Book Talk

Discussion: Concerns of a book blogger (+ the importance of feedback)

Whether you’re just starting with your blog or have been around for a while, it’s totally normal and very common to have some doubts, worries and concerns about the kind of content you put out for the world to see. These things can sometimes hold us back to making our posts the way we want to, publish content that we’re not very happy about but it’s “what’s hot at the moment”, and feel like we could always do it better… it’s a constant battle with our minds that needs to stop if we want book blogging to keep being a healthy hobby.

Since my first discussion post was so well received (I can’t thank you enough for it!), I’m bringing you a new one today. This one is more aimed at book bloggers and hopefully you can relate to some of the points I’ll make here. Let’s begin!

1. Giving a bad rating to a book everyone loves

On my first discussion post, I encouraged you to read what you want to. But what if what you want to read is a fan favorite and you just didn’t like it as much? You want to express your thoughts about it and you think you can perfectly do so through a review.

But you’re scared of the backlash.

With some very unwelcomed people ready to call you “tasteless” when you don’t love what they do, this might bring some doubts and might stop you from posting negative reviews.

Don’t let that stop you. When trying to decide if reading a book or not, I like to see reviews with diverse opinions on them so I can see both sides of the coin and don’t glorify a book unconsciously on my mind only to be let down when I read it because my expectations were too high.

2. Not giving a “professional” vibe.

Let me tell you a secret: it’s good to read tips, tutorials, and guides on how to improve your blog. It’s NOT good to get obsessed by it.

You see all the blogs that have a good amount of followers and great content, and you think “how did they do it? Where can I learn to make my blog something that I’m proud of too?”

Since I started book blogging I’ve been looking for tips and ideas to improve my blog: the design, the content, the traffic… there’s just too many things. And yes, some of those things I spent hours reading helped, but at some point I realized I was obsessing over it, spending more time looking for tips than applying them. I started to get worried about many things: not having the best homepage design, a perfect sidebar, an email marketing service… I will stop myself here because even talking about it makes me anxious.

But here’s what I did: I stopped looking for blogging tips & tricks. I looked at my blog, realized I didn’t need anything else to just put my content out there and talk about my love of books, and decided that was enough. Sure, if I feel like I really need and want something to improve/add on my blog I’ll make a quick search, but I’m very careful about it now because I don’t want to go back to that place.

3. Not getting approved for ARCs.

As an international book blogger, I particularly struggle with this on Edelweiss+. Though my Netgalley experience has so far been good, I also get denied on there. I know it might be disappointing to make your request with so much optimism just to get denied over and over.

It’s important for you to have in mind that ARCs are just a perk of being a book blogger/booktuber/bookstagrammer, and not the whole purpose of it. The book is still going to be available in a couple months and meanwhile, you have all these already available books you can read and review right now to bring more content to your blog!

However, if you really want to get that ARC, read this post by E. from Local Bee Hunter’s Nook on tips to get accepted on Edelweiss, and this one by Noura from The Perks of Being Noura on how to get approved for ARCs.

4. Lack of originality in our content

It’s common to feel like we’re not bringing fresh, original content to our audience and feel like we can always add something new to the mix so we can call the reader’s attention.

This often comes with not receiving enough positive comments on our posts, and I’ll talk about that on point 5. For that I’d suggest you to take a blank page and write down all the types of posts you usually make. Contemplate which ones are your favorites, what can improve and what the blog would be better off without.

If you want to promote a particular kind of content (i.e LGBT books), think about making a creative section dedicated solely to that. Make a brain dump about all those little ideas that come to your mind, and if you don’t have any, look for inspiration online. The Uncorked Librarian has many amazing prompts for book blogging, one of them might work for your blog!

5. Not enough feedback

On to the second part of this post: the importance of feedback.

You know what can work to stop having 4/5 of these concerns? Start giving feedback to the blogs you read. Yes, we do this because we like it and our followers/likes/comments count doesn’t change that, but seeing people liking your content and giving you their respectful opinions on it it’s such a good feeling. Please, please do not ghost read if you feel like you have something to say about the article you just read. See that little paragraph at the end of the post where the blogger asks if you want more fantasy reviews? Answer that! There’s a post you found particularly helpful? Let the blogger know and tell them you’d like to see more of it!

Feedback, especially good feedback, makes us feel like all the hours we spent on a post actually helped someone, or brought a smile to their faces, or helped them with something they were struggling with. It gives us a boost of confidence about a post we weren’t sure was going to be well received. So please, please, don’t hesitate to leave feedback if you can.

To finish this post, I’d like to clarify that it’s totally okay to have concerns, you just don’t have to let them get in the way of keep doing what you love. Think deep about what you really want to change/improve, and just let go all the rest. Write everything down and ask yourself: “Does this really affect the way my visitors are receiving my content?” “Will I get a benefit from spending hours/days/weeks changing this, or I’m better off letting it go and using my time in something else?”

Blogging, for most of us, is not a job. We don’t owe anything to anyone, and the main purpose of it is to get joy from what we do. This is the #1 rule I go by, and it has made wonders for me.

What are your main concerns as a book blogger? What are your thoughts on what I addressed with this post? Let me know in the comments!

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28 thoughts on “Discussion: Concerns of a book blogger (+ the importance of feedback)”

  1. Love the points you brought up. I tend to avoid writing book reviews as I feel like it wouldn’t be unique (repeat same things others have) and I have a tendency to want to discuss plot points that would spoil the book for others. So, I tend to do breakdown of differences between shows/movies to books since it let’s me discuss those points without feeling like I ruined anything for anyone.
    ♥ Mae


  2. I absolutely agree with your points, Cielo! Sometimes I feel kinda bad when giving less stars to a book everyone LOVES (just happened to me with ACOWAR when I gave it an okayish 3 star-rating) but I still do it because personally, I enjoy seeing unpopular bookish opinions much more than seeing reviews of a book which are more or less the same. // And, about ARCs; As an international reader ARCs are also a real struggle for me. I used to be sad about not having as much possibilities to acquire them but at the moment I also don’t feel like receiving and reading ARCs.
    xx Linda


  3. Love these points!! I feel like the longer u blog the harder it is to come up with original content! ARC pressure is always a there, especially when your overwhelmed with trying to get all the reviews up on time! Loved this post 🙂


  4. I needed this blog post so much! I am constantly putting so much pressure on myself and I always compare myself to others. It’s so toxic and I feel tired for days after one of my “blog/bookstagram crises”. Lately, I have accepted that I have my own style, posting schedule and personality, and that it’s completely okay. I always try to fit in with others and I have to tear myself in pieces to fit everyone’s expectations. I’m proud of the decision I made to just do what I can and to be grateful for where I am now. 🤍✨


  5. well thought out post tbh! i definitely think its very easy to fall into the research hole and not apply what youre learning. i guess as time passes you come to realise hey actually i dont need *that* on my sidebar


  6. Wonderful post, Cielo! And thank you for linking to me 🙂
    I think I’m currently suffering from your 4th point — I try to be so original and specific with my rec lists and discussions I disregard easier options and make it harder on myself. It’s nice to have many original posts but sometimes giving your input on already tackled issues is original enough just because it’s a new voice.


  7. I LOVE this post! I have been really struggling with what to post lately and the ones I manage to post I have been obsessing over.

    I also agree about feedback! It’s very helpful if its done in a constructive way. Great point! 😃


  8. I always worry about rating popular books low! I know that everyone has their own opinions on books, but some people are quite outspoken about those opinions and it can make reviewing a little intimidating. The ARC issue is also one that’s so pervasive in the community, especially considering how ARCs are most, if not all, of the compensation that bloggers get.


  9. I love this! As someone who’s been getting back into the blogging world now that school’s over, I’m definitely intimidated by a lot of things you brought up! Something that I’ve been doing more has been commenting on other blogs – I used to rarely do that cause I felt super awkward and didn’t know what to write, but after getting into a routine it’s something that I find myself enjoying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree with you! Sometimes it’s kind of intimidating to put yourself out there and comment on other blogs but once you get used to it, it’s alright + you never know when someone needs to know how much their posts helped someone else! ✨


  10. I love the section about original content. I feel it’s so easy to just default to brain dump posts or generic posts so it’s a good way to figure out how to do these in different ways.


  11. There’s so much great food for thought in this post! I’ve definitely been nervous of writing up and sharing a low star rating of a book everyone has loved, in my Dear Evan Hansen review I even put a disclaimer at the beginning stating it was just my opinion. It’s a shame that bloggers feel the need to have to do it because we’re not all going to love the same books and that’s okay!


  12. I am re-starting my blog (for the second and last time), and this advice is super helpful. I have a lot of advice posts, including this one, bookmarked, and I agree that reading too many can be a bit detrimental. Thank you for writing this helpful post!


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