If you looked over all of the features and categories of your blog, what category would be the most popular, what would receive the most views, and what would receive the most comments? I’m betting that the answer to all of those questions is not the category of book reviews. Book reviews tend to be much lower on the totem pole when it comes to page views and comments.
Is there a way we can change that? Yes, but to do so, we need to look at our reviews from our reader’s perspective. Simply typing up some paragraphs isn’t always enough to keep people’s attention nowadays. You need to be creative with how you present your review and keep your reader’s attention.
This isn’t rocket science either. These tips will be easy to implement and simply makes sense for blog posts in general. Really, these tips could be applied to any blog post you write to increase reader engagement. Today though, we’re going to focus on book reviews because they need more love :)
1. Be creative with your review post titles
Before engaging your readers with content, you need to get them to first click through to the post itself. Your post title is their first glimpse into what your post is about. Guess what guys, “Review: [TITLE]” isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s boring and will tell me nothing about your review.
For that matter, A LOT of book bloggers format their book review titles like this, so what makes yours stand out?
You know who has awesome blog titles for her book reviews? Cait from Paper Fury. Her titles include the book title and some phrases either about the book or how she felt about the book. They aren’t too wordy and she still includes the book title so her readers know what she’s talking about. Recently Ashley from NoseGraze also had a great title for her book review of A Whole New World. She titled it “An Epic Re-imagining of Aladdin Falls Flat.” That is so much more interesting than Book Review: A Whole New World!
This may be the most important step here because what good is an amazing review if people even don’t click through to the post and read it?What good is an amazing review if people even don't click through to the post and read it?Click To Tweet
2. Include headings
I’m not the biggest fan of bolding sentences in your review, because headings are better and stand out more. Your review must be skimmable (I’m not 100% sure that’s a word). Take this post for example. This may not be a book review, but you can tell what this post is about by quickly scrolling through in a couple seconds.
Now there are multiple ways you could go about doing this. You could separate your review by headings like “plot, pacing, romance, etc.” It’s simple, but not very creative/interesting. Instead, think of creative ways to describe sections of your review in a phrase or 2. You want to leave your readers wanting more from reading the heading to that section. You could still separate your review by plot, pacing, romance, etc, but use more interesting words to describe those sections.
One way you could do this is by choosing a key point within a section and rewording and shortening it into an phrase for the heading.
3. Don’t make your paragraphs too long
Long paragraphs scare readers away. They look at paragraphs with more than 5 sentences and go O.o whoa. That’s a lot of words.
This is an easy step, but one that make it easier for your readers to digest your content and not freak out. Did you switch topics in a paragraph? Looks like a perfect opportunity for a new paragraph. Also, don’t be afraid of short paragraphs(2-3 sentences).
4. Recap your thoughts
Not all of your readers will have time to read through your entire review. It’s a good idea to have a section at the end of your review that recaps or summarizes your thoughts on the book. It lets your reader know your overall thoughts, after all the babbling/fangirling you did before that :)
This can also be a good place to recommend or not recommend the book to certain readers. Let your readers know who you think would most enjoy this book.
5. Include questions
Finally, you need to spark a conversation with your readers. You don’t just want to word vomit and leave it at that. What is your reader supposed to think? What should they say to your ramblings?
Offering conversation starter questions at the end can help you avoid comments like “nice review.” Take pity on the poor sap. Most people don’t know what to say after reviews if they haven’t read the book too.Offering questions at the end of your review can help avoid comments like: nice reviewClick To Tweet
Was there an interesting topic in the book? Ask your readers what they think about that! Did an aspect of the book really bother you? Ask if that situation would bother them too. Your questions don’t need to be super specific to what happened with the characters. It may be better to be general in the topics that the book touched on.
There is no “right way” to review
I feel like this goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways – I’m not telling you the right or wrong way of writing a review. This is just advice and tips. If what you’re doing now is working for you, that’s great. Keep doing what you’re doing :)
However, I do recommends these tips because they will help organize your review and make them easier for people to read through.
Are you frustrated with the low views on your book reviews? Have you implemented any of the tips above in your reviews? What reviewing format works best for you?
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