Let’s Talk: What I Look For in a Book Blog

When I first started out, I was not so picky about the book blogs that I follow. I followed just about anyone I encountered in the ‘book reviews’ or ‘young adult’ tags just on the basis that we’ve got the same interests. I followed back just about anyone who followed me first without even really looking at their blog and evaluating whether or not it’s actually something that I’m interested in. 🙈

As I got older, though (cough cough), I learned that time is of the essence. One of the main things I seek from book blogging is the interaction and the connection with other book bloggers, and the reality is this: no matter how much I want to talk to ~everyone~, I just physically can’t. Following a lot of people is good and all, but even I can’t deny that I have limited hours (sometimes minutes, sometimes not at all) in a day to go through my feed and check out what other people have posted.

Because of that, I’ve had to be more selective with my following list. The below are the things that would make a book blog more appealing to me. ✨

1) The blogger is reading books I’m interested in.

Self-explanatory, am I right? I mean, the majority of the book blogs that I follow are YA/Romance book blogs, and those make up maybe 80% of my reading list. 😂

2) The blogger is reading books I might be interested in.

I’m a huge believer in cross-genre reading. I actually really love reading non-fiction as well, though admittedly it’s harder to find non-fiction I’m interested in than YA books I’m interested in — probably because, well, the ‘community’ that I’m most involved in does talk about YA books the most. 🙏

I would, however, totally follow a book blog that covers genres outside my usual preferences, just as long as the books that they are touting are something I think I might be interested in in the future.

I probably won’t follow blogs that review cookbooks just because I don’t see myself ever wanting to buy cookbooks (unless it’s as a statement piece for the coffee table), but I would so, so love book blogs covering my non-fiction areas of interest: memoirs, Japan, North Korea, Asian culture, cults, etc. (I know, I’ve got kind of a mixed bag of interests. 😅)

3) Their posts discuss things that are important to me.

So, so many book blogs review books in my genre, but I love it that much more when bloggers take things to the next level and mention not just the technical stuff (characters, setting, world-building, etc.)  in their reviews but also put forward how the book does in breaking down stereotypes and promoting diversity. I think it shows insight and I always feel like I can learn a lot from the blogger on that front. 😊

4) They’re interactive.

After my last discussion post on commenting, you betcha that this is part of what’s important to me! Like I said above, interaction is one of the major things that I’m looking for, and I tend to gravitate towards the bloggers who do interact with their readers quite a bit, whether that’s through comments or social media or something else. 🙆

5) They make it easy for me to be interactive.

I have no problem at all commenting on WordPress, but it’s when I venture outside my small bubble that interaction can get a bit tricky. Case in point, I follow so many Blogspot blogs on Bloglovin’ that make it almost impossible for me to interact with them (i.e. to leave a comment) because their blog just won’t let me.

I can’t just leave my name and URL — all too often I find that I need to be logged into something else: Google Plus, WordPress, OpenID, TypePad, LiveJournal… and the sad thing is, even when I’m logged into WordPress or Google Plus it doesn’t always work. The blog can be super amazing and all, but I’m most likely already feeling defeated before I even start. 😂

6) They just have that extra something.

This last point is going to be very vague, but it’s because this ‘extra something’, quite literally, can be anything:

  • It could be in what they post — some bloggers post discussions about blogging, writing, diversity and other important things, while others create downloadable graphics.
  • It could be in their design — they’ve a particularly pretty yet functional blog, or maybe a unique design that makes them more memorable.
  • It could be in their blog focus — maybe they’re not a book blog that covers only books, they’re also interested in graphic novels, manga, movies, etc. and let their readers know about it.

Whatever the ‘extra something’ is, it’s what makes their blog different from all the others. It’s what makes them stand out. It’s the thing that I, as a reader, don’t want to miss — hence the follow. 😉


Now, let’s talk! 💜💙

  • Are you picky about who you follow?
  • What do you look for in a book blog?
  • How many bloggers do you follow?

This post is part of Blogger’s Corner, a section of my blog that discusses all things blogging. 🤗

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121 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: What I Look For in a Book Blog

  1. Ah, I feel you on a personal level! Sometimes I go through the blogs I followed years ago, and I’m like: WHY did I do such a thing? It really takes commitment to interact with people online and I’m so glad you brought this up. 🙂

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  2. As much as possible I try to follow only those who read the same genre as me. Mostly YA, romance and fantasy readers and like you, I also follow some who read books I might be interested in. Moreover I thought that if I really want to have interactions with other bloggers, I should keep up with their posts and I don’t think that would be easy if I have so many on my list.

    I’m not really sure how many blogs I’m following now but I can assure you that every one of them is wonderful and has been inspiring me on continuing my own blog. Like you!! 🙂

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    • It’s definitely harder when you’ve got a huge following list! It’s why I keep mine relatively lean and clean it every so often… just to make sure that all the bloggers are still active and relevant to my interests. 😛

      You can find out the number of blogs you’re following by going to your WP Reader and clicking on “Manage” next to Followed Sites.

      Thank you for the kind words! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What you said about making it easy for people to comment is so true! I am much less likely to leave a comment if I need to log into something. 😪
    I think your last point is really important to me as well. Bloggers who have a certain something are difficult to find, and I treasure them in my feed! 😊

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  4. Yes to all of these! The first thing I notice is of course the blog’s appearance and what kind of content the person posts, but I also look to see when their last post was. I’ve unfollowed quite a few bloggers because they were basically inactive and only posted once every couple months. I’m a lot more picky now on who I follow mainly because I follow so many people already – it’s overwhelming!

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    • Appearance is important as well to me, but I usually just read the posts on the Reader, so it’s not the first thing I notice, haha.

      And yeees. I wish there was an easier way to see which blogs have been active and which have not – I just go through my list manually.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate so much to having followed back nearly every blog when I first started blogging, sometimes without even checking their blog out. I was so excited that people were following me that I thought the perfect thing to do was follow back lol. And then months down the road and I realized over half the people I followed never interacted. There were several that I would leave comments on and not get replies. That’s when interaction became key in me following a blog back or even following a blog in general. If I see that a blogger is interacting with their readers or if they comment on several of my posts and we really get to talking that’s usually what gets me to check a blog out. Also, I tend to check out blogs that bloggers I chat with regularly mention. But beyond interaction I also look to see if we’re interested in similar books and such as well. And you know I with you on the ease of commenting and how it doesn’t always work out outside of WP. I’ve found that some have a Name/URL option but even then you have to go back to check because you don’t get notifications for replies (even when I check the little email replies button). I really wish it was easier to interact with blogs outside of WP. Anyway! Now that I’ve written an extremely long comment lol. Great discussion as always, Reg!! 💕😊

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    • Ahhh that sounds like my story exactly! Interaction also became really important to me quite early on, and I’d just unfollow those blogs that didn’t really offer that for me.

      That’s a good point that you brought up – if my blogger friends keep on mentioning the same people, I’m very likely to follow those same people too or at least check out their blogs. I’m pretty sure that’s in fact how I found some of my favourite bloggers… perhaps even you. I can’t remember now how this all happened. 😂

      RE: commenting outside of WP – seems like it’s a recurring problem for literally everyone! I have yet to encounter a commenter who says it’s easy, haha. There definitely needs to be a better system/integration between the two platforms.

      Thank you, Melissa! 💗

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      • Same, I’ve actually gone on a few unfollowing sprees since I started blogging. I sort of felt guilty for it but then realized it’s pointless when there isn’t any interaction given that when I follow blogs it’s because I want to chat with the blogger.
        It’s definitely how I’ve found some of my favorite blogs! And I’m pretty sure I saw yours on a tag post way back when and followed but I’m not sure because at first I was a terrible commenter. 😂🙈
        Sometimes I wonder if it’s mainly a WP problem. Especially where blogspot is concerned since it gives you the option to login but then always says there’s an error (at least for me).
        You’re welcome, Reg!! 😊♥

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        • There’s definitely no need to feel guilty! I mean, I’m sure some people have unfollowed me too but I think it’s just totally understandable – regardless of the reason, we can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, you know?

          HAHA. I honestly have no idea – to me it feels like we’ve known each other for a while, and I’m glad for that. 🤗

          And it’s the same for me too. Logging in via WP on Blogspot tends to not work for me… really the only options that have worked is using the Name/URL option, and the Google Plus option (though I avoid using the latter as much as I can).

          Liked by 1 person

          • Very true. You make a good point – we can’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
            It really does and I’m glad for it too! 😁
            I usually try to avoid using the Google Plus option too. More often than not the Name/URL works for me which is good. 😊 It’s just too bad there isn’t an easier way to get notifications on replies.

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  6. Love this topic! I have actually been working on a post with this exact topic, but it isn’t ready just yet. Like you, I used to follow everyone who followed me. It just isn’t realistic. Some of the blogs were just looking for a “follow for follow” and they weren’t even book blogs. In reality, I just can’t follow everyone. I look for many of the same things you do. I like people who have “clean and organized” layouts, people who read a variety of genres, people who post a variety of posts (not just blog tours and weekly memes), and bloggers whose personality shine through on their blog.

    Great post as always Reg!

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    • Thank you, Amanda! I look forward to reading that post of yours. 😉

      And I really, really dislike those follow for follow blogs. Usually Akismet is great at immediately marking them as spam, but some comments still come through… in which case I just delete them because I just can’t be bothered, haha.

      I like what you said about clean and organised layouts! That’s important to me too. I don’t know if I follow bloggers who review a HUGE variety of genres, though – I imagine it can be quite hard for them to get followers if they’re not in any specific niche.

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  7. Great post for this topic Reg. When I first started blogging I did that thing, which I think most people may have done, where I followed everyone who followed me; even people who didn’t post about things I was interested in. Obviously now I’ve been on WordPress longer I’ve stopped that, and had to unfollow some people when I realised I was constantly scrolling past their posts without reading them simply because they didn’t interest me.
    The main thing I look for when following other people now is common interests, so the first two points on your list, I guess knowing someone reviews the same books I read or the same books I’d be interested in picking up is always going to be a draw. And also interaction is an important part of it for me as well. There’s no point following someone who never replies to comments or who hasn’t posted anything in a while either. It would be great if there was one way to comment on posts outside of WordPress, if you could comment across different blogging platforms. It would make commenting much easier because sometimes I get stumped with blogs outside of WordPress.

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    • From the comments, I can see that we’re not the only ones who followed back everyone when we just started out! I guess we were just super excited to get followers and to make friends with others, haha. I’ve certainly done my fair share of cleaning too in regards to my Following list.

      And yes, for sure. Like we’ve discussed before, interaction is just really important and there’s no point reaching out to blogs who aren’t really interested in being… well, reached out to. Too many blogs, too little time and all that – I just want to put in effort into blogs that are “worth it”, so to speak. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess every blogger has that stage if being super excited and following back everyone. Unfortunately it’s just not manageable in the long run is it? That’s when you need to start cleaning because you just can’t interact with everyone you follow every day if you follow hundreds of people!
        Yep, exactly. Part of why I started my blog was to talk to people about books so if people aren’t talking back then I don’t see why I should follow them when there are plenty of people out there I could follow who are interested in talking to me. 😀

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  8. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m a new book blogger and it helps to hear some of what you have to say. I’ll be posting a lot of YA/Contemporary. Nothing up yet, but thanks for the tips.

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  9. I agree with all of this! It’s also just really hard to find new blogs that fit all of my own criteria, and just time consuming in general. I haven’t been commenting on a regular basis these last few months, and I feel like if I add more to my current list, I’ll just be overwhelmed 😦

    I wish there was a better commenting system for Blogger 😛

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    • Yay, I’m glad you agree! I too haven’t been commenting on a regular basis but I do try, and time is already limited enough without those blogs that you’re not *really* interested in… prioritising is a must for sure.

      And yesss. We’re definitely not the only ones. 😛

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  10. Even though I’m still kind of in the ‘FOLLOW THEM ALL!!’ stage, I am slowly coming to realize this is actually quite impossible :S So I’m trying to be more selective in the future and I can only agree with all your points. Reading the same books, or having the same interests and how interactive a blog is are the biggest points for me in deciding whether or not to follow a blog. And of course also how easy it is to interact with them. Though if it’s really difficult and I still like the blog, I usually follow them on social media as a sort of compromise 🙂

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    • I understand! I wish I have more time, too, but unfortunately that’s just not really realistic. I like the “compromise” that you have, though – I also try to follow more blogs on social media or Bloglovin’ if that’s an option. I really only check Bloglovin’ once every two weeks or once a month, so while I’m not going to be on top of that blogger’s EVERY post at least I’ll be able to see them on my feed once in a while.

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  11. This is such a great post! I think you’ve hit on a lot of great points. The first thing I usually look at is what they’re reading, and check to make sure we have similar tastes. And interaction – whether it be commenting or on social media – is definitely a plus. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ❤

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  12. Great post as always! 🙂 I feel like I’m still in your beginning stages of who I pick to follow haha. I follow people who follow me who look to have some of the same interests; it just makes it easier. I’d like to follow more people, but as you mentioned time is of the essence… hence why I’m commenting on this post days later 😛
    For me personally I love discussion posts, I feel like I could never write one and do it justice, so for me I like to stick to my reviews then my interests outside of reading, because I have quite a few! 🙂

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    • Haha, I have to admit, that stage never quite left me as well. Every few months or so I go on following sprees and just follow everyone I see – usually when I feel like my feed is a bit “dead” or needs refreshing. Sometimes I regret it, but other times I don’t… so it’s kind of a 50/50 success rate, really.

      I think that’s totally fair! For me personally that “something extra” doesn’t necessarily have to be discussion posts or original content – just random stuff like the blogger’s other interests also works just as well. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. When I first started blogging, I wasn’t picky at all about who I followed. I wanted followers, so I would follow people in hopes that they’d follow me back. But now, I don’t live by that rule anymore. I just can’t. Like you said, time is limited… and now, I only follow blogs I’m interested in. Blogs about books I’m interested in. Blogs with interactive people behind them. I’ve even had to do a spring cleaning before and go through and unfollow some of the blogs I was following because I couldn’t keep up with all of them in my Reader. And I hated to do that, but it had to be done. I’m more picky now when I follow someone.

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    • I completely understand! It would be nice to be able to connect with EVERYONE… but that’s just not realistic, and I’m sure we all understand that.

      I actually “clean” my followings list every few months or so, too, just to keep it fresh. I try to do following sprees at the same time, though, so it all balances out in the end. You’re definitely right though – I’m also pickier now in regards to my follows than before. I guess it’s just part of the “job”. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Very interesting topic, I always wondered about this. I relate well on the whole being picky on following other book bloggers. I kinda am even when I first started blogging, it wasn’t that I didn’t want followers but since, I don’t practice the whole “follow for follow” trend, so I don’t really mind when a blogger I follow doesn’t follow me back. There really just isn’t enough time in a day to go wading through content I wouldn’t read.

    Part of it was basically to keep myself organized and only keeping content I would really wanna read in my feed. That would mostly be ppl who review books I am interested in, in fact, it doesn’t even have to be the genre I read, but just bloggers who have interesting posts and opinions and reviews (even if I never get around reading the book, its interesting to see what others have to say about a book). Many bloggers I follow are YA bloggers, but I don’t actually read a lot of YA books lol; but I love their content and the insights they bring to the table. I feel I can learn a lot from others.

    That being said! Thanks for following me! I hope my blog has managed to interest you in the ways you’ve listed above!

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    • Totally fair, and I can understand! For me I was just super excited and wanted to be ~friends with everyone~, haha. It’s definitely not really doable right now, though, just because there are just so many more people around. 😛

      I like what you said about not reading the book but being interested in what others say about it! I usually open WP with certain goals in mind, but I think it’s a great way to ~broaden your horizons~, so to speak.

      And of course! I consider you one of my blogging friends so even if you don’t post anything directly relevant to my interests (although you definitely do), it wouldn’t matter. ❤

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  15. I completely agree. When I first started I followed everyone who followed me and now I’m sitting on top of a mountain of posts I never get time to read and catch up on. I need to go through a cull some of the ones that don’t post anymore or that are not YA blogs. I feel so anxious since there is so many I never get to comment on a lot and then feel like I’m missing out on discussions and fun topics. Loved this discussions post (even if I’m a little late. :P)

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    • I’m glad to hear that you agree! And I can relate – I don’t really get anxious or anything but I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment when I reach the “end” of my feed (i.e. when I scroll back far enough to reach the posts I’ve already read on my previous catch-up). 😛

      Thank you. ❤

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  16. I think that content and responding to readers are what I value most highly in a blog. I want to see that bloggers are reading carefully and critically, and that they are trying to add something to the conversation surrounding books. I also think it’s important for bloggers to try to respond at least to some of the comments on their blog some of the time. Everyone gets busy, of course, but I don’t like leaving comments for weeks and feeling like the blogger is ignoring me.

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    • That’s totally fair! You raise a good point about bloggers adding critically to the conversation surrounding books – I definitely feel that way too but I didn’t manage to quite find the words for it.

      And yes! I understand that everyone gets busy as well, but if it’s been like, three months and they haven’t replied to anyone (though they’ve been posting regularly), I’ll likely feel a bit ignored. 😛

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      • Yeah, some people just don’t answer any comments as a way to save time. And I respect that they have to do what works for their lives and find some sort of balance. However, I also feel silly regularly leaving comments that I know won’t ever get an answer. It feels a little like I am talking to myself!

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  17. Ahh I totally get you on the following everyone back at first. I did that too and about six months in I realised what a big mistake I made 😂 I felt guilty at first, but doing an unfollow spree was so refreshing and I actually think I might need to do another one 🙈 because like you said it’s not possible to interact with everyone and I want to give my favourite bloggers the attention they deserve.

    I definitely look for all the things you mentioned too!! I used to follow a lot of blogs that were nothing but blog tours/blitzes or self-published books I’d never read and whilst that’s cool it’s not the content I wanna see?

    Also yesssss at the bloglovin’ thing. I actually keep forgetting I have it 😂 There’s a few people who have Blogspot blogs that I subscribe to via email and they thankfully have Disqus or another easy commenting system because the Google one is THE WORST, haha. But I mostly tend to follow only WordPress blogs because it’s so much easier. And I’m lazy 😂.

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  18. Is it weird that I went into this post expecting to fail on all fronts? I am not even sure I meet any of the criteria now to be honest hahaha apparently I am super insecure when it comes to my blog. Anyway, everything you said makes total sense. I used to be more liberate in who I followed as well, but it’s impossible to keep up with everyone. I want to, but I just can’t. But there are always those bloggers every now and then where everything just clicks. Easy access and the possibility to interact without having to create new accounts is super important to me as well though.

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