Three Years of Book Blogging: On Progress & Changes

Stay Bookish - Three Years Of Book Blogging

For someone who’s always been worried about my own inconsistencies, I’m proud to say that I’ve maintained this blog for three years. It doesn’t seem all that long- we all know how years can fly by sometimes- but it’s also hard to recall those days when I wasn’t book blogging. This feels like a constant for me now. Even when I’m not exactly posting anything on the blog or on social media, I can’t imagine not being part of the book blogosphere. It feels like a place I truly belong and I’m so utterly grateful.

That said, year three wasn’t an easy feat. Compared to my blog’s progress last year, I felt like I barely moved forward. My stats were pretty stagnant. And for the short while that I actually let that define my blog’s growth, I felt disheartened. Eventually, I just stopped looking at it altogether and that happens to be the best thing I could’ve done at the time. Not caring about numbers eased off the pressure of keeping up with everything.

Progress, I realized, doesn’t always mean getting ahead. Sometimes it just means getting through that blogging limbo.

I think what really helped get me through my blogging rut was making some changes. Firstly, I started upgrading my mail subscription. I switched from Jetpack to Mailchimp and customized the style of my email letters. I even made content upgrades. While this wasn’t exactly a very successful foray, I really enjoyed learning more about email marketing.

I also launched my digital shop, which I’m still hoping to expand in the next few months. More than that, I started writing audiobook reviews, writing tips and updates, and my Book in my Bag feature. It always feels great to come up with a variety of content and I look forward to more miscellany in the future.

When you’re feeling stuck, making a change can always help you work your way past your rut.

On that note, I decided that my three-year blogging celebration gift for myself would be a blog makeover. I was slowly growing out of my old look anyway and I honestly just kept it because I had tons of business cards based on that blog design. So just as my blog was about to turn three years old, I changed my blog’s look. But like I announced on Twitter, the code/design still isn’t perfect. I just wanted to launch it on my blogoversary, even if that means I’ll have to roll it out prematurely.

Still, I really enjoyed designing this new look! I exchanged my usual shades of blue for a more varied color palette and found a super cute illustration to stand in for my old silhouette graphic. I even created an inspiration board because I’m so fond of them on Pinterest.

Stay Bookish - 2016 Design Inspiration Board

I hope y’all like the new blog design too! And because I feel really inspired to makeover some blogs right now, I’m giving away a custom blog design worth $100 to one lucky winner! Just enter my giveaway below, open internationally of course!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for sticking around with me for three years, you lovely people! Do tell me how you like the new look and if there are any more changes/new content you’d love to see on Stay Bookish!

72 Responses

  1. Happy 3 years, Hazel! <33 I'm really agree with you, I just start to stop looking at my stats everyday and just go with the flow. It's definitely easier that way. Anyway, I love your new designs! It's really pretty :)

  2. happy three years, hazel! ✨ as always, i am amazed with your eye for design and visuals. everything you create is simply beautiful and original! would love to see you do like a design tutorial/tips here on your blog someday.

    all the best! 💞

  3. I love this new blog design. I’m just staring at it longingly while I look at my blog and ask it why it never makes this much effort to impress me. I think it’s great you want to celebrate the milestone of reaching 3 years, just because you haven’t always been consistent with how much you blog you’ve always kept coming back and trying new things is great. I would love to know more about your design process or where you get ideas like that because that would be cool.

  4. I love everything about your blog makeover and I’m so happy for your 3 year anniversary! I’ve been totally inconsistent with my blogging path since 2010, I changed so many platforms and blogs that I hope that the current blog is the right one, I’m going to celebrate 2 years this August. :)

  5. Congrats on the new design and blogversary, Hazel! The design is flawless. I love the colours and the fonts, and the graphics are just so sweet and simple. I honestly love it all so much! You’ve done such a fantastic job. Personally, I love minimalistic blogs, especially ones that use their own photography as headers.

  6. I would like to make my blog,, not only self hosted, but I’d like to add more color and graphics to my blog, such as a watercolor header and a drawn bio pic. It’s very drab right now. While I only just started this blog, I hope to keep it going for years as I read and write my own fiction.

  7. Congrats on three years! 2016 will mean 3 years of blogging for me, too. It’s crazy where the time goes – I can still remember setting my blog up! The new design is amazing and I’m totally in love with it! I wish I had your skills/knowledge about coding but the most I can do is create links and insert pictures haha.

  8. Happy 3 years Hazel!! <3 and congratulations!
    Your new look is absolutely gorgeous! I'm so in love. :D The colours are so bright and beautiful, I love them so much. :)
    I'm a recent follower and thinking of starting a new blog sometime so those tips were definitely really helpful, and it's so inspirational to see you get to three years!

  9. I love how organized and unified your design is throughout your entire blog. That’s something I definitely need to work on because I’m kind of all over the place. But I love your blog and its design and its content, so happy three years!!

  10. Happy 3 years! I just recently started following you, but I really love your content! Also, it’s a really gorgeous new design❤❤❤

  11. Happy anniversary! And huge congrats on staying consistent. A new design is a great way to shake things up a bit. So to your question, if i could change anything about your blog, what would it be? My landing page. I’m tired of the weight (self inflicted shame) of not “blogging” regularly and want my site to be informational only. I need a kick-butt landing page ala Renee Ahdieh and Roshani Chokshi. Fingers crossed that I win.

  12. Congrats on 3-years! And I lovvee your blog inspiration board. I don’t see too many by book bloggers and it’s so cute.

    I haven’t been blogging for nearly as long, but these are such sound tips. And doing things like changing up website design I think not only help refresh the blog, but they refresh the blogger’s interest in it. You get more invested because of all that hard work you just put in. Great post!

  13. happy blogoversary, hazel! your blog was one of the first i read when i started book blogging & it continues to inspire me to this day. i’m so glad you stuck around <33 also, i'm LOVING the new blog design! everything about it makes me go *heart-eye emoji*

    some of my favorite blog designs include yours(!), pop goes the reader, nose graze, rainyink, and novel sounds (when elena still had a blog). thanks for hosting this fantastic giveaway!

  14. Happy third blogoversary! The design is lovely. I really like all the bright, pastel colours, and the little graphics are so cute :)

  15. The desing is lovely omg!!!!!
    my blog has 5 and a half years, and If I could change something, it would be develop a more resposive and interactive design!

  16. Happy anniversary and I love your new design! I would love to be able to upgrade the design of my Mailchimp newsletter. Right now it is my RSS feed with little to no styling.

  17. Happy third blogoversary and congrats on the new design! I love the colour palette – it’s so refreshing on the eyes! If I could change anything about my blog design, I would tweak the colour palette and the post headers. I’d probably like to change it all tbh, but I unfortunately don’t have the talent for design like you do!

  18. Happy Blogiversary! I looks great. Love it actually.

    I love my blog and what I have accomplished with it but I am limited and don’t know webdesign. I would love to have a theme/blog that literally is all me. Owls, pink, lime green, books,…More user friendly….More girly but grown-up girly.

  19. Other than yours, I’m pretty much at awe with Aentee (’s blog as well as her designs. I’m in love with all of her photos and would give anything to have as much talent. Anyway, Happy Blogoversary, Hazel! It’s fantastic to see how your blog changed over the years I’ve followed, and I’m happy to see that you’re glad with your content. Keep up the fabulous work, and may God bless you and your blog more! :)

  20. Happy 3rd blogiversary, Hazel! I personally want to thank you, since you served as my inspiration to start a book blog. I wish you many more years in blogging and many more books to read. Stay lovely and continue to inspire other people as well.

    Technically, your blog is already #designgoals. Your graphics are just <3.

  21. Happy 3rd blogaversary!! Such an amazing feat & wow your new design is absolutely stunning :D it’s super cuteeeeee <3 Thank you for hosting such a cool giveaway!

  22. Congrats on 3 years of blogging, Hazel! The new design is stunning and I can’t believe I’m only seeing it now. I liked your old design, but this one has to be my favourite so far! I always swoon over your blog design whenever I visit, it’s definitely one of my favourites :)

  23. Happy three years, and huge congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished so far! I’ve always looked at your blog from afar, and I just love it.<3 To be honest, your blog really is one of my designs goals, I love the colors, the set-up, everything just looks neat and professionnal, but so personal as well, and that's definitely what I'im looking for in a blog! :) As for changing anything about my blog, well, I guess I'd love to have a better design for sure, and try to make the content 100% mine, without others' features, with some time :)
    Happy blogging Hazel, and HUGE congratulations again !! <3

  24. Happy three years in book blogging! I always like your book reviews and hoping to read some more. Your photography is always on point, too. And this new blog make over? It’s amazing!! I so love the colors and everything you chose. I so want to see them in blog, too! Thank you for this chance.

  25. Happy, happy three years! That’s such an exciting milestone, and you’ve managed to accomplish so much in that time. As for your comment question, Twirling Pages is both #designgoals and #aesthetic goals. Everything on her site looks so bright and pulled-together – I love it! And of course, I can’t forget YOUR blog, designer extraordinaire. Somehow you manage to make it look even better each time you update your design. :)

  26. Happy three years Hazel <3

    I don't really know what direction I want to go with my design, but I do know it would be great to have something new and refreshing. I would definitely keep something with a rose, but the header could use an upgrade :)

  27. You are literally all blogging goals. I’ve wanted a design from you since forever, and I’m really glad this giveaway exists. Your style is just very similar to mine, and I love bright colors !Crossing my fingers *and toes.

  28. Congratulations on three years! It’s hard to say which are some of my favourite blog designs, because there’s just so many wonderful ones out there. I’ve always loved all your designs – the fonts, patterns, and colours always work so well together! Aentee @ Read at Midnight is so amazing at graphic design – she makes the most beautiful headers and graphics. Thank you for this giveaway!

    Denise | The Bibliolater

  29. Congratulations on turning three! <3 And hello on your new blog design! I always look forward to your next theme! Pastel colors are so adorable <3

    I also love Vilma's Book Blog and I am Aileen when it comes to #designgoals #aestheticgoals. The design, simplicity and professional-looking blogs are to die for!

    If I could change anything about my blog, that would be my domain name to be a self-hosted blog. But aside from that, I love to make my blog responsive and pretty with black and purple colors. <3

  30. First, happy three years in blogging! That’s quite an achievement. :)) To answer your questions, I’m always in awe whenever I visit the blogs of Mel (The Daily Prophecy) and Caitlin (The Y.A. Bookworm Blogger). I love the simplicity of their blogs’ designs. And I always wanted to change the design of my blog. But because I don’t simply have the fund for that and I can’t find any good designs that are for free that’s why I will always think that my blog is mediocre compared to others. That’s why I’m really thankful that you have this kind of prize for your giveaway. :)) All I need to do is to cross my fingers and hope that the giveaway gods are with me.

  31. I LOVE the new look, Hazel! You always do such an excellent job with your designs :)

    Happy three years of blogging, and I know there will be many more! Or so I hope, haha. To answer your question, I would love to just add a header. I’ve always felt my design is a bit plain, and would like to customize it a bit more.

    I’m also in a blogging rut, and I feel the same way as you do — changing up the look is always inspiring!

  32. Happy 3 years!! I love love your new blog design! It’s cute and colourful <3 I think I would most like to change my blog out of it's generic look. I want something that's special and has a "me" sort of feel. I hope that makes sense XD Congrats again! I hope I can make it to the 3 year mark :)

  33. I love the new look Hazel! Looks so awesome! You have some of my favorite looks for your blogs/designs (hence why I asked you to design mine ;) ). I love it when people have a nice clean design and look. The fonts aren’t too big, the colours aren’t hard on the eyes, yet the design is super nice to look at! Which is exactly your blog :) Enjoy the blog-a-versary and the look!

  34. Congratulations on three years of blogging, Hazel! The new design is absolutely adorable!

    My third blogoversary is approaching gradually, but I can’t help but feel sad about my lack of consistency. I recently came back from an extended hiatus that started in February, And that hiatus followed one that happened in September! I’ve been trying to console myself with the knowledge that I was going through some very difficult burdens in real life, but somehow I still wish I’d continued blogging through those months. Oh, well. There’s no changing the past. I’m just glad to be back now.

  35. I accidentally open your blog while blog hopping and I’m in love. I was wondering why I didn’t see this sooner. But anyways, Happy Anniversary! I’m a fan :)

  36. TBH my blog is dead. I stopped blogging bc I went back to school to get my MA. I’m looking into revamping it and this little deal would help tremendously bc I’d b interested in paying for other services 😊 Thanks for this opportunity 🙏🏽 you’re the best!

  37. Love the banner! It’s gorgeous. If there was one thing I would love to change on my website it’s the banner. But I don’t know coding and it didn’t look right when I tried a banner that wasn’t a photo.

  38. I recently changed my blog’s name and header so I’m in desperate need of a makeover. Even though I can manage in Photoshop and stuff I’m still useless when it comes to HTML.

    I would 100% change my whole theme overall to match my new name “Pastel Books”. My design goals is actually you, and I’m also very into aesthetic :)

    Awesome giveaway btw, and Happy Birthday to your blog :D

  39. Happy 3 Years! I’d really love to move away from the free template on my blog and to figure out how to make my social icons more consistent/prominent. Love your work!

  40. Happy anniversary! Your blog design is one of my favorite ones, I love the headers and the way it’s styled! I think if I could change my own blog, I would change the color scheme completely and get a fun header made.

  41. I’ve had my blog for like three (four?) years now and I still haven’t figured out what look I want it to have. And I’m not very good with making up designs. So to answer your question, I would love to have a complete make over for my blog. So thank you so much for this wonderful chance!!! =)

  42. Happy three years! Wow, thats a long time.

    Overall I just haven’t been able to find the right look, or even come up with any kind of look at all (as you can probably tell by clicking on my blog). It’s a big mismatch of colour due to me not being able to take photos properly, along with other things. There are way way too many beautiful blogs for me to mention, but I think my goal is to simplify things as much as possible. Thank you so much for this chance!

  43. Happy 3 year blogaversary! Your new design is absolutely gorgeous, I can’t believe you did that yourself, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start! You’re so nice to do this giveaway for other bloggers, I’d love a custom blog design but unfortunately I just can’t afford it :/ whoever wins this is one lucky blogger! (I hope it’s me though 😉)

  44. I really love your new design, I love how sleek and class it looks but at the same time it’s so colourful, bright and happy! I really love Paperfury’s blog design as well as again it’s so classy and elegant but still shows her personality in it’s own way, it isn’t just a plane black and white blog (which I think many people think you have to have to have a classy blog design). But I love how you both have managed that classy, minimalist, look but still being bright and cheery!
    I’d love to change the sidebar on the right hand side of my blog, I can’t seem to get the widgets I want with any of the designs I like so I’d love to be able to customise that, and I’d want to change how my posts are displayed. I’d love it to be similar to how yours are shown and how Paperfury shows her, with the picture/graphic being the main focus and then having the title appear when you hover over it or the title and the start of the blog bellow it. Thank you so much for giving bloggers this opportunity!

  45. Happy three years! Well, I find all book blogs beautiful in their own unique ways, but I have to say that I really do like yours. If I had the time (and energy), I’d be very much inclined to re-work my blog. Right now I’m channeling a Great-Gatsby and AHS vibe to my graphics, but I’m not sure about my icons (haven’t had enough time and energy and resources to construct my own icons YET), so yeah. I wish I could work on those SOON. Thanks for this giveaway!

  46. Congratulations on blogging for so long! I absolutely love your new design, especially the font. If I could change anything about my blog, it would probably be almost everything. I always make my own blog design and I don’t know how to do much. I’ve always wanted a recent posts slideshow at the top of my page and I always wanted drop-down page tabs. I just don’t know how to do any of it!

  47. Your new design is AMAZING! I actually just found your blog recently, so I thought it was always like this, haha… I keep redoing my blog design ALL THE TIME that I feel like I’m taking so much time away from my actual posts :( Your colour scheme and patterns are beautiful! Thanks for the giveaway!

  48. I’m obsessing over your designs and graphics. Unfortunately I’m having a hard time trying to follow this blog through email using my phone. 🤔

  49. I always make my own blog design and I don’t know how to do much. I’ve always wanted a recent posts slideshow at the top of my page and I always wanted drop-down page tabs. I just don’t know how to do any of it!

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