Woohoo, it’s that time of the month again where we talk about a blogging and/or bookish things! Okay, it’s more like, I talk for 1000 words, you guys read it, and then we talk in the comments section, but, you know, same difference.
Anyway, I talked about something that I can’t decide if it’s controversial or not, but I wanted to talk about it anyway: how, sometimes, book bloggers can be clique-y, which definitely isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, but just a simple observation.
(Also, I’m going to be announcing a project at the end of this that I’m hoping you guys will participate in so please, stay tuned!)
This post was mostly inspired by Karen @ Kissin’ Blue Karen’s discussion where she talked about how she visited 365 different book blogs in the course of a year (which is a crazy accomplishment).
One point she made was that book bloggers seem to run in the same circles, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I agree. Most of the so-called “cliques” I wormed my way into, are really nice people that I would consider my friends and people I always trust.
I will say, I’ve been around the internet in two different websites: Wattpad and Goodreads. Both of them had cliques that I wanted to be a part of (now, looking back on it, I cringe).
For Wattpad, I tried as hard as I could to cater my stories to their “type,” because I knew that if the leader of the clique liked it, commented on it, and added it to her reading list, it’d blow up. For Goodreads, I tried so hard to friend all the most popular users and comment on all their reviews, but that proved to be ten times harder than trying to fit in on Wattpad. Basically, I tried as hard as I could to belong.
Blogging was different. I wouldn’t say that the cliques on Goodreads and Wattpad were cold-hearted or anything – it’s just hard for anybody to open up their tight-knit group of friends to somebody else, whether on the Internet or in real life, even if you really want to do so, or you don’t even mean to do it in the first place. But there was just something about the book blogging community that was so welcoming. I remember being shocked when popular book bloggers, ones who’d been around for forever, decided to follow me. Sure, there are some who haven’t even interacted with me since doing so (that sounds like I’m bitter or something, but I’m not, I swear, because I have so many awesome people that enjoy my posts), but some of them went on to like and comment on a large majority of my posts, and now some of those people I admired from afar, are people who I’d call blogging buddies.
Back when I was a newbie blogger in late December of last year, when I had literally just started out, I remember following all these popular blogs, and often browsing through usernames in the comments section.
Most of the time, blog-hopping around from those usernames, I noticed a lot of the same people commented on a lot of the same people’s posts. I’d go to one person’s comment section, and then another person’s comment section, and it only took me a little while before I realized I saw the same people commenting on the same people’s blogs within the same circle – and most of the bloggers just happened to be popular.
And it wasn’t even just that. When I searched on some of the more popular blogs I admired for what their favorite blogs were or some of the blogs that inspired them, I remembered not being surprised by many of the favorites. Usually, a large majority of the time, I’d already heard of the blog or was already following the blog, and 99% of the time those people were part of their “clique,” as in I’d see them in most of their comments sections. Even if those blogs weren’t on their comment sections, most of the time, those blogs were already popular, established book blogs that had a lot of followers and had been around since the dawn of time (just kidding, I’m exaggerating), not anyone who was new, or had just started out. Even in monthly wrap-up posts, where some bloggers link back to some interesting posts/discussions they’ve found, those bloggers were already popular ones that had a lot of attention on those posts, and, often, I’d hop from one monthly wrap-up to another to see that two bloggers had already mentioned the same post.
So, as a newbie, it was pretty daunting. I remember thinking, “How in the world is anyway going to even find/read my blog when there are so many people that are constantly advertised everywhere?” Obviously, it was silly. I ended up commenting on some of those blogs I found inspiring. And, for some reason, some of them were kind enough to check out my posts and comment back and even follow me (it’s been almost four months, and I’m still not over it). Some of them tagged me in tags and awards, and it surprised me so much because it meant that they had noticed me. That even if these bloggers got 394480 comments a day (estimated number), apparently, I stood out.
So, really, is the book blogging community a bit too clique-y? I’d say yes.
There are definitely times where I feel like we’re so caught up in the people we usually interact with and mention, that we fail to ever get the chance to discover new book bloggers that aren’t even doing anything wrong, they just aren’t part of the “group,” so to speak. But, is the fact that we’re sometimes a bit clique-y bad? Definitely not. As a newbie, you will definitely feel a bit intimidated, because why would any of the “big” bloggers follow you or pay attention to you? But that’s false. Immediately get out of that mindset if you’re a newbie yourself. Most of the “big” bloggers are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. We all love books in the end!
Would I say that I have some sort of solution as to how we can branch out? Well, that’s where I introduce my blog project.
I’ve noticed that among my followers I have a mix – some book bloggers I’d consider “big,” and some that are just starting out, or I’d consider smaller book blogs. So I’d thought this would be a good idea to bring the two of you together – introducing Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger.
Basically, much like being a Big Brother, I thought it’d be nice to pair up a bigger book blogger with a smaller book blogger. For the purpose of this project, I’m considering a smaller book blogger one that has less than 100 followers, while a bigger book blogger will have more than 100 followers. The bigger book blogger will support the smaller book blogger in any way they choose for a month. Some suggestions might be liking their posts and leaving comments, sharing their posts on social media, giving them a follow – whether on their blog or on a different form of social media, linking back to their posts in weekly/monthly wrap-ups, etc. I’m sure you guys are much more creative than I am.
Once the month is over, the bigger book blogger will dedicate a whole blog post to their Little Blogger, much like a guest post. You could have them on as a blogger interview or do some sort of blogger spotlight or let them guest post about a certain topic, etc. so other bloggers who follow you can have a chance to learn about this Little Blogger.
Once every Big Blogger participating has done their blog post, I’ll compile them all in a masterpost of some sort and post so then there’ll be even more promotion for said bloggers. Hopefully, this will push all of us to find new bloggers and promote these newbies. I know when I was a small blog, it was the help of some of my blogging buddies and those bigger than me that really propelled me forward, and I want others to have that opportunity.
If you want to sign up for this, the Google form is right here. The form is open to both Big Bloggers and Little Bloggers to sign up for. Feel free to share this post on social media or repost this post on your own blogs or promote it in any way you can because I really don’t know how big my reach is. I’ll be leaving the sign-ups open for all this week and will close them on Sunday night, which is May 7. Throughout the week, I’ll be pairing people up and sending e-mails to you guys so you know who you’re partnered up with. On May 14, the project will begin, and will go on until June 11. After that, I’m giving all the participants the rest of June to create a post dedicated to their Little Blogger, and in July, I’ll hopefully have the Masterpost up on the blog!
Hopefully, this won’t flop terrifically, but I’m really excited for this project, and I hope you guys are too! If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in a comment down below!
(Also, the reason I ask for a piece of advice you’d give a new blog is because of a blog post I’m doing, if you were wondering.)
Do you think the book blogging community is clique-y? To the established bloggers, how do you find newer, smaller blogs (like mine all those months ago lol). To newer/smaller bloggers, do you feel like you matter in the community? Will you join in on the project (hopefully, you will)?