Reflecting On 4 Years of Blogging

The blog’s official birthday was July 4th, but I wanted to stick to the theme of procrastination and post this blogiversary reflection a few days late! (It was actually just poor planning that led to this post being late. Don’t be fooled!) I actually reached out over on Instagram to see if there was anything specific people were interested in, but I didn’t receive many responses, so I figured that anything would go. So what you’re getting in the end is a bit of a chatty piece where I’m going to reflect on the past 4 years. As of writing this intro, I’m not sure what topics that will cover, so I guess we’ll both find out in the coming paragraphs!

If you asked me how long I’ve been blogging, and I answered with my gut and not facts, I’d say it’s been 2, maybe 2.5 years. Which is obviously strange, since I’ve been blogging for 4 years now. But I think there are 2 reasons I’d say this. Firstly, there were lots of hiatuses and months off. So I don’t feel as though I spent a full 4 years working on this blog. Secondly, as much as this blog has grown, and it has grown A LOT! (Pauses to thank everyone for helping me reach 900 followers just days after posting my June Wrap Up where I said that was what I was hoping for! This community is the best!) Even though this blog has grown, I still feel like it’s in its infancy. Part of that of course has to do with my inconsistency and hiatuses. But part of that feels like it has to do with how the blogging community has shifted and changed over the past 4 years. So let’s talk about that some more.

Over the years I’ve been so lucky to make friends and have blogs that I adore following. But what I’ve learned is that, for better or worse, things change. Bloggers get burnt out and take indefinite hiatuses or stop posting entirely. New bloggers try out blogging for a month or two, only to be disappointed when they don’t grow super fast, or when they realize how much work blogging can be, and they leave as well. And I have to admit, I get it. There have been months where I’ve considered leaving blogging. There have been times where I’ve been disappointed about the blog’s growth (or lack there of) or the stats on posts. But a lot of that is me playing the comparison game. A lot of that is me looking back to when I first started out on this blog and all the content I was posting seemed fresh and new and came easily, and COVID hadn’t happened, and I was better at blog hopping an interacting, and my stats reflected that. I think that it’s taken me too long to realize that I need to look at my current blogging situation and base what I’ll call a success or a disappointment on the given situation. I’m busier now, I’m a bit less inspired, I don’t have as much interaction. Those are all disappointing, yes, but they’re also reality. If I stop letting it get me so down, I can use this moment as my new starting point, and figure out ways to grow from the point I’m at now.

Thankfully, there’s still a lot of good that has come out of my blogging, so let’s take a moment to look back at that as well. It’s wild to me how many things I’ve done because of this blog that I never could have dreamed of. Let’s start with the fact that having there are bloggers I admire that share my posts in monthly wrap ups! It STILL never ceases to blow my mind. Someone thought what I wrote had value! Someone thought what I wrote was funny and worth sharing! (This is your daily reminder to share the content you love and make a blogger’s day/week/month!) I really never thought this would happen when I started out, but seeing blogs I love and blogs I wasn’t even aware knew I existed talk about my posts is still one of the best feelings.

Then there are all the publisher related things that were literal dreams of mine, that have become reality. I’m on some romance publishers’ influencer lists and can request ARCs from them, both via NetGalley and in physical form. I’ve been invited to a release day party! I’ve interviewed authors! I’m now a Bookshop.org affiliate and sometimes make money from that! These are things that took years to accomplish, but they’re most definitely worth celebrating! I don’t ever want to start taking for granted the fact that I sometimes get access to a favorite author’s new book several months early because of this platform that I’ve built. A platform which would be nothing without YOU reading it.

Which is why there’s obviously going to be a giveaway to celebrate these past 4 years. Because any reader, any follower, any friend of this blog has been what’s made this experience last. It’s why when I’ve burnt out, I’ve returned. It’s why I post content to begin with. So to thank you all for being here there are going to be not one, but TWO giveaways!

THE GIVEAWAYS

The way this will work is the following. One of the giveaways will be INTERNATIONAL ONLY! This giveaway will be open to anywhere outside the US and will be a book less than $20 from Book Depository, as long as they ship to your country. The other giveaway will be US ONLY! This giveaway will be any book less than $20 from Bookshop.org! I wanted to be sure that all my international readers not only had a chance, but were guaranteed that someone outside the US would get something, while obviously not excluding my US readers, so this was my solution! (I also required you to either confirm which country or state you’re from when you enter so that I’m sure you’re entering the right giveaway!)

Enter the International Giveaway!

Enter the US Giveaway!

How long have you been blogging for? What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed on your blog? What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed about your reading?

34 thoughts on “Reflecting On 4 Years of Blogging

  1. ok i haven’t blog hopped in so long, but CONGRATS ON 4 YEARS CHANA AND MALKA! hello, i am one of the bloggers that’s on hiatus due to burn out + a busy life 😭 but i miss interacting with ya’ll so much!! i agree so much with you about how crazy it is to be a blogger. i can’t imagine the fact that being a blogger allowed me to be interviewed by important people and read arcs of my most anticipated books early. also, i definitely get what you’re saying about being down about stats, but i think it’s really important to keep in mind that stats don’t equal quality. nowadays, i know so many bloggers who have sadly quit posting and interacting due to one reason or another :(( props to you for continuing to blog even though your life must be so hectic ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. THANK YOU, CAITLIN! I’m so happy that you chose to comment despite being on hiatus!

      Yes! There are so many cool opportunities that blogging opens the door for! It’s really wild when you actually stop to think about it!

      It’s made me quite sad to see so many bloggers stop blogging, and I’m really glad that I still enjoy interacting on this platform even when life gets crazy. Here’s to hoping that I continue to enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve wondered often when I see folks posting about blogging for five years, eight years, nine years, that it must be sad in a way to still be around while so many others you connect with move to something else for whatever reason. Always new folks to meet which is lovely, but it must be so crazy to then look at those around who started about the same time as you. Like at a job where you see how many people you started with are still there 😂 because boyyy can blogging be a job. Thankfully for me it’s usually what I do to get through the rest of things in life that burn me out. Figuring out how you want to define success is so helpful.

    CONGRATS! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, definitely! Even after four years, I’m starting to see that happen, and it really does make me sad! But like you said, there are always new blogs that pop up, which means there are always new friends to make!

      Blogging is absolutely a job, but thankfully so far it’s been one I’ve enjoyed! I don’t think I would continue blogging if I didn’t have fun while putting in this much work!

      Thank you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on 4 years! Everyone needs a break, the important thing is that you came back and that, you wanted to. I used to read more when I first started blogging but the past few years ( Covid), I started watching my young grandchildren so that changed how much free time I had and it also changed what books I read. I feel that will change as they get older, so now I juggle adult and children books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      Yes! I definitely needed the hiatuses when I took them, but there has always been something that drew me back to the blog!

      Interestingly enough, I read a lot more before I started blogging, but that mostly has to do with the fact that I started this blog while I was in college, and I did a lot more reading in high school. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m curious to see how it will affect both what I read, and how much I’m able to read!

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  4. CONGRATULATIONS!! 🎉🎉 So happy you’ve been blogging for 4 years now and so happy to have met you thanks to it. It’s always a great joy to be able to chat with you about books and everything!
    I so get it about blogging having its ups and downs and how you’re changing along with it, as well. I feel like, 4 years ago, it was way easier to grow, interact and just, feel the community aspect around here. Now, everything’s moved on drastically to social media. I’m so glad that despite the hiatuses, you’re still here and no matter how regularly (or not) you come by, it’s always so, so lovely to hear your thoughts. Here’s to more years of blogging!! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It feels so surreal that it’s already been 4 years! Awww, Marie! 💕 I too am so glad that I met you because of blogging!

      Yes! There’s been such a big change from when I started to how blogging is now, and honestly sometimes I still need to remind myself that change is inevitable and there’s no use wishing for the past. I’m blogging here and now, and I’m determined to enjoy myself!

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad to have a friend like you that’s still around for me to interact with on both our blogs!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy blog anniversary! 💕💕
    Thinking back on the fact that most bloggers that started around the same time I did (around 7 years now…wow) are gone makes me so sad. I go through my follow list from time to time and everytime i do more are gone. But the good thing is that more and more bloggers start everyday so there are always new people to discover!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Fadwa!

      It really is so sad, and also, quite a bit disheartening when blogs you loved are no longer around. But like you said, there are also new blogs to discover every day, so at least there’s still a great community around to discuss all things bookish!

      Like

    1. Thank you!

      Oh, yes! I feel like from the very beginning of this blog I’ve been pretty liberal with breaks and hiatuses and it’s so important! Getting refreshed and reenergized every so often is exactly what helps me keep blogging, and I hope it’s what will sustain me for many more years!

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  6. Congratulations on 4 years!!! I relate to how you feel that it’s been a short time because I feel the same. I’ve been blogging for 6 and a half years now but I definitely feel like it has been only 3 or so. My relationship with blogging has also changed a bunch. Like you, I have less time, am not as inspired as I was in the initial days, and don’t blog hop as much. I still try but it isn’t the same. But then, life keeps changing. We can’t expect to be the same forever. Maybe a few years later I’ll be way more into blogging, who knows. We just have to keep going, no matter how we do it.

    Anyway, congrats again and hope your blog continues to grow! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sumedha!

      Yes! It’s so interesting how time has flown in the time I’ve been blogging! I’m glad find someone who feels similarly!

      And honestly, it’s so comforting to hear that I’m not the only one that has slowed down as life has changed. I know it’s useless to wish for the past, but sometimes I can’t help it. However, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m a bit slower to do all things blogging nowadays, so at least I’ve stopped beating myself up over inevitable changes. Like you though, I keep hoping that someday soon I’ll be just as invigorated about blogging as I was at the very beginning. I guess we’ll see how that goes as I continue to blog!

      Thank you so much! 💕

      Like

  7. Happy Anniversary, Malka! I can’t remember when I stumbled upon your blog, but I’m so, so glad I did. I love your discussion posts, the way your wrap-ups are formatted and just reading your blog in general. And congrats on 900 followers!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!! I am so happy for you reaching this (and the 900 followers!) milestone! It is soooo not an easy feat to accomplish, but I am so thrilled that you have managed to stick around and keep coming back to it! Honestly, I think knowing your limits and knowing when you need breaks is HUGE, and probably why you have the mental bandwidth to keep on keeping on.

    I have been blogging for approximately three hundred years. Okay just kidding, almost 9 though! It really has changed a ton, I remember when I first started being so obsessed with stats and ARCs and junk and now… I am wildly apathetic! It’s really wonderful- I used to work myself to exhaustion, but then when I snapped out of THAT, I became so much happier with it all. I do wish I had more time to blog honestly, but I don’t, so I have to be okay with that for now. I feel like we have a lot of similar ways to handle the weirdness of blogging, heh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU! It feels like such a huge milestone! 4 years is a long time! And 900 followers is a LOT of people! But honestly, you make a great point. I’m probably most proud of sticking with this for 4 years despite the breaks and hiatuses. And you’re totally right that without those breaks I would have stopped blogging long ago!

      Wow! 9 years! That’s absolutely insane for me to think about! I was just starting high school then!

      For me, I don’t know if I’ll ever stop being obsessed with stats, but I do care less about the numbers, even if I’m still obsessed with tracking those numbers daily. But I’m definitely more cautious about ARCs at this point! I have learned my lesson after getting burned by NetGalley too many times!

      I’m so glad that you’re no longer working yourself to exhaustion and that you’re happier now! I feel like everyone wishes they have more time to blog, because we typically start out when we actually had the time, before life got in the way. But listen, if it still makes you happy, then you put in the amount of time you can spare and still be sane! That’s what I try to do, at least!

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  9. I don’t blog nearly as much as I used to, and I also don’t blog-hop as much either. I used to let myself get frustrated by that, but I’ve realized that this is just life. Sometimes certain things take priority and then other times those priorities shift. But I don’t think I’ll stop blogging – I still love it, even when things are busy and it’s hard to keep up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m still figuring out how much time I now have for blogging, but I’ve definitely made less time for blog hopping, which is sad. I just find that blog hopping takes a lot of focus and energy from me, so it’s harder to find times when I feel up to it. Like you said, it’s life, but I’m still getting used to the change in pace.

      And I’m glad that you see yourself continuing to blog for the near future! I see myself continuing as well, but we’ll see what the future has in store!

      Like

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