I first saw this post on Katie's blog over at Call Me Crazy and really liked the idea. So I went over to Small Review and checked out the main post about it. I chose to do the "established blogger" questionnaire. And I will explain why in the questions below.
I started it in August of this year. But for many many months before that I followed a bunch of other bloggers. I'm one of those people that, in some situations, I like to watch other people and see how they do something before I do it. So I sat back and observed for about 4 or 5 months before I set mine all up.
I've always enjoyed reading. I read my first book by myself when I was 4 and haven't stopped since. I went through a couple reading slumps, especially when I started working 50+ hrs a week and going to college full time. Then I got married last Oct. and became a stay at home wife and haven't started going back to school yet, so I had lots of time on my hands to fill. So I did, with reading. My husband even bought me a Kindle for our first Christmas last year. I don't know a lot of people that like the books I like and I can't help but talk about them. So after some internet research this seemed like the best idea. Talk about books all I want with other people that love them just as much as I do.
The biggest challenge so far has been finding a reviewing style that fits me. Every blogger has a different style, whether it be shorter, longer, really in-depth, or just skimming the surface. It really stressed me out at first because I was nervous I wouldn't do it right and no one would want to read what I wrote. Don't do that. It's not worth it. Just write what you want to say. It's soo much easier that way. And much more enjoyable not to stress over how other people are doing things.
Feeling like everyone had such a big head start on me. All these other people had awesome blogs and always seemed to be getting new books all the time I didn't think I would ever be able to catch up and make my blog noticeable. Once I got going I just started realizing it's okay, everything comes with time. Everyone else put time and effort into their blogs and that's just what I needed to do too. Everything will come with a little bit of time.
Other bloggers. Everyone I have met has been so nice and encouraging. Also when other bloggers and readers stop by and tell me they like something I've posted, that's always nice. Let's me know what I am doing right. Reading all the Dear Story Siren posts (The Story Siren) help a lot too. She is really great about answering questions. Stuff new bloggers would like to know but don't know where to get the answers. It's encouraging seeing how awesome her blog is and she started just where I was, and she's willing to share what she's learned. How nice :) Click on the link above to go read her stuff. Trust me, even if you're not new, it's great stuff.
I love when bloggers find out about new books coming out, so I really hope to be able to keep up with new stuff coming out and bring it to readers attention. It always fun putting a new book that you're really excited about on your to be read list.
Bloggers bashing authors and/or books. I understand not every book is for everybody, but you don't have to bash it. Just tell me what you didn't like about it, if there is anything that you did like about it. Usually bloggers that bash just make me want to read that book more to see if they were just over reacting and if they are credible and a good blog to follow.
Don't try to rush everything. It is hard seeing other blogs with tons and tons of followers, and doing giveaways all the time or receiving ARCs of books you want. But it takes a little bit of time. If you try to do everything all at once, you will get burned out and it won't be fun anymore. That's not how it should be. It should be fun and relaxing.
Well, I don't have a lot of followers yet, but I am not aiming to get tons of people. If I get 4000 followers that will be the coolest thing ever, but I don't want to be focused on only doing things to get a following. I just do stuff in the blog community. Memes help, commenting on other peoples blogs. Readathons a great way to get to know other bloggers. Find one and get involved :)
Just don't spam blogs. No one likes spam comments.
It was easy to feel intimidated in the beginning, but there's no point in that. Everyone starts where I started and had to work their way up. So that's all I'm doing too, working my way up.
And it also makes for a much more enjoyable experience if you don't stress about getting ARCs. Publishers and authors will reject you but that's okay. They aren't saying no for forever. Just that time. Don't be afraid to try again :)