Busting the Newbie Blues

Busting the Newbie Blues is a new event coming to the Book Blogging World thanks to the wonderful Small Review! I had so much trouble starting out with my blog so I thought this was an awesome idea!

1. When did you start your blog?
I started my blog in March of 2010, so not even a year ago. However I didn't really start posting until August because I was so intimidated by the blogging world. I was so concerned that no one would want to hear what I had to say or even like what I had to say about the books I was reading. In August I finally decided if they like what I write then that's great! If not, well I guess this blog isn't for them.

2. Why did you start your blog?
I've always had trouble with making friends so I would turn to books for comfort during the school day. The characters were my friends and understood the issues I was going through. As I got older I read for an escape. So basically I started my blog to keep track of my thoughts on all the books that I'm reading and talk to people with the same interest as myself.

3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
By far the biggest challenge was sticking with it. So many times I wanted to quit because I wasn't getting any page views. Seriously, on a good day I got 5-7. Then I read a quote by the great Meg Cabot...
"Write the kind of story that you want to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you're not writing something you like, no one else will like it either."
So I know she meant writing a book, but I applied it to my blog. I expanded my content to more than memes and reviews and just made it something that I would like to read. The followers just came with time after that.
Another issue was that I was 17 in a more dominate adult community. Publishers and readers had trouble taking me seriously and thought I'd get bored fast. I learned to ignore the negative vibes and just embrace being young!

4. What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
I was really upset about my blog design! I would change it multiple times a week trying to make it "user friendly". My messing with it all the time took all of my focus away from reading and reviewing which was the reason I even had a blog. Not to mention the designed were terrible! I wanted it to look "sophisticated and business-like," which just isn't me. So In the end I went with what made me happy instead of what I thought would make others pleased.

5. What do you find most encouraging?
That the followers I did have would comment and be interested in what I was posting. Everyone in the YA Book Blogging community is just so sweet and welcoming! Everyone is more the willing to offer advice or a helping hand. It was just so encouraging to know that someone was always there to help or read what I had to say.

6. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I really enjoy bloggers that can get author or blogger interviews/ guest posts! I think it's awesome that they feature other people out in the blogosphere to let their readers know about other amazing blogs. It gives a little different opinion added to your blog. I have done one guest post with my blogger friend, Elodie, and had a blast asking questions while also receiving great feedback from my followers.

7. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I'm not a big fan of really short reviews that only include a synopsis and just a yes or no if they liked it. Part of the reason I turn to blogs for opinions is to hear everything they have to say about a book. Not just if they liked it. Tell me why! I try to avoid writing short reviews, sometimes mine can get a little long (which I'm working on). I say everything that I went through emotion wise during the story.

8. Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Do not give up and blog about what you like! I know that it is extremely hard in the beginning when no one is reading your blog and you feel like you are the needle in the haystack of all these great bloggers, but just remember you are great too!

9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
The main thing that gave me followers was my giveaway. I was so hesitant to do a giveaway because of expenses, but if this is something you are committed to you'll get great results. It gets people to spread the word about your blog so others will know you're out there.

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
I sometimes get bummed out that I don't have authors or publishers contacting me about advanced reader's copies, but just try to keep in mind that it will come in time. Also when they do reject you that it's nothing personal and they aren't writing you off. Make your blog the best it can be and give it your all the ARCs will soon follow!

Crazy Katie


  1. This is brilliant advice Katie! I agree with many of your answers, once you get to know it the book blogging world is so welcoming and friendly. At first, I felt a bit intimidated being 13 but I soon realised that teenage voices just add more diversity to all the opinions out there and so far it hasn't been a problem for me.

    I'm going to be taking part BTNB too soon :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. You gave really thoughtful and thorough answers which have given me lots to think about myself. Thank you :)

  3. Thank you Stephanie! :)
    You're totally right about teens adding diversity!

    Hi Slowest Bookworm! I'm so happy you enjoyed this post! :D

  4. Fabulous advice.

    And I by the way ADORE your look :)

  5. I LOVED this post...You are so right about everything and I'm glad to be a new(ish) follower of yours! Keep up the great work! :)

  6. I know, the blogging world can be intimidating when you first start out! Like you, I found that the community is by and large very friendly :)

    And Meg Cabot is awesome!

  7. I love your answers and your advice and I will definitely keep them in mind!

    I'm also your newest follower :D

    Check out my answers here

  8. I'm so glad you're participating in this event! I really appreciated reading all of your answers. They were all very helpful.

    You touched on so many worries and fears I've had, and your advice on how to handle those worries is stellar. You're absolutely right.

    I'm surprised you had trouble with publishers over your age. You'd think that being an actual young adult, and therefore the target audience for all these books, would give some weight to your opinions. Plus, look at your awesome blog! Silly, silly publishers. :)

  9. Hello! So happy to have found you through this event. I'm absolutely in love with your blog banner!
    I had the same answer as you for the "What do you dislike?" question. If I'm going to be spending the time and money reading a book then it's best that the reviews I've read are actually useful in helping me make the decision whether or not to buy and read the book. Super short reviews usually don't cut it for me.

  10. I can't believe they were wary because you were 17! You're a young adult -- that's who YA books were written for! It seems like there are a lot of younger bloggers in the blogosphere now, so hopefully the industry has learned the errors of their ways! I'm glad you didn't give up! You've got a terrific site here - I was admiring your header before I scrolled down to read your answers. It looks great =)

  11. I loved everything you had to say, and i can seriously relate with 3 and 5. 3 because that quote is so TRUE! and 5 because i have to agree that this blogging community is so welcoming! OH and 8 ... That is a wonderful thing to say! lol

  12. Hey Small Review! Thank you so much for holding this event! I really enjoyed participating in it!
    I know right?! Being a young adult I thought it wouldn't matter since I was in my genre! haha

    Hi Casey! Thank you so, so much Casey! You're just so sweet! :D

    Hey Steph! I'm so glad you loved my advice! I love Meg Cabot so I just had to add that quote in there since it helped me a ton!

  13. I really enjoyed reading your answers. You have some really good advice, and I agree with it completely. :)

  14. For someone who really didn't get started till August, you've made huge progress, super-fast.
    And I love your blog design (especially the vampire girl mug). I wish I knew anything about web design. I finally just paid someone to do a redesign, which hopefully should be up soon.

  15. Hi AngelicNytmare! Thank you! :)

    Hey Alison! Thank you Alison! I only know a little about web design, but hope to learn a little more! That's awesome your getting your site redesigned, I can't wait to see it! :)

  16. You've got some great advice and I love your header! I know how much time tweaking a layout can take because it took me a couple of days to get something that I liked using Blogger's templates. I'm probably just going to get a custom layout someday.

    Oh, and hooray for Team Ren!

  17. Hi Canadian Girl! Thank you so much! Isn't Ren just so awesome! ;)

  18. I love what you said about your blog design. I love your current one so it seems like you made a good choice!

  19. I just did this myself (:

    I'm a new follower (:

  20. Thank you so, so much Shannon! :)
    Thanks Tessie!

  21. Hi fellow Newbie!

    First, I love your header! Go Team Peeta!! :)

    I understand how you feel about not getting many page-views at first. That happened to me when I first started my blog, but it just takes time. I completely agree with the short reviews! I mean, I want to hear what you liked and disliked about the book and what you thought, not just a snippet of your feelings towards it. I also think it's really cool when there are author interviews on blogs! I have one author interview on my blog, From The Bookshelf of T.B., actually.