Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Suggested Hierarchy of Comment Worthy Book Blog Posts

What sort of blog posts get the most comments? 

  1.  Posts about dramatic personal news get the most comments.  Good dramatic news like an engagement or the birth of a baby (child, puppy or kitten) get the most.  Bad dramatic news comes close behind.
  2. Post about blogging topics come next.  Wondering how to treat Advanced Review Copies, whether or not to publish negative reviews, should you change your blogs layout design again?  Just about everyone who keeps a book blog has an opinion to share.  A post about comments usually does fairly well.
  3. Participants in weekly topics can do very well.  Sunday Salon still thrives on comments.  Booking Through Thursday still has a base of fans
  4. Post about general publishing issues and book world controversies come next. 
  5. Pictures of pretty scenery and cute pets.  Cute babies trump both, however.  (See #1 above.)
  6. Reviews of current popular books/authors.  Reviews of a popular author's newest book will get more comments than a review of the same authors previous books will.  Positive reviews tend to get more comments than negative reviews do.
  7. Reviews of classic literature that is still widely read, especially if a new movie adaptation of the book has recently come out.
  8. Reviews of books people have heard of but not many people have read.  Comments will increase if the book is a classic people feel they really should have read at some point.
  9. Reviews of obscure books by well known authors.
  10. Obscure books by little known authors get the least number of comments.
This is meant to be a suggested ranking and has no basis in science or serious review of statistical data.  I am hoping to update this list based on feedback.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment.  ;-)


Kelly TheWellReadRedhead said...

I'd agree with much of this, especially the way you have the book reviews ranked. I always feel like I'm doing such a service to my readers when I review little-known books, but of course they get the least comments...le sigh.
I am posting a personal-news post tomorrow, let's see if your theory is correct! Haha.

Jeanne said...

a strange exception to your observations, which otherwise seem right on the mark, is that if you write a post about personal news but put a poem that seems related in the post, fewer people will comment because they are intimidated by poetry.

Lisa said...

Should posts offering free books be on the list - and pretty high up? Those get a lot comments, including from people who want to be included. Also, blog anniversaries seem to draw comments - or are those covered under #1 or #2?

Lisa said...

Ack, the second sentence is missing a crucial "not" - people who do NOT want to be included (in the draw).

Bellezza said...

I loved reading these items in your hierarchy, and I'd say you're spot on. The only things I'd add are a popular reading challenge brings lots of comments and communication between bloggers, as are the comments simply between friends. Or, teachers. ;)


James Chester said...

Kelly, If it's good news and on the dramatic side, you should do very well tomorrow.

Jeanne, I'm going to say that most poetry falls under number 10 above. Some of it falls under number 8.

Lisa, I think I should re-write my list to put blog anniversaries under number one and give-aways under number two. Give-aways used to get lots of comments for me, sometimes over 50, but not so much the last few times I did them.

Belleza, I think reading challenges would probably fall between numbers 2 and 3 above. I think I'll fold them into one or the other so I can keep the list to a nice round 10. They're probably best in number 3.

James Chester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
martine said...

Blog posts about baking in between the book review posts always get more comments on my blog:-) But then most of my books are more obscure or not very recent.

Rayna said...

Love it! The only thing I'd add is readathon or readalong posts -- those always bring in the comments.

Anonymous said...

So true. All so true. Sometimes it makes me feel a little less inclined to review a book people haven't heard of so much and that I didn't love -- you know? It seems like it maybe isn't worth it to write out a whole review of a book I just felt "meh" about, knowing that it won't generate a lot of conversation on the blog.

Anonymous said...

I love your list and can't disagree with the observation that posts reviewing actualy books come after everything else, and then there is another pecking order.

Vintage Reading said...

I can usually tell if a post is coming from the heart or if it is made just to generate comments particularly on reading blogs.

Jeane said...

Sounds about the same as what I experience, although I don't post a lot about personal news, those always get floods of comments. As most of the books I read and post about tend to be little-known or on unpopular subjects, I get very few comments. O well.

Amateur Reader (Tom) said...

However however however

Posts in category #10 get the best comments.

James Chester said...

Martine, I think I'd put baking posts up with #5, but cute baby pictures will get more comments than pictures of food. ;-)

Rayna, I acutally respect readathon and read-a-long comments since they are book centered. They might even generate more comments than cute pets do.

Jenny, I still write something up for every book I read, but I don't put much work into books I didn't really like most of the time.

Gaskella, I think we should all make it a point to comment on book review posts at least weekly.

James Chester said...

Vintage Reading, While I think you're right in that we can usually tell the difference, I'm willing to give people the benefit of the doubt most of the time. We'd all like to get more comments than we do, I suspect.

Jeane, Keep on keeping on, I say. And I read a lot of obscure books.

Amateur Reader, I was going to mention you in number ten. While I read your blog much more often than I comment on it, you generates a fair number of comments on books I think it's safe to say very few people have heard of. I think those of us interested in that sort of book manage to find Wuthering Expectations eventually.

Amateur Reader (Tom) said...

Ah, I learn so much from my commenters.

To use a silly yet accurate fishing analogy, the obscure, little read book is like a bait that only attracts a specific fish. It is good to try out different baits to discover what kinds of fish are out there. So many different, interesting fish.

Thomas at My Porch said...

I feel kind of idiotic commenting on a post on commenting. You have exposed the dark underbelly of book blog comments. Since I read and post about a lot of number 10s and also a lot of number 5s, I think your ranking is pretty spot on. Since I am one of those book bloggers whose "reviews" are just my opinions with no real analysis I guess I shouldn't expect too much.