I'm taking part in Small Review's new event Busting the Newbie Blues. I think that I am more of an established blogger now, so I picked the second questionnaire.
When did you start your blog?
I started blogging properly on September 30, this year. I had a few posts before that but they were choppy, boring, and not particularly book related.
Why did you start your blog?
Initially I just started as something to do. I posted my first (sloppy) book review way earlier in the year, and then I had a long break from the blogging world. Then, I read "Clockwork Angel" by Cassandra Clare, and I just had to write a review on it. So I came back, and then realised that there is a whole community based around book blogging. And here we are!
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
My biggest challenge? There haven't really been challenges, as such, but I have often felt pressured to post things that others want me to post, and read books that others want me to read and review. I have also, in the past, read books faster than I normally would just so that I can get a review up asap. However, now I have a little more experience to fall back on, I can tell you that you - as a new blogger - should only post what YOU want to post. Only read what and when YOU want to read. It's your blog after all. Have fun!
What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
I didn't get many comments at the beginning, but I knew that this was normal so I wasn't too bothered. I did, however, feel that my blog will never be as good as some peoples'. BUT, I continued blogging, and then I realised that each blog has its own style and there is no such thing as a blog being "better" than another. It just comes down to personal preference, to be honest.
What do you find most encouraging?
I love it when people comment on my reviews/posts. It really makes my day month when I receive feedback! Another thing that really encourages me to keep going is looking at my stats. Maybe this sounds weird, but when I see how many views I have in a day, I love it! I love that each week I get more and more views, and more and more comments.
What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
The main things I like best in a blog is organisation, good reviews and nice layouts. I have tried to keep my blog as easy to navigate around as possible and, of course, to write as good reviews as I can. I have kept my layout nice and simple, although I will probably change it soon because I like to change things up every few months. I feel mine is too purple.
What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I haven't read many blogs like this, but I really do hate it when people write posts and reviews which are packed with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. I know it must sound horrible, but I honestly think that if you're going to be a book blogger who criticizes and analyses works of literature, you should at least make an effort to check your posts thoroughly before submitting, and not speak in 'text talk'.
Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
I've already pretty much covered this, but I'll say it again. Post what YOU want to post. Blog about what YOU want to blog about. If it's something that you truly love doing, it doesn't matter what other peoples' blogs look like. Just concentrate on making your blog the best blog in your own eyes.
How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
I just joined in with the community. I posted memes, which brought in a good few comments (although I wouldn't suggest doing too many, no one wants to read a blog that's packed up with memes), I joined GoodReads and YouTube and I just simply moved around the blogosphere, talking and chatting with all you lovely people! It's not hard. If you're a nice person and have a decent blog, people will find you.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
Blogging is honestly one of my favourite pastimes, I think it's an amazing way to relax and to share your thoughts with the world. If you are having second thoughts, take a break for a couple of weeks. Come back when you're ready. It's okay to try it once and then never try it again. Blogging just isn't the right thing for some people.
I have experienced people using my ideas and reviews without letting me know. This has really annoyed me, and if it happened to you then I'm sure you'd be just as disappointed as I have been. But, if you have a (polite) word with these people, then they'll perhaps realise that what they did is not very nice and won't do it again. Some people just don't know that's it's not the right way to go about things until you tell them.