Monday, 2 January 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

Busting the Newbie Blues is BACK! After a very successful event last year, Small Review is hosting it again throughout the month of January. It's a great way for new bloggers to connect with more established bloggers, and to get some new followers. Last year I participated as a new blogger (my post). This year I will be answering the established blogger questionaire.

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

When did you start your blog?
I started my blog a long time ago, in April 2010. I'll be celebrating my two-year anniversary this year.

Do you ever still feel like a newbie?
Yes, totally! I still feel so puny compared to the other big blogs out there. I feel like I still have a lot to learn, even though I've been around for a while. Especially on HTML, I'm still such a newbie at that. I tried to change my blog header the other day, and managed to multiply my header into the posts body. Oops. With some help from other bloggers, I luckily did get that fixed.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
Don't try to do too much. That's something I can't stress enough. I tried to post every day, even though I really shouldn't. After a while blogging was something I wasn't looking forward to, eventually leading to a burn out. I had to leave my blog for a few months. I'm back now, and doing way better. Nyx Book Reviews is now more how I want it to be, than what is expected.

What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
The low follower count. I wanted to blog to interact with people, to get them to read my reviews. It's very discouraging when you know there are just 7 people in the whole wide world that are interested in your view. It was pretty easy to deal with in the end. I got out and tried to meet people. Comment on their blogs. I participated in events, like Busting the Newbie Blues. It felt good to see people were interested in what I have to say, you sometimes just have to go out and meet them.

What do you find most encouraging?
The help of the blogging community. If you have a question, there is always someone that's willing to help you. I'm very glad for the people I met through blogging.

If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself?
Five bits! I'll have to think on that one. First, don't worry about the followers count. Second, you don't have to review all the new books. Old books are just as fine. Third, don't accept every review request that gets your way! I'm still stuck with 50 ebooks you accepted! Fourth, participate in more events. Just posting reviews gets boring after a while. Fifth, just have fun with your blog (:

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I like blogs with clear navigation, with handy lists of what they've read. I tried to do this myself too. I also really like extensive reviews that tell you what the story is about. I just can't do anything with a review that says "This book was awesome! And the guy is HOTTT! Read it.". I need more info. I try to make my reviews as clear as possible.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this?
Arghh, music on a blog! What's up with that? I know you like the music, but I sure as hell don't want to get blasted away by Beyonce the moment I open your blog. You can add a music widget in your side bar if you want to. But don't make it auto-play. I want to decide for myself if I want to hear it or now. I generally don't post music on my blog, but if I do, it's a Youtube video. People can see for themselves whether or not they're interested.

How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people? 
Blood, sweat, tears and a lot of blogging! I try to keep my content of good quality, while also participate in some fun things once in a while. Like last year, I participated in three readathons. Readathons are great ways of meeting people with similar interests. Also, have a nice giveaway once in a while. People will definitely appreciate that.

When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?
I still don't get many ARCs. I get them almost all from Netgalley. I would definitely recommend Netgalley to every newbie blogger, especially when you're international. You might not get accepted for all the galleys, but I can assure you you will be for some. Sometimes I request ARCs from the author, and it has worked a few times. It's harder for me to get ARCs because the publisher more often than not thinks shipping is too expensive. I'm still looking into ways for me to get to the ARCs I want (:


Anne said...


I really like your questionnaire - I see myself in a couple of your answers. And the winter design is just gorgeous.

I'm a European blogger as well - German ;) - and that is sometimes really annoying in the blogging community. :D

Anne (from Living in a Fairy World)

Gina @ My Precious said...

I've been blogging for over a year and still only have just barely over 100 followers. I totally still feel like a newly. I agree with you on the Netgalley recommendation. I love getting E-Arcs from them. I read all of my books on my Kindle. Well, nice to meet you!

Small Review said...

Thank you so much for participating again! I love your responses. They're all so clearly stated and packed with awesome advice.

You made me laugh out loud when you said you can't do anything with a review that just says "This book was awesome! And the guy is HOTTT! Read it." :P I agree! I love in depth reviews.

Not trying to do too much is a piece of advice I really need to listen to. I'm constantly wanting to do more, but then I burn out. I am going to save your response there to remind myself. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I almost always have my volume off, so I've never noticed music on a blog, but you're the second blogger who's mentioned it! That would definitely be distracting to visitors attempting to read your reviews.

I agree about the list of books reviewed. When I visit a new blog, I like to find a review of a book that I've read, too, to see if the blogger and I have similar tastes. I've left some blogs because there was no list and I just couldn't tell if we would agree whether books were good or not. Thanks for sharing your answers.

Pica said...

Hi Celine. Your blog is so pretty - I love the snowflakes! Thanks for all the advice; I totally agree with so much of what you said. Nice to "meet" you!

Mandy said...

Hi! I'm participating in this event as well and had to come over and say hi. =D I agree with you on everything you've said. Ha! You definitely just need to have fun with your blog and get yourself out there. Also, the whole music on blogs drive me absolutely NUTS.

I'm a new follower. =D

Tales of Whimsy said...

SO with you on music!

Monaliz said...

Hi there! :) I'm also participating Small's event, and also an European blogger (from Finland).

You definitely have now more than 7 followers :) But I'm familiar with the follower problem, I tend to get all stressed out and start panicking if I don't get any comments and I feel like I'm all alone in the whole blogging world :(
But luckily not so much anymore :)

Monaliz @ Mind Reading?

Steph (Poetry to Prose) said...

Hi! Your header is SO cute!

I agree completely about feeling burned out with posting. When I realized how stressful I was beginning to feel when I tried to schedule a post, I knew I was doing something wrong. It shouldn't be a chore at all, so now I only have something up when I feel up to it. I'm glad your break from blogging allowed you to come back feeling refreshed.

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

It's great to have some older bloggers take part in this to help out the newbie bloggers. I love some of the answers to your questionnaire. Netgalley was one of the first things I got into and I love it. I am a little discouraged with followers numbers but I've learned from others that it's the page view count and not followers that really matters. Thanks for taking the time to do this! Definitely going to take a look at your blog some more, but from what I've seen I really enjoy it.

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

PS New follower :) Love your reviews I've checked out.

Eden (The Prickly Reader) said...

Hi, Celine. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us newbies :D

I really want to take your advice of making a list of the books I've reviewed (once I get more than one). That sounds like a good way to tell if you have common interests with a fellow blogger.

Your blog is so nice and tidy. I love the snowflake background! I also like seeing what people are reading and what other blogs they follow.

Marathon said...

Hi! I loooove your cute wintery/christmasy layout going on! Especially the header, so adorable.

I have such a problem handling my reading pile too, and I've learned not to accept EVERY single review request too. It's been a crazy almost-year and a half of learning.

Hope to see you around! I'm Asher by the way, from Paranormal Indulgence :)

Kathy Ann Coleman said...

Hi there! My name is Kat and my blog is I Write, I Read, I Review.

You've said so much that I agree with. Music on blogs = aaaaack! Follower counts can drive you crazy. And those early ebooks that should not have been accepted are like literary skeletons in the closet. But it all gets better with time. (Except the music...)

Anyway, totally love your winter design and the very pretty burgundy you chose to bold the questions for the article. Have a great day!

Kelly said...

Oooh I can't stand when a review is "this book was awesome!!" with no follow up as to why! And music on blogs drives me nuts! I'm usually listening to music while I'm blogging so it just comes out as a big mash-up of sound.

I haven't gotten in to the world of the ARC yet, but I'm nervous for when I do. I feel like I will end up in over my head with way, having requested too many and an intimidating TBR pile.

I'm also participating in Small's event, if you want to check out my post, found here!

Radiant Shadows

Alexa S. said...

I love your five tips to your newbie blogger self- because they're very true! I think blogging is supposed to be fun and not something that becomes work, so it's obviously cool that you took a break.

I can't believe I forgot about mentioning music in my things I dislike! I mean, music is great, but to have something blast as soon as you click on a site? Not appealing.

It's a pleasure to meet you!

elena said...

Oh, I liked your answers a LOT! I especially like your background, the snowflakes are super cute. Follower counts is something I'm still pretty apprehensive on, everyone says don't worry about them though so that's what I'm trying to keep in mind. I really like clear and informative reviews too, I don't understand it if they basically rehash the story or summary. That doesn't tell me anything! It's nice to meet you. :) 

Paige said...

I really like all of your answers. I totally agree with you on the playing music on the blog i actually wrote about that on my Newbie Bloggers post too! It's really annoying being scared to death when your just innocently trying to read a post and blam there's music! I really like the idea of Net Galley and i've signed up but i'm having trouble getting authors to accept me i've tried changing my profile thousands of times but they just wont accept me! i guess i'll just have to be patient.

Danya said...

I hear you on the HTML...I've totally been learning that by trial and error! (And I've made lots of errors, LOL.) Also, yes, music that starts playing immediately when you visit a blog can be *so* irritating! Especially when I can't figure out how to turn it off.

I like your clean, easy-to-navigate layout, by the way! :)

Ruby said...

Oh, AGREED! I don't like music on blogs, either. It sucks when I'm at the coffee shop (or grabbing a second at work--I confess that I do it) and the blog I'm looking at starts blaring away. SO embarrassing.

Amber said...

I don't like when some peoples reviews are just "i love this book, you should check it out!" as well. I need to get a gist on what the book is about and if it fits into my book interest category. I don't like spoilers either. Especially when people don't worn me about them in their title or in the beginning of the review. 

You have a beautiful blog! (=

Sincerely, amber at the book pages. 

Nicole said...

Hi! It's nice to meet another Australian blogger :). I agree about the music bit. Nothing infuriates me more than music on a blog and not knowing how to turn it off. I'm also really glad that I meet new people through blogging and discover new blogs every day...and it's also cool to have experienced bloggers like you guys to turn to if I have things to ask!

New follower.

And here's my post if you want to check it out: Here's my post if you want to check it out:

Nicole said...

^ Um, oops. I didn't realise that '.au' didn't mean the blogger was also from Australia. BUT NEVER MIND THAT. Sorry! :D

Paula Phillips said...

Hi :)
Im a new follower and I adore the winter theme of your blog :)

Shae_carcar said...

Alot of ppl have been suggesting Netgalley! I have NO idea what that is but I'll look into it! This has been so insightful! Thank you
Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

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