≡ Menu

Thoughts on Blogiversary Number Five

Thoughts on Blogiversary Number Five post image

Today this blog turns five years old. Five years old! That’s practically ancient in Internet time.

Earlier this week, Jeanne (Necromancy Never Pays), who has also been blogging for five years, wrote something in her profile on Book Bloggers International that resonated with me:

Like any blogger who has been at it for more than five years, I’m looking for a new direction. I think it must be a little like writing a second novel—all the stuff I most wanted to write about, I have written about already, so there’s less sense of urgency.

I’ve been tossing around ideas for this post for a few months — ever since I got started thinking about blogging milestones when I celebrated 1,000 posts — but it took Jeanne’s comment for all of my fleeting and tangled thoughts to come together.

Despite the feeling that everything has been said before, I think can be useful to revisit where we’ve been once in awhile. The book blogging community is growing so big so quickly that it’s impossible to know or remember where we’ve all come from. It’s nice to be reminded of our “origin stories” once in awhile. But part of surviving online for five years is also to not get bogged down in what we were, to constantly be evolving to fit better into the virtual and real life landscapes we exist in.

I started this blog on Saturday, May 10, 2008, one week before I was set to graduate from a small liberal arts college on the prairie of Minnesota with a B.A. in English. I had kept various blogs through high school and college, but they were of the angsty rants about how boys didn’t like me, I was too chubby, and my life was really hard (all things that were untrue, even if they didn’t feel like it at the time). I decided I wanted to put useful and interesting things on the Internet, and that my degree in English made me qualified to write about books.

I didn’t really know there were other book bloggers out there. I mean, I assumed there were other people who wrote about books online, but I didn’t know that book blogging was going to become a thing for me personally or for the book community at large. The idea of advance review copies or going to a book conference or writing about books on other websites wasn’t even a calculation. If you want an idea of how much I didn’t know anything about this book blogging thing, check out this post from June 2008 — I was excited about getting 20 hits per day and wanted to know about what things other bloggers put in book reviews. How simple things were back then, am I right?

Since May 2008, I’ve gone through many big life changes, the kind you go through when you’re just out of college and trying to figure out what to do with your life before a mid-life crisis hits. In my case, I went to grad school, panicked about the future of the journalism industry, interned for the summer, adopted a cat, finished my master’s degree, got my first job, then quit my first job to move back to the town where I went to college (and move in with a boy for the first time) to be the editor of a small town newspaper. Aside from my family and some very close friends, this blog has been the most constant thing in my life since I started writing five years ago.

There are lots of pieces of advice that I’ve seen veteran bloggers give about how to maintain your blogging energy. And lots of that advice is good. But the only piece of advice I can give at this moment about keeping up a blog is that you have to be willing to let the blog evolve with you. As my life has changed, the way I blog and think about blogging has changed too. The bloggers that I love to read embrace that change and incorporate it into their blogging lives rather than letting their blog remain stagnant while they change behind the scenes.

I don’t think embracing change has to be a big deal. Recently, for example, I decided to change up the regular posts I do on Sundays. I had been doing The Sunday Salon, a sort-of meme on Sundays I joined several years ago, but I’d lost my interest in the non-format. In February I started doing Currently posts every Sunday using Instagram photos, which has really given me some of my blogging energy back. It’s a little change, but one that I made after realizing that I needed to do something to give me a slightly different direction. Evolution is what helps a blog survive.

Well, evolution and people. If I had 800 more words, I’d talk about how grateful I am for the friends I’ve made through this community and because of this blog. It’s genuinely amazing and I feel honored every day. As much as it’s hard to believe that this blog is five years old, I can’t imagine any parts of the last five years without the community I’ve found because of it. Book bloggers are my people.

As a thank you for being a wonderful community (and for reading all the way to this very long post), I’m going to end with a giveaway. Fill out your information in the form below to be entered for a $10 electronic gift certificate to the online bookseller of your choice/ One week from now, I’ll draw five winners. There are a couple of extra survey questions, but you can ignore those if you want.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. The last five years have been truly wonderful.

Photo Credit: chrisinplymouth via Compfight cc

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy) May 10, 2013, 7:00 am

    Congratulations on 5 years! I will celebrate 5 years next month. It does seem that this is the point when a lot of people quit blogging or change things up. I hope to see your blog around for a long time!

  • Julie Merilatt May 10, 2013, 7:13 am

    Wow, congrats Kim! Thanks for being so awesome and it’s been such fun getting to know you…

  • Jackie (Farm Lane Books) May 10, 2013, 7:51 am

    Congratulations of the five years! It is a real achievement to have been blogging so long. I’ve been going about the same length of time and know just how hard it is. I agree about evolving. I’m in a real blogging low at the moment and need to find a new way to evolve. Hopefully it will come to me soon.

    I’ve been following your blog for many years and have always admired your professionalism. You’ve inspired me to read more non-fiction recently and I enjoyed our BIP year together. I hope you and your blog continue to evolve happily.

  • Word Lily May 10, 2013, 7:55 am

    Happy blogiversary! Congrats on 5 years!

  • Congratulations! I’ve just started following your blog and I really enjoy it – excited to see what’s in the future!

  • jenn aka the picky girl May 10, 2013, 11:12 am

    Congratulations! Big milestone for the Internet, for sure. 🙂 Love visiting your blog.

  • Jennifer May 10, 2013, 11:55 am

    5 years is amazing! I hope you are super proud of yourself and of your blog 🙂 You should be!!! Congrats and here’s to the next 5 years, whoop whoop!

  • River City Reading May 10, 2013, 7:26 pm

    Wow, that’s a huge milestone! I’m so new to this that I can only hope to be at it that long, but it seems like you have a serious love for this…which is why you’ve been able to keep it going. Congratulations 🙂

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel May 10, 2013, 8:04 pm

    OMG Congratulations! This is so exciting!

  • Stephanie May 10, 2013, 10:23 pm

    Congratulations on reaching the 5 year mark!

  • Laurie C May 11, 2013, 7:51 am

    Congratulations, Kim! I just looked after reading your post to see when my first post was, and I’m coming up on four years June 3rd. It was fun to read your June 2008 post! I’m glad you’ve been finding ways to keep book blogging fun and fresh both for you and your readers. (From your post title, I was afraid you were about to say goodbye!)

  • Heather May 11, 2013, 8:36 am

    Congratulations on five years of blogging!

  • Jenny May 11, 2013, 10:05 am

    Happy happy bloggy birthday! Your blogging story has a lot in common with mine, at least insofar as I had no idea what a huge and awesome part of my life the book blogging community was going to become. Many happy returns of the day.

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey May 11, 2013, 10:11 am

    Congratulations! How exciting 😀

  • Sheila (Book Journey) May 11, 2013, 12:16 pm

    Congratulations! On June 9th I will be at 4 years. You are right, I think of how I first blogged – how often… ow many comments and now wonder how I did it… I still love book blogging, but it has changed and I am ok with that 🙂

  • Charlie May 12, 2013, 5:52 am

    I have to agree on the evolving thing, even little things sometimes you can think “nah”, but actually it makes sense to go with it. Change is good. Happy 5 years, amazing number!

  • jennygirl May 13, 2013, 12:57 pm

    Congratulations! The big 5! It’s weird how most of the blogs I read are turning 5 this year, as well as mine in December. It amazes me that we met around the same time and have all had similar progression with our blogging selves. And these blogs are the ones that I gravitate to the most to. The universe works in mysterious ways 🙂

    The origin story is a good one and I am so doing the same on my 5th.
    Here’s to many more years of fab books, wonderful life experiences, and great posts 🙂

    Congrats again!

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) May 13, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Happy blogiversary! My 6th is coming up at the beginning of June, and I’ve also been pondering the state of the blog. I think it’s only natural. Hope too see you around for many more years!

  • Nikki Steele May 13, 2013, 3:10 pm

    Congratulations on keeping a very vibrant interesting blog for 5 years. I love it!

  • Maphead May 13, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Congrats on five terrific years! I can’t remember how I found ya but believe me, I’m thankful that I did!
    Keep up the good work!!

  • Jeanne May 15, 2013, 10:52 am

    I’m happy that my own sense of needing to change spurred your thinking on the subject. I would much rather see the bloggers I like to read find a way to change, rather than quit. Recent ship-jumping to Tumblr, while better than nothing, is still an absence, because while I have a lot of fun over there, it’s in words that I think and feel and want to continue to live on the internets. Happy blogiversary!