Why book blogging is different from other niches?

As someone who has been a book blogger for a while and silently lurking in the blogging world for even longer, believe me when I say that book blogging is not like the other niches of blogging out there. True that blogging is blogging and you are anyway talking to the void filled with imaginary (or not) readers but it does go deeper than that, even if you do not want to accept it.

Every time someone (not a book blogger) talks to me about new blogging tips and shortcuts they follow (read as: read on other blogs) and then lectures suggests me to apply them on my blog, I can’t stop myself from rolling my eyes. It is a good thing that most of my discussions are not face to face. 

Why #bookblogging is different from other #bloggingniches? Because our problems are different. So unless someone specifically addresses our problems we can't use the generic blogging guides. Click To Tweet

Listen I am not trying to say I know it all or the other person doesn’t, but how many times do I have to explain that most of those tips and techniques do not work for us, as a book blogger.

Our problems are different.

The problems that the book bloggers face are so different from the other bloggers. So unless someone specifically addresses the problems of book bloggers in their posts (discussions and guides) we will not be able to use the generic blogging guides. Let me tell you why.

We mostly blog for ourselves

We book bloggers blog because we need a place to talk about books. More like, yell, shout and scream about books. Everything else comes later.

I started my blog because I didn’t have many friends who read in real life. They didn’t understand my angst when a character died or the pain of waiting out for a sequel. It was not their thing. There began my journey of writing whatever I felt (even dared to call them reviews- forgive myย young and stupid self) and later found my kindred spirits who understood me so well.ย 

That has not changed for me, and most of us. But that makes a huge difference from the other niches which predominantly work aiming at making money or coaching/training people. MOST OF US DO NOT HAVE SUCH A GOAL OR COURSE.

That being said, if you have a successful business idea/plan based on your book blog, you, my friend, are a rock star! Kudos!

We do not get paid or even expect to get paid

Speaking of making money, about 95% of the book bloggers I know do not make money out of their blog. Or even expect to. In fact we spend on the blog much more than we get out of it, financially speaking.

Many bloggers (non book bloggers) earn money to run their blog and more. They charge a good sum of money to review new products or just to talk about them on their channels. They have more avenues to earn, which book bloggers fail to utilize or maybe they don’t simply work for us.

To be honest, we are more than happy to consider receiving free books to review as a fair remuneration. Many of the internationals (a term we use to refer to book bloggers who live outside the USA and the UK) do not even have access to them.

But most of us are happy doing what we love, ie, talking about books for free. Even accepting remuneration for book reviews is kinda looked down upon in the current scenario.

Far fewer number of page hits 

Deciding who the audience are makes a huge difference in the blogging world. That is where the niche comes up. A lifestyle blogger might cater to a different set of audience from a fitness blogger. And most of the generic blogging tips will work for a lifestyle or a tech blogger will not work for other niche bloggers.

For example, a mid range ‘successful’ blog in any other niche gets about 1000 to 5,000 visitors each day, which seems too very far fetched for most book blogs. But trying to improve SEO and pinning on Pinterest can only get us to a point, it will not take us to the million hits in the near future. ( I seriously hope I am wrong though.) 

What holds good for others, mostly doesn’t work for us. 

Many affiliates are not successful  

I have seen many many bloggers who stand by affiliate marketing and they even earn a sizable amount as income. By affiliates I mean linking to other sites like Amazon, Barnes and Nobles etc. And it does sound easy money, in paper, even for a book blogger. But in reality not so easy. 

As it in my case, 70% of my visitors are other book bloggers, not a random person who is looking to buy a book, who already has or sometimes, even read the book already. Combine this with the already fewer number of page visits and be prepared to be dejected with the even lesser income through your affiliate links. 

More genuine reviews

Not everything is bad, to be honest. I feel the book reviewers are far more honest when it comes to talking about the products, ie, books. Maybe it has something to do with ‘not getting paid’ that I spoke about earlier.

They do not particularly have a need to boost up the sales of a book or the author, even though we do all that anyway. 

Amazing and strong community support

I know the blogging world as such is really friendly. But the book blogging community is even more welcoming to newbies and others alike. They are more understanding because most of us are inner nerds and introverts and we understand what it is to be a bookworm who disappears into a book. 

The community has so much love and warmth to share, mostly, and you always get a helping hand if you ask for it. I think the book bloggers are more powerful collectively. Look at how we campaign for diverse representation in books! I am not so sure if other niche bloggers feel so loved and non competitive among each other.

Despite all these, do not lose hope. There are some amazing book bloggers who have been sharing guides and how to’s specifically for us. Let me know if you need any help!

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Let’s chat

Do you agree with book blogging is so different from other niches? If so, how? Do you think book blogging can ever be a full time income earning career? Why not? Let us talk.

67 COMMENTS

  1. Yes! When I read advice for other bloggers I’m just so weirded out about how 90% of them seem to blog for “coverage” or “money” and just… I don’t know, it seems we’re the only ones who honestly blog for the topic? All non-bookblog guides seem to be focused on how to get a lot of traffic without really taking care about what you’re writing about. At least that’s the impression I get.

    And wow, you go girl! I can’t remember the last time I got so many comments on a post ๐Ÿ™‚ a super relevant topic! Really happy to see your blog like this ๐Ÿ™‚
    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted…Racism, Evil Governments And Our Small Lives: A Relevant Story In Todayโ€™s WorldMy Profile

  2. I feel this post in my bones. I know it’s already been said about how great a post it is but it well and truly great to feel validated by having this written down in such a great way.

  3. Omg Gayathri this is the post I’ve been waiting for! I cannot agree with you more!!!
    I always feel salty when other bloggers try to compare us book bloggers or just say anything cause yeah book blogging is a hell lot of different from any other kind of blogging, the main thing being warning from it is next to impossible. And what is so hard to understand about me blogging only for myself and hence not wanting to invest financially in it? ๐Ÿ™„

    I LOVE THIS POST ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜

  4. I have to agree, like everyone else. As a note, I would also say that general blogging advice for trying to earn money from it is to try sponsored posts, and I roll my eyes at it because the book blogging community believes so strongly in the authenticity of posts (mostly book reviews) that the community has a harder time trusting reviews that are paid for.

    • Another weird thing I have seen is many people earn by blogging about blogging. And it is like a weird cycle!?!

  5. I agree! I’ve been book blogging since 2012 and have received $0 from affiliate linking since I started. I’ve also never actively strived to make money so it wasn’t an issue for me. I know bigger book blogs charge for advertising on their page but I’m one of those who don’t like to post/support a book I’ve never read or don’t want to read.

    Even the popular 100 things blog post ideas don’t work for us. I’ve read a few and all the list I read include “talk about your favorite book” or “a list of your favorite books” and I already do that on a regular basis!

    I’ve done a few book blogger how to posts on my blog but that’s also very limited in scope.

    There are also a niche within the book blogging niche based on genres that the blogher reads. For example, I follow a lot of romance bloggers and romance-young adult bloggers but don’t follow other genres.

    Great post!
    Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA recently posted…Emotionally Heart Wrenching and Current | Grip Series by Kennedy Ryan [Series Review]My Profile

  6. This is such a great post Gayathri! You are so right about how book bloggers blog for themselves and other book bloggers. We don’t really get random readers following us or reading our reviews unless they’re on goodreads. In fact my reader friends won’t use goodreads or think about visiting blogs! โค๏ธ
    Dani @ Perspective of a Writer recently posted…What is the Difference Between Graphic Novels, Manga and Webtoons? With an Aside about Light Novels.My Profile

  7. This is so true!

    Most bloggers blog for themselves and visit other blogs to support them (& the group keeps getting smaller).

    There are cool things we gain access to – like conferences and possible arc’s – but the pie in the sky page views and $$$’s aren’t really in the cards for most bloggers.

    And to be genuine and involved with your readers, the way most bloggers are, makes it very difficult to keep up the pace you would need for a traditional blog to and not burnout.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  8. This is such a great post, Gayathri! I totally agree that our blogging niche is completely different than others, especially lifestyle bloggers. The biggest difference (and my own expectation vs reality moment) was the fact that the bulk of our audience/visitors are other book bloggers. Not like that is a bad thing though… because we are a supportive group and I really feel like people who start a book blog are in it for themselves like you said.

    I don’t think many people create a book blog expecting to be a huge success and make tons of money off of it, which can’t be said for some travel and beauty bloggers I think.
    Kaleena @ Reader Voracious Blog recently posted…ARC Request Templates (Email & Profile)My Profile

  9. This is so true! I get excited by the communication with readers which is why I started blogging. I’ll never make anything off of my affiliates, but I still provide the links for the convenience of my readers. The tips for bloggers are totally unrelated to my goals. I look to other book blogs to get help with my problems. This was a great post thank you!

  10. Great post. everything you said was true. When I first started blogging I joined other nonbook blogging groups and they weren’t supportive of others. I definitely love the book blogging community.

  11. Great post! I agree, we do it more for ourselves, and to have that network of book lovers. Most of my real-world friends don’t really read (so confusing). I do have one who does though and we are both addicted to the Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series.

  12. Great post. I earn a little bit from my blog from affiliates, ads and sponsored posts but only really enough to cover my outgoings – web hosting, domains, site security etc. I agree though, the amount of blogging groups I joined and left because their hints and tips don’t work in the book blogging world.

  13. I agree Gayathri. I love the book blogger community, we are a passionate, kind, supportive bunch. Earning from our blogs is NOT why we do it. x

  14. All the truths… Especially on the friendliness. I often wonder if the reason the book blogging community is so much more friendly and open than the other communities (especially parent bloggers!) is that we’re not competing with each other for paid work/sponsored posts… We just do what we do because we want to.
    Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books recently posted…Weekly Update #61My Profile

    • Yes I suppose that could be the reason. Maybe it is just that we all understand that there is enough space for all of us there and we can do our own thing without pulling others down!

  15. Like all the rest of the people commenting here, I couldn’t agree more! Oh, I’ve made a tiny bit off my blog through affiliate links (Amazon mostly), but even when I had a blog that I put AdSense on (I don’t have it on my new blog), after over 5 years, I’ve earned only 13% of what I need to get my first payout! No… we do this for the love of books, not for the money!

  16. Great discussion and I agree with you. We blog about books, sharing our feelings. I never thought about earning money when I started my blog. Still don’t, but wouldn’t mind if I did. LOL I’ve been blogging for over seven years and not much has changed. It is still all about books. What has changed is the amount of people I now call friends! I have people with a similar interest that I can talk to. That is fun!
    Laura Thomas recently posted…The Missing Season by Gillian French ~ Excerpt and GiveawayMy Profile

  17. I completely agree. I love books, I love talking about books (what’s not to love right?) but I am massively impressed by the book bloggers who are able to make money. Making money on mine would be great (by all means) but it’s not what I do it for. I do it to write and to read more haha

  18. I totally agree with you, especially the financial aspects. I think that even very successful book bloggers do not earn much money… there aren’t that many ways for us to actually monetize our content, you know?
    And that’s all right with me. I don’t blog to earn money, I blog to chat with others. About books, blogging, or other things – and that’s what’s important to me.
    Sometimes, even tips from other book bloggers don’t really apply to me – because I want to be me when I blog, not try to emulate someone else. And I have my own way of doing things which work for me. We don’t have tons of views or comments on our blog, but we still enjoy ourselves ๐Ÿ˜€
    Great post, Gayathri!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms recently posted…Safe & Sexy #54 ~ Tempted by ScandalMy Profile

    • Oh I am similar when it comes to following the guides and tips. I hear what they say but anyway do it like I want to!

  19. Yes to all of this! I always think it’s funny when people want to know how I make money from my blog. Um, I don’t. I don’t even have affiliate links on my blog anymore because it just got to the point where it wasn’t worth it. I blog because I love books and I want to flail about them!!

  20. I honestly don’t know enough about other blogging niches to comment. ๐Ÿ˜… Everyone I follow is either a book blogger or a writer. I always thought most bloggers blogged for themselves – if they didn’t enjoy it, they wouldn’t do it, right? – and that monetisation was difficult in every niche. But, like I said, everyone I follow is a book blogger so that’s probably where I got that impression from. ๐Ÿ˜‚

  21. Ha, so true!
    I met a few bookish people through my blog, and after a year and a half basically the blog became a place to interact with these few people ๐Ÿ˜€ Mostly about books.

  22. So much truth up there. I am definitely blogging for myself, and I love having an outlet to talk about book. I was always very active on Goodreads, but I definitely feel like I am more a part of the community since I started blogging. I have a nice group of bloggers, who I exchange thoughts with on multiple platforms, and it a lot of fun for me

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