I love reading book blogs.
I love their diversity, the shine of everyone’s personality making this community an incredible melting pot of people I want to squeeze together and hug always because I adore them all. And you know, in a community of a million, it’s hard to stand out. It’s hard to have that extra spark, that little thing that make you stand out and make you feel remembered in the sea of book blogs you read.
I read over 20 book blogs some days and there are some that always, always make an impression on me. They add their personality, their shine, their little spark to every single one of their blog post and I love it.
Today, I thought I’d talk about that extra spark.
If I’m being completely honest, personally I’m not always certain I have that extra spark. That being said, after reading tens of thousands of blogs over the course of over four years, I have noticed that there are things I love. Bloggers I love for that little extra spark they add.
So if you’re looking to read about book blogs and their content, these little things that, for me, make a blog post good, stand out and, most of it all, makes me want to keep on reading, commenting on a blog, follow them and make me remember them, keep on reading.
Side note: obviously, these little personal notes are what works for me, they could be slightly different for everyone else.
🌪 Best blog post practices: what makes me NOT want to read your blog post
When it comes to a blog and a blog post, first impressions matter. The biggest thing that make me automatically want to turn away, or just really discourage me to read any blog post, is if there is just one huge block of text.
I read books, a lot of books, so what’s the matter with one big block of text, right? Well, on book blogs, I don’t feel like reading them. I like paragraphs, ideas clearly stated out, bolded text and bigger and smaller texts. I like small separators, images, GIFs or whatever strikes your fancy. I like to breathe when I read.
My personal advice whenever I finished typing a blog post, or whenever I’m brainstorming ideas, or drafting a blog post, I always ask myself that question: would I read my blog post, would I want to comment on it, would I want to chat about it, share it and more? If I wouldn’t, it means that there’s something missing.
☂️ Related post: How to: write a great blog post
🌪 Content ideas: types of blog posts for book bloggers
There are some typical blog posts you will find on any and every book blogger’s blog and, obviously I’m going to miss some particular things, but today I’m just focusing on 4 types of content we most often see on blog posts.
Some basic advice applies to all of these ideas and personal thoughts, obviously, like making clear paragraphs, leaving your text room to breathe, putting in some images, graphics or GIFs or things to make your blog post great to read and not to discourage your readers.
💧 Book Reviews
Book reviews are the heart and soul of book bloggers. Okay, maybe they’re not that popular at times, maybe they are a little bit forgotten, maybe they are the black sheep of the community, at times. Yet, book reviews are, for me, always, one of the biggest parts of book blogging, Hell, they’re why I wanted to blog about books, after all. If you’re stuck for content ideas, why don’t you review books? You don’t necessarily have to review books you’ve just read. Give yourself a challenge and try to review books you’ve read ages ago.
How to make your book reviews shine
There are many things that make, for me, book reviews shine and stand out.
- My first advice here is to not tell me the entire book story, because this bores me (and HELLO SPOILERS mark your spoilers if you do people). I have the synopsis, more often than not directly in your review, so I don’t need you to tell it all to me again. I’m here for all of your feels and screams and rants about a book.
- The little things like being inclusive, mentioning trigger warnings and diversity in stories that make me happy and are SO very helpful.
- Your reviews can be small or big, lists or texts. Don’t be afraid to play with it, according to your mood and inspiration. It’s refreshing to read different formats of reviews.
- Make moodboards, playlists, take pictures of the book to make your review pop. Tiffany gives out recipes or moodboards with her reviews and it gives them this very extra spark I love.
Discussions are some of my favorite blog posts of all times to read. If they had their moment of glory in the community and, lately, they’ve been a little less frequent, they are still such incredible posts that allow me to reflect, make me think and really, really give me an insight on the blogger. Honestly, they’re some of the blog posts that make me fall in love with bloggers, too.
How to make your discussions blog posts shine
Before getting into the advice-part of this, there’s something you need to know. Every discussion has been done once at least. There’s nothing new, original or unique in this world no matter how you might think it is. I know, this is very depressing, when you think about it, but, for me, no matter whether or not your idea has been done before, there are still ways to make it pop.
- Put bits of yourself in your discussion posts. This is what I wanted to do here. I’m giving advice yes, but also giving my personal thoughts on what I personally adore, trying to put bits of myself to, hopefully, make this blog post stand out. You can take any discussion post on any matter: if you share your own personal thoughts and frustrations, you will make it unique, because you are unique.
- Don’t be afraid to tackle the hard topics, your blogging struggles, your blogging truths, your reading struggles and more. There might be some controversial topic that you have an opinion on, or something that might scare you to share. Be honest, let us know your frustrations and your thoughts, give us an insight on your mind. This will bring you traffic because people are curious, and this will bring your opinion to the table, raise interesting discussion for sure. Caitlin has been doing a fantastic job of it lately, talking about blogging statistics and genuine commenting.
💧 Bookish lists, Book Memes, Book Tags & Book Recommendations
These are some very, very popular blog posts on the blogosphere, for many reasons. If you ask me, the main reason is that they’re fun. I personally love writing and reading book lists and recommendations. Yet, given that they’re so popular, there are so many of them and it’s hard to feel like you can do something different. As often, though, the answer here is YOU.
☂️ Related blog post: Why are book tags and memes so popular?
How to make your bookish lists & recommendations shine
- Don’t JUST give me a book, tell me WHY you picked it out. I want to know you. You don’t have to write a 1000 paragraph for each book you picked out, especially when you’re making a list of ten books or more, but…. when I read a list, I’m looking for something. Like “WHY is this a contemporary that will make me cry”? Or WHY did you pick it in your 10 favorites books of the year so far list? I need to know. Nothing more frustrating than to see a book list without any comment on it, for me. This advice goes for any type of book list, memes, Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesday posts, book tags and recommendations as well. Give me something more to think of. Cait wrote excellent bookish lists lately.
💧 Author interviews, spotlights, cover reveals, blog tours
This is a moment for me to reveal the truth: I’m not usually a fan of author interviews and spotlights and little things like that on book blogs, because I find them a little…. well, a little boring, at times. But, Marie, you’re doing author interviews on your blog, so are you boring yourself?, you might ask. Well, no, I’m having an absolute blast with it all and here’s why: because I feel like I’m doing my best to make them shine.
How to make your author interviews, spotlights, cover reveals and blog tour posts shine
- I’m a fan of interviews digging deeper with interesting questions or fun questions, especially like fun questions. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews on my blog lately and it’s been a blast, especially because I sometimes spend a long, long time trying to think of an interesting questions readers will love and that, hopefully, will make my interview stand out. We’re all a little curious and I want to know what kind of food my favorite authors adore or what they’d do stranded on a deserted island.
- When we’re talking about spotlights, whether it’s an excerpt of a book, a cover reveal or some extra quotes or something…I’m going to say the same thing that I said for book lists, which is to give me something more. I love discovering a new book cover, for sure, but I also love to hear the blogger’s thoughts on it all. Same goes for the excerpt, quotes, etc. Give me a little bit of yourself and what you think of that exciting excerpt! Vicky writes excellent author interviews, spotlights and excerpts always.
🌪 How to make your blog posts stand out: MY TOP 2 ADVICE
- Bring yourself into the blog post. No matter what the blog post is, give me a little bit of yourself, give me more of your personality, your brand to make it stand out. I’m not saying that you should give me your social security number and credit card number here, I’m saying that I want to hear your voice. Honest, unapologetic, unique. What do you think? What do you like? What makes you happy? Let it all out.
☂️ Related blog post: How to find your book blogging voice.
- Invite us to participate to the conversation. When I’m reading a blog post, I want to feel like I’m welcome to chat with the author in the comments. I want to feel included in what they’re saying when it’s a discussion post or a list, I want to feel, not like a guest, but like a friend already. You can invite us by finishing off your blog post and giving some questions prompts to answer, this works well and always makes me feel like I can participate in the conversation more. I’m here to be in the community and a big majority of the time, I’m here because I want to talk with you.
- if you’re stuck on blog post ideas, Xandra recently shared discussion topics she’d love to read from you.
- Aimee shared some excellent book blogging prompts.
- Shruti has some excellent blog post ideas on her list.
- Christine shares 67 blog post ideas for book bloggers.
What makes a blog post stand out, for you? What do you love seeing more on book blogs?
Do you have any tips and tricks to make your blog posts unique and unforgettable? I’d love to hear your advice in comments!