Discussion post: Focusing on a particular genre

Focusing on a genre

Today I’m going to talk about something I’ve been thinking about for a while – whether not focusing a specific genre for a book blog is a positive or a negative, or whether it can be both.

I read a lot of different genres depending on my mood and what I’m feeling like at the time – and my blog has evolved naturally as a result of this. I quite often have a few different books on the go at once. For example at the moment I’m listening to a crime/thriller audiobook while I’m out and about, reading the latest fiction release as an eBook while on my commute and reading an epic fantasy in paperback at home.

I’m enjoying each of these equally, and sooner or later they’ll all pop up as reviews on this site. However, I’m conscious that for some people, they might be primarily interested in just one of these genres.

I have lots of wonderful followers who are kind enough to read and comment on my posts, no matter what the subject matter. However, I’ve often wondered if my blog would do better if I focused more on one particular genre or topic.

A lot of the blogs I personally follow have a clear identity and have carved out a real niche for themselves in the blogosphere – and this is something that I see as a real positive. For example, I follow a lot of blogs that are mainly focused on YA, on crime or on fantasy or sci fi. I love that there are bloggers that I can come back to time and time again and know that the books they’re reviewing are ones that I know I’ll be interested in.

On the other hand, I also think that not having a specific genre can help to attract a wider audience. I also follow a number of blogs where not all of the reviews are necessarily of books I’d read, but I know that when there’s a book review I’m not personally interested in, I can always skip down and read a discussion post, Q&A or review that does interest me.

Plus, sometimes reviews of books I would never have thought I’d be interested in pop up on my WordPress Reader that sound great, so I’ll add them to my TBR and potentially discover something new.

I’m really interested to hear what you guys think about this one – so please do comment and let me know!

Do you have a primary genre for your blog? Is this because you’ve made a conscious decision that this is the area you’re going to focus on for blogging, or simply because it’s the genre you’re most interested in as a reader?

Do you prefer to read blogs that are mainly about a specific genre, or are you happy to skip past the reviews that aren’t for you if there’s other interesting, non-genre specific posts for you to read?

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16 thoughts on “Discussion post: Focusing on a particular genre

  1. I probably feature more historical fiction than anything else but that’s really because it’s the genre I most like to read. But, like you, my tastes are quite eclectic so I read crime, thriller, a bit of SF from time to time as well. I think you’re right that focusing on one genre could limit the popularity of a blog unless the genre happens to be one of the really popular ones. Personally though I didn’t set out to create a mega blog with thousands of followers – although if thousands want to follow it they will be very welcome! I often come across reviews of books I probably wouldn’t read myself but I can still find the review interesting or admire the way it’s written. I think it’s good as well to step outside your comfort zone – reading a review of a book in a genre you don’t read is an easy way to do that.

    • I completely agree – the reason I started blogging was to talk to people about the books that I enjoyed, so featuring the full range of genres that I enjoy seems the most sensible way to continue blogging! I personally really love finding new recommendations from the people I follow too.

  2. I blog about whatever I’m reading, and I read all sorts of stuff so it’s a bit random. I’m sure I’d get more followers etc if I specialised, but then I know I’d find myself feeling forced to read more crime, or sci-fi, or whatever I chose as my genre. So I read what I read, and some people visit every day while others just pop in if a particular book interests them, and I’m fine with that.

  3. I also have debated this. Originally I planned on being a YA blog, but a) Do we REALLY need another YA blog? b) I realized I wasn’t going to be happy devoting so much of my precious reading time to a genre that, honestly, isn’t my favorite.

    I don’t know that there’s a right answer. Personally, I like to see people reviewing a variety because I read a variety! I find that the niche bloggers review a lot of books its unlikely I’m going to read, simply because I’m just not going to trudge that far into the genre. But I say this is YOUR blog, and you review whatever YOU want to read. Don’t do it based on what you think other people want to read, or it might start to feel too much like work. (at least, that’s how I’m currently operating. *shrugs*)

    • That’s a great way to view it! I’m planning to carry on as I am at the moment, posting about what interests me, and just hope that there are other people out there who are interested in what I’ve got to say! I agree as well, focusing on one particular genre feels like it would limit my reading and I’d soon find it a struggle to stick to.

  4. I do not focus on a specific genre for my blog. I simply blog about the books I read. These are predominantly thrillers, mystery novels, suspense fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction and literary fiction. I never read fantasy or science fiction, though I would still support a fellow bookblogger that did read and blog about these genres. I would more avidly follow a blogger that shares my own personal reading tastes though.

  5. My primary genre is YA, more specifically contemporary, but I really envy bloggers that can read all genres. I read sci fi and fantasy as well, but only under the YA genre. Otherwise, the books just don’t hold my interest. But I think it’s a real strength to read all different types of books because it does appeal to a wider audience and overall I think makes reading more fun because you can avoid slumps.

    • I think it’s great that you have one genre that you know you love and can always come back to. Blogs have to reflect what we all personally enjoy reading I think or they become a chore to maintain – which is something I’d hate to happen!

  6. I’m into loads of genres too, so I can relate! And I’m the same about enjoying discovering books I’d never have thought of before. Personally I just review what I want, rather than worrying about it. I think it’s you’re blog, so just do *you*! 😀

  7. Pingback: July wrap up | The Stacked Shelf

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