A good Twitter conversation a few days ago made me think about this– as book bloggers who are we catering to? The answer will be different for everyone as everyone has different goals for blogging about books but I think it is an interesting question to ponder. Are we catering to other book bloggers? To readers (non book bloggers) who are searching for good books and might read book blogs for recommendations? Or are we just writing about books for ourselves and anyone else who might want to listen? Are who we are hoping to reach on our blog different than who we are actually reaching?
The conversation was talking about why one might put “review” in the title of a blog post for a review when it seems obvious that it is a review. I replied that I did it for SEO purposes which basically means, for those not familiar with the term, that I’m trying to make my blog searchable. Pam from Bookalicious echoed this reason as well and added that her blog is for readers and not just bloggers. And this made me smile heaps because that was my mission in starting a book blog–to connect other readers with books and to discuss them. That was the goal I had in mind for both The Broke and the Bookish and this blog when I started them.
It seem that most of the interaction on book blogs is between book bloggers (and this isn’t a bad thing) but I always wonder if non-bloggers read my blog and find it helpful. I also notice that much content on book blogs (aside from book reviews) is really geared towards other book bloggers. Again I’m not saying this is a bad thing or is wrong.. it’s just an observation. But I do wonder if readers (non-bloggers) feel out of place sometimes on book blogs? How can we better connect with them and bring them out to participate in our discussions and comment on our reviews.
I do know that I have some readers who aren’t book bloggers and I love when they comment on my posts. I also try, in discussions like my Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down feature, to ask questions not just to bloggers but to readers as well and I’ve gotten quite a few non-bloggers to comment on things–even when it is related to something blog related. For example, on my TUTD on star ratings, I asked readers if they found it to be helpful on the book blogs they read. On my discussion called “ARCS & When To Publish Reviews For Them” I asked non-bloggers what they found to be helpful and got a good response!
Ultimately we are all readers, book bloggers and non-book bloggers alike, but I always wonder who I’m catering to more in what I do. I want to reach book lovers and hope that those who don’t blog about books will feel at home here.
So, here’s what I want to know: Bloggers, who do you cater to? Do you think your blog is mostly read by other bloggers or do you have non-bloggers who read your blog? How do you engage non-bloggers?
And to all my non-blogging readers—here is your time to shine! Do you feel like most book blogs cater to other bloggers? Do you comment on book blogs that you read? Any additional thoughts that you can share on what book bloggers can do better to reach readers? Tell us how we can make our readers into participants on our blog!