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.
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.
Why book blogging is different from other blogging niches?
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 my young and stupid self) and later found my kindred spirits who understood me so well.
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!
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.