Saturday 21 January 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

Busting the Newbie Blues is an annual even hosted by Small Review.

I saw this book blogger survey at Good Books and Good Wine and thought I'd participate, even if it's late. I've been blogging for a few years and thought this would be a fun way to catch up with everyone.

1. When did you start your blog?

June 2009

2.  Do you ever still feel like a newbie?

No. I've been blogging for 2.5 years and I feel like I know what I'm doing with my blog.

3.  What has been the biggest challenge you've faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?

Original content.  I had NO idea how this blogging thing worked.  It seemed every week a new feature was popping up on other blogs, taking all the ideas, and I had none! Or I'd have an idea, and before I could implement it someone would do it. It is hard to come up with something original that can be your own niche. I'm still looking for it. Maybe it's my discussions?

Of course, I made mistakes! Make sure to give credit where credit it due. Period.

4.  What did you find most discouraging as a new blogger?  How did you deal with this?

The numbers game.  There was a point when the blogs that started around the same time as mine did really took off but I was still left in the dust.  They were soaring, and I wasn't.  What was wrong with me and my blog? What was so great about theirs? Then I remembered that I started this blog for my family and friends.  They wanted a place they could come for all my book recommendations, and I was going to give it to them.  I still get super excited when friends find my blog and tell me they read one of my favorite books and how much they loved it. I do it for them.

5.  What do you find most encouraging?

When people comment.  I love feeling like I'm building a little bookish community right here on my blog.  A place where we can all discuss books and bookish things. I love comments!

6.  If you could go back to your newbie self, what five bits of information would you tell yourself?

Make friends
Watch your back
Be original
Don't worry about numbers

7.  What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?

I love real reviews.  I don't like literary reviews at all. I like them short and sweet.  To the point. Did you like it or not? Tell me why? Don't spoil anything for me! I also love discussion posts. I love talking books.  I do try to replicate all this in my own blog. Why wouldn't I?! I post about what I'd want to read about here on my blog.

8.  What do you dislike about blogs you've seen? Do you try to avoid this?

Follow Hops and Follow Me Contests!! I'm actually shocked at how much this goes around.  There are new blogs that have over 1,000 GFC followers because they participate in follow hops and make people follow them for a giveaway.  Maybe that is a good way to get followers, but I'd rather people follow me because of my content not because they expect me to follow them back. I want people to WANT to follow me.  That they see something they like and want to come back and talk books with me! If this makes me have less followers, that's fine by me.

9.  How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?

Obviously, I haven't. I'm pretty small fry around the book blogging community.  But, my family thinks I'm huge! Social media has helped a TON! Get on Twitter (@SweetBookshelf)! I'm always there sharing much more than what's on my blog.

10.  When and how did you get your first ARC's? 

I'd literally just been blogging a few weeks and Lenore at Presenting Lenore found my blog and left me a comment. She offered to send me a few ARC's of my choice. I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe how nice she was being. I didn't even know what an ARC was. I tried to pay for the shipping but she said no. She'll always be top notch in my book! I reviewed my own books or library books for a very long time. I don't even remember when I started receiving ARCs from publisher's. It just started happening. I'd do my blog without ARC's though.  It isn't as big a deal as people make it.  I still buy books and review them here! Sometimes I think it would be easier not having ARCs! They haunt me on the bookshelf. They stare at me while I'm on the computer.

Do you have any questions for me? Ask away!


  1. Great thoughts on blogging. I agree the numbers game can get discouraging both in comments or followers. Or the fact that you have a lot of them doesn't mean that they all come back regularly. But I do love watching my blog grow.

  2. I'm not a book blogger, but agree with a lot of your thoughts. Especially on the follow hops, etc. to up numbers of followers. I went through a stage where I did that, thinking I wanted higher follower numbers and then decided, like you have always known, that I wanted people who were really reading my content. I am all for a link-up here and there, to find new bloggers to connect too, but the following just for the sake of getting a follow back has started to bug me. Seems to lose the spirit of what the blogging community is about. I KNOW that people can't be reading the 500 blogs of their 500 followers. There isn't enough time in the day. :-)

  3. @Natalie I LOVE to see my blog growing! I want it to be growing for the right reasons though. That it's growing because people like what they see, not because of a giveaway or follow hop.

    @Jen I wonder what those people's google reader looks like! I follow very few book bloggers these days. I find the ones I like, and enjoy. Period.

  4. I see you are getting back to Virgin River! I finnished my first one just before Christmas when you suggested Bring me home for Christmas, then I went back to the beginning and I have read 9 more! I love this series!! Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. This was a good post to read!!! Thank you very much :) I'm a new blogger, and it is very daunting at the moment because I kind of have no idea what I'm doing, and at the same time you see people who are getting amazing books or attending amazing events or having authors on their blog and I feel like, "Am I doing something wrong?" but then I tell myself I am a new blogger and I need to be patient and do what I love doing, which is reading and then telling everyone about the books I read!!!

    By the way, your blog is awesome. I love it!!!

  6. @Hannah It's always hard to be the new guys. Don't worry about it so much, do what you want! For a long time when I was pregnant and just had my son I ONLY did reviews on my blog. That's it. Just books. Isn't that what we all want anyway?! I didn't have time for anything else. I was fine with that. I wanted to keep blogging because I love it, but I didn't have the energy/time to put into anything other than reviews. That's just fine! My readers are still here. I may not be as big as others, but I'm OK with that. I'm still having a good time.


I love to hear what you think.
Leave me a comment!

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...