How To Write The Perfect Discussion Post | The Revised Edition

Nope, you guys aren’t seeing double.

I actually did a whole how-to post about this back in May – if you want to check it out, you can find it here – but, since then, I’ve changed the structure of my discussion posts, so I thought that I would post a more updated how-to guide of writing discussion posts for newer followers (or for people who have been around for longer and just want EVEN MORE advice)!

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[LET’S CHAT] Is It Okay To Avoid Talking About Controversial Topics?

Will it be controversial talking about controversial discussion topics? Oh, the irony!

But, for real, I did want to talk about this, mainly because I feel like it’s been something that’s been talked about a lot in general, since the world is messy right now, and I think that it’s best if we just talk it out. So, let’s talk it out!

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[DISCUSSION] Do Some Blogging Discussion Topics Get Old?

 Nothing like an interesting discussion topic inspired by you guys!

So, I remember on one of my posts (don’t ask me which one) Briana from Pages Unbound made a comment that really got me thinking!

She mentioned in passing that there are some blogging discussions that get old, such as ebooks versus print books, which I agreed with, so I wanted to expand that into a full pros and cons discussions taking apart the idea of writing discussion posts that pretty much everyone has already talked about!

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[DISCUSSION] Do You Get Tired of Seeing the Same Books Around the Blogosphere?

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I think we all know that feeling. 

It’s the week of a popular author’s latest release or a month before the release of a heavily anticipated book release. You check your Reader, and you may check out a couple of reviews from your closest blogging friends when they pop up. Then you check your Reader the next day, and some more reviews pop up of this book or ARC. You like them, but don’t really read them past skimming them for a couple of seconds. Then the next day, there are EVEN MORE reviews of this book. You skip them, because you’ve read the review of the same book a million times, and there’s only so many times you can say a book is “wonderfully diverse” and “spectacular” and “raw” before you’ve heard it before it just becomes completely numb to you.

So I wanted to ask the question: do you ever get tired of hearing about the same books over and over in the blogosphere? I thought it’d be nice to do a pros and cons for this one so we can see both sides!


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1. You’ll feel like a part of the community. I mean, if we all read most of the same books, you’ll always feel like you’ll belong in the blogging community! You’ll always have someone to talk to about the book, whether you like it or hate it, and you might find new blogging friends that have the same taste in authors, genres, series, stand-alones, etc. And we all want to be a part of the blogging community, right?

2. You might be more inclined to read it. I know there have been lots of times where I was NEVER planning on reading a book because it didn’t interest me in the slightest, but because I saw so many raving reviews for it (and, okay, because the cover is absolutely STUNNING), I went ahead and decided to add it to my TBR. It certainly doesn’t mean I’ll read it, but the fact that I was convinced enough to add it there is pretty good! It shows the community definitely has influence.

3. Our book reviews might be read more. I mean, reviews are usually really poor when pulling in stats, but when you factor in a book being severely underrated or no one knows about it, even LESS people are inclined to click on your review. So, who knows? Maybe if someone recognizes a household name, it might get you more clicks on a review! I know my reviews of The Hate U Give – a hyped debut – and This Savage Song – a V.E. Schwab book – were wildly popular when I published them, but my review of Ubo – which was an e-ARC from a little known publisher and an author I’d never heard of before Netgalley – not so much.

4. You’ll be seeing different opinions. I mean, even if everyone went to go see Infinity War when it comes out (CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED?), everyone will come out of the theater having a different opinion about it or remembering a different part of the movie or what their favorite and least favorite parts were. The same thing comes with books. Even if pretty much everyone on this very earth has read Six of Crows, it doesn’t mean that you’ll see people who liked different parts of the book over others, or which parts stood out to them, or which parts they hated, or which characters they loved, or if they even liked the duology at all. It’s always nice to see different opinions on books in the blogosphere!

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1. It gets tiring and annoying. I can definitely attest to this. I know that I can sometimes get so annoyed when it seems like a publishing company has given anybody who owns a blog the same ARC and everyone says it’s SO, SO amazing. Like, yeah. I got that. The first hundred times.

2. You might want to see something new. I mean, this doesn’t even apply just to books, but basically everything else. If you do something so many times or watch movies in the same genre in a row without a break or play the same game over and over, you’ll eventually get tired of it and want something different. Even for books I love, like The Hate U Give, I remember getting so tired of seeing all the five-star reviews for it. So, of course I want to see something new, like a review for a backlist book or a horror novel! Show me something different.

3. You might not want to read it anymore. I know I actually end up doing this a lot. I mentioned earlier that I can be pushed by rave reviews to add a book to my TBR, but I can also push it off just as easily. I feel this way with contemporaries more than any other genre. If I see 84081048 reviews talking about how it’s diverse and has a focus on family and is about a road trip and finding yourself, why should I even read the book when I know it’s going to be so predictable and boring?

4. It can feel like an echo chamber. I mean, sometimes we can get caught up way too much in keeping up with the shiniest ARCs and newest releases that we’re all basically reading and reviewing the same books, and though it can be a good thing, it can also have its downsides. I mean, even with The Hate U Give, which I loved, after seeing SO MANY reviews for it, I already knew what everyone else’s would be after it – it was raw and real and important and why #ownvoices is needed and Starr was an amazing main character and the family aspect was great and I loved the female friendship and it was amazing. Which isn’t a bad thing, but, in a way, it starts to sound really manufactured after hearing it over and over. Does that make sense? Hopefully it does.


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Basically, yeah, I can definitely get tired of seeing the same books over and over and OVER again.

I mean, there really isn’t a solution to this. We can’t really force anyone to read backlist books or underrated releases – people are free to read whatever they want, no matter what – but it’s always nice to see something new being reviewed on my Reader, for sure!

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How do you feel about seeing the same books in the blogosphere? Do you get tired of it or do you enjoy the hype? Any other feelings?

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[THE BLOGGING DIARIES] How to Write the Perfect Discussion Post

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“Yeah, a tutorial about how to write a discussion post written by Mikaela!” said nobody.

(But I wrote it anyway.)

Some of you guys apparently think I have really good discussion posts, which is extremely flattering, so thank you; I try! And I know there are always people out there who WANT to write discussion posts, but don’t even know where to start. Hence why I’m here to give you a tutorial on how to write a discussion post for the Blogging Diaries!


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Well, obviously, before you even start writing, you have to have an idea of what you’re going to write. I know there are some people who wonder where I even GET my ideas, and it’s usually one of three places:

1. Other Blogs. There will be times where I’ll stumble upon a really interesting discussion post or topic or even just a random post in general that can really get me inspired, especially looking through the comments of said post. Sometimes, a random comment left will spark an idea. Usually, when looking at a post, I get my ideas from thinking about what my take on the topic would be or wanting to explore an angle the blogger hasn’t. So, who knows: maybe going on that blog-hopping session you’ve been putting off will inspire you!

2. Books. You don’t even really have to be reading 20+ books a month to be inspired by one. My first ever discussion topic discussed the whole trend of authors adding on prequels, novellas, spin-offs, or any other additions to their original series and why bookworms were so tired of it. All of that came from the whole flurry around The Cursed Child. So, if you’re scrambling from ideas, grab the last ten books you’ve read and choose an element to expand on. For example, if I chose The Hate U Give, and talked about diversity in books. Or book hype. Or what makes a good main character. Or what makes a good contemporary novel. Or your opinion on books that take a political stance on something. Or your opinion on #ownvoices novels. There’s a lot of topics to choose from!

3. Shower Thoughts. You might be like, “What the heck are shower thoughts?” but I basically mean when you’re doing nothing, and an idea comes to you. They’re totally random. I know probably a large majority of my ideas come from this, which is probably why my response to people who ask me how I came up with this idea is, “I don’t know.” But, MAKE SURE TO WRITE IT DOWN. I know there are tons of random ideas I think I’m going to remember and then don’t, and I get annoyed because it was SUCH A GOOD IDEA. So, write it down.

Once you have an idea, you can make an outline (which I do) or you can just start writing and edit it once you finish! Usually, I start writing with the…

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Basically, I consider it anything before the first arrow I insert in my blog post. Some people might not have such a weirdly strict formula, but I do, so we’re going with it. Usually I have my blog graphic, a witty opening line (or what I think is a witty opening line), and then I blab for a paragraph or two introducing the topic and going over what I’m about to cover. 

So, for example, if you’re going to write about hyped books, you could start out by talking about how you were inspired to write the post. Or maybe you could talk about a hyped book that impressed or disappointed you. Or you could talk about how it’s a common problem for bookworms. Or you could define “book hype.” Basically, there’s loads of ways to introduce your discussion, and it doesn’t have to be overly long.

After that, we’re getting to the meat of the discussion, which is the…

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Obviously, this is the most important part of the whole discussion post. This is where you pour all your thoughts and opinions out there. For me, I think there are five different types of ways to arrange your word vomit into a discussion post people will enjoy that I personally engage in:

1. Lists. Obviously, this type of discussion is in a list format. I usually use these types of discussions to list reasons – why you should or shouldn’t do something; why I do or don’t do something – or types of a certain topic you’re going to talk about. Going back to the book hype example, you could use a list to talk about why you don’t read hyped books. Or you could list why people should read hyped books. Or you could list types of book hype. Or books that were hyped, and which ones let you down and which ones exceeded your expectations.

Example: Do We Need to Set Monthly TBRs (And Why I Don’t)?

2. Tips. Basically, if there’s a general blogging thing you want to talk about – for instance, social media or which blogging schedule is the best for you – or if you think you’re good at a specific blogging thing – like taking photos or web design – then you can make a discussion post that lists tips. It doesn’t HAVE to be a tutorial (I like to think of those as more step-by-step), you can just give tips that are specific to you that might help someone else. So, for book hype, you could give out tips about how to review hyped books or how to find the perfect hyped book for you.

Example: How To Plan a Full Month of Blog Posts

3. Problem/Solution. This one’s pretty self-explanatory: present the problem to the reader, then give solution or advice of that problem. You can do this for just one topic within the discussion or through multiple topics within the discussion. For book hype, you could talk about the problem with book hype, and give some solutions to that. Or you could talk about the problem with people disregarding books just because of the hype, and some ways to prevent it from happening.

Example: How Do You Deal With Book Blogger Envy?

4. Pros and Cons. Basically, you present a question that has both positive and negative reasoning behind both sides, and then present the pros and cons for each answer fairly. I typically use these directly for questions I have, and these are best if you have a lot of reasoning behind both sides. Bringing back the book hype example, you could talk about the pros and cons of hyping up books before they’re released. Or you could discuss the pros and cons of reading hyped books.

Example: Should Book Reviews Be Subjective or Objective?

5. Methods. These are some of my favorite to write! You take the topic you’re discussing, and talk about the way YOU handle or deal with it. This is best for those who don’t think they’re good enough at something to do tips or tutorials, but still want to share their experiences with something. For book hype, you could talk about how you go into a hyped book. Or how you review a hyped book. Or how you choose which hyped books you’ll read, and which ones you’ll ignore.

Example: How Do You Balance Blogging, Books, and Life?

After you’re done writing the content of the post, you’re at the…

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Much like doing a book report or any sort of report, for that matter, I usually summarize what I talked about in the intro. If you feel like you have anything else to add near the end of the post, feel free to add it! If not, you can just move on and include whatever you include near the end of the post. I know I usually have two sections – “Let’s Chat” (this is where I ask questions and invite conversations) and “Follow Me” (this is where I leave my social media links).

It’s also a really great idea to ask questions at the end of the post! You wrote a discussion post to get discussion (hopefully), so get what you worked hard for! I usually ask people’s opinions on the subjects or how they do things or what they would choose. It really all depends how you arranged your post. Usually, questions can get people who don’t know what to comment to comment because they have something to bounce off of.

After finishing with the conclusion, the writing process is complete once you’ve given the post a…

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Personally, I feel like I obsess over titles WAY too much, but maybe that’s normal for everyone else (probably not). Usually, I ask a question in the title of the post because I feel like I’d be more inclined to click on a title that asks something rather than states, but it’s all up to you! You can be broad with the title – “Let’s Chat About Book Hype” – or you can be specific depending on what you chose – “The Pros and Cons of Book Hype”; “Why I Don’t Read Hyped Books”; “The Problem With Book Hype”; “How I Review Hyped Books”; “How To Find the Perfect Hyped Book For You.” I usually try to summarize the entire post in the title, but that proves to be difficult sometimes.


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And that’s the formula to writing a good discussion post (or, at least, how I write my discussion posts). 

Hopefully, you enjoyed this post and got something out of it! These tips can also help those who are just trying to formulate a blog post in general, so there’s something for everyone, I guess!


Also, another reminder that we are in Phase 2 of the Big Blogger, Little Blogger Project, and if you need a reminder on what that is, the link to the original post is here! Whenever you do it, please link back to one of my posts so I know you did it, and make sure it’s done at least sometime in July because that’s when I’m posting the masterpost! 

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How do you write your discussion posts? Was this helpful for you?

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[DISCUSSION] How Do You Deal With Book Blogger Envy?

File_004 (7)It’s Discussion Time!

And, of course, I decided to pick a bookish topic that’s near and dear to my heart (but really shouldn’t be) – book blogger envy and how we all deal with it.

I’m sure at one point or another, we all have been jealous of someone else’s book blog or book Twitter account or their bookstagram account or just them as a human being because they just seem to have it all. Said blogger gets all the comments, has all bloggers you admire following them, has a large following on literally all their social media accounts, has the perfect charm and blogger voice, gets to attend all the cool blogging events, is friends with all the authors, and gets the best ARCs. And even though you’re extremely happy for said blogger or you admire said blogger or said blogger is the one that inspires you in the first place, you still can’t help finding yourself extremely envious of all that they have.

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I probably experience this, like, three times a day? Maybe four?

But, seriously, I envy and admire so many awesome bloggers, some who pushed and inspired me to start my own little blog in the first place. And it’s not even a vicious sort of jealousy where I don’t think they deserve the things said blogger has, because they definitely do. It’s the sort of jealousy that sometimes makes me feel a little bad about myself. Even if I’m proud of my posts and I get a lot of likes and comments and I get a crazy good amount of page views sometimes or I see all the strides I’ve made, and I haven’t even reached six months yet, I can still get down on myself sometimes, because I’m just not like them. I don’t get those coveted ARCs that I would absolutely die for, a post I was excited about doesn’t do too well, or it just feels like everything is moving so slowly regarding the entire blogging process, even if I work super hard to make it there.

I think the most frustrating jealousy I have is towards people who just get into it so quickly. You know, those people who start around the same time you do, or in a lesser time, and manage to be more successful in terms of posts and stats and followers – and this goes for more bookstagram and blogging, because nothing can be more frustrating then feeling like you’re moving forward, but then seeing someone get to 100 Instagram followers within a matter of weeks while you’re still stuck on 82, and it’s been months, or if some other blogger that started only a month ago already has over 100+ followers and a consistent following, and you’re barely getting views at all, and you’ve been around for four months. I think that’s the most trying, because at least with big bloggers, you can just rub it off by saying they’ve been around for years, so of course they’re doing better, but with someone that’s been doing the same thing around the same time as you, but still being more successful is what hurts the most.

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Honestly, I won’t pretend like I have a solution to this.

I’m approaching my six month blogiversary, and I still can’t really figure out how to stop being jealous of other bloggers, or even how to quell my own jealousy, but that’s never stopped me from giving tips anyway, has it?

(The answer’s no.)

1. Observe what they do. I mean, even if we love that person’s blog, really, when we admire someone, we’re also sort of learning from them, in a way. I’m not going to say to start copying their blogger voice or all the blog posts/general ideas, because that sort of borders on plagiarism, but there’s definitely nothing wrong with seeing how they interact with other people or where they draw their inspiration from or what they’re doing that attracts readers and a huge following. Because, clearly, they’re dong something right. I do it all the time, which is my blog is not a catastrophic mess right now. #Facts

2. Remember that said blogger probably had to work hard, and so will you. When I envy big bloggers for what they have, I have to step back and realize that they didn’t reach their achievements from absolutely nowhere. That person probably worked hard, probably for years, to get where they are today. It always reassures me to know that maybe if I work as hard as they did, that maybe I can be at their level someday.

3. Be proud of your own achievements. Look at your own stats. Look at the blogger friends you’ve made. Look at your comments and followers across the board. Look at all the mini achievements you’ve reached. Be proud of that. You did that. You reached those rewards. You work hard. Even if some days or months or weeks just might not be yours regarding stats or follower counts or whatever, just remember that if you’re proud of what you’ve done, really, that’s what should matter the most.

4. Work hard. Let that jealousy you have push you to strive for greatness. Help it to improve your blog posts or maybe push you to brainstorm some better ones. I know that when I had lacking content back in January where all I did was tags and reviews, I looked to all my favorite blogs for inspiration and brainstormed a large majority of the ideas I have now. Those posts I made are what pushed me to churn out content that people actually enjoyed reading, and I enjoyed writing. Seeing all these gorgeous photos on bookstagram is what pushed me to re-start my own account and what finally got me to get creative and think up my own photo ideas  (and then eventually move on to include bookish photography)!

5. Know that everyone feels this way. I mean, I’m not going to claim I know for sure, but I truly believe that even big bloggers are jealous of some other bloggers. And just know that there’s probably someone out there that’s as jealous of your book blog just like you might be jealous of someone else’s. So don’t feel bad for ever feeling jealous, because I honestly think that we all suffer from it, and we all will no matter what.

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And, yes, jealousy will still prevail.

I know it does for me, and I like to think of myself as lucky, because all the things I have now regarding blogging, I definitely didn’t think I’d get in a year, nevertheless in five months. I’m incredibly thankful for what I have, and I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who follow me or read my posts or comment on them. It means the world to me; it really does. But, hopefully, we can all get a little bit better at it.

Let's Chat

How do you deal with book blogger envy? And what are some of your favorite blogs that inspire you or you draw brainstorm from?

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