Hi friends! ☀️ I hope you’re all doing okay!
I thought I’d talk about blogging today. Well, I thought I’d rant a little bit, too, you know me, and talk about how blogging has changed in the past years I’ve been there. So… here goes.
This is a very important note about this post: I might come off as harsh, but nothing, nothing in this post undervalues the work of any member of the book community, whether they’re booktubers, bookstagrammers, have big twitter accounts and so on. I am talking about what I’ve seen changed and grow.
A million thanks to Ellie @ On Ellie’s Bookshelf, whose comment and suggestion to write about book blogging and its changes has inspired for me to write this blog post!
💻 3 ways book blogging has changed
1. Having a book blog isn’t enough
THERE I said it. It hurts my tiny book blogger heart, but it’s true. A book blog, right now, just doesn’t feel like it’s enough.
Having your own book blog, your own wordpress, blogspot, hell, even your own domain name, gorgeous design, branding and incredible blog posts, something that is pretty stunningly incredible, if you ask me…Well. It doesn’t feel like enough.
Now, you need to complete this book blog with the mandatory side-accounts on social media:
- A twitter account, to be up-to-date with the latest book deals that are inevitably announced on here, the authors and their news, cover reveals and exciting things,
- A bookstagram, because bookstagram is thriving and it’s a must-need,
- A booktube channel, because, well. Booktube.
A simple book blog isn’t enough anymore.
To put it metaphorically, the book blog used to be the ENTIRE body and now it’s just this random bone somewhere in yourself. You kind of don’t know why it’s there or why it is, but you’re used to it being there. Wow. Way to make it weird.
Okay, but why do book bloggers need to be on social media?
Interesting question. I’m not going to say that you need to be on social media. There is absolutely no obligation to do something you don’t want to do, to have a twitter account if you don’t like twitter, to create a bookstagram if you can’t, or just don’t even want to take bookish pictures at all, to go on booktube if you don’t want to show your face. (me)
I’m not going to lie, though. As a long time book blogger and as a person wanting to be part of a community… I feel like, now, in 2020, you have to be on social media. Just having a book blog isn’t enough. A book twitter, a bookstagram, hell, a booktube channel…if you have the golden foursome, well, you’re golden.
To be honest once again: if you have the golden foursome, I don’t know how you can handle it all in 24h per day. I think you might be a superhero, have some kind of magical powers or just don’t need to sleep.
Like I said before, if you have it all, you’re golden, because… well, you’re in for all the conversations, you’re in the community, at the heart of it ALL.
Also, just for the little anecdote, when I was brainstorming for this post, I read comments from a blog post I wrote in 2018. Some friends I’ve known for years were telling me, in 2018, that they didn’t have twitter or bookstagram. These same friends now have both and are active on both. Some added a booktube channel to the lot, too.
2. The conversations have moved on from book blogs
In a little over 5 years of blogging, I’ve seen conversations moving on.
From blog hopping, commenting on blogs, exchanging conversations back and forth with bloggers on their book blogs, people started talking more and more on social media. Exchanging tweets, instagram DMs instead of taking the time to leave a comment.
People don’t comment as much as they used to and the conversations are happening on social media, now.
I’m not here to throw rocks at anyone for this happening. I understand this switch.
Our attention span is terrible. It’s much, much easier to comment on a tweet, to send a DM, to react quickly to an instagram story than it is to comment on a blog post. You have to log in sometimes, you’re on your phone sometimes, you just want to leave a thoughtful comment and can’t, for the life of you, read in detail a long blog post.
That’s it, really: it’s easier to consume other kind of media than blog posts.
It’s easier to watch a booktube video, because you can just listen to it on the background while doing something else.
It’s easier to scroll down instagram or twitter and read short captions.
I do get that, I really do. I mean, it’s so easy.
I also get that, sometimes, it’s easier to tweet about a book than to write a full review. Sometimes, a tweet-scream about an upcoming read will gather hundreds of likes and retweets while a simple book review won’t attract that many people. Sometimes, an instagram picture will be worth a thousand words, and 1k likes.
Social media has become almost a mandatory extension to book blogging and, to be considered as a book influencer, you don’t even have to have a book blog anymore. In six years of blogging, I’ve seen people take social media as an extension to their book blogs, then keeping their social media accounts as their main accounts and giving up their blogs altogether, too.
☂️ Related blog post: Why don’t you comment on blog posts?
3. Book influencers aren’t book bloggers, not really
I think the thing that hits me the hardest is how people talk about book influencers.
For publishers, for awards-givers, for the world: book influencers aren’t book bloggers. Meaning: they’re not the ones with a book blog, a website where they talk about books.
They might be. They might have a book blog, but…. it’s a side-media. It’s not THE thing they’re valued for.
Book influencers are influencers because of their booktube channel with over 10k followers. They’re influencers because of their bookstagram account with over 25k followers. They’re influencers because of their 5k following on twitter, their daily viral tweets screaming about books and so on.
When we talk about influencers in the book community, more often than not, we don’t recognize, or hold as high a standard, a book blog, aside from a booktube channel, a bookstagram or even an influential twitter account.
Once again, I am not undervaluing the work of any kind of book influencer or saying they don’t deserve their success. I know that, no matter the platform you choose, it takes hard work to do it and to make it where you are now. Hell, it takes me about 12 business hours to draft a single tweet and it takes me about 5 gigantic days to get one photo okay for my instagram account and I’m not an influential, or big account of any kind.
I’m not pretending I know how the publishing world works in detail and especially when it comes to their marketing strategies for books. What I am certain of, though, is that they pay attention to your social media presence, sometimes even more than your book blog.
Having a great bookstagram account, twitter or booktube channel can give you more opportunities than just a book blog. Publishers care about that. About how your tweet can turn into a social media conversation, about how, even if just for a day, you can turn a book “viral” like that, too.
It’s obvious, in a way: there is a larger audience to be reached on social media.
Yet, if you ask me: a book blog lasts longer than it all.
💻 Where I stand personally on these book blogging changes
In over 5 years of blogging, I’ve seen it all change and grow, I’ve seen the conversations moving on and, I will admit it: I have changed my book blogging ways because of it, too.
I created a bookish twitter account as early as 2015 (I started blogging in late 2014).
I was late in the game, but a couple months ago, I jumped on the bookstagram bandwagon and created a bookstagram account.
So, yeah, I’m a sheep. Moving on, following the flock. Because I know that, like anything in the world, book blogging will change and keep on growing with its time. Tik Tok book bloggers will come and grow maybe, too, who knows?
I’ve seen conversations moving on, but personally I am still more at ease with the comments. I saw how easy it is to comment on tweets and to talk on instagram and I’m only human, I’ll take the easy, quick way out sometimes. I don’t blog hop as much as I used to, either. But I still want to, because I still believe in book blogs.
I still believe in long comments and conversations on book blogs. I believe in good old book reviews lasting for years, in book recommendations blog posts, in long-ass blog posts like this one I pour my entire being into and, to be honest, I kind of hope you do too.
☂️ You might also be interested in: 5 lessons I’ve learned in 5 years of book blogging
Are there any blogging topics you’d like me to talk about or give advice on? Feel free to let me know!
How do you think blogging has changed lately?
Do you feel like conversations have changed? Do you feel like you need social media to be relevant? Let me know in comments!