meaning… well, maybe 28 hours a week most likely. Lately, I’ve been reducing that time a little bit, because self-care and mental health and writing and everything, but…. no matter what you do, there will always, always be so many things to do when it comes to book blogging.
I mean, you’re not only writing blog posts. You’re spending even more time doing the layout for said-blog posts. You’re answering to comments on your blog posts. You’re blog-hopping and discovering new blogs, reading their posts, commenting and so on. You’re spending way too much time on book twitter to procrastinate, aerm, sorry, keep yourself in the loop of it all. You’re on goodreads updating your reviews, you’re taking pictures for your blog, your bookstagram, your social media. You’re sending emails and answering to emails and changing your blog’s layout and brainstorming and scheduling and YOU ARE DOING SO MUCH AND HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???
Casual reminder that blogging takes a whole damn lot of my time and yet I love it so much, if you’re feeling burned out or tired of spending so much time, take a break and a small hiatus and take care of yourself. Might be a reminder for me, too.
2. The books you’ll discover 📚
I honestly can’t recall how I found out about new books before I started book blogging. I don’t have a library because I’m an international book blogger. I think I might have found out about new books scrolling through goodreads and such.
Now, I find out about new books every single day, my TBR has grown 20 times its original size, I’m drowning in books I want to read and I’m happier than ever.
Also, a little overwhelmed, let’s face it, because there are just too many books to read in the world and too little time.
I never, ever thought I could find out about so many incredible reads. I never thought I could read about anxiety and feel seen, read about romances I adore, fall in love with authors I’d never ever heard. I never thought I could discover incredible diverse reads I hold dear in my heart and read debuts I’ll boost with all of myself. Book blogging got me that.
You got me that.
3. The friends you’ll make 💞
Whoever tells me internet friendships aren’t real can honestly leave right now. Book blogging gave me some incredible friends who, will hopefully recognize themselves, people I can talk to on a daily basis, about books, obviously, but about so much more just as well. From falling in love with the same books to talking about life, I’m so grateful for my blogging friends.
These are the things I didn’t expect. Comments and conversations about books, yes, hopefully, that’s what I thought years ago. Real friends I can confide in, never saw that coming. Unexpected surprises of blogging, you might and most likely will find your people and this is one of the most beautiful things about this adventure.
4. The opportunities you’ll create 🤝
I had kind of a week, a week where an opportunity I had been chasing for ages, an opportunity I had never, ever, ever dared dreaming of as I first started blogging, knocked on my door, answered my email and just said yes.
Book blogging gave me so many opportunities that I’d never ever dreamed I could get in a lifetime, really, especially as an international book blogger. It allowed me to read incredible books, it allowed me to hold a copy of a book in my hand that hasn’t even been released and wouldn’t for another six months. It gave me the privilege to discover books ahead of time and to promote them, it gave me a chance to exchange with publishers and authors I admire and, just, it gave me all of this.
Book blogging might give you these chances, as well, despite all odds and yes, even if you’re an international book blogger. Don’t lose hope and keep on rocking.
☂️ Related blog post: My story with ARCs as an international book blogger
5. The things you’ll learn 💻
Book blogging taught me so much more than I ever thought it would. I’ve learned so much about myself, of course, but also about blogging and writing online and SEO and maintaining a blog and growing it and organization and branding and promotion and social media. I’ve learned about so many books, about so many worlds, about book bloggers and incredible initiatives. I’ve learned about the publishing world, about the writing world and its struggles. I’ve learned about writing and creating.
I’ve learned so much and I didn’t even realize I did, really, because I was doing it while I was having fun screaming about books.
6. The confidence you’ll gain 💛
I’m still not confident enough to hit the tweet button at times, because the community on here is scary and I’m made of 90% of anxiety about everything. Still. Book blogging taught me I could be good at something again in a world where I often feel like I’m not enough or not doing enough or just not enough of anything, really.
The comments, the warmth of the community, the book blogger awards, a little bit of the validation I sometimes, often, have a hard time feeling… you gave me all of that. You made me feel a little more confident about myself and what I can do. You made me feel proud of the things I can do for this blog and the work I can put into it.
Work with passion and it will show and, most of it all, it will also make you grow. I know it did for me.
7. The anxiety is gives 🌚
I’m always trying to be honest with my blogging experience, so…. yes, book blogging can make you stressed out, anxious, burned out and tired and I think that it’s so important to know it and to recognize it as well. I’m kind of shaking my head in disapproval at myself as I write this, because I’m the absolute worth at recognizing it all, but well.
Book blogging takes a lot of time, it also takes a lot of energy out of yourself. From writing to thinking of new ideas, to feeling like you have to interact and be in the community at all times in order not to miss out… from reading all the blog posts to reading all the hyped books…. If you add up all of these things, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed, stressed out. It’s easy for your anxiety to peak, especially when you’re already dealing with it every day.
So why the heck would I blog, you ask? Because nothing in life is black and white and if you’re enjoying it or feel like you could fall in love with it all, just throw yourself in. Pace yourself and pay attention to yourself first and always, though.
☂️ Related blog post: book blogging with anxiety.
8. The community it is 💃
There is not one day that passes without me finding out about this new book blogger, because there are just SO MANY. The book blogging community is incredibly wide and big and people come from all around the world. I’ve chatted with people from New Zealand to the USA, from the Netherlands to the Philippines. I’ve made friends with people from all around the world and met some incredible fellow French bloggers loving the same books as I do.
The community is massive and I never, ever expected it when I first started, yet I’m so grateful that it is. It’s incredible to see how wide the book love goes and how this all unites us.
The love you’ll gain ❤️
As I’m writing this, I honestly feel so warm inside and so, so grateful for it all. Book blogging was filled with surprises and moments I didn’t expect, opportunities and friends, love and, yes, stress and burn-out, just as well. Yet, book blogging brought me so, so much love, really and that’s something I always always keep close to my heart at all times, to remind myself of why I’m doing it all.
What are some things about book blogging you didn’t expect? What are some great surprises about your blogging adventure so far? Some… less great surprises?
What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started this adventure? I’d love to hear your thoughts in comments!