Hi and welcome back to May rants: blogger appreciation edition!
I’m SUPER excited for this post, because it’s something I’m passionate about, and I spent a lot of time gathering information in order to write it. It’s also something I think isn’t talked enough about often, but has been discussed more recently!
I’m hoping that this discussion will be somewhat thought-provoking. I made a survey that I invited book bloggers, readers, and authors to take. I’ll be taking data from the survey itself and hopefully it’ll help people see how I and many others believe bloggers are underappreciated and DESERVE more appreciation!
Before I get started though, I want to first say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. I’m blown away by how many responses I got (a total of 143!). It really helped me make this post, and I had fun seeing the stats, like the nerd I am.
I really hope you guys find this post interesting, and I’m warning you in advance that it will be LONG!! As in, 3,000 words long!!!
The basic info you need to know is that there were sets of questions for bloggers and readers, and those questions (and answers!) are the ones I’ll be talking about. If you want to know more, click here!
The survey was divided into three sections: bloggers, readers (everyone who wasn’t a blogger), and authors. Bloggers were asked questions about things that would show how much time, work, and effort is put into blogging, and show their perspective on how much they thought they were appreciated.
The reader section was similar to the blogger section, except it asked them from their perspective as a reader how much they thought bloggers were appreciated, and also asked about the influence of book bloggers on their reading. This shows the perspectives of readers versus bloggers, and also how much bloggers affect books and their reach.
And the author section is irrelevant since I won’t be talking about it in this post since barely any responded. Which I expected! And it’s okay!!
BLOGGERS & TIME
how much time does it take you to write a post on average? (122 responses)
how much time does it take to you to write a book review on average? (121 responses)
As you can see, most blog posts seem to take around 2 hours to write, from the 100+ people who answered this question. Book reviews also take about 2 hours to write as well. 2 hours may not seem like a lot at first, but that’s without the context:
how many times do you post a month on average? (122)
how many books do you review? (122)
many of the “other” responses for this question were a variation of “most books I read” (because I forgot to include that) and “it depends”
how much time do you spend reading a week on average? (121)
To analyze all of these stats together, it takes about half of bloggers 2 hours to write a blog post. The majority of bloggers post about 5 to 9 times a month. That means it can range from spending 10 to 18 hours a month just writing a blog post for a lot of bloggers.
This is put into more perspective when considering reviews. Half of bloggers said that it takes about them 2 hours to write a review. A majority of readers review every book they read. I didn’t ask how many books they read each month on average (which would have been smart of me), but I’d say that based on just my personal observations in the past, it might be around 10-13 as an average. This amounts to 20 to 26 hours reviewing a month.
On top of all this blog post writing and review writing, you have actual reading, because a lot of the time, blog content relies on book bloggers reading books, and book reviews most definitely require books to be read. 60% of the bloggers in this survey reported that 9+ hours a week are spent reading books, amounting to 36+ hours a month.
Totaled? This is about 66 to 80 hours a month spent on blog post writing, reviewing, and reading. That. is. a. LOT.
Yes, I know that the “majority” is more like “half”, or not even half, but the point isn’t to get the math right, but to show how much time bloggers spend doing blogging-related things! Most bloggers WILL spend a lot of time, and I wanted to make that known. I am not a professional data interpreter okay!!
how much time do you spend interacting with other bloggers per day on average? (121)
how much time do you spend interacting with the book community on other platforms per day on average?
do you have other commitments that take up most of your day? (ex: school, work) if so, does it affect your blogging? (122)
is there anything else that affects your blogging? (ex: physical/mental health issues)
most responses to this talked about health issues, such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, etc. other responses include things such as having to take care of a child, lack of motivation/inspiration, access to books/computer, lack of income, etc.
I won’t be discussing much about the above stats, because it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I just wanted to point out that even if it doesn’t seem like it, interaction is SO important to blogging, and in order to be successful and grow, you have to talk to other bloggers! This takes up a lot of time and is often quite draining.
And of course, bloggers also have many other commitments outside of blogging, and 96% of those with commitments report that they affect their blogging. There’s an expectation of book bloggers to promote books, which takes a lot of work AND needs to be balanced with other commitments, and in the end, many don’t even appreciate bloggers for what they asked them to do.
BLOGGERS & APPRECIATION
how many books (on estimate) do you think you’ve recommended / promoted / supported in the past 12 months? (122)
This question was to show just how many books bloggers promote and boost in a year, because many people don’t know how much bloggers do. The majority of bloggers who answered this survey boosted over 41 books the past 12 months, which is incredible!
It doesn’t seem like that much on its own, but if I take the average from each category (5, 18, 33, 41), multiply them by the number of bloggers for one, and add them up, you would get a total of 3,429 books. That is TRULY amazing. (I mean, there are probably books that many people promote, not just one, but you get the idea.)
(Also my calculator wouldn’t let me do parentheses momentarily and I ended up getting like 4,000,000 and I was genuinely Terrified for a second.)
do you feel like you and/or your work is appreciated by other bloggers? (122)
do you feel like you and/or your work is appreciated by YA readers who are active online? (122)
do you feel like you and/or your work is appreciated by authors/publishers? (122)
I think the break-down of this is super interesting. It seems like pretty much over a third of bloggers consistently have no strong feelings about how much others appreciate them/their work. The answers that lean more strongly towards yes or no vary per group of people, though, which I think is telling.
From the perspective of a blogger, I personally feel like me and my work are appreciated by other bloggers. (I think that as bloggers we all know how much work it takes and are able to appreciate others for it!) My own opinion seems to be backed up by almost half the participating bloggers.
As for how much YA readers in the online book community appreciate bloggers, the yes’s go down and the no’s go up (just barely!). I don’t have any particular analysis for this but if I guessed, I’d say it’s because there are readers who don’t know about how much work bloggers do, but there are quite a few whose reading habits are influenced by bloggers!
And finally, there are the authors and publishers. We see a big increase in no’s; it almost doubles. Many people seem to think that publishers view bloggers as expendable or just people to use, and I sadly agree. And in a recent Twitter discussion, some authors showed how little they cared about bloggers and their work (even though, you know, I’ve seen bloggers promote their work ALL the time).
do you feel like physical review copies are enough compensation for your work? (120)
do you feel like digital review copies are enough compensation for your work?
Compensation is a topic that I think goes hand in hand with appreciation. Because if you appreciate bloggers and their work, would you continue to let them labor for “free” or compensate them? I’ve talked this a bit before, but compensation is an extremely tricky issue to handle, especially with book reviewing, so I’ll just leave these stats here to speak for themselves!
Also, some food for thought: I personally think that it’s a lot easier to get compensated on Youtube (monetization) or Instagram (ads, sponsorships), but blogging? A lot harder. Just a little something to think about!
would you like to or do you think you deserve to receive MORE appreciation and/or compensation for your work? (120)
And the last question: do the bloggers who filled this survey out believe they deserve more appreciation and/or compensation? Almost 96% of participating bloggers said they wanted to receive more appreciation, with about 55% of those 96% wanting more compensation as well.
The amount of bloggers wanting more appreciation is overwhelmingly high, as a group of influencers that should already be appreciated (at least to the point where at least half bloggers don’t think they deserve more), and that makes me really really sad!
READERS & BLOGGER INFLUENCE
have you ever added books to your TBR / checked out books from your library / bought books, because of a blogger? (130)
if you said yes above, how many books (on estimate) have you added to your TBR / checked out from your library / bought, because of a blogger, in the last 12 months? (129)
have you ever read a book directly because of a blogger? (130)
if you said yes above, how many books (on estimate) have you read directly because of a blogger, in the last 12 months? (128)
Okay, first of all, I need to mention how much it bothers me that the last graph is ALMOST a peace sign but not quite there!!
Second of all, and
less more importantly, look at how much bloggers influence reading!!! Out of the 130 readers who answered this, 129 have become interested in / actually bought or borrowed books because of book bloggers, and 127 of them have read a book DIRECTLY because of a book blogger.
That’s such a high fraction! Look at the influence bloggers have!! That’s AMAZING!!! I don’t want to hear any more of this “bloggers have no impact” nonsense!!!!
READERS & VIEWS ON BLOGGER APPRECIATION
do you appreciate bloggers and/or their work? (130)
not to vague anyone or anything… but I’d hate to be the 2 people having “no strong feelings” about appreciating bloggers on a survey about, you know, appreciating bloggers
do you feel like the majority of YA readers who are active online appreciate bloggers and/or their work? (130)
do you feel like authors/publishers appreciate bloggers and/or their work? (130)
We see that same increase of “no”s when it comes to authors and publishers, except it’s a MUCH higher increase. A lot of people seem to think that publishers (more than authors) don’t show bloggers enough appreciation, and I personally agree! These stats don’t show the reasoning behind why people think this, though, but the next part does:
why do you think people might not appreciate bloggers as much?
I got so many interesting responses for this question!! I wish I could share them all since they were all so insightful, but I’m only going to discuss the most common answers I saw, and also a few that stuck out to me.
(There were also a few responses that made me a little frustrated, but I’ll hold off from commenting on them.)
Common answers I got were along the lines of:
- People are unaware of how much time/effort/work bloggers put into their blog »» This is very true, and that’s why I wanted to have questions for bloggers asking them about the amount of work they do and how long it takes!
- People write off blogging as “just a hobby” or a waste of time »» Also very true, and it’s quite weird how it’s “just a hobby” and yet publishers seem just fine using bloggers for promotional blog tours and reviews!!!
- Publishing views bloggers as expendable and dispensable, and they are often “used” »» This definitely goes in line with what I said before and I totally, 100% agree.
- Blogging is a less popular platform even though others take the same amount of work »» This is exactly what I think! Bookstagram, booktube—those are amazing platforms (and I’m part of one of them!). But it’s DEFINITELY evident that they’re more popular than blogging, and this can’t really be “blamed” on anyone, but it’s disheartening for sure.
- Bloggers are lumped in with the bad apples »» This is so true and sparked the whole discussion on Twitter! Some bloggers may do bad things, but the rest of them should NOT suffer for those select few’s actions! (And like, there are lot more people than just bloggers who do bad things, too.)
Here are just a few specific responses that I really want to discuss!
“Honestly, I think we are appreciated. I think we all do this because it’s something we ENJOY doing and I think if people are expecting or thinking they deserve compensation outside of ARC copies then they’re not blogging for the right reasons.”
I… really don’t agree with this. I respect this person’s views, but I just want to bring up some things! First of all: Just because we enjoy doing something doesn’t mean we can’t want to be more appreciated for it? Like I love doing dance, but I feel like a lot of people underestimate it and wish it was more appreciated!
And second of all, why is it a bad thing that people think they should get compensation for doing something they love? I mean, I would love to be paid to solely read books. Does that mean I’m reading books for the wrong reason? No, I’m just reading because I love to! And if I can get paid for it, even better!
(Plus, blogging is a lot of work, and being compensated would be like a token of appreciation!)
“idk i think they rarely interact w bloggers. it’s mostly bloggers supporting bloggers”
I wanted to highlight this response because I think it’s extremely relevant! It’s very true that most bloggers are supported by only bloggers, and not really anyone else. And it’s strange to me, since anyone can read this blog post, just like anyone can watch a booktuber’s video. But things like this are really hard to fix or change!
“publishing can kinda suck and it’s easy to take advantage of bloggers”
“[…] bloggers, booktubers etc. being numbers rather than human beings in publishers’ eyes”
I really love these two answers. It’s definitely really easy to take advantage of bloggers and let them do a lot of labor without giving much support back. And the numbers vs. human beings thing is SO big, in my opinion. Stats are pretty much everything publishers care about, especially when it comes to review copies, which are pretty much the only existing form of compensation for bloggers.
do you feel like bloggers are properly compensated for their work? (130)
The results of this question is so interesting to me! It wasn’t the exact same question as the questions in the blogger set, about physical ARCs versus eARCs, but I do think that regardless, non-bloggers seem to believe that bloggers aren’t compensated enough, more than the bloggers themselves believe!
do you feel like bloggers should receive MORE appreciation and/or compensation for their work? (127)
I think it’s really interesting how this is the same question from the blogger set of questions, however, the percentage of “yes to both” jumped! (Of course, anyone was allowed to answer the reader set of questions, and I know many bloggers answered both the blogger and reader questions, so a part of them are included.)
But still, from 52.5% being “yes to both” in the blogger section, to 69.3% being “yes to both” in the reader section, that’s a large jump! And it goes along with the compensation question in this section—non-bloggers seem to think bloggers deserve compensation more than the bloggers themselves do.
BONUS: READERS & UNDERPRIVILEGED BLOGGER APPRECIATION
looking back, I probably shouldn’t have included this bonus section because it added about 400 more words to the post. but it’s too late because I like what I wrote and think it’s important!!!
do you feel like marginalized bloggers’ work is less appreciated than non-marginalized bloggers’ work? (127)
similar question as above; do you feel like IPOC bloggers’ work is less appreciated than non-IPOC bloggers’ work? (126)
similar question as above; do you feel like teen (13-18) bloggers’ work is less appreciated than adult (19+) bloggers’ work? (127)
I personally believe that marginalized, IPOC, and teen bloggers are less privileged than non-marginalized, non-IPOC, and adult bloggers. And it’s quite something to see that there’s a larger fraction of the privileged versus a smaller fraction of the less privileged, saying the less privileged are appreciated.
Okay, that was worded kind of (A LOT) weirdly, so here’s an example! Of the bloggers that answered the question about IPOC, about 70% were non-IPOC, while 30% were IPOC. (By the way… that’s Yikes.) Of the 70% non-IPOC, 26% said that IPOC are not less appreciated. Of the 30% IPOC, 11% said that IPOC are not less appreciated.
It’s difficult for me to word what I’m trying to say. But there are more non-IPOC answering this question. And there’s a higher fraction that think that IPOC bloggers aren’t less appreciated. It reflects the same general sentiment of more white people than IPOC thinking that racism doesn’t exist today. And that makes me really sad. (Note that I’m NOT equating racism to “less appreciation”, though.)
* Some people mentioned that they weren’t familiar enough to bloggers to see if any group was less appreciated. That’s fair enough, which is why I’m mentioning it.
** I’d also like to note that someone brought up international bloggers, and I want to bring them up as well! I TRULY don’t know why I didn’t include them since I was looking at underprivileged bloggers. And I was also debating adding other marginalized people as well, such as queer bloggers, but for some reason I didn’t? My brain is weird! However, in hindsight I realize I should have included them in this, and I apologize!
First of all: I am EXHAUSTED after writing this post. It probably took me 6 hours total, and even more setting up the survey (ironic considering the topic). But second of all: I truly hope that this post was able to open your eyes to certain things, or convince you even more that bloggers deserve appreciation. I think it’s important to discuss, and while it was draining, writing this post was worth it.
I don’t know, maybe this was sad for you to read! Maybe it was fun. Maybe it was frustrating. But I think we could all end on a little positivity:
just for fun, name a book you read / became interested in because of a blogger (or a few)! name the blogger as well if you can!!
I had so many responses for this question, a lot more than I expected! And because I want people to see that their recs are being taken to heart, I’m running a thread on all the books and bloggers that were mentioned. You can find it here!
did you read this whole post?? (I would be genuinely surprised if you did tbh) what are your thoughts on blogger appreciation? do YOU think we deserve more appreciation? compensation? did you like the graphs as much as I did???