For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: What's the biggest mistake you made as a newbie blogger? (Courtesy of Roberta@Offbeat YA)

Answer: So. Many. Mistakes. lol

I started this blog almost 11 years ago and I never thought in a million years that anyone would read it. It was just for me – more like a journal – to keep track of what I read, watched, and listened to and to talk about pets and life.

Book reviews were just starting to become a thing and I had never heard of an arc.

So…I didn’t really think much at all about contact information, social media names and all that.

My absolute biggest mistake was having different names for everything. I created my blog with my personal email. Later, when I realized I needed a blog contact email it was too late to connect it to my blog so I have a different sign in email than a contact email and it’s very confusing.

At the time, I was more focused on my dogs (3 shelties) and doing agility/obedience so all my SM accounts are teamsheltie. I thought I would be talking to dog people – not book people lol

A few years later, I was at my first BEA conference and you could add your twitter handle on your badge. While I was in line talking to people, they would ask about my blog – stare blankly because they never heard of me – then see teamsheltie and go…OH I KNOW YOU – I LOVE YOUR DOGS!! So it sort of stuck at that point. And now most versions of For What It’s Worth are taken anyway.

It’s sort of worked in a weird way. People do remember it. But it’s inconsistent and less professional when it comes to contacting publishers, making business cards and all that.

Also, after I lost Fonzi and didn’t have a sheltie it was weird and depressing every time I saw that handle. Like what if I get a Rottweiler at some point. @teamrottweiler? lol

Mistakes…I’ve made a few

And of course there are the usual suspect mistakes that I think every just starting out blogger makes:

* Requesting too many books

* Accepting too many books for review because you think you will love everything/have time to read it all/ hate saying no.

* Trying to post 7 days a week

* Trying to read what all the cool kids were reading even if it wasn’t my jam

*Just added - listening to this is the THIS IS HOW YOU MUST BLOG posts. I lost my voice and probably followers. Blog how you want!

I'm sure there are dozens more but that's all I could think of for now. What mistakes have you made as a newbie blogger?

34 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh right. Different names, not knowing what an ARC was, etc. So true! We were so innocent to the ways of book blogging lol. My first few attempts were pretty bad! I try to pretend they didn't happen. :)

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    1. I look at old posts and some were so random lol But my early reviews are less cringy than I thought they would be.

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    2. Right? I look at some of my older reviews and actually some of them are better than some of my newer ones lol...

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    3. Same! I expected to cringe but I was less jaded and had more review writing energy back then lol

      I think i explained the books and my thoughts better then than now. Ha

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  2. Yeah, I didn't really match up my social media all across the board, but I guess I tried. I have it for Twitter and Pinterest, though it's shootingstarmag there without the S on the end because it wouldn't fit. Instagram didn't have an option available, so it's just my full name. I wish things were more uniform but oh well, can't change it. LOL

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It's a difficult thing to fix at this point I don't really blog for $$ or anything so I guess it doesn't matter too much but I would do it differently if I could have a do-over lol

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  3. My mistakes? Too many blog tour events, not making my posts user friendly to read, joining too many books, requesting all the books, panicking over deadlines getting closer, too much pressure to get book reviews done...and not having enough fun with it! As for being uniform, well I'm mostly chucklesthescot everywhere as the blog came before everything except the email which is chucklestheprotea!

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    1. I was so oblivious to the pressures when I started because I didn't know book blogging was *a thing* but it certainly crept up on me and almost had me quitting.

      You really have to do it in a way that is fun or you won't last.

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  4. My biggest mistake starting out was not really understanding domain names. Like you, my blog started as a way to keep me honest about my goal of reading a book a week. I really wish I had chosen a website name that matched my domain name haha.

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    1. Luckily, my husband was way ahead of me on that and bought all the domain names. It's the social media where I really screwed up.

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  5. Yes to the mistakes. I also requesting too much and felt I had to read the books everyone else was reading. Things are much better now that I read what I want and have a balance of review and non-review books.

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    1. I think the biggest piece of advice I would give to new bloggers is yes, take advice - but do whatever works for you!! You will not last if you put too much pressure on yourself or drown out your own voice to fit a mold.

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  6. Ha! Some of those mistakes look VERY familiar! Lol. I took on so many review books that I'm STILL trying to get through them. And yeah I tried the 7 day posting and it didn't work at all. I try to do pre-scheduled posts as much as possible and that's part of why I take extended breaks in the summer and during the holidays. I use that time to catch up.

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    1. For some reason, blogging ahead doesn't work for me. I feel too disconnected to the posts when they finally go up. I've moved on lol

      I did 7 days a week for a looong time. Blogging was my whole life and I needed to get out of the loop.

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  7. The email thing! Twitter, yup, all of this

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    1. It was all so new back then. It was more like a journal that something people would read and interact with lol

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  8. Yeah, I never thought about all those things either. I never thought that anyone would read my blog either.

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    1. We started back int he time of Live Journal lol Blogs were more like diaries. I don't think anyone knew about actual reviews and arc's and thought about getting actual followers lol

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  9. You'll always be our teamsheltie, the only time I ever log into Instagram now is to see what the puppies are up to, it's been lovely watching them grow and find that joy again Karen. My blog was originally Ramblings of a Diva Booknerd but that was such a mouthful, everywhere else I was using Diva in Pyjamas everywhere, email and on Twitter, I still do on Xbox Live and my email, once you put it out there. it's just too hard to change. We're still in hard lockdown here with a curfew, thank goodness for books and blogging keeping me sane!

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    1. I think the teamsheltie thing is now ME. If I changed it no-one would know who I was lol

      It's not really great branding but it worked in it's own way and I'm not trying to make money or anything so it's fine.

      The puppies are definitely keeping me busy and making me smile. I'm glad you enjoy seeing them too.

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  10. What you describe is completely normal. Nobody teaches us beforehand how to avoid these natural mistakes. Someone who's blogged for 11 years deserves credit and praise: the biggest failure in blogging is quitting.

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    1. Blogging as we know it now, wasn't a thing back then.

      Then there were all these *this is how you need to blog* rules that I think made a lot of people feel crappy and quit when they couldn't follow it.

      You really have to find your own voice and blog however works for you if you're going to stick around.

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  11. I definitely took/requested too many books at first! Now I'm (better) at balancing out and only taking what I really want to read. I also tried to post every single day as well and it's just not possible. I had to remind myself that this is for FUN!

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    1. I rarely request books now and it's made blogging SO much more fun and stress free for me. Of course, I don't have as many posts or anything anymore but...

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  12. Ugh... My comment disappeared! I totally agree with the name thing. I started my blog about the same time as you, because everyone was doing it. I didn't plan to review books. I was using my personal email. About 3 or so years in, I thought about rebranding to a bookish name and theme, but didn't. Oh well. I'm having fun now!

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    1. Same - I'm past the point to change and I'm not starting over lol

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  13. OMG, I can relate to the personal and blog email struggle. I also started my blog with a personal email... I have now linked my other email to my blog but honestly I don’t want to get rid of my personal one from it because it makes me smile. I do sometimes think now I’ve found my blogging voice a little and know what corner of the internet i occupy maybe I should start fresh with a new blog, but the thought of starting again and getting all my social media’s aligned with one name is so much effort and I remind myself this is my hobby and I’m cool with that.

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    1. Exactly. I wanted a new name and website and all that because it feels weird to just change the whole blog but...effort lol And I think it's really hard to start fresh these days.

      And I think we ponder this way more than our followers do lol

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  14. "I thought I would be talking to dog people – not book people lol"
    Isn't life full of surprises 😂.

    It's funny how teamsheltie DID become a brand anyway. I think I already told you this, but when I met you, clueless old me thought that the sheltie thing was book-related, because back then there were lots of book fandoms where people proclaimed to be team some character or the other LOL. Anyhow, yes, it might not look professional when it comes to working with authors or publishers...except you've found your niche anyway, so who cares? 😉

    I started blogging when I was old enough to know what I was doing (or at least to avoid the most common mistakes), plus I've always been the opposite of easily influenced. But as I stated in my TMST post, back then I didn't realise that followers in themselves were a myth, and book blogging was sort of a club (as Greg called it) were we would all become mutuals at some point.

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    1. There used to be far more non blogger followers but it seems it's just our little crew left - supporting each other. And I'm ok with that.

      Same with followers. Because there were so many people both in and out of the community it was easier in the very early days. It's extraordinarily hard to get going now.

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  15. I actually did get the same handle for all my social media, except then I ended up only using Twitter, so it doesn't even matter lol. My mistake is having a URL completely diff from my blog name, but that was cuz I didn't know what I'd name my blog when I first started *shrug* I guess as long as people are able to remember, that's what matters!

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    1. my husband is the one who thought to do the domain names back then when I thought it was stupid lol

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  16. Yes, blog how you want! When I had been blogging about a year I had someone tell me my blog was suffering from "personality leakage" and to go have a look at her blog if I wanted to see what a successful blog looked like. 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆

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    1. If you want to last for any length of time you have to find your own way. You can try and fit a mold of what blogging *should* look like but you will burn out because it won't be fun.

      And your blog is ALL personality! WTF???

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