Discussion Posts, Features

Book Blogging Babble: What Makes You Click (or NOT Click) That Follow Button?

BookBloggingBabbleWhyFollow

Hello bookworms!

Today I want to talk about what makes us follow or NOT follow a book blog…

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes us follow, or NOT follow, a blog.  I started having these thoughts during my blog redesign last month.  While trying to create a new identity for my own blog, I reflected upon what I looked for in other book blogs.  What types of designs do I appreciate in other blogs?  What kinds of graphics?  How about content?  If I am doing all this work to redesign my blog, then I am going to need to step up my blogging game… What kinds of posts do I enjoy from fellow book bloggers?

Have you ever thought about what draws you to follow a blog?  Do you have “deal breakers” that will deter you from following a blog?  I asked myself these questions, and here is what I came up with…

*I would like to add a disclaimer to state that these are all personal preferences in what drives me to follow a book blog, and what makes me hesitate to follow.  There is no right or wrong way to blog.

What makes me click the follow button?

Similar interests

Books.  The end.

Is there really anything else people are interested in?  I am really not interested in anything else to consider following a blog dedicated to it, so I really only follow book bloggers. #SorryNotSorry

I consider someone a “book blogger” when the majority of their posts have something to do with books.  I do not mind personal or non-book related posts on occasion.  I actually appreciate getting to know the bloggers I follow on a more personal level.

Typically it helps if I notice that the book blogger and I have similar reading tastes, but this is not a requirement for me.  I actually follow lots of book bloggers that read mostly within genres that I don’t frequent.

originalcontent

  I really appreciate people who “think outside the box” and try new things.  I’m always on the look out for bloggers who come up with interesting discussion posts, unique features, or a try a different approach to book blogging staples (i.e. book reviews, weekly memes, etc.)

The fact of the matter is, it is really hard to come up with original content.  I myself struggle with coming up with creative content.  Most every topic has already been covered a million times before by other bloggers, including this topic, BUT you can’t let that deter you from going for it.  I will always read bookish/book blogger discussion posts, even if I’ve read hundreds of posts on the same topic.  Why?  I appreciate different perspectives & opinions.

Personality2

I am a huge fan of people who are unapologetically themselves, especially when it shines through on their blog.  If I can’t get a glimpse of your personality in your posts, I will not be following your blog.  I am not looking to follow a robot, I want to follow a person.  Show me who you are.  Big bonus points if you can make me laugh.

Examples of bloggers who do this well:

Cait @Paper Fury

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No one blogs quite like Cait.  I’ve seen many blogs try to imitate her, but you really can’t imitate her personality.

Jenny @The Bloggess

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I am not sure Jenny Lawson’s blog is technically considered a “book blog,” BUT she does mention books quite often since she is a reader and author… If you enjoy inappropriate humor, I highly recommend her blog and books.

• Drew @The Tattooed Book Geek

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Drew is one of those people who will tell it like it is and will never “water down” his opinions.  I really appreciate his blunt honesty and his courage to dive into the tough topics.

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If I read your post and it makes me think long after I’m done reading it, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to come back for more.  I really enjoy learning, so bloggers who challenge me, give me new perspectives, and open my eyes to new ideas are the ones who I am always on the look out for.

I have found that the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement has really shown me how much I have yet to learn about the world.  Following diverse book bloggers has given me new perspectives on books, blogging, and the world in general.  I have learned so much in such a short time, and I can’t wait to keep learning everyday.

Examples of #DiverseBookBloggers who do this well:

Naz @Read Diverse Books

ReadDiverseBooks

Naz has played such a HUGE role in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement.  His blog is dedicated to reviewing and promoting diverse books.   He is also the host of the #ReadDiverse2017 challenge.

You should check out:

⇒ Naz’s #ReadDiverse2017 Challenge

⇒ Naz’s Listicles section

Fadwa @Word Wonders

WordWonders

Fadwa is constantly teaching me new things, which is ironic because I think I am almost 10 years older than her.  She is definitely wise beyond her years.

My favorite posts from Fadwa:

Problematic books: What are they and How to Approach them?

Why don’t I see myself? Muslim Representation in Books

To Some, Access to Books is a Luxury.

CW @Read Think Ponder

ReadThinkPonder

CW is another blogger that I’ve learned a lot from.  She also always has wonderful book recommendations.

My favorite posts from CW:

⇒ Let’s Talk About: My Problem With The Word ‘Diverse’

Let’s Talk About: The Diversity ‘Catch-22’ – Misrepresentation vs. No Representation

⇒ All of her Book Recs series → Book Recs

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This is very broad.  What do I mean?  I mean overall blog design, post layouts, graphics, pictures/photography, etc.   Does the blog have a gorgeous header/logo?  Do my eyes burn from gorgeous pictures of books that the blogger takes themselves?

As far as blog design, I personally gravitate more towards blogs who have a “clean” and easy to navigate design.  Nothing makes me cringe more when there is too much going on or I cannot figure out how to navigate the site.  Obviously bright and colorful designs are very eye catching.  I also appreciate a blog with a attention grabbing blog header.

As far as posts go, I need pictures.  Period.  If you are reviewing a book or participating in a weekly meme by listing out books, I need to see the book covers.  I cannot just look at long paragraphs of text, and I do not think I am alone here.  This doesn’t even have to be that complicated, it could be a simple squiggly line to separate thoughts, sections, concepts, etc. etc.  If you take your own pictures for your blog posts, you get major bonus points from me.  I think this really sets a blog apart and also shows off another aspect of the blogger’s creative side.

Examples of bloggers who have amazing blog layout/design:

Cait @Paper Fury

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Obviously Cait is the queen of aesthetics.  Not only does she have a great overall blog design, but I love how she lays out her posts (along with her header images, graphics, etc) AND she take amazing pictures.

Ashleigh @A Frolic Through Fiction

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Ashleigh redesigned her blog this year, and I love the pastel colors and how fresh & clean her blog looks.  She also has wonderful graphics and pictures included in her posts.

• Putput @Sparkling Letters

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I only recently discovered Putput’s blog this past week, and I really like what I see.  She has a great layout & design, amazing graphics, AND she takes awesome pictures.  I am sad to report that she is currently on a short hiatus, but I am looking forward to following her when she returns.

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If I am seeing you EVERYWHERE, then odds are I am going to get curious about you and check out your blog.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen a blogger commenting on many of the same blogs that I follow, so I head over and check them out.

Examples of bloggers who do this well:

• Danielle @Books, Vertigo and Tea

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If you are a book blogger, then chances are you have seen Danielle around the book blogosphere.  I don’t know how she does it, but it never fails when I am reading a post from a fellow book blogger, Danielle has already been there, liked it, and commented on it.  I really appreciate how much time and effort it must take for her to be so active in our community.

Consistency.jpeg

You better believe I look at how often someone posts.  If you only post once every few  months, I am most likely not going to follow your blog.  This does NOT apply to bloggers who go on hiatus for various reasons, I’m talking about inconsistent bloggers.

The opposite is also true, if you are posting 3 times a day 7 days a week, I am probably going to pass.  I can handle multiple times a week (even daily if it isn’t EVERY week), but I can’t handle people who overload my inbox.

Variety.jpeg

Variety in posts, or those who I like to refer to as “well-rounded bloggers.”  You know, those bloggers who seem to have their shit together?  Basically the opposite of myself lol

Examples of bloggers who do this well:

Reg @She Latitude

SheLatitude

 Reg is a blogger who I would consider a “well-rounded” book blogger.  She posts book reviews, weekly memes, discussion posts, and creative content (i.e. “book looks”).

Marie @Drizzle & Hurricane Books

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Marie is another blogger who has a lot of variety on her blog.  Not only does she post book reviews & amazing bookish discussions, but she also blogs about her travels as well.

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What makes me NOT click that follow button?

Hardtonav

If I can’t figure out how to navigate your blog, how will I look through your content to decide if I want to follow it or not?  I really don’t have the right to say too much here because my own blog wasn’t very easy to navigate until recently.  Since I have made my blog easier to navigate, my page views are up because readers are visiting multiple pages.

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Personally, I like blogs that are simple, clean, and organized.  Nothing makes me cringe more than going to a blog that has too much going on at once.  It just feels cluttered to me, and I HATE clutter.

CantFindFollowButton

You think I’m joking… I can’t count the number of times that I have to search for the follow button and it is no where to be found.  If I cannot find the follow button by glancing at the home page, I am not going to follow your site.

CloggedFeed

If the feed is ONLY weekly memes, tags, and/or promotional posts (book blitzes, blog tours, cover reveals, etc) then I most likely not follow the blog.  This is not to say there is anything wrong with these posts, in fact I participate in many of these types of posts myself, but I need something MORE.   I need at least some type of original content: book reviews, discussion posts, original features, recommendation lists, etc. etc.

DistractingAds

If advertisements take up 50% of the screen when I visit your site, I am probably going to pass.  Also, if there are pop up advertisements every 30 seconds…  Nothing frustrates me more then a pop ups every time you view a new page.  If you have a pop up to follow the blog via email or join a newsletter, fine, but this should only pop up once.  I WILL get annoyed and leave your site.

toomanyGIFs

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I do not typically use GIFs in my blog posts.  I think they distract from the content and make the blog look less “professional”.   There is such a thing as too many GIFs… It doesn’t bother me if they are used sparingly, but if there are multiple GIFs/Memes per post, I’m going to assume that you don’t have enough to say and are relying on them to bulk up your posts.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good GIF (or meme), but I think they are more appropriate for social media and not so much for blog posts.

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LetsChat

What makes you follow or NOT follow a book blog?

Who are some of your favorite book bloggers?  Give them a shout out!

Comment below and let me know 🙂

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31 thoughts on “Book Blogging Babble: What Makes You Click (or NOT Click) That Follow Button?”

  1. I follow bloggers who are smart. If a review starts with “I’m not sure what to say…” or “I know everyone’s already reviewed this and I’m not seeing much…” Why is that person writing? I don’t want a blog post to “talk” to me. I don’t follow blogs that make it hard to follow via email and get notifications via WordPress. Finally, if I do choose to follow a blog and that blogger won’t interact with me on my blog too–something more than as like–I unfollow them. I’m especially annoyed when someone likes a post within a minute of me publishing it; you know, not even enough time to have read the post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahhhh yes! All excellent points. Or how about the people who comment and they clearly didn’t read it? I try to read as many book bloggers posts as I can, so I am guilty of skimming at times, BUT I’ve gotten people who will say “Great review. Glad you liked it!” When my entire review was about how I did NOT like the book 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you’re a good blog buddy. I’m starting to care less about stats and more about caring for my good blog buddies.

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      2. Yes to smart blogs! I love reading well-thought out reviews, in particular. Like you mentioned above, Amanda, I want a blog which challenges me. But I want to still be able to relate to this blog.

        Regarding people who didn’t clearly read it: Sometimes, I’m called out by a blogger for skimming when I ask a question addressed in the blog post. Honestly, I think I struggle with reading comprehension on the WordPress app. O_o

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  2. I do like ‘book blogging babble’ it’s a really cool name for a feature!😀

    Definitely agree with most of what you have to say, scary, I’m agreeing with you!😂

    Yeah, gotta have images, don’t like those top ten tuesday and top 5 wednesday memes that have no covers, etc, the memes themselves are fine but it’s when you just get a list of the books and no book covers!

    Ease of reading too, it’s not a major thing I admit but you want to be able to easily read the blog, not like these that have coloured backgrounds, especially dark ones with a dark font, black background with a dark blue font doesn’t make reading posts easy with the small font size.

    Main thing that I look for is personality, I like to see the bloggers personality in their posts, it’s your blog, make it your own sort of thing. I try to put my own personality, for better or worse in my posts and would like to think that when people visit the blog they know it’s The Tattooed Book Geek and that Drew is the guy who wrote the post, like you with your blog, you’re Amanda and you want people to know that you’re behind cover2covermom, we don’t want people think we are robots and that it’s ‘generic book blogger 1’ behind the blog. Even if you like completely different books, it’s the bloggers personality that makes you interact/follow them.

    Ha, personal posts, I wrote one on depression the other day, bad Drew, it’s a book blog not a personal blog, though I did rectify that with a discussion/rant post yesterday, boo ya!😂

    Discussion posts are a nightmare though, I don’t know how bloggers can consistently post them every couple of days!?!

    Really nice to see me and my blog in the personality bit, always nice seeing my blog in other bloggers posts, thank you.😀

    I’d recommend Liz at Cvr 2 Cvr, her personality always shines through in her posts/reviews, such a fun and honest way with her reviews, quality.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha thanks! I do love a good alliteration 🤓

      You brought up such a good point that I failed to mention! Ease of reading 🤦🏻‍♀️ how did I forget that?!? I’ve seen some fairly hard blogs to read… I came across a blog where the font was a pale yellow on a WHITE background. I had to highlight the text to read the post! True story.

      Of course I mentioned you under personality! Drew, you are a very unique blogger in a sea of much of the same. I find it super hard to distinguish myself from everyone else, but you seem to do it so easily.

      I’m with you on discussion posts. I’ve been working on this one FOREVER! I am such a hard critic of myself and never feel like anything I wrote is “good enough” until finally I just get fed up and post it to get it over with lol.

      And way to shatter my world Drew! How did I NOT know there was another Cover to Cover blogger?! And here I thought I was so clever and original 🙇🏻‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh crap, I didn’t realise that you didn’t know/follow Liz and I’m presuming visa versa, apologies! Damn, I feel bad now and I don’t normally feel bad about what I write!🙁

        Ah, that’s true, light fonts on a light pale background, just as bad as the darker version though obviously I picked the darker option cos ya know, darkness!😂

        I totally get that, I’m my harshest critic too and no matter how many times people tell me that the post is great I don’t believe it but yeah, I spend ages tweaking little bits here and there and then finally decide enough is enough and post it. It sucks to feel that way though, I wish at times that I could just write/draft the post and hit publish straight away without the questioning how good it is, what can I add, etc.

        Lmao ‘very unique’ I’ll gladly take that as I guess it’s true, I do have a rather blunt and sarcastic way with my posts so, yeah, unique is good.😀

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  3. I’m all about the YA! I’ll auto-follow a YA blog right away…and if with time I’m not seeing anything interesting, I may still follow but not receive email notifications anymore (that’s right: when you or others post, I get an email…so if someone is doing 20,000 tags and memes and is posting every day, I’m going to “opt-out” if you know what I mean).

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  4. Great post, I love the discussion. I agree with images.. I need them, I judge books by the cover! hahaha And well, I like blogs that interact with me. That’s who I follow via WordPress. If not, I still follow a lot but via Feedly, which is like the secondary feed and I don’t feel so compelled to comment. I don’t mind if the genres are different if they’re reading stuff like yours, but I wouldn’t choose to follow a blog about a genre I’d never try.

    Im perfectly aware that I don’t change much and I don’t do different kinds of posts, but that’s why I like to follow yours 😛

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  5. Great job! I love book with lifestyle posts because I like to know the people I follow. I love clean, clear designs with pictures. Anything that makes me think I’d chat you up in person will get a follow from me.

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  6. I read a lot of book blogs, but the ones I like best are those with some personal posts thrown in. I don’t like formulaic blogs too much (on Monday, I post this tag; on Tuesday, I post this meme…) I like other things mixed in as well.

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  7. Personality is my number one thing I look for, alongside similar reading tastes, good writing, and original content. 😃
    Not finding the follow button is definitely a big turn-off for me. I mean, it just seems really dumb to hide it. 😂

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  8. We have a lot in common. I’m not a fan of gifs either and I also only follow book blogs. I don’t follow many because I don’t make time to read blogs too often. I go for personality and common genres. I mean, some difference is good but if it’s like a strictly nonfiction or YA blog I wouldn’t follow. I don’t really pay attention because I mostly use the mobile app so a lot of design details are lost aside from pics in the post itself.

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  9. Interesting post! What drives me to follow a blog? The blogger’s intelligence, taste in topics, and unique perspective and personality. Like you, I’m more likely to pass if the person blogs multiple times per day (actually, in that situation, I’m more likely to follow them on Twitter instead of through a reader or email).

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  10. This is SUCH an interesting post, Amanda, I loved reading it – also, thank you for the bloggers’ recommendations ahah. I was happy and surprised to be on your list as well…It seems like I have my sh*t together then? That makes me happy hahaha thank you so much ❤ ❤
    Usually, I want to follow bloggers having variety in their posts for sure, and overall the same interests as me in books, but I definitely follow other people as well writing interesting discussions even if they don't always read the same kind of books as I do. I mostly follow book blogs just as well. I read other kinds of blogs but I don't follow them actively 🙂
    I definitely pay attention to a design, even if it's not what matters the most – if I can't find the posts or if everything is too messy and I get lost everytime I get on this blog, well…It's not for me I guess ahah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am actually just going to agree with you here! You pretty much nailed almost every “does” and “doesn’t” work for me.

    But I have to admit that with my health I am discovering something that is greatly affecting my decision to follow lately that was not always an issue, and that is “Font”. Size and color. My eyes go out from time to time and if I cannot see it, well I obviously cannot read it 😦 It has been a true deal breaker lately. The aesthetics you mentioned also play into this a lot.

    I really cannot think of much more to add, as you covered all points so well! You should have included yourself under each category though 😉 I thank you have done a fantastic job of incorporating the best of each element into your blog ❤ Thank you for the very kind mention. Love the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post! I basically agree with the points you made both for blogs I want to follow and those I tend to stay away from… Like you it’s only book blogs for me and I’m not picky about what kind of books in general. There is a slight exception when it comes to adult romance reviewers; whenever I just see covers with all those shirtless men on them, I think twice before clicking the button because it’s simply something I would never read. 😉 And it’s good to know I’m not the only one not finding follow buttons! I’ve had that happening a lot lately and I was already wondering if the problem was just me or my computer, or if those blogs just make it hard to follow them haha.

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  13. I’ve been meaning to say that I LOVE the redesign, Amanda! Your blog is looking GORGEOUS!!! I love blogs with good content–discussion posts like this one, longer reviews where the reviewer explains why they felt a certain way about a book. And, yeah, like you I only follow fellow book bloggers. I love hearing a bit of personal stuff and getting to know the blogger behind the posts, but I still like the focus to be mainly on books. The main reason I’ve unfollowed bloggers in the past is when they post constantly, and the posts are all tags, cover reveals, book hauls, etc. There’s not really anything in those posts for the reader, and the constant emails are kind of spammy. I usually only get to sit down and read blog posts once or twice a week, and when a blogger posts every day, it’s just too much. I can’t keep up!

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  14. I do typically follow only book blogs and of those I tend to hit the follow button for blogs that review or feature books in the genres I typically read. If a blog is hard to read in terms of font size and colors I might pass it by though. I also appreciate being able to get a feel for the blogger’s personality in their reviews or discussions:)

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  15. Brilliant post! Yes yes yes. Like Melanie and I mentioned above, I love blogs which challenge me. Particularly when it comes to genres I don’t read often. In fact, that’s why I love following Liz @ Cover to Cover and Danielle @ Books, Veritgo, and Tea. They read a lot of suspense, thriller, horror, and absurdist literature. I know that if a book appeals to me from their reviews I should push myself outside my typical genre boundaries.

    And to add to the community aspect: I will stop following a blog if a blogger never comes to my blog and comments back. The reason I blog is to start a dialogue about books, bookish things, and grow myself. I don’t want to have a one-sided conversation. Those who maintain a dialogue with me are my closest and favoritest bloggers.

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  16. I follow blogs who I seem to have some books in common with. Our tastes don’t have to match exactly, but I need to see some authors and genres in common. When I began blogging I followed all the book bloggers who followed me, but now I’m more selective about who I follow. I only have so much time for reading blogs, you know? Hard decisions have to be made!

    You made some excellent points! I enjoy your Book Babble posts!

    Like

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