Today we're to write about what we wished we knew about blogging when we started or advice we'd give to a newbie book blogger.
My advice would be this: Don't feel you have to be like everyone else and remember what your personal purpose for blogging is.
When I started blogging, I did it in place of keeping a personal reading journal and because my friends back home (Ohio) said they wanted to be able to keep up with what I was reading. Now I've stumbled into this wonderful book blogging community, and my purpose for blogging hasn't changed, but my audience has gotten a bit bigger. I continue to want my blog to be simple and to stick mostly to book reviews, though I'm looking at revamping the format/design sometime soon. I don't feel the need to drive up my hits; I'm tickled with the hits a day my blog averages, though I doubt I'll be reaching 10,000 hits anytime soon.
As to the memes, challenges and book giveaways other bloggers do: I don't do them on my blog for several reasons. I don't do memes because I spend enough time combing through blogs updated by daily or weekly memes; I don't (usually) read them on others' blogs and I don't think my answers would be all that different or, in light of that, particularly interesting. I don't do challenges because I fear it would make reading feel a bit too much like assigned reading, though I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of participating at some time in the future. And giveaways--well, they're fun, I know. I've participated in them on others' blogs. But I'm a Bookcrosser, which means I'm involved in karmic, serendipitous book adventures. (I register and then "free" my books--it's a little bit like tagging a bird or whale to see what it does later.)
Also, I'd advise making sure your readers can get RSS feed(s) from your blog--I've encountered a number of blogs I'd read more often if I could make them part of the list my Sage feed reader checks instead of just bookmarking them and checking them when I think about it (once a week, maybe).
*Day 2 involved interviewing other book bloggers; I somehow overlooked signing up for that (through every fault of my own).