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Book Bloggers: Finding A Niche

Daily Topic: The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for—this is the week to connect!

Shortly after I started blogging I am overwhelmed with the exponential growth of blogs in the community. The size of blogroll has become so gargantuan that it’s almost impractical to keep up. That said, some blogs don’t measure up to time and disappear. Others just don’t focus on genres of my interest. Insomuch I welcome diversity of book blogging community and appreciate the time and efforts readers put in, I am also relieved that only a manageable number of blogs appeal to my reading taste. I follow these book bloggers closely because I wish to keep up with what they read and what they like. As per the ever growing number of book blogs, Google reader is a good way to skim and browse what interesting posts I would read in details. I allocate about an hour to read blog posts, but compared to the huge amount of posts I read, I hardly comment. At one point in my now 6-year blogging career, I felt frustrated about the demands made on my time. I felt compelled to always leave comments to maintain the level of commitment and traffic to my blog. The truth is, what really matters is the content of the blog itself. Memes, touch of personal life, and occasional rants are fine but at least to me the main focus of a book blog should be reviews and information pertaining to books, such as authors and literary style. Consistency in reviews and types of books reviewed also give readers a sense of knowing what they will expect. For a long time I haven’t found my niche in the community because I hardly read books hot off the press and even less often do I read bestsellers, genre fiction, and popular fiction. The point is, as the community becomes as vast as the ocean, there will always be a place for each reader and book blogger. I am excited that a loyal group of book bloggers who appreciate my eclectic reading taste: a mix of contemporary literature, foreign fiction, literary fiction, and GLBT books. Over time this audience of my blog has made recommendations that I would otherwise not notice. Remember: it’s impossible and unreasonable to read all book blogs, just as it’s impossible to read every book. Read and interact as is permitted by time. Label blog posts with specific tags so they can be more easily found. Focus on quality blog content.

19 Responses

  1. Wise advice, Matt. Even seasoned bloggers need to keep this in mind.

  2. I’ve been hearing this a lot and have said similar things myself about how impossible it is to follow everyone. I’m learning to find those blogs that really speak to me and stick with them.

    • I try to make round of blogs and reciprocate the visits, just to keep up with what people are reading. I have to remind myself that it’s like a universe and I cannot see everything.

  3. I find your argument in favor of concentrating on a smaller portion of the vast blogosphere really helpful. As events like this show me, there are more book bloggers out there than I can even possibly attempt to follow, and many do not share my reading tastes anyway. I’d like to get better about letting go of blogs that don’t quite align with my own interests. Google Reader is a huge help in organizing and quickly skimming a large number of blogs, but I’d still like to cut back a bit. No point in feeling overwhelmed when blogging is supposed to be a fun hobby.

    • I like how Twitters would be the way to skim through a vast amount of blogs. If something catches my attention, I can always click on the link and read the details. I most stay with blogs that align with my own interests. I feel like I’m developing a relationship with these book bloggers.

  4. One of the biggest reasons I read your blog is because you DON’T read the books that every one is talking about or is the hottest read on the shelves. I love your thoughtful and well-written posts….I feel like I’m in college!! Your book choices make me think outside of my comfort zone and I’ve added a few books to my shelves because of what you wrote.

    • I think reading interest lays in the classics, the contemporary literature, and fiction that is more literary and high-brow. The popular stuffs don’t hold much appeal to me because when I read, I tend to pay close attention to the language. i.e. Why the author choose to use a certain word and not its synonyms? I’m more a geeky reader than a fast, popular reader. 🙂

  5. Sort of like Staci, I like the books you read not because I want to read them, but because I love that you read them and then share with us! (and in fact, not having read them tends to limit my ability to comment, but it doesn’t mean I’m not out there in cyberspace reading your blog!)

    • I enjoy sharing my thoughts about books that would have otherwise escaped all the limelight. I am gratified that even if my blog readers might not pick them up, at least I have done justice of these books by giving them a bit of publicity.

  6. I’m new to the whole blog thing and I’m enjoying the experience. I get to write stuff that comes into my head, but won’t fit into my novels. I’m also chasing blogs and there are a lot out there, as you say. I have a growing number of blogs, like yours, that I’m a fan of and I’m on the look out for more. I especially like the book blogs as they are written by book enthusiasts and you can’t connect with a better intellect than a book enthusiast.

    • Richard, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post. When I began blogging almost 6 years ago, I felt the same way. It’s like discovering a new way to live as a reader. All the ideas of new books to read bombard my head! I love following what my favorite book bloggers are reading. It’s a fun and rewarding hobby.

  7. Interesting. thanks for this advice.

  8. “I hardly read books hot off the press and even less often do I read bestsellers, genre fiction, and popular fiction.”

    That’s what I love about your blog! Keep up the great work!

  9. It is much harder to keep up with everything now than it was over 3 years ago when I started. I read more than comment these days also. Sadly, I don’t post as often as I used to either. I’m hoping to find more balance in the coming months.

    • With the rate book blogs are growing, it’s impossible to read and keep up with everything. I just take what interests me and follow. It’s like eating buffet, my eyes are more ambitious than my stomach. At least I have found some very good blogs that align with my reading interests. 🙂

  10. […] a series of posts for Book Blogger Appreciation Week: On sense of community, on finding a niche in the community, on habit change, and on secrets to […]

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