I participated in this event hosted by Small Review last time, and I'm joining in again! Basically it's an event to help newbie bloggers spread the word about their blogs, make connections in the blogosphere, and get some of their questions answered. Both new and old bloggers are welcome to participate! You can find all the info HERE. There's also a separate Busting the Big Blogger Blues event, hosted by Ruby's Reads, geared towards oldie bloggers :)
So, how it works is: you pick a questionnaire to answer, post your answers, and then hop around to the other participants' blogs. It's held during all of January, so come join in!
I chose the "established blogger" questionnaire:
- When did you start your blog?
2. Do you ever still feel like a newbie?
Sure do! Whenever I participate in a new kind of event or something's getting discussed in the blogosphere that I have no idea about, then I get that "what's going on? I don't understand..." feeling again. But generally I do feel a lot more confident about my blogging than I did a year and a half ago!
3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
Well, I found organizing and running an entire event last year (Psychtember) to be pretty stressful and daunting. But in the end I think it was quite successful, so I'm pleased about that! My mistake in terms of Psychtember may have been trying too hard to do too much in too little time, LOL. But hey, better too much than too little, I think!
4. What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
Another thing I found discouraging was seeing all these other bloggers getting tons of ARCs, back when I didn't receive any at all. This is more just a matter of time — getting your blog established — than anything else. But it's also sometimes a matter of making the effort to contact a publisher and request a review copy.
5. What do you find most encouraging?
Also, the comments. Comments are what makes the blogosphere go round. Especially thoughtful, substantive ones.
6. If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself?
a) Do NOT stress so much about followers and comments. They are not a reflection of the quality of your blog. Instead, concentrate on doing what YOU'D like to do with your blog.
b) Participate in blogging events, but try not to bite off more than you can chew. Consider how much time and energy you have to devote to a particular project.
c) Don't be afraid to try new things with your blog. It'll help get you out of any blogging slumps you find yourself in.
d) HTML code isn't as scary as it looks. You can figure it out! (...at least to some degree...)
e) Be patient. Publisher contacts and ARCs will come eventually.
7. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
In terms of content, I appreciate reviews that are thoughtfully written, with minimal grammar and spelling errors. I like reviews that give me a sense of the book and the reader's opinion without giving away major spoilers! Also, spoiler warnings are excellent. I value bloggers who do not shy away from giving honest but negative ratings and critical comments in their reviews, but who accomplish this eloquently, without bashing the author.
Blogs that have a variety of posts — memes, reviews, discussions, event posts — are appreciated. And I enjoy blog posts that make me smile :)
Overall, I hope that I've managed to replicate some of these aspects in my own blog!
8. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this?
Bloggers who gush equally about every single book make me skeptical, and reviews riddled with spelling/grammar mistakes make me wince. I do try to avoid most of these things in my blog.
9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
10. When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?
Hope my answers have been at least somewhat helpful to newbie bloggers reading this post! Oldie bloggers, how would you respond to these questions?