What Do You Look For In A Book Blog?

As book bloggers and readers of book blogs, we all share a common interest and I’m sure we all look for pretty similar things when it comes to reading a blog – great content, an attractive site, and things that interest us on a personal level.

Today I am thinking about that last thing in particular. We all love books, but we all have different tastes, sometimes dramatically so. This can be in terms of genre and the types of stories we like, the type of writing we like, and the types of issues and themes that we not only like to read about but also like to write about and discuss with our fellow book-lovers.

The writing and the discussion are what we do as bloggers, and I personally adore it. But I want others to have fun too, especially when they are visiting my blog. So, I am carrying out this ‘survey’ (it’s not a formal survey) to find out what makes you, the readers, tick. What do you like and dislike?

What do you want to read about and see more of on These Little Words? What have I posted that you thought was great, or that you weren’t sure about? Do you have any advice or tips, as either a blogger or a reader (or both!)? I welcome criticism that is constructive, so I will not respond to anything that is just plain critical and mean. Book bloggers are a community and we need to stick together!

My reasons for asking these questions are varied. I want to produce a blog that successfully attracts readers consistently, to encourage discussion and further our interests. I am also always intrigued by the patterns of blog hits – sometimes it’s clear why I get high or low hits, but sometimes it seems a bit random, so I want to know what it is that makes you click. How did you first visit These Little Words? Was it via Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instgram, or something else? What did you think when you arrived? What made you visit again (if you did)?  If not, what would attract you back?

I really appreciate any feedback I get from this, and am very grateful to you for reading and responding. The thing about running a blog is that you want it to reflect you, and be your own little corner of the internet, but you also want it to appeal to other people and be a place they like to visit – and this can be tricky. Feedback, discussion and debate are endlessly useful, so thanks in advance if you respond.

I’d also love to hear about other blogs you visit and why – for reference, but also for recommendations.

Big cheers and yay for books and blogging!

Lizzi

 

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9 thoughts on “What Do You Look For In A Book Blog?”

  1. Great post! I think your blog looks great! I have read lots of How To Write Book Blogs posts recently and almost all of them say you need to make them short. I have always had an issue with this advice, bloggers that do write short blog posts mainly just give a plot summary (which I can read for myself on Goodreads or the back of the book itself) or need to be really really funny to make me remember them. I really enjoy an in depth look at a book (as long as its written well and engages me) and this is where I think your blog is strong. I like to read about people’s thoughts as well as what happens in the book. I love hearing all the different strands people take away with them.

    H x

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  2. Yes, I’m all for longer book reviews, or themed/grouped reviews on a topic, as long as opinions are honest, well thought out and well argued. That’s why I really like your blog. I wish sometimes that it would be easier to find specific reviews or authors (not just on your blog, on all of them), without it getting too complicated or ungainly.

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    1. Hi Marina, thanks for your comment! I agree about finding the content you want to read. Most blogs have a ‘search’ function, but I have been thinking about the usefulness of menus that let you access certain categories of posts. Sometimes these can be a little over-specific and look busy, but do you think, if done correctly, menus are a good idea? For instance drop down menus that let you access different tags or categories.

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  3. I can’t remember how I came across your blog, but I can guess that it was probably that we were reading similar books, because as someone who writes a book blog I often look after I have finished a review at who else is writing about the book I just read, so I can share thoughts and exchange ideas, the best time to comment on a review for me is just after reading the book and its also a great way to find others with similar taste in books.

    I am not sure there is a formula, because I think we have to be ourselves and that will naturally attract an audience that relates to the way we express ourselves, communicate and share things. I know for me, it is hard to read a lot of text without a pause, so I use images in my own reviews to try and break the monotony of too many words, and I agree that shorter reviews are an easier read, although some of the best are longer and deserve to be inside a printed publication!

    I think your reviews are excellent and your use of images does exactly what I am talking about, it breaks up the text and allows us to keep reading for longer, as well as entertaining the reader. And certainly don’t apologise for rambling (as you did in Brain on Fire:My Month of Madness), the parts of the review that relate to your opinion are the best, blurbs we find everywhere, but true human feeling and response to a review is the gold dust. Keep doing what you are doing!

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  4. I really enjoy reading your blog as your book reviews are always very thoughtful, intelligent and engaging. Your thoughts on books are clearly conveyed, I like the way your writing is nicely ‘chatty’ but not in an overly colloquial way. I personally discover other book reviews usually through Twitter, or just Google searching. Are you on Pinterest? It’s quite a fun way of sorting through books or finding new ones to read. But in general, I’d say just keep up the good work!!

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  5. I just found your blog because you started following mine – thanks for that!

    I mostly read other book blogs to find recommendations/ideas for new books to read & to compare my experience of reading a book to that of others. To that end, I prefer blogs by people who have similar taste in books to me, & I also value easy navigation of blogs, whether that is through tags and/or (best of all!) an A-Z list of reviews (I did an A-Z list on my own blog recently & it took quite a while to do, but hopefully will be worth it in terms of making it easier for other people to navigate my reviews).

    I also prefer longer review. I structure mine because I found writing unstructured ones was becoming a bit of a chore for me (I am a SAHM to a 2 year old so don’t have much spare/time energy!) & I do enjoy other structured reviews but I don’t see the point in very short ones – I can find out that information from the back of the book!

    Oh, & I generally prefer blogs that review “real” paper books (or at least books available in that format) rather than self-published e-books, partly because I don’t have an e-reader so would/could never read the e-books anyway.

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  6. I discovered your blog because you started following mine, and thanks for willing to read my thoughts about books.

    I like book blogs that don’t sound like reviews in newspapers and I like to know how the blogger responded to a book and why. I prefer longer reviews, ones without statistics and figures. I don’t care if your thoughts academically correct or not, as long as they are personal. If I wanted something else, I’d read papers or literary critic books.

    I think the design of your blog is appealing, it’s clear and simple.

    Emma

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