Let’s Talk: The Cons of Book Blogging

cons of book blogging

I see so many posts about why you SHOULD run a book blog. I’d like to say that I went and researched book blogging extensively before starting one but it was more of a whim action than anything. But after starting the blog, I came across an article about why you should run a book blog, and from there, I thought “I wonder what other people say about running a book blog.” So that’s how it started. Anyway.

Running a book blog is not all fine and dandy as it seems. Sure, the blogging community is great and funny and kind. But it’s not just about the blogging community. It’s about your content, too, and sometimes, there can be downsides to blogging. If you’re thinking of starting a book blog, have a look at what you’re signing yourself into, and then make a decision. I love blogging, but I just wish I’d been more prepared for it before I started. Here are some things you should consider before you start a blog. Please don’t let me put you off, though! Blogging is a great way to connect with people of similar interests and improve your writing skills while you’re at it! And I can definitely say that the upsides of blogging far outweigh the downsides of it.

By the way, this post could probably more aptly be named as “Things you should consider before starting a book blog” but I’d already made the header graphic and seriously could not be bothered going back and changing it.

The blogging world is extremely competitive. 

After all, we’re all competing to get the latest books and the shiniest ARCS from publishers, aren’t we? For those of you who don’t know, ARCs are Advanced Readers Copies of books, basically an early, unfinished copy of the book that gets sent out – mainly to bloggers – a few months or so before the book is due to be released. There’s something we call “ARC Envy”, and it’s the envy you feel when you see someone else with an ARC (maybe they posted a picture on Twitter or something) of a book that you really wish you had. It gets even worse when the bloggers says something like: “OH MY GOD I’M DROWNING IN BOOKS. Ugh don’t you hate it when publishing companies send you so many books you get overwhelmed. I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to read this one” because then you can’t help but think “I really wanted this book. GIVE IT TO ME IF YOU DON’T WANT IT.” Ah, ARC ENVY WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME.

Blogging takes time.

Back before I started the blog, I thought it would be easy. Once you read a book, just write down what you think about it. Easy, right? Obviously. NOT. Each review takes me at least an hour to write, and depending on the type of graphic I make to go along with it, up to three hours extra to make graphics, read other reviews, gather your opinions and thoughts, gather images, gather gifs, gather book information and URLs, etc. If I blog every single day, that’s 7 hours of blogging time a week. And that’s only actual blogging time. Add on top of that time spent fiddling with blog graphics, time researching information for posts (ESPECIALLY FEATURE POSTS OMG) and time interacting with other bloggers on Twitter, you could find yourself completely absorbed and spending up to 6 hours in one sitting just on the blog. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE TIME. It’s one of the biggest things that I find most difficult about blogging. Not writing the posts themselves, but finding the time to do so.

People are actually reading what you’re writing.

Sometimes I forget this. Especially as a new blogger, it’s easy to think: “Ah, nobody’s going to see it. I’ll write whatever.” But that’s not true. You need to consider, especially when writing reviews, the author and all the effort that went into writing the book. I try not to give mean or petty reviews, instead, if I didn’t like the book, I’ll try to give legitimate reasons, and try not to be sarcastic about it (although sometimes that can be pretty hard). Write each review as if the author was going to read it. Write each feature post as if thousands of people are going to read it. A sure-fire way to be sensitive in reviews and post top quality content.

Maintaining a blog.

Some people call blogging a hobby. I think of it more as a job. If I was doing anything other than studying right now, like working a full-time job or something, I doubt I’d still be able to keep this blog. As I mentioned above, writing blog posts takes massive amounts of time, and so does working out all the small stuff on the blog like the font you’re going to use, or the social buttons that you’re going to use. Plus, you gotta Tweet, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, take photos for blogs, create graphics in Photoshop, etc. I only have Twitter, and that’s already pretty time-consuming – liking tweets, commenting, replying, etc. I’m going to start an Instagram next year, so we’ll see how that goes!

Blogging insecurity

Sometimes, you post a post. And then you sit there. And re-read it. And you’re struck by how damned bad your writing is. Wait, is that a typo. That picture is so pixellated! Why did I use to many capital letters. What if the publisher doesn’t like the review? What if I hated on the book too much? What if they don’t like my style of writing? What if they never send me another book again? Oh no, nobody’s commenting, maybe they don’t like the post. Maybe my post was boring and nobody’s actually reading it to the end. Is my blog post too long-winded? Maybe I should tone down the ranting. These are all things that I have thought about my blog posts at one time or another. As a blog reader, the best thing you can do is like a post/tweet, or even better, leave a comment! It always helps us ride out the wave of insecurity. A small comment can have a huge impact!

Blogger’s block

As Cait @ PaperFury (you should totally follow, she is HILARIOUS) so accurately once said: “Trying to word in a review when the words aren’t wording”. Sometimes you sit at the computer and just don’t know what to write. Whether it’s a review. Or a discussion blog. I’m always looking for discussion post ideas because SOMETIMES I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT. But, I do think that even on the non-wording days, if you start to write and then go back and edit, the words will start to flow! In fact, today was a non-wording day but I’ve ended up with this one thousand word blog post, right?

You open yourself up to personal attacks.

Blogging gets very stressful, especially when you start to expand and know people. And of course, 99% of people in the blogging world are awesome. But there are people who are horrible and attack you personally. Thankfully, it’s only happened to me once but before you start a blog, try to imagine how you would feel if a person suddenly sent you a message out of the blue saying: “Your blog is so bad.” So just be prepared for people to hate on you if you’re going to start a blog. Better start growing that thick skin!

So here are some of the things you should consider before you start a book blog. Make sure that you’re prepared before you sign up to WordPress or whatever you’re thinking of using. ALSO. Spend some time thinking of your blog name! I just used mine as a temporary one and never managed to change it in time. #BlogRegrets


34 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: The Cons of Book Blogging

  1. Some very pertinent points you raised there! Though for the most part I’ve not let these things affect me. Maybe that’s because it took me more than a year of blogging to realize these things.

    When I first started blogging, I had not idea there was an actual community of thousands of bloggers interacting with one another. I only read two or three blogs that solely focused on reviews before that. I had been on Goodreads for years but wanted more of a home base for my reviews. Thus, that’s pretty much what I had envisioned for my blog: a corner on the Internet carved out for me and my book reviews.

    This means my blog only morphed very slowly into what it is today, so I’ve never really felt overwhelmed by everything. Some days I do wish I had a wider reach but what motivates me are the people I already know and my unwavering love for books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, I completely agree, I started off a little like you too, with only reviews and kinda blogging by myself. I didn’t realise there was such a huge community for booklovers! Of course, it’s all fine to whinge about these problems, but I would never ever let them stop me from blogging about books 🙂 Looking forward to participating in the Photo Challenge in 2016!


  2. Alex Ramsey

    This was an interesting post! I seriously agree with most of them except for the ARCs (because I don’t receive them, but I really want to one day. I just don’t have the time for them). I don’t know if I have said this before but I love your graphics! They are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m sure you’ll receive some arcs one day 🙂 I’m actually experimenting with a new art style. You’ll see if you go back and have a look at a few of the recent reviews, like Red Rising and the Giveaway post. I might just use this style from now on. I’ll see 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. BR Kyle

    Great post 🙂 I knew there were lots of book bloggers out there but I didn’t realise just how fierce the competition is, it’s easy to feel disheartened when there are so many great reviewers, I sometimes think “what’s the point? Am I really adding anything new to the conversation?” which has lead to a bit of a blogging slump, but I’m trying to fix it. I think it’s also difficult to get the right balance of reviewing books and keeping up with other good blogs as well, you can’t blog in a vacuum after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course you’re adding things to the conversation! Every post or opinion matters! And OMG. That’s going to become my new motto from now on. “You can’t blog in a vacuum after all”. That is amazing. But also OMG IKR. I have to keep up with so many blogs which is bittersweet because people have some amazing things to say, but at the same time IT TAKES TIME #BloggerProblems

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like it! Same, it almost feels like I’m working a full time job at times, but then, it’s so fun, and everybody is so amazing and nice, and I’d never consider quitting 🙂 Actually, I would say that sometimes, discussion posts can be harder to write than reviews! For example, this one took me a few hours simply because of its length. Plus, for feature articles, you need to research items, add links and pictures, etc. Reviews are majorly just words 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! So far it has been a positive interactive experience, and posts do take a lot of time and work, especially with research, which is where the ‘job’ part becomes relatable. But I wouldn’t quit it either. Its too much fun

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love it! All the same things I thought and faced when starting my own blog. At the moment i work a full time job and just started studying ao I dont have soo much free time to devote to writing the reviews and blogging. But i love it and wiuld never.dream of stopping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree. Whenever I get blogger’s block and the words don’t come that easily, I always get really nervous that the post is actually really bad U_U I was really nervous about this post, though, and it’s been received really well, so sometimes you just gotta squish that blogger’s insecurity beneath your finger and tell it where to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post, and it’s so on-point as well. I think everyone suffers from at least one point or another, for me the main ones are actually maintaining my blog and the worry about putting my thoughts across for people to read. I get worried that people are going to be offended by what I’ve written about books if I haven’t enjoyed them. Silly I know.

    Liked by 2 people

            1. There are some reviewers on Goodreads, etc, who are SOOO sarcastically critical, it’s basically rude. Their reviews are good, and they’re fun to read, hence sometimes they can become a really popular reviewer, but I can’t help but think what the author or the publicist thinks of them 😖😔

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Cait @ Paper Fury

    *nods* I definitely have experienced most of these. XD There are good and awkward sides to every hobby, right?!?! And I totally suffer a lot with blogger stage-fright. xDXD WHICH IS SILLY. Because I’ve been blogging for 4 years and only now get super nervous about post? Gah, Cait. WHAT EVEN.
    This post is basically entirely relatable. heheh.
    OMG And I don’t think I’ve mentioned this but I loooove your graphics. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. Your thoughts are as equally relevant for other kinds of blogs as well – my husband is considering starting a business related blog and I’ve been trying to slow him down and make him plan it thoroughly before starting – passed your post on to him 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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