Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is Book Blogging Declining?

Have you noticed a change in the book blogging community in recent months?

My comments and pageviews have decreased in the last 3-4 months. I attributed it to a lack of commenting and involvement in the blogging community on my part. While I'm sure that is a factor, now I'm starting to wonder if it's a symptom of a larger issue.

Other bloggers I've spoken with have also noticed a downturn in pageviews. Our Follow Friday meme, while still well-trafficked, is receiving fewer sign-ups and pageviews as well.

What's going on?

Are fewer people interested in book blogging? It seems like there are just as many blogs as there have always been, but the community is less cohesive. In general, there are fewer events that bring the whole community together. At one time Book Blogger Appreciation Week was a huge deal. In My Mailbox was a huge deal every week (although there's still Stacking the Shelves). There were blog tours galore. We still have popular memes like Follow Friday, Top Ten Tuesday, and Waiting on Wednesday, but it still feels like there's been a downturn. Similarly, I'm not noticing as many prominent blog tours lately.

Has Tumblr replaced blogging? Has Twitter replaced blogging?

Is there a huge, organized blogging community that I'm missing?

One of the problems is that when I began blogging, there were a few huge YA book blogs, like The Story Siren, that everyone basically turned to. Most of these are gone now or less active than they used to be. There's no central hub of the community. I'm one of the larger YA book blogs around, but like many people who have reached the 3+ year mark, I'm tired. I am not planning on stopping any time soon, but it's harder to keep going than it was at first. If you're also a long time blogger, do you feel the same?

Do you think we can make the YA blogging community more cohesive and active than it is now? 

What needs to change? 


  1. I've definitely noticed a decline, and I think it might be relate to the whole author fiasco on goodreads. A lot of authors can't handle criticism or negative reviews, so a lot of bloggers/reviewers have stopped feeling comfortable writing honestly. Once Goodreads started removing "inappropriate" reviews, I think a lot of bloggers felt like their reviews weren't worth writing and stopped altogether.

    - Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider Silk

  2. I don't know what to think, honestly. It's absolutely true that some huge blogs shut down or aren't as active anymore, but there are always others.
    I've been doing this for 2+ years and if anything, I've noticed and increase in pageviews lately. I do dedicate a lot of my time to it, though. I was never big on social media, but I make a point of commenting a lot, reading and discussing books with others.

    If what you've noticed applies to the blogging community as a whole, it will make me very, very sad.

  3. I've been blogging for 3+ years too, and I admit, I toned it down severely this year, partly because I was in a reading rut and partly because I'm busy with my life. As for memes, I feel like I've already done them all TT and FF topics are repetitive after all, so I don't see a point in doing them.

  4. I think there are still a ton of new blogs out there...the problem is that they don't last long. Those of us who've been blogging over 3 years are definitely declining in numbers as well as time spent online (burnout being a big factor in this). Like you, I do wonder if I'm missing some bigger, collective blogging community. However, I'm pretty happy in the little blogging bubble I've created for myself! I think Nose Graze was putting together a blogger collective thing -- maybe she'd know more.

  5. I'm right there with you, Alison. Funny enough - I have a post set up to post on Saturday about this phenomenon. I don't think that book blogging is on its way out, but I do think the heyday is over, if that makes sense. There are very few of us left who've been blogging for over 3 years, like Mary said. And yes, while there are a ton of new blogs, they don't usually last too long. I, for one, will stick around because, though I was burned out before, I've been revived and, well, I love books. And, I've made legitimate friends (yourself included) through this journey!

  6. "There's no central hub of the community."

    Oddly enough, I'm trying to make something like this. :) I'm working on a website that host a book blog directory, bookish events calendar, book swapping, and a book blogger community (with profiles, maybe forums, etc.).

    Who knows if it will take off, but I'm hoping it will primarily be a way for book bloggers to connect and find new blogs.

    If book blogging truly is declining, then I guess this won't solve that problem. But at least it might help bring the existing book bloggers together!

  7. I think that blogging has been replaced by other things but I also think that life and the shelf life of blogging is slowly going away. I think that many others might also be burnt out . I agree that there is no central hub as in back in the day . I think with scandals or with good reads , that many got tired of so much stuff. Heck I have been around doing this for over 7 years and Yes i have noticed more changes in the past years. But I also made blogging for me a hobby and doing more with my life. ie going back to school lol

  8. I've seen people discussing this too, but I've actually experienced the opposite. In the last 3-4 months I've been gaining 400 more daily page views than I used to get. I get less comments nowadays which is disheartening, but still.

    I've been book blogging for 4 years now and I remember all of the big book blogs. It's really sad that a lot of them aren't around anymore. Maybe the decline in book blogging is because it's exam season (or it is here anyway)? I know that when I'm snowed under with revision I hardly ever go on anyone else's blogs.

    We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully book blogging will pick up again. Great post! :)

  9. Tumblr is blogging. Not of the same sort was wordpress and blogger, but still.

    I was blogging before I really got into the community of it, just putting my posts out there for funsies, so I don't know. But both you and Ashley talked about the loss of "big bloggers" (which, being a newbie, I don't remember) so maybe the problem isn't a decline in blogging, but rather a decentralization. We've got the same number, but not the standard-setters, so everyone is in their own little groups and chatting away with their friends, instead of forming into one big crowd behind a flagship blog.

  10. I have seen it too. I agree with the comments that blogs aren't lasting that long. New blog start up but then disappear. Older blogger are closing down too. I think the "newness" of blogging is over. It boomed because of Harry Potter and Twilight. Everyone was into reading and everyone wanted to share what they were reading. But now, it just lost it flare. I will continue to blog for as long as I can. :)

  11. Not only has Tumblr become big but I've noticed a huge book community on YouTube who call themselves BookTubers. They have a pretty cohesive community that reminds me a lot of the blogging community and how it used to be 2 years ago. I've been watching a lot of book tube videos over the summer and they're pretty addicting.

  12. I've noticed the downward trend myself. At first I thought it was just the fact that I was gone for a solid three months. I think that had something to do with it, but I've noticed it at other places as well. The blogs are still there and so are the posts, but the community is lacking.

    I've considered just going back to blogging in general because I can use it as a journal and it's cathartic. But, I'm just not sure yet.

  13. I've been around for about a year now and I've had my own ups and downs so I can't comment on specific downturns since I've never really had a big following. I've found after a year of learning about blogging I've streamlined which sites I use. I'm a romance blogger so while I comment on STS or In My Mailbox posts for YA, I don't frequent the sites regularly. They just don't review what I read. I have a few romance blogs I follow though.

    I still participate in memes but only STS regularly and the others when I like the topic. I comment heavily on STS because that is where I build my TBR list but the other memes? Not so much.

    I think a lot of blogger traffic comes from people looking for giveaways. I notice the page views and comments are astronomical on giveaway blogs/pages but when you go to the review pages it's next to nothing.

    I have an Amazon affiliate account but I get about one click a month. I really don't have the cash to giveaway 99 cent books all the time to drive up page views. I figure if they come, they come. I'm not stressed over views but I understand some publishers won't give ARCs or galleys unless you have some arbitrary high number. I'll just read the book when they come out because I'm not compromising my blog for the sake of pageviews.

    I blog because I love books. I review because I look at reviews. I just prefer to review on a blog rather than Amazon or BN.

    So I don't know if it is slowing down or people are streamlining but I would bet something is happening.

  14. I think there is just a turnover of people in blogging. Some of the long time favorite blogs are closing down or at least not participating as much, and then there's the newer blogs like mine trying to find their voices. It is hard to be part of a community when that community keeps changing, so that might be what we are seeing. Hopefully everything balances out and participation starts to increase again.

  15. I haven't been posting as much, like you it's started feeling more hard work than it used to, but I have definitely noticed a decline in traffic and comments etc.
    I hope it will pick up again, I do still love blogging and the community we do have.

  16. I think most of those who haven't been posting as frequently could be newbies who didn't really "know" what a huge commitment book blogging is and have decided to step back from it. I myself haven't been as involved in my return to the book blogging world. Not because I don't like how demanding it is but because I have had soooooo many technical problems in this year with my computers and haven't been able to blog like I've been wanting to. I have noticed since I've been back into the blogging world that viewers seem more interested in the giveaways than actual posts, meaning they only stop by for the giveaways and then vanish. (Not as much on my blog as others I've come across). I'm not really sure what's going on though. I just wish better Blogger/Viewer interaction was going on. Hopefully 2014 is a better year in the book blogging community.

  17. I found this site last night: I wonder if people are turning there. It is kind of neat actually and I am thinking of starting up a profile. It is basically a book blog but set up for you. You have a blog, but you also have a book shelf. I started looking at it... too bad though I can't transfer my blogger profile over to it. Now that would be nice!

  18. I honestly don't notice this problem much coz as of now I am having a hard time gaining viewers, (hope you can help me with that). anyway, maybe the cause of this problem is that people are kinda busy, since Christmas season is coming and there's work and all, people hardly go online and read blogs, well if people transfer from other sites, it's not a problem either because there are more users for this kind of blog and besides this is more user-friendly and the simplest blog I've ever tried. they may transfer but then there's a point that they will still visit our blogs because of the memes, blogs hops, etc.

  19. I have noticed something similar. A lot of blogs I started following early on have dropped off the face of the planet. I'm not sure why. Many bloggers are saying that life is becoming really hectic lately and I find it sad that that's happening. I do feel like a lot of blogs are not as active as they used to be. I haven't hit that 3 year mark and won't for at least another year but after starting a blog I definitely notice myself becoming more run down and getting into more book ruts than I used to. I try to go and make sure to comment about two weeks out of the month but sometimes that doesn't happen. Tumblr is becoming a huge thing I think but I'm not so sure. Big book blogs I haven't seen in forever and even when I do see book blogs they seem very short and have less bloggers involved than their used to be.

    Also I don't know about you but when I started blogging there seemed to be a lot more books the entire book community knew about and got excited about as a whole. Now it seems the cohesive books are Jennifer Armentrouts where everyone reads it at the same time and gushes and then it's over. I feel like there's less of that now than when I started. I don't know why or if I am the only one thinking this but that may also be a reason is that people just aren't as excited or reading similar books anymore.

    Thank you for the great post.

  20. I'm actually glad to see a post like this because I thought it was just my blog. I still get a decent amount of hits, but very few comments. I think maybe there's just so many blogs out there now that it's harder to be that cohesive community? I dunno... I know that I, personally, have been really bad about returning every single comment lately, or replying to them, so that might have to do with it a bit.

    Community wise, I get most of my blogger interaction from twitter convos, rather than comments.

  21. I think most bloggers are busy because Christmas is in the air. I myself was not able to post last October because I was tied up with my work. Hope I can update my blog now.

    Hope you can visit my Feature and Follow Friday

  22. honestly, i've noticed fewer comments as well, but I've been blogging for 6 years already about books. I have noticed the same number of page views and sometimes more than usual, but i think it depends on the book.

    There's also bloggiesta, 24-hour read-a-thon, and Mailbox Monday for community efforts plus Sunday Salon...which you have to apply to be a member of. I've also got the Saturday Virtual Poetry Circle as well. I think you just have to be active in the community.

  23. I didn't notice this because I don't have followers or regular comments as my blog is new and I'm well aware that isn't as interesting as it should be. I don't care, really, because I blog for me. But I noticed this lack of interaction on blogs I follow, blogs that used to get a pretty decent amount of comments, now getting a few if they are lucky.

    I think it might be because blogging isn't that new anymore. I mean, if we go back to 6-7 years ago, blogging wasn't for everyone, less people had a blog back then and, maybe, readers actually left comments because they had something to say and not just because they wanted to get some traffic to their own blog.

    I feel like that nowadays blogging is all about the money, and who has more money gets more comments (blogs that do giveaways regularly seem to always have more interaction), and becomes more popular. Maybe, even the book blog niche is starting to suffer from this?

  24. Hummm, I haven't actually noticed this, but maybe it's because I haven't been as active in the book blogging community lately to notice? Not sure. If this is the case though, then it is rather sad to hear. I guess I have noticed that some bigger bloggers have discontinued their blogs and that some people are burning out (myself included... for the moment anyway). It's hard to imagine book blogging dying out completely, but it may be very true that it's declining!

  25. Amber I and myself have been blogging for almost 4 years. We've noticed a trend that during the summer, school starting back up, holiday season etc, things slow down. However it does seem like this year is a bit harder. Way less comments, luckily our page views have stayed up. Amber I. was bigger on social media than I am and since she's taking a break, I think that has hit us harder over the past 5 or 6 months. I have a personal Tumblr and we've tried to set up a Tumblr account for the site but neither one of us has really done anything with it. Not too be a jerk but I'm kinda glad it's not only us. Haha. And I agree with some of the other comments, the memes and things feel over done at this point when you've been posting for years. Maybe we should all try to come up with some kind of new idea to invigorate the place and get things back on the upswing.

  26. I noticed the same decline (albeit from a small base). However, it is interesting to note how many of the commenters have also said that they have decreased postings in the same period. It seems as if there is a bit of "too much else" going on. Not sure if that is a permanent shift (I suspect not). I know mine is work (my "real" job) related and will ease in three months.

  27. It seems that a few things are happening (at least with the bloggers I've spoken to) A life change - college/baby/marriage etc and there just isn't enough time to blog or we've moved on to other things now.
    Blogging has become more genre based. When I started we all read each others blogs. Even if it wasn't a genre we read. It was more of a friendship thing.
    I have several friends who said that there aren't many comments or views anymore and when I asked them if they are visiting/commenting they say not really - they're busy or whatever. Stands to reason if we are all doing that then blogging will decline some.

    I also think we're all doing pretty much the same thing these days. Maybe it's just getting a little boring for some people?? I skip over most book blasts and cover reveals because I feel bombarded.

    Great question. I've been wondering about it myself.

  28. I have noticed it. July of this year would be my 2nd yr mark. Im burned out. My last review was in march. ( btw I love pivot point)

  29. I do comment or try to comment. My page views are up a little bit this month. They were because I commented more on other's blog, but sometimes real life gets in the way, plus I've been sick a few times this year, so that's not been helping, but I get what you are saying. I've been trying to comment more.


  30. I have noticed this too, and I don't think it's limited to the book blogging community, but blogging in general. I think as people got more into sponsors and giveaways, blogging just for fun has kind of gotten away from people. I have been blogging for a while now (my 5 year blogoversary is next month!), and while a few of my first blogging friends still write, most are no longer active.

  31. Could it be that people just got busier? A lot of the book blogging community, YA book bloggers included seem to be over the age of 20. Blogging and college courses was easy for me to balance, except during finals week. But, once I graduated, got a grown-up job, my opportunities or maybe desire to blog become sporadic. Especially over the summer, which is my industry's busy season. After working 50 hour work weeks, coming home to blog, which takes a lot of time and effort, seemed unappealing. Not only was a getting burnt out from my full-time job, but I was getting burnt out from blogging, which a lot of people seem to equate to a job as well.

    It saddens me to hear the community is quieting down. Now that I'm entering slow season as work, I'm getting the urge to blog again!

    - Jackie

  32. Aw, this is a sad topic! I've noticed it, but I thought it was more because I've been less involved lately. My page views are pretty similar, but my comments have gone down and I attributed that mostly to the fact that I've had less time to leave comments myself. When I started blogging I worked part time. Now I've moved across the country and work full time. I just don't have as much time.

    I wonder if the rise of things like Twitter and Tumblr (I don't even know about Tumblr!), etc have made it harder to blog. I think a lot of people feel like they need to maintain multiple social media outlets in order to "do it right" and get their name out there, and that can be overwhelming. It's hard enough just maintaining a blog! I wonder if this contributes to higher rates of burnout.


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