Busting the Newbie Blues

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The lovely mastermind behind the new blog, Small Review, has come up with a really nice way for bloggers who've been around a while to offer their advice and input to new bloggers, if only to lend a helping hand. I remember how clueless I was when I started my blog, so I figured I'd join in and give my two cents (however little they might be worth). I invite you to click here, take the survey, and participate as well - whether you're a new blogger or an old one! Ok...onto the questions...

1. When did you start your blog?

I started my blog last July, if we're being technical, but I didn't start book blogging until December 17th last year, hence my blogoversary giveaway (shameless plug). It took me that long to figure out what I wanted to do with it.

2. Why did you start your blog?

I originally started it just because I liked the name, and I'd always wanted to try blogging, but I wasn't sure what to do. I started book blogging because books and the written word are a true passion of mine, and this is a great outlet.

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

I got really burned out this past summer. I loved blogging, but I was so hell-bent on being good at it that I made it into a chore. My biggest suggestion is to take your time getting into it. Make it something you enjoy, rather than dread to do.

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

I think the one thing I had to get over was the whole follower shebang. I started my blog and gained a small following at first, but nothing huge, while other similar blogs just took off. Today, I have a good, active following, and I recognize it's quality over quantity in all aspects of my blog. It takes a lot of patience.

5. What did you find most encouraging?

The other bloggers. This is an amazing community of helpful and positive individuals. Get to know them...they're your greatest asset!

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

I love that the blogs I read all have their own unique voice. I've worked hard to make my site a reflection of myself, and people shouldn't be scared to let their true colours come out in their blog.

7. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?

I really don't dislike that many things. I guess spamming is the one thing that irks me sometime. If someone wants to visit my blog, I'm honoured, but I'd rather they come to enjoy it rather than simply ask me to follow them. Chances are I will follow them (I follow almost 500), so give me a reason to follow you!

8. Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

Have fun! That's the whole point of the blogosphere. If you don't have fun with it, we'll know, and it's not worth it.

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

Interaction, pure and simple. I try to comment on at least 60 blogs a day (I know...a lot). It's a great way to get people interested in my thoughts as well. Most of all though, just be yourself!

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

I shall close with a cliche...it's a marathon, my friends, not a sprint ;)


  1. There is some really great advice in their, so as a newish blogger, I thank you!
    Anyways, 60 blogs a day?!? Hats off to you! How in the world do you find time?

  2. Oh I dislike spamming too!! And I know what you mean about trying so hard that it becomes a chore, which is the opposite of what it was intended to be.

    I definitely agree with the 'quality over quantity' when it comes to followers...if your followers are super active, it doesn't matter if you don't have tons. Better that than a billion followers that never comment!

    Nice to hear your thoughts on these questions :)

  3. Amen on that last line.

    I think it's important for new bloggers to find their own niche too :)

  4. Finding a niche and your own unique voice is very important and very difficult. I also prefer quality, not quantity of my followers. Although there have been only 16 of them up to date I am honoured anybody has felt inclined to visit my blog not just because there are freebies around (there are not) or fun and games. When I started (not so long ago) I thought there would be no followers at all! And yes, it is a marathon indeed but I try to have fun all the same!

  5. I enjoyed reading your answers. I agree that you really have to make it your own. Someone commented today how super organised by blog Is which made me laugh out loud as thats exactly how i am IRL. I must be doing something right, and so must you as your blog is great definitely appeals to me.
    It's a great event :)

  6. You stated the follower thing perfectly-- quality over quantity. I

    Nice, well thought out post!

  7. I loved this post. I agree with your comment that other fellow bloggers are an asset. As a new blogger, I was so overwhelmed by everything and had alot of questions. Figuring it wouldn't hurt, I'd add questions on the end of some of my memes and was floored by how helpful everyone was. Never be afraid to ask questions because you're right - this is a great community to be a part of and I'm LOVING it!

  8. wow 60 blogs a day... How do you find the time? I need a couple more hours in the day to write reviews most of the time. lol That's awesome!!

  9. Thank you for all your tips. I found them really helpful. I definitely must learn to be more patient I think.

  10. Mastermind? Ha! You are too kind (and I love it) :) I'm so glad you're participating. Your responses here are great, and I love, love, love that you've been so involved at all the other participants' blogs. That's exactly the spirit I was hoping for!

    I really appreciate your comments and advice, here and in response to the other participants. You've given us so many good things to consider. Thank you!

  11. Great post. I found your answers to be very helpful, for a new blogger :)

  12. Such good advice! I always try to remember that blogging is for fun :)

  13. Aw thanks for all your lovely comments Melissa! Your blog is one of my faves and one of the blogs I visit the most frequently, and likewise I am very happy to have gotten to know you :D

  14. Aw, I love the ending cliche! I think it's both definitely fitting and good advice. :]

  15. Melissa, you are awesome for the kind words you gave! Likewise, I am glad I fournd your blog, too! You gave great advice! I completely agree about spammers - kind of annoying, but like you said quality over quantity - I think that goes for comments as well as followers :)

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  16. I am to celebrate 2 years oon :) But then I did create it then but it took me months to really start :)

  17. Great feedback! I really enjoy your blog and our fun little tweets! I wish I could hit 60 blogs a day! You go!!

  18. I am so glad to have found your blog through this event. I am in love with your blog design, so clean and beautiful. This is what I aspire to... just need to learn a bit more about how html works, haha.
    Your advice really resonated with me, especially not making blogging a chore. I'm only less than one month into it so I haven't felt this way yet and I hope I never do see it as a chore.

  19. This is a great idea! I agree with a lot of your answers. I burned myself out this summer too and I have to watch it now (and try not to get behind). I also really don't like when people leave a comment simply asking me to follow them. Like you, I follow a ton of blogs and try my best to leave comments regular :)

    Tara SG - 25hourbooks.com

  20. Great advice, Melissa! I love your blog, and I always look forward to reading your reviews. Your points on quality over quantity and 'marathon not a sprint' are spot on!

  21. Now that I feel like I'm really starting to get into the swing of blogging regularly and leaving comments and participating in challenges and events, I finally understand how blogging can take up so much time. I really love it at this point but it's easy to see how it can cause you to burn out.

    I think gaining a lot of followers is a goal of every new blogger and I think you subconsciously think that it'll be easy to gain a massive audience, but it really does take time and hard work.

  22. Thank you so much for offering your two cents! I agree about not getting too caught up in the beginning. I'm trying really hard to remind myself that I started doing this because I thought it would be fun, and it's not fun if I just try to follow as many people as possible without engaging with the writers. You make excellent points.

  23. Hi fellow Newbie!

    I agree that new bloggers shouldn't make their blog feel like a chore, as that's what I did at first. It's more fun to enjoy it! I also find that the community of bloggers is very accepting and they really know how to welcome anyone! Events like Busting the Newbie Blues really help.

  24. Enjoyed reading your post and glad you are enjoying your blogging experience. Great advice, too. 


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