Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger // Community Trends + Blog Growth

» 18 May, 2016 » Blogger to Blogger » 23 comments

Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger is a discussion feature that is aimed and dedicated to bloggers. In which we discuss and debate topics from around the blogging community and inspire others.

For a full list of topics, visit the archive. If you have a topic for discussion let me know!

Discuss. Debate. Inspire.

Hello, Follow Bloggers (and readers!)

The topic for today’s discussion is actually one that I have been stewing on for quite some time. I’ve tried writing it several times, in fact, but I can never get the tone right. It always seems to come off… jealous? No, that’s not right. Preachy? No. Petty? No. Hm… I don’t know what exactly, but it’s not a tone I like to convey. But now that again, I’m seeing so many new trends (and things) and I just have to discuss and get some input!

What do you do, when the trends in the community could potentially hinder your growth?

No, hear me out.

First, I’m one to admit that I like growing my blog and I want to grow my blog. I think we all do, even though there’s this stigma around those that care about followers, visits, trends and the like. And while I love doing my own thing and not really jumping on the train of TRENDS, I feel like at some point we have to adjust to keep up, or we get lost and left behind.

Lately, it’s been all about visuals (and bookstagram). I didn’t get the appeal of Bookstagram at first, but now that I have been spending more time with backdrops and “shoots” I see the appeal and love it. I really do. It’s an ORDEAL, though. I don’t over edit or use a HUGE amount of props, and it takes me at least 1-2 hours for a full week worth of photos. I can only imagine how much time some accounts spend on it. Although my visuals have changed, and my pics are more bright and busy, I don’t feel like I am doing everything that I COULD be doing to gain a substantial following. I’m trying my hardest to stay true to myself and not follow the trend TOO MUCH. But I also feel like I just haven’t found my niche yet, ya know? It’s it’s not for everyone!

And anyway, regardless of how much I love it, and how much time I spend on it, a pretty picture will never persuade me to buy a book. That’s just the hard truth.

Related: Social Media – Too Much of a Good Thing?

Along with this line, visuals in general within a blog post are becoming a HUGE trend. I see many blogs that incorporate pictures and/or collages into their review(s) to show off their visuals of characters, the setting, or whatever else and it’s amazing. But again, It’s TRENDY. I’m not saying there is something wrong with it at all – on the contrary, I love them myself, they’re beautiful, but it’s not something I can see myself doing in my posts. Sure, I COULD try but I don’t want to jump on the TREND TRAIN and because of my stubbornness, I could possibly be looked over.

I mean, It’s even common enough that it’s recommended as a way to bring readers TO your blog, keep them and not be so damn boring. I guess I’m just stuck in the OLD WAYS where just our thoughts were good enough, ya know?

I AM BORING!

Now, in addition to visuals such as photos, collages and blog graphics, there’s been a HUGE influx of book merchandise stores. I am one of them! What kills me, though, is that I feel like what I make is not widely loved and not within “the market,” so it’s not as popular and sales aren’t as high. Which is fine, because I love what I make and what I do. I could easily make paper bookmarks or create some graphics for Society6, but I don’t. In the same token, however, I feel like once something gets popular, 1001 other shops pop up making the same thing, and it’s hard for smaller shops or companies to be successful. (There are things I could say about this when it comes to accusations of stealing or being “unoriginal,” but I won’t.)

So here is where I get to the point of my post: I feel like every couple of months, something gets widely popular and EXPLODES. Right now it’s visuals; with pictures and bookstagram and bookish merchandise, with or without account reps, etc. But, how long will it last? And when these things get HUGE, does it leave the blogs/people/shops that don’t follow the trend, behind?

I think so!

Could the trends in the community potentially hinder your growth? Click To Tweet

Let’s Talk

  • Do you think a blog (and/or shop) needs to adapt to trends? Why or why not?
  • What are your thoughts on visuals in blog posts? Do you do it? 
  • What are some other trends you’ve noticed within the community? 
  • What are some trends that you’ve noticed that died within the past year?

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tonyalee

Tonyalee is an avid reader, coffee junkie, junk food addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter for random shenanigans.
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23 responses to “Let’s Talk: Blogger to Blogger // Community Trends + Blog Growth

  1. Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit

    I really appreciate this post, Tonyalee! I’ve been thinking how my blog will never get the views or hits of some of the big Instagram or Booktube accounts and it’s been depressing me…but the thing is, I’m like you, I wouldn’t buy a book just on visuals! And worse, as much as I enjoy Instagram and Snapchat (Booktube not so much, it’s just not my thing), my bread and butter is writing. It’s what I’m best at. I’ve worked hard to add more visuals to my blog posts, but mostly because I know that when you’re reading on a screen, you need a little bit of added visual content to not tire the eye out. But honestly…I’m a writer, not a photographer, so yeah, I don’t know whether my blog is basically being left behind in the dust. I feel like I’m happy with how my blog is going content-wise though, so for now, I’m just going to keep going. But yeah…I do worry about it becoming obsolete and I don’t have any answer other than that I feel like I have to just keep doing what makes me happy, whether it’s staying or going or following a trend or not. I have to hope that if I like my content, others will, but at this point…I think I have to just accept that I’m not going to ever be a trend setter again. Is that depressing? =p
    Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit recently posted…Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim | Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

    • tonyalee

      Thank you! Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one who thinks certain things so it’s nice to see when people agree with me lol

      Booktube is NOT my thing at all. I wanted to discuss it, but I literally have nothing to contribute. All the tubers I have see are annoying and I can’t listen/watch. sounds rude but. *shrug*

      Like you said, I’m a writer. Not in the sense that others are, but it’s MY outlet, ya know? I worry all the time that what I do isn’t good enough or what people like. But it’s ME.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts! 🙂

  2. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I’ve thought about this a lot, Tonya. As much as I LOVE pretty bookstagram posts, I’m not all that good at making them. I just don’t have a designer’s eye, and as much as I try to change that, I’ve never been all that successful. I AM trying to incorporate more graphics and such into my posts, but it’s definitely a struggle for me. I think I’m definitely left behind when it comes to this trend, but I guess that’s just the way it is.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…#BEA16 Day One Wrap-Up & Giveaway!!My Profile

    • tonyalee

      I feel I do OKAY, but not like some other accounts, ya know? But I’ve noticed a lot of “shout out” type posts are it’s the same people doing them, so IDK. lol

  3. Valerie

    I really like instagram, and I hope to be a better photographer in the future, but I do have to say that for me, I will only buy a book based on its reviews. Not the visuals. I also only follow book blogs with posts that showcase a lot of their personality, because I love stalkin—reading about everyone’s lives. I do agree that the trend of opening up S6 stores is on the rise though. I don’t think it is hindering anyone, or at least I HOPE not!!

    Awesome topic Tonya!
    Valerie recently posted…Review: Stolen SongbirdMy Profile

    • tonyalee

      YEP, this is me. While I love taking pictures, I’m not one to think that my “pretty picture” will inspire someone to buy it LOL

      I think it can hinder people. because you have “popular” designers or stores, and it can be difficult to break out and not be shadowed by them. I’ve seen it happen!

  4. Got My Book

    I am trying to include some more image elements in my posts since they seem to be so in demand, but I will never be a Bookstagrammer. I’m that person who went on a two week vacation and didn’t take a single picture and who doesn’t even know (or want to know) how to access the camera on her phone.

    I’m too new to be able to discuss trends though.
    Got My Book recently posted…text: Thanks to Bout of Books for the Push | Sunday Summary #2My Profile

    • tonyalee

      I think adding a few images to your post is a good idea! I try to for the most part, but sometimes I either a) don’t want to b) don’t have the time or c) both. But I think if YOU like it, do it.

      Welcome to the community! 🙂
      tonyalee recently posted…Summer Kick Off {Weekly Wrap Up 111}My Profile

  5. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    I love Instagram so much and try to take nice pictures but I don’t spend a lot of time on it because I just don’t have it. I do love to look at all the pretty pictures though. And while It wouldn’t make me buy a book it can make me more aware of a book or make me look up one I didn’t know. As for visuals on the blog. I don’t do too much. That is more of a time/skill level issue. But I di love pretty visuals on blogs. Really interesting discussion!!
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…Six Moments I Remember Best in BooksMy Profile

    • tonyalee

      I can’t think of a single book I’ve seen on Instagram that I even looked up. I think this is mainly because it’s not “user-friendly” like, no links or whatever, and I’m lazy. And it hards to read LONG descriptions, for me anyway.

      As for blog posts, I don’t like reading a post that is broken up by graphics. It’s frustrating to me, but I’m weird like that!

      Thanks for adding your thoughts!

  6. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    It’s SO hard for me to follow trends because of my rebel heart. LOL. But seriously, as soon as something becomes popular my gut always tells me IT’S SO ANNOYING. But when you run a website. it’s really not wise to ignore (or run from) all trends and I struggle with that.

    The Bookstagram thing is great…. but I’m already starting to get bored w/ all the pictures looking the same anymore. It’s funny how something becomes popular and people copy and copy and copy each other until everything looks the same. Maybe that’s part of my issue with trends. I do like the visual trend for the most part though… I’ve always liked seeing pictures of everything that people talk about in their blog posts.
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher- Blog Tour Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • tonyalee

      LOL yeah I know what you mean about being a rebel!

      YES EXACTLY THIS. “it’s funny how something becomes popular and people copy and copy and copy each other until everything looks the same”

      This is basically what I saying when I said I wasn’t doing everything I could to grow my account. It seems like the popular accounts all look the same LOL

  7. Eva @ All Books Considered

    Great post and I totally agree with you! I have noticed that a lot of blogs seem to have lower comments/readership but bookstagrams are BOOMING! The problem is that while I think the pictures are pretty, they are SO merchandise driven and are really about how pretty a picture you can make / the cover and colors of a book rather than the content of the book which is what I want a book blog to be about!
    Eva @ All Books Considered recently posted…I love this trope, sub-genre, setting: Libraries and Bookstores!!My Profile

    • tonyalee

      YES! Someone said something about the “bookstagram community” and I’m like, “wait, it’s a whole community?!” I guess I didn’t realize the popularity???

      And yes, they are VERY VERY merchandise driven. I’ve noticed if I have certain things in my pictures, they are more likes. I guess this IS good for the stores or whatever, but it’s frustrating because people are not using proper disclosures so I usually ignore it all.

  8. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    My bookstagram is pretty naive and blank most of the time… I don’t use any filters, and I don’t really have any cool props to make. I take a pic of my book and my coffee mug and just post it 😀 I don’t have time to make my photos beautiful and original, but I sure do love those who do! I guess there’s room for all of us, though, and it’s really OK if I never become a huge blog, or a huge bookstagrammer – I’m having a lot of fun with it, and that’s what’s most important to me. If other people enjoy my pics, too, then that’s cool. If they don’t, that’s cool as well.
    I want to know more about your bookish store, though, Tonyalee!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Up Close and (un)Conventional – BEA and ARCsMy Profile

    • tonyalee

      I use some filters and usually add some brightness if needed, but I don’t feel like my pictures are “over edited” like A LOT of the ones I see.

      I love your thoughts and attitude about it. I mean, we are on similar wavelengths but as someone that likes to grow, it’s difficult for me NOT to, ya know? I don’t want to be HUGE or even popular but growth is important! 🙂

      And my store! I make beaded bookmarks and some key chains, mostly. You can check it out here – https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeadsMarktheSpot?ref=hdr_shop_menu

  9. S. J. Pajonas

    So, I’ve been using Instagram for a few years now and I don’t really do any of the challenges that are book related. I’ve tried to once or twice but always fallen off the wagon. If I have something particularly bookish to post on IG, I tag it with #bookstagram and that’s about it. But I love my #dailyphoto challenge. I try to post something every single day, and it’s become a visual diary of sorts. It helps me remember what I did! And then I can use the photos in my Sunday Updates or on my blog headers. I have noticed that some blogs are really good with the photos and others hardly use any. BUT I don’t think it has swayed me to prefer one over the other.
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Sunday Update – May 22, 2016My Profile

    • tonyalee

      I think the challenges help me. In the sense of posting regularly anyway LOL

      I’m thinking about doing a daily challenge on my personal account. But can’t think of anything interesting to share. My life is pretty boring

  10. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I LOVE this post, because I have thought about this so often. I enjoy Bookstagram, but like you said, it is SO time consuming- and it’s time that I frankly don’t have. Especially when you consider that you have to still write reviews and keep up with a blog! I also don’t have a great space to take pictures, so that doesn’t help. And I even enjoy designing (even though the only product I ever made was for myself 😂) but again, at a hobby level.

    Does this put us at a disadvantage? Yes… for now. Here’s the way I see it: Authors and publishers LOVE Bookstagram (and bookish designs) because it quite literally puts their book in the best possible light. There’s no “negative” in a Bookstagram of their book, there’s just their book, front and center, looking shiny and pretty. So yeah, it looks great as a marketing tool… except it isn’t. And I think that’s what they’ll eventually realize. Sure, people will “like” the picture, and admire the book and such, but I have NEVER been compelled to do so much as do a Goodreads check for a book I saw on Instagram. I have more than 500 unread books that I can make look gorgeous right now (if you’ll come watch my kids 😉 ) but that doesn’t mean the books are good to READ. And with time, I think that the allure of Bookstagram (at least to industry professionals) will wane.

    I think it will always be a super fun medium, but I don’t think it will EVER replace a blog- because while so many Bookstagrammers take insanely gorgeous pictures, it doesn’t tell me a damn thing about the book. And frankly, when I go on Bookstagram, I am not looking for a review- I just want to scroll through pretty pictures 😀
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…BEA 2016 Was a Thing: The Recap PartMy Profile

    • tonyalee

      YES! I think it’s VERY popular because it’s very visual, and you get to have your THINGS shared and SEEN. But… that’s it. I don’t see how it drives their sales, to be honest. Maybe for like society6 stuff but publishers? EH. I don’t’ know.

      I mentioned in a previous comment, but i can’t think of a single book I have even been compelled to look up on Goodreads lol And yes, it’s PRETTY. But is it GOOD?
      tonyalee recently posted…Summer Kick Off {Weekly Wrap Up 111}My Profile

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