Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2018

Increased Visuals

Winter Books

The Internet seems to be becoming increasingly visual, and there’s been a lot of growth on both Youtube and Instagram for readers, publishers, and sponsored “influencers.” While I think book blogging is going to remain strong (and reports of its imminent demise have been greatly exaggerated), I also think bloggers are going to think carefully about incorporating more original photos and graphics into their posts. After all, one of the number one things I see listed on posts about “what makes me what to follow your blog” is “a pretty design.”

More Audiobook Reviews

Audiobook Discussion

Audiobooks were the big news of 2017, with publishers reporting ever-increasing sales while ebook sales stabilized. A lot of growth in the industry is expected to continue in audiobooks, so this is probably something we’ll also see reflected in the blogosphere as more book bloggers listen to more audiobooks and review them.

Lots of Discussion Posts

Analyzing Books Discussion

Book bloggers continue to note that discussion posts do better for page views and reader interaction than book reviews, so I think some bloggers will be interested in upping their discussion post game this year. If you’re looking to write more discussion posts for your own blog and aren’t quite sure where to start, I propose 30 discussion prompts here.

More MonetiZation?

Piggy Bank

The question of monetizing book blogs has been a hot, controversial topic for a while. While I have explained my thoughts that most of us aren’t going to be paid and definitely not for writing reviews, I do believe that many book bloggers are eager to make a least a little money from a passion they invest lots of time, effort, and their own funds into. “Monetizing” may look more like launching side businesses like editing services, graphic design, or bookish candle making, but I think it’s something many book bloggers are going to be interested in this year.

What do you think book blogging is going to look like in 2018? What are some of your goals for your own blog?

Briana

67 thoughts on “Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2018

      • Krysta says:

        I don’t generally listen to audio books, either. I can read much faster! I have seen a fair amount of bloggers review them, though. I think they would work well for reviews, though, since you can just review the story as normal or add in a paragraph about the narrators, so you can cater to your audience and what you think they’d like.

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  1. ashley says:

    Since I don’t listen to audiobooks, audiobook reviews are not something I would read. One of my blogging goals is to find and post more original content and discussion posts, which I already have ideas for.

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  2. Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads says:

    I completely agree with all of this! I especially think we’ll see more original visuals on blogs and more discussions because those are two things that you see people drawn to over and over again.

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    • Krysta says:

      True! It’s so different from when we started blogging years ago! Back then you could just talk about books. Now it feels like bloggers have to wear many more hats–photographer, web designer, social media marketer, and so forth!

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  3. Kelly | Just Another Book in the Wall says:

    I absolutely agree with nearly all of the trends you mentioned, especially discussion posts. When i first joined the blogging community a little over two years ago, I seldom saw discussion posts. After rejoining the blogosphere recently, I was surprised to see how many blogs incorporate discussions into their feed. Great post!

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    • Krysta says:

      I know! Things have really changed over the years! I feel like blogging used to be much simpler in a way. People pretty much reviewed books and maybe did a weekly meme. Now you have to be highly original with different types of content, post your own photos, do social media marketing, etc.! It’s enjoyable, but can feel a little hectic sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lois says:

    I can definitely see these trends being at the forefront of book blogging in the year. I’ve noticed how Bookstagram is already influencing the community. I’m hoping to write more discussion posts this year as well, once I get out of this slump.

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  5. Jess @ JBelkBooks says:

    I definitely agree with most of your predications. I do think that book blogging has been more visual as many are trying to find their own “theme” and such. I think there’s a lot more pressure on keeping the appearance of your blog up to par, along with keeping the interest flowing. Great post, Briana! (:

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    • Krysta says:

      I’m lucky in that Briana does pretty much all of our web design! I don’t know what I’d do without a co-blogger to help me keep up with everything bloggers are expected to do these days!

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  6. Greg Hill says:

    I agree, especially with the discussion posts and visual emphasis. Heck I need to up my game in both areas lol. But I do think it will be fascinating to see how book blogging evolves in 2018…

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    • Krysta says:

      Blogging has changed so much since Briana and I started! In a way, I think it used to be simpler. Now bloggers have to do photography and social media and web design and a whole bunch of stuff!

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  7. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Fantastic post! And I am inclined to say probably pretty accurate 🙂 I am personally thrilled to see the growth that is occurring with audiobooks. I never appreciated them before, but now they are my saving grace (so to speak) when my symptoms flare up. So the influx of reviews is huge as I always want to know which narrators are worth listen.

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  8. Daniela Ark says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Blogging is getting more and more visual and more interactive. Monetization is something I haven’t thought about much because I blog to relax from my day job 🙂 I’m not sure if I want to make it into a business. 🙂

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    • Krysta says:

      Good point! Sometimes you want a hobby to stay just a hobby! But I’ve yet to see a book blogger effectively monetize. We just don’t have the numbers. I saw a food blogger say she was getting millions of views and then she was offered a book deal. Book bloggers, even the big ones, don’t draw that kind of traffic. And most of their traffic is other book bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Very interesting! I think there will definitely be more visuals. and I think there are going to be loads of discussions- which is a great thing 😀 I have no clue about monetising, but I know some bloggers who are interested, so that could happen for sure.

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  10. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight says:

    It does seem like photos of books are taking over the book blogging community. And discussions are super popular, so yes, I think we’ll keep seeing more of those as well. But I think that’s great! I love all the discussion going on about books, and it’s a way for ALL book lovers to interact, even if you haven’t read the same books!

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  11. Milliebot says:

    I’m definitely trying to generate more non review content, hopefully to get more discussion going. Compared to my follower count, there is very little interaction on my posts. I know a lot of the time when I read reviews on a book I haven’t read I don’t have much to say. A lot of YouTubers I follow don’t really seem to do reviews either, just wrap ups with a few sentences on whether they liked or didn’t like a book…Idk if I really find that helpful. I like reviews.

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    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, we have over 3000 followers, but the comment section certainly doesn’t reflect that! Of course, many of them are probably “dead” followers who no longer blog and a good deal of them only followed in hope of getting a follow back. But, honestly, we have too many followers for me to follow them just because they followed me. I don’t pay attention to who follows, only to comments.

      Same. When I read a review of a book I haven’t read all I can say is pretty much, “Looks interesting!” It’s not the most stimulating conversation I could start. 😉

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      • Milliebot says:

        Yeah I actually try not to follow too many blogs because I tend to only sit down and read them weekly or every other week. I don’t want to miss out on posts so I’m selective with that. That way I am more prone to comments because I follow less. My ig deff has a lot of dead followers as well. Like, most of them 🤣 the numbers are so weird with social media

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        • Krysta says:

          I don’t follow many, either. And I go through every now and then remove any blogs that haven’t posted in three months. (I know people sometimes abruptly go on hiatus, but more often than not they’re gone for good. There’s a lot of turnover in blogging.) But I’d rather only follow blogs I’m actually interested in and be able to comment more often on them, instead of following a lot and commenting more superficially.

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  12. Sarah's Book Shelves says:

    You sound right on target – at least with what I’m trying to do with my own blog in 2018! More audiobook reviews, less regular book reviews (although I’ve been phasing those out for awhile now – more lists with mini reviews), and focusing on monetizing a bit (but not through getting paid for book reviews). I just launched a reading tracking spreadsheet (the Rock Your Reading Tracker) that automatically tallies all your stats into Summary Charts and helps you pick better books by tracking your recommendation sources…and charged money for it. I’m also considering starting a Patreon page with some special content like many podcasts do.

    I realize we probably won’t be able to make a full-time job out of book blogging, but would like to put some money in my pocket for all the time I spend on the blog!

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    • Krysta says:

      I suspect it’s easier on Youtube since they seem to have bigger audiences. But I am interested to see how creative book bloggers can get. Bookish merchandise and affiliate links seem not to be money makers for most book bloggers, so I expect people will try to branch out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf says:

      My biggest goal for blogging is writing those discussion posts.

      I think what upsets people about monetization on blogs is the idea from YouTube that it’s either full of ads or sponsorships, which seem less authentic. I like the idea of looking at providing writing or editing services or selling bookish merch. I think we’ll see more services offered in the way of monetization, but I’m not sure about merchandise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Darque Dreamer Reads says:

        I want to write more discussion posts too, but it is going to take me a lot of practice. I was never good with discussion questions in school, haha.

        I wish I was artistic and could get in to making bookish art and merch! At least the ads on the blogs aren’t as in your face as the youtube ads. I am curious to see what will rise in the future too.

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  13. Ann Marie says:

    I need to devote more time to photography and discussion posts. Those are the things I thought would be easiest when I started blogging 2 1/2 years ago yet they’re actually what I spend the least amount of time on. I feel like I’m always trying to cram in another book or review (because reading is what this was supposed to be all about – I had no idea how much effort it really takes… ) when perhaps I should be focusing on the visual quality of the content I’m creating.

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  14. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    This is a very cool post, Briana! I’m glad that Krysta linked back to it via the Most Successful Posts. I don’t feel like I’m well-versed enough in what is going on across the blog-o-sphere, but I love the projections. Have you seen your predictions come true so far this year?

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      That’s a good question that I haven’t thought too much about until now! I do think the first three–visuals, discussions, and some audiobooks–have been showing up in my feed. I don’t know about monetization, at least for the particular bloggers I follow. But if someone actually wanted to start a bookish business, it make take them a couple months to work out the details and launch.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        I’ve definitely seen more discussions and audiobooks, but not so much in the other spaces. But, like you said in a previous comment, we obviously frequent different blogging circles. That’s so cool– I love seeing what trends are happening. I guess I’ve seen people take more care with their bookstagram images, but I wouldn’t say I’m seeing *more* visuals overall. I’ll have to keep an eye out!

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          • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

            An astute observation! I have noticed more and more book bloggers who are exploring spaces I’m not interested in, such as the click-bait style list posts. I just hope that I can keep locating book bloggers who are writing about actual books and themes and well, deeper things. The only bonus is that my feed is getting more concise as there are fewer bloggers on it now! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Krysta says:

              Yeah, I’ve also noticed there’s a trend of discussion posts that are not remotely book related. That’s fine, but when I read a book blog I expect mostly book-related content. Otherwise, I’d be reading a food/nature/lifestyle/whatever blog.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

              Bingo! I respect book bloggers who talk about other topics as well, but I typically stop following them if they evolve that way. I understand evolution is an essential part of becoming true to who we are and meeting our needs, but if your needs don’t align with my own I’ll walk away. I’m constantly looking for blogs which truly scratch my bookish itch. Many fall short. (No offense to the blogosphere!)

              Liked by 1 person

            • Krysta says:

              Yeah, I don’t follow many blogs myself. I’d rather focus on ones with tastes that align closely with my own or that offer more in-depth reviews and discussions. 🙂 That isn’t to say that the others aren’t good, maybe just that they focus on romance or something else I don’t really read.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

              Yes! Krysta just pointed that out above. I don’t care about non-book content (well, with the exception of the occasional blog development-related post) in my blog hopping. I also want depth and meaning to my book reviews– not just “Hey, I liked it!”. I want to know why *I* should pick this book up. And to explore themes, problematic content, character development, etc… Basically, I want to talk to someone who is more serious than most book bloggers. Oops. O_o

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