Hello again to my favorite online people! I’ll be honest — I’m inexplicably nervous for today’s post, because, like some other things I’ve mentioned on the blog before, the lack of negative reviews (by choice, obviously) on my blog is something I’ve always been insecure about.
That being said, this is a post that I hope will turn into a real discussion: I really would love your guys’ opinions on whether seeing just positive reviews on a blog lead you to value or trust the blogger’s genuineness less. I promise, I won’t be offended! I just need a general idea of how my content affects my readers. ❤️
Also, this is kind of a wordy post, because it’s hard to express something super general and abstract into words that make sense. If you have any confusion, just ask me in the comments, and I’ll be happy to clarify/edit the post as needed!
To start with, I want to start out by explaining my mentality a bit. I tend to focus on content that is either ‘positive’ — basically books, tropes, or ideas I like and would like to promote — or ‘informative’ — interviews with authors and bookish influencers, and discussion posts about topics I’d like to talk to you all about.
The purpose of this is simple (in my head): When I talk about things I love and want other people to read or experience, my recommendation or word of mouth might spread that book/idea/thing, and more people might be exposed to it. For example, someone adding a book I loved and reviewed to their TBR is my ultimate goal. Someone deciding to read all of an author’s works after I interview them is like living the dream. Someone changing a potentially racist view after reading a discussion post is the sort of impact I’d be honored to make.
Essentially, I want my content to reflect my opinions, so that (a) people know exactly what kind of person I am, and (b) I’m doing something productive, creating some sort of impact, no matter how minimal.
On the flip side, there are ‘negative’ posts — negative in the sense that these posts are not about promoting or appreciating, but about warning and informing. I’m talking about the ‘Seven Tropes I Hate’ and ‘Why I Don’t Read Sarah J. Maas Books’ and ’10 Books I Wouldn’t Touch with a 10-Foot Pole.’
All of these post titles have come directly from my earlier blog post drafts. Just saying.
Now, there is truly nothing wrong with these sort of posts. I swear, I don’t look down on them, and I hold no snobbery about a certain kind of post being better. (In fact, my favorite kind of posts are these kind of posts, and snarky reviews will always breathe life into my soul.) But for my own blog, curating positive things is just a personal choice — and now, I’m worried that it’s the wrong choice.
So far, I’ve been kind of vague and general, but now, I want to talk specifically about negative (book) reviews. I’m not sure exactly where I saw this, but I’ve seen many people talk about how it’s important to include reviews for books you’ve rated 1 or 2 stars.
The logic behind that statement is this: If people see that you have disliked books before, and you’ve vocally said you didn’t like it, they’re more likely to trust and value your recommendations. If the only reviews you have on your blog are 4 or 5 star reviews, people will think that stars are a throwaway thing for you — you give them away freely, so they don’t hold value.
It’s like inflation, except with star ratings.
I don’t know how true this is! All I know is that I don’t want people to stop trusting my reviews because they’re all positive — especially since I have disliked books. I just don’t highlight them. My Goodreads feed is the most unfiltered, since I post all my reviews there, and I always share my ratings in my monthly wrap-ups. So. I don’t know!
Anyways, if you got through this entire post, thank you! I love you all. And, I’d love it if you all would answer these quick questions in the comments!
What is your opinion on *gestures wildly* all of this?
Do you prefer to read negative or positive reviews/posts?
Does a blogger’s value drop in your eyes because of all-negative or all-positive reviews?
Would you like to see more “negative” posts from me?
SIDENOTE — this is a scheduled post written in May.