It’s been close to 3 years since I started my blog and every year I grow as a reader and a blogger. Leading to my blog anniversary I’ll be posting a series of thoughts about blogging.
Even when I have my personal blog for rant and sort, my book review blog is still my main blog I feel compel to update. Besides blogging, people watch is my favourite past time and “blogger” watch naturally falls into the same past time. 😉
I notice people (outside publishers or writers) are attracted to a book review blogs and become an avid follower for various reasons. The followings are my assumptions and I do not claim them to be true but they are purely my observations. Note that all my observations only applies to book review bloggers.
People are attracted to a book blog and become a loyal follower because of:
- The niche that book blogger carved for themselves – they are specialist of a certain genre, i.e. crime fiction, YA, non-fiction, short stories or they publish book news, book prizes or introduce the latest books in the publishing world etc.
- The similarity in reading taste and genre. Self explanatory.
- The meme blogs – where readers follow because of an interesting meme.
- The thought provoking bookish articles produced. This is rare because most of us talk about book reviews but occasionally you find meme who churns out thought provoking questions about our reading habits and has a strong army of followers.
- The wealth of information (and long blog posts) produced but rarely it compels the reader to comment or be engaged with the blogger.
- The short and concise blog posts that they produce – I notice the most successful of all book bloggers write short and concise book review, not more than 3 paragraphs and about half a page long. It’s appealing for a lot of people who can’t hold attention. There are rare occasions when readers follow a blogger who writes long reviews, it is when… (see the following)
- The blogger has a talent to engage reader with humour or has a beautiful writing style, and it makes reader want to read their posts no matter how long it is. The blog entertains in addition to inform and I think this is amazing.
On the other hand, I also think reader became a loyal follower due to serendipity or fate that helps seal the sustainable relationship. How this happen is when a follower is:
- Touched by the kindness, outside blogging, exudes through exchange of gifts, kind words and genuine friendship. I strongly believe a lot of “love” displayed in the book review blogosphere are genuine because in my world at least, I hardly come across friends who read as voracious as I do and it is like when one meet up with a kindred spirit in that sense.
- Physically met up with the blogger(s), for tea and in book conference, bloggers of the same neighbourhood. Putting a face to a name makes it real. It is always better to talk to a real person rather than an unknown stranger. I think bloggers who feature a picture of themselves on their blogs create this impact too.
- The first few people that commented on your blog and remain a steadfast companion. When any new blogger first started out in the blogging world, a lot of TLC and validation is required for one to keep blogging. I’ll never forget the kindness of those who first visited my blog and are still here today. Although some have dropped off but that is to be expected.
- Thrill to receive reciprocal comments on their blogs and feels that the blog owner takes time to respond to their comments. Not all bloggers do but it’s not a sin because understandably bloggers live a real lives and may be busy and can’t possibly answer every comment.
I don’t have the stats but every year there are more and more new people who start a book review blogs and once my Google Reader is saturated with book reviews feeds it takes a lot more for newly discovered blogs to impress me to follow. This is where the law of diminishing returns kick-in.
As long as I am interested in books I don’t see myself reaching a point where I will not blog or read about book reviews. In terms of how many blogs I could read though, with the demands of life, it may be reduced.
I don’t have my own list of things that may turn people off from reading a blog (maybe you have?) but recently I was slightly disturbed to hear that a display of incoming books pictures or wrap-ups were seen as a boast. I thought it was a shared joy partake by all book lovers to see beautiful book stack rather than anything sinister like showing off. I enjoy looking at them and share the happiness of the one who receive it but why would anyone think otherwise?
Another difficulty I have is to read a blog with dark / black background and white fonts. I find my vision goes blur and I strain my eyes trying to read the words. Is it me or do you feel the same? Maybe it is because of my astigmatism?
Anyway, we are all different. I do not follow a set rule to write or blog so that I could attract more followers. For me, what I most think about when I think about blogging in long term is that I will keep blogging even if no one else is reading my blog and I shouldn’t be affected by the fact that one day maybe no one reads what I have to write.
The blogger that earned my respect are bloggers who post everyday and sometimes (or most of the time) did not get a single comment, yet they keep on blogging. Hats off!
What do you talk about when you talk about blogging? What sort of a blogger are you and why do you follow a blog? Are there things that may stop you from following a blog?