Saturday, January 28, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues Questionaire!

This incredible bloggy feature is hosted by none other than the illustrious Small at Small Review. Although my blog is more eclectic than YA, I'm going to answer the "Established Blogger" questionnaire.

1. When did you start your blog?
I started LazyGirl Reads (former blog name) back in August 2010. I was at a temp job and had like 8 hours of free time. I saw this Christian book blogger and thought it was remarkable that she talked about books and did things called "Challenges" and had read alongs! I was like, I should join her! Little did I know, there were hundreds of book bloggers out there!

2. Do you ever still feel like a newbie?
I definitely feel like a newbie right now. I took a long hiatus, ranted about how much I "hated" most YA novels and stopped commenting as much as I used to and lost a lot of my devoted commenters. I also swtiched my URL and changed my blog name to La Toya, Literally. And all my LazyGirl Reads followers might not realize it's still me!

3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
Major challenge that I"m still having is finding a large amount of bloggers who read Mystery/Suspense etc. or who generally read a wide range of things. I know about 5 or so bloggers that read as eclectically as I do.

I think a mistake I've made is to be a little too opinionated in the past. Initially, I was looking for more followers and daily comments. I would go to every blog I could and say a little something about what they wrote. Then I realized that I was just saying things like "I like that color!" or "Nice font you used!" or "Glad you had fun!"...which are exactly the comments that I DON'T want to give. I'm long winded and opinionated and want my comments to be truthful and always reflect who I am.
My suggestion to you is to always say what you think, and if you don't have any interest in what the blogger read or is saying, just don't say anything at all because you're at risk of sounding uninterested in what they worked hard on presenting to you.
4. What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
I was just kinda hanging out when I first started. I had no desire to have anyone read what I was writing because I was too afraid they would be offended. So when I was new, I was kind like m'eh whatevs.

5. What do you find most encouraging?
Comments and awards were encouraging. It made me realize that people ARE reading and they DO care about what I have to say. And they like the way my blog looks.

6. If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself?
a. Time Manage
b. You don't have to post a million times a week
c. Stop speed reading, this isn't a race
d. Start a book club
e. Have fun!

7. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I always enjoyed seeing Crazy for Books' buttons and Book Chick City's graphics. It sounds funny but I like to see a really nice blog and then I check out the content. I've tried to make my blog as colorful and aesthetically pleasing as possible but am always working toward making it better.

8. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this?
I don't like blogs that aren't easy to navigate and I try not to have anything that slows my page down and what-not.

9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
Honestly, I did a bunch of giveaways. Do all those people read my page on a regular basis? Definitely not.  At the end of the day, those numbers look cool, but if I'm not having active conversations about my content, then it's like....what do all those followers *REALLY* mean? There's got to be another way to get some more traffic on an eclectic blog!

10. When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?
First ARC arrived late 2010 and I didn't like it very much. I didn't know how to break it to the author so I just wrote a sort of wishy washy review about it. I'm not too proud of that! HAHA. But other ARCs came from NetGalley and I don't think I liked those either.

Thanks so much for checking me out. Drop me a line and I will certainly respond and visit your blog.

Hey! Have you checked out my Borrowed Book Challenge starting February 1st??

It's a 3 month challenge that promotes borrowing from your library with a couple twists! Just click here for details on the Borrowed Book Challenge 2012!


  1. Loved seeing this since I'm quite the newbie. Of course I love the look of your blog and the content - I'm not just sucking up - lol! And my bog problem so far as a newbie, is that I can't stop tweaking my blog and take the time to read!

  2. Im an old follower and look forward to reading more of your content :) @Tanya , we all go through stages of tweaking our blogs no matter whether we are a newbie blogger like yourself or an established one :)

  3. Thank you guys!!

    Tanya: I think if it were up to me, I'd change my background every single day lol. Well, it is up to me I suppose but I know that it's something that's going to drive me crazy so after a while I just stuck with what I had and moved right along!

  4. On your name change...
    It's the kind of thing where I was afraid to say something in case I was wrong and I didn't want to sound foolish. Lol.

    Love your honest answers. I don't think you can be too opinionated. The book blogging community is extremely nice but we are also good at reading in between the lines. Keep on being you!

    1. OH whoops!!! I meant to tell you it was me LOL. I tried to comment on a bunch of my friend's blogs like "OH hey it's Me Lah!" but yay now you know for real!

      And I totally agree, I'm gonna stop being afraid to give me opinion. Thanks Alexis!!

  5. Lol okay so im in that position right now. I have an ARC that I received from the author, and I'm so honored that they even considered me but... i didn't like it! I don't know what to do. I feel bad because the author went to the trouble of mailing out a book for me to read and review, and here I am, bashing it! What do i do? lol im a mess

    Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

    1. Geez this is what I mean!! I guess you will have to bash it in the politest way possible!!!

  6. I like more in depth comments too. I want to be able to reply to the comments and there isn't much to say to "nice review". I'm glad they stopped by, but I want to know what they think.

    I'm a pretty eclectic reader too. I do read a lot of YA, but I love to read chick lit, mystery/suspense, general fiction and the list goes on and on. I'm so excited to have found your blog because so many blogs are YA and I like other stuff too!

    Your newbie advice was great. I'm still working on my time management (if only there were more hours in a day). Sometimes I do feel like I need to do more posts, but then I remind myself that a few quality posts are better than a gazillion crappy ones.


I appreciate your comments!