Busting the Blogger Blues Event!

January 2, 2012 event, Interview 17

Ruby's Reads Busting the Big Blogger Blues
his is a great event Hosted by Ruby Reads (click on the big blogger blues picture to go to her event) and Small Review.

I guess I would consider myself a big blogger, because I have been around for almost a year and I have made contacts in the publishing world, but I still feel like a newbie all the time. So I am going to have my cake and eat it too and participate in BOTH events. Yep, that’s right. I think I am caught between the worlds sometimes. I am not exactly new but I feel like I have so much more learning I can do!

So here is my questionnaire. I hope you will check it out and join me in this awesome event!

  1. When did you start your blog? I started my blog in February of 2011, but I didn’t really start blogging until April of 2011
  2. Do you ever still feel like a newbie? all the time! I still feel shocked when authors send me review requests or people come to me for advice. 
  3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from? I think the biggest challenge(and where my mistake comes in) was not being able to say no to review requests. When they first started rolling in, I was just so flipping excited that I didn’t want to say no to any of them. What if this was the only review request I was going to get? What if I never got another one because I turned it down? What if it is the best book ever? So I didn’t say no, ever! And what ended up happening is that I was reading books that where not really my taste and then I didn’t end up enjoying them.  And then I was faced with writing a negative review for a really nice author and no one wins. It is easier to just say no up front if you don’t have time or you don’t think you will enjoy a book. Trust me, it is easier than getting emails from authors asking where that review is for a book that you did not like. 
  4. What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this? The book blogging community is really big! Especially for YA books. And sometimes it is hard to break into a new community and make friends. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has been super nice and I have not encountered any meanness or cattiness. But bloggers are busy, especially the big established ones and when they have free time, they want to get on twitter and talk with their friends. It was hard for me to accept at first that I would not make overnight friends with people. They sometimes have already established friendships and I felt like an outsider at times. 
  5. What do you find most encouraging? The comments. I love getting comments on my blog or emails or tweets from people. It never fails to make my day!
  6. If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself? Don’t say yes to every book request that comes along, schedule your posts, comment on more blogs, read more of your own books, and don’t be so shy when it comes to talking to people on twitter. 
  7. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog? I love the really thoughtful reviews and the blogs that post consistent good content. I like reviews, YA news, and discussion posts the best. I do try and replicate this but at the same time, the same covers and reveals seem to get posted a million times at once so I skip posting those because I don’t want people to see the same post over and over. 
  8. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this? I love memes but there are so many of them. If your blog has more memes than it does reviews, and other content, then maybe that is too much. I try to only stick to a few memes. I love follow friday and IMM. And about once a month or less I will throw in a WoW. 
  9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people? I networked. I joined blog hops, I offered giveaways out of my own pocket, I commented on other blogs, joined a few memes, and tweeted out of the wazoo! There is no secret recipe, it just takes work. For a newbie that means you need to be seen. Be on twitter, be on other people’s blogs. Say thoughtful an genuine things and people will start to remember you. 
  10. When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)? my first few ARCs were eARCs from NetGalley. I think NetGalley is a great way to start letting publishers know you are serious. post reviews for the books you request and then once you get a good number of reviews up and have been consistently blogging for a few months contact a publisher. I waited 6 months before I contacted my first real publisher for a physical ARC. Get google analytics and put your stats in the email request and on your review policy page. I got my first ARC from Harper Teen. Also don’t get discouraged if the publisher does not write you back. 

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Michelle @ Book Briefs

17 Responses to “Busting the Blogger Blues Event!”

  1. Steph @ The Caffeinated Reader

    I love this new feature. I’d say my biggest challenge as a new blogger is to stay organized and schedule posts in advance. Sometimes it’s hard for me to find the time betweeen being in a medical graduate school program and working. I’m determined to get better though.

    I’ve also found that it’s hard to make friends in the blogging community. Everyone has been nice, but other bloggers also already have their own clique of friends on twitter and don’t really seem interested in new ones.

    You’re doing a great job with your blog 🙂

  2. Gina @ My Precious

    Yep, I think you have the right idea, social networking really gives some great exposure to your blog. I also agree with memes being overdone on some blogs. I really like the IMM meme though I rarely seem to get it together enough to make a post. I really like looking at others though and it helps me get reading ideas.

  3. Lan

    I know exactly what you mean when you talk about heaps of blogs doing the same cover reveals. It does my head in. And I love memes as well but sometimes it gets a little out of hand. That’s why I enjoy the discussion and book reviews more than I do a lot of the memes.

  4. Small Review

    Thank you so much for participating! I think newbies and established bloggers can find something useful in both events, so, yes, please feel free to participate in both!

    I hear you on the review requests! That’s such good advice because, at least for me, it was a totally unforeseen occurrence. I had no idea review requests would flood in like that and I wasn’t at all prepared for the awkwardness of saying no…or worse, saying yes when I should have said no.

    I loved reading your responses. You have so many good observations and helpful advice. Thank you!

  5. elena

    Ah, this post was really interesting and helpful to read. I really have to keep these things in mind! I would do this now but ha, my blog already has two memes in a row and I need to write a review soon. I agree with you about the book blogging community, it seems really intimidating and hard to get to know people. I always feel like I’m being a bother or annoying people when I try. Thank you for this post! I will definitely keep these in mind. 🙂

  6. pagesunbound

    Thank you so much for sharing! I completely agree about too many memes; I read blogs to try to find good books, and memes can be very distracting. Some of them have been helpful for alerting me to exciting upcoming books, however!

  7. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    Michelle, this is a wonderful post. I absolutely agree with you on scheduling posts, and being brave and talking to others on Twitter. If I’ve learned one thing, it is that the “big time” book bloggers, and writers are just people, like you and me. They’re a lot more approachable than I originally thought.

    Agreed on memes! I’m letting go of some that I used to do in order to focus on one or two that are a little more quality over quantity. And I’m looking forward to working in more discussion posts. Memes are a great way to get to know other bloggers but they can’t be ALL that your blog is about.

  8. the Vintage Bookworm

    Great advice! I’ve been around for a bit, but it’s always exciting to learn new things from older bloggers or even some newbies. =D I agree with you on scheduling posts and basically everything you had to say. =D I am a new follower.

  9. Kelly

    First I need to comment on how gorgeous your blog is!

    Thanks for the advice on ARCs. I really don’t feel ready to enter in to that just yet, so it’s nice to see advice from someone else who waited. I find a lot of “newbie” bloggers are hoping for ARCs from the early days of their blogs, and I just think it would be too intimidating. I’d like to be a little more established before contacting a publisher, so I’m taken seriously from day one.

    I’m also participating in Small’s event, and if you’re interested in checking out my post, you can find it here!

    Radiant Shadows

  10. A. Knight

    It’s so crazy how BIG the blogosphere really is. I’m discovering new blogs every day! I love your layout, by the way. Very pretty.

    I think this was an excellently written post! You tackled all the questions with clarity and honesty. I’m so happy to have found this blog!

    Have an amazing reading week!

    – Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  11. Eden (The Prickly Reader)

    Twitter is so intimidating. I follow so many interesting people but the conversations happen so fast, and it is hard to condense my thoughts into 140 characters.

    You have some really great advice here, thank you for sharing it. I also just have to say that I adore your blog design. The colors are beautiful and the content is very well organized.

  12. Alexa

    I always look for blogs with really good content. I don’t know if it’s typical of most of us, but I always try to check out the past five posts on a new blog I’ve discovered. If it’s just memes and hops, I’m inclined to be less interested. But if I see thoughtful reviews or discussions and ones that are written intelligently, then I usually end up following the blog 🙂

  13. Bianca

    Wow. I love the look of your blog. I am a newbie so thank you for all of the insight. I look forward to following your posts.

  14. anaavu

    I agree with lots of things you said, especially the declining review requests. It’s so hard to just say no! I have a gigantic indie stack now because of how I started out saying “sure” to everybody too. Still trying to conquer it one at a time 😉 I’ve gotten much better but I still have my relapses occasionally.

    Ana @ BookSpark

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