Blog Compare: How I’ve Improved

I feel like recently I’ve sorta been walking around feeling sorry for myself. Sorry that my blog has so few followers when people who started at the same time as me in blogging have 2x, 3x, 4x or more followers than I do. Which, let me just say, is dumb. I shouldn’t be caring so much about followers and whining about all of this because I know that I am so so lucky to have all the followers that I do. I love every single one of you and am so grateful to all of you. I know that there are so many bloggers out there who don’t have as many followers as I do. Let me say right now. MY BRAIN IS DUMB. MY BRAIN CARES ABOUT STUPID THINGS. MY BRAIN FEELS SORRY FOR MYSELF WHEN I SHOULDN’T. I’m trying to fix this, you guys, I promise. I’m trying to look up more than down every day.

Today I’ve decided to write a blog post discussing how far my blog has come. Before I start, I would like to say that I, personally, do not think that I am bragging by writing this post (though I understand that’s not exactly something I, the author of said post, can claim for myself). I’m only showing the things that I did to my blog that I, personally, believe makes it better. No one’s blog is the same, everyone has things that makes their blog theirs. But that was the problem with my old blog, it was not me. I am presenting what makes my blog me.

Also, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to Katie @The Storybook Sisters, since she has helped me A LOT with my blogging and just improving my content, how my blog looks, etc. (though she’s got to still have some secrets, how else could she be so much better than me?) If you don’t already follow her, please check out her blog and consider following because she is AMAZING.

Most of you hopefully probably don’t know that I used to run another blog, Writers’ YA Book Reviews. I ran this blog from April up until July or August. I was working with two of my friends, all three of us with nothing to do during quarantine and wanting to talk about books. (our friends Amethyst and Turquoise over at Act Your Page starting their blog was another big reason we started)
However. I, Phoenix, knew nothing about blogging. And I was the one with the idea. I was the most determined (sorry, Vampire and Werewolf), I really really wanted to start a blog. And, well, those of you who know Phoenix…she just jumps right in.
So let’s see what I’ve learned from blogging, having started this new blog, and how I’ve improved overall.

  1. The theme improved.

wHaT there’s theme’s other than the one they give you right when you start up the site? *cue sound of my mind in April being blown* Yeah, ha ha, I didn’t know that. (weird thing is, in fourth grade when I started another (equally cringy) site I did know…and you won’t find that site, it’s private and on a different account.)
Anyways…the theme that wordpress starts off with is…not the most beautiful. However, any site can look good, no matter the theme, as long as you know how to work with it and make it look good.
It’s too bad I didn’t know how to do that….

2. The home page

Compare: (sorry the screenshots aren’t perfect)

Okay, so the first thing I want to talk about is what the heck is that blue dot in the middle of the home page. I think that it was supposed to be a button? I believe there was a button there in the theme before any edits and I thought that just deleting the words would make it ✨disappear✨. So now there is a button that leads to nothing! (I have literally no idea where it leads, maybe the about page? I didn’t check)

3. The logo

Hint: We didn’t have one on the old site.
Okay, no, I am not saying that it’s bad not to have a logo. I know there are a lot of super successful blogs out there that don’t have logos or anything. But…we didn’t even have a symbol or a theme that the blog followed…it was just books (then again, books=good)

4. The blog itself.
Let’s compare what a book review looks like on my old blog and my new blog.

Old blog:

New blog: (*note: not the entire post, as the post was pretty long. If you want to see the full post, click here)

On blog number one we have a few things about the book (title, author, genre, representation in book, etc.), a brief summary and a few comments about the book.
Now, I don’t like this for several reasons. First of all, we don’t get many of my thoughts on the book. Just a short paragraph on what the book was like in general. This is not a book review. This is information about a book I read with a small amount of opinions sprinkled in. I’m really happy with how my reviews have improved in my new blog because it’s a lot more about my thoughts on the book. I’ve also let myself be more fluid in what my review is like–I feel like I’m constantly changing what my reviews are like constantly, which is good because they’re always improving to reflect what I think better. In fact, I will probably change my format in the very next review I write, so look out for that (it probably won’t be for a while, however).

5. The content

Guys, I literally only had book reviews on this thing. It was just the same thing, over and over and over. Now, there are some people who have blogs like this, who don’t feel like doing book tags or discussion posts and only post what they think of books, but when we have reviews like those demonstrated above, that is not good.

6. Interacting with the community

Let’s all be fair, I only started doing this on this blog over Thanksgiving break so I’m not sure I can really get angry at myself for not doing this before. But like…other blogs? That’s a thing? Who knew? I feel like on my old blog this would have helped me SO MUCH to improve my theme and my content and my reviews since I would be able to see how other people are doing it and how it might be able to look better.

A message to anyone whose blog is not ‘enough’: If you like your blog, if you like the content you are posting and you like what it looks like, keep at it. That is enough, I promise. Though I am a total hypocrite for saying this, it is not about the followers. It never has been and it never will be. Blogging is for you, is to let you have an outlet to share what you think and all the creative things like book tags and discussion posts that you do. How you make your blog, what you post, even who sees what you post, is your choice. Never think that your blog won’t reach that goal that seems impossible right now. It is not impossible. I promise. You will always see bloggers with better posts, better graphics, more people reading what they’re saying. But you will get there. Just keep reaching. Just keep writing. And keep being awesome. 😁😁😁

Well, that’s the whole post, folks! Yes you are definitely allowed to mock my old blog in the comments, it was truly terrible. Anyways, sorry if you didn’t find this post interesting, I just thought it would be cool to see how much I’ve learned about blogging through my journey these past few months!

What did you think of this post? Did it make you laugh? What are some ways that your blog has improved since you’ve created it? Please talk to me, I’d love to hear your opinion on my opinion as long as it isn’t disrespectful!
As always, thank you so much for reading, it means the world. Remember to stay safe and keep reading!