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!