Powered by Bravenet Bravenet Blog

Janitor On Duty

journal photo

May 2nd, 2009

1:35 AM

I'm a reviewer! Look at me! LOOOOOK AT MEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to the recent drama about the proper ways to review a book, I have been following blog links after links on the subject matter as well as related rants and unwanted advices about reviewing from authors and bloggers alike, and I notice one embarrassing thing: it does seem like there are many amateur bloggers/reviewers out there that are desperate for attention.

I'm talking about those people who would leave comments in those blog entries, with URLs to their review site displayed loud and clear in a blatant and desperate attempt to get traffic, the desperation factor made even clearer by the people in question agreeing with the original blog entry and adding that their review site in question follow the rules to a tee. A typical example would be a post that is something like this:

"Hi, Melanie! I from http://www.elcheaporeviews.com agree completely with you. At El Cheapo Reviews, I always made sure that I am a fair and balanced even when it comes to books I don't like. Snark is cruel and at El Cheapo Reviews, we don't do that. I invite you and everyone to visit El Cheapo Reviews to exchange more conversations about this matter. See you there!"

The unspoken message that is blatantly projected here is "Look at me! Come visit me! See my blog! Give me some traffic!"

If one or two people are doing this, things won't be so bad, but it does seem like every time someone sets down the law on how reviews should be written, at least five people will crawl out to leave comments that are nothing more than blatant advertisements for their own blogs.

It's all so ridiculous and quite embarrassing at the same time. Can't they be a little bit more subtle and less desperate in their desire to get noticed? If they really want to stand out, I suggest starting by adopting a reviewing style that has a distinctive "voice" that makes you different from other amateur reviewers and having a website or blog that doesn't look like puke thrown up all over a template without a cursory warm-up. If you use a blog software platform, do consider getting a social bookmark script like the one at http://www.addthis.com to put on every page of your review, but this works best only after you have considerable traffic. Just stop showing up at people's blogs with big signs around one's neck that says "LOOK AT ME!!! LOOK AT ME!!!!!" because seriously, it's embarrassing.

4 comment(s).

Posted by Mireya:

I missed the drama 'cause I only follow 3-4 blogs. :P On a side note I don't link to my reviews newsletter when visiting review related blogs, I feel uncomfortable doing that, do I get a cookie?
May 2nd, 2009 @ 2:49 AM

Posted by carolyn:

Well, I'm glad I never get comments like that. I'm probably not big potatoes enough. But honestly, some people don't get it!
May 2nd, 2009 @ 3:05 AM

Posted by Maili:

"If they really want to stand out, I suggest starting by adopting a reviewing style that has a distinctive "voice" that makes you different from other amateur reviewers..."

Perfectly said. It's not about how nice/catty you can be with your reviews; how balanced or well-written your reviews are, or how friendly/funny you might be towards review readers.

What matters is your voice. If you could express your personality through your writing via reviews, then that is your style. No one's. It's yours and yours alone.

If the voice works, readers will be there. If it doesn't, readers won't. It's as simple as that. So yeah, don't worry about whether you are getting enough traffic. Just focus on reviewing in your style and time will bring enough traffic to make you feel all glowing-like. :D

In short, the rules for authors can apply to reviewers as well.
May 2nd, 2009 @ 4:05 AM

Posted by Emmy:


Next topic: review blogs who set up partnerships with publishers, then proceed to post only 5 star/5 viagra pills/4 vibrators/whatever reviews of those books.
May 2nd, 2009 @ 1:09 PM