Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Growth Of Blogging

Welcome to another Monday, a beginning of another week and another fantastic day to talking about books, and blogging and more except for politics…I never talk politics in mixed company especially over a steaming cup of tea and some warm fresh biscuits.

So today I want to talk about a topic I have covered before but a topic I haven’t addressed in a long time since I first started this meme two years ago, and I have been wanting to share these great sites. Over the past two years I have definitely learned so much about web design. I wanted to share some great sites and tools that I love having as a blogger.

My blog has definitely changed over the years. The first five years or so, I had my site at blogger.

So when I first started my site 8 1/2 years ago, I was so new at blogging and was just going with the flow and what I was comfortable with. I will say there are times I miss the background, since it was so lovely.

And there are things I really loved about this site. It was fun and relaxing and no stress. Very easy to put posts together. And this is what made BLOGGING fun for me!! This is where I fell in love with writing book reviews and fun posts and learning how to comment on blogs and LOVING running a book blog. Now that I look back, I wish I had had payed someone to design my site. But I did have issues with blogger. Posts wouldn’t publish when I would set a date and my comments wouldn’t work quite a bit and I felt it was time to move over to wordpress. At the time I wasn’t sure  what my plans were, if I would stay with WordPress.com or if I would go self hosting. Because quite frankly I WAS SCARED out of my mind even thinking about going self hosting. But I just loved many of my blogging friends that had the most beautiful sites with self hosting and there were some things I wanted to try out.

But I decided to go with it safe with wordpress.com and this is what I went with.

As you can see I JUST love romance stepbacks….always have and I will most likely always will till the day that I DIE!! 🙂 I love pink and I didn’t really know how I wanted to design this, but to be honest your options are limited when it comes to wordpress.com blogs. There are only so many things you can do. And your widgets are pretty limited as well. And even though there were some things I really enjoyed, I felt like I wanted more.

 

Then I switched over to wordpress.org and started a self hosted site. And boy was this some adventure, I honestly had NO clue what I was really doing. Just trying to figure everything out on my own with some help with my hosting site:Blue host. Which from what I have seen, is probably the best hosting for me. I do pay a bit more for backups to be done more regular and some levels of security that they run for me. But its worth it not having to do it on my own all the time. I still do my own backups every month and have security plugins, but it helps to have extra help too. My design has changed over the past year though. I didn’t really know what I wanted until now and I think I finally have the design that I want and love. I first used many of Ashley @ Nose Graze’s plugins and her Tweak Me 2 theme and really loved that theme. But in December ’17, I switched over to Angie Makes theme and LOVE it. Its a bit different of course, but I really love the feel of it a bit more. I still use her plugins because I love them all.

There are so many things that I have learned over the past years when it comes to design, blogging and books!!! I made so many mistakes when I first started, however I had such passion for blogging in the beginning. I just couldn’t get enough of it. And blogging was different back then. Social Media was really commenting on other blogs. Yep it was that simple back then. You didn’t need to do anything more to get followers or people to comment. I gained most of my followers in the first couple of years by doing that. So trust me commenting and commenting back is in my opinion the best source of social media for your blog.  I learned to create my own bookish blogging memes, which in the beginning I never imagined I would be capable of. I have run giveaways, blog tours, author interviews and fun posts that have helped me grow so much and become more confident in what I love and sharing what I love. The one thing that has never changed though, is my love of writing book reviews. I still adore this aspect of blogging, and is still my favorite thing to write and what I love looking for in  other blogs. I have learned to do my own designs for everything and its been such a challenge at times but also a blast in everything and finding out what works for me. I have also had a fun time creating my new aspect of my site with my “Happy Ever Ever” book database. Even though I am still working on it, I love being able to share my recommendations to my readers and hope you all have loved it too!!! And as soon as I get the individual book pages done, I will be working on time era’s for all those historical romance LOVERS!!! Thank you all for being so patient with me over the years and always staying with me through the changes, struggles and triumphs!!! You are what make it worth it and the reasons why I keep going so strong.

I learned that there are so many TOOLS available to bloggers for blogging, design, and books!!! And next week will be the continuation of this post where I will share all the fun sites and sources that are available to us to help us with our blogging that can make our lives just a little bit easier and more organized with some twists of fun.

Have you been following me over the years? If so, have you enjoyed the changes or miss what I had been running in the beginning?

If you run a blog, has your site changed and developed over the years?