Monday, January 2, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

I am participating in the Busting the Newbie Blues event hosted by Small Reviews, see the complete post here.  This event is designed to help new bloggers and I can certainly use all the help I can get!  There is also a sister event for more experienced bloggers, for them to share their infinite wisdom.

1. When did you start your blog?
I started Reading with ABC in May of 2011.
2. Why did you start your blog?
I love reading, sharing, and talking about books.  Only one of my sons shares my interest (and he is 11!) and I wanted to find liked-minded people to talk book.
3.  What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge is the technical component to blogging.  I am planning to take a class soon or maybe by a blogging (or HTML) for dummies book!
4. What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Getting loyal followers and also getting more comments.  I love to hear from my readers and it gives me a better idea of what I’m doing right (or wrong!)
5. What do you find most encouraging?
Other bloggers are really nice.  A lot of the “big” bloggers are willing to share their knowledge and inside with us.
6. What do you like best about the blogs you read?  Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I like simple blogs and I go for the content of a post all the time. I try to keep my design simple and uncluttered and I try to keep my posts short and sweet.
7. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I don’t like a lot of pictures with movement or widgets with sounds.  I also don’t like a lot of profanity/cursing and I try to avoid all of these.
8. Any advice for other new bloggers?
Stick to it, do what you feel is right, ask for advice and learn that Goggle is your best friend!
9. Any questions you’d like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
How many hours do you spend working on your blog? How do you organize your TBR pile? How do you organize your posts?  How far ahead do you plan you week/month?
10. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?  Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you which had more comments.
In Reading with ABC I share by love for Young Adult books with all.  I like to recommend great books and I also participate in different memes and hops throughout the week. 
Here are some of my favorite posts:
Dust& Decay by Jonathan Mayberry
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


  1. Thank you so much for participating! I hope you find this event helpful. :) I like the color scheme of your blog a lot and how you have your header fabrics tied in with your sidebar headers and post dividers. Very pretty!

    I'm far from a technical expert, but I've written a few Tips & Tricks posts that you may find helpful. You're so right on saying Google will be your best friend. I can't even count how many times I did searches on "how to..."

    As for your questions, hm...I probably spend about four hours or so a day on blogging (writing posts and commenting on other blogs). Then of course the time spent to actually read books!

    My TBR is a mess. I'm a mood reader, but I also factor in library due dates and, if I have any, review request due dates. Goodreads has been a great resource for me to actually compile all of the books I want to read.

    I have a basic schedule of what days I publish different types of posts (Wednesdays for WoW posts, Sundays for IMM, etc). When the "writing mood" strikes I try to write as many posts as I can and then schedule them. I try to schedule posts a month or two ahead of time, so like right now almost all of my January posts and some of my February posts are written and scheduled.

    I hope that helps! Now I'm off to check out some of those reviews you linked :)

  2. Just a quick FYI for Small Review the tips and tricks link doesn’t work :/

    I feel your pain with the HTML crap!!!! I was good at this stuff in high school (but I was using Dreamweaver and it did all the HTML coding for me) but not I'm so lost!
    I spend way too much time working on my blog but that’s because I'm still learning the ropes and I tend to get distracted too much. Like even now, I should be working on some post but I'm to busing finding new blogs and commenting on great ones like yours!

    My TBR pile is SO SCARY! Using helps but someday I really need to work through it. Most of the time I only organize books that I own because I know ill read those first. But after that it’s all kind of a jumbled mess! But I started creating supplemental lists that help my scary pile (I think I'm close to having 600 books on it).
    I tend to only plan the night before for my post. I guess I could go further but I like to blog with the mood that I am on. I do a lot of meme so those are always the same. I might go further though because I need to have time for other things. Like I said I'm almost complete consumed by my blog now because I'm still learning!

    This was great getting to know more about you! I hope you will check mine out!!!!

    Tara and her giveaway

  3. I agree with you on your advice. It was great getting to know you, I will definitely be a follower now. =D Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oops! Thank you for the heads up, Tara :D

    Here's the link again Tips & Tricks

  5. The hours I spend working on my blog depends on the post. For a review or a more me-based content related post, probably 2-3 hours of writing, tweaking and polishing. Most weekly meme posts I can dish out in under a half an hour, but then I might spend upwards of 2 hours commenting on other blogs.

    I read the books I want to read. I add things that look interesting to my TBR pile, but what order I read them in will be reflective of my mood. And if there's a release I've been anticipating (like Clockwork Prince that just came out), I drop everything and pick it up on release day!

    My posts aren't very organized. I read a book, and write a review, then post it right away. I don't follow a schedule, so the only posts that are consistent are the weekly memes. Everything else is posted as it happens! So I don't really plan ahead - I think that would feel like work, and my blog is for fun. The day it starts feeling like work, I probably won't do it anymore.

    I'm also participating in Small's event, and if you're interested in checking out my post, you can find it here!

    Radiant Shadows

  6. Hi Liza :)

    I just have to say, first of all, that I LOVE your blog layout. I also find the technical aspects of blogging more difficult, but almost in reverse. I knew a lot of HTML before I started my blog but Blogger's interface/backend code is just so foreign to me.

    I organize my TBR books on Goodreads and I have so many tags. It's almost unbelievable. I don't feel too bad, though, because I like being able to find everything with as few clicks as possible. So if I feel like I'm in the mood for some YA Contemporary by a debut author released this year, I have tags for all of that :D

  7. I definitely hear you about HTML issues, or moreso CSS in my case. (I'm pretty good at HTML). I think this can also extend to things like color selection, font types and sizes, graphic design... There are a lot of artistic decisions to make when working on a blog layout.

    I also totally agree about how scary a TBR pile can get. Adding to that, living in a small space and preferring physical copies of books can be bad. *laughs*

    As for how a blog is designed, I can appreciate people wanting a design to be easy to navigate, but personally I like to see a splash of color and personality. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who feels this way, but as I tend to say about a lot of things, design is subjective. Everybody has their own opinion.

    Anyway, great post. I really enjoyed reading it. :)

  8. I thought I'd try and answer the questions you posed in your survey :)

    How many hours do you spend working on your blog?

    On a day-to-day basis, I can be working on my blog for about 1 1/2 hour. But if I know I'm going to be busy, I spend a whole afternoon scheduling posts.

    How do you organize your TBR pile?

    I used to have them everywhere, but now I arrange them in order of priority. My review books come in first, then the books I've borrowed and then the books I bought.

    How do you organize your posts? How far ahead do you plan you week/month?

    I basically write two types of posts: reviews and memes. I'm looking to add discussion posts, but my whole month of January is booked solid right now. I usually try to do at least a week's worth of posts in advance. This time around, I'm fortunate to have nearly a month's worth ready :)

    Happy blogging!

  9. I hope you're finding a good community of bloggers and readers with whom to share your passion -- I think that's what we all want, really.

    Yea, the technical aspect can be intimidating. I had to try out several blogging platforms before settling on WordPress as the one that was best for me. Basic HTML is pretty easy (even I can learn it, amazingly), but some of the more complex coding, like designing a theme, takes some expertise. One day at a time!

    All of my blogging activities (writing reviews, doing memes, commenting on other people's blogs) probably, maybe 6-10 hours per week? It really depends on the week, and what I've got going on.

    My TBR pile is insane. I use Listography and Bookpedia to keep track of what I've got and what I want, but I'm generally a mood reader.

    I try to have at least a semi-certain idea of what I'll be posting a week or two in advance. I participate in memes that I know happen once per week, so after that it's more about making sure that I'm balancing reading and blogging -- getting too far ahead or behind on either can be a pain.

  10. Crumbs. I had a huge, long comment that I typed out but my computer ate it when I went to try posting it! Since I'm far, far too lazy to rewrite everything, I'll give you the lightning version:
    1) Spend as much time as you like, but remember to take a breather. If it feels like you're spending too much time blogging, scale things back a bit. If you do, you'll blog longer.
    2) TBR piles are vindictive, jealous, and love to guilt-trip. I have absolutely no idea how to avoid this.
    3) How do I organize my posts? Uh, not sure. Organization isn't really my long suit. Or my short one.
    4) Sometimes I'm ahead and sometimes I'm scrambling the night before. Life happens. Others are better at accounting for it. Ask Small!

  11. Hey! I think your blog design is absolutely beautiful. About the technical side of blogging, before I started my website I never actually knew how much effort it took to make, design, and install a theme. HTML for me is okay, since I can pretty much guess most of it, but the other stuff just makes my brain explode (like CSS).

    I organise my TBR pile on Goodreads and I have a 'wishlist' section on my blog. And I have a posting schedule planned out for the month :).

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

  12. Liza your blog is so pretty. Me encanta :) Great advice and I totally agree with what you said in your About Liza section. Who needs sleep? I rather be reading.

  13. Hi Im a new follower
    Love your blog :)


I love comments! Please leave me one and I will try to reply as soon as I can. Liza


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