Saturday, December 4, 2010

Small Review's "Busting the Newbie Blues" Meme

Small Review has started a meme with the purpose to help smaller blogs gain a bit more of a following and maybe even learn about what they want on their blog and how others have achieved it! This even runs through the end of December!!!

I was torn on what survey to fill out. Blogging less than a year, I'm quite proud of my accomplishments! I've kept to a pretty decent schedule, made friends with some great bloggers, and even hosted a contest. Because I am pretty proud of what Brooke's Box of Books has become in this past few months, I'm filling out the experienced form.   I may not have a huge number of followers or even get publishers delivering books at my door, but I think I'm doing something right here regardless!  Read below and take what you will from it. :-)

When did you start your blog? This blog officially opened in August 2009, but I didn't really begin updating on a regular basis with at least 10 posts a month until June 2010. 

Why did you start your blog? I started my blog because I found myself posting reviews everywhere else--amazon, goodreads, etc-- and thought why not make my own space where I am free to post whatever I'd like?

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from? My biggest mistake in the beginning was posting too many things at one time. Had I spread out the posting of my older reviews, I would have been able to keep more of a schedule. The early months were quite hectic with me posting four reviews one month and ten another.

Making a schedule and sticking to it is one of my main challenges. In months where I know time will be tight, I've begun planning ahead. I'll write a review and schedule it to post later that week or I'll map out my month so I can make a deadline for myself. Procrastination is always staring me in the face, but I think I've done quite well at keeping it at bay!!!

For new bloggers, I highly recommend looking at your blog like you would work or school. It's something that you have to dedicate equal time to each week so that if people stop by, they'll see all the work you put into it!

What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this? Publicity. I had no idea how to get my name out to readers. I don't need lots of followers to read my stuff, but I think every blogger enjoys comments, page hits, or a new follower or two. After studying various other blogs, I noticed that a large chunk participated in the 'Book Blogger Hop' and decided to join. That was truly when I began getting my name out into the world wide web!

What do you find most encouraging? The people. I haven't encountered a single blog that has had any sort of 'war' going on, like you see in forums and such. It makes me happy to be part of the book blogging world!

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog? I love idea of meme's. I think weekly meme's help make your blog more than just 'another book blog'. I'm trying to slowly delve into that world with my own Christmas Happenings meme and my S.O.S Book of the Week.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this? It's really not my place to say one blog is worse than the other. For my blog, I try to proof my posts (though I'd be the first to tell you I stink at finding my own mistakes). I also try to post regularly during the week-- enough so that I hit at least 15-20 posts a month. Another key thing for me is layout. For meme's, for example, I like to clearly define the question and question. So, the question (like here) is bold. The answer isn't. To me, it makes things all so much prettier. If someone doesn't do the things above, it' a bit of a let down. But then again, to each his own!

Do you have any advice for new bloggers? I can't stress this enough-- know what you want to post each week and stick to a schedule. It can even be as simple as posting a review every Monday, a meme every Wednesday, and the hop every Friday. Also, join in the Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop fun! When you type in your blog info (to the linky), why not put *new blog* somewhere in there. I always hop to those. :-)

How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people? I've been joining the Book Blog Hop since every week since July. It has helped my followers grow about 10-15 a month since then. It's not a grand number, but I'm proud of it!

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience? I love this blog and plan on keeping it up for years to come. In my case, hard worked paid off. As long as you strive for YOUR best and not someone else's, you'll be fine!


Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Brooke, your blog is awesome, and it has come such a long way in a short time! It's true - getting the name of your blog out there is hard, but the book blogging community is amazing with support and encouragement. Even now, I ask older bloggers questions!

I definitely have to agree that a schedule saved my blog. I found a routine and posting schedule really helps me not get overwhelmed or burned out. Great answers, Brooke! :D

Karen C said...

You've done a great job and I enjoyed reading your answers :)

Oh I have seen so many wars on message boards over the years. I think the trolls that like to cause the trouble on those kind of sites really don't have the brains or personality to become bloggers. :)

Small Review said...

Thank you so much for participating! Your answers are great! You have so much to be proud of here with your blog.

I love, love, love that you suggested a schedule. Lists, schedules, anything organized like that and I love it. As a reader, I really appreciate it when a blogger sticks to a schedule of some kind, and I think participating in memes helps with this.

As a blogger, I find keeping a schedule helps me in that it gives me a direction. I know what I have to do each day and I'm much more focused. Hearing how this works well for you is nice because it makes me feel like I'm moving in a good direction.

Thanks again for participating!

Laura said...

Hey Brooke! :oP Your advice about knowing what you want to post and sticking to a schedule is really helpful! You're right about how in a way you have to treat it like homework. It's hard to get things done when you're busy, so planning in advance is a good idea! Thanks :o)

Aylee said...

Hello! As a newbie, it's so nice to read what you have to say! I really like what you had to say about scheduling posts. This makes a lot of sense to me!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you about layout. It's funny, but your comment about making the quiz questions bold and the answers not was probably the thing that I related to the most in your post. It's something that appeals to me--consciously and unconsciously--whenever I'm looking at a blog.

I'm hopping over from the Busting the Newbie Blues event. I'm a total newbie, but I want to second the suggestion for participating in the Book Blogger Hop. It's a great way to discover new blogs and to get your name out there.

Jacqui said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower from a weekend blog hop! I would love to have you follow back at one or all four of my blogs :)

Thank you! Have a wonderful week!

Ashley @ Bookaholics Anonymous said...

I like what you had to say about the scheduling. I should probably think about doing that. i start to review books and just leave them in the draft mode. I'm such a procrastinator. Nice blog by the way. :)

Brooke said...

All-- Thanks for the kind words!

Anonymous said...

I think I'll try a blog hop this week. I like your idea of putting *new blog* in there, too. Great answers!

T.B. said...

Hi fellow Newbie!

I also wish I had maybe spread out my posts more in the beginning. Or at least I wish I had written and compiled more reviews before I actually started my blog, so I could always have some to choose from. I should try to work on that in 2011!