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Be Our Guest Fridays {19}-5 Things I’m Learning about Blogging from On D Bookshelf

Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!

Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature where I feature guest posts by my favorite bloggers and authors. I started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. I are excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.

Today, I have Donna from On D Bookshelf as my guest blogger. I am always excited to meet local bloggers but imagine my surprise when I met Donna, a local BOOK blogger, at Diane Chamberlain’s event to talk about The Silent Sister. We were next to each other in line and she graciously took a picture of Diane and I while I returned the favor.

I love featuring NC bloggers so I am happy to have Donna sharing her 5 Things She’s Learned about Blogging in the past 6 months. She has similar tastes in fiction, has read a lot of books still on my TBR and attends lots of author events. Our chance to meet at a Gabrielle Zevin (author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) event fell through because of the ice this week but hope to meet her again soon for coffee and talk about great books! Welcome to Mom’s Small Victories Donna and so glad you could share your perspective with us. I give you Donna…


5 Things I'm Learning About Blogging from Guest Blogger On D Bookshelf.  A new blogger's perspective on blogging and the book blogging community.

5 Things I’m Learning About Blogging

by Donna from On D Bookshelf

I’m new to the book blogging world. I started my blog about 6 months ago, as a way to share my excitement and passion for reading.  I went into it with only a minimum of research. For a short time (a few years ago) I did run a blog site for a fan group, so I was not a complete newbie. Key word is a few years ago, things change fast in this Internet age. Before beginning my book blog, I visited a few established blogs, and did a bit of research on starting a blog. That was pretty much the extent of it, and then I jumped in! It’s been such a wonderful, positive experience so far, but these are some of the things I’ve encountered along my short (so far) journey.

1. Blogging Takes a LOT of Time.

I went in expecting to write a blog post about the books that I read…easy-peasy right? Then I learned that it’s not just writing about the book you just finished. You also have to cross post on lots of social media sites, so that others can read what you’ve written. If I didn’t want to have others read my thoughts, I may just as well write about the books I’ve read in a journal next to my desk. One of my goals in having a blog was to be able to talk with others about books. This requires reading what other bloggers have written. It’s important to me to visit other blogs, not only to communicate with other bloggers, but to learn about some great books I know I will enjoy. Which brings me to………

2. Your “To Be Read” Pile Will Grow Exponentially.

I love visiting other bloggers. I tend to follow the bloggers that read the same general types of books that I do. So for every couple visits that I make, I add another book that I want to read to my list! I used to have a few favorite authors that I would always read their new releases. If I happened to be in a bookstore and in need of a book, I would pick up some recommended read, or something I read about in a magazine, Oprah’s book pick, you get the idea. Now I am reading so much about so many books, I’ll never keep up! Don’t get me started about NetGalley! I want to read them all!

3. Having a Computer Programming Degree Would Be Helpful.

Early in my travels to other blogs, I noticed neat stuff that they had incorporated. How did they get all those lovely sidebar sections? Thankfully in this day of google, I could get my answer most of the time by reading a few dozen different posts on how to do whatever it is I wanted. After spending what seemed like hours, I did manage to figure some stuff out. But I’m using WordPress, and some things just don’t come easy to us. There are great articles with work a-rounds, but I know without more computer programming skills than what I possess, I better just take what I can figure out, and leave it at that for now.

4. Social Media Can Be a Massive Time Suck.

I’m not new to social media. I’ve had a personal twitter and Facebook page for several years, as well as Goodreads and Pinterest accounts. I know how easy it is to check your page, and have it turn into an hour lost. Has anyone noticed that writers really like to write, no matter where they do it? I follow several authors, as well as bloggers, and wow do they write a lot on social media! It’s not a bad thing, but I think I could spend all day on my pages and never run out of things to read about!

It may sound like I’m concentrating on all the negative aspects, which is definitely not the point of this post. This has been such a fun and rewarding experience so far, and I’ve left the best for last……….

5. Bloggers Are Such a Great Group of People.

People that I’ve met (both in person, and in the blogsphere), have been so GREAT! Everyone is so friendly, and ready to help out in any way they can. I know there has been some things written about negativity, but I’m happy to say that I have not found any yet, and hope I never do. I’ve also met some wonderful authors along the way, and they have been equally as gracious and friendly.

It’s been such a pleasure having an outlet to talk about my passion, and I hope to be here for a very long time, and to meet many more of my fellow bloggers. Now excuse me while I go check twitter, and put a few more books into my wishlist file.

About Donna

Photo from On D Bookshelf
Photo from On D Bookshelf

From Donna’s About Me Page

I’m Donna, and I’ve decided to delve into the blogging (specifically book blogging) world. I’ve been reading so many great blogs by fellow readers, and it’s given me a wonderful selection of new books to read (to say nothing of the amount my “to be read” pile has grown!). I thought I would like to start reviewing the books I’ve read, to hopefully help others discover if a book sounds like a good fit for them. While I occasionally go outside of my normal style, I mostly read literary and women’s fiction, and young adult contemporary. I will also add any fun articles I find relating to the book world.

So if that is of interest to you, by all means keep coming back to check out what’s new on “D” bookshelf 🙂

Follow Donna on her blog | Bloglovin | Facebook | Twitter


I love Donna’s enthusiasm and candor. It took me a lot longer to learn these lessons since I started off blogging so sporadically. I never realized how much time it would take or how much I would love writing and learning how to design my site. I didn’t start out as a book blogger either and it certainly is a very welcoming community and their love for books is absolutely contagious. Thanks Donna for sharing your thoughts with us and welcome to book blogging!

What have you learned about blogging? What tips do you have for Donna and new bloggers like her? 


  1. Hi, Donna! Nice to *meet* you!

    I love all you’ve said about blogging. I’ve been on my blog since 2009, so not exactly a newbie, but it’s still a forever-changing and learning and growing experience.

    Looking forward to seeing what you’re reading and what’s happening in your neck of the woods. So glad Tanya et you!!

  2. I agree that social media can be a massive time suck if you do not have a plan on how to use it. Facebook? For me personally but stinks for my blog. Twitter? I love it for my blog but not for me personally. If you aren’t going to use social media wisely or if it doesn’t work for you, don’t use it. No worries. It should be a part of engagement and not a place where you just have your posts automatically publish.

    Great post!

  3. Donna really hits the high points of jumping on and starting a book blog. It really does have all these aspects of time invested to create interesting content, love of books (that towering TBR pile!), site design (which can start small and grow along with you), social networking, and then participating in community. I think a lot of us start with 1 and 2 nailed down because we love books. Blogging platforms are a big help to get started, and it is also fun to learn new computer skills gradually. I’ve recently been redesigning my website (separate from my blogs) using skills I learned from using two different blogging platforms over the past 5 years. I loved using social media right from the start, especially twitter. I’ve had to grown into Facebook and Pinterest use, and Tanya is a great role model for those skills too! I’ve also been spending more time in with the blogging community, which means participating in events and groups online. It took me a while to learn that using social media and being an active part of the blogging community are different and complementary skills. Since book bloggers are such interesting, varied, and delightful folks, joining in with more activities has really enhanced the fun and passion for blogging, and getting the work of it done! Good luck to Donna, and thanks!

  4. Yes to all of these! I don’t even let myself look at NetGalley anymore because I am so overwhelmed with books at the moment! I’ve been blogging for more than five years, but the social media aspect is something I got into much later and have just recently thrown myself into fully. It’s a huge time suck, but well worth it! Nice to “meet” another local book blogger! We should form a club that involved drinking coffee and/or wine and talking books!

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