Blogging – why bother?

Quite often I see announcements from people who have decided to give up on blogging. Sometimes it’s because other things have become a priority and there is no time or inclination to keep the blog going. Other cases, however, cite lack of engagement as a reason to transfer from their own blog to, for example, other platforms where followers can be more easily gained or interacted with. Perhaps you may be wondering why bloggers continue their endeavours, while huge social media companies are pulling everyone in and causing a decline in small interactive websites. It’s really a question of what an individual hopes to gain from blogging.

First and foremost, I blog for myself. It can’t be denied that having an audience does help me to refine my writing style, but the blog is here for me to pour my thoughts and experiences into. Would I write so much if it was all in a private notebook or electronic file not intended to be shared online? I highly doubt it. As for engagement, I appreciate it when people comment on my blog posts, share them and are up for discussions. It’s true that engagement seems to be declining, for which there could be a variety of reasons. However, I get many visits to my blog and I gain more subscribers almost every day, so I know for sure that people are reading the blog and hopefully gaining knowledge or entertainment from the content.

I originally set up my blog in 2018, intending it to be a promotional tool for when I became a published author (finally achieving this purpose in 2021 with my first novel) but as a book fanatic I wanted a place to share my honest reviews and which I could personalise. Not limiting myself to book reviews, bookish features and updates on my literary career, I also blog about films, music, research and random things. I love having my own blog and I think there is something special about having one’s own little website which, although part of a community of blogs (WordPress) is not merely a snippet to be swiped on a social media app along with millions of others. I use social media to promote the blog, not the other way around. I fear that our attention spans in general are becoming shorter and that contemporary technology is to blame. Why read a thousand word blog post when you could scroll through video clips instead? Media everywhere is becoming increasingly audio-visual, making blocks of written text seem rather old-fashioned and not worth expending brain-power on. Or is that the appeal? Not everyone wants to watch and listen. They want to read the words on the page.

That’s all I’m saying about blogging for now. Now, back to the book reviewing…

18 thoughts on “Blogging – why bother?”

  1. Like you, I blog primarily for myself as a way to document what I read and my thoughts about the books. Secondly, I enjoy the supportive book blogger community who regularly interact with my posts. I do get a special little thrill when I get a comment on my blog by someone who has never commented before.
    Also, like you, I use social media to support my blog which is my primary online presence.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Your blog is fantastic and I’m glad you enjoy interacting with the community! Blogging can be hard work sometimes especially when you put a lot into a post that doesn’t end up with any comments but I feel it is rewarding. Oh yes, I like it too when a new commenter appears.

  2. Seems we have this in common. I, too, only use social media to promote the blog. It’s been an adjustment seeing old friends abandon their blogs for the social media platforms, primarily Bookstagram, which isn’t my interest. However, I’m most active on Goodreads where I participate in a lot of group read discussions. I’ll keep blogging as long as I continue enjoying the engagement.

    Thanks for your post and sharing your point of view.

    1. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you found it interesting. I think if I didn’t have the blog I would spend more time on Goodreads to discuss books rather than on Instagram. I’m much more about the words than the images!

  3. What an interesting post!
    If a blogger is going to stop blogging, I’d rather them write a last post saying that they are leaving. Occasionally bloggers I follow have just disappeared which leaves me wondering why (did they get bored with it, did they become ill, did they die?)
    I began blogging for my own enjoyment as had enjoyed writing book review in school, then discovered that I also liked being part of a book-loving community. I don’t engage in any other social media, which is probably unusual these days.

    1. Thanks for reading 🙂 I too would like to know what happened to bloggers who stop, unfortunately this is the way of online acquaintances, they potentially disappear and you never hear from them again. I appreciate your blog and enjoy your reviews. The social media isn’t for everyone and really it’s less stress! I probably wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t an author, or else there’d be no way to tell people about my book.

  4. I love book blogging and don’t think I’ll stop as it’s my main creative outlet and something I take pride in doing outside of my day job. However, I have noticed that engagement has declined a bit compared to a couple of years ago, and some blogging friends have disappeared for various reasons. It doesn’t help that Instagram and TikTok are seen as more productive routes for publishers. Great post! 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading 🙂 Yes, when I look back to the main bloggers I engaged with 3 or 4 years ago, many of them have disappeared – some with explanations, some without. I’m only an occasional user of Instagram and wouldn’t use it instead of the blog, and I’ve never even looked at TikTok. I really hope that blogs stick around but the trend seems to be for more bitesize material with a video element.

  5. I also use it mostly to keep a record of my thoughts on the books I read, but I doubt I’d keep doing it without interaction from fellow bloggers. I don’t think it’s as popular a format as it was when I started nine years ago – I don’t seem to stumble over as many new bloggers as I used to. But I’d be sorry to see it die as a medium. And as has been said, when bloggers decide they’ve had enough, I wish they’d tell us – I worry when people simply disappear.

    1. I agree that blogging doesn’t seem to be as popular now, which I blame on the rise of social media which used to be called ‘micro blogging’. I do see occasional new bloggers but rarely ones who are consistent enough to make their blogs worth interacting with. I enjoy your blog and think it is very impressive how you have built it up over 9 years and have so many followers!

  6. When it comes to blogging, I think it’s definitely most important for a blogger to do it for themselves. I just love having my own little corner of the virtual world where I can share my thoughts. It’s a huge bonus to even have anyone read what I have to say and it’s definitely fuel to keep going but, at the end of the day, I just want to have a place where I can say what I want to say and be able to remember what I had to say about something! Great post! 😀

    1. Agreed! Thanks for reading 🙂 And that’s a good point about remembering it – I wouldn’t remember what I thought about many books if I didn’t write it down. I may as well do that for an audience in case anyone finds it useful 😀

  7. Good points. I also blog for the same reasons (and others), and I don’t think blogging will disappear. That’s words written on a page and the same is in any book – there are words written on a page. I cannot imagine then how these blocks of text become old-fashioned. Books and magazines then must also become very old-fashioned. They are definitely not yet relics. There is a point in reading a thousand word blog post over a video because people still read books with thousands and thousands of words in them (instead of just watching the synopsis of any book on YouTube). I can’t imagine a person who is really passionate about a written word and actually reading it on a page going entirely on YouTube where it is all about visuals and listening. Actually, this still does not entirely makes sense to me and feels weird, though I do realise that’s where the majority of people (and various monetary and other opportunities) are.

    1. Great points, thank you for your comment. Yes there is a lot more visibility for people who blog via video or images and they are more likely to have opportunities if they are successful in attracting a lot of followers. I find it interesting to consider whether the medium of writing, as in typing or even handwriting, will start going out of fashion – not that I want it to decline! – but something is happening to people’s attention spans. People I know who used to read books do not seem to have the ability to focus on them any more and are distracted by bitesize media on their phones instead. I have to admit I never watch ‘booktube’ or ‘booktok’ as watching videos about reading does not appeal to me either. I’m not even much of a ‘bookstagram’ person either as I want to read about books rather than look at how pretty they are.

  8. I agree with much of what you say. I blog for myself most of all and find that I end up reading much better books when I am actively reading and reviewing rather than when my blog is on hiatus. I don’t get a huge number of readers but I get some, and that is enough, I am not completely shouting into a void.

    1. Thanks for your comment! Blogging for yourself is the best reason. It’s nice when people do read and comment though.

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