Saturday, January 21, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues!

Starting out as a new YA book blogger is a ton of fun. You meet a bunch of new people who all share in your passion for YA books, you become a part of a friendly community, and you're continually exposed to wonderful new books.

But sometimes things can be a little discouraging when you're just starting out. You look at your blog and then look at some of the awesome established bloggers out there and wonder if you'll ever make the grade.

So here's to Busting the Newbie Blues! Don't be discouraged. Instead, take action! Participate in my Busting the Newbie Blues event, which will run through the entire month of January!
~~~ HOSTED BY SMALL REVIEW (Click on the link to sign up!)~~~

Small has set out two questionnaires to help the Newbies... one is for, well, the newbies, and the other is for the established bloggers. Now, I do not in any way consider myself an "established or big" blogger but I'm technically not a newbie soooo I'll be answering the established blogger questions :) Thanks Small for hosting this event (I loved it last year and I'm loving it this year!)

When did you start your blog?
I started my blog in October 2010... and have been going ever since!

Do you ever still feel like a newbie?
Is this a trick question? Uh, yeah!! All the time. Compared to all the other blogs who started out at the same time as me - I'm a "small" blog, making me feel like a failure at this blogging deal.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
 The biggest challenge, and most recent challenge I have faced is balancing blogging with my other priorities in life. If there's one thing I've learned - IT'S ALRIGHT TO TAKE A LITTLE TIME OFF! Even a couple days! I feel that if I leave, my followers will leave too but I've come to realize that they - get this - understand. That's what's awesome about this blogging community, they get why sometimes you need a little while off to catch up on life. Don't make the mistake of stressing over getting every post done - cut one or two memes out, postpone a review... like my math teacher always says - DON'T STRESS!

What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
I found and still feel that the most discouraging thing about being a new-er blogger is seeing everyone else move up on the ladder while you lag behind. I wanted to get ARC's, have authors come on the blog, and have amazing amounts of comments but even to this day I have not achieved that. But do I fret now? No! I realized that those followers I have - that take the time to comment and read and just be awesome - they are what count. True readers.

What do you find most encouraging?
*Smiles broadly* The blogging friends of course! Like I said, those true readers (who turn out most of the time to be fellow bloggers) that take the time to get to know you, they make this blogging SUCH  AN AMAZING TIME! I have made so many lasting friendships. It's so encouraging when you post and they give you positive feedback. It just gives me a fuzzy, warm feeling inside. And let's not forget the most encouraging part about book blogging - that bubbly feeling you get when a reader tells you they read a book you recommended and loved it!

If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself?
Dear me,

1. Don't stress about staying caught up with all the newest news of Newsville...
2. Keep to reading books that YOU will enjoy...
3.  Don't be afraid to host a giveaway, ask an author for an interview or participate in memes (yeah, I was terrified of getting involved)...
4. Don't be afraid to take a little hiatus, your readers will not totally abandon you (right readers?)..
5. HAVE FUN and DO NOT let blogging become a chore girl - keep it real!


What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
Their simplistic yet very helpful reviews - not just feelings on it. How are the characters? Realistic, not? How is the pacing of the book? Lots of action, none? How is the ending? Cliffhanger, imaginative? These are the things that I definitely try  to replicate (hopefully I accomplish a little bit.)

Fun, engaging personalities. I am far from an outgoing person but I try to add as much personality as I can into my blog and I LOVE it when the blogs I read do it too :)

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this?
Word verification for commenting. I'm sorry! I get it - avoiding spamming and all that... but do you realize that it makes some of us frustrated (because the dang thing doesn't accept the answer). It just makes commenting hard. So, yeah I avoid this by taking it off.

Black backgrounds, with hard to read, light fonts. I really want to read your blog - that's why I'm there... why you gotta make it hard on my eyes?

And of course the overly cluttered sidebars. I've recently tried to trim down because it makes loading take FOREVER and make my screen jump sometimes. Yeah, not cool.

How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
So many people? Uh, well I guess over one hundred is a lot :) I appreciate every single one of them. How did they get here? Probably through Twitter (I'm a twitter-holic, no joke), Goodreads, Google search - oh and Follow Friday! Want to get followers? Participate in memes! Hosting giveaway's is a great way to attract some attention to your blog (I personally, unless it is a follower appreciation giveaway, do not make it a requirment to follow but you'll be surprised how many people still do!)

When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?
*Sighs whistfully* My first ARC. I got my first ARC about three month's after I started blogging. Of course, it was an e-ARC (Lost Voices by Sarah Porter) but still! All I did to get it was request it on NetGalley! New bloggers: try it, you'll get lots of ARCs!


  1. I completely agree with your five bits of wisdom and some of them are VERY similar to my own!

  2. oohh my gosh. Your blog is beautiful. You do the design yourself don't you? Awesome! New follower.

  3. OMG I hate word verification too! Great honest answers. I love your blog look.

  4. You are so not a failure. Not if you post quality reviews on a regular basis - which you do.

    Don't stress and have fun is probably the biggest thing I've had to learn since starting my blog. And I constantly need to remind myself of this when I get overwhelmed with things! I've just got to face it: I will never be the type of blogger who reads a bazillion books a year and writes about as many reviews. And that's okay.

  5. Thank you so much for participating! 100 follows IS a lot! Think about it, over 100 people read your blog--over 100 people! That's a lot of people. That's not even counting the people who read but don't follow through GFC. When I first started reading blogs, I had them bookmarked in my browser. No one would have known if I was following their blog, but I read them religiously.

    And even if no one read your blog, look at all of the things you've accomplished with it! You've written how many quality reviews? (and, yes, they are VERY helpful to me, even if I don't comment as often as I'd like). You have broken through your nervousness and participated in memes and contacted authors for interviews. You have a lot to be proud of and you are not even remotely a failure :)


Thank you for commenting! I read and appreciate every single one! I <3 to hear your thoughts so don't be afraid to say whats on your mind!!