In honor of her blog’s third anniversary this month, Wendy tagged me in the ‘Blog Glo-Up Tag‘ that she created to celebrate. I’ve been aware that I haven’t been posting many book tags recently but have been eager to get back into doing book tag Thursdays and, as next month will be my own two year blogging anniversary, I thought this one would be perfect.
- Credit the original creator, whatthelog
- Answer the questions!
- Tag as many or as few people as you like
When did you start your blog?
My blog was started in April 2017!
Why did you create your blog?
When I first created my blog, I was in the last year of my undergraduate degree and thought that my time in academia was almost over (ha!) I had been introduced to blogging via two history modules I was taking at the time where I had to write blog posts as assessed pieces of work and wanted to continue blogging in a non-academic format not only for enjoyment but also in anticipation of not being able to find paid work upon graduating and preparing myself with something to do to fill the time.
What was your first post about?
Although I knew I wanted to start my own blog and wanted to get started asap, I spent a long time carefully deliberating what my first post should be. As I felt like it would be a really important moment for my blog, I wanted the post to be about something significant in/about my life so I wrote a post on reclaiming a genderqueer identity. As it turns out, first posts aren’t actually that important and barely anyone ever looks at them but I’m glad to have picked something that was so central to who I am as my first post.
Have you had any significant design or name changes?
For sure! My blog was originally called ‘the lost student‘ in reference to my crises over finishing my degree and being spat back out into the world. I started with a super basic free layout and threw together post header designs willy-nilly.
After about 3-6 months, I ended up changing the blog name to Red Rocket Panda. Late last year I finally took the steps to upgrade my WordPress account, buy my domain name, and completely redesign my entire blog.
What has been the biggest change to your blog’s content?
This one is so hard to answer because it’s hard to look back at my own blogging journey and recognize how it’s grown and developed. I used to rely a lot more on discussion posts, memes like top 10 Tuesday/top 5 Wednesday, and posted more personal posts. Now, I tend to stick to reviews, feature posts and have also introduced gaming posts.
I think the biggest change regarding content isn’t necessarily the content itself but the frequency in which I post content. I posted super infrequently when I started but wanted to start growing more of an audience so designed a post schedule to post content more frequently which has possibly made the biggest impact on my blog.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your blogging journey?
This is going to sound hella cheesy but honestly, it’s you all. I would not still be posting if not for all of your support and encouragement over the past 2 years. At the end of 2017, I almost gave up blogging but gave it another shot and I couldn’t be more thankful that I did. If not for you all then this blog wouldn’t be here posting this!
I’ve also made some phenomenal friends through blogging who continue to inspire me to keep reading, read more diversely, and strive to create good content for my readers. There are so many of you who have influenced me since I started that it would be impossible to mention you all but I want to do a special shout out to Destiny, Mel, Wendy, Lauren, Ashley, Marie, and Kathy (booksandmunches) for supporting me and being amazing ❤
If before you started you could look at your blog now, what would surprise you the most?
There are two main things I think I would be super surprised at. Firstly, how my much more professional my blog looks and secondly, that I now receive physical ARCs from publishers!
What personal milestone have you hit that makes you the proudest?
Following on from the last question, being able to work directly with publishers and authors is one of the things I’m most proud of. I worked hard to build up a good reputation as a book blogger and reviewer but never in my wildest dreams did I think that work would pay off in the way of having those opportunities. I still do major squeals every time I talk with a publisher or author and whenever I receive an ARC because I still can’t believe it.
The other thing I’m proud of is reaching over 300 followers. I know it seems so small in comparison to a lot of the big blogger names but I still can’t believe that over 300 people want to follow my posts and interact with me! I never thought I would get over 100, let alone that many.
What do you see next for your blog?
There’s still a lot I want to do with my blog. I’ve been planning a lot of these ideas since last year (and actually voiced them in my 2019 goals post) so I’m hoping that I’ll get enough time over the next few months-a year to actually implement them:
- Commission a professionally designed header for the blog to finish the redesign
- Officially launch my sensitivity reader service with full details about what I can offer and my rates
- Indie and diverse author spotlights to help platform and celebrate smaller authors
- Collaborate with other book bloggers to bring you all new events and content
- More gaming content such as game reviews and articles