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Book Blogging Survey Results Part 2: Some Blogger Attitudes

You may remember earlier this month when I posted about a book blogger survey that Shannon (River City Reading), Jennifer (Literate Housewife) and I put together. The results have been in for a couple of weeks, but it’s taken us awhile to dig into them.

Yesterday, Shannon  put up our first post on the results, looking at the overall picture of the 310 book bloggers who responded. If you don’t have time to read her very well-done post, here are some quick snapshots about the bloggers who took our survey:

  • 61 percent have been blogging for less than four years, about 33 percent have been blogging for four years or longer, and 5 percent were no longer blogging
  • 40 percent of bloggers post two or three times per week. About 30 percent post once a week (or less), while the other 30 percent post four or more times per week.
  • Very few book bloggers who took the survey have ads on their site or use affiliate links.
  • Most book bloggers who are paid to write about books on sites other than their personal blogs have been blogging for more than two years.

In this post, I’m going to look at some of the questions that get at attitudes book bloggers have about book blogging and some of the pressures that impact bloggers.

pressure from publishers and authors

One sentiment that seems to be common among book bloggers is that the pressure to read and review books can sometimes take the fun out of book blogging. But when we asked bloggers how much pressure they felt to read and review books from publishers/authors — 1 being no pressure, 5 being a lot of pressure — most fell in the middle. Only 5 percent said they felt a lot of pressure, while 27 percent said they felt no pressure at all. When I looked at the age range for bloggers who said they felt a lot of pressure, it was evenly split between younger blogger (less than four years) and older bloggers (up to seven years).

Part of me wonders if we phrased this question badly. It might have been more revealing to ask whether bloggers felt a personal or internal pressure to read and review certain books, rather than focusing on whether that pressure came from people in the publishing industry (which, now that I look at it again, the question seems to imply).

Next, we asked about life changes that may impact an individual’s ability to continue blogging or may impact their interest in maintaining a site.

life changes

abandon your blog

For this question, we let respondents chose multiple options, so you can see there are significantly more answers here. However, based on the number of people who chose “Not Applicable” for the second question (33 percent) and my own digging, it appears only about two-thirds of the people surveyed said they’d had significant life event during the time they’d been blogging.

Of the people who said that they seriously considered abandoning their blog, many mentioned a change of job or other significant issues (illnesses, death in the family, changes to family structure) happening during their time blogging. I think even without looking at the results, it’s clear that sometimes our lives get in the way of blogging to a point where some of us (about 26 percent) consider finding a new hobby. Later this week, Jennifer will be looking at the responses from people who are former book bloggers, which may add some context to these results.

getting over apathy

Finally, we asked about some of the strategies that blogger’s employ to help get over feelings of apathy towards blogging. I am amazed by the 7 percent of bloggers who said they don’t feel apathy when blogging. About half of those people were young bloggers (less than four years), but the rest were a mix of ages. Good for you guys! A good chunk of bloggers (24 percent) also just take a break from blogging, which I think is a good strategy too. Here are some other strategies bloggers mentioned:

  • Asking for guest posts; keeps content flowing without me needing to write as much.
  • Writing fewer posts but spending more time on each post. Only posting writing that I am proud of.
  • Giving up or taking a break from social media extras or blogging-related projects that take my focus from reading and writing.
  • Getting away from ARCs.
  • I still blog, but devote less time to it, and don’t promote my posts. Oddly, my traffic usually picks up, which re-energizes me.
  • Working through it, allowing myself to write/blog slightly sub-standard content to get out of my funk.
  • Usually just need to find something new to feel excited about – new book, author conversation.

I’m also planning to look at two the open-ended questions (“How as blogging impacted your reading?” and “At what point (time or event) did you feel established as a book blogger?”), but this post is getting a little bit long. I’ll back with those answers sometime later in the week.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Meg October 30, 2013, 7:41 am

    So interesting to read these results! I definitely go through spurts where I want to shout YAY BLOGGING! and feel totally energized and motivated, and other times where I lean heavily into apathy because I just feel burnt-out (typically by life in general). Good to know I’m not alone. I look forward to seeing the rest of the results!

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) October 30, 2013, 8:04 am

    I’m finding the results of this poll fascinating!

  • tanya October 30, 2013, 9:14 am

    Thank you guys for all the work you’ve put into this. I find the result fascinating and motivating. I’m in a bit of a blog slump right now and it is nice to know other sometimes feel the same way and that this too shall pass.

    • Kim November 3, 2013, 10:22 am

      That was one of the things I liked learning too. Most of us slump, and most of us get over it 🙂

  • Andi @ Estella's Revenge October 30, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Another awesome post! Really enjoying these results.

  • Literate Housewife October 30, 2013, 1:17 pm

    I agree with you on the pressure question. I know that I answered that low because the pressure I feel comes from within, not from the publishers. I did feel more external pressure from self-published authors, which is part of the reason why I dropped them early on.

    Thanks so much for this wrap up. Both yours and Shannon’s have been really interesting. I’m getting ready for mine to post tomorrow. The former bloggers were a really small group, but there’s some interesting things there.

    • Kim November 3, 2013, 10:23 am

      I really wish we’d asked that differently. The pressure did come out in some of the open-ended questions, but it would have been nice for a graph answer on that one.

  • Anita October 30, 2013, 1:37 pm

    I agree I out the pressure on myself,and my not wanting to disappoint others. I’ve also used guest posts and author interviews to break things up. I find memes help, and I recognize bloggers I admire don’t write a review every day, but mix things up.
    I’m learning so much from these results, so interesting.

  • Alex (Sleepless Reader) October 30, 2013, 4:41 pm

    It’s very interesting to know what other bloggers do when facing a slump. I’m not exactly on a slump, but had a baby time is short. Right now I’ve decided to post smaller posts, but I think that guest-blogging (family and friends, more than other bloggers) is a great idea!

    • Kim November 3, 2013, 10:24 am

      Writing smaller posts has started to work for me. If I just tell myself I need to write three paragraphs or 500 words or something finite, it makes it easier to get started.

  • Christina October 30, 2013, 7:29 pm

    Thank you so much for putting together this survey and then providing follow-up analysis. I agree that the phrasing of the pressure question could have been stronger only because when asked about pressure, I assumed the question was focused on the publishing industry. Had it talked about internal/personal pressure or even pressure from fellow book bloggers (internally felt or not), I would have answered much differently.

    I’m curious to see more about the former book bloggers. I know many of those I interacted with during my own peak of blogging have moved on to other projects so it’ll be interesting to hear more from those. And, of course, the more open-ended questions should yield some interesting results.

    • Kim November 3, 2013, 10:25 am

      That’s a good point — there’s internal pressure, and then there’s pressure to keep up with other bloggers, which is both external and internal. Live and learn, I guess.

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey October 31, 2013, 6:39 am

    I’m pretty sure I’ve nominated you for one of the many blogging awards in the past and you don’t do awards, which is fine (they’re so much work!). However, I’ve admired your blog since I first started blogging, so I’ve nominated you for the Shine On award anyway, figuring it’s the thought that counts. Thanks for being so awesome 🙂

  • Serena October 31, 2013, 9:21 am

    These are some interesting results. How enlightening about young and older bloggers alike. I wonder if there are more pronounced differences between bloggers based on their ages…like who feels burnt out more quickly versus those that don’t

    • Kim November 3, 2013, 10:27 am

      That would be interesting — how often do you feel burned out, or how long to periods of apathy last, and whether time blogging affects those answers.

  • Athira October 31, 2013, 11:46 am

    Thanks for analyzing this! It looks like many bloggers go through the almost-same reactions to a lot of things. When I started blogging, I would do it everyday. Then I took a two week break due to something outside my control, and it felt amazing. Since then, I’ve blogged in spurts and feel good about it.

  • Rebecca @ Love at First Book October 31, 2013, 12:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing these results!!! I can’t wait to see the next chunk revealed!!

  • Jenny @ Reading the End October 31, 2013, 7:56 pm

    I’m loving these results! I’m especially interested to hear what some former bloggers have to say, as I (like most people it seems!) have definitely considered giving up blogging at various points in my blogging career. (But didn’t! Because other bloggers.)

  • Angie November 2, 2013, 1:18 pm

    What I really love about finding this post is I just wrote up a little discussion on my blog about this! http://angelasanxiouslife.blogspot.com/2013/10/where-did-everybody-go.html Honestly lately I have noticed more and more people leaving blogging. I just love how in depth you went. I wish I could’ve participated in the survey.


  • Tea Time with Marce November 3, 2013, 9:39 am

    I enjoyed participating and am thankful for your analysis. It is good to see that we go through some of the same things but for the most part still continue blogging even if at a less level.

  • Elizabeth November 3, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Thanks for this great information.

    I have everything pretty much organized according to when and what I need to have done, but it does get a bit overwhelming at times. BUT…I LOVE IT!!!

    I think my book clubs put more pressure on me than blogging. 🙂

    Have a great day, and thanks for doing all of this research.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

  • FictionFan November 3, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Like others, I put pressure on myself rather than feeling pressure from others. But that’s the main reason I don’t review self-published authors – dealing with an individual comes with so much more pressure than dealing with a company. I also find it harder to give a really honest review (especially a negative one) when dealing with an individual, so that’s yet more pressure.

    Breaks are great for revitalising enthusiasm, and allow a backlog of reviews to build up, which again takes the pressure off for a while.

    • Kim November 5, 2013, 6:01 pm

      I think a lot of bloggers have the same reaction to self-published stuff — there’s more pressure when it’s a person, less pressure when it’s an “organization” or there’s a buffer between author and reviewer.

  • Melissa November 4, 2013, 3:31 pm

    I’m loving the info you guys have compiled. This is so interesting! Thank you guys for taking the time to put this together.

  • Catherine December 5, 2013, 8:58 pm

    I am SO late in reading this, it’s a bit embarrassing but thank you anyway! I’m in the newbie category (less than 2 years of book blogging) and it still gives me a lift to see data and responses from “our people”. I’m just coming out of a move and it has hit my reviewing hard. I am still reading but not writing and it’s starting to have a negative impact. It helps to see that others go through this. Again, thank you so much for all your hard work on this project!