A (Very) Brief History of BookwyrmBites

I’ve been blogging for about four and a half months now, and when I started out I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. From scrambling to finish last-minute posts, to pouting over ARCs I was denied, to cackling over my own jokes in Goodreads updates, it’s been a wild ride and I’ve learned so much.

This post is part of Bookending Spring 2019, which is organized by Sam & Clo! Today’s prompt, “Blog’s Life,” is hosted by Clo @ Book Dragons.


BookwyrmBites Past

Like so many other people, I started book blogging because I love reading and talking about books, but I don’t have many offline friends who still read much. In doing my early prep and setup work, I became aware of just how many book blogs already existed, and I had no idea how or why anyone would read mine; my first post was definitely a yell into the void the vast interwebs. I also had no idea what to post, so my next ten or so posts were all pretty basic reviews.

Joining the New Bloggers discord was perhaps the most impactful moment in my early blogging days. Suddenly I had fellow bookdragons and bookwyrms to talk to, who had wisdom experience and advice and general opinions to share, and when I started really engaging with the bookish community, I made rapid progress. My stats did increase, but more importantly, I got to know my fellow book bloggers β€” which is huge, because we make up so much of each other’s audiences β€” and engagement etiquette, formatting conventions, 

Such a huge part of my blogging journey has been influenced by the friends I’ve made along the way. You all have helped me figure out WordPress and ARCs and blogging etiquette, challenge my perceptions on privilege and access, plan for (re)branding in the near future, and so much more. [Side note: There are so, so, so many resources I could have linked here β€” I’ve been working on a related project which should soon be ready to publish, so keep an eye out for that!] 

I’ve come a long way since hitting publish on that first post, and I’m so glad that I decided to take the plunge. Getting started was, in a lot of ways, the hardest part for me.

BookwyrmBites Present

Which brings us to the here and now. Every week brings something new: a different topic to write about, a new way to analyze my reading / blogging data, more friends to talk to. I’ve moved away from posting reviews because they’re really not my favorite to write; discussions and guide / resource posts are more interesting to me. My blog planners are overflowing with post ideas (including a bunch of tags I’ve hoarded), fellow bloggers and authors I want to work with, miscellaneous tasks to optimize my reading and blogging. 

Since we’re on the topic, here’s my Tidyathon list, which is itself a work in progress:

πŸ—Ή List and set up recurring blog maintenance tasks in Todoist
☐ Standardize review formatting, including affiliate disclaimers and book details
☐ Fix/replace hard-to-read post headers
πŸ—Ή Link posts and recommenders on my recs from bloggers GR shelf
☐ Declutter TBR and maybe-read shelves
☐ Finish and publish resources project
☐ Update reading challenges & bingo boards
πŸ—Ή Update review archive pages
☐ Update review tags page
πŸ—Ή Update review policy
☐ Write up collab/guest post policy
☐ Experiment with scheduling social media posts
☐ Think about rebranding possibilities, especially with graphics and titles

I do have finals coming up next month, so I’m kind of in a holding pattern until those are over and I have time to plan and implement bigger changes on this blog. In the meantime, I’ve been gradually working my way through the above list on slower days / weeks.

BookwyrmBites Future

These early months have mostly been focused on getting established, figuring out what I do and don’t like writing, exploring different niches, scheduling time in my week to write and bloghop, et cetera. Now that I have a better idea of what has been working for me, I feel that I have a solid enough foundation to really start experimenting. (And yes, Soph, I’ll make sure to try everything out on my test blog first. 😜)

Going forward, I would love to do more collaborations and guest posts with fellow bloggers and authors; feel free to let me know if this is something you’d be interested in working on with me! I’ve also got a few post series and blog pages in the works β€” as part of my ongoing fight against perfectionism, I’m planning on unveiling them pretty soon instead of continuing to sit on and tweak them in pursuit of an unattainably high standard.

My goal is for this blog to be a helpful resource for fellow readers, as well as an interactive space, so if there’s something you’d like to see (and/or collaborate on) please do let me know!


How has your blog changed since its start? What are some of the biggest lessons and takeaways you’ve picked up? Is there anything you’d like to see more (or less) of on book blogs in general?

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16 thoughts on “A (Very) Brief History of BookwyrmBites

  1. Like you, that discord server just saved me so much suffering of trying to go at it alone and in the dark with how to navigate book blogging, so three cheers for that server and all its lovely peeps. I absolutely love your blog and I’m always surprised when I’m reminded that your blog hasn’t been a staple in the community forever. You are so confident and your posts so great I always had assumed at first that you had years under your belt.

    I can’t wait to see what you have coming up but I’ll also be crossing my fingers for you for finals. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you and we can talk about this a couple of years from now, laughing at how old our blogs are lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw thank you so much Haley! I think the biggest thing I learned from high school color/winter guard was β€œfake it till you make it” so I do tend to dive into things headfirst and make it up as I go … which might look like confidence from the outside? πŸ˜…

      luckily I only have three finals left on two days, so honestly I’ll probably use some of the week in between to do some reading and blogging (or maybe Netflix-ing, falling behind on all my shows was the price I paid to keep up with reading these past few months 😢) in which case my Secret Projects may be up sooner than later! and yes, I look forward to becoming blogging veterans together, and cringing at our early posts πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tidyathon is such a good idea, I definitely have a lot to work on in that respect. I rebranded in January from novellique and it was honestly such a good decision – and joining the blogging discord, too. Those two factors brought back my love of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been blogging for over a yr now and I feel like you’ve surpassed me πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I’ve found I like writing my reviews since it really embeds into my memory what I did or didn’t like about a book. It’s almost like a forced reflection which I’m enjoying. I’m trialling (between study and full time work) new discussion posts but I seem to be failing at finding time for them atm so maybe they will make a surface in a few months when I have a break! But like you discovering the Discord chat has been amazing. I feel like I’ve made so many leaps and bounds from joining that

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also joined the Discord server and met so many awesome bloggers! It’s really motivated me to blog more often and given me so many ideas on what to post.

    Good luck with your goals and rebranding. Also, best of luck on your exams!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooooo sends all the good vibes for the tidyathon list I need to work on mine kicks it under a rug for now I’m attempting to keep on top of blog hopping. Aaaah I can’t wait to see your blog grow in the future, I also really struggle writing book reviews and prefer discussion/guide posts. Funnily enough I also enjoy collab posts, I just like working with fellow book bloggers on an awesome post. I dutifully ignore my pages…I still have several that need setting up actually ooops. Just hit publish, you can tweak them still whilst they’re published, I do that often hehe.

    New Bloggers server saved me blogging soul…which is now in Soph’s hands. I also have a test blog, thanks to Soph it’s my playground where I break things and scream at graphics being wrong xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “just hit publish” is definitely something I’ve been working on, if I waited until everything was perfect I’d be waiting forever!

      I imagine collab posts are fun, I haven’t written any yet but I did do collab stories with friends in middle school where we each had a POV character and we’d trade off chapters … ooooooh now I want to hunt it down so I can laugh and cringe πŸ˜…

      Like

  6. Ah, that discord server is definitely something that makes me want to keep blogging too! It’s so positive and when you are just talking to everyone there it feels like being at home!
    For now, I hope you are able to finish all the tasks on your Tidyathon list and also, all the best for your finals!
    I can not wait to see what will be coming up next on your blog and I am so excited about it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ISAAAABBEEELLLEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of your journey and how far you have come! I can concur with you that waddling into New Bloggers was probably one of the greatest decisions I have ever made. Much friends have been made, such waddling to different blogs have been done! I feel your Tidyathon list to the very depth’s of my core and it reminds me that I need to actually sit down and make my own. jots it down on sticky note before i forget again because what is memory

    GOOD LUCK ON YOUR FINALS! MY ALL THE KNOWLEDGE FLOW THROUGH YOUR BRAIN LIKE GOOGLE!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!! absolutely relate, internet friends and bloghopping have quickly become the highlight of my weeks. πŸ’•

      and “what is memory” is a mood indeed, good luck on your Tidyathon list (starting with writing it out πŸ˜‰)! thanks for the extra luck on finals, I’m gonna need it haha.

      Like

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