Briana and I began blogging at Pages Unbound in May 2011. In honor of our eighth anniversary, here are eight ways I’ve seen book blogging change over the years.
Book bloggers are now expected to do more than just blog.
Years ago, book bloggers often literally just blogged about books. That is, they wrote book reviews. Now, book bloggers are expected to take their own pictures, run social media accounts, design their own websites, and more.
Book bloggers have moved to prioritizing discussion posts over book reviews.
When we first began Pages Unbound, most book blogs primarily published book reviews. However, bloggers began noticing that, for many, discussion posts generated more page views than book reviews. And so, many bloggers now prefer not to write reviews, or not as many.
Discussion posts have evolved to become longer and more in-depth.
When book bloggers first began discussion posts, many were along the lines of “How many books are on your nightstand?” These types of posts were often about a paragraph in length, as there is not much to say other than the number of books you have on your nightstand! Over the years, however, bloggers have come up with a number of exciting discussions, talking about consumerism in the book blogosphere, the importance of libraries, and more.
Guest Posts Became less frequent.
I have no qualitative data for this, but it does seem like I am seeing fewer and fewer guest posts. They used to be recommended all the time as a way to get new audiences and drive traffic to your blog. My own experience, however, is that I don’t get any traffic from guest posting and my own readers generally do not click on my links to see my guest post on someone else’s blog. Perhaps other bloggers noticed the same and stopped guest posting as much?
Discussions started happening on Twitter.
Book bloggers used to write discussion posts that responded to and linked back to one or more posts by other bloggers. However, once book bloggers were expected to use social media to promote their blogs, more and more discussions started happening on Twitter. The fast-paced nature of Twitter means that sometimes things happen in the book world, they blow up immediately, and then they are over before many bloggers even knew something was happening, so there is less discussion on blogs about these issues. However, it is also notable that, soon after many book bloggers joined Twitter a few years ago, a large number then left, many of them citing the negative atmosphere as their reason.
The discussions have changed.
Many early discussions focused on how to get ARCs, how to blog “correctly” (commenting back, following back, etc.), and how to avoid plagiarism in the book blogosphere (Can you write about something someone already wrote about? Yes, of course, but some bloggers argued you couldn’t.). Discussions, however, are now more focused on what types of books are published, whether they should be published and, if they are published, whether people should read or review them.
Book bloggers became Booktubers.
It seems like more people are watching videos rather than reading blogs. In response, many bloggers have moved to Youtube, where they are more likely to get more views and thus get more books, more brand offers, and more book deals.
Some Book bloggers stopped blogging.
Sadly, over the years, we have lost many blogging friends who simply stopped blogging. Perhaps life got too busy or they simply were not interested any more. But there are many blogs I used to love that are no more. Fortunately, however, there are always new friends waiting to be found!
How long have you been blogging? What changes have you seen in the book blogopshere?