There Are Two Main Ways to Increase Traffic As a Book Blogger

Knowing Your Blogging Goals Can Help You Pick Which One to Pursue

After 11 years of blogging here at Pages Unbound, reading tons of blogging advice, and asking other book bloggers what they recommend to boost stats, I have come to the conclusion there are two main ways book bloggers in particular can increase traffic:

  1. comment prolifically on other book blogs
  2. focus on improving SEO.

These tactics bring in traffic from different sources, however, so knowing what you most want from your blog can help decide which to focus on. (Or, of course, you can dedicate time to doing both!)

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Commenting on Other Book Blogs

If you value engagement and are hoping to get more people commenting on and interacting with your own blog posts, commenting on other book blogs is a valuable strategy.

Of course, you want to be genuine and leave comments that add to the discussion and try to make real connections with other bloggers. You don’t want to simply pop by and leave a short, “Nice post!” on something you barely even read, nor do you want to just leave a link to your own blog.

However, commenting and blog hopping is valuable because people can’t really find and read and (hopefully) comment on your blog if they are not aware it exists. Commenting frequently on a wide variety of blogs is likely to bring other bloggers back to your own site to check it out, and some will naturally become followers. This is great for engagement because other book bloggers are the readers most likely to actually leave comments on a blog, unlike more casual followers.

Improving the SEO of Your Blog Posts

If you are interested in getting a massive increase in page views, focusing on improving your SEO in your blog posts is a good bet. A lot of book bloggers report that the vast majority of their traffic comes from search engine hits (which is definitely true here at Pages Unbound; our second highest source of traffic is from the WordPress reader and app, and it doesn’t come close).

The only caveats here are:

  1. visitors from search engines generally do not leave comments, so this is a good source of traffic but not engagement
  2. sometimes when they leave comments, search engine visitors are more aggressive than book bloggers
  3. you might have to think about writing “the type of posts people would search for,” as opposed to writing and posting whatever personally interests you.

In regards to point #3, you can, of course, try to optimize SEO on nearly anything. Some bloggers put a lot of effort into utilizing SEO on their book reviews, for instance, and these can end up as a significant source of traffic. Alternatively, you might simply think of things people are likely to Google, which are often lists (think: Books Set in NYC) or informational articles (ex. How to Write an Amazing Book Review).

If you are a book blogger who has written a post on SEO for book bloggers, feel free to leave a link in the comments below!

Conclusion

Both strategies will take time, but a lot of book bloggers have found they have paid off. If you only have time to pursue one, think about which you would enjoy more (engaging with other readers/the technical puzzle of good SEO?) and about what you want in return (possibly more discussion on your own blog/views from the general public using search engines).

Happy blogging!

Briana

How My Blog Traffic from Pinterest Is Doing Now That I’m Pinning Less

Pinterest Traffic While Pinning Less

In 2019, I decided I was going to be serious about using Pinterest to see if I could finally, actually get traffic for my blog. So many bloggers cite Pinterest as one of their top sources for traffic, and before 2019, every time I tried it out for myself, I never saw results. In 2019, that changed: I read a lot of articles about how to use Pinterest successfully, and I put a lot of time into making pins, visiting Pinterest daily, pinning my pins to a variety of boards, etc. The result: In 2019, Pages Unbound got over 9,000 views from Pinterest. In 2020, we got 22,500. That’s more views than some book bloggers get in total on their blog all year.

In 2021, I started devoting less time to using Pinterest because, frankly, logging on all the time to Pinterest, making multiple images to pin for each post, etc. is time-consuming. So our views decreased from 2020, but we still received nearly 17,000 views from Pinterest.

Now, at the beginning of 2022, I’m barely using Pinterest at all. In an ideal world, I would like to get back to using it “properly,” but the time currently is not in my schedule. So my “strategy” right now is mainly making pinnable images for each discussion post or list (anything that’s not a review) and pinning it one time to one Pinterest board.

I admit that I am not seeing much Pinterest traffic to our new posts because of this. However, our older pins are still going relatively strong, so we get a noticeable amount of traffic to things I pinned a couple years ago. We seem to be getting about 15-30 views per day from Pinterest traffic right now. And while that’s certainly a decrease from the numbers I was seeing while I was using Pinterest seriously, it’s also nothing to sneeze at! It means we had about 950 views from Pinterest in January and about 700 in February which, again, for a book blog, is meaningful traffic.

The takeaway? The time I put into Pinterest in 2019 and 2020 is still paying off, even though I spend close to no time using Pinterest right now. So if you’ve been pondering using Pinterest for your blog and you think you have the time to devote to it, I would encourage it.

Check out some of my previous posts on using Pinterest for your book blog here:

Briana

How to Write Compelling Discussion Questions That People–Including Yourself!–Will Want to Answer!

How to Write Compelling Discussion Questions

What makes a good discussion question? The kind that not only generates a conversation in others, but also makes you, the originator of the question, want to answer it, as well? Read on to find some of our tips for crafting discussion questions that get people talking!

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Go beyond “yes” or “no” questions–or questions that will only generate a sentence response.

A compelling discussion question requires an answer that needs at least a few paragraphs to answer. On a basic level, this means going beyond questions such as, “Do you like to reread books?” (which could prompt one to answer simply, “Yes,” or “No”) and adding a little bit more, such as, “Why or why not?”

However, it also means avoiding questions that would generate easy responses that do not in turn generate more discussion. For example, a question such as, “Where do you like to store your books?” even though it is not a “yes or no” question, will likely receive simple answers such as, “On my bookshelf” or, “On the nightstand.” There is not a lot more to say in response, except perhaps why (“It’s convenient,” or, “I ran out of room on the shelf”) and even that requires only another sentence. Furthermore, these answers are unlikely to generate further discussion from other readers unless someone comes up with a really novel and useful way to store books. The conversation will end with each person saying where they keep books and no one really talking to each other.

In the same vein, questions with numerical answers may not necessarily generate much discussion, either. A question like, “How many times have you read your favorite book?” or, “How often do you visit the library?” again requires only a short answer: “X number of times.” A really thought-provoking question needs just a little bit more to get people talking.

Instead of asking questions that have an easy, one word or one sentence answer, try asking questions where respondents might have to think through different possible answers. For example, a “how” question would make people consider multiple outcomes. Take a question such as, “How could the library be improved?” or, “How do you decide what to read next?” Respondents can probably think of several changes they would love to see in their library. And they probably have various answers for how they decide what to read next because what they want to read might vary on their mood, their available free time, what reviewers and websites they have been reading, and more.

But thinking through possible answers might also mean that mean that, even though a respondent might immediately think of their answer, they can also imagine other people answering differently. For example, “Do you think the public library is still relevant? Why or not?” might automatically make many people want to scream, “YES!” But they probably also realize some people might want to scream, “No!” To write a convincing response, they will have to demonstrate why they think the library is still relevant by providing examples and anticipating counterarguments. Their answer will have to be at least a few paragraphs, and it will be easier for their answer to inspire a continuing conversation.

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Get controversial.

An easy way to generate discussions that continue for awhile is to think about questions that generate controversy. This could mean tackling trending topics (such as when Twitter get upset at people calling their book exchanges “libraries”) or responding to questions that still continue to energize and divide the bookish community (like whether Susan Pevensie was treated fairly by C. S. Lewis). Controversial questions do not have to be questions that make people angry–just questions that have multiple potential responses people might make. They are questions that do not necessarily have easy answers, but ones that might require some more research, thought, and nuance.

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Do some research.

The thought of doing research might make some bloggers cringe. They aren’t in school, after all! But looking up information is key not only to answering questions, but also to generating new ones. The internet will often take hold of an idea and present it as fact, and others will usually take that information at face value. Try questioning others’ takes! Reading up on the issues will often present new facets to be taken into account, which might raise thoughts such, as “But why?” or, “What if?” or, “How?” or, “Then what?” Follow these thoughts to generate new, invigorating questions that can in turn become a discussion post. The nuances of a question are often what make it fascinating, and these nuances are often only revealed after some research provides a fuller picture of the issue.

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Conclusion

Much of this advice boils down to one thing: when crafting a discussion question, try to imagine how other people might respond. If it seems like they might only have a reflexive one-word or one-sentence answer, that means either that they do not find the question interesting (They’re responding in a kind of, “Well, of course!” way) or that the question itself might not be that interesting (It happens.). Ask questions that require some analysis from responders, ones that make them consider different points of view than their own, or ones that enable them to imagine different possible answers. The types of questions without easy answers are the ones most likely to generate a conversation, since people will offer different perspectives, thus keeping the discussion going.

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Additional Resources

What are your tips for writing a compelling discussion question?

7 Book-Related Blog Post Ideas for When You Haven’t Read Anything Recently

Bookish Post Ideas

Need a post idea, but haven’t read anything recently? Here are some book-related post ideas for your book blog!

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Movie and TV Reviews

Book-to-film adaptations come out all the time! If you have not read a book recently, why not review a film or a TV show that is book-related? And there are plenty of twists to put on this. You can talk about changes you liked (or didn’t), or do a “Who did it better?” type of post. You could even come up with your dream cast for an upcoming adaptation, if you do not have a film ready to review.

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Game Reviews

Books can inspire more than movies. If you enjoy playing a game that is book-related–anything from a Lord of the Rings board game to a Nancy Drew video game. Or, if you do not want to do an entire game review, you can do mini reviews, lists of recommendations, or even a reflection on what playing a certain game has meant to you. You could even come up with a list of your dream games, or books that need games!

Collection Tour

Show off your bookish merch! Highlight special editions, beautiful covers, and cool illustrations. Or take pictures of some of your non-book bookish items–figurines, bookends, bookmarks, tote bags, T-shirts, whatever!

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Recommendation Posts

Recommendation posts do not have to start with books. Try recommending titles for people who enjoyed a certain movie, TV show, video game, or music album.

Quizzes

Everyone loves a good quiz! Try coming up with a personality quiz or a trivia quiz based on a favorite book.

How-to-Read Guide

Are you a fan of a long or complicated series or franchise? Explain to readers how the series works. What is a good starting point? Do they need to read the books in any certain order? Or can they jump in wherever they want? (Such a guide will work for comics, too!)

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Cover Commentary

Highlight several covers of one of your favorite books–then discuss. Do some work better than others? Are some completely off base? Which ones are your favorites and why?

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You Might Also Like

How Using Non-generic Graphics Might Increase Your Blog Traffic

When people ask for tips to increase traffic their book blog, I usually recommend a couple basic things that result in direct increases: comment around more on other blogs and utilize Pinterest. I would say these are the biggest ways we’ve increased traffic at Pages Unbound over the past couple years (and I can also see a decrease in traffic when I don’t put as much effort into these things). However, there are also less direct ways one can improve traffic, like working on SEO or posting more frequently. And one of these “minor” ways that a lot of bloggers overlook is by having custom, specific graphics for every blog post.

For a discussion post, a custom graphic means having something that specifically says the title/topic of the post. For a book review, a specific graphic could just be a picture of the book cover; it doesn’t have to be something you ~create~ in Canva or a similar program. The basic idea is that you want a graphic in the post that tells readers exactly what the post is about and that differentiates it from all the other posts on your blog.

Making an original graphic for every post is time-consuming, of course. I myself used to default to generic heading graphics that said things like “Discussion Post” or “Movie Review,” and I only really started doing specific graphics for every post when I made a concerted effort to add our posts to Pinterest, and I needed more original title graphics for that. However, even if you aren’t going to use Pinterest for your blog, unique graphics for every post will help your posts stand out where you DO share them, whether that’s on Facebook or Twitter or just the WordPress reader.

The WordPress reader post preview generally pulls in either one graphic/photo from your blog post, or four, depending on how many are in the post. (See examples below.)

Personally, I am MUCH more likely to be interested and click through to a post if 1) there is a graphic at all and 2) that graphic tells me specifically what the post is about. If I see an orange square that just says “book review,” that does not catch my eye. And it also makes it difficult for me to distinguish between posts from the same blog. I know I’ve seen the orange “book review” heading before, but have I seen it for THIS post? I don’t always remember, and I don’t always keep reading to find out.

Social media, of course, similarly provides scrollers with a preview of the post you are linking to, and I also am more likely to click on a link on Twitter or Facebook if there is some kind of graphic that tells me exactly what the post is about. If I see something that simply says “book review,” it’s hard to see what book the review is for, and I don’t have the cover image to give me a hint as to whether the book is MG, YA, adult, fantasy, nonfiction, etc. I don’t have a lot of free time to devote to reading things I might not be fully interested in, so I usually keep scrolling.

I’m not saying that switching up your graphics and putting a unique one on each post is going to miraculously increase your traffic by 50% or anything, but it’s my personal opinion that this IS a a thing that affects how many people click through your links, whether they see them on social media or on the WordPress reader. Having a unique graphic that says what the post is about can quickly catch readers’ attention and make them less likely to simply scroll on by.

What do you think? Do you find yourself passing on generic graphics more than specific ones?

Briana

4 Things I Learned about Writing in School I Also Use While Writing My Blog

Whenever Krysta or I bring up the structure of a blog post or the idea of research or evidence in a blog post, we get a flurry of comments to the effect of, “This isn’t school!” No, it isn’t school, but my theory is that the things I learned about writing in school are not ONLY for writing research papers about Shakespeare; they’re also guidelines for how to write things in daily life! So while I admit I don’t put the same amount of rigor and structure into writing for the blog that I would have for a serious academic research paper (I agree; this is still just a hobby!), there are are things I do while writing to try to make my blog posts more cohesive and readable.

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Have a Thesis

A “thesis” is just the idea that the text has a main point, and that the main point is clearly stated somewhere in the opening paragraph or introduction (if the introduction is more than one paragraph long). This means that, for discussion posts, I try to make the main argument or question clear in the beginning of the post. For reviews, I try to end the first paragraph with a clear statement of whether or not I enjoyed the book and what main aspects of the book led me to like/dislike it.

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Write Topic Sentences

This is probably the area where I’m flakiest on the blog because I put A LOT of effort into writing topic sentences for academic papers, and I don’t put nearly the same amount of thought into them for my blog. However, I do still try to write them! Using topic sentences helps the reader know what the paragraph is going to be focused on, and they help me as the writer stay focused on that thing, whether I’m discussion the pacing of a book, the logic of a plot, or the characterization of a protagonist.

Use Evidence to Back Up My Points

The idea that you should back up your arguments with evidence has been a strangely controversial point on our blog in the past, but I think it’s immensely important! “Evidence” is just the reasons I believe the things I am writing. For a factual discussion post, this could, in fact, mean research and reading studies and articles to cite and link to. For instance, if I want to make a claim that “no one reads audiobooks anyway,” I should probably look up what percentage of readers do (or do not) listen to audiobooks.

The important aspect is recognizing what is “just my opinion” and what is a claim that could be proved or disproved with actual research. I have awkwardly seen book bloggers make (sometimes very angry!) claims about why publishers do X, why ebooks cost Y, why libraries do Z, etc. that are . . . just factually wrong. I know “research,” for a lot of bloggers, sounds like something that they shouldn’t have to do for a hobby they are just doing for fun, but I believe it’s important to try to make accurate claims when possible.

And for topics that ARE more opinion-based, I still think evidence is important! If, for instance, I say in a review that the plot is slow, I try to give an example of why. Or if I say a character is brilliant, I might give an example of a time they did something exceptionally smart.

Evidence is important to help your audience understand why your opinions or arguments are what they are, and help the audience decided whether they agree.

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End with a Conclusion

This might be the most obvious point on the list, but I do try to end my posts with some type of conclusion. In a discussion post, I try to sum up the main point and any final information I want the readers to take away. In a review, I make a final point about whether or not I recommend the book to other readers, and why.

Conclusions can also be good for SEO. I’ve read that readers like seeing them, and having a clear conclusion can increase how many people finish reading the post. Using clear heading tags like “introduction” and “conclusion” throughout the post can also be useful for SEO.

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And One Thing I Don’t Do As Much As I Should: Proofread

I literally proofread professionally, but I can’t stand reading my own work. Sometimes I reread a post once it’s published and notice some typos I need to clean up, but I admit I don’t do much proofreading of my own drafts. Please forgive me.

Briana

Why I Think Comments are the Single Most Important Way to Support Book Bloggers

Disclaimer: Ok, some people would probably argue paying book bloggers is the #1 way to support them, but not every blogger has a ko-fi or Patreon where they are asking for money, and I’d personally say paying bloggers should be on publishers/authors/people asking for marketing and not other bloggers. This post is more about how blog readers can support bloggers.

A consistent theme in the book blogging community is that many of us started our blogs to connect with other readers– and that we value conversations and friendships more than anything else. When people answer questions about why they love blogging, they often answer “the community.” When people explain what they consider success for their blogs, they often say “connections with my followers.” So, while conversations about whether blogging is dying, whether bloggers should be paid, and whether bloggers are valued continue in the community, I personally believe that the most important thing we all can do to support other bloggers and keep blogging alive is to leave other bloggers comments.

In recent years, I’ve noticed that our traffic here at Pages Unbound has grown, but the number of comments we receive on each post has gone down. In casual conversations with other bloggers, I’ve had many report the same: they just don’t seem to have as many conversations with other readers as they used to. No one is quite sure why, though speculation includes the fact there are just so many platforms (Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok) that it’s hard to keep up with them all to the fact that people might just prefer other platforms entirely. A lot of people seem to think it’s simply “easier” to comment on something on Twitter than on a blog.

But what is the result of this? Bloggers feel that no one is valuing their content, and that can be a depressing thought to someone who has put hours into planning, writing, formatting, and promoting a post. And when people feel that they’re “wasting their time,” they might decide it’s time to quit blogging. I’ve never thought that blogging is dead, or even necessarily dying– but it might die if tons of bloggers decide they’re not getting what they want out of it, which is readers who are interested in what they are posting and conversations with readers about books. To me, it seems clear that the one thing that can really revitalize blogging, even more so than (some, probably the biggest) bloggers being paid for their work, is readers leaving more blog comments.

Yet I also think that more blog comments can lead to the payment that some bloggers are seeking. When bloggers request ARCs or payment from publishers or authors, they’re generally self-reporting their stats. I assume the majority of people are honest about their page views and visitor count, but a publisher can never be sure. I myself have been confused by blogs that claim to have a billion followers and views yet, when I look at their sites, have zero comments on every single post. Are they lying about their stats? Are their page views from bots? From people who don’t really care about their content? Who can tell? When I go to a blog and see every post has 40 comments on it, however, I know I’ve found a blog that people like to read. This might also be interesting to publishers when they decide where to give out ARCs and, maybe, money.

No one is obligated to anything, of course. I myself don’t comment around as much as I’d like or as much as I’d use to, as real life responsibilities catch up to me. However, if you’re really invested in supporting bloggers, I think commenting is the way to go. Retweets and likes on posts are nice, but it seems that what people really want are readers who are interested enough in their content to take the time to leave a comment and say so.

Briana

Why Your Book Recommendation Posts Should Have More Than Three Books Listed

Frequently when I am blog hopping or scrolling through my WordPress reader, I find posts titled things like “Three Books about Mermaids” or “Two Books Featuring Mermaids.” Or maybe it’s just titled “Fun Middle Grade Fantasies You Should Read,” but when I open the post, there are only three book recommendations. Lists that are this short are always disappointing to me, and when I do book recommendations, I aim to list at least five books, but preferably 10 or more. Here’s why you might want to make your own book rec lists longer:

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Longer Lists are Better for Blog Traffic

If you’re interested in growing your blog traffic, particularly in getting more hits from search engines, longer lists are your friend. When people go to Google and search something like, “Books Set in New York City,” the top results are probably going to be lists with 10, 20, or even more books included on them. If your list only has three books on it, there’s a good chance that a list of 20 or 50 books already includes the three you are featuring. So the search engine is going to recognize that and feature blogs and websites with long lists as their top results. If you want to rank, you need to think of other sites as your “competition” and provide information that is as or more valuable than what they are providing.

Example: A quick Google search gives me these top two results of lists with 31 and 40 books respectively:

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Short Lists Are Less Useful to Readers Because They Eliminate Half the Books on the List Anyway

Even when I want to read a book about a certain topic, I don’t have an interest in every book about that topic. There are thousands of books about dragons, but if someone lists “three books about dragons,” there’s a very good chance I am going to look at that short list and think, “no, no, no,” and leave without adding a single one of them to my TBR pile.

This is particularly true if the topic of the list is very broad. What is even on a list of three books about dragons? Are all of them YA books? If I don’t like YA, I automatically will have no interest in any of them. But maybe they’re all different age categories. Maybe this three-book list includes one picture books about dragons, one middle grade fantasy, and one adult nonfiction book about the history of dragons featured in literature. This is interestingly varied, but if I am looking for a middle grade book about dragons, only one book on the list applies to me — and I might have already read it or not be interested in reading it for some reason. If I am looking for a YA dragon book, none of the recommendations help me at all.

This is why longer lists are more helpful to readers and more likely to provide them with valuable information to, ultimately, actually add one of the books to their TBR pile.

If you have a list of 40 books about dragons, you can now break it into categories: 10 picture books, 10 middle grade books, 10 YA books, and 10 adult books.

Alternatively, you can narrow the topic of your list: 40 middle grade books about dragons. And you can make it as narrow as you want, as long as you have enough books to make a decent-sized list. 20 middle grade books about dragons published in the last 10 years. 20 diverse middle grade books with dragons. 30 middle grade books with dragons that can talk. Now, if someone has an interest in this topic, the list has a lot of information for them to help them find a new book to read.

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One challenge I personally find to making very long lists is that I generally like to feature books I have read myself or that I feel I know enough to confidently recommend. If I were to make a list titled, “100 books set in Florida,” there is no way I will have read all of them, so making the list would basically involve Googling and finding other people’s lists and taking the books off those list to add to mine. This is definitely something people do, particularly bloggers who are blogging to make money and need their posts to rank highly in Google, as well as large bookish sites. You know whoever makes the Penguin Random House lists hasn’t personally read all 40 books they’re recommending on a single topic. So whether you’re comfortable making lists that include a lot of books you don’t know much about is up to you. I’m generally not, which is why most of my lists are 10-15 books instead of 45.

Do you prefer reading longer lists? How many recommendations on a list are you usually interested in?

Briana

10 Post Ideas for Book Blogs When You Haven’t Read Anything Recently

Creating content for a blog can sometimes seem quite the struggle, especially if you have not read any books recently and have nothing to review. But book blogs can talk about all things bookish–there’s no need to limit yourself to reviews or even memes. Here a few ideas to get you started posting.

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Recommend read-alikes.

This is one of the most common book blog posts, but always a welcome one! You can do a straightforward recommendation, like our post recommending books if you like Nancy Drew. Or you can try to capture some of the enthusiasm for something trending, like our post recommending books for fans of sea shanties or YA novels for fans of Bridgerton.

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Create a personality quiz.

People always enjoy taking a personality quiz! You can try a standard one like our “Which Female Character from Murder on the Orient Express Are You?or you put your own spin on the personality quiz, like with our “How Obsessed with The Lord of the Rings Are You?” quiz.

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Highlight some of your favorite author’s books.

Sometimes a beloved author has one book that really stands out to readers and that gets all the love. If readers are into one book, however, they may interested to learn that an author wrote more. We highlighted some of our favorite authors’ works in posts like “Beyond Anne of Green Gables: The Other Novels of L. M. Montgomery” and “A Brief Introduction to Tolkien’s Non-Middle-Earth Books.”

Another option is to take a really long series like Redwall or the Discworld books and create a guide explaining what each of the books are about, how they are related, and where new readers might like to start. This allows you to draw on your extensive fan knowledge to create a post you might not have realized will be really helpful to others!

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Post some book trivia.

Put all your bookish knowledge to use with some fun trivia-filled posts! We’ve done posts such as “Ten Things You May Not Have Known about J. R. R. Tolkien,” “Classic Books with Lesser-Known Sequels,” and even a series on bookish misconceptions.

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Weigh in on a bookish controversy.

This does not have to mean something really controversial, where you are afraid of backlash, but could mean a question avid readers keep returning to. For example, we weighed in on whether the Chronicles of Narnia should be read in publication order or chronological order. Think of some issues your bookish friends have strong opinions on, such as whether a certain book counts as canon or if poetry excerpts or songs should be in the middle of books. Then explain your stance and watch the discussion ensue!

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Create a discussion post (or several) based on a specific book.

Many book bloggers seem afraid to post a discussion about a specific title, rather than on a topic that is merely generally bookish. However, our book-specific posts are some of our most popular! We’ve posted on everything from not liking the ending of King of Scars to whether Tolkien’s female characters have any depth. We have even weighed in on the great Team Keefe vs. Team Fitz debate being held by fans of the Keeper of the Lost Cities books.

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Talk about a childhood favorite.

Even if you have not read them in awhile, you probably have strong memories about your favorite childhood books. Tell readers why you loved them–and if you still, do! For instance, we’ve written posts such as Why I Still Love Nancy Drew to showcase our love of childhood favorites.

On the flip side, you could discuss a childhood book that disappoints you now or that you never liked at all. We’ve written on Why I’ve Never Liked The Giving Tree and Why I Never Liked The Rainbow Fish.

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Compare adaptations.

Plenty of books have film adaptations! Try talking about your favorites, such as which film version of Little Women is best, whether you play the Nancy Drew PC games, and more!

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Show some library love.

Readers love the library! Even if you haven’t read anything recently, you talk about other bookish things you love: the thrill of browsing, library resources you love the most, libraries you have visited, what your dream library would look like, and more!

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Share blogging tips.

Bloggers are always looking to improve, and our posts with some of our tips are some of our most popular. You can share everything from graphic design tips to a list of places to how you plan your schedule to a list of resources bloggers can use for editing images. We have a whole page of blogger resources!

What are some of your favorite non-review posts to write?

Also check out “How We Come Up with Discussion Post Ideas!

10 Discussion Post Topics for Your Book Blog that Get Comments

Introduction

In the past several years, I opened January with various discussion post prompts for book blogs, including:

I try not to overlap prompts, so that’s 102 prompts right there! And you can check out our Classic Remarks page for discussion prompts related to classic literature.

For 2021, however, I want to highlight 10 discussion post ideas that are practically guaranteed to generate discussion on your blog. There are not necessarily the most original post ideas — bloggers have been talking about them for years — but they are popular post ideas. People have thoughts about these questions, and writing a post about them is sure to get you some comments!

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Are Negative Reviews Valuable? Or Are Negative Reviews Cruel to Authors?

This topic came back in December 2020, when a few authors berated a booktuber for making a “Worst Books I Read in 2020” video, and other authors and reviewers entered the fray, debating both the value (or lack thereof) of “worst of” lists and then of negative reviews in general. If you missed the chance to talk about why you do or not like, read, or write negative reviews then, however, I have no doubt another opportunity will arise in 2021 and beyond.

Read Our Post: Negative Reviews Aren’t “Mean;” They’re Integral to Selling Books

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Do You Comment Back on Other Blogs?

Another perennial favorite: Do you comment back on the blogs of people who leave comments on your blog? Why or why not? Do you expect other people to do the same? Do you follow people (or unfollow) based on whether they answer comments on their blog or based on whether they comment back on your blog?

Read Our Post: Do You Comment Back?

What Are Your Bookish Pet Peeves?

Maybe people just love to complain, but a post about things that drive you nuts in books is sure to get people responding in the comments, whether they agree with your or actually enjoy the things you hate. Just keep it light instead of actually insulting authors or books!

Read Our Post: 10 Bookish Pet Peeves

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Do You Like Writing Book Reviews? Do People Like Reading Reviews?

Although book reviews are generally considered the primary content of book blogs, a lot of bloggers don’t actually enjoy writing them! And bloggers have long noted that reviews often don’t get as many page views as other types of content. So, do you like writing reviews? Or reading them? Can you blog without writing them at all?

Read Our Post: Can You Run a Book Blog without Book Reviews?

What Makes You Follow a Book Blog?

While we all love to support other book bloggers, there are only so many blogs we can follow and read! Explaining what makes you click that follow button and become a regular reader is always a popular topic because it helps other bloggers brainstorm ways they might want to approach how they blog.

Read Our Post: 5 Things That Make Me Want to Read Your Book Blog

Do You Have a Set Reading Goal? What Books “Count” or Don’t Towards the Goal?

At the end of every year (and then at the beginning of the next year!), bloggers and readers begin discuss reading goals: how many books they read vs. how many they’d hoped to, whether they believe in having a reading goal at all or just reading at leisure, whether they’re judging people for “inflating” their reading goals with picture books or graphic novels or audiobooks. While most bloggers seem content to let other people set their goals however they wish, the topic of reading goals always gets discussions flowing.

Read Our Post: Don’t Stress about How Many Books You’ve Read This Year

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Should Adults Read Young Adult (Teen) Books?

It feels as if we should have settled this issue somewhere around 2012: people can read whatever they want, and books “for teens” or “for children” can still speak to adults. Yet every six months or so, some major publication seems to publish an opinion piece about how adults shouldn’t be reading young adult books, and then the blogosphere gets talking again, publishing their own posts responding.

Read Our Post: The Debate over YA Is Over

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Should Book Bloggers Make Money? How Would They Successfully Monetize?

I’ve been blogging for ten years now, and book bloggers have never regularly made money or received payment from sponsors the ways booktubers or bloggers in other niches do, in spite of how much labor they put into marketing books for publishers and authors. Whether book bloggers deserve to be paid and how they can make money if they choose to monetize is a topic that comes up time and again. Here’s to hoping 2021 is the year bloggers who are interested in monetization finally start making a decent blogging income.

Read Our Posts: I’m Okay with Not Being Paid to Book Blog and What Would Happen If Book Bloggers Made Money?

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How Can You Support Other Book Bloggers?

Want to support other bloggers? Want to let your non-blogger followers know how they can support book bloggers beyond just reading their posts? Sharing ways to boost book bloggers is always a hit.

Read Our Post: 7 Concrete Ways to Boost Book Bloggers

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Do You Care about Your Blog Stats?

Some bloggers are deeply invested in their stats and growing their audience, while others blog purely for fun and don’t care at all. Discussing your approach to stats (to look at them, or not to look?) and sharing tips on how to improve stats, if that’s what you’re into, will get other bloggers talking.

Read Our Posts: Is Stress about Your Blog Stats Holding You Back? and Book Blogger Stats Survey Results: 2020

Briana