Welcome to the last Blogletters interview (of this year)!
I’ve been doing these interviews officially since September and preparing for them since August. It’s been really fun to talk to bloggers about all things blogging but it also takes a lot of effort and I’m due for a break. I’m hoping to come back with more interviews in January, but we’ll see! Until then, do catch up on the interviews that I’ve posted so far!
Today I’m interviewing Isabella, whom I’ve been fortunate enough to interact with recently and I’m quite excited to have her on today. Let’s get to it!
My name is Isabella and I run the blog Solace in Reading. I started this blog to join the blogging community and have a place to keep track of my reviews, as well as improve my design skills. The main purpose of Solace in Reading is to get people to read the books I like!
What inspired you to start a blog? What were you most excited for when you started?
I wanted something to do with books other than scrolling through Instagram without thinking of what I was doing. Blogging seemed like a great outlet where I would think more about what I was writing about books other than trying to write an enticing caption that not a lot of my followers would see.
Are you part of both the book blogging community and teen blogging community?
Yes, I am. I’ve definitely connected with a lot of great people who are older than me. However, I’d say that I look up to people who are older than me and really admire them.
I feel more comfortable with the teen blogging community but I don’t know many teens in the blogging community. I get a bit scared about trying to interact with the influencers of the teen blogging community because they are so smart, it’s intimidating.
As for my experience, it’s been largely positive. I’ve learned a lot about sticking to a niche and how I can make my mental health better while blogging, which I think is the best part of being part of both communities: I can learn something new everyday.
What is your “blogger identity”? Is it similar to who you are in real life?
In real life, I am even more of a “nerd” than I am online. I love learning about history outside of where I live. I’ve always loved school and find it easy to connect with my teachers. I have 2-3 close friends who don’t go to my school. I used to be a coxswain, and I had to be confident and collected 24/7; I did quit in March and my mental health is a lot better. I am very stressed in real life and keep that offline because I know that it’s not good for me to be on social media since I can get very jealous and stressed.
Online, I’d say a lot of people think I am soft and need to be protected, which is different from real life because I’m tired of people thinking I’m some innocent flower who needs to be protected from the outside world. Barely anyone knows me at my school since I’m in classes with the grade above me most of the time (I am not bragging; this is a fact), so that’s why I don’t have many friends.
I think both are similar in the sense that I am very protective of who I am. I’ve realized that I need to be more careful about sharing my mental health status online because I don’t trust everyone and that is something I want to take care of offline (although I really do appreciate it when my online friends reach out). I really do not want to disappoint the world by not getting into college because once again, I love school and learning.
Do people in your real life know that you have a blog? If yes, what was their reaction to it? If not, why not?
Yes! I don’t let them read it though. More irl people follow my bookstagram. My grandma has a link but I have no idea if she reads it. I am sure that my close friends would find it cool, but I want to reveal it when we can see each other in person again.
You’re quite passionate about bookstagram. How do you think book blogging and bookstagram relate?
Both are a place to talk about books. I personally like bookstagram more because it’s how I connected with the book community; however, I am finding that blogging is kind of more beneficial for me because I have to stop and spend more time on what I am doing.
I kind of keep both separate, but I don’t have a Twitter, so I use my bookstagram to promote my blog. I’d say both require effort in different ways:
Bookstagram: choosing what books for a photo, setting up, taking photos, editing photos, writing a caption, scheduling the post, adding hashtags, tagging the author, posting and then promoting can take a while since I like writing long captions (hence why I like blogging a bit more at the moment).
Blogging: again, choosing a book/topic, writing, taking a break, more writing, editing, adding photos (which I need to do more of), continually improving your aesthetic, editing again, categorizing and adding tags to a post, scheduling a post, and then promoting a post.
Both are equally fun and do require stamina and motivation.
Do you think having social media profiles is important for a blogger? Why or why not?
Here’s the thing: my bookstagram was more of a blog when I started because I wrote a lot of reviews. Now, it’s more of figuring out how to start a conversation like my blog.
Do I think having a Twitter will make you get more followers on your blog? Yes. I noticed that I gained over 50 followers in August because I had a Twitter for most of the month, and then deleted it and now it’s slow going in gaining followers. Do I think it’s important? If you’re looking at it from the perspective that you want followers, sure, but if you have that mindset (which I used to), it’s easy to be discouraged. In spite of deleting my Twitter and not gaining followers on my blog, I still love doing it because it’s my own, quiet corner of the Internet.
See, my parents like my blog over my bookstagram because they think it helps me think more.
What are some things that you’ve learnt which you wish you knew in the beginning?
EDIT YOUR POSTS. I made a mistake on one of mine and felt so horrid for a few days and started to spiral a bit. If I’d caught my mistake, I never would’ve deleted my Twitter. I was close to deleting all of my book platforms in fear of people hating me, which leads to TAKE BREAKS!!! The Internet is a part of your life but it’s not your entire life, and your followers will not expect it to be. Post what you want to post. Not every post has to be perfectly thought out or prepared, and that’s ok! Just make sure you EDIT.
Is there any aspect of blogging that intimidates you?
Yes. I feel like a lot more of the adult’s voices are heard because they’ve been around for 5+ years, but I think it is changing now. Santana Reads is going to be on a panel, which is so cool!! I also feel as though you have to have a certain sense of humor/style of writing/personality to be seen by the community, and I know that I am a very serious person in real life because I almost feel like I forced myself to grow up too fast in order to be seen a certain way by my teachers. However, this is not true at all, and is more of a me thing than anything else.
Has blogging affected you as a person in any way?
Yes! I am better at writing reviews and think more about books beyond “wow I love the characters” (which I still do all the time). As for influencing my real life? I definitely feel more confident about my AP English Literature and Composition class this year, which is great because in turn, my AP Lit class helps me with writing reviews and writing about different aspects of a character’s narrative.
While I felt unmotivated when I first started my blog because of the amazing blogs that are already out there, I no longer feel that way because my life exists outside of the internet. Right now, my priority is to do well in school and relax by reading books. I do feel the fear of missing out and I think this was elevated by pressuring myself to comment and follow certain people in August, but now I am just doing my own thing and it’s honestly going well. I might reach 100 followers by the end of this year, which is pretty cool. Honestly, I blog for myself to convince others to read what I read. I feel like I’m coming closer to what I want my purpose in life to be, and this never would’ve happened without starting my blog.
Name some bloggers who inspire you!
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Isabella!
I love Isabella’s blog posts because she puts across her thoughts so well in her reviews and discussions. Y’all should definitely head over and see her posts.
If you’re interested in reading all of the Blogletters interviews posted, where I’ve interviewed many amazing bloggers, click here to see them all! I’ll see y’all with more interviews after a much-deserved break 🙂
Talk to us!
How do you think bookstagram relates to blogging? Are they separate entities linked by a thread or do they go hand-in-hand? Has blogging affected your real life in anyway? Tell us in the comments!