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I am Lover of romance, who indulges in the romantic adventures of literature

My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.

 

Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Growth Of Blogging

by | Jan 22, 2018 | Tea and Biscuits Discussions | 17 comments

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?

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17 Comments

  1. Quinn's Book Nook

    I remember that blogger site. I think I had a hard time commenting! I was so happy when you moved over to wordpress, because it made it easier for me to comment. I love your site! I often like romance stepbacks too. Not always, but there are always some I keep going back to look at.

    Reply
    • Lover Of Romance

      Yes, I got many complaints about the commenting so I am glad I switched over. Especially because there is so much more I can do with my site than I ever could have before. The options are pretty much limitless once you go self hosted.

      I know stepbacks aren’t for everyone but I just love them especially when I started reading romance, romance novels ALWAYS had a stepback. And I just adore those sweet romantic poses. I am so glad you like the site, it has been hard figuring out what I wanted to do with it once I went self hosting. Its been great knowing you through the years.

      Reply
      • Vellum Voyages

        I LOVE stepbacks!!! Do they still do them!?!

        Reply
  2. Nick

    I love this! I love seeing design changes as a blog grows. I also think it reflects the person too, because you grow too along with your blog. I agree with you on commenting and commenting back. It’s still one of the best ways to get your blog name out there. Plus, you can tell a lot about the blogger by the comments that they leave on other people’s blogs.
    Wonderful post!

    Reply
    • Lover Of Romance

      oh thank you Nick so much!!! I just love your comments, because they always make me smile and make my day a bit happier. I agree you tell a lot about bloggers in how they comment. Its why I take my time in commenting because I like building friendships. Makes all the hard work we put in worth it right?

      Reply
  3. Carole's Random Life

    What a great post! I started out on blogger pretty much because I didn’t know about any other options and was rather clueless. I really wish that I had started on WordPress. Moving my blog scares me which is why I haven’t done it yet. I always wonder if I will lose the followers that I have worked so hard to gain. Blogger isn’t terrible but it has limits. Commenting has become bad on blogger and I have considered adding Disqus but I know of at least one of my followers that won’t use it. Your blog is beautiful!

    Reply
    • Lover Of Romance

      Oh thank you darling. I was clueless as well when I first started and blogger is very easy to use and I liked it for the most part. But when I started to have issues I decided to do my switch over. And yeah I think I lost some followers when I switched over to be honest but I think it was better in the long run for what I wanted since there is only so much you can do with a blog with blogger.

      And thank you, I have worked hard over the past couple years to make it what it is today. So worth it though despite the painful mistakes I made early on.

      Reply
  4. Blodeuedd

    I should be better with tools, but…I am LAZY, sigh, bad me

    Reply
  5. The Book Disciple

    Wow-you have been at this for so long!! I never used blogger. I just didn’t like the look of it so I started with wordpress.com then after a few months I discovered Nose Graze and decided to jump to self hosted! Can’t wait to see what else you share!

    Reply
    • Lover Of Romance

      haha yeah it honestly doesn’t seem like that long, and now it is just a part of my life. Blogger is very easy to use so I think that is why I started with it, and of course that was 8 years ago and wordpress wasn’t what it is as it is now. I do love wordpress way more now. And ironically, I discovered Nose Graze just a couple days after signing up to self hosting, so it was perfect timing. And I have loved her plugins. So fun and great for book bloggers.

      Reply
  6. LilyElement

    I’m still using blogger, though as we chatted about I did switch to Disqus 🙂

    Reply
    • Lover Of Romance

      Blogger is still good for many, it just was frustrating for me. But I am hoping you enjoy Disqus.

      Reply
  7. Michele H

    That’s a lot of changes–and work!–you’ve done over the past 8 or so years. I review but I don’t blog per se, so it’s interesting to see the progression of your site. I love the new design and it’s so easy to comment and sign up for giveaways. And the database! It’s already amazing but I know you’re still hard at work on it. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Sophia Rose

    I recognize all your evolutions there so I must have been around a while. LOL I’m getting from reading your thoughts and many others that blogging is a developmental milestone type of hobby. Everyone has to start with one thing and slowly evolve to what works for them best. Love what you have done and congrats on all you have learned over the years.

    Reply
  9. Vellum Voyages

    What a great post 🙂 I’ve only been blogging for the past two years or so and even then I have learned so much! I never tried blogger or wordpress.com as I did some research before I started and everyone always just ended up at wordpress.org so I had purchased my domain name and been trying to get my blog up and running for the past seven years hahaha….yeah you read that right! It just never worked out and also I had so many issues with the person doing the design etc. etc…..I’ve been through your past site changes and I like the new theme and floral accents! So lovely 🙂 Looking forward to all those reviews too….It’s one of the reasons I started blogging to actually remind myself of the books I have read because I have a memory like a goldfish and forget everything except for my keepers hahaha!

    Reply

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