Hello peeps! I’m in an extremely happy mood because today, I’m celebrating my 6 months blogversary! ♥♥♥ I believe congratulations are in order, my friends 😛 anyway, I didn’t realize I’d actually make it this far, especially since I had no goals whatsoever when I started this blog :’) now let’s pretend I have celebratory food and drink for us and let me talk about my blogging journey, what I learned so far, and a little celebration at the end of the post (spoiler: freebies!) 😛
I started this blog on March 2 under the name of Unboxing My Thoughts. At that point, I absolutely had no idea on where I wanted to take my blog to. I didn’t even plan it to be a book blog. All I knew was that I needed a place to spill my thoughts. I changed the name of the blog to Sparkling Letters 2 months ago because I wanted it to be more personalized and… representative. Like, I want people to have an idea of what my blog is about only by hearing its name.
These past 6 months have been super amazing! I was just messing around at first, randomly writing anything I had in mind. Book reviews, discussions, makeup reviews, personal stuffs, basically all the random things that pop into my head. It wasn’t until after two months that I finally started to blog more seriously. I realized that I wanted to commit fully to book blogging, because I never ran out of things to talk when it comes to books. I started to carefully plan my contents and be more involved in the book blogging community.
I used to run out of ideas so quickly! I ended up posting reviews after reviews and that was when I found the joy of doing meme, especially Top 10 Tuesday. Top 10 Tuesday gives me something to work on, ideas, and more importantly, it brings A LOT of traffic. My blog was super lonely so traffic was everything 😛 TTT also allows me to discover other awesome bloggers out there. I think I found most of my current favorite bloggers from TTT. So, big thanks for Top Ten Tuesday! ♥
But you may or may not have noticed that I don’t do meme as often as I used to anymore. I did TTT every week until around a month ago. That’s because I finally found my direction. I have so many post ideas that I want to work on and I can’t keep up with TTT as often as I’d like to anymore. Between book talks, book reviews, tags, and memes, I’m afraid I’ll end up spamming :’)
Blogging is surprisingly time consuming!
I know you’ve probably experienced or heard this often enough, but I thought it was worth mentioning 😛 When I first started, I thought I’d just work with my blog on my spare time but WHAT A JOKE, right? I spent probably half my days blog hopping, commenting on people’s blogs, taking pictures, creating header images, and actually drafting my posts. I never run out of things to do though :’)
It’s not always about stats.
Confession time, I’M OBSESSED WITH STATS. Or I used to be (actually I still am). BUT, I used to spend my time obsessing over page views whilst recently I’m more obsessed about comments. Page views are page views. A hundred of page views don’t necessarily mean that a post is golden. It means that the post is popular. Comments, on the other hand, are proof that people actually read my posts. I can’t tell you how much I’m grateful to receive comments, especially the really thoughtful ones. You guys are so precious ♥♥♥
Quality contents are #1.
I spent so much time trying out ways to bring more traffic to my blog. Pinning images, promoting contents on social media, using stumbleupon, optimizing SEO, you name it. None of them works better than the content itself. I found out that every time I write a thought-provoking, slightly personal, bookish contents, I got more engagements. A really good review of a popular book brings a lot of traffic as well. But that doesn’t mean you should stop promoting though… I still get one or two visitors from social media.
Book bloggers are some of the nicest, funniest people on earth!
I’m serious! I don’t think I’ll get this amount of friendliness from any other niche! (I might be wrong). We book bloggers could easily bond over a book and the next thing you know is we’re fangirling together. Isn’t that amazing?!
Blog hopping is actually really FUN ♦
I admit… the first couple of months into blogging, I was more focused on my own blog and didn’t dedicate enough time to visit other blogs. What an amateur. At first, I blog hopped only to ‘steal’ some inspiration and quite frankly, treating it as an obligation. I had this mind set “Visit other blogs so people would visit yours. Comment on others’ posts so they’d comment back on your posts.” I did start commenting out of the hope of getting comments in return, BUT as I went along, I actually enjoy reading others’ post and giving them some pieces of my thoughts. I began looking forward to certain bloggers’ post and I always comment on them because I want to. They’re so thought provoking and I just can’t help it. At this point, getting a comment in return is more of a pleasant surprise.
Blogging improves my ability to express my opinions in English.
English isn’t my first language. It’s not even my second, but I’ve been learning since I was little. I knew my English was pretty decent, but using it to fully express my opinions, especially on tough subjects, is definitely a whole other level. I was struggling at first. I even have this board on pinterest consisting of pictures about adjectives, adverbs, and tenses. Haha 😛 but we can safely say I improved though. The words flow more freely and I don’t struggle as much anymore (I still do sometimes :P)
Blogging makes me learn new things.
I think everybody knows this already, but blogging is a lot more than just writing a post. There are photography, designs, coding, and basic SEO for example. I’m always a bit into design so working on my blog only nurtures my interest. I started using various softwares and it was fun! And useful. I also started learning photography and I’m now proudly using manual settings on the DSLR 😛 I’m still a goner for SEO and coding though… but I’d like to assume I at least master the basic 😉
In order to celebrate, I’m giving away some freebies here! 😀
I wanted to do a book giveaway, but since I’m currently unemployed, I could barely afford books to myself 😛 This is something that I’ve been planning to do for a while but haven’t really got to it because… well… I’m shy. I’m afraid my design isn’t good enough and all that but then I thought, why not? I’m still learning and it’s not like I charge people anyway hehe so here you go!
Six printable bookmarks inspired by my favorite books ♥♥♥
To download the PDF version, click here. There’s also a little directions to use it in it 😀 and I obviously tested it first! 😛 Also, if the size is too big for your taste, you can also download the JPG version here and print it to your preferable size. Hope you like it! ♥
P.S. Suggestions and critics are always welcome! But please do it nicely? 😉 I’m scared :’)
So those are my recaps of six months blogging! I’ve learned a lot, but I’m sure I’ll be learning so many more stuffs along the way 😀 During your blogging journey, what lessons do you learn the most? Share with me! ♥ also, what do you think about my bookmarks? 😛
Find more of me on my social media ♦