Busting the Newbie Blues is a community event hosted by Small Review. It’s aimed at increasing blogger interaction between newbs (hello!) and more established bloggers.
When did you start your blog?
Late October/early November of 2011. So the noob tag applies to me, to put it mildly!
Why did you start your blog?
Well, obviously one reason is because I love to read. You can’t put the work required for a blog in if you don’t absolutely love to read. The main reason, though, is because I saw what a great community book bloggers have online and I wanted to be a part of it. For someone who is such a misanthrope/curmudgeon/cranky asshat I am definitely a very social person. The more I poked around on blogs the more impressed I was with what I saw, and it made me want to try book blogging for myself. Also, I kinda like writing. I’ve never considered it as a career because I have a problem with the whole “coming up with an idea” stuff, but I enjoy it nonetheless.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Um…probably setting up the blog itself in the first place. To say that I am not really tech savvy would be like saying that the Titanic wasn’t really iceberg-friendly. It’s not that I don’t try, it’s just that I’m a black hole of suck when it comes to technology. On a somewhat related note, things that run on electricity do not like me at all. They’re constantly shorting out, blowing up, and breaking down. I’m, like, supercharged with static electricity. I get shocked at least fifteen times a day when touching random objects. This apparently runs in my family, as we have discussed it on holidays (and every time we hug each other we all end up looking like Don King). We’re like the world’s lamest X-Men or something. But I digress. Suffice it to say that this is me any time something more than the most utterly basic html is involved:
What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Probably that sometimes it feels like nobody is reading what I’m writing. Some days the post count goes up and is respectable (by noob standards, anyway) and other days I can almost see the tumbleweeds rolling forlornly across the page. I just need to exercise some patience (which has never been my strong suit, tbh) and provide good content and the numbers will grow.
What do you find most encouraging?
That I’m starting to interact with people a little bit. I’m not shy but I am sometimes hesitant to open dialogue with more established bloggers because I don’t want to seem like a big asskisser just out to pimp my blog.
I also don’t know how people take me sometimes – I find myself likeable enough in person and I’m certainly not socially awkward, but it’s so hard to read tone in writing that I don’t want to come across as scathing when I’m really just being silly. But whatever, I gotta be me right? Anyway, the page views are starting to come up a bit which is nice, and the comments are coming up too which is very nice.
Also, I got approved for my first NetGalley today so I’m feeling a bit like the coolest kid in school right now. Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that I am NOT in this for the zomg free books! I’ve been getting free books multiple times a week from this mystical place called the library for about the last 25 years and there is a lot less work involved in that than there is in blogging. Just putting that out there.
What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
Bottom line – I like good, well thought-out content. I like reviews for books that interest me. I like reading things where you can really get a sense of the personality of the blogger as opposed to just something generic (even if it’s well-written). You can tell when someone really enjoys writing their reviews and when they have a real passion for books and blogging. So yeah, I have tried to replicate this stuff. To varying degrees of success, I’d say at this point.
What do you dislike about the blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I dislike blogs that are difficult to read or overly busy. Like, pink text on a patterned background with blingy sparkles everywhere or a billiongajillion widgets running into infinity on each side of the page. The former is obnoxious and makes my eyeballs burst into flames. If your page gives me a migraine I’m not going to read it no matter how awesome your content is. The latter is just a personal preference because I get overwhelmed and don’t know where to look. I try to avoid both of these. In fact, my blog is way more bland than I’d like at this point. I want to find a happy medium between ZINGPOWINYOURFACE graphics and this sad template. Eventually I’m going to pony up for a nice, tasteful template. But not too tasteful. Like I said, I like seeing a blogger’s personality and overly tasteful is pretty much the opposite of me.
Any advice for other new bloggers?
Put yourself out there, and then tell me to take my own advice. Also, keep producing interesting content and eventually you’ll see your stats go up. It’s slow but I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end. And please don’t just make a blog with nothing but memes. Granted I see my biggest page view numbers when I do memes, but they shouldn’t comprise the whooooole blog. They’re fun to inspire conversation but people want to know what you think about what you read. Reviews don’t have to be long or a detailed critical analysis (mine certainly aren’t!) but should be YOU.
Any questions that you’d like to ask other newbie or established bloggers?
Probably how you go about thinking of new content and keeping things interesting once you’ve been going for six months, a year, and beyond. I get that the basic components of a book review blog will always be reviews, but the blogs that keep me coming back are the ones that do out-of-the ordinary or unique stuff as well as reviews.
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.
Uh…I’m awesome and you should get to know me? And now that I’ve typed that I realize how much it sounds like something a creepy dudebro would say on an internet dating site, so I wholeheartedly apologize. Seriously, though, I’m enjoying blogging because I love books and I love getting to know people. Woo!
As far as favorite posts or ones I wish had more comments (OTHER THAN ALL OF THEM)? I’m pretty fond of my I Am No Longer the Last Person on Earth Who Hasn’t Read Twilight, I think. It’s the first time I really wrote a review the way I would talk, which probably makes no sense but whatev. In fact, I kind of have a fondness for my entire Twilight series: In Which I Read New Moon and React Violently, Review/Live-ish Blog of the Twilight Movie. Kill Me Now., and Well, That Happened. My Eclipse Review. I still plan to do a book review for Breaking Dawn, but I needed to take some time to let the rage subside from the others. Not sure if I’ll do the other movies. I actually kind of like myself.
I couldn’t get the button to work (technology, I hate you) but everyone please go to Small Review to fill out your own survey and join in the fun!