Why Do We Have Regular ‘Features’ on Our Blogs?

This thought suddenly occurred to me. You know how bloggers are often saying things like:

“I’d love to be able to post some unique features on my blog, but I can’t think of anything good.”
“I envy bloggers who have unique features. I don’t have any ideas!”

I feel like there’s this mentality that if you’re going to post something, it has to be part of a regular, constant thing that you produce. That in itself makes the idea so much more daunting! You don’t have to think of ONE idea, you have to think of an idea that you can then reproduce REGULARLY. That’s freaking overwhelming!

You don’t have to have regular features

Bloggers should drop the idea that anything has to be part of a feature with a name. Instead of worrying about making ‘The Perfect Cover’ or ‘Fangirl Friday’ or ‘Swoonworthy Saturday’, we should just be making posts. Those posts don’t have to be part of a label, they can just be a one-off. You can pick 10 covers you love and do a post about it, but you don’t have to stress about repeating this every week. You can fangirl over your favourite hotties in a post, but you don’t have to come up with new characters every Saturday.

Don’t stress yourself out by forcing yourself to post within the same topic every week. It’s perfectly fine if your blog looks like this:

  • 10 books I’ll read by the beach this summer
  • The hottest of the hot — my favourite YA love interests
  • Awesome bookish crafts and creations
  • A collection of YA fan art
  • 7 drool-worthy book covers

These posts aren’t at all related, except for the fact that they’re about books. They’re not part of ‘features’ and they don’t have to be! Post whatever you want, whenever you want and that’s how you’ll kick some serious blogging ass!

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I'm a 28 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. Yeah I like your features. I also love the few guest posts you’ve had about the publishing process. I love reading stories like those.

      And yeah, it’s a good idea to just do whatever you want and don’t worry about having a strict schedule.

  1. I’ve never been able to keep to a schedule so any ideas I’ve ever had have always fallen by the wayside after a while. I’m happy: I’m not stressed out about having to do stuff when I’m really busy with other things. It’s flexible and fun, and I don’t feel under pressure to do anything.

  2. I totally agree! I do have a couple of features, but most of them are very random and only if I don’t have anything else to post. =) My regulars are Stacking the Shelves and Bookish Babble (discussions). Waiting on Wednesday too, but it’s more of a filler, again if I don’t have anything else to post. :p Tomorrow I have your awesome guest post for example. :p

    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted: Bookish Babble: Why do people love horrible books?
  3. I used to totally stress about this…and still do sometimes when I find that it’s been awhile since my last post. I thought if I had something different and unique to post about that it would make a difference but I could never come up with anything. So I’ve resigned myself to just post what I want when I want and stick it in a category and move on. I’ve only really got 3 categories outside of my reviews: Life Outside the Reading Realm, Bookie Bookery Bookish and TAZ moments. I just can’t seem to come up with anything unique to post about on a regular basis so I try not to worry about it any longer. Anything I do post falls under one of these categories so it seems senseless to create a new one. Maybe if I was an author I could do Writing Tips or if I was a computer genius I could do what you do here but I’m neither of those and anything I do know about has nothing to do with books nor reading… nor blogging for that matter. Now that I’ve accepted it, I find it a lot less stressful to post.

    Carrie recently posted: Wreck Me, Maria E. Monteiro
    1. I think it’s great to just have a few categories on your blog. I actually have a lot of categories that I no longer use that should be cleaned up and removed!

  4. Quite true. It can be very hard to keep up regular posts as your habits, work patterns, lifestyle etc. changes. Then you may feel guilty about having started something you can’t finish. So its far better to just try to post something as and when you can. You can then make this quality without worrying if it has to fit into some sort of series. Plus, you can always join in with someone else’s without so much necessary commitment.

    1. Yeah I thin it makes a lot more sense to have general categories (like “Books”, “Life”, etc.) than feature names. I feel like the book blogging world is one of the few that has gotten ‘stuck’ in the feature mindset. Most other blogs just have normal categories!

  5. I 100% agree. This is something I tend to stress about a lot trying to be consistent but I think the content gets hurt when it is something I have to stress about. I think random posts or just showing what you love every so often makes for better reading

    Great Post!

  6. This is the greatest thing I have ever read. Ever.

    For some reason this is just not something that comes to mind, even though it makes perfect sense. IT’S SO OBVIOUS! Just post something interesting! Then post something else interesting! Why do they need to be related? I have no idea! Except that features lead to stable schedules and I like that, but I can never think of features that I can do every week/month/biweekly/etc. But I have LOTS of ideas for random posts, and have been killing my brain trying to figure out one single feature that I can use them for.

    You broke my brain. o_O
    (in a good way, now I can rewire it to make sense)

    1. Haha I love your comment so much!! You should totally just get all your ideas out there, features be damned!

  7. This is so true. I’m a feature girl, simply because I like order and schedules – but I came up with a feature that let’s me pretty much say whatever I want on that feature. It’s called Fun questions and I jump all over the place with it. The only thing that really relates the posts to each other is that they have something to do with the book blogging world. I don’t want to tie myself down more than that.

    Berls recently posted: Top Off Tuesday | Midlife
  8. I’m not super stressed about this. I have a few unique features but I don’t post regularly at all. My Blogosphere Travels feature I do whenever I find something worth bringing attention to. I do Favorites Friday mostly if I have only a couple posts scheduled for that week and I want to have more. I do Letters to Characters, Essays, Food For Thought, and Interview of the Month whenever I feel inspired. So all of those features get perhaps one post a month. If I have an idea for a random post I can usually fit it into one of those categories, usually either Blogosphere Travels (like a blogging news feature) or Musing Mondays (not my own feature but I use it as a discussion post feature). And the only one I actually have a linkup for is Letters to Characters but I don’t really care if people participate. Maybe people will if I do them more often but I don’t see any reason to do that.
    I agree with your thoughts. (:

  9. I agree!! When I first started blogging I participated in Memes to get ideas but then it became stressful and boring. I sometimes combine Memes, for example Waiting on Wednesday with Book Looks, to do something different. I’ve done a Waiting on Wednesday for TV or movies, since I love those too. I’m not stressing out anymore if I don’t post anything since it is my blog and I’m having fun with it.

    Kathy A. recently posted: On my way to Comic Con San Diego!
  10. I have lots of different features that I cycle in whenever I have an idea that fits the bill, but the only one I do regularly is Snapshots. It’s for selfish reasons, mostly, because I want to keep this ongoing log of things I was into at any particular time (but under the guise of sharing links with readers so it’ll be of use to them, too)! I struggled for a long time with whether to stick with a strict editorial calendar, but in the end I scrapped it because, like my blog, I’m too all over the place to stay contained to certain days for certain posts. 😉

  11. I love regular Features – for a while:)
    I was totally stressing about this a few years ago, participate in this meme and in that Feature. But then, I stopped and created my own. For a Book Blog with 3 Authors having a few features that wen can share helps us organising the blog.

    Usually I run them for a year and then go and do something else because I’m getting bored. Like the Super 6 Sunday – it was fun while it lasted but then I needed a change.

    What I want to say is – having a Feature or not doesn’t really matter, what matters if you like doing it or not!

    1. You’re absolutely right! It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing what’s best, easiest ,and most fun for you!

  12. I just got away from a set posting schedule and it’s lovely 🙂 I do have several features going, but they mostly are there to generate ideas on my end. When one has run its course I just retire it and move on to something else 🙂

    finley jayne recently posted: Quick Update
  13. Yessss someone finally said it *bows down to Ashley* Everyone’s always stressing about making original features and getting the posts scheduled on time, and then they get tired of it and it usually ends in a blogging break. Me? I’ve never done a blogging feature, except my Blog 101 series last year which, even then, wasn’t regular posts. I don’t really see the appeal to be honest. It’s less stressful this way! 😀

    Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf recently posted: Top Trends in YA Book Covers
  14. I have to tell myself this sometimes, though I usually end up creating a feature anyway. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the librarian in me; I need to catalog everything in certain categories or something. I probably will do a lot more posts that aren’t part of features soon though, since I’m planning to incorporate my professional work into the blog a bit. Great post!

    Laura Ashlee recently posted: Austen in August!
  15. Ashley, I couldn’t agree more with “Post whatever you want, whenever you want”! When I was new to book blogging last year, I kept trying to think of interesting features that I would be able to keep up for an extended period of time. I had colour coded image headers for each type of post but when I changed my blog name, I decided to ditch all that. Including them was such a reminder of the feature I was posting for, it all started feeling rigid and restrictive.

    Yet I still use features because they help me keep organised but at the same time, leaving the categorisation as an afterthought has helped me focus more on the content. Now I think first about what I want to write, then decide which feature/category it should fall under. And that’s what should matter above all else on blogs: the content. How it’s packaged should be secondary to that.

    Joséphine @ Word Revel recently posted: Book Cover Culture #1
  16. This is a great post! I do hear a lot of people say things like that, and I definitely don’t think it’s necessary. I’m proud of Life of a Blogger, but that was another thing I just stumbled on. And it is a lot of pressure to come up with new topics for every single week.

    As for my preferences on other blogs, I don’t care about regular features, just unique posts! I don’t want to see a feed that looks like this: Review, Book blast, Review, Blog tour, Waiting on Wednesday, Review, Stacking the Shelves
    I don’t care about that stuff. Reviews, sometimes yes. But not generic memes! I think that’s why your blog is my favorite – I look forward to every single post you publish because they’re always uniquely YOU. I won’t see them on any other blog!

    Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat recently posted: 2014 Prequel & Sequel Challenge: July Wrap Up

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