How has book blogging changed in the past 5 years

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.

At all.

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!

 

 

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

168 thoughts on “How has book blogging changed in the past 5 years

  1. I agree that the book community seems to have moved from blogs to social media—and that, now, the book influencers are the ones that have a major following on one of these accounts (and often don’t have a book blog). I have social media accounts, but I confess that I don’t update them as frequently as most do. I try to interact with a few posts a day, but it’s overwhelming to keep up with social media feeds. I prefer blog posts because I get a chance to slow down and engage with the material.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean so much. I much prefer the slower rhythm of blogging that allows me to catch up when I feel like it’s, it is way less overwhelming 🙂
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re spot on with all of the changes. For myself, I use twitter way less, but I absolutely LOVE bookstagram. I’ve had the most growth with it in the shortest amount of time, which is honestly really cool to watch. I do like to dabble in youtube videos as well because I think they’re fun to film. With that said, I still really love to blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I only switched over to being a book blogger over this past year, I can totally see where you’re coming from, and I feel the same way as you do–even if I can’t fully understand because I haven’t been doing this as long as you have. (Does that even make sense haha.) I really wish book blogs were still valued & viewed as the main avenue of/for book content :/ I love that my book blog allows me to coalesce two of my loves–writing & literature. Getting to WRITE about BOOKS??? It’s my favourite thing :’) The love for this dynamic duo is what has actually stopped me from starting a booktube or a lit-themed podcast already. I feel like I would be too repetitive, but mostly, I worry that since youtube & audio are more accessible & digestible, as you said, my book blog, which I treasure dearly and have put so much time, effort, and a bit of money into, would be overlooked & forgotten. That’s not to say that I’ve completely written off podcasting or booktube because it does seem appealing & fun, and never say never. But it’s at least keeping me very content with where I am, for now. Book blogs for the win, always!!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you for sharing your thoughts, Macey! ❤
      I agree with you, writing about books is so wonderful and makes me so happy, too. I get that audio, youtube and other kind of platforms can be more accessible, though, but they also require more material and sometimes they can be really expensive :/
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and all the love for book blogs ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for writing this ❤

    I think it’s sad too, that less people want to read posts so much as they want to read tweets. I’m still not really on social media for my own blog – but cause it’s just a thing I so when I have time now for fun rather than something I feel like I’m ever going to make successful – and it definitely shows in my numbers! I am so impressed by how hard you work for all this – especially as Twitter can be so toxic. Maybe one day I’ll finally start doing it. I get weirdly self conscious, if that makes any sense at all 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and oh, thank you so, so much 🥺🥺
      I soooooooo get the feeling self-conscious thing, I can’t even begin to tell just how anxious I can be about one little tweet or every single post I write 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved reading this post so much, Marie! I agree with so many things you said, especially the overall social media aspect, how tweets can go viral, and how publishers value Instagram/Twitter followers (which are, in a way, easier to gain, imo?), and the way you ended the blog post had me tearing up a little. :’)

    Ever since I went on a blogging hiatus, I haven’t blog hopped at all, but I still really enjoy it, whenever I do? (Though I’ve still been lowkey following and reading your blog posts silently, hehe.)

    Anyway, this was a great post, and such an important conversation to be had. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lily thank you so, so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed this post ❤
      I understand it, though, it takes so much time and it's easier to catch up with a few tweets or instagram posts than to read blog posts, but it makes me a bit sad to see book blogs being cast aside a little bit.
      Thank you so much!! ❤

      Like

  6. All of your points are extremely valid. The whole world has shifted to social media, for better or worse, and not just book blogging. I’ve noticed the conversation move to social media, and I miss the days of book blogs. I’m glad you’re still here! As an author, I used to rely on certain blogs to pick up and read my books and share them. It doesn’t really happen anymore except for a few. I’m not sure what’s to come for authors in this space anymore. It’s very dark and murky territory.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like, when it comes to authors and promotion, everything has shifted to social media, too and I feel like authors and publishers collaborate more with bookstagrammers, for instance, now, than book bloggers. It’s just the way things change, I guess 🙂

      Like

      1. I can’t even get bookstagrammers to give me a passing glance. Lol. I’m just sticking with my book bloggers that I’ve known for ages.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah it’s changed a lot, hasn’t it? 😭I don’t have the energy for it all so I transferred a lot of my focus to Instagram…plus I think with social media it’s easier for people to give a small comment, a quick like, and it’s about being visible and heard. So it’s a faster way to get that? and I know it’s depressing to write a 2K blog post with all your heart and …nobody reads it. Whereas a 20-word tweet someone will read. It’s not fair all the time!! But yeah!! And I do think social media is just as much work as blogging. It’s just sad when things (and sometimes people) get all left behind because of it. I do miss the golden blogging days! Buuuut I haven’t blogged properly in so long myself. 😪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really has! and I completely understand the switch, too, social media feels quicker and easier while blogging requires long commitment to read a post, write acomment and so on. I appreciate people hanging onto book blogging so much more because of that, too ❤
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Cait ❤

      Like

  8. Well written. I had been slacking on my blogging (again) and I am now trying to catch up. And with that comes the pressure of promoting it everywhere at the same time, which is something I am beginning to dread. So thank you for telling that may not be necessary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes I can understand that. It can get so overwhelming, there is just so much to do! Do your very best and what makes you the happiest and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. you’re doing amazing ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I totally agree that social media has become more important. I’ve resisted joining Twitter for so long and I don’t really want to, but at the same time I feel like I’m missing so much! Bloggers will post about something that happened on Twitter and I’ll have no idea what they’re talking about. I do love Instagram, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I can understand what you mean, it’s so easy to feel like you’re missing out! But you shouldn’t create an account if you don’t like twitter or anything, do what makes you comfortable and happiest 🙂

      Like

  10. I agree that this is the reality now. But I started blogging more for me than anything, so I don’t know that I’ll change all that much. I feel like to be a successful Booktuber you have to be young (and pretty?), and I just don’t fit that mold—but maybe things are changing a bit there too? I don’t know that I’ll ever have the energy to get myself all made up to talk about books, but I suppose you never know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean. I know that personally I just don’t like showing my face anyway so booktube would never be a thing hahaha 🙂 but you never know! as long as you do what makes you happy 😀

      Like

  11. I completely agree with everything you said in this post and, although I’m not 100% a part of the community either, I think it applies to pretty much every fields. Today the discussion has moved from talking about the actual deep content (really thinking and exchanging thoughts on a given subject) to anything shallow. And just like you I don’t undervalue any Youtuber, influencer, etc. now do I judge the person who consume this content, but i find it a bit sad, that blogs and the human part of it, where both the reader and the writer pour their heart and connect in a deep way, making them more than just numbers on a dashboard. Anyway this post really made me think, thank you Marie! 😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like it applies to every field, yes! Social media is such an important part of society today and, while it has its perks, I also love connecting in a deeper, more meaningful way through a blog ❤
      Thank you so, so much for your comment!! ❤

      Like

  12. I still don’t get Instagram, and I don’t see how it helps get traffic to my blog. Twitter, yes, but Instagram… unless you have 10K followers you can’t put in hyperlinks to your posts, you can only hope and pray that someone will like something enough to visit your profile and go to your blog from there (which almost never happens to me). I don’t know about YouTube because I wouldn’t use it to promote my blog (I am really not photogenic, and I have an annoying sounding voice, so there’s no way I’m going to make videos of myself talking about books)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gaining traffic from instagram without 10k followers is a bit more complicated, that’s for sure 🙂 social media are helping with promotion, sometimes but they’re also just a whole different media to put yourself out there now, too 🙂
      thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. i love this post and you so, so much, marie. i respect you a lot for being able to write these types of posts so eloquently; discussions about this are sorely lacking. i haven’t been here nearly as long as you have, but i’ve been blogging long enough to have seen how publishers have come to value social media a lot more than blogs. which is fine, i think! it’s how a lot of the world is working now, being influenced by social media. but it just makes me so inexplicably sad to see book blogs, as you said, not being counted as a platform for being a book influencer.

    i’ve come to enjoy book twitter and bookstagram (to a certain extent, ha), and i appreciate both the community and boost it gives to me being a book blogger! but i truly do wish being a book blogger was enough 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh thank you so, so, so much may, I’m so happy you enjoyed and could relate to this post, too ❤
      i agree with you that it's just the way how it is right now, but i still wish book bloggers with only a book blog could be considered as highly as other bloggers with massive social media following. Book blogs have such potential for content that really lasts and that should matter, too ❤
      thank you so, so much!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This is such an interesting post!! And I definitely agree with you about how now having “only” a blog doesn’t seem to be enough. I haven’t been active on bookstagram for a while posting wise since it required time and effort that I didn’t really have, but while I was active on bookstagram Malka and I definitely got a lot more book promotion opportunities there than we got through blogging. I am in awe of people who have the time and energy to maintain a twitter, Instagram, blog, and booktube. Maybe one day they’ll reveal their secrets. Great post Marie!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I totally agree with this. I started blogging about a year before you, in 2013, and then social media was a thing, but not necessary. I’m very glad that I did start social media accounts from the beginning though – although a bit late in adding Instagram a few years back. I also run tours and publishers don’t ask for blog statistics, they ask for social media reach. I’m getting to the point where I’ll have to not offer tour spots to book bloggers who don’t post their reviews other than their blog and who don’t share on social media. It’s that big of a deal to authors and publishers, so it has to be a big deal for me too. :/

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, Tressa! I’m glad that you felt the same switch in everything. Publishers, authors and everyone on marketing teams care more about social media reach than book blogs, something that is understandable, but still a littel sad 😦

      Like

  16. I think you’re totally right here. I hate it, but you’re definitely right about the changes. The thing is, and maybe I am just old and stubborn, but I still would never buy a book based on a tweet or a Bookstagram post. When I scroll through those things, I don’t want in-depth book reviews and such. I won’t lie, I barely read Insta captions, I mostly just want to mindlessly look at pretty pictures. And when I am on Twitter, I want to just be SOCIAL. That doesn’t mean I won’t like, buy a book because I see there’s a sale on social media or whatever; I definitely do! So it DOES absolutely have its place! I just wish that people didn’t see it as such a replacement for blogs, because it just isn’t, at least for me. Wonderful post as always, Marie!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean so much! I rarely read the long captions on instagram, I only do it when it’s a friend’s blog post or someone I really appreciate / trust / am curious about, but… well, I maybe read 1 out of 100 captions when I’m scrolling ahah 🙂
      I agree with you SO much on that. I feel like the two complement each other well, but I wish book blogs weren’t forgotten or replaced by them altogether.
      Thank you so much Shannon! ❤

      Like

  17. Marie I love this post so much!! Writing a comment definitely takes a lot longer than commenting on an instagram post/replying to a tweet, but I still try to make time to read and comment on blog posts because there’s so much more that can be expressed in a blog post compared to a tweet/instagram post? And I definitely feel like there’s more pressure to have social media, like I’ve had twitter for about as long as I’ve run a blog so like 2014, and then I got bookstagram in maybe 2017/2018 because it started to become all the rave. I certainly sense a shift towards social media and all the more instant platforms (idk I personally feel like I put booktube in a different category because it’s a bit less social media and more blog-like??), and with a lot of publisher databases they ask about your other social media accounts as well as your blog so I do feel pressured to be promoting on twitter/instagram/etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I absolutely love book blogs because everything else is just so much fast-paced and I feel I can’t keep up. I love being able to save blog posts for later, read them all when I have time, see thought-provoking discussions, leave comments because I know how happy they’ll make the person receiving them … But I also get sad realizing that book blogging doesn’t seem enough. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to “save” my bookstagram, university work is slowly killing me … And the more time I wait, the more unmotivated I get. :/ But yes, it seems like everyone is moving to a more fast-paced book world and sometimes I get really scared I’ll be left behind. It’s a stupid thought in my head, but it’s still there ):

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you so, so much Marta. Everything else is fast paced and rushed and so much more stressful, too, I’m happy to have a calm, peaceful pace here 🙂
      I’m sorry uni has been so harsh lately! I am always just a message away if you need, always! ❤ You won't ever, ever left behind by me, that's for sure. I still believe that book blogs will stay, even if some people are moving on, some others like us will stay and love it and it will be GREAT. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Whew, I’m late to the comment section.
    “Having a great bookstagram account, twitter or booktube channel can give you more opportunities than just a book blog. Publishers care about that.” Oof. that hit me hard. I remember around last year how undervalued I felt as a book blogger. If there was a call for a bookish content creator for something related to an article or video, it was ALWAYS “Any Booktubers who can this… or that.” Never book bloggers. I will say we get to take part in blog tours. But yeah, I love having deep, meaningful discussions like this. The connection between bloggers feels more authentic. Other platforms seem to be about the numbers or an aesthetic. Or hyping mostly popular books.

    I’ve taken longer breaks from posting on my blog just because I don’t think what I do is appreciated. It makes it easier to burn out. I feel like I was competing with all the other platforms so I’ll be honest and say I put less effort into blogging now. I read for fun behind the scenes and post whenever I feel like it now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah not at all, you can never be late! ❤ thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the topic. ❤
      I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling that way. There's something so… authentic, yes, about book blogs, that make me feel comfy and happy and I really really love it. ❤
      I'm so sorry you've been feeling that way! 😦 I get that whole feeling like you're competing against other platforms, too, but I think in the end, what matters the most is to focus on what you love. Put the effort you feel and want to in your posts and read for fun the kind of blog posts you want, whenever you want. It's a hobby after all ❤

      Like

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