The evolution of my blog
My blog has changed a great deal in my 2 years of blogging. First of all, it started out as Auntie Spinelli Reads, and is now Novel Heartbeat. That’s one of the biggest changes. My design has also changed – many, many times! I get bored very easily, so I need to change it up every once in a while and go with something fresh. Here is a visual of all the changes:
Switched to WordPress
Changed blog names
I used to post a review as soon as I had it written. I never used the scheduling option in the first year or so of blogging. I do now! I rely very heavily on scheduling now. I have set days for my reviews, and I post everything right at midnight EST. I try to get a week of posts scheduled instead of doing everything last minute. I also used to participate in way more memes! Too many, in my opinion. Now I only have one a week and that’s my weekly book haul. I grew out of the meme stage!
I also used to review adult books like paranormal romance and urban fantasy. It’s not that I don’t want them on my blog anymore, but rather that I don’t read them anymore. I’ve migrated primarily to YA only these days, because that’s what I love!
I do discussions now, which I never did in my early days as a blogger. I try to get out in the community more than I used to. I talk to more people, go to more author events.
When I first found out about Netgalley, I went on a downloading spree (totally regret that decision, by the way). I accepted every single review request from every single author I got. I have definitely learned by now that this is NOT the way to go! I was so swamped with review copies that blogging became a chore. Now, I am SUPER picky about the books I request and download. If I’m not dying for it, I don’t get it. I do request ARCs from the publisher now, which I never did before. I no longer accept requests from authors I’ve never heard of. I try my best to keep my review pile fairly manageable (although it’s still up higher than 25 books) and my Netgalley ratio is 88% instead of 30% or whatever it used to be.
All in all, I feel as if my blog has grown phenomenally! Not only in followers and traffic, but in content. I have more original content now than I used to, and it’s higher quality. I hope to continue moving forward in the future!