Tuesday 31 October 2017

3 Lessons From 3 Years of Blogging

Happy Halloween!

Halloween dogs in sheets 123 picture

31st October is uber-special here on Dora Reads, because it's blog anniversary time!

Yup, 3 years ago today I started this blog - which was then called Diary of a Reading Addict - and started myself on this slightly bizarre (but awesomely fun!) path.

And since the long-off days of 2014, I've learnt a thing or two.

Some of those things are more weird than practical - but there's also come good blog/life lessons  along the way.

So here, my dearest nerdlets, are 3 lessons that I have learned in my 3 years of blogging:

1. You don't owe anyone anything

(This doesn't apply to like, goods or services - you kind of owe people money for those. Don't go shoplifting or whatever and then blaming me, k?)

Look, this doesn't mean being stingy or selfish. Being generous is generally a good way to go in life, and a must-do in blogging.

And if someone really needs help, and you're in a position to help them, then do it. Simple.

But don't feel an obligation to loyally place yourself at the service of someone who never reciprocates.

If you're the one putting all of the effort into your relationship, with no return, it's not good for you. It's just gonna drain your time and energy and leave you miserable and exhausted.

Obama 'It requires some effort' gif

Here's a blogging example:

I follow loads of people on Twitter - which is a well-known method of growing your own Twitter following. Only so many of those people will follow me back.

Before, I didn't really unfollow anyone (unless they really p**sed me off, or were inactive, or whatever.)

That meant, when scrolling down my Crowdfire (there are a bunch of social media managers available,) I had countless people who I couldn't even remember following.

Patrick 'Who Are You People?!' Spongebob gif
via Giphy

These were people who:
  • didn't follow me
  • didn't talk to me
  • I hadn't liked or RT'd any of their stuff as far as I knew
  • I didn't see them on my timeline - or if I did, I hadn't noticed
...and yet I was hesitant to push 'unfollow.' Because it's not very polite, and I'm sure the majority of those accounts were run by lovely people who I wish nothing but happiness.

Snow White unfollow gif

But the fact is, it was a waste of my time and resources to follow people who didn't provide me with either entertainment or a reciprocal relationship.

So I realised that I didn't owe them anything.

I was worrying about unfollowing them, and they probably didn't even know who I was, much less have a mind to miss me if I left! So now I'm a lot more willing to push that 'unfollow' button!

The same applies to life - though the unfollow button is more metaphorical.

2. Just keep swimming

Just keep swimming Dory gif

Yes, I'm channelling Dory to remind you all that life is a tortoise-and-hare, slow-and-steady, deal-y. The most important thing is not to give up - to just keep things going, a little at a time.

Lord knows, I have to take sh** a day at a time, or I risk being seriously unwell (again.)

My dearest nerdlets, there are people in this world who want nothing more than for you to give up and throw in the towel. Don't give them the satisfaction.

I DON'T mean that you should over-work - it's really important for you to take care of yourselves and take loads of breaks, but you also shouldn't give up hope.

When it comes to blogging, you have to be in it for the long-game.

Yes, there are people who miraculously seem to achieve blogging success and notoriety with very little effort; but on average? It ain't gonna happen.

Those people have actual magical powers, I swear, because it's just not possible. Or there was some sort of occult ritual involving a goat - and that gets messy and isn't good for the goat, so don't do that.

Daria burning glasses gif

Instead, you have to just keep doing the work.

So comment on other people's posts, have genuine human-being-type conversations (where possible - cos dude, I'm socially awkward af,) and write your itty-bitty heart out making posts that you love.

Be open to taking advice and trying different things. Because whether you've been doing this for one year or one hundred, you've got a lot to learn. Never forget that.

3. F**k it, just be you!

There is but one golden rule of blogging, as far as I'm concerned: be genuine.

Be You pic

If something sounds false, if it's not what you think, but it's what you think people want to hear, don't push that send/publish button.

Be honest. Even if that means going against the grain, or not making up your mind on something at all - be honest

Write posts you would read, don't write posts that you wouldn't. Don't be afraid to comment, but don't comment for the sake of commenting.

Realise that it's ok to say ridiculous things, and also ok to stand back until you know more about what's going on.

Don't try to mimic other bloggers. They are not you. And you are beautiful.

That counts doubly for life: don't put up with their sh** (whoever 'they' are.)

Be safe and be you. Those are the only things you have to remember.

Now go rock the f**king world my nerdlets. Cos I can't wait to see what you can do!

Guys, I adore you - thank you so much for all the support, love, and general awesomeness, that you've brought, and continue to bring, to me, and to Dora Reads. 💗💗💗😘

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeArrBookNerd, on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin, and on Google+. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page


  1. What is this goat-sacrificing occult ritual you speak of? I want more followers ;-) I don't even know what to do with Twitter. Pretty sure half the people I follow I only follow cuz I wanted to enter a giveaway, but I just can't keep track??? I'm trying to do a better job of keeping track of blogs I follow and those who return visits vs those who don't even seem to care when I comment. This is all great advice though!

    1. Ha, nope - I've decided to protect the goats by not telling you ;)

      Use something like Crowdfire (again, there are other apps) it tells you who follows you back, who's unfollowed you, etc.

      Generally, I just keep an untidy list of people who've left a comment - and then try to figure out who I was talking about when it comes to commenting back!

      If you want more social media advice, I recommend following @BadRedheadMedia on Twitter, and/or checking out her blog - which has literally *years* worth of advice! :)

  2. Awww happy blogiversary Cee!! Leave it to you to leave some really heartfelt advice and make me all mushy inside! Keep doing what you’re doing girl, and never change your content for anyone. You’re perfect just the way you are! <3

    1. Thank you Em <3 :)

      And awww that's really sweet! Thank you soooo much! *hugs*

  3. Happy blogiversary! I love your advice. It’s very true.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. Happy blogiversary, Cee! (rhyme-y rhyme-y),
    I love this post so much, because there's so much one sided talking going on for me right now. Also, as a fellow awkward af person, I don't often know if it's my anxiety talking or the person is actually not interested in talking to me. So...that's an obstacle to acknowledge for me. I love the use of GIFs here. Don't know how I'd ever use that in a cool way. It'd make posting take five thousand years. Or maybe just 84. Something tedious.

    1. Thanks so much! :)

      D, you rock, m'k? If people aren't answering you, it's because they suck. Wait 'til they're more polite to continue the conversation.

      Also, as long as you're being genuine (even if that is genuinely awkward - cos I def. do that!!!) then you're doing it right! :)

      (I admit that I spent a ridiculously large amount of time selecting GIFs for this post!)

  5. Happy blogiversary! As well as that, you're also right on all of these. I had the same mindset about you on twitter and recently I cleaned out my following both on there and on instagram. I also am working on the just keep swimming side of things now. For bookstagram (okay, it's not blogging but it's highly related :P) the algorithm is evil and makes it very hard as you watch all your stats plummet. Even though I'm not all about stats it is very discourgaing. But hey, just keep swimming! I'm in it for the long haul ;)

    1. Thank you! :)

      I know - it can be hard when your stats are down, even if you're not hung up on it! I don't know about Instagram algorithms (I really don't have the patience for that kinda content! Lol,) but I know that sometimes you put soooo much effort into something... and it just doesn't pay off.

      And Liv, you are a) talented, and b) absolutely amazing. If anyone can handle the long haul, it's you! XD

  6. sorry for the delay! Crazy week! a storm hit us and had no power for three says :( Happy belated blogiversary! WOW three years huh? you are a VETERAN my dear! Thanks for sharing all that wisdom I especially love the Just keep Swimming advice! because that's my life motto. You know I'm such a Dory! :) and of course Just be you! :) beast life advice ever :) one of the reason I love this blog is because it's very UNIQUE it's YOU :)

    1. Thank you sooooooo much! XD

      So much loveliness in one comment! Thankssss!!!! XD

      Ha, I don't feel like a veteran - but that might be because I know bloggers who've been at it for longer, and a lot of around about the same amount of time.

      And all these newbie bloggers seem to have things together so quickly! *attempts to smother jealousy* Lol.

      Hope there wasn't too much storm damage!

  7. Happy 3rd year anniversary!
    Good tips on the blogging.
    Never give up is a hard one to follow. I have been teetering on that issue the last few months (hence I’ve not been around). I guess we all go through that? Well anyway, good on you for keeping it going and keep up the good work. 😀

    1. Thank you!

      And yeah, I get dispirited sometimes (I don't really stop though... I have over-working issues, lol! But always do what works for you!)

  8. I know I'm late to this, but happy belated blogoversary! I think you have a good attitude about blogging---the more you worry about other people, the more crazy you'll drive yourself. Like you said, that doesn't mean being rude or ignoring people, just not spending too much time and mental energy on what OTHER people want. Your Twitter example is a good one. I used to stress about who I followed/unfollowed, but I've realized that I can't keep up with everything and make everyone happy. And that's okay.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    P.S. If I posted this comment twice, I'm sorry. I meant to post it, but it seems to have gotten eaten...

    1. Thank you! (And no worries - just happy to see you here!) Totally agree - it's just not possible to be all things to all people.

      And no, you only seem to've posted this once... the comment monster must've got it! XD


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