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.
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
- Why Book Blogging Is Different From Other Niches?
- SEO For A Book Blogger – Things You Can Do Today!
- Book Reviews: Why Don’t They Get Much Engagement?
- Blogging Terms You Have To Know As A Book Blogger
- Getting More Comments On Your Blog – Things You Can Do Today!
- Commenting On Other Blogs – Commenting Etiquette
- Does your blog have these? A checklist for new bloggers
Check out this link for more of such posts.
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.