Turning the Page: Functions of a Blog & Its Reviews

turningthepage

Functions of a Blog and Its Reviews

I was asked this weekend, “What is the point of a book blog? Why would anyone go to a book blog for information?”

This is a question I sometimes grapple with. The initial feeling of, “Oh wow, I’ve created a blog and I’m getting so many views!” is wearing off. And my stats are showing it. This week, I got another 100 hits, but it’s not the 150 I had the past two. So I have begun to wonder, how do you promote your blog? It’s a question that has a different one at the root of it.

What am I trying to achieve with this blog?

To promote something, you have to know what it is that you want someone to experience, buy into, or enjoy. What is it that you feel there is a value in that others should also value?

One foundation of the vast majority of book blogs is the reviews. The style of review varies; some people write paragraphs, while others maybe write only a few sentences. I think there are two main functions of a review that attract readers:

  • Trust and value in the reviewer. Why should a stranger care about how you felt about a book? If the reader feels that they have a sense of taste companionship with you, then they can more accurately predict that if you like a book, they would too. The reader has to also trust your honesty and ethics. If your reviews are softer with a book you received from the author or from the publicity department of a publishing house than you are with a book you bought, then the reader can justifiably question whether your reviews are valid. The issue of trust and ethics is something I take very seriously and why I am searching for my stance on book tours and promos. They provide amazing content for a blog, but how can someone honestly promote a book they have never read? Can it lead to your blog being used as (free) advertising space? This is an issue I imagine I will be contemplating for a while.
  • Readability. The more I visit blogs, the more I’m learning about things that I need to apply to my own. If I can’t find someone’s review amongst their post, I’m not going to try looking for more than a few seconds. This may sound harsh, but I think it is true for most people. As bloggers or purveyors of the internet, so much of our time already is swallowed up by technology. Sometimes our patience runs a bit thin. But if I can get the gist of what someone is saying because of easy headers, or perhaps a Bottom Line Up Front policy, then I may even be more inclined to read the rest of it. Also, blogs look different on the various internet browsers. What looks one way at home on Firefox looks like sh** on the old version of Internet Explorer at work. And other times, layouts can look like sh** on both browsers because of colors or fonts that are great, but sometimes a little less user friendly. I’m not going to fight with the internet to view a dark purple text on a light purple background. I’m just going to go to the next blog.

I say all this because I’m still trying to figure out the answer to the first question, “What is the point of a book blog?” Each function of a book blog needs to be clearly understood and its maximum potential reached.

Answer my questions!

What do you think is the purpose of a book blog? How do you promote your blog? What are your thoughts on book blog tours? What kind of reviews are you most likely to read?

Answer in the comments below or feel free to email me at playingjokersblog@gmail.com to continue the conversation! And thank you for another lovely week!

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