Are Book Bloggers Relevant in the Era Of Booktok? {Blog Discussion}

What began as a simple question in response to this New York Times article from 2021 discussing how Booktok has quickly risen to prominence in publishing distinguishing itself for impacting not only buzz for new (and backlist) books, but showcasing it with literal sales, it made me wonder: Is my blog even relevant anymore?

24hryabookblog began in the late summer of 2015 and since then it has allowed me to expand my horizons as a reader in addition to further developing skills as a writer through many posts and building my knowledge of social media…and lets not even begin to mention the amount of books I’ve read & authors I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk with and promote across my platforms. It’s been a truly unforgettable experience, each review, list, etc. has allowed me to grow. Yet, after seeing first-hand the reach of TikTok in correlation to bestseller lists plus spikes in Barnes & Noble sales for instance, it rightfully left me feeling depleted, like the sleepless nights, hours of editing, writing, researching were…worthless. Recently you may have seen less posts or interaction on here and that’s partly why, just part of a creative burnout right now. But that’s not what today’s post is about, instead I’m going to highlight why book blogs are still relevant in this ever-evolving book community.

*As a disclaimer I’m in no way saying Booktok doesn’t deserve credit, because the impact it has is identifiable and effective for sure especially when it comes to book sales exceeding 10,000 copies if it becomes “popular” (and in general seeing more people reading because of social media is incredible), I just personally remember the blogging community feeling even more undervalued when facts & figures were reported in this article (and many others since then).

Another recent piece of community news that not only shocked me, but also further pushed me to craft this discussion was CW at Artfromafriend announcing her departure from The Quiet Pond at some point this year stating “i’ve been thinking about leaving book blogging for a month now, and i think my heart is set on it….i am just tired (though satisfied) and ready to move on 🧡” The book blog-o-sphere is relatively tight-knit, even smaller compared to other online platforms, but I’ve come across a place full of support and endless hustle which is nothing to ignore. Blogging takes quite a few different skills and is an entirely different field when talking about books, but its clearer to see the process that goes into each post plus the impact it can have, especially when one of our community’s own decides its time to move on. The blogging community takes up a particularly unique space in the book world by having the opportunity to create that “first wave” of bookish buzz by interacting with authors through booktwt, promoting their books well before release (at-least from my perspective). This has without a doubt influenced me in discovery and consideration of countless books across genres, categories even publishers because of your recommendations!

Book Blogs still matter and have relevancy because when you think about it, there’s no algorithm involved in posting and it’s a space that’s entirely your own. Be it reviews, tags, weekly memes, gushing about why people should read “X” book, you write however you want and whatever you want – for as long as you want, because its a place you’ve created for yourself. In addition, don’t forget about the lifespan a simple blog post can have compared to other social media platforms, which diminishes quickly within days (even minutes) on platforms like Instagram, TikTok or even Twitter. According to this article from Convince & Convert, a digital marketing firm, a blog post can easily have a life cycle of over 2 years and continue to gain consistent traffic. Consider how many of your older posts are still getting views and visitors. For instance, The Saint’s Magic Power manga received an anime adaptation last year and after reviewing the first volume, I noticed throughout 2021 it became one of my more popular reviews slowly rising from 20 views to 90+ as the series was airing.

As I’ve spent sometime scrolling through booktok more, I found myself getting tired of the algorithm feeding me the same books over & over, yes there were occasional new discoveries but it was draining to see (for the most part) 2015-era Bookcommunity with occasional new releases. Additionally blogs make it incredibly easy to find specific content compared to Tiktok which relies more on hashtags or if your lucky, the user makes an identifiable cover image.

Another big reason book bloggers are relevant? Book Reviews! Despite having fun watching a booktuber review or reading vlog where they share their thoughts on a current read, there’s just something about consuming a bloggers review that just impacts me differently. Also, I often find bloggers are still crafting the most reviews compared to other bookish platforms because they are such a staple in the community (I know they happen on Bookstagram too, but I’m not on it that much…sorry! 😂). When it comes to ARCs, backlist or just new releases, I can always find at least one blog sharing their thoughts on a particular book with a review. With that said, another major relevant point that make blogs incredibly valuable is Discussion. There’s more personal conversation and exchanges that I’m sure have made us bloggers feel like we’ve impacted someone with either a rec or gush about a new favorite read.

Think of some favorite reviews or posts from book bloggers, they probably have quite a word count too and I believe these types of long-form posts are not given enough credit. To me, blogging still matters because of content like this, if there’s a book I dearly love (of which there are many) I’ll go searching for posts about it and read them mostly because I cannot find these discussions on other bookish spaces, especially for titles that are not as hyped up or lesser known.

Despite the evolution of promotion and influencing among publishing, I truly believe there will always be a place for blogging and the written word (I mean aren’t books?). No it doesn’t get nearly enough appreciation or recognition, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still relevant or important. Like any space of content or media, it’ll have moments of transformations and I think blogging is in one of spots right now.

There’s of course moments when us bloggers feel like our work is irrelevant, especially when stats are down, no one’s really engaging with our posts or we’ve gotten major burnout, but we need to remember the community is here and our content may not be read right then and there, but that doesn’t mean we should despair. As the book community evolves, we should embrace these changes and see how they can inspire us to keep our community aglow, because book blogs still matter.

As a book blogger what are your thoughts on the relevancy of blogs? Is this something you’ve thought about especially when comparing to Booktok? 📚✨

I also recommend these posts that delve into similar discussions: Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books discusses ‘Why Having A Book Blog Still Matters’ , Kal from Reader Voracious discussing the relevancy of Blogs and how they are valuable marketing tools, and Bertie from Luminosity Library posts ‘Are Blogs Still Relevant.’

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26 thoughts on “Are Book Bloggers Relevant in the Era Of Booktok? {Blog Discussion}

  1. I wrote a similar post recently, and the longevity blog blog posts and the existence of actual, long reviews are the biggest things for me. Sure, bloggers probably won’t turn your book into an overnight bestseller, but they can get your book publicity years after publication.

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    1. I’ll have to check out your post as well Briana! I agree the longevity is such an important factor when it comes to content for titles being relevant for years compared to other platforms. Thank you so much for reading! ❤

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  2. I’m not a book blogger, but I do see value in the medium, especially for things like SEO, where it’s googleable, versus BookToks, where I can only access them through a specific app. So yeah, book bloggers are definitely still relevant!

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  3. I have never used booktok but going into bookshops I saw the booktok tables and it does seem a lot of status to possess in the ‘real world’ quite quickly after starting. The other thing I noticed was the 2015-era books and the repetitiveness like you said. Obviously, as I do not see the bookotk side I can’t really offer a well-balanced viewpoint, but I loved all the points you bring up here. Book blogging may be an older side of the book community but it does have unmatched longevity compared to others I find. With search engines, the ability to quote reviews easily and the accessibility of them, they have an ease that can remain solid throughout the years. Like you say popular posts can have a long lifespan or a resurgence. Resurgences are common and no other platform (maybe youtube) can really provide that, as it relies on search engines really. Plus, it is a space for thought-provoking content and the encouragement of the most voices together. I am biased (clearly) but I definitely find book blogging relevant and I LOVED reading this. So many of your points I hadn’t considered, it was so well written and satisfying to read. What a wonderful post! 💕

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    1. Yeah I do feel like shops caught on to tiktok’s reach with book sales pretty quickly. But, I do feel like it has more up & down moments now where I can’t exactly figure out if the sales are more from the community or Booktok, but I do find that depending on how you interact with the content (for me atleast) I’ll find days where its the same books over & over. Exactly, those are all reasons why I love blogs a lot (even though it feels like they don’t get the same amount of credit). Thank you for detailed comment Sophie, loved reading your thoughts! 🥺💕

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  4. This is such a great post! and thank you so much for linking back to my post, I appreciate it so much! ❤ I so agree with you that book blogs still have a whole lot of value. Blog posts will last way, way longer than any other kind of content on any social media platform, and on here we can write long form blog post and share our thoughts a little deeper, too. Love this! 🙂

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    1. I agree they do last a lot longer in my opinion which is unique compared to other bookish platforms. Also the longform content makes it incredibly unique too. Thank you for reading Marie & happy to share your post! 🤗💖

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  5. Thank you for this much needed dose of optimism! You’ve raised some really important points about the longevity of blog posts and the genuine sense of connection and community among book bloggers. We’re certainly an under-appreciated species! 📚❤️ X x x

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    1. So glad for that, thank you for seeing all the positivity Florence! 😄💕Honestly that means a lot, thanks so much. I really do believe blogs have a life span much great than the community gives credit for and truly, bloggers are deeply underappreciated.

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  6. Great post! Honestly, this made me feel a little better about my own blog. It’s been struggling lately and I have contemplated starting a booktok, but I could never see myself making videos like that. And like you said, it can be really hard to get any sort of traction on sites like booktok or bookstagram because of the algorithm whereas here, it’s chronological order and I rarely miss new posts by bloggers I enjoy.

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    1. I’m so glad my post inspired more confidence about blogging, that definitely was one of my goals. I agree that sometimes on other platforms its difficult to stay active on them because the algorithm interferes with the content we want to share. Thank you so much for reading Addy 🤗💕

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  7. This is an amazing post, and thank you so much for linking to mine on the topic! It’s nice to see people talking about the value of book blogs and not abandoning the format completely for the jazzier platforms. It’s truly a labor of love and I just wish the recognition was there.

    The blogging community takes up a particularly unique space in the book world by having the opportunity to create that “first wave” of bookish buzz by interacting with authors through booktwt, promoting their books well before release (at-least from my perspective).

    THIS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree there should be more appreciation for blogging and its something that doesn’t feel like its going away even though its usually ignored in favor of other bookish platforms. I’m hopeful there’ll be more recognition for blogging as time passes. Thank you so much for your insight as well Kal! 😄💕

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  8. Amazing, well-written discussion! I especially agree with you on long-form content (a personal preference over short-form which just annoys me) and longevity. Book blogs may not generate 10k sales in a week but we keep books ALIVE by capturing people through search engines and more, which other platforms can’t. It’s just that a portion sales can’t be tracked back to one specific blog post immediately so book blogging isn’t considered much. I believe blogs are just as influential.

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    1. Exactly and I believe what you say is also true that sales from our specific community cant always be traced but stats do show our content still has longevity. Thank you for reading and commenting Sumedha 💕

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  9. Honestly, it gives me a little sting to see books I have liked for some time or got to read while they were indie published instead of traditionally published with irremovable TikTok stickers on their covers now. I’m not trying to deny the platforms impact either, as you said – the numbers prove how much it helps sales and visibility etc. – but I also think it’s a very short-lived platform. I have this thing on my blog, where I showcase which posts are the most popular each month and it often features book reviews from 1-2 years ago. I highly doubt that publishing cares about that kind of longevity, but I think it’s still a valuable marketing tool.

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    1. That’s awesome & yes, I see that a lot with my older content too which is why it gives me so much hope for our platform & community here. Thank you so much for reading Kat & for your great comments! 💖

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  10. I’ve been a book blogger for 10 years. I work mainly in the indie sector where we help authors who don’t have marketing budgets get their books exposed. I recently wrote an article all about the pros of book blogging. I can add the link to it if you like?

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  11. Honestly I hope book blogging stays relevant. I’m not good with making videos and I personally don’t like being in front of a camera. It always seems like putting your face on camera helps with that at least a little bit!

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