Why Book Blogging Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

Posted April 21, 2017 by Pamela Nicole in Blogging, Discussions / 24 Comments


When we think about book blogging, for most of us, that immediately equals book reviews, blog tours, ARCs and interviews with authors, it also means discussions, and tags, and having a currently reading section on our sidebar, and tapping into bookstagramming…

But we’re all wrong.

That right there is my blog, how it looked in 2015. I get all sad and melancholic just thinking about it. I posted way more reviews back then.

I felt like I had to. And moreover, I reviewed almost each book I read. I thought that was what we were supposed to do.

Turns out, book blogging means whatever you want it to mean

Shoking? Not for everyone.

There a lot of bloggers that have broken away from the traditional mold because it wasn’t working for them anymore. Some, have stopped calling themselves book bloggers as such because it simply doesn’t apply to them anymore.

Book reviews

You don’t need to review each book you read, or even post book reviews at all if you aren’t feeling it. Maybe you can’t bring yourself to post a long review, and that’s all. And it’s alright.

Blog tours

Most people don’t even like them that much to begin with anyway XD At least if you particpate in a lot of them, no. But other readers do! Because most of the time they come with giveaways and that’s a YAY. So what’s the right answer? 

Do all of the blog tours, or do none, or do the ones that you like…


The subject of ARCs has been discussed so much but I just want to say, you don’t need to get them in order to consider yourself a book bloggger.

And I mean the legit ones you get when you send an email requesting them, or get some surprise ones in the mail. We have all dabbled with Netgalley and it’s a ‘feel good’ alternative, but don’t ever feel less because of it. Either because your requests have been denied, or because you just can’t get ARCs because you don’t live in ARC-approved countries. You’re a book blogger if you blog about books.

And on that note…


Should you worry about them? Or does that make you look like a greedy follower-hunter? If you genuinely care about your numbers, then do. If you don’t, then don’t. But don’t say you don’t if you really do. Because nobody expects that from you, or shouldn’t at least. There’s nothing wrong with it.

I used to feel bad about caring about how my blog was doing because I saw other people saying that the most important thing for them was having fun and they were blogging for themselves. Which I did too, but then, why did I also care about who was reading my blog?

Later I realized it wasn’t just me.

So again, it depended on each person.


There is no one right way of doing this. And the sooner you realize this, the happier you’ll be. Doing what is ‘expected’ is the fastest way to get bored and frustrated.


What does book blogging mean for you? How do you do it?

Hi, I’m Pamela, your curly-haired bookdragon friend, here to talk about books, writing, introversion, and everything creativity! I also teach creative writing through workshops and online courses to spanish-speaking writers.

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24 responses to “Why Book Blogging Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means

  1. I rarely post reviews (a VERY small percentage of what I read), have never requested an ARC or participated in a blog tour. I care about my abysmal stats, but have never put any effort into doing something about it, because I don’t really know what to do. I see my blog evolving into a reading teacher blog more than strictly a book blog, but I also just write stuff about..life…and stuff…Still, books are such a huge part of my professional and personal life that no matter what I write about, books sneak in!

    All of which is to say, I 100% agree with your perspective! We should each do what works for us, and read the blogs that we connect with, even if they are different from our own style.

  2. I agree so much Pamela! I also feel like book blogging has changed over the years, I mean I started my first book blog when I was 22 (that’s like five years ago now o_o So old…) And back then blog tours were ALL the rage. Everyone wanted to be apart of them, everyone loved doing them, and everyone loved reading them. I used to try and sign up to blog tours and would always miss out because the spaces filled up that fast. Book reviews were my most read and commented on posts, however now they’re my least read posts.

    I feel like as blogging has developed, social media has developed, and the internet has gotten easier to access – book blogging has grown with it. You really have to up the game to get noticed around here. People now want to make money from blogging, they want to make it their business etc, it’s the ultimate goal. And I love it. It’s become less of a hobby and more of a focus. Blogging isn’t just something people do to share their opinions anymore, they’re trying to utilise it and get something more out of it.

    So book blogging most definitely isn’t what you think it is. It can be whatever you damn well want it to be.

    Awesome post Pamela!

  3. I was concerned for a moment when you said we were all wrong lol. But I agree! It can definitely mean whatever you want it to mean. I don’t review every single book I read. I don’t review any special way or length, I just write however much I feel is necessary to express my thoughts. I don’t participate in blog tours. I don’t get physical ARCs. But I’m blogging my way, posting about things I’m passionate about or that I find fun, and I’m happy with it! I feel like, if anyone doesn’t like how I blog, then they don’t have to follow me, so why not just do things in whatever way makes me happy and interact with the people who do like how I blog? 🙂

    • LOL I’m sorry for the scare! I meant that it doesn’t mean that one sole thing everyone thinks it means but all the things EACH person thinks it means. If that makes sense? XD All those things you do are marvelous Kristen because even though I go on lurk mode some days, I still spot your discussions from time to time and i LOVE THEM!

  4. Great post. I think people get so caught up in thinking about what they ‘should’ be doing the forget about what they want to do on their blog. I mean, I hated posting reviews when I first started but now I love them so really I’m going with the flow in blogging. I may hate reviews again in another years time. And I thought discussions were this thing I couldn’t do when I was a newbie blogger because you’re not allowed opinions until you’ve been around a while (I know, it was weird and made no sense). Now I just do what I want on my blog and it keeps me happy. And if I want to talk about non-bookish things I can do that too. It’s my blog I do what I wany.

    • I’m happy that you’re happy! You know how some people are mood readers? I think most of us are ‘mood bloggers’ too. One day we may enjoy some feature in our blog, and the next, it seems like the most boring thing again. But I thing change is good, and as long as we’re happy with those changes, everything will be alright. Thank you for stopping by!

  5. This is a great post! When I first started, I did A LOT of reviewing, but that was when I was a freshman in high school. Now that I’m a college freshman, I occasionally review, but I’m almost always late with my ARCs (I still have some from 2016, and I refuse to read other ARCs or request them on Netgalley without finishing those up first).

    I think now I consider myself more of an Entertainment blogger rather than a book blogger – I sometimes talk about books, sometimes gaming, sometimes movies and TV shows, etc. – and I find that much more fun. ^^

    I think I’ve yet to apply this to Novel Newcomers, which primarily focuses on featuring book bloggers, though.

    • Thank you! I used to post about the movies I watched each month, but then I stopped. I’m so happy you enjoy it since I know I used to! Blogging means different things for all of us and that’s the beauty of it!

  6. These are all great points. I think you should definitely do what feels right for you and your blog. I consider myself a book blogger but I also consider myself a Lifestyle and Entertainment blogger. It’s all mixed together for me. I love it though. And I personally DO care about stats but not in a hurt feelings type of way. I mean, if I stayed where I was at, I’d still blog but I want more readers to help give me more opportunities with my blog. It’s been almost 10 years so I want to do more and more with it and that’s cool too. 🙂


  7. Awesome post! I totally agree that book blogging should just be whatever you want it to be! 🙂
    Personally I’ve never taken part in blog tours, requested an ARC or any of those other staple ‘book blogging’ things because I don’t really have much interest in them. I don’t read about them on other people’s blogs, or even keep up with new releases, so I don’t post about them on my blog. I do sometimes feel like I should be doing that though, because that’s ‘what book bloggers do’, so it’s nice to be reminded that actually I can do whatever I want to on my own blog 🙂
    And I totally agree – there’s nothing wrong with caring about your stats, so I don’t see why people always feel the need to say that they don’t care! I think most of us do to be honest, so when I see someone say they don’t care about stats, I do always think “hmmm…really?” (Although I’m sure there are bloggers out there who genuinely don’t care!).

    • Yes! The stats part was so stressful at the beginning because I was afraid that if it seemed like I cared too much then people would think that was the ONLY thing I cared about. When actually, being honest is a way better approach. I have no doubt that there are many bloggers who really don’t give a flying pig about stats and they’re awesome, but it’s sad that when we come into this community, the general feeling is that you have to do this because you enjoy it, and any attempt to monetize or grow is seen as fake and sneaky :/

  8. When you follow some set of rules or expectations for book blogging, it can send you into a blogging slump. It becomes too hard to keep writing posts that don’t make you happy or give any real sense of satisfaction. Book blogging was hard for me between 2015 and 2016 because I could not meet the expectations of what book blogging was, including posting constant reviews of everything I read. It finally occurred to me that I should try to write more than just book reviews and the weekly things (word of the week, poem of the month, etc.) that weren’t making me happy. Expand my topics and interests. That has helped me want to keep blogging. You are right! But I still struggle with remembering that my blog is whatever I want it to be. Great post!

    • That’s the thing, you know. Actually remembering what we already know! We know that we have the control, but it’s so easy to forget. I’m so glad the changes you’ve made helped you! Here’s to all bloggers actually enjoying blogging!

  9. These are all such wonderful points! It is so true, it’s like there is some kind of set of rules that we all think we are “supposed to” follow, but… why?! I have also decided recently that I am done with the rules. If I feel like doing a blog tour, I’ll do one. If I don’t want to post a review, I won’t. (I do try very hard to post reviews for ARCs but that is because I feel like I signed up for it, you know? And it’s a responsibility, since I asked for it. Unsolicited would be a whole different story though!)

    And you are right- there is nothing wrong with caring about how your blog is doing! I don’t know why it is so taboo to actually WANT to be growing! I mean, I have calmed down with caring, because it was kind of eating away at me and I was wayyyy too stressed, but a healthy level of wanting your blow to grow? I don’t see a problem whatsoever! This is such a fabulous post!

    • I agree! There are certainly responsabilities and expectantions we DO need to pay attention to, like reviewing books we have requested. But there are so many other things we stress over, but that’s because we want to, not because we HAVE to. I feel the same way about the things I request in Netgalley. I’ve been slacking lately, but I do feel an obligation to those books because I requested them.

  10. Love this. This was definitely me way back in the day when I really got into blogging. It got my readership way up and I was just so busy with books all the time and I loved it! Then I had kids and realized that time is precious and that I don’t have a lot of it to spend on blogging, so I cut myself a lot of slack with what I was doing. I definitely spend more time reading than I do blogging, but lately I’ve been trying to get back into writing more than just reviews. My blog is more of a resource for myself to track what I’m reading and my thoughts on what I’ve read so I don’t mind reviews, but I miss the interaction I had way back from about 2011-2013 on my blog. It was so much fun and I loved having people reading my blog and liking what they were reading and now, two kids later, it’s hard for me to find that person again. I know I love books and reading and blogging but it’s finding that balance to blog how I want to and when I want to, along with doing everything else I want to in life.

    • I have been blogging for about two years or so, and even in that short span of time, things have changed. I’ve made mistakes and experiemented with things blogging wise, and real life developments…etc. I totally get what you’re saying. It’s hard not to want to keep up the same pace from before, but I’m sure you’ll find a middle ground!

  11. Saying that we don’t care about our follower count is a nice little platitude book bloggers are expected to say because for some reason we seem to be suspicious of people who are blogging because they’d like to have readers. However, clearly we wouldn’t all be writing on the Internet if we didn’t want readers! We’d have private reading journals. It’s completely reasonable that bloggers might blog because they enjoy it but also check on their stats and try to find ways to market themselves. I don’t know why we seem to be the only bloggers who seem to think that being successful makes you illegitimate. I’m sure the fashion and food bloggers with millions of site hits don’t refuse to check their stats out of some sense of moral superiority. And good for them. They’re writing to be influential and to make a difference. You can’t make a difference if no one reads your writing!

    • You’re right on that account! There shouldn’t be such a negative connotation attached to trying to make yourself known! We should be encouraging people to be honest, not sneaky with this kind of expectations!