How Many Circles are There?

I think it’s really interesting to look at the different sub-communities in the overall book blogging community. Sometimes I feel like I’m so sheltered when I only look at my own Twitter feed and my own email subscriptions to my favourite blogs. I see the same faces. I get a sense of what I THINK this community is all about.

Then I join something new and my whole perspective changes.

The “circle” I’m in is super laid back

By this “circle” I really just mean the people that I follow on Twitter, the blogs that are in my Feedly, and the blogs I subscribe to. It’s not really like a clique or a “club” or anything like that; loads of the people in this “circle” don’t even know or talk to me. It’s just a list of people that I personally am exposed to and see every day on different platforms/feeds.

This is kind of how I see the bloggers in my circle:

  • Laid back.
  • Starting to request fewer ARCs.
  • Not stressed about blogging.
  • Don’t really care about “expectations” or blogger “trends”. They just do their own things.
  • Mostly publish discussion posts, reviews, and personal posts.
  • Open, honest, genuine.
  • Not really bothered with having a ton of contacts.
  • Don’t have reading schedules. They’re mood readers and just read whatever, whenever.

We have kind of this surfer dude outlook. Laid back, not bothered, not stressed, just posting random shit in our own spaces.

Other circles are completely different!

As I’ve been branching out and peeking into other circles, here are a few I’ve come across:

The Facebook circle

  • Doesn’t have much blog traffic (based on what THEY’VE said, not my own observations).
  • But, they have A TON of Facebook likes.
  • They spend more time on Facebook than their blogs.
  • Post about ebook deals frequently.
  • Have close connections with indie authors.
  • Do a lot of promo.

The ARC frenzy circle

  • Constantly try to figure out how to get ARCs.
  • Always making note of who gets approved for which ARC and how many followers they have.
  • Hungry for publisher connections.
  • Get stressed when they don’t understand why a certain blogger got a certain ARC (they have few followers, etc.).
  • Have strict reading schedules.
  • They always know if they’re “ahead” or “behind” because they have schedules.

The challenger circle

  • Usually host their own challenge
  • Their sidebars are filled with challenge buttons and progress bars
  • They’re always participating in reading challenges
  • Strive to meet goals and deadlines

The book blogging community doesn’t have a mold

I think this goes to show that there’s a place for everyone in the book blogging community.

  • If you love discussion posts and hate schedules, there’s a place for you.
  • If you want to do everything on Facebook, there’s a place for you.
  • If you only read books by indie authors, there’s a place for you.
  • If you like doing promo posts and blog tours, there’s a place for you.

There’s no right way to blog, and regardless of how you want to do it, you’ll be able to find your place in this community. There are tons of different “circles” full of people just like you. And if not, start your own circle! Be a trend setter! Just because there are a few trends in the community doesn’t mean that you HAVE to pick one of them. There are no rules and no boundaries. You can do whatever you want.

Think of the blogs that you read and follow, along with your own. Do you see a trend or a “circle”?

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I'm a 30 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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48 comments

  1. To be honest, I have no idea what “circle” I’m in. Maybe the people who are on twitter a lot? I’ve never really thought of this. I don’t really have high standards on people I talk to. I will literally talk to anyone who’s just nice to talk to. I know that in school, people consider me a drifter because I belong to all the circles and none at the same time. maybe blogging is like that too?

    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted: Album Review: x - Ed Sheeran
    1. I think it’s great that you can talk to everyone. πŸ™‚

      I was totally a drifter in school too. I had friends in like three different cliques. If I liked you, I’d hang out with you whether we were in the same circle of friends or not.

  2. I DON’T FIT IN! …and I love it. I love that I don’t fit a mold. I see myself in one or two bullet points for each category. I mostly publish reviews and discussion stuff. I think I’m just a mood reader, even though in the past 4 years there have only been a few weeks where I wasn’t in the mood. πŸ˜› Most of my contacts are indie authors, but just because I became a huge fan of one and there are a lot of other awesome ladies in her fan group. But I don’t promo and mostly read ARCs from NetGalley. I’m only competitive when it comes to beating my past self, so I love challenges, even though you won’t find any in my sidebar. I prefer it this way, because it makes my “circle” even bigger, being able to find at least one thing in common with almost any other book blogger. πŸ™‚

    Brittany recently posted: How to Beat Book Blogger Burnout
    1. Ohh that’s totally another one I should have mentioned! There’s definitely a little sub community (or two) of bloggers who are also writers.

      Very interesting that you drew the connection between home schooling as well. How curious!

      1. It’s wierd because my circle is pretty much 14-ish relaxed girls just having fun in a larger then average family (including myself) now that I look at it it’s funny because the reader/writer like me is homeschooled and so am I! It’s really weird.

  3. I guess I’m more like in The ARC frenzy circle. Even though I don’t find ways to receive ARCs now, I do have a schedule to read and review them.

    Talk about my blogging style, I never hold any challenge and rarely join one. I don’t blog about meme and I don’t stress myself to blog at a specific time frame (e.g. at least once a day). I guess I’m more like a laid back blogger who just blog randomly on the stuff that I want to share and the book reviews after I finished reading a book.

    1. I always think it’s pretty amazing when I see a blogger with a schedule. I could NEVER blog/read that way. I’m a total mood reader. It’s always very cool to see someone with a different style that totally works for them, you know? We’re all so different. πŸ™‚

  4. I’d say we’re plenty comfortable in the “laid back” circle, especially with all of the changes we’ve been implementing. No more memes, no more daily posts, I’ve deleted my NetGalley account because of my mood reading… I like being in the chillax circle. πŸ™‚

    The blogs I’m following tend to be a bit all over the place, but in general I favour discussion posts and personal posts. They’re the most fun to read.

    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted: Hi, My Name Is Inge and I Have Anxiety
    1. Woohoo, let’s chillax together!

      I love not having blogger obligations and just being able to read whatever, whenever. It’s very freeing.

      I also favour discussion posts and personal posts. I’m even getting tired of reading book reviews. πŸ™ I just find discussions more interesting these days.

  5. I used to be laid back when i started in 2009. I was joining the few portuguese blogger about books, that existed back then.
    People used to be social and interested in what were everyone reading, talking about, suddenly when publishers started offering free books to be review and to giveaways, it was the beginning of a war. People start spamming the comments only to “follow me” and who have more followers, and those who had more followers, got everything from publishers. With the social media platforms boom “facebook”, “twitter” etc…it became worst, it was the party of the links and likes and “follow me”… some people post everyday and more than once a day, every email they get from publishers it is post to present the new releases, their blog look like a f*ck catalogue of “amazon” or “bookdepository”. 0% content, 100% merchandising. And i joined back then this “crazy circle”.
    First i only ask for the books i really wanted to read, and with some few changes in my personal life, i started a master degree, taking my driving license, working in shifts at the hospital, my dad discover he had a cancer in september 2013 and died in jan.2014 (can’t believe is going to be a year now :()…and i was not motivated for keep on that crazy track, i didn’t had the time to read, and the only time i was having was spending on revealing people the new releases, and i felt like i had to ask some books, because everyone as reading the same things…i started to think…i’m not like this…i like to read, i started for fun, receiving books is cool, but is not my goal and i will not read because i got from the publisher or because some person is reading. People’s posts became the same: same new releases posts, same reviews…and what i really liked, the diversity, was gone.
    I decided to focus on me and do a instrospection: i have more than 300 books to be read, my boyfriend (kind like husband XD) have more than 300 and mostly in english :D…so why do i keep on buying and asking for books? What made me buy some book, that i really wanted, to only get dusk in the shelf for years? I cut with that crazy buying circle “in my mailbox” thing. Love to see people doing it and show it, but is not my thing for now and i will not do it, because there’s a awfull money crisis in my country, i have tons of books and i should read more and buy less.
    I like small circles and i moved to wordpress to a self hosted blog and i had to pinch myself if this was real, because i always wanted that, and i want to keep things pretty and simple because i like that way, if i don’t have thousands of followers, i don’t care. I post stuff i like and because i want, the same way to 0 followers or to million followers. Some people here, might thing like i’m crazy or something to pay for a host and not even have the followers and attention they have, so what’s the point, they may ask…the point is my satisfaction, my happiness and honestly i’m liking a lot some english bloggers i’m founding that are like me! And some have some rich content that i think “gosh they should be big” and i see some famous ones that got famous and do not discuss or post interesting things…i’m on “laid back” circle and i like it!

  6. I haven’t really noticed those circles, but I definitely see bloggers that have grouped together and always talk together on social network. That might be the extreme fangirl circle, because most of their tweets have !!! and capslocks in them.

    I think it’s great that there is a place in this community for everyone. I like to follow people with different opinions to keep an open-mind πŸ™‚

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: Review 309. Paul Durham – The luck uglies.
  7. Love this post! And it is so true. It is amazing how there can be one community, we can all mingle and share our bookish love, but also groups where you can really focus on what you love most about blogging. I’m moving more and more laid back lately. Life is busy and blogging and reading is where I go to hide from the stress. I don’t need to create more!

    Lenore (@Bibliolatryme) recently posted: Why Do You Blog?
  8. Excellent post! Back a few years ago when all those “How to be a blogger” etc. type posts went around, I think it definitely started to seem like there was the correct way to blog and the wrong way. I used to get a lot of posts about how “different” of a blogger I was, which I nice because it made me unique, but also not nice because I felt lonely and sort of like an outsider. But over the past few months I’ve really stepped back and widened my own “circle” and…LO AND BEHOLD, there are bloggers who I’ve never met who are doing the same things as me and wow, how cool was that! It’s nice knowing that in this ever-expanding community of bloggers, there’s bound to be someone with similar motivations/interests.

    For instance, I didn’t even KNOW about the Facebook-type bloggers! How interesting.

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts recently posted: Book Review: The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
    1. I didn’t know about those Facebook bloggers either! That’s what prompted this post. I joined a Facebook group full of book bloggers and it’s like a TOTALLY different crowd of people. I kind of feel like I don’t fit in there, but it’s still interesting to look around, you know? It’s sort of eye opening that there are so many different kinds of book bloggers.

  9. These days I’m a laid back blogger, I maybe used to be one of the frenzied bloggers, but that isn’t my scene any more. As I said on yesterday’s post, I actually hate seeing tweets from the ARC obsessed. I didn’t start blogging so I could get free stuff, and it bugs me that people do. (Though I also can’t believe the publishers are quite willing to send books to blogs that have been around for just one minute).

    Honestly, I find myself tiring of the book blogger scene, or at least the Chick Lit book blogger scene, because they’re all a bit obsessed with ARCs and I just want to go on Twitter and chat with people who aren’t trying to butter up authors or publicists. I don’t want every other tweet to be one about how awesome every single book they’ve ever read is, because it’s just so fake. I’ve completely cut down the amount of bloggers I follow on Twitter, and I’m finding new people to follow who write great posts that are more than just reviews – like you, Ashley.

    Book blogging consumed me a few years ago, but now, while it’s still my main focus, it’s not the be all and end all. If I don’t receive a book to review, I just shrug and carry on my day. I’d rather just read what I feel like reading, and not feel frenzied over it all. I get enough stress in my real life day job, without stressing about what books I am or aren’t getting. I have had literally no book post this year and it’s been BLISS. I’m enjoying reading more genres from Netgalley – like crime books or Young Adult books. Being freer has allowed me to read different genres.

    Mind you, I still don’t feel like I fit anywhere. I missed the class where people learned to be charming and stuff. I’d fit in a better circle with Sheldon Cooper in it.

  10. I am a very impulsive reader, one day I will be like hmm that book doesn’t seem interesting and the next thing you know I’m in the third book of that series XP so while I don’t plan when to read a particular book (I do applaud the people who can, some days I just want to binge watch my crime shows and cheesy romance shows) but I do plan around the months/dates I know I would be busy with university or whatever and would have no time to read like this past month where I mostly just scheduled blog tours/promos etc since I knew I didn’t really had to do anything with them and I could focus on my work.

    I havn’t done any discussion posts yet on my blog because I recently started out and didn’t know much about anything and had no followers to discuss with. I also don’t post everyday, my general thing is to post something in two days and I’m ok with that unless it’s something I had scheduled before hand like blog tours. The only book challenge I do is goodreads one which is just a general amount of books I hope to read in a year.

    My circle (the blogs I follow) is kind of a mixture, but most of them don’t care that much about ARC’s, they do get them but they just post about whatever they feel like. Some do challenges and some do more social media stuff so it’s a balance I think. Great topic Ashley! πŸ™‚

  11. I’ve run through all of those circles. Right now I think I fall into the first one – laid back. I’m not dying to get my hands on ARCs, I don’t spend a ton of time on social media (once in a while I go through spurts of activity), I used to post more on Facebook with deals and such and I was big on challenges for a time. Now I am just doing what I want and participating in a few tours for books that I really think I’d like. And I’m posting a bigger variety (not just bookish stuff).

    I wonder if we all go through phases until we get to the more laid back style? Or if it’s based on life changes, etc? Mine is life changes and not wanting to feel overwhelmed. I’m sure if I stayed the way I was, I wouldn’t be blogging anymore.

    1. I think that’s a fantastic goal! πŸ™‚

      And there’s always more to learn, regardless of how long you’ve been blogging. I think even people who have been blogging for 5+ years still learn things!

  12. I think I’m a mix of several of these. I’m definitely part of the Facebook crowd, as that’s where I first found a connection with readers who were as crazy as me over books. I am mostly involved with the Indie authors, as that’s who I first came into contact with online, and that’s where I’ve developed most of my friendships/working relationships.

    I have been known to be ARC crazy, not for the free book of it all, but because I get overly excited when I’m looking forward to a book, and any chance to read early is a THRILL for me. I don’t aggressively pursue ARCs, though. If I get one, cool. If not, release day will come soon!

    I don’t post promo, but I do have reading goals/schedules, but they’re not super-strict.

    Basically, I just do what I enjoy, because at the end of the day, this is supposed to be FUN.

    Mo @ The Scarlet Siren recently posted: The Prince – Sylvain Reynard
    1. You’re absolutely right! There are no rules or “molds” when it comes to blogging. You can make it whatever you want. πŸ™‚

  13. I follow blogs from all over the place. A lot of them I’d say are included in your circle. Another large majority is Aussie bloggers and I think this is the circle I’m in if you’d call that a circle. Other than that, I don’t follow any Facebook blogs and only a select few ‘challenge’ type blogs. πŸ˜€

    Laura Plus Books recently posted: Show and Tell: Why I Need New Bookshelves
    1. Aussie circle!! That’s cool. πŸ™‚ I feel like I’d LIKE to be in the UK circle but I can’t weasel my way in for some reason.. It’s not because they’re unwelcoming, it’s just because I’m an awkward person who has problems standing up and saying HEY, I’M HERE! I’M FROM THE UK!!

  14. I probably fall into that laid back circle as much as anything else, and I think most of the blogs I follow are probably somewhere around there. Especially when life throws big wrenches in the gears and you fall behind on everything. No stress. πŸ™‚

    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted: Updates: New Toy- Libib
  15. Yep! I think I see a lot of the same people from your circle in my circle too. The only difference being that while they don’t have a schedule, they do have an idea of what they’d like to post each day. If they miss that post it’s not a big deal. They’re not killing themselves to make a deadline but they definitely have some goals.

    That’s the great thing about the book blogging community. There are SO many ways to do the same thing. It’s truly unique because what works for one person will absolutely not work for another. I love it most of the time. πŸ˜‰

    Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter recently posted: Write on Review-a-thon 1/23 – 1/25
  16. Fun post! I’m kind of a cross between the challenger circle and the laid back circle. I’m pretty laid back about my blogging in that I don’t take many requests, don’t have any contacts, and read what I want 95% of the time. I love discussion posts, though my blog is probably still mainly book reviews. On the other hand I love challenges – I host a couple and join bunches. I’m never hard core about them though. I have fun with them and like the way they often make me branch out and try books I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I often am really unsuccessful with them and i don’t care LOL! Fun post πŸ™‚

  17. I like to think I approach book blogging like the people in “your circle” although I’m an infrequent commenter here! The bloggers in the laid back circle (for wont of a better term) are just trying to keep it fun. I like to be in that mindset because otherwise, this hobby gets stressful FAST. I don’t care about ARCs, although I do sometimes get jealous when people get to read stuff so much earlier than me, but in the end, I’ll buy the book if I want it that badly and enjoy it just as much. Still, it’s nice that everyone has their own niche and that there are friends for everyone. As long as you’re having fun with the hobby and not hurting anyone, then I say blog however you want! It seems like a lot of bloggers are trying to relax more in 2015 and that should help with some of the drama that gets stirred up in the community, which the laid back bloggers usually ignore anyway.

    Terri @ Reading By Starlight recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Times the Book Wasn’t Better than the Movie
  18. I don’t think I’m really in a circle. I like to think I’m a laid back blogger like you but sometimes I’m a stress head so I probably hover somewhere between the two! I like that everyone can find somewhere to fit in though. I don’t think some other blogging communities have that luxury!

    Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc. recently posted: The Deadly 7 by Garth Jennings
  19. I’m so super new to the whole book blogging experience, that I can’t really say I /have/ seen “circles” or trends. I know that people definitely like to do read-a-thons, challenges, and review ARCs. Personally, I don’t really know a lot about book blogging so maybe that’s why I don’t see a lot of trends. I’m still the new kid learning the ropes.

    Alexa @WordsOffthePage recently posted: Sunday Wrap Up #2
  20. I see trends and circles sometimes…*nods* I think I follow a lot of more writery blogs, so we balance reading and flailing over new books with what we’re working on ourselves. I’m probably one of the most voracious readers in my circle because I love reading more than writing. xD I’m a schedule sort of person too. But to be honest, I LOVE meeting new bloggers and trying out new circles so I’m more everywhere than in just one spot.

    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted: 21 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me
  21. I come from the indie world, where a lot of the blogs are very focused on Facebook. I’ve really started to back off of Facebook because that whole world is very competitive and that’s just not me. I’m here to read books and share my honest opinion. I’ve become much more laid back and just read what I want when I want, while still fulfilling any commitments I make. It’s much less stressful that way. And being less active on Facebook is better for my mood. πŸ™‚

    Megan @ Reading Books Like a Boss recently posted: Audiobook Review Ҁ” Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
  22. If you want cutthroat, look no further than mommy bloggers (she said, whilst juggling her keyboard, toddler, and 64oz triple shot Red Eye #joking #mostly). I started as lifestyle blogger (without knowing it – it was a hobby, originally), then became a book blogger (discovered Book Sneeze, and never looked back), then became a full time blogger in the lifestyle scene, only to discover I don’t actually fit a “scene” and really dislike being shoved into boxes. #sigh So after spending a year being somewhat snubbed for being a “small blogger” and “uppity” because I don’t like being told what to do by random strangers, I threw out the handbook that was making me a psychopath, and went back to doing it my way last fall. Which included a 2.5 month break from writing to rebrand (launching Monday #soexcited), which earned more scorn. Which was hilarious when I got to point out that I’m driving a 2015 Mazda3 this week for FREE as part of a test drive program for bloggers, despite being dead silent on my blog for 10 weeks. SO —- I’m going to do what I want, when I want, how I want, and enjoy the fact that it’s obviously working for me, and say “screw it” to the arbitrary rules of blogging (except for the ethical ones, because #obviously). PS: I want to belong to the first group you mentioned!

      1. Eh, thankfully not all of them. Working bloggers tend to be a stressed out bunch, especially those of us with littles at home, so it’s also sadly not uncommon for claws to come out around each other in our private online groups, because we’re just plain tired all the time. So…take it with a grain of salt? I do find, personally, that worrying about every detail known to man 24/7 makes for a less interesting blog, however good the writer, though. Which is why I’m sacrificing some areas to keep that from happening.

        Alena Belleque recently posted: Hello, 2015

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