Why Are You A Book Blogger?

Day 7 of the A-Z challenge.

G is for Goals

Answer me one question.

Why do you blog? 

It’s a simple question. But one that many new bloggers never think about. They’re too busy writing that first post and designing their site. 

And that’s a mistake. Because if you don’t know why you’re blogging, you’ll lack the focus needed for a successful book blog. 

You’ll end up writing anything that comes into your head. Random thoughts that may have nothing to do with your initial posts. Or you find you’re not writing very much at all. The result?  Your readership drops off, comments dry up and you lose every ounce of enthusiasm and motivation you once had.

That’s why so many blogs (maybe as high as 80%) fail. Some after only a few months, others go through a long and painful decline.

Clarity Of Purpose = Success

The book bloggers who stay the course are those who have a clear purpose. They know what they’re trying to achieve with their site. 

They have a goal.

Don’t panic. I don’t mean the kind of goal you’re probably used to in your professional life. The kind where you say “I’m going to achieve X by date Y”. Some of the mega bloggers probably do have the kind of goal, that says they will aim to get 100,000 visitors a month or X number of sign ups for their coaching courses.

I’m talking about something far simpler, but just as effective.

Book Blog Goals

Your goal could be to have fun while talking about all the books you love to read (BookishBeck) or to connect with people who share your reading interests. Or your intention might be to journal your progress through a reading project (just as Sheree does at KeepingUpWithThePenguins).

Some book bloggers want to build a profile to attract opportunities from event organisers. Others like Lisa at ANZ litlovers view their blog as a way to shine a light on literature from a specific country or authors from an under represented group.

An alternative approach is to adopt the approach used by Lori at EmeraldCityBookReview and say what goal you are not pursuing.

This is a forum for whatever I feel like writing about that relates to books in any way. I’m not in it for free review copies, ad revenue, or anything else except the challenge and fun of expressing my thoughts.

EmeraldCityBookReview

Changing Goals

Our reasons for blogging can evolve over time. That’s certainly been my own experience.

When I started Booker Talk eight years ago, my goal was to have a journal of my project to read all the Booker Prize winners. But I’ve since broadened my scope to include a focus on literature from my home country of Wales.

As Sue from https://whisperinggums.com/about/Whispering Gums explains, the reasons why you started a blog and why you continue to blog, may be different. I’ll let Sue explain for herself. She doesn’t like having her photo displayed in social platforms so we’re using a plant from her native Australia instead…..

Flowering Gum Blossom

Why do I blog? Well, there are two ways of looking at it.

The first is why I started blogging, which was primarily give discipline to my reading journal, to make me document my thoughts more coherently. However, I also hoped it would help me keep up with communications technology, which I see as essential to my life as I age.

The second is why I keep blogging. Again I have two reasons.

First, blogging enables me to engage with a wonderful worldwide community of readers who stimulate me intellectually and support me emotionally, just by dropping by and showing interest in what I write. The other reason relates to the prime focus of my reading, Australian literature. I keep blogging because I want to support and encourage interest in Australian literary culture, from its origins to now.

Pick Your Goal

If you don’t already have a goal, and don’t know how to decide what it should be, try this exercise. It’s called the elevator pitch exercise.

Imagine you are at ground floor in a lift, sharing the space with a work colleague. They’ve heard you have a book blog. As the doors close they turn to you and ask: Why are you blogging?. What’s all that about?

You have only the time it takes to reach your destination to give them a clear answer.

Don’t worry if it sounds ‘so-what’. You’re not aiming for a prize-winning piece of text. Nor are you committing yourself to those words for all eternity. You just need a simple, common-sense type statement.

Truly effective bloggers know that having a goal – imperfect as it might be now – is better than no goal at all.

Join The Discussion

Why did YOU decide to become a book blogger? What goals do you have for your site? Do leave a comment below to share your experience or to ask for help. This article is part of the Book Blogging A2Z series. Follow #A2Zbookblogging on Twitter.

BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

29 thoughts on “Why Are You A Book Blogger?

  • Pingback: Existential Crises and Evolving as a Blogger After Five Years of Blogging – the orang-utan librarian

  • April 21, 2020 at 2:54 pm
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    Oh I definitely hear you about evolving goals- I feel like my goals can evolve quite frequently. My motivation started out as wanting to share my thoughts on books (no matter how unpopular) and then became a lot more about talking to other people about books and entertaining people with posts- now it’s any of the above!

    Reply
  • Pingback: What's The Measure of Your Blog's Success? : BookerTalk

  • April 11, 2020 at 11:18 am
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    I just blog to “meet” other readers and be a virtual non-profit bookseller.

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  • April 10, 2020 at 8:29 pm
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    You asked, “Did you lose much content or had you backed it all up?” Before the site went completely down, I was able to copy all my content and dump it into word processing files. So I have most of the content, but it all has to be reWordpressed and republished. The premium versions of Jetpack offer back-up capabilities, but I haven’t done a cost/benefit analysis. Now I write all my posts in text files before posting them through WordPress so that I’ll have all the content in case anything bad ever happens again.

    Reply
    • April 10, 2020 at 10:17 pm
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      I’ll have to explore Jetpack.I’ve heard one blogger say they back up to the cloud but I have no idea how to do that

      Reply
  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Power Up Your Blog Headlines : BookerTalk

  • April 9, 2020 at 6:16 pm
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    You’ve made me think about why I blog other than that writing about books became second nature to me quite some time ago. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s about getting books into readers’ hands which, although it may sound either pompous or perhaps corny, is something of a vocation for some of us who’ve been booksellers. I’d still be a bookseller now were it not for health issues.

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    • April 9, 2020 at 8:30 pm
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      Your ‘purpose’ or goal makes perfect sense. In a nutshell you want to use your site to be a bookseller.

      Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 4:01 pm
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    Thanks for reminding me what I wrote 6+ years ago! My goal (or anti-goal?) still stands — with the addition that I have received so much more than I expected, in terms of learning, connection, and inspiration from others. It’s not just about writing my own thoughts, but about the conversation that can develop, and I’m so grateful to you and all other bloggers and commenters for that.

    Reply
    • April 9, 2020 at 6:12 pm
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      You nailed it Lory – for many of us it is the conversation that makes the difference. Without that, blogging would be a lonely experience. And a bit futile

      Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 2:12 pm
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    Interesting. I’m probably with Lori, though if I had to define why I blog it’s to keep some kind of record of what I read, share what I think about books with readers and interact with other bookish types. That’s it, basically! :DD

    Reply
    • April 9, 2020 at 6:15 pm
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      Good enough for me! As I said, you don’t need to get overly clever about this

      Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 11:33 am
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    Thanks for the intro to new book bloggers. I’m enjoying your Book Blogging series.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 8:58 am
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    That 80% failure rate is a discouraging statistic, but I don’t think it applies to book blogs so much. I’ve seen a few book blogs come and go, but mostly that has been because of some life-changing event like the birth of a first child or a major change in work.

    Reply
    • April 9, 2020 at 9:34 am
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      The statistic relates to blogs of all kind -impossible to get data specifically for book blogs. The abandonment rate is high in the early months so there will be many that we don’t even get to know of.
      Life changing events do happen and cause people to change priorities. Sadly there have been a few blogs I followed in the early days that closed purely because the blogger lost interest and decided to focus on something else entirely.

      Reply
      • April 9, 2020 at 2:46 pm
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        Yes, and I think some declined because the ambition was to monetise the blog and make an income commensurate with the amount of work invested in it. I think people have realised that this is just not going to happen and the ones left book-blogging now are enthusiastic booklovers and altruistic volunteers. (I’d put myself in both those categories).

        Reply
        • April 9, 2020 at 6:14 pm
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          I never had any interest in monetising but my understanding is that the return on investment for things like affiliate links is so small as to be not worth bothering about

        • April 10, 2020 at 6:04 am
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          I think people discovered that…

  • April 9, 2020 at 5:05 am
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    Your post reminded me that I was going to add my blog mission statement to my about me page and I forgot…..must take date of that ASAP! Thanks for this series!

    Reply
  • April 9, 2020 at 1:50 am
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    Hey! It me! 😍😂 Hehehe thanks for the shout-out, and yes, I can definitely attest to the power of having a goal. The goal of blogging will inevitably shift over time, as mine has, but it’s great to have it as a guiding purpose especially in the beginning.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 11:57 pm
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    I spent 7 years on a mature age MLitt on early Australian lit., I wasn’t up to writing a book, so when I was introduced to blogging – about five years after it was already a thing – it was a godsend and I’ve been writing and posting ever since. As with any conversation though, once you’re started, you can go off in some odd directions!

    Reply
    • April 9, 2020 at 9:43 am
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      The reasons why people started their blogs are fascinating. Such a variety of trigger points: retirement, illness, reading projects, career changes often figure.

      Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 11:12 pm
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    Ha, I guessed the topic must have been G for Goals! Thanks for asking me Karen, and the pic looks beautiful.

    Good post … and a critical one I think.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2020 at 11:04 pm
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    Last November my web site broke and required a radical makeover to fix it. At that time I knew I needed to update my blogging goals and about page, but somehow I just haven’t gotten around to it quite yet . . . Thanks for this helpful series.

    Reply
    • April 9, 2020 at 9:39 am
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      Did you lose much content or had you backed it all up? I need to find a way to back mine up – another task to add to the list.

      Reply

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