how book blogging has changed (aka i am old)

Though A Word and a Whisper itself is a new blog, I have blogged previously at other locations for slightly upwards of six years (wow I’m so old). I first started blogging during my last year of high school, and throughout that time, I’ve noticed a lot of changes in the book blogging world. I’ve debated writing this post for a while now, but wasn’t sure if I should or not because I didn’t want it to seem like I was insulting past bloggers or not respecting where I came from as a book blogger. But I think it’s okay to acknowledge changes, and acknowledge things about a community you have been a part of that you haven’t always liked. So hopefully people won’t take my comments about past bloggers too personally, and will maybe even relate to some of the things in this post.

  • Book bloggers today have way less drama. I’ve personally noticed less drama happening among the bloggers I currently follow than the ones I used to follow. It seems like instead of drama happening on blogs, it’s happening on Twitter, which is generally a website of garbage fire, so it’s easier to avoid if I want to.
  • Bloggers take themselves less seriously. I think a big reason for the lessening of blogger-specific drama is that bloggers in general seem more light-hearted than in the past. Maybe it’s just the people I follow, but everyone seems to be much friendlier and nicer than in the past. I felt like there used to be a lot more cliqueishness with past book bloggers, with all the super popular bloggers only promoting their equally super popular friends, and a lot of the focus being on the big “celebrity bloggers” who only really talked to and promoted each other.
  • Blogs have somewhat smaller followings. To be fair, I don’t know a lot of blogging stats or what they typically are, but it seems like most of the blogs I follow now have around 1K followers versus thousands upon thousands like they perhaps used to? I think this is also a result of other types of book influencing becoming possibly more popular than blogging, like bookstagram or booktube. Those book influencers seem to be getting a lot more attention than bloggers and seem to be the new trend in book promotion.
  • There is a greater variety of post types and styles. When I started blogging, I think without realizing it I was trying super hard to be like every other blogger because I thought that would make me successful. It seems like now, people are more concerned about writing posts that truly inspire them versus only reviews and meme features. There are still some meme posts, but even those seem more low-key and offer more variety than old ones did.
  • There’s less of a focus on bragging about your book hauls. Back when I first began my very first wordpress blog, I felt a huge amount of pressure to have all of the ARCs, which I could never get because I was a teensy tiny blog, because of meme features like Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox. In retrospect, it mostly seems like those types of postings were just a way for people to brag about the great books they got, and if you didn’t have those great books, you were seen as not as good of a blogger. I think having the “right” books and book hauls is still important on some platforms like Instagram, but in blogging it feels like that aspect has quieted down a bit.
  • People are more welcoming. This might just be a me thing, but I feel so much more welcome in the book community now than I ever did even when I blogged consistently for years. Even when I first started posting on this blog, I still somehow got recognized by a fellow blogger in a book award post, and people seemed to start commenting on my posts and liking them much more frequently. Now, I’ll admit I was also very scared of commenting on people’s blogs when I first started, but I think that’s because there was this feeling of certain bloggers being “celebrity” bloggers and they just seemed so unapproachable. People are so nice now, and I have noticed that it’s not just the same blogs getting promoted everywhere like it used to be.
  • Book blogging is maybe less relevant than it used to be?? This one I’m not 100% sure about, but based solely on numbers of followers that bloggers have versus booktubers or bookstagrammers, other forms of book promotion look like they’re getting more attention now than blogs. I think it’s great on one hand that books are being promoted in so many cool ways, but on the other, I am partial to blogging because I love writing and reading posts.


So, this post turned out to be a lot more rambling than I originally intended, and I think I said the words seemed and seems about 100 times each. Has anyone else noticed these trends in blogging? Am I totally nuts? Share your thoughts!

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  1. Iโ€™ve only been blogging for a few months, but I definitely agree that the blogging community is so warm and welcoming!

    And Iโ€™ve noticed the same about blogging vs. other forms of social mediaโ€”people tend to have a much bigger following on Twitter and Instagram.

    Great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This is such a great post, Mel, I love it and I agree with so many of these. I haven’t experienced the “old” blogging ways, I’d say, where celebrity kind of bloggers just stayed in their cliques and everything else, and I’m glad about that, to be honest. I love how welcoming and warm everyone is with each other, regardless of the number of followers.
    I have also noticed the same thing about bookstagram being more popular lately, blogs having less followers and everything basically moving onto other social media while book bloggers fall a bit, on the side. I guess that somehow, social media attracts more lately because it’s “quick” media to consume, compared to a long blog post ๐Ÿ™‚ yet I hope that book blogging will still be relevant, always, because I’m all here for that hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    1. I agree! I love writing and reading blog posts because I like expanded discussions about books vs. threads of book recs on twitter or short captions on Instagram. I worry that someday I’m going to have to adapt and learn about booktube (insert fear of watching myself on camera here) or bookstagram or twitter, since those are really popular right now. I think people will always talk about books somehow on social media, but I really hope it doesn’t change too too much because I love blogging so much.

      1. Oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one worrying – I am worrying every single DAY about this change and how I maybe will need to start a bookstagram or/and try more and more to chat over on twitter, things like that (because booktube and watching and filming myself is justttt nooooo haha). I really hope that blogging stays relevant, because I love this way of chatting about books so much more <3 <3

        1. Same ๐Ÿ™‚ <3 I have found a new (to me) app called Litsy that I do like that's basically a combo of goodreads and bookstagram, which I would love to use more because of my struggles with actual Instagram, but I'm not really sure how many people still use it. I'd love to see the invention of more book-focused apps and such so I could do things like twitter or instagram without the pressure of competing with everyone else on those platforms.

          1. Ohh I’ve heard a bit about that one – well, I know the name, but I haven’t really looked it up just yet. I hope you’ll enjoy it, I’ll have to check it out! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Great post! Everything you said I have found true so far in the short month of starting my blog. I haven’t had this blog for long, but I already enjoy being a part of the community. Everyone is amazing and understanding, and I hope to have the privilege of growing some more over the years. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. People really are so kind and welcoming in the contemporary book blogging world. When I first started back in 2012, I remember commenting on some blogs and getting weird responses and I felt like I’d said something wrong even though they probably just misread the tone. I haven’t had any of those issues with bloggers currently, which is really nice, and people seem to like commenting on blogs no matter how new they are, which is great as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’ve been blogging for four years – I first started when I was in eighth grade because my friend made a blog and I thought it would be fun to try it too. Anyways, I agree with you about a lot of the things you mentioned in this post. I’ve also noticed the lack of drama (and I’m glad!). I’m not sure whether people ever really stopped talking about book hauls โ€“ย I feel like that’s still something that people like to post about. I personally find it frustrating that book blogging is becoming less relevant. Like I think social media is great and I love watching booktube but it’s just a bit disheartening sometimes when you spend hours on a post only to get a handful of views. This is a really interesting & thought-provoking post!

    1. Thank you!

      I also find it frustrating and discouraging at times. I feel like personally my posts get more engagement than they used to in terms of likes and comments, but the views are the same and I don’t know what else I can do about it. I’m not a huge booktube fan because I like to read a post better, and sometimes I might like the topic but I find the booktuber annoying or something. I think I would try booktubing if I had any video editing or recording skills just for fun, but ultimately I just love blogging so much <3

      1. Well I’m glad people are engaging with your posts. Hmm I’ve subscribed to quite a few booktube channels but like you, I don’t have the skills to make my own videos. I’ve thought of trying it out anyway but I also love blogging a lot and I guess I’m worried it’ll just be a waste of time since I can’t keep up with a youtube channel and a blog.

        1. It’s definitely a challenge to keep up with more than one bookish account. I’ve been trying bookstagram but I’m nowhere near as consistent with it as I am with the blog, alas.

  5. This was such an interesting post to read! I’ve had a book blog for less than a year, so I haven’t really seen any of these changes happening. But I definitley agree that it’s such a warm and welcoming community, reading and commenting on posts feels like chatting with friends who love books as much as I do and I love that ๐Ÿ’• I prefer blogging over twitter and instagram, cause social media can be so stressful and even though most drama goes right over my head, I’d still worry about accidentally getting involved.

    1. I’m the opposite with social media; usually I feel like I have to get involved with drama (since it tends to be about bad rep or something relating to diversity) but it’s hard because nobody ever responds to my tweets.

  6. I agree! I feel like most of the things you have mentioned probably have to do with the very same situation of the focus now being on other platforms. The big struggles to be popular and get more followers and being visible are now there, and as a result, the blogosphere has become more laid-back and able to just… be enjoyable for the sake of it. Now, I also don’t want to start seeing blogs disappear and that blogging dies or something. Because even though I do have a bookstagram and now just started a youtube channel, blogging will always be my first love.

    Just yesterday I attended a digital and influencer marketing conference and almost everyone was talking about social media. One speaker’s topic was SEO and for the first time in the conference, she mentioned blogs. I asked her about the relevance of blogs against all the other platforms now, and I liked that she said that in spite of all that, blogs and websites will always be relevant because they’re the only things that truly belong to you.

  7. I do think book blogging has become less relevant, and this makes me sad. There has always been a wonderful community in blogging, but then, I also agree with what you say about their being more outlets for readers to share their bookish feels. ๐Ÿ™‚ BUT I hope book blogging remains, because it’s still my favorite.

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