Bookish Ramblings: Is Your Blog Genre-Specific?

Hello and welcome to my sixth Bookish Ramblings post! Lovely to see you again :) This week I’m going to talk about the following idea:

Is your blog genre-specific? Do you review everything you read or is your blog and/or your reading taste restricted to 1,2 or 3 genres only?

The reason why I decided on this topic is that a blogger interview I recently took part in made me think. The interviewer, Bex from Kindle Fever, asked me to describe my blog and tell her what my blog is about, what genres it covers, what genres I usually read. Judging from previous blogger interviews, I gathered that the most common answers to this question are either a, YA or b, a whole bunch of different genres. I belong to the latter category.

And needless to say, this issue has been constantly on my mind ever since. I started wondering: is it a good thing to restrict yourself and your blog to just a few genres? Or is it better to read a greater variety of books and thus accepting the fact that your blog might not appeal to as many people as a strictly YA blog, for example?

Well, here’s my take on this issue. If you only ever read, for example, paranormal books and your blog is strictly about paranormal novels, good for you. I know several bloggers out there who focus on one or maybe two genres only and it works for them. The tricky part is to find readers who are interested in the same genre/s as you. On the other hand, I know some people who read a greater variety of books but still, they only blog about one or two genres. They read different genres, they just don’t review them all. What I like here is that they know what they want to do with their blogs – they know that they want to have a YA only, or fantasy only blog -and it’s a conscious decision on their part. However, it doesn’t always work out. I know several people who, after blogging about a certain genre for a given amount of time, simply got bored of being restricted to such few options. And they started thinking, ‘I read a lot of different books – then why shouldn’t I blog about them, why should I restrict myself’?

Well, you shouldn’t. If you ask me what genre(s) my blog covers, I’ll give you a list of about 5 different genres. I read and blog about a mixture of different type of books and I’ve never wanted to run my blog any other way. I don’t want to restrict myself to a YA only blog because I read a lot of adult fiction books as well and vice versa. I don’t want to blog about mysteries only because I love chick lit as well, and so on. My blog may not be as popular as some of the YA only blogs out there but do you know what? I don’t care because I’m blogging about what I like. So my tip for new bloggers would be: don’t put yourself in a box just to be popular or just to fit in. Blogging should be fun. You should write about what you like, what you feel passionate about. If you’re happy with your blog and you like what you’re doing, readers will keep coming back to your blog no matter how many genres you cover.

Is your blog restricted to a certain genre or is it rather a “mixture”?  Have you thought about blogging about different genres or are you happy with the way your blog works? 

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46 Responses to “Bookish Ramblings: Is Your Blog Genre-Specific?”

  1. My blog is a mixture, really? I review anything I read, and I read what sounds good to me at the time. I have memoirs, romance, thrillers, YA (of all variety), even a few picture books.

    I look at it as this blog is my outlet to talk about books. It’s for fun, and for my personal satisfaction first and foremost. I understand the benefits to a genre specific blog, but for me? It’s not what I’m wanting.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books
    Jac @ For Love and Books recently posted..Review: The First Days by Rhiannon FraterMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      I’m exactly the same as you, Jac! And reviewing a lot of different genres is even better in a way (I think) because everyone will find something they like. YA blogs don’t appeal to horror fans, paranormal blogs don’t necessarily appeal to fans of chick lit, etc. If you have a little bit of everything, there’s a chance people will find something they’re interested in, no matter which genre they prefer. :)

  2. Linny says:

    I completely agree with you on this, Vicky. Blogging should be fun! We should have fun with our blogs and read and review whatever we want to, and not have to read/review books we don’t really enjoy as well. I think you’re right that if the blogger is having fun it will show in their posts and readers will keep coming back regardless if they don’t like every single book posted there.

    I personally stick to YA fantasy/paranormal pretty strictly on my blog, but that’s only because that’s pretty stictly the only kind of books that I really like reading, haha. The occasional historical fiction slips into my bookshelf as well though and I’ll read and review it if I want! :)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I hope there aren’t any bloggers out there making themselves suffer by limiting their reading just to get popular or something. :( Blogging is fun!

    • Vicky says:

      I definitely agree, Linny! :) I know this because I’ve been through this “not fun” thing with accepting review books I normally wouldn’t pick up before and I learned from my mistakes.

      Yes, but that’s it! You’re YA fantasy/paranormal because that’s what you read! If you got bored of these two in 8 months and got into historical fiction, I’m sure you’d have no objections against blogging about that genre.

      As long as it’s fun and you‘re having fun, people will keep coming back to your blog I think.

      • Linny says:

        You’re very right! If I suddenly got into another genre I would definitely review them, same as the books that I review now. And I’m sorry to hear you had a suffering period, but I’m sure it’s a lot of pressure with different people all asking you to read/review their books. I’m glad you’re past that now though! :) I think it really must reflect in your posts becuase they’re always fun and interesting to read. Even if the books you read aren’t always what I might read 100% of the time, I still check out the post. ;)

  3. I definitely read a mix of books, although I do participate in a YA arc tour too. But my favorite genre of books range anywhere from horror/thrillers to chick-lit/sci-fi fantasy. I really just try to read what I want to. I’ve always been an eclectic reader, even as a kid, so I just don’t see the need to change! Love the post, because I do follow some blogs that are very genre specific.
    Kate- Midnight Book Girl recently posted..Mailbox Monday #1My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thanks Kate and yes, I agree! I’ve always been the same – I love chick lit and thrillers/mysteries equally, I love dystopians and a little bit of romance.. adult and YA as well. I can see why people would want to stick with one or two genres only but for me, I don’t think it’d work. :)

  4. I review every book I read no matter what genre it is but most of the time its fantasy or historical fiction but since I’ve started blogging I’ve read some YA and I do enjoy reading some Nicholas Sparks sometimes so some romance too I guess. I wouldn’t make my blog genre specific and restrict myself. I talk about books, join in memes and sometimes I even write a post about my daily happenings and journeys. Hopefully people are interested in what I have to say but I also enjoy it for myself.
    Becca @ Lost in Thought recently posted..Review: The Hunger Games – Suzanne CollinsMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      And that’s great! Blogging should be fun so there’s no point in doing it if someone doesn’t enjoy it, is there? :)

  5. Kate Verrier says:

    I completely agree with you – you should blog about the things you’re passionate about!

    My blog is also a mixture, I could never tie myself down to one genre. I read anything that I think will interest me – if I like the sound of the synopsis then I’ll go for it :)

    Great post as always

    Kate
    Kate Verrier recently posted..Heaven – Christoph MarziMy Profile

  6. Rebecca (Kindle Fever) says:

    Lol, omg my blog is a complete mixture, even if I’m lately YA addicted. ;) I started out not even liking YA and mainly reviewed anything Paranormal/Erotic on the Adult side and suddenly I was friends with two YA readers who pushed me to pick up some awesomeness and I was hooked. Lately I’ve enjoyed them even more than the Adult ones. YA also introduced me to contemporary and Dystopias and … everything I love these days. ;) But I still mix in my Thrillers or Historicals whenever I feel like it too.

    I’m just too much of a mood reader to be able to limit it to a specific genre. If I had limited it to Adult only before, I’d have had a 6 months break now, because I’ve just been feeling the YA vibe lately. I definitely prefer keeping it open myself, but then I know those who read 300 books a year too and I can’t imagine how it would be to review all of those, so perhaps that works better in that case too. :)
    Rebecca (Kindle Fever) recently posted..Guest Post: Choosing Locations For Stories by Red TashMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Erotica? :o Wow, I didn’t even know! But yeah, I’m the same! I’m SUCH a mood reader – even if I decide which book I will start tomorrow, there’s a 98% possibility that I’ll pick up something else. If I restricted my blog to one genre only, that’d be a total disaster.. But hey, there are lots of people out there who love it and it works for them :)

  7. Birgit says:

    Well, I’m quite an eclectic reader, BUT on my blog I mostly review non fiction with only a bit of science fiction thrown in for good measure. So obviously I have a soft spot for non fiction books and love to share this passion with my readers in hopes they might pick up one book or the other (non fiction can be thrilling and exciting too, I promise).
    Birgit recently posted..A Writer’s Life – The Love QuadrangleMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      You seriously need to teach me how to get into non-fiction! My dad reads a lot of non-fiction books but I’ve never really liked them :(

      • Birgit says:

        I’d love to wet your appetite for non fiction!
        Just send me an e-mail – danaan at gmx dot at – and we can work on bringing your inner non fiction reader out of its hiding place!
        Oh, and if it’s any comfort, many people dislike non fiction, but often they do because they simply haven’t met the right books yet.
        Birgit recently posted..Beyond the Shelf – Build Creative Writing IdeasMy Profile

  8. elena says:

    Interesting post! I didn’t even really think of it when the blog was made, I just knew “YA!” and that’s about it. Sometimes I review middle grade or adults but only when it seems like a good portion of the YA world has read or heard about the books. I’d love to review more of them but they’re not really our target audience. C’est la vie. I save those reviews for GR so it’s not too bad. We do blog about different genres though, I’ve noticed I’m more of a contemporary and fantasy fan while my co-blogger likes dystopians. It gives the blog more variety, I think!

  9. Dalene says:

    When I started my blog, I described myself as reading everything. While I go through waves of certain genres, I did not want to restrict myself to anything. Of course, at the top of my page, I put Romance and Mystery, but tell me a genre that doesn’t really fit into that. YA has romance and sometimes mystery, chick lit has one or the other, so other than contemporary fiction which to me would have more drama, I pretty much read anything. Hopefully anyone can find something interesting on my blog. Great topic!
    Dalene recently posted..It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (Apr 30)My Profile

  10. Great question. I write adult and YA, and I love variety, so I read a variety of genres as well. I’m not into paranormal and that decreases my interest in the plentiful blogs that focus solely on paranormal, but when those blogs reach out to other genres then I’ll visit them.
    Jennifer Lane recently posted..Z is for ZOMG! The A to Z Challenge is EndingMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Same here! But d’you know what’s the funniest thing? I still follow many paranormal only blogs and I have several paranormal blogger friends/followers as well. Even though they clearly don’t read chick lit, for example, and I don’t really like paranormal. And we still visit each other regularly. Odd! :)

  11. I don’t put a label on myself or my blog. I review what I want to read. I like a lot of different genre’s and I think that makes me a more well rounded person. For me that is. I can see how the YA only blogs have higher numbers, but I want my blog to be what I want. So that’s what I do!
    Mary-Sweet Bookshelf recently posted..Audio Book: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK RowlingMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Amen! :) I’m the same as you – I don’t want to put a label on myself. Those who really matter and those who are really interested in my posts/reviews will keep coming back anyway.

  12. Sticking to what you like, what you enjoy is the way to go. Our blog is mainly YA we have had a few PG adult novels reviewed. We went that route because its what we read, what we enjoy and also because my daughter and friends visit the blog. I don’t want to promote a book to young teens I wouldn’t want my daughter reading (ie – JR Ward). I can read those and review them elsewhere.

  13. I love the mix of your books. My blog is also that way. I have to say, it is HEAVILY YA novels. But I do read adult fantasy, urban fantasy, and I really am trying to branch out. My blog is for readers who love variety. I am really trying to bring in more adult novels to review, but I do have to admit that it is kind of hard.

    Great topic!
    Ashley Prince recently posted..DEFY Book Tour: Giveaway and ReviewMy Profile

  14. Angie says:

    I agree with everything you’ve said! My blog is definitely a mix of genres, because I like to read across different genres. When I first got started, I felt like I SHOULD narrow it down and only post about one genre. But my blog would be pretty empty if I did that, so I decided against it. :)
    Angie recently posted..2012 Challenge Progress: AprilMy Profile

  15. Hannah says:

    Here here! In fact, I’m probably one of the “why shouldn’t I?” bunch, though I’ve always reviewed everything I’ve read, I let myself get caught in a genre trap. I’ve always had very eclectic tastes and I want my blog to reflect that.
    Hannah recently posted..Child of Destiny Blog Tour: Guest PostMy Profile

  16. Lexie C. says:

    I review pretty much anything I want though I lean heavily towards YA and fantasy. When I first started it was mainly romance and some YA and fantasy, but its evolved into ‘whatever I want’ pretty quickly. Heck now my blog has my interests in TV, movies and anime because as my subtitle says ‘Obsession is Diverse’.
    Lexie C. recently posted..THIS is Romance? How to Kiss a GuyMy Profile

  17. BarkLessWagMore says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot too. I’m a new blogger and an eclectic reader and I post just about everything I read which is mostly dark fiction and all genres of romance and very little YA. I won’t read something just because its popular and I don’t read the same genre too much because I tend to burn out. I hope I can fill a little unread niche (dark fiction/adult fiction) and am still on the search for a few more blogs like yours that review something other than YA. Any suggestions?
    BarkLessWagMore recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #9My Profile

  18. Tabitha S. says:

    I review pretty much whatever I’m reading at the moment. Usually that consists of YA books, but sometimes I’ll branch out. And when I’m reading YA books it’s usually contemporary, but I’ll read the occasional dystopian or paranormal. (:
    Tabitha S. recently posted..The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesMy Profile

  19. Ellie says:

    If someone asks me what sort of books I read, I tell them “good books”. I understand why genre blogs can be popular but I genuinely love reading all sort of books, the characters and the writing are more important that the subject matter if done well. I think it’s nice to introduce people to book they would not normally think of reading and I get that a lot with my blog. That makes me happy.
    Ellie recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?My Profile

  20. Kelsey says:

    I’ve been wondering myself if I should just review a certain genre of books or not, but I love to read all kinds as well. My blog isn’t labeled as a YA one, but I mostly review them for now. I think I will take your advice and review whatever I want, and try expanding what I read even more :)
    Kelsey recently posted..My Sunday BookshelfMy Profile

  21. My blog is a mixture about different books, but you definitely can see one I really like: fairytales and retellings :) I’m becoming a ‘specialist’ in those books, haha. But I’ve some reviews about thrillers, dystanopian books etc..
    I’ve labeled my blog as a YA, but I tend to read everything I like. From horror to fantasy. It’s just how I feel that day. Sometimes, I really want to read something with a lot of romance, some days I want to read about murdered boys with gruesome details :p

    So for me, it’s really hard to describe in one word what kind of blog I really have. It’s better to say that it’s a blog about a book obsessed girl.
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy recently posted..Old review 9: Adam Gidwitz – A tale dark and Grimm.My Profile

  22. Leah says:

    My blog is a mixture. I don’t limit what I read, so why limit what I talk about? I read so many genres, such a wide variety. I think it’s okay to not be genre specific. I don’t think many readers stick to just one or two genres anyway.

  23. My blog is very specific, as you can guess by the title. Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. I don’t think I will ever get bored of these genres because there are so many great books and series out there in these genres.

    However, when I feel like reading a straight up romance, an adventure, a horror, I do and review it anyways. I think a blog can be specific but that does not mean I can never review another genre when I feel like it. In my blog description, I say my primary genres are UF and PNR, but also mention that I read other genres on occasion. And just so you know and do a healthy portion of both adult and YA books.

    I think once people start reading your blog for a couple weeks, they start getting an idea of what to expect.

    But do I think blogs need to be specific? Hell no. I think bloggers should do whatever they want. Yes, we are here for our audience, but you also need to do what fits use best.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted..Guest Post & Giveaway: A Recipe For Cross-Genre Fantasy by Don A. MartinezMy Profile

  24. Laura Ashlee says:

    Though I tend to read more YA and romance than anything else, I try to mix it up a little. I read a lot of blogs that restrict themselves to YA or romance, but I’d rather post about everything I read.
    Laura Ashlee recently posted..Weekly Recap and It’s Monday! What are you reading?My Profile

  25. LuKa (Lubna) says:

    Like you, I too love reading a variety of books, but I guess the books I review do tend to tilt towards non-fiction, but I am closing the gap. 8-)
    I have clearly specified on my blog the kind of books I read and review. No point in sending me a gooey-romantic tale that I would probably not be able to finish or will end up doing an unjust review of.
    I think all of us, who review books, need to know what are preferences are.
    While I do review books falling across genre, I have clearly stated that I will not review horror and romance.
    Thanks for posting an interesting topic.
    LuKa (Lubna) recently posted..We Interrupt our ProgrammingMy Profile

  26. In late 2009, I decided to shift the focus of The True Book Addict more toward historical fiction and that has gradually become my main focus there (with some classics and literary fiction thrown in). That’s when I made the decision to launch Castle Macabre in August of 2011 because I didn’t think horror/speculative fiction (to include some fantasy, etc.), my other favorite genre, had a place at The True Book Addict any longer. But that was just a personal decision for me. By no means do I feel that a blogger has to focus on a specific genre. In fact, my tag line at The True Book Addict is “an eclectic reader with an affinity for history and historical fiction.” I think everyone should just blog about the genre they want, whether it be a specific one or a variety of them.
    Michelle @ The True Book Addict recently posted..{Book Tour} Review–The Flower Reader by Elizabeth LoupasMy Profile

  27. Melissa says:

    Yay! I love this post! I’ve seen on so many tips…especially that recent top tuesday … that it is better to have a narrow focus for a blog… I’ve always read whatever I felt like…all genres and age groups and reviewed as many as I can. I like that my blog is eclectic! If you are looking for a YA paranormal blog then I’m not it…but hopefully I appeal to other readers like me…as well as those readers who are genre specific but don’t mind skipping whichever posts of mine don’t appeal.
    Melissa recently posted..Release Day Party & Giveaway: Unicorn KeepMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Seriously? But why? I mean, why is it better to have a narrow focus? Beats me. I’ve always been an eclectic reader and a mood reader so it definitely wouldn’t work if I restricted myself to one or two genres. I love variety! :) And I actually prefer blogs like yours: I may not like all the reviews/books because they’re not my kinda thing but at least everyone will find something they like!

  28. kimba88 says:

    Great post. I blog about all the books i read..and my taste vary..i read mainstream fiction and ya with an occassional non-fiction..thus i have a mixed group of followers. Surprising some of them have tried books outside of their genre zone. Besides Potter and Twilight..i hadn’t read any Ya until 6 months ago..lol It is NOT the YA i knew in my late teens..and i enjoy it. However in contemporary romance i prefer adult fiction. I think as long as you stay mainstream fiction..you can easily mix the two. I blog to share MY love of books..so my blog reflects me.
    kimba88 recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday : Shadows of the NightMy Profile

  29. Eustacia Tan says:

    My blog is really what I read, and I read all sorts of books! But if I limited myself, I’d probably grow sick of blogging within a month. I’d rather have a limited audience and enjoy the whole blogging experience than make myself read too much of one genre (and so deny myself the rest)just so that I fufill a niche market. I just hope that my readers have the same (general) taste as me(:

  30. Petra says:

    I agree with you, it’s better to blog about what you like. That way your blog mirrors who you are, your personality and it is more special and unique. :)
    For example sometimes I review classics, because I love them! But I love UF, fantasy, mysteries, and paranormal YA as well. It’s a mixture, but it feels right! :)
    Petra recently posted..Litha GiveawayMy Profile

  31. I HATE the genre question!

    What is your favorite genre, Jennifer?

    WHY DO I HAVE TO HAVE A FAVORITE GENRE?! I am an eclectic reader with eclectic tastes. I love a good story, whether it be adult, YA, or juvenile; whether it be thriller, historical ficiton, contemporary lit, mystery, or fantasy. WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE!

    Thank you for standing up for all of the “I blog about everything because that’s what I read” bloggers. It makes me happy to feel apart of a group of people that doesn’t fit into a certain group.

    Let’s make our own group! Eclectic Readers all the way! =)

    Really, I agree with you 100%.
    Jennifer @ A Librarian’s Library recently posted..Book Review: City of Fallen AngelsMy Profile

  32. Mine is a mixture as well. I don’t check in with blogs that have only one genre as often as I do others for some reason. I’m not sure why though. I mean I follow all kinds of blogs but…I don’t really know.
    Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic recently posted..Why I Love Wednesdays… Favorite Types of HerosMy Profile

  33. Alexia561 says:

    Great discussion! I never considered limiting myself to a specific genre when I started blogging, as most of the bloggers I followed reviewed a mix of genres. Guess I was lucky to have them as role models, as I tend to read/review anything that’s a good read! While I do have periods where I’ll OD on a certain genre, I also mix it up every now and again. Variety is the spice of life!
    Alexia561 recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (1)My Profile

  34. Pragya says:

    My blog has almost everything under the sun. I read a wide variety of books. I only avoid horror and erotica which I don’t enjoy reading. Other than that the genres that I have reviewed on my blog range from YA, mystery, romance, paranormal, Classics, non-fiction, cookery, puzzles, historical fiction to psychology. I can’t restrict myself to a few genres and why should I? It’s my blog, I read and review what I like. There are people who read all sort of genres out there. And not a single post of mine (which cover all these genres) has gone without comment. People have different choices and I cater to each (because I love reading everything, almost)
    Pragya recently posted..Bout of Books: Reading List, Help NeededMy Profile

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