Blogging 101: Before You Hit Publish

Good morning everyone. :D

I thought I’d talk a little bit today about staying true to yourself as a blogger, and also posting content that interests you and that you’d like to read, and not posting things you don’t necessarily care about because you think it’s expected.

Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.

When I first started book blogging, I have to admit, I was in a little over my head. I visited a whole bunch of blogs and generally knew that in order to run a book blog, you’d need to be able to post certain things apart from reviews if you want to have a successful blog. A lot of my original posts were really trial and error.. mostly error if I am honest about it! haha

It’s very easy to fall into this trap of feeling like you have to “keep up with the Joneses”. You know what I mean - Sally posts a whole lot of author interviews, and so maybe I should post author interviews too. Or Marie participates in so many blog tours… to be successful maybe I need to also?

Stop for a minute before you go down this route and think - is this something I really want to do because I think it sounds fun? Or am I just doing it because I feel like I need to?

Find your voice.

It’s tough, especially when you’re a new blogger. I know when you first start, you want to be like everyone else, just for guidance if for nothing else. There’s nothing wrong with being different.

Every successful blogger that I know of in the book blogging community has gotten this way by being unique or unusual. There are so many book blogs out there that have the same features, and same memes and same templates and look and when you compare them to the blogs that have major followings, it’s very clear what the difference is. Owners of successful blogs are not afraid to try new things, or to do things differently to how they’ve traditionally been done. They take risks, and they post things on their blog that they find really engaging themselves. And traditionally, at least with the blogs that I follow, they’re all really good communicators. They’ve found their voice, and their niche and they’re sticking with it.

Post content that you would genuinely want to read on other blogs.

I can’t stress that enough.

I am not perfect at this, it’s easier said than done. But seriously - when you’re about to hit publish on your latest post - firsly imagine yourself going to a blog you really enjoy and respect. Imagine reading that post on their blog. Is it engaging? Is it something you would honestly like to read? Is it boring? (Not a fun question to ask yourself, but we sometimes need to ask the tough questions) Am I just posting this because I feel I have to as a book blogger?

If you cannot say 100% that you’re enjoying what you’re posting - do not post it. That simple.

And I know some of you right now are sitting back and thinking “Der.. who’s going to post something they don’t love?”, but to tell you the truth, it happens all the time.

Think about the types of posts you mostly like to read when you visit other blogs. Whatever those posts are that you enjoy, that’s the type of thing you need to post more of on your own blog. The beauty of this is that we are all different people, and things that don’t really interest me all that much are the same things that other people absolutely love - and vica versa.

Personally speaking, I know blog tours and author interviews on a general level don’t interest me, and I’ll mostly scroll past these without a second glance. That’s why you won’t come here expecting to see a lot of these on this blog. That being said, if you ever do see interviews and blog tours, it’s because something has really excited me! lol

Because I am always trying to improve and trying to do better you’ll see a lot more discussion posts, blogging tips and posts where we actually get to communicate better with our readers, because I personally know when I visit other blogs, those are the posts that I really enjoy the most.


I hope you find some of this useful! As I said last week, I will post more things like this in the coming weeks. If you have a question or something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments below, or email me at and I might just answer your question in an upcoming blog. :)

What do you think?

  • How do you come up with awesome topics, Melissa? Ugh. You’re so cool :D hehehe. I totally agree with everything you said! I really like your 2nd advice. Your own voice is very important in my opinion. A unique and original content is what I like in blogs, and the reason why I keep visiting that particular blog (you’re one of them), and I def. found it useful :)


  • I totally agree with you. It’s so important to stay true to yourself :) Your personality is what makes you unique, so when you use that for your blog, you make your blog unique.

  • Annie says:

    Great advice! Especially no. 3! That hasn’t occurred to me but it’s a super tip! :) And no. 1 is VERY important. I’ve learned from experience that it’s never good to be comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s situation is different and being jealous and putting yourself down isn’t healthy!

    • Melissa says:

      Number 3 is one that you’d think would be obvious but I know at least for me, it really wasn’t something I thought of for a long time!! But now I blog by that, and it’s made my experience better and I think made the blog better in general too..

      So true!! Comparing isn’t good for your self esteem. lol There’s always someone who is better out there, and whilst it’s good to have ambition, being jealous isn’t a nice feeling.

      Thanks for stopping by Annie!
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • […] and tricks you shouldn’t live without. - Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews shares some tips for you before you hit the publish button. - Ashley @ Nose Graze answers the question if book bloggers need […]

  • OMG I love this post!! It rings so much of the truth, believe you me. Anywaaaay, I have to admit as well that when I first started, all I ever really cared about was generating views and getting more follows. But now that I’ve been around for longer, I can totally say that it hasn’t been all about mimicking the most successful blogs- really, its about being the best version of you, and not a subpar copy of someone else :D I post original content on my blog too, although I haven’t really been putting myself in the shoes of my readers and assessing if I’d want to read my own content. But I think I do!

    So yeah, helpful advice <3 Your blog is amazing, can't believe I only found it now :(

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words Jasmine, much appreciated!

      I think you’re right… initially we’re all after the hits cause we don’t know any different. But there’s a big difference between having people visit your blog, and actually having people engaged because of something you’ve written. I used to aim for hits, but I now aim to engage, and to discuss with other bloggers. I think that’s the big difference.

      Appreciate you stopping by, I am a reader of Flip That Page via Bloglovin! :)
      Melissa recently posted…Blogging 101: Why Your Netgalley Ratio MattersMy Profile

  • […] Melissa shares some tips before hitting publish. […]

  • Samantha says:

    Thank you for this post, and especially for including your last point. Going into the whole blogging thing, posting content I want to read is my number one priority.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge