Busting the Newbie Blues

Posted January 4, 2012 by Renae // 16 Comments

Busting the Newbie Blues is hosted by Small Review. It’s a meme designed for new YA bloggers to connect with more established bloggers. I’m not blogging only YA books, but I do blog some YA releases, so I hope this is okay.

If you want to participate, you can still sign up here.

1. When did you start your blog?
The first “first post” 31 December 2011. Since then I’ve backlogged some of my old reviews, but I originally established this as part of a New Year’s Resolution.

2. Why did you start your blog?
Because I wanted a place to put all my reviews. But then I chanced upon some other blogs and realized that other people had book blogs, too.

3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Learning the ropes. I look at everyone else’s blog and see all the pretty widgets and giveaways and ARCs they have going on…and then I look at my plain template and boring content. It’s somewhat intimidating.

4. What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
I don’t feel that I have anything important to say. Nothing anyone else would want to read.

5. What do you find most encouraging?
How friendly everyone has been. It’s only been four days so far, but everyone’s been really nice.

6. What do you like best about the blogs your read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
This is going to sound lame, but I really like the templates/designs everyone has. It’s the first impression you get when you stumble onto someone’s blog. I’ve tried to make mine nice, but it’s generic and comes from the site’s pre-existing templates.

7. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I…haven’t noticed anything I’ve disliked. Just taken notes on some posting ideas/design plans that I don’t personally find appealing.

8. Any advice for other new bloggers?
Uh, well like I said, I’ve only been at this for four days. But just stick yourself out there. Get a Twitter account and follow blogs you like. I’m strongly opposed to Facebook, but not everyone is, and I would think it’s a smart idea to do.

9. Any questions you’d like to establish newbie or established bloggers?
How often should I post? When is too much/too little?

10. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?
I realize this is part of a meme for YA bloggers, so I’d like to give a little disclaimer: I don’t read YA exclusively. In fact, I’ve read maybe twenty YA books total. I’m trying to work on it. But for someone who jumped straight from Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie to Pride and Prejudice, it’s a bit hard. It’s a new world of books, some of which I’m sure I’ll like and some of which I won’t. But just so you know.

I also don’t usually read newly released books. If there’s hype, I tend to stay away unless someone I personally know and trust recommends the book. So if you follow and expect me to jump all over the newly released books…not going to happen.

That’s it! Thanks for stopping by!

Renae has written book reviews and other miscellany for Respiring Thoughts since 2012. She loves dogs, Mexican food, mountains, Shakespeare, and procrastinating. She's currently working on an undergrad degree in English/Spanish lit in the Midwest. Connect with Renae on Twitter, Goodreads, and Tumblr.

Categories: Miscellaneous


16 responses to “Busting the Newbie Blues

  1. Hey fellow newbie! Love your answers! I know I’m always intimidated by some of the awesome templates vs my own “pre-existing” template from the site but I’ve spent a lot of time messing with it so I don’t mind it as much now.

    Don’t worry about doing review’s for books other then YA. A book is a book and people want to hear about them πŸ™‚

    Good luck on the blog! You’ve got a great start!


  2. I like your clean layout! And I also like that you won’t be doing strictly YA. The classics are classics for a reason. And while I have a soft spot for YA, there’s great books being published outside that age bracket, too.

    I’m looking forward to following you!

  3. Hello fellow newbie πŸ™‚

    I would not have been able to tell just from looking at your blog that you are a newbie. Everything is so organized, especially your tags/labels. That really helps when navigating a blog.

    I also like your design. It may be just a pre-designed template but I’ve come to find that the template is only half the battle. Organizing content so it is easy to find is the other half and I think you’ve done that really well.

    I am also personally opposed to Facebook and will never be setting one up for my blog, but I’m following you on Twitter πŸ™‚

  4. @ SarahO: Why thank you! And yeah, I’m not worried about my interest in other genres besides YA (per se), but I just wanted to let people know. Thanks for the support!

    @ LHughes: Thanks! I’ve been really careful to keep things clutter-free. I’m looking forward to following you, too!

    @ Eden: Thanks for the compliment! I’m obsessive about my labels. My Goodreads shelves are continually getting reorganized. Thanks for following on Twitter!

  5. My blog has reviews of books that aren’t YA, as well. I love YA, but I think it can be more exciting when a blog has a bit of variety, especially since most people read more than one genre anyway.

  6. Hey ‘Newbie’ πŸ˜€ I totally agree with your answers – I also get intimidated by other peoples fancy blog designs, but sometimes simple layouts are better. I like your blog design it’s very organized and clear.
    Don’t worry about reviewing different types of books, you should review whatever you want – My blog is mainly YA but every now and then I want to post reviews of my favourite books from other genres.
    Have fun blogging πŸ™‚

  7. Welcome to book blogging!

    I don’t read exclusively YA either. I try to give my blog a good mix, since I think that adds some spice.

    You know, I like your template. It’s easy to read and not overly cluttered. I’ve seen some custom design templates that are a bit icky.

  8. Welcome to blogging!
    As far as frequency of posting, I would say that it would be ideal to aim for about 3 reviews a week. I tend to post about 6 days a week, but that’s just what I like to do. I think to gain consistent readers, you should try to post 3-5 times per week, with several reviews and one or two memes. But that’s just my opinion.

    As far as templates, it kind get rather monotonous when everyone has the same template. When I started out, I focused a lot more on my content of my blog which is obviously more important. After blogging for about 6 months I paid someone to come up with a nice design. Content is most important of course but having a good design does make you stand out.

    I really like your reviews so far!