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5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

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Blog Anniversary - blogging tips - writing tips - Novel Conclusions literary blog - birthday candle

Birthday Candle by Ardfern via Wikimedia Commons

This week marks an entire year of blogging – October 23rd will be my one-year blog anniversary!  Happy Blog Birthday to Novel Conclusions!  In honor of this epically momentous occasion, I’ve decided to put together this gorgeous list of what I’ve learned about blogging.

  • I’m not alone.  There’s this whole community of writers and book bloggers and fan girls and people who just adore the English language.  Becoming a part of this super fun community encourages me to do more inside the writing arena (like participating in NaNoWriMo).  The book and writing community rocks!
  • Bonus:  Interacting with said community drives engagement on your blog.  Who woulda thought?  Catching up on what other writers and book enthusiasts are doing encourages people to drop by your blog and join the conversation.
  • Positive posts/notes/comments get the most love.  There was actually a report done about Facebook recently backing up this idea.  Outside of reports and etc., people in the blogosphere tend to be much friendlier than, say, commenters on a newspaper website or a gossip column – another reason the book and writing blogosphere is amazing.
  • It’s okay to occasionally break the cycle of your blog posts.  Your audience won’t immediately disappear.  I usually try to post about once a week.  Occasionally it will be more often, and sometimes when life is crazy, less often.  However, don’t wait too long between blog posts.  Two weeks is a little vacation.  Two months is more like starting over.
  • There’s a wealth of knowledge in the blogosphere about everything imaginable that’s related to books and writing.  Reading all the posts over at Nathan Bransford’s blog and Mary Kole’s blog would practically give you an MFA.  That’s not even mentioning other fantastic resources like Lynn Price at the Behler Blog or all the other agents and editors and authors with free, abundant, awesome writing and publishing tips. You can even interact with these people by commenting.  Craziness.

What have you all learned while blogging?  What have you done to streamline your blog?  What do you like (or dislike) that others do with their blogs?

P.S.  I also took this opportunity to discover that this blog’s sun sign is Libra, which apparently represents the element of air or intellect.  We can pretend that I planned that. 😉

P.P.S.  This shows a way cool map of indie bookstores in your area (and also confirmed my knowledge that LA is severely lacking in indie bookstores).

About Christi

Writing in SoCal.

30 responses

  1. Happy blog Anniversary!

  2. I find it hard to remember life before blogging and all of the knowledge gained in that time. It sounds like it is the same for you. Congrats on a great year of blogging!

  3. Congratulations! Reading your (excellent) post made me think that my blog-iversary is coming up too. It was the day of Super Storm Sandy, so I looked up the date and realized that it’s tomorrow! (You think I’d have been more aware). So we’re both Libra’s and totally planned it that way 🙂

    I think your 5 points are perfect! I’ve discovered many of the same things and have been blown away most by the friendliest and supportive community I’ve found.

    Happy Anniversary!

  4. Hi!! I did not know you had a blog! Sweet and very true (your 5 things…)! I look forward to reading your blog.

    Happy Monday!

  5. “Reading all the posts over at Nathan Bransford’s blog and Mary Kole’s blog would practically give you an MFA.”—I loved this line. So true, isn’t it? There is so much information out there, and just like one would get from different writing professors, opinions vary. Sometimes that can be confusing–one writer says this, another says that–but I think what it ultimately points out is that, as with many things, there is no ‘right’ way. In writing, one must find what works best for him or her and use the online advice to guide them.

    • Definitely! As with college professors, some will say things that stick with you and some won’t. There is no “right” way to write (although there are definitely some wrong ways to use grammar… lol).

  6. Yea! Congrats. I agree with all of your points above. I was planning a similar post in a couple of weeks. My blog birthday is in early November. Loved the link to the indie bookstores map. The Chicago area had more than I’d realized.

  7. Happy blogiversary! Blog comments really are friendlier than other forum comments, aren’t they? Although I have to admit, I get a kick out of reading Youtube comments. They’re just so silly. I think bloggers recognize how hard it is to maintain a blog, and therefore are less likely to be rude to other bloggers when we’re all in the same boat 🙂

  8. Congratulations on one year of blogging! You list is right on. I feel the same way too. Also about the number of blogs per week. It’s good to do what works for you as long as you. I do one a week usually, sometimes twice if I’m doing a series or 2-parter. But as you say, waiting more than 7 days to blog occasionally doesn’t hurt when needed.

  9. Happy blogoversary! And many more.
    Blogging has taught me to never to say “never.” I never thought I’d start a blog, but I did this year.
    As for streamlining, I don’t post every day, though I follow many bloggers who do. But I chose not to post every day just for my own stress level.

    • I don’t think I could maintain posting every day; that might make blogging more of a chore. I like to keep it as a fun side project instead. Thanks for the blogoversary wishes!

  10. Happy blogging birthday! That’s a fun idea, looking up you’re blog’s astrological sign. I’m going to look up mine too. 🙂

  11. Happy 1st blogging birthday! I think you’re really right about engaging with other bloggers, if nothing else it’s really interesting to see what books other people are recommending.Not posting regularly is one of my major failures as a blogger.

    • Sometimes it’s hard to post regularly — life can certainly get in the way. I love the book recommendations, too, although I always end up having more books on my to-be-read list than I can actually read, lol.

  12. Happy 1st anniversary! My 2nd is coming up next week, which means I’m a Libra but my blog is a Scorpio. I wonder if that’s a good or bad combination? 😉

    One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to pace myself—there’s no way I can regularly post twice a week or more. So it’s once a week for me. And yes—the support and camaraderie, at least in the areas where I spend my time, are amazing.

    • Averaging once a week feels like a comfortable pace to me, too.

      I’m a Pisces, but I didn’t think to check whether that’s good or bad with a Libra. Maybe it’s better if I don’t know? 🙂

  13. Enjoyed the post. I am putting my paperback into about twelve independent bookstores in the Orlando area next month. I just used the indie finder on my area, because I wanted to see if I overlooked any, and the only store it shows is Fairvilla, the premier adult entertainment store in the area. I had to laugh. I don’t think my book would sell too very well there. There may be more independents in your area that just haven’t found the finder yet 🙂

    • LOL. Maybe I’d better look more closely for indie bookstores out here, too. Congrats on getting your paperback into all those local shops!

  14. Congrats on your first year! My favorite blogging tip is to type notes to myself in Inkpad when I think of an interesting post idea. Sometimes I get so busy with work and writing that I don’t have the time to ruminate over posts–it’s always handy to have backups in my phone. 🙂 Oh, and Morguefile is my other blogging tip–it’s a great place to get free-use pictures.

    • I take notes all the time, too; it helps me remember all of those random ideas that pop up as the day goes along.

      I’ve never heard of Morguefile — I’ll have to check it out. I use Wikimedia Commons public domain images a lot for posts that just need a featured image but don’t need something specific.

  15. Happy first blog birthday! Even though I’ve been blogging for several years (and also have a book review web site,, I learned some valuable new things on this post. Thanks for liking my blog.

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