Wow! It feels amazing to finally reach this milestone. It’s been a long road but I’ve done it, all thanks to you guys!
I launched Reads & Reels a little more than a year and a half ago, and it has been quite the experience. When I first started, I was more than just a noob blogger, I was new to web design, graphic design, Goodreads, Net Galley… Really the list just goes on forever. All I knew were books and movies. That, and I wanted to share my passion with like-minded people.
The first few months were a fruitless struggle. I was writing and writing but nobody was reading and that sucked! Even if we say we don’t care about the numbers, we still follow our stats and at the beginning it was heartbreaking. It took months to reach 100 followers. Months of learning the ins and outs of blogging, navigating social media, and a HUGE redesign. It was exhausting and I just couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.
I was even lucky to have an amazing mentor (owner and creator of Booknista). A savvy marketing and media maven IRL who also happened to LOVE books as much as I did. She taught me everything and needed to know about SEO, traffic, branding etc… and most importantly, she gave me a chance and let me write for her website. Starting with guest posts and finally graduating to a regular gig.
But, Reads & Reels still struggled and it was the most frustrating thing. To put so much of yourself into something and not be acknowledged. Yeah, yeah. I’m supposed to be blogging for “myself” not for others and while that’s true, you and I both know we’re not doing it just for ourselves.
So what changed you ask? About 8 months in, a handful of incredible bloggers literally changed everything for me. They started endorsing and sharing my work with their readers and followers and this huge, wonderful community of bloggers opened up to me.
That my friends is what changed everything for me. Meeting all of you and sharing each other’s work. That’s when things started to fall into place. I stopped obsessing about my followers (or lack of) and started enjoying the content. Not only mine, but everyone else’s too.
Suddenly, I started gaining followers and friends and it all happened organically. I’m not saying that there isn’t still a ton of work that goes into my blog, because we all know that blogging IS hard work. Or that I don’t spend a good chunk of time tending to my Twitter and Instagram (God, Twitter is a full-time job on its own), it’s just that I have a different mentality now. Yes the numbers are still important to me but it’s the content and the relationships that mean the most.
There are still many highs and lows (stats are pretty dismal this week) but I know it will change because it’s fluid. People get busy around the holidays, they have life stuff come up and I understand that now. I get it.
I don’t profess to be the guru of blogging now as I’m still learning something new every day. I’m just not so hard on myself now and that makes blogging a whole lot more enjoyable which is what it’s supposed to be.
To my friends, readers, and new followers, I humbly thank you for being there. For reading the thoughts that rattle around my brain and for actually caring about my opinion. I could not have reached this milestone without your support.
You all deserve new Kindles but since I have yet to gain my fortune blogging, I hope this will go a little way in saying thank you!
I’m giving away a brand-spanking new copy of Leigh Bardugo’s “Warbringer” and a $15 Amazon gift card. (Sorry, the Funko Wonder Woman is not included)
This week-long giveaway is open to everyone, especially current followers and is open to UK, US, and CAN residents.
Special acknowledgements go out to these fabulous bloggers who gave me a chance! In the same spirit, I ask you to do the same for new bloggers. We all need a little boost sometimes 🙂
Chelsea @ The Suspense is Thrilling Me
Lorraine @ The Book Review Cafe
Emma @ Damp Pebbles
Cathy @ Between the Lines Book Blog
Wendy @ Little Bookness Lane
Amy @ Novel Gossip
Initially, these awesome bloggers were instrumental in introducing me to our fabulous community. Not only do they still regularly share my posts but because of them, I have been introduced to so many amazing people. The list of bloggers that I know, share, and discuss blog posts with have grown exponentially. I would be here for days trying to list everyone but if you’re curious, check out my list of followers 🙂 They are so talented and I’m thankful to each and every one of them.
The adage “Sharing is Caring” has singularly been the most important thing that has helped me and my blog grow and it’s a message that we all should take to heart.