How to improve engagement in book review posts?

Jan 15, 202029 comments

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Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

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As many of us would agree, book review posts draw the least traffic and engagement in a book blog. Despite this notoriety, many of us don’t want to stop posting reviews as many of us including me started our book blogs initially to talk about the books we read and how we feel about them. 

While it is not possible to make every visitor engage, we can tailor our review posts to suit their needs. And in the process, motivate them to engage. Tell us your ideas to improve engagement in book review posts Click To Tweet

How to improve engagement in book review posts?

What makes a visitor comment on a post or not is not easy to understand. While it is not possible for us to satisfy and engage with every visitor, it is possible to tailor our review posts to suit their needs. And in the process, motivate them to create engagement and increase traffic. 

Make the summary more interesting

Do you still copy the blurb/summary of the book from Goodreads or Amazon? 

The plot summary is something that is usually placed on the top part of the review. When the readers come across something that they can read elsewhere, they tend to skim over them and lose connection with the post. 

Skip the copy paste. Write the summary in your own words and keep it as short as you can. And that reminds me of something else.

Avoid including spoilers 

One of the reasons that your visitor is skipping reading reviews on blogs is to avoid spoilers. Repeat visitors usually remember these bad experiences in a blog and may avoid their review posts altogether. 

Make sure that you don’t spoil the reading experience for anyone else. And if at all, you can’t avoid a spoiler or two ensure they are hidden unless they are specifically clicked open. 

Make your star rating stand out 

The first thing most readers look at is a score or star rating when they visit a review post. So make sure your rating stands out from all your other texts.
Explain why you rated the book as you did and obviously be fair in your rating. 

Of course, you may choose not to rate a book in a review, (like I did). You do you.

Sprinkle your personality

Anyone with a blog can write a review. What makes yours different from the thousand others? YOU. People visit your blog and your review to know what YOU think about the book. They are not at a blog to get an impersonal, critique review. (But if you think that is what you want to do, please continue to do it with style.)

Try including your life and emotions into the review posts, just like you would in any other discussion or tag post. Be the fangirl that you are (or the snarky ray of sunshine as it might be), people like that kinda genuineness. 

Improve the aesthetics

It is no secret that people love seeing beautiful and colorful things. Make your reviews pleasant to look at and maybe pepper in a few relevant GIFs just to hold in their attention. 

Of course, good quality content is more important than images. But heart (and attention) wants what it wants. 

Talk about both the good and not so good parts

It is often a criticism that bloggers are so focused on hyping up a book they like that they shy away from talking about the negatives in a book. This is especially true when they review a book they received from an author or publisher. 

In my opinion, our duty as a blogger is first to the reader – to tell them what our honest views about the book. If you also share that opinion, please do share both the positives and negatives you may find in a book. 

But be gentle and professional about your critique – say what worked for you and what didn’t. Remember you can be critical of the book, not the author. 

End with a question or two

Another way to motivate your readers to comment is to pose questions at the end of your review. Ask both book specific questions, for people who have read the book already, and generic questions for others so that there will be something for all the readers to mull upon and answer.

Relate to other books 

At the risk of annoying some readers when you get it wrong, comparing and relate the book you review with some other book or movie may help your reader to take a decision about the book.

For example, I recommended One Day in December to all Bridget Jones fans. Now they can understand the mood and tone of the story better and they can make an informed decision.

More importantly, now the other Bridget Jones’ fans might be interested to comment on how true your comparison is.. 

Read popular books 

When all else fails, people search for reviews of book that they read or want to read. Thus reviewing popular and trending books may improve your chances of engagement in book review posts.

You do not have to go out of your favorite genres to do this but reading popular ones in your genre is a good idea. And getting off your comfort zone may work for you as well. 

Previously on blogging tips for book bloggers

Check out this link for more of such posts.

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Let us talk

What do you think makes a reader motivated to read and comment on your review? Or what do you as a reader would want in a book review to make it useful to make a decision? How to improve engagement in book review posts? Let us talk.

29 Comments

  1. Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books

    This is such an interesting post, filled with great tips, thank you so much! I have to say that knowing whether or not a review has spoilers right away heps me, A LOT, because I don’t want to get into a review without knowing… I’d rather skip it altogether when I don’t know, I’m too nervous to get spoiled ahah.
    Great post! 🙂

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Oh that is a good point. As someone who doesn’t care about spoilers, I have to be doubly sure that my reviews are spoiler free.

      Reply
  2. Julianna Aislynn d'Merricksson

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. I should start asking questions at the ends of my reviews, see how that helps.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I hope it works for you!

      Reply
  3. Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

    I used to write my own summary a long time ago… and somehow, I’ve stopped doing that. Maybe I should get back to it?

    Great post and excellent advice, Gayathri!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I love writing my own summary. Maybe you should give it a try!?

      Reply
  4. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    I completely agree with all of your advice! Being unique in your reviews is important in getting readers to come back to your posts time and again. Also reading popular books always helps!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Glad we share the same thoughts!

      Reply
  5. Olivia Roach

    Reading popular books definitely does make a difference, but I try not to change what I read just for the readers of viewers of my blog/channel/insta! I do like the sound of improving aesthetics – doing that for my review posts with my photos made a major difference! And I think highlighting or putting in bold certain lines so people can skim read if they want to, has also really helped.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Oh yes, highlighting them is a good idea! Thanks Olivia!

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you!

      Reply
  6. Robin Loves Reading

    These are fantastic tips. I will keep them in mind for certain.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad to be of help!

      Reply
  7. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Lots of great advice here. Reviewing popular books is probably the easiest thing you can do to bring up engagement. Of course, not everyone is a fan of doing that, but it definitely brings more attention to the review.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I live in the Middle East and getting the popular books while it is till in the trend is difficult. But yes I agree that is the best way to do it.

      Reply
  8. DJ Sakata

    Clever ideas – that I am far too lazy to follow 😉

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Ha ha, hilarious as ever, DJ!

      Reply
  9. Mir @FangirlPixieBlog

    Very interesting post. Absolutely agree with you about reviews being the weakest posts in terms of views and comments. You bring interesting points in your post on how to help keep the readers interest.

    Reply
  10. Shantala

    Good pointers, G. I try and incorporate all of this. Except I don’t really rate on the blog, only on Amazon / Goodreads etc. And I am a mood reader, so even though I usually get to all the super popular books, I may not get to them while they are still buzzy, if you know what I mean.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I don’t rate on my blog as well. I totally understand about reading/reviewing books after the buzz dies.

      Reply
  11. Obsessivemom

    That’s some sensible advice. And while on that – I loved how you structured your own post. Colourful and attractive and easy to read.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you! I try my best.

      Reply
  12. Sam@wlabb

    Reading popular books definitely does help. I think people like to read reviews for books they have already read or ones they already plan on reading. I know, that’s how I am. I seldom read reviews for books I have never heard of, though a good cover could make me take a look. Truth about spoilers too. I do my best to keep the reviews spoiler free, but you know, some of that can be subjective (though major spoilers are easy to spot.) Good tips!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I love your posts and I know you do it to the T!

      Reply
  13. Miss.Kizza

    Very helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you!

      Reply
  14. vidya

    love these posts of yours, G.. and I keep forgetting to some of these even though I mean to each time I post.. still in the making them a habit stage..
    With ratings, I am working towards getting away from putting a rating on my blog at least (i have to for goodreads or other similar sites anyways) but I do try to add a Summary or Conclusion statement for each book.. and other book bloggers inspire me to make changes constantly (like you)

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad the post is helpful to you, Vidya.

      Reply

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