Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

This year, I've decided to make my blog more of a priority.  I've had this blog since December of 2009 (Yikes!  Two whole years!) and it started out without any kind of direction.  I posted about random things in my life, got up on my soap box for a few things, etc.  Then last year I started reading a lot more and most of my posts were book reviews.  However, I didn't post on any type of schedule, and I only had about 30 posts last year.  

So this year, I've decided to make this blog more about book reviews, mainly YA books, since that's a lot of what I read.  I'll still probably have posts about writing here and there as I try to figure out what I'm going to do with my current story, and I may also have a few off-topic posts.  But mostly I'm going to shoot for book reviews.  I also would like my blog to grow - to find some followers that I don't know in real life (although I still love the fact that my friends follow my blog).  

The first thing I did to start this new phase of my blog was to sign up for some reading challenges (you can see my post on this here).  Then I realized that I myself only followed the blogs of my friends and a few other big-time blogs.  So I set out to find other book bloggers and I started following some cool sites.  I'm going to try to commit to commenting on several posts a week as well - I've been lagging in this department, too.  :(  

Then I came across Small Review, who is hosting a great event throughout January, just for book bloggers, called Busting the Newbie Blues.  New and Old YA book bloggers can sign up, meet other bloggers, and get advice and tips on blogging.  This is perfect for me!  I've been blogging for a while, but still have only a small amount of followers, and I'm pumped to actually become a part of the book blogging community!

So here are my answers to the questionnaire for this event - I have chosen the one for new bloggers since my blog is still so small.

1.  When did you start your blog?

      December, 2009.

2.  Why did you start your blog?
      I just wanted to have a blog.  I didn't know what I would blog about or anything, but I've always been a writer, so I thought blogging would at least be a good kind of writing exercise.  But now I'd like my blog to have more direction, and to focus on book reviews, mostly YA books.

3.  What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
      When I first started out, I had no theme for my blog, so it was hard to come up with topics to write about.  Once I started reading a lot more, book reviews became an obvious topic.  Now I'd say the hardest thing is making sure that I post regularly, and also to find more followers.

4.  What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
      No followers!  :(  I love my friends and I'm so glad that they follow my blog - without them I probably would have quit a long time ago.  But I'd like to see my blog grow even more.

5.  What do you find most encouraging?
      On my blog - comments.  It lets me know that at least someone is reading what I've written!  (Note to self - comments go both ways!)  In the blogging community - other book bloggers are really encouraging.  I see all these great sites with wonderful reviews and great humor and it makes me feel like one of these days my blog could grow.

6.  What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
      Well, I just started following more than a couple book blogs, but as far as my friends' blogs that I've been reading for a while, I just love their humor and their honest reviews.  I always try to put humor into my posts (and in my life), but sometimes that might not always come across.  And I always give honest reviews, and I try to make them positive even if I didn't like the book.  I am a writer myself and someday when I have a book published, I'd like to read kind reviews, even if the reviewer really didn't like my book.

7.  What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
      Spoilers!  And yes, I really try to avoid this.  I'm crazy about spoilers - I only read the description of a book once, then put it on my to-read list if I want to read it, and then once I have the book I don't read the back or the blurbs again.  I know with reading others' reviews sometimes I'm going to find out more than I wished to know before reading the book, but I'm okay with it as long as it's not a major spoiler.

8.  Any advice for other new bloggers?
     I'm not sure I have any advice, because even though I've had this blog for a while, I still don't know what I'm doing and feel like I might be doing it wrong.  But I guess I can say that if others feel this way, just know that you're not alone!  And we'll get the hang of it eventually!

9.  Any questions you'd like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
     Of course I'd like to know how to get ARCs (I've gotten one through Goodreads before, and I know of some of the ARC tour websites, but I'm curious if there are other ways to get them).  And also I'd just like to know how they keep themselves posting on a regular basis, and just any other tips and tricks of the trade that they can pass along.  And also a good way to find more followers.  I'm starting to sound like I'm desperate here - I don't expect to have a hugely popular blog or anything, but I would like my readership to grow.

10.  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 am a huge Harry Potter nerd, so Harry Potter comes up a lot in my posts.  I also love The Hunger Games, and one of my favorite posts that I've done was where I picked my dream cast for the movie.  Of course, the movie is already in production but if you're a fan of the books and would like to see my picks, you can check out that post here.  I also write fiction, and participate in NaNoWriMo each year, so I talk about that sometimes in my posts.  NaNoWriMo is awesome and if you don't know about it and you write fiction, go check out their website!

So there you have it.  I'm excited to read some new book blogs and to become a part of this awesome community!  Please let me know if you are participating in this event and I'll check out your blog, too!

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited about you redirecting your blog and spending more time with it. I've always loved reading your different posts (especially the soap box ones), even though I've been late on reading your most recent entries!

    I have almost 100 followers, but it is still only my friends that actually ever comment on my posts. So I really wouldn't worry too much about how many followers you have.

    But I also think that a good way to get to know more people is by participating in the different meme's that are out there. Like Annette doing her "Memories Monday" meme. I got to know her just from the few times I participated in that one. And I met Steph just because we followed a lot of the same blogs and always had similar comments to make.

    My best advice is to be willing to experiment. Don't stick to just one format just yet. Some stuff will work and others you'll get sick of after a few weeks. So just be flexible and don't get discouraged.