Monday, 9 January 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues- my thoughts

I saw this post on Small Review one of the blogs I stalk shamelessly for blogging tips and wanted to participate and share my thoughts. Don't worry there's no deep thinking going on. I'm not that kinda gal.

I like the idea of sharing my (limited) experience and in the spirit of New Year's resolutions I've been thinking about what direction I want to take My keeper shelf in 2012, the types of books I read and review and how often I post. Stuff like that.

Basically bloggers will answer some bloggy type questions, link up their posts and check out what other like minded bloggers have answered. I've answered the newbie blogger questions as I think I'm still trying to find my "blogging legs."

When did you start your blog?
I started blogging on March 17th 2011, I had been stalking blogs shamelessly for about a year before I plucked up the courage to actually get off my backside and have a go myself. My first post was a review of River Marked by Patricia Briggs. I haven't read it since. Cringe!!

Why did you start your blog?
A couple of book loving friends on Goodreads created Book Passion for Life and that kind of gave me the motivation to try it myself. I thought if Donna and Jess could do it then I could too.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
I knew nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, about using Blogger and html all that kind of computery stuff. I learnt the basics through trial and error, asking fellow UK bloggers how they did stuff and I used the blogging tips on Small Review and Parajunkee's Book Blogging 101. I'm by no means an expert but I'm more willing to have a go now.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
I really genuinely didn't realise how much time blogging would take. It really takes away from your reading time which is highly ironic as it's my love for reading that led me to blogging in the first place.

What do you find most encouraging?
I love when I get a comment or an email from someone who has bought a book I've recommended and really enjoyed it. I kinda then think all that time and effort is actually worth it. I also love pimping (in a nice way of course) my favourite authors/series of books. I get excited about shiny new books and I love that there are so many like minded bonkers people out there who feel the same way.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I like blogs that post a mixture of reviews, giveaways, meme's and don't take it all too seriously. My favourite blog is Missie's The Unread Reader I love and I mean love her Wednesday My book boyfriend posts which is a staple part of my blog too. I think Missie is hilariously funny and her ever changing blog look inspires me to try different things.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
Being the eternally lazy individual with a short attention span I'm not overtly keen on blogs that just post really long reviews constantly. Boring. I know for a fact I won't read a big loooooooong review. I'm also not looking for a full blown professional critique I like reviews that come from the heart. Those kind of reviews are much more likely to result in me buying that book.

I try (don't always manage it though!) to keep my reviews short(ish) and I'm never rude about a book or an author. If I've hated a book I either say it's just not for me and why or I chicken out and don't review it.

Any advice for other new bloggers?
Chill out. Don't harass yourself about the number of followers you have it means nothing really. It's much better to see regular people coming back to your blog time and time again making little comments.

I've decided in 2012 I'm going to read more of the books I've bought and less review books. I felt I had put myself under pressure towards the end of last year to have a post every day and review loads of new YA books that publishers had sent me. I'm going to take my own advice and chill out more. I won't get in trouble from the blog police if I don't post every day. Blogging should be fun not a chore. I want to review more paranormal romance and urban fantasy this year as that's my real true love.

I've also realised you need to be really organised in advance, I try to schedule posts a week in advance as I work full time and have 2 kids, a husband and a dog making demands on my time too.

Any questions you'd like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
Erm, how far in advance do you schedule posts? Do you have a gigantic plan (of world domination) or make it up as you go along??

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favourite posts or posts you wish had more comments.
I've realised that page views increase dramatically when I have a giveaway! And do you know what? I'm totally cool with that as I love holding giveaways.

I would like to know what other stuff people who read my blog would like to see more (or less) of. I really need to do one of those customer survey thingies. (mental note to self!)

Cheers to Small Review for holding this event, it's actually been quite cathartic!


  1. I'm guilty of long reviews, and I've noticed a couple people say they don't read them. (Sometimes I don't like to read other bloggers' long reviews either! Oops!) But I think I prefer to say too much than too little.

    I currently have reviews and even the Top Ten Tuesday meme scheduled through February. My master plan is to read as much as I can during breaks, so I can focus on my schoolwork later. I'm hoping to schedule at least a few more reviews, so that I'm covered until Spring Break.

    Thanks for sharing your answers!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and for the advice. I will have to take a look at those pages. =)

    And thanks for the follow. I'm following you too!

    Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library

  3. @ pagesunbound- I try to do that too, I read more when I'm off work in a vain attempt to get organised and try to plan ahead.

    @Jennifer- I liked your review of Divergent! I don't think you should worry about your reviews they look good to me!

  4. Oh, this is pretty cool! I think I may be guilty of the long review thing. I don't think mine are too long, but sometimes, depending on the book...

    As far as the scheduling, I have hard times getting things out on time, let alone scheduling them in advance. I want to reach a point where I do have a bunch of posts done and ready to go, but as it stands now...yeah, probably not going to happen.

    The only post I actually had scheduled (and completed) any time in advance more than just later that day was my review for Every Other Day, and only then because that book had to be finished a couple weeks before I released the review.

  5. The blog police! I laughed out loud at that. I feel that way all the time, even though I know I shouldn't.

    Giveaways are awesome. I think it's so fun to give things to people who really want them, and it definitely doesn't hurt to attract new followers. :)

  6. I roll with it. Some weeks I post lots and some weeks not so much.


    I am SO with you short reviews.


I love getting comments so thanks for taking the time to leave one.