This is NOT a discussion about who reviews are for.
No, this post is a discussion about who uses the reviews we write.
And yes, there’s a distinction. Because who we write our reviews for and who actually uses them may not be the same.
Regular followers and Bloggiesta participants are probably aware of the Bloggiesta challenge I hosted about easy SEO tweaks. My SEO research really started because it’s important for my business (and some of the work I do related to my business), but it’s been easy to apply the same principles to On a Book Bender.
And because the bread and butter of book blogs is usually reviews, I’ve been musing on the importance of reviews.
Who’s reading our reviews?
I know many book bloggers DON’T read reviews of others for various reasons:
- They’re afraid of spoilers
- They have a policy of not reading any reviews before they’ve read the book
- They don’t read reviews of books that aren’t within their normal genres
- They don’t want other people’s opinions to influence theirs.
- They don’t read reviews of series books where the review is further into the series than they’ve read
All of these reasons are perfectly valid.
But we WANT our reviews to get more views. We bemoan the fact that our memes or features get more love and attention than our reviews.
Because really, reviews take time. Reviews take effort. They’re a labor of love of books and wanting to share our love for books (even when the book we’re sharing isn’t so great).
There’s nothing wrong with wanting our reviews to receive more attention.
So what am I circling around, you’re asking?
The importance of our reviews may not reside in writing them for our regular readers, but in providing our reviews for people searching for more information about the book.
My discussion posts might get a lot of views within the same week I post them, but reviews are the one type of post that continue to bring in views.
My reviews are the main reason searchers land on my blog.
That means over time, my reviews actually have higher views than my discussion posts, even when my reviews receive fewer views initially and fewer comments.
In fact, my highest viewed review has four comments–two of them mine.
So what is the importance of reviews? I can’t say, exactly. But I do think it’s worth reconsidering the idea that comments = people appreciative of our reviews.
And that a review that doesn’t receive a lot of views within the first few days or weeks may end up being one of our highest viewed reviews later on.
Who do you think is reading YOUR reviews?