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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Let's Talk: What I look for in a Book Blog



This is the first edition of 'Let's Talk' on my blog. I've been wanting to start a discussion meme like this for a long time, but I just never knew what to talk about:) 

Today I want to discuss the topic: What I look for in a book blog. This of course differs for everybody, but here I will state my like-factors and you can share yours in the comments or in your own discussion post. 

  • Reviews of my kind/genre of books. 
This one is fairly obvious. I follow book blogs to get new recommendations for books and to see what other people think about the books I read. If a blog only reviews adult romance novels for example I won't follow it, because I will most probably never read their posts. A mix of genres is not a problem, but I mostly follow YA-only blogs. You have to have very interesting other posts, like discussions or tutorials, to make me follow a non-YA blog.

  • A clear blog design.
Of course, the first thing you see when opening the blog is the blog design. I like blogs to be clear and clean. I don't really like sidebars on each side of the blog filled with flashy banners of all teams and blog tours etcetera, that in the worst case make music. This will just distract me from the actual content. A few banners are nice, just don't overdo it. The blog should be readable, so no weird fonts or fluorescent font colours. And if I want to follow the blog, I don't like to search for half an hour for the follow button.

  • Good and original mix of posts.
I like the occasional meme. Especially the Top Ten Tuesday posts I always read with much joy on every blog. But when I see a blog only consisting of memes I click away very quickly. Memes are just not very original and personal, and I follow blogs for reviews in the first place. Same goes for blog tours. I like blogs with original content, like discussions and reviews. If you alternate these with some memes, I'm happy to follow you.

  • Comment (back).
I like blogs who comment on other blogs and participate in discussions. If someone comments on my blog, I always try to comment back on a post on their blog. And if I see a nice, thoughtful comment on a blog, I will definitely check the blog that commented out. Commenting is not a requirement for following, but it will bring me back to your blog once I follow you and it will get you noticed by others.
And please: leave your blog link in the comment or in your Disqus profile/name, otherwise I won't be able to visit your blog!

Here are a few examples of blogs that meet the points above:

I swim for oceans - Has a great 'Let's Talk' meme!
A bookish heart - Original post mix!
Flip that page - Super fun discussions!
YA escape from reality - Awesome comments!

There are many more blogs I love and frequently visit. Sorry if I did not mention you, I love you! 

I hope you guys liked this post and I'd love to know what you think.

What do you like or dislike in a blog?

43 comments:

  1. I agree with you on quite a few! I prefer to follow blogs that review the same types of books I like to read. Otherwise I won't get a lot out of them. I also like ones that will actually reply to comments. That's how you know they actually care about people reading. I think some memes can be personal though. When it asks your favorite books, or something similar, that is personal. But I agree that if that is all they do, then it will get boring. Of course I have tons of blogs I follow through GFC, but it seems I only actually click to comment on ones that are the good ones. If you have time to stop by and comment on my blog, that'd be cool too! http://misclisa.blogspot.com/

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  2. Woaaaahh is that my blog on there?! That is amazing! I am grinning hugely :D I really agree with all of your points too, and now that you've mentioned it, I do tend to lean towards the blogs that focus on YA fiction, since they review books that suit my tastes. And yeah (I think I've mentioned this before) but blog design is important to me. You're right-- music + flashy banners = huge distraction :( I was happy with your layout before, though I do think this one is prettier :D I also don't like blogs that just post memes. I think it's imperative for a blogger to have original features like this one, since it sets them apart, and its also a huge plus when the blogger replies or comments, since it confirms that... well he/she is human and is someone you can actively discuss with! So there, love this post :D Thanks again for the mention. I am honored :)

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  3. I agree with everything you said. Same goes for me!

    Awesome post!

    Andreea

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  4. Glad we agree on most things:) Yes, some memes can be personal, that's why I like Top Ten Tuesday posts, through these you can get to know other bloggers. I will definitely stop by your blog! Thanks for taking part in the discussion.

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  5. Your awesome discussions actually inspired me to make my own discussion posts, so thank you! I thought my layout was a bit too flashy before, it's a lot cleaner right now, glad you like it:) I'm glad we agree on the points and thanks for taking part in the discussion:)

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  6. Thank you, glad we agree! And of course thanks for taking part in the discussion:)

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  7. All of those things are important for me as well. I feel content comes first but blog design is really close 2nd because I want to be able to enjoy reading the posts without having too much in the way.

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

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  8. Yes, of course content is the most important thing of all:) I really do love your blog design, the purple shades are beautiful:) Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

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  9. Thanks for linking to me :) I am so excited you're doing discussion posts. I LOVE discussions (I'm sure you haven't noticed) so will definitely be checking them out. I think all four points you listed are definitely my must-haves as well. I usually only stick to YA (with only minor exceptions), I like pretty blogs (like yours!), I am huge on an interesting mix of posts (but really discussions are my main love), and I hope that the blogger at least reads and responds to my own blog (though if they have time to stop by my blog, that'd be nice too)! Great minds think alike ;)

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  10. AWW you're welcome! And thanks for inspiring ME on the overall :D I didn't think the layout before was flashy, but this one's just really cute :)

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  11. No problem! I'm excited to be hosting discussions too, I can't wait to do the second:) I'm glad we agree! Thanks for participating in the discussion, and I hadn't noticed at all you liked them ;)

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  12. Thanks for mentioning our blog!! I agree, I mostly read YA book blogs right now because that's what I'm interested in reading. And I'm mainly reading for the reviews too, but I have been enjoying a lot of the discussion posts (we need to start having some on our blog) and some of the memes are great too. Top Ten Tuesday (although I find some of them are actually quite difficult to come up with 10--like the next one coming up--how can I find books that are not series?) is great and I like Waiting on Wednesday since sometimes I learn about books I haven't even heard of yet. I need to start a list somewhere of books I hear about that I want to read so I don't forget them. And you're right, I've come across a few blogs where it was really difficult to read because of the blog design. Great discussion post! ~Pam

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  13. Great discussion post I really like the picture for the meme. I totally agree with what you said and I did a similar post for my 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge:

    http://mycrazybookishworld.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/15-day-book-blogger-challenge-day-7-8.html

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  14. I agree with many of these! A clear, clutter-free design makes the blog load faster and also generally makes the content feel a little easier to read too. I mostly follow YA book blogs, though I do occasionally check out and comment on other types of blogs if they're interesting enough. Great list! :)

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  15. No problem:) Do you have Goodreads? You can make lists of books you want to read there. Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

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  16. Thanks! Oh, that challenge looks awesome, maybe I should participate in it too.. :) Thanks for taking part in the discussion.

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  17. Thanks for taking part in the discussion! I really love your blog design, was it also designed by Lisseth from Read-a-Holicz?

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  18. Great post Eveline! I totally agree with you :) I don't like blogs that are too cluttered either, so I try to keep my design clean and simple, like you do too :) I also only follow YA book blogs, because sometimes Adult book blogs may have content this is inappropriate for me, so I try to steer clear from those! I also think you comment a lot (like you visit my blog a lot!) and I think that's great! :D I try to comment back too, but sometimes I'm too busy at well. But thanks for being a consistent follower on my blog! <3

    Emily @ FlutterealFlight

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  19. No problem, when I really love a blog I like to comment and visit a lot;) Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

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  20. I completely agree about the music thing! If I have sounds on I immediately mute when I get to a blog with music things on it. I love discussion posts. I really need to start doing some myself but I never know what to discuss and I'm not particularly eloquent haha. Can't wait for your next discussion post :)

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  21. I also like a clean design, a big, obvious comment box that I can find easily, a good amount of original content, and the sense that there is a personality (and a person) behind the blog! Great topic!

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  22. Totally agree, they are all must haves for me too. In particular I love discussion posts and creative content, that will make me hit that follow every time. Too many memes are a turn off for me too, it's a bit bland IMHO. I will look forward to your future discussions!

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  23. I love this post! Makes me think of what I think is a reason for me to follow a blog! In my opinion a blog doesn't really need a 'clear' design, as long as it shows a bit of wysiwyg..If you know what I mean.

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  24. I think I know what you mean yes, just a bit of care in the design :) Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

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  25. Thank you for taking part in the discussion, I'm glad we agree! Thanks, I'm looking forward to your commentary:)

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  26. Yes, I'm always scared to death when such a sound banner comes up :) I had that same problem, I wanted to do these posts but I just didn't know what to discuss :) Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

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  27. Thank you for participating in the discussion! I'm glad we agree :) I always love your original features, like 'hot of the presses'.

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  28. I mostly agree about the clear and readable blog design. I really hate those curly fonts people like to use :| Especially if the page text is in that font - it drives me crazy and I exit at once. I usually like white/gray blogs with some color. And I'm never interested in reading the I'm Team blah blah on a sidebar.


    I only read discussions, reviews and top ten tuesdays. The blog tours and other memes - I always ignore and mark as read. From time to time, when I see an author interview with an author I've read about and am interested in, I check it out.


    As for commenting (speaking of, this comment is a bit long-ish xD), I always like to respond and check out a new blog, but if it's mostly memes and blog tours and cover reveals, I wait until they post something that interests me so I can leave a proper comment.

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  29. I love that you have a discussion meme! That's awesome!

    I completely agree with you on genres. Only YA blogs for me! Blog design is also very important for me. A blog that catches my eye will catch my attention as well. And a big "YES!" to the comments thing. I really love getting comments, and I love when bloggers comment on my posts.

    Saru

    http://qaisracetusbookblog.blogspot.com/

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  30. I really agree with having a clear blog design. I generally don't read blogs that have numerous buttons and banners everywhere and use hard to read fonts.


    http://tomesofthesoul.blogspot.co.uk/

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  31. Design and content is the most important thing for me. I hate an overcrowded blog too! It just makes me uncomfortable! and a blog filled with memes and features also turns me off because I rarely check out those.

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  32. I haven't used my Goodreads account in forever, but I should start using it again--thanks! ~Pam

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  33. That's most important to me too:) Thanks for participating in the discussion!

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  34. Thanks for the very long commentary, I love those:) I only like to read blog tours of books or authors I know, but mostly I skip them too. BTW, I absolutely love your blog design, it's my ideal clean layout :)

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  35. Thanks for participating in the discussion, I really love hosting it! I'm glad we agree, and yes, getting nice comments is the best!

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  36. These pretty much describe my ideal blog as well. I have exited out of a lot of blogs because of their design: stuff everywhere. It's like if there's space, they must fill it. My eyes have no where to look and especially not where to follow or comment. I LOVE blogs that comment back, and those usually almost get a follow back :)

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

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  37. Thank you! No, I did it myself, with the help of a few tutorial posts. Those html and CSS codes drive me crazy. ;)

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  38. I agree with you on so many of those points. I also really like blogs with a good mix of posts that comment back. Great points! :)

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  39. I totally agree! I really only follow YA blogs. It's just what I read nowadays and it's too hard to keep up with adult or mystery or other blogs. YA is where my heart lies!
    I totally agree with the point on memes. I like TTT and I'll comment on some WoW posts, but I felt like I was drowning in memes a while back and just cut it down to TTT. I LOVE original posts, especially discussions or a person's own original feature. A long time ago, I tried to do JUST reviews because as a book review blog, I felt like that should be the majority of my posts.... But then I realized not only am I a review blog, I love talking about other aspects of books, reading & the industry as well! Voila! Features were born!
    Fun topic to discuss. Loved seeing your thoughts and opinions on it! :)

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  40. I'm glad we agree! Great idea to add features to your blog. Reviews are the main reason I read blogs, but discussions make a blog more personal and interesting:) Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

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  41. Wow, you're really talented:)

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