Friday, January 27, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

When did you start your blog?
I started my blogging in December of 2009 but moved to The Phantom Paragrapher and changed it and became more regular on July 17th 2010
Do you ever still feel like a newbie?
Sometimes but it's getting better :)
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
Overwhelming myself with book requests from authors wanting their books reviewed , I learnt from this by placing a Review Policy on my site and a review letter that I send back to authors who request my service as a book reviewer.
What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
What do you find most encouraging?
What can be discouraging, is that you see all these other awesome blogs with millions of people, really amazing layouts and you think your's looks plain compared to theres. You just try your hardest as you eventually will reach those numbers too :)
If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself?
1) Don't take too much on , 2) Limit yourself to how much you post a week - remember that you don't have to update it every day , 3) Relax and have fun , 4) Don't lose focus that reading is something you do for pleasure and you started because you loved reading and writing.
What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to repl
icate this in your blog?
Each blog has their own touch , their own special identity from Rating Systems to Review Policies to adding quotes, songs, recipes per review. I'm a quotes girl, so I sometimes add my favourite quotes from books :)
What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this?
How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
Promote it every way possible :) Go Hard out.
When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?
I can't really remember but just by putting my name out there , googling ARC sites like Netgalley, Simon and Schuster Galley Grab , Booksneeze.


  1. Hello.

    I started it July or August 2009.

    In the beginning I just shared links to blog entries with my Network which is International.

    I started to visit other blogs and if I liked them, I sign up as a follower. This has really paid off.

    I answer almost every comment and am always kind and grateful for visits & comments, and I truly am.

    Sometimes, I use the google translator and answer in another language out of respect if I know the visitor doesn't know English.

    Then I started to ping my site.

    Then, I started to use the Google + forum and then it really took off.

    I also contact some of the people I find of interest on the Internet. This has paid off over time.

    I have been a guest blogger on other blogs and this has paid off well in more traffic. I have also had at least 6 Guest bloggers on mine and this has been both nice and beneficial.

    I started just as an experient to see if people would be open to my writings and also to promote my other website that has been running since 2002. (My other websites traffic has incresed greatly also)

    It has gone better than I ever expected and I am very pleased with the number of new visitors every week.

    Some people visited have posted me on facebook and stumble upon and twitter without me asking or on other forums as Godlike Productions or their own websites or blogs.

    I just post info of interest to me and that I think may be useful or helpful to others.

    I have a wide interest so can reach many groups and types of people and respect them all. I am always kind even to smart asses or ego maniacs.

    I have not censored the comments of others in any way.

    I have no rule about posts. I try to do one a day, but sometimes can do up to 5. It's not the number, but coming upon info that people enjoy. I never know what will be popular.

    People like videos & colorful photos. I include a photo or poster before every entry and give credit to the photographer or source useful it is unknow.

    I visit a lot of photo blogs. These blogs are very popular and I get a lot of visits by doing this. I also try to visit as many follower blogs as possible in a week to see what they are up to and leave comments.

    That's about it.

    Take care & happy blogging,

  2. Hi Paula, thanks for stopping by at my blog! I think we all need to remember sometimes to take everything in moderation, like review requests and how much to blog.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I'm a new follower of yours too! I think your blog is really nice, but you mentioned you were jealous of other bloggers layouts. I have a file that I keep of all the websites that offer free or cheap designed blogger templates. If you would like me to send you the sites feel free to email me :) chelle2006[@]aol.com

    And also, thanks for letting me know about a new book site. I have never heard of booksneeze. :) I love finding out about new things.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog! (: Also, thanks for the compliment on my layout. I got it from cutestblogsontheblock.com. (They have a TON of other cute and free backgrounds, too.)

    I add quotes from the book sometimes, too! Also, Book Sneeze looks awesome!

  5. The "Don't lose focus that reading is something you do for pleasure..." point definitely resonates with me. I have to be careful because I tend to turn everything I do, even my hobbies, into goals and milestones. I have to remind myself that I started blogging because I love reading, and to not let blogging get in the way of what I love.

    I'm a quotes girl, too. :) I have a book full of the ones I've collected.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Looking forward to reading your stuff.

    1. Same here , I'm a big Goal and Milestone Person LOL - I definitely had to change my perspective and remind myself I am blogging because I love reading not that Im reading because I have to blog- if that makes sense :).

  6. Great advice! Ultimately, just keep doing what your doing and introducing yourself to new people, and the followers will come eventually.

  7. This was really helpful! I can't wait til I have as many followers as you! I'm a newbie blogger, just a few months old! But I've really been getting into it!

    Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

  8. Hey there! Thanks for checking my post out :-) Looking forward to reading more of your content as well!!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

    It is rather discouraging to see blogs with amazing layouts, and you're just like "Now, how do I get that?" Haha.

    I know it's hard trying to remember that you're reading for fun and not as a job! I sometimes feel like I can't get through books fast enough! But then I realize that I'm doing it for myself, so I should just slow down and relax because it's okay. :)

  10. Oh, review policies are definitely helpful for both bloggers and authors. You cut down on all the emails asking for book review requests and authors don't have to waste their time emailing you if it's a book they know you won't be reading.


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