Today I want to talk about what makes us follow or NOT follow a book blog…
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?
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.
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.
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:
No one blogs quite like Cait. I’ve seen many blogs try to imitate her, but you really can’t imitate her personality.
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
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.
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 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 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:
CW is another blogger that I’ve learned a lot from. She also always has wonderful book recommendations.
My favorite posts from CW:
⇒ All of her Book Recs series → Book Recs
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:
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 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
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.
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
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.
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 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 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 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.
What makes me NOT click that follow button?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂