BE SOCIAL AND MAKE NEW FRIENDS
The best advice I can give to any new blogger is to be social and make friends. It's important for a lot reasons, the first being the most obvious because who wouldn't enjoy having friends that share the same interests? Also, there are plenty of very friendly, helpful people out there who will answer your questions and give you advice when you need it. Following and interacting with others can also help you discover the most popular memes, upcoming blog tours, and giveaway hops. Plenty of bloggers even begin meeting at book conventions and share hotel rooms. There are numerous benefits to making lots of friends in the book blogging community. Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and regular visits/comments at your favorite blogs can all help make this happen.
LEARN BASIC CODING AND GRAPHICS
I know for some this can be intimidating, but trust me when I say that it's easy. You don't have to be tech savvy, all you need is the time to teach yourself. At some point you're going to want to change things on your blog. I think we've all been there. And most likely you're not going to want to have to ask someone to do it for you every time.
After my kids went to bed at night I used my free time to teach myself how to use a free program called GIMP. It didn't take long before I was able to learn how to take this image (purchased from cdoestore.com)..
And add a font I liked from dafont.com..
Then use some of my favorite book covers to make this..
And for coding, a quick Google search for "Basic HTML for bloggers" will help. If you still don't understand it, you can always do what I did and ask a friend.
CO-BLOGGERS AKA LIFE SAVERS
I know plenty of people blog solo, I was one of them for a short while, but having a partner is 10x better. Without Jamie I have no doubt that blogger burnout would've had me closing up shop months ago. She relieved the pressure of posting everyday, but most importantly she gave me someone to bounce ideas off of. And then Anne was added to the team and she is just as amazing. I've never seen someone read and review a book as quickly as she does. She makes me look like an amateur. Also, she's not only a fantasy, sci-fi, romance fan but a comic book reader too. That's a combination that's hard to find. Trust me, I've looked.
Although they may not know this, these ladies help me to continue blogging. If you think going it alone is for you, that's great. But when asked, I will always suggest having a team.
ADVANCED READER COPIES
Netgalley and Edelweiss are a book blogger's best friend. Requesting a book is quick and easy and they always have great titles. Just make sure you take a little time to build up your number of followers and page views before you begin. A blog that's a month old with 30 followers will very likely be declined.
When you're ready to start requesting ARCs directly from publishers, do some research on the best approach. There are several blog posts out there that have very helpful tips. I made mistakes when I first started, like requesting a review copy of a book that wouldn't be out for many months. Fortunately the publicist was very nice (they almost always are) and explained to me how far out from the release date that finished review copies should be requested (usually around 1-2 months). And if you get turned down, don't be discouraged. It happens to all of us.