Friday, October 27, 2023

Discussion - The Rules of Engagement

This Week's Topic

The Rules of Engagement



I had recently seen someone lamenting the lack of views and engagement with their posts. I remember a time when I got more views, but engagement has always been something more sought after for me. 

I was commenting on blogs and chatting on social media prior to be a blogger. I simply wanted to talk about books and connect with other readers. In my daily life, people always make negative comments about the amount of reading I do. I sought people who would understand me, or at least not think there was anything wrong with reading to pass the time. 

But in this blogging world, it always seems to circle back to views and clicks. I get that these things are important to publishers, for them to consider you an "influencer", but I am more interested in meaningful engagement. 

There are blogs I visit, that have a huge number of followers, but when I view their posts - zero comments. Most are WordPress blogs, and people click that "like", but they don't interact with the post in any way. Are they even reading it, or are they coming to click and show that they were here. I know many believe in reciprocating visits or comments, but I feel like you just end up with meaningless interactions. 

Sorry to be so cynical, but that's just not my thing. I have a rather small circle of bloggers I regularly interact with and a modest following, but I enjoy the interactions I have with my "people". There are bloggers who read wildly different books than I would, but their reviews are so well written, I always enjoy reading them. I also follow some people who read way differently from me, but I think they are funny, and their posts amuse me. I may not have anything groundbreaking to contribute to the conversation, but I appreciate their post and want them to know it. I do find I am more enthusiastic when I know the book or want to read the book, but I always hope I come across as genuinely interested in their post. 

I guess like most, I would love more engagement, but I am happier with meaningful engagement.  

Now it's your turn!




How do you feel blog engagement?
Let us know in the comments!

37 comments:

  1. I don't pay attention to the stats anymore. Mine used to be a lot higher, but I feel like WP or Jetpack changed something to make it harder to get views. I just keep in mind that it's just a hobby anyways.

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    1. It is a hobby. I don't know anything about how views are done with WP/Jetpack, but I am always grateful for my loyal followers.

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  2. I think people get too focused on the numbers. And that doesn't determine success or having strong relationships within the community. I would much prefer a small circle with more quality engagment than the high number of views. Thats not really the point of a content creator especially in a community that can be so personable and close knit if you find the right people.

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    1. I am right there with your, Renee. I was never trying to read influencer status, I don't want to work that hard, but I love having, what I feel, are genuine relationships with some readers out there.

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  3. I've always been more interested in the interactions and "meeting" fellow readers. And at this point, I read and blog so little, that just staying in touch with whoever still stops by means a lot.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. I am glad you keep in touch. That whole covid experience made me nervous that some of the bloggers I used to interact with were, you know, gone. I was excited when a few started turning up on Instagram and GR. At least I know they are healthy.

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  4. "In my daily life, people always make negative comments about the amount of reading I do."
    ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜ฌ

    "I do find I am more enthusiastic when I know the book or want to read the book, but I always hope I come across as genuinely interested in their post."
    You do! And I totally get what you're saying. Most of my mutuals don't read the same books I do (or...the other way around LOL - my blog was born to talk about lesser-known books anyway), and yet we enjoy each other's posts (I know I do!). Also, I've seen some blogs like the ones you mention, with lots of followers and barely any comments, and it's too darned sad. Not to mention, even with our small circle of followers, we don't seem to have a huge problem with getting eARCs...I've been approved for more books that I could have deemed possible, so maybe you don't need to have thousands of followers or views for that to happen (even if it would be nice).

    "I guess like most, I would love more engagement, but I am happier with meaningful engagement."
    ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ‘ (I love your post title BTW - always the punny one LOL).

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    1. I have very rarely read a book that you feature, but you write really great reviews. I find them so interesting. You and Ethan probably write some of the most engaging reviews in my opinion. I always like reading them. And, thanks. You know I love a good pun

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  5. I completely agree! I got into blogging to track my reading and connect with other readers. That has always been the priority for me, and I truly value the "regulars" who comment on my posts and connect with me. I think social media has made the idea of being an influencer more enticing, but I learned a long time ago not to chase likes or engagement. I tend to believe that if I read a good variety of books and share my personal thoughts on them, others will find some value in that. My engagement has fluctuated over the years, but it is the connection with my fellow readers that keeps me coming back for more.

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    1. I rank you in my top two for really well written reviews. Every once in a while you feature a book I have read or will read, but even when it's a book outside my reading genres, I am always hooked by your reviews.

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    2. Thanks for the kind words! I count your blog as a must-read too!

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  6. As much as I enjoy using Wordpress for my blog, the WPReader definitely just seems to lend itself to people scrolling through, liking all the posts, and then moving on. There's no real sense of community and I rarely ever get comments from fellow Wordpress bloggers unless I already know them from somewhere else.

    I have a certain core group of bloggers that I've met over the years and really enjoy visiting and no matter how busy I am, I visit them at least once a week to catch up on what they're reading and posting about, and I've decided that's enough for me.

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    1. That is what I have notices with the WP blogs that have a high number of subscribers. Super low number of comments. I think it harkens back to the follow for a follow. I would much rather have people who follow me because they enjoy engaging with me, and like you, I have a cherished group of bloggers I never fail to visit.

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  7. Yes! I think that engagement is so much more important than just a like. I feel like the group of bloggers that I have been interacting with for years are my friends and I am interested in what everyone is up to or reading even if it isn't something that I would pick up (although I will read just about anything).

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    1. I am right there with you, Carole. I am not trying to yuck anyone's yum. If likes and follows are what keep you going, that's great, but I want to talk about books. That's what I am here for. You do read quite a wide variety of books. It's impressive. I like a pretty narrow range, though I have expanded a bit as I abandon YA.

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  8. Like Carole in her comment above, I feel like a we have a nice group of bloggers, ones I've been interacting with for years now and I'm always interesting in seeing what they're reading, and end up adding to my TBR through their posts. I also love catching up with what's going on with everyone! I don't care that I'll never go viral with my posts. I'm here to share my love of reading stories!

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    1. One of my favorite posts to read are the wrap up posts. I love getting the low down on my blogger friends' lives, as well as hearing about the books they read. I have also discovered some new to me authors from my buddies posts. After following some of your for years, I have a good feel for the kind of books you like, and it helps me know if I would like it too.

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  9. I agree 100%! I've never really cared about my stats. I'm here for the books and community. ❤️

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    1. I feel like most in my circle will answer this way

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  10. This is such an interesting discussion and a lovely post. <3
    My engagement has drastically slowed down in the past few months - hell, year, ahah, mostly because my priorities have changed and I don't take as much time as before to blog and to engage with the community, myself.
    While it makes me a bit sad, I'm incredibly happy and grateful to have, like you, this little circle of bloggers I regularly interact with. Blogs I always visit when I have the time, whose posts I genuinely enjoy reading. I love commenting on their posts and showing them some love, and I am so grateful to find them on my blog, as well, every now and then.
    I feel like, in the end, what matters the most isn't the amount of comments, visits. It's not numbers. It's just people you enjoy chatting with, about what you love. It's always nice to have that, whether it's one, two or five bloggers. That's what matters the most! <3

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    1. It is definitely challenging to keep up with engaging with different bloggers especially when there are so many platforms to keep up with as well. I agree. Comments are the encouragement that keeps going. I appreciate those the most.

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  11. Like you I prefer engagement to likes. It's the same on Instagram. And yes I go reply on the blog of the person who commented but try to avoid meaningless comments. That's also how I found the bloggers I am now following!

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    1. It's always nice if new people visit and you find new great blogs to follow. That is special, for sure.

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  12. Definitely quality over quantity. When I first started blogging, I was always tracking my stats and comments, seeing how many people I was reaching. Now, especially over the last couple years, I'm like you, with a core group of blogging buddies. I just don't have a ton of time anymore, so I stick to my group, mostly. But it's nice to have this engagement with each other that has grown over time and we've "gotten to know" each other.

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    1. I understand not wanting to feel like you are screaming into the void, but yeah, quality over quantity for sure. I do find time to be hard to come by as well. I really should try to follow some new blogs (with so many of my buddies disappearing during Covid), but I am lazy.

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  13. TOTALLY agree with you! Back in the dawn of my blogging days, I used to be really obsessed with the stats. Now, I could not tell you a single stat if you paid me (and no one pays me ๐Ÿ˜‚) I agree so much that the meaningful interactions are so much more worthwhile for me too. I try so hard to get back to everyone, and I know that sometimes things slip through the cracks, but that is *because* I always take the time to read and appreciate the post, and hopefully leave something meaningful for them. Like you said, I'd rather have a small circle of good friends than a bunch of randos who are only in it for the stats. And that isn't to say I don't interact with folks who are new to me, I absolutely do, but just... not if it's "great post here's mine" hah!

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    1. It's encouraging that so many of (who I consider) "my people" feel the same way as me. I know exactly the type of visitors you are describing. I think when one is starting out, you believe this will get people to visit you, but it's the people whose comments feel genuine to me that I want to follow and become blogging buddies with

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  14. Good discussion topic. I definitely don't get as many views or comments, but I would be more interested in people commenting and leaving their thoughts. I like the connections and engagements. I know I'm not always the best at keeping up with new posts, but I'm trying to be better.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Time is a precious commodity, you do what you can, but at least you have good intentions.

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  15. Meaningful interaction on the internet is hard to come by these days! Did you know that many blogging "experts" recommend turning off comments. The HORROR!
    I was curious as to the stats, so I went and looked. I had 34,000 comments on my first blog (2011-2018) but only 7700 comments on my second blog (2018-2023). But on my current site, discussion posts get 90% of the comments and the reviews very few. My theories 1) I have stopped posting every day. 2) I think a lot of the bloggers who used to leave comments have stopped blogging. 3) Reviews are tougher to get views and comments on because there is really nothing insightful to say unless you've read the book. 4) I no longer participate in the round up posts, like TTT and WoW, which was the source of a lot of my comments.
    It is indeed very sad. I still do get some great comments, but not the back and forth we used to have on Twitter.

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    1. I know a lot of the bloggers I interacted with regularly have stopped blogging. I miss them, but I do love my memes. I like featuring books any way I can. I can understand discussion posts getting the most interaction. It's the main goal of the post - to discuss, but also it doesn't require you to have a read a book or want to read a certain book, you know.

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  16. It's easy to get overly stressed about numbers, which is why I (mostly) stopped looking at my numbers. I started my blog because nobody in my real life cared about books or wanted to hear me talk about them. I needed to find my people. I succeeded! I love my blogger friends and look forward to reading their blogs on my days off. The relationships are way more meaningful than the numbers.

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    1. That is exactly what drew me to blogging. I wanted to connect with people who didn't think there was something wrong with how much I read. Glad you were able to find what you were looking for

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  17. I've definitely noticed a slump in the interactions on mine, but it's just good to be able to connect with other bookish people.

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    1. I saw it mentioned earlier, but a lot of the OG bloggers are gone. So many people disappeared during Covid. But I agree, it's great that there are still readers out there to connect with

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