Hi friends! I’m sending you all the love, positive and healthy vibes and hope you’re all taking care of yourselves and your loved ones ❤️.
It’s been a little over a month since I wrote a blog post about blogging and today, I thought I’d talk about a topic I’ve had in mind for a little while, now : interaction and engagement in the book blogging community.
I started book blogging to find people just like me, loving books so much and wanting to scream about them… only to realize, at first, that interacting wasn’t that easy… especially when you’re kind of made of 80% of anxiety.
After a few years, though, I figured out some little things about interacting that I now use as important reminders, whenever I feel a little burned out, a little overwhelmed and sometimes, yes, a little annoyed about interacting.
So today, I’m sharing my top 5 tips to interact with the blogging community! I really hope these can be helpful to some of you and, if you have some more, please feel free to share them with me in comments!
1. Find your own place(s) to interact with the community
These days, the bookish community isn’t just in one place. You have:
- Book bloggers,
- Book twitter(ers?)
Maybe there are other bookish places I’m missing out (if so, feel free to let me know!). These, for me right now, are the three main places where bookish people find each other, chat with each other and gently shove book recommendations down each other’s throats.
All of these places are different, in their ways to talk about books and in their ways of interacting. Social media, instagram and twitter, have more of a fast paced, instant connection, while good old book blogs are maybe a little slower, comments getting a little out of fashion sometimes, for some people. That does not mean you should stop interacting on book blogs. I’m always and will always encourage comments on book blogs because they certainly for me, have this little something special.
ANYWAY. My first tip to interact is to find the place(s) you are most at ease with. I’m not saying you can’t juggle between one, two, three spaces, if you have the time and energy and can do it all, well I admire you VERY MUCH. Yet, I feel like it’s important to know how to pick your spaces. HOW, you ask? Well… there’s no right answer here, some people know right away they will pick social media, some others will have to give it a try before deciding it’s for them, or not at all.
Some people won’t be made for the fast-paced world of book twitter (and its dramas, sometimes), some people won’t feel like they’re able to keep up with instagram, some people just can’t be bothered to leave comments on blogs anymore.
You do you.
Personally? I mostly interact on book blogs, with good old blog comments. I sometimes interact on book twitter, too. I have a personal instagram, but not a bookish one and therefore, I just stare at my favorite bookstagrammers in awe and don’t interact there. Also, well I need more time to do it all and personally, I can’t.
☂️ Related blog post: How do you like to interact with the book blogging community?
2. Find your own pace to engage with the bookish community
Once you have the places, you need to have the right pace, too. It’s so, so easy to get overwhelmed with engagement, friends.
There are thousand, thousands of book bloggers out there on every platform. I find new ones every day.
It’s easy to want, to feel like you have to be everywhere all at once, to be interacting with the community 24/7 to feel like you’re part of it.
Let me tell you this: it took me like 5 years of blogging before figuring out it’s okay not to be there all the time. It’s okay to take breaks, it’s okay not to interact, to leave comments unanswered for days (even if it still makes my skin itch with anxiety) and more.
Some people are okay with interacting every day with the community. Some people need breaks, too. We all need breaks, too, sometimes. We’re all human.
Overwhelmed? Maybe take two days to answer to your comments before jumping into it. Ignore twitter or instagram notifications for just a little while and see what happens.
What happens is nothing. People, at least the ones that matter, will still be there when you answer two days later, in a better headspace or just when you actually feel like interacting.
That’s what you need to remember (and I do, too) from this paragraph: interact and engage when you feel like it, not because you feel like some invisible being is telling you to. You’ll feel better for it.
Important note on blog hopping and commenting back on blogs:
There is no right or wrong, here, really. Some people are really into blog hopping and do it a whole lot. Other bloggers will leave this task for once a month or every now and then. Other bloggers will never, ever blog hop.
I’m not going to tell you blog hopping isn’t good, I’m not going to tell you getting comments back isn’t appreciated. I personally love both, but there is no obligation for anything here. Book blogging is a hobby and, if you ask me, your blog’s success, and your own image in the community, does not depend on whether or not you have made time to blog hop in the past week. We’re all busy okay.
3. Engage when you actually have something to say.
I used to think I had to interact with every blogger out there, just because….. I don’t know. I don’t even know how to finish that sentence.
It’s stupid. Really, and it’s a waste of time.
We can’t have everything in common with every blogger out there and, when you’re grasping at straws for something to say…. just leave it there. There are book reviews out there for books I haven’t read and am not interested in. There are tweets I don’t need to interact with, posts I’m just not interested at all. No offense to any blogger out there, of course! I just, don’t read any horror books for instance, so… this is not my place, nor my need or want to interact, here. I’m not going to force myself, just for the sake of it.
Try to engage with relevant content, for you, content where you actually have something to say. The kind of content where you feel like you can bring something more, whether it’s a little more fangirling about a book, a conversation about something you want to read, a discussion about anything, really.
Okay, but what if I like the content, I really do, but I have nothing to say about it?
If you still like the content, it’s still good to do something about it. It means a lot to the blogger out there and, really, even the smallest thing can make a difference in someone’s day. You can:
- Like the post, tweet, instagram post,
- Share it on social media, retweet it, show appreciation for it in your instagram stories,
- Share it on your blog, in a monthly wrap-up, a link-up of your favorite posts, etc.
If you can afford it, you can also show your appreciation for people’s work by tipping them with a ko-fi, if they have one, buying something off their book wishlist, for instance.
No matter what, it costs just a minute of your time to tell the blogger you enjoy their work and it could turn an entire day, week, life around, so think about doing that.
4. Put yourself out there… and be yourself
I know how hard it can be to put yourself out there, believe me. Confidence time: it took me a long time to get away from the sidelines, where I watched bloggers interact and become fast friends and so on.
I still have a long way to go to interact a little more freely on social media, too, if I’m being honest.
I also found out that 99% of the time (not writing 100% here because, well, people), people in the bookish community are kind and welcoming and ready to talk about books with you if you manage to click send on that tweet.
I know sometimes you will get ignored, some people won’t ever answer or want to interact with you and it’s sad, but it happens.
I also know it’s goddamn hard to put that anxiety aside and the whole overthinking about what if I send this and what if I write that.
Some times, you will find people that might just end up being some of the closest friends you ever have. So just put yourself out there and be your whole, fangirling self about the things that you love.
5. Remember to have fun
It’s hard not to care about something you love so much. For me, at least, it is. I adore blogging with all my heart and it brought me so, so much more than I ever thought it would. Yet, because of that, I care a whole damn lot about it all and I tend to overthink and stress out and it’s hard to blog with anxiety, at times.
Always, always remember to have fun.
I want to smile when I answer to comments and comment on blog posts and most days, I do, because I just love engaging with the blogging community so much.
I want YOU to smile when you’re interacting with the book blogging community. I want YOU to genuinely enjoy yourself when you’re answering to comments, tweeting, instagramming or whatever it is you prefer doing.
This, really, is what matters the most.
☂️ You might also be interested in: Why don’t you comment on blog posts?
What do you think of my tips? Do you used to (or still) feel like you have to be present and interact a whole damn lot? Do you also get a little bit anxious about interacting?
Do you have some tips on interacting and engaging in the bookish community? I’d love to chat in comments!