Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

I was invited to take part in the second annual Busting the Newbie Blues hosted over at Small Review. This is a great way to get into discussions of what it is like to be a new blogger (or even an old blogger). Here are my answers to the questionnaire for new bloggers:

When did you start your blog?
I started at the very end of October last year, so only been at this a few months. 

Why did you start your blog? 
I decided to start this blog because I enjoyed the idea of being able to discuss books with other people, and just getting to be able to talk books in general.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? 
My biggest challenge has been getting more views on my own pages rather than the memes that I take part in.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? 
The thing I find most discouraging is seeing how some bloggers are able to get so many reviews up and how they keep track of everything they need to read and when to review it. 

What do you find most encouraging?
 I find the people that stop by my blog and comment are the most encouraging, as well as getting tips from older bloggers.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog? 
One blog I read Esther's Ever After has a great way of doing her reviews, she gives reasons to read the book, even if it isn't the greatest rating (but no I don't try to replicate that).

Any advice for other new bloggers?
Keep up with what you're doing and don't get discouraged. Also take part in weekly memes as well as visiting other blogs and commenting on their posts.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you wish had more comments. 
I would love to hear any comments people have, or even some more advice for a new blogger. I always try to check out people who comment and try to comment back as well. 


  1. I sometimes find the review schedule discouraging too. It's hard to be completely organized! A desk calendar helps, and I also use a Book Lover's Journal so I can write reviews whenever I'm out.

  2. I second Angel's recommendation of the Book Lover's Journal! So helpful when I can't write reviews immediately after reading

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. I started trying to keep some notes on books I've recently read, but I usually just find myself writing a review right when I finish (I know this won't last long though)

  4. This was really useful to me, I've only been blogging for a couple of weeks now and this looks helpful. New follower :)

  5. I totally get discouraged when all these older bloggers are releasing reviews multiple times a week. As it is, I barely have time to release one once a week.

    I'm a relatively new blogger, so I found this post really relatable. :) It is super challenging trying to get more pageviews and comments! Loved your post. :)

  6. I found you through Small Review's Newbie thingy. It looks like we have very similar tastes in books! Both Legend and Cinder have been on my to-read lists. I look forward to following you and discovering new books :)

  7. Ugh, I know, I am often discouraged by how often some people are able to post reviews. Just how do they find all that time? I know some blogs that post reviews every day actually have a few bloggers all writing reviews so that helps. What helps me a bit is taking quick notes on how I feel about the book as I read it, then when I go to write my review, the writing process is a lot shorter because all my ideas that I want to bring up are already in place. Can be a big time saver, along with scheduling.

  8. The issue about the number of reviews is not just a newbie problem. I have been blogging for over a year and I still struggle to find time to write more than one review a week. I agree with Aylee in that brainstorming a bit before writing the review is very helpful and saves time. I find it makes for a better review as well. I'm not organized enough to write my notes right after I read the book, but I usually have a list of bullet points I want to get to in front of me when I'm writing my review. Your reviews look great though! I'd love to read more of your thoughts.

    P.S. I'm also participating in Busting the Newbie Blues! So glad I got to "meet" you through this event!

  9. I used to have a really hard time with a review schedule, too, especially at the end of last year, when I was swamped with review requests. What I've found really helps is two things: Google Docs, where I set up a list of the books I accept for review (title, author, when I need to post the review, and whether or not I've received the book), and also using the sticky notes feature on my computer, so that every time I turn the computer on, I see my review schedule right away.

    I really enjoyed getting to know a little more about you through this post. Happy reading (and blogging)!

  10. I always have my phone right next to me, and one of the things I do as I'm reading is take quick notes of pages that had something that stood out for me. That way, when I go to write my review (I'm pretty good at writing it directly after finishing - that way I can capture my emotion while it's at its peak) if I'm struggling I have reference points to turn to for ideas.

    In terms of acquiring followers, the best thing you can do is network! Comment on blogs that you love, linking back to your site. Twitter and Goodreads are both great social media tools for networking as well.

    Good luck!

    I'm also participating in Small's event, and if you're interested in checking out my post, you can find it here!

    Radiant Shadows

  11. Hi Andrea! Thank you for visiting my blog and the follow <3

    It takes a while before your own posts get the same amount of views as the memes. I went through the same thing when I started blogging.

    Don't worry about the amount of reviews a lot of bloggers are chucking out (: Quality over quantity at all times.

  12. I think that one of the most important things to remember, as a fairly new blogger myself, is that interacting with other book bloggers is a great way to get them to visit your site!

    Then there's also being consistent and genuine with your posts. I'm working on this one, but I've found this is a template that works for everyone. No one can do what you do after all ;)

    Welcome to book blogging! :)

  13. Welcome to book blogging! I'm glad you're participating in Busting the Newbie Blues :)

    As for getting more comments on your reviews, Gina from My Precious had the great idea of looking for people who have reviewed the same book you have just reviewed and comment on their post. Leave a meaningful comment, but also add a link to your review. That can help bring attention to your review and spur discussion. Also, you might want to check out The Saturday Situation. Candace posts it every Saturday and you can link up your reviews.

    Getting reviews up is challenging for me too. I write long reviews and they take a lot of time to write. I used to post two per week, but with my busier schedule now I think I may need to cut back to just one a week. Like others have said--quality over quantity. Do what works for YOU. :)

  14. Hey, a fellow Andrea! I've seen your comments around and also saw your sign up for Busting the Newbie Blues, so I thought I'd stop by and check out your blog! I haven't read many of your posts yet, but I'm really liking your blog so far! My blog is really new (it's only been live for a few days!) and it's nice to meet other newbies. But it looks like you've got quite a lot of reviews so far, and that's encouraging! I'm looking forward to keeping up with your blog!

    Andrea (New Follower)
    The Overstuffed Bookcase

  15. I'm with Aylee. I'm a mega note taker.

  16. I agree about the memes, I rarely bother taking part anymore because it gets lots of comments on that one post but usually no regular readers (at least in my experience). I'm pretty new too and I'd love to chat with you about your experience so far sometime!

    Ana @ BookSpark

  17. I guess I'm one of those bloggers who could discourage you as I read ALOT and I Mean ALOT, I;m a naturally fast reader as last year I read and reviewed 650 Books on my Blog. This year my goal is 700. Reading though, is my passion and my relaxation sport. After the first year of my blog I decided to take a step back and read because I want too and read the books when I wanted too. I was posting every day but another thing realised was that I didn't have to update it every day :)
    Im a new follower ,www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com



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