Goodreads Overview: How it Works and Content Marketing Benefits to Bloggers

Most people know Goodreads to be a source of literary content. In fact, it is the world’s most popular website when it comes on to finding new books to read. This means it is a site that is dominated by readers, book lovers, and authors.

But Goodreads also holds content marketing opportunities for bloggers. With the right strategic approach, it is possible to boost traffic and target new readers for your blog; people who probably would never come across your articles otherwise. If you own a blog or planning to start one, you are probably wondering how you can go about this.

Before getting to that, let’s talk about what Goodreads is all about, including its history, purpose, and who uses it.

What is Goodreads?

Goodreads is an app and web platform that helps people find books to read. In addition to reading from a vast library of literary works covering numerous genres, users are able to recommend books to friends, as well as share and review books on their “bookshelves.” Goodreads is also a social media network in that it allows people to view other people’s books, connect with authors, join groups, take part in discussions, and comment on reviews left by readers. The website was founded in 2007 by Otis Chandler and Elizabeth Khuri out of a need to create a virtual space to help people find books they want to read.

Acquired by Amazon in 2013, Goodreads has consistently grown, becoming the largest platform of its kind. Today, there are over 90 million registered members on Goodreads, with 50 million being active on the site monthly. More than 2.3 billion books have been added, resulting in well over 430 million page views, on average, each month. Additionally, book reviews are in the region of 90 – 100 million and there are thousands of groups contributing to a vibrant online community.

Using Goodreads

Goodreads is free to join for all users. As a social network, it is not as interactive as, say, Facebook or Twitter. Some users also lament the lack of innovation on the site since its inception. Still, there are a number of ways to use Goodreads that can benefit both readers and authors.

Among the best features and functionalities of the platform include promoting books and connecting with other users.

For readers, the main benefit is being able to read and recommend books, view books that your friends are reading at a given time, and leaving reviews. If you are using the Kindle reader or app and it is linked to your Goodreads account, there is also a cool feature where you can highlight passages of text from books you are reading and share these quotes on your Goodreads page.

For authors, they can use the site to find people who may be interested in their literary works, as well as start groups. If you have a website, you can add it in your bio or even link it to Goodreads, which can increase readership of your books and growth in your fan base. The same applies if you have a blog, which brings us to the next point of this article.

How bloggers can use Goodreads

Although Goodreads is geared towards the reading of books, there is one thing it has in common with blogging: readers. What’s more, many of its users are not only interested in reading books, but are casual readers who will give attention to content that interests them. How do you get these people to start engaging with your blog posts? The following tips may be of help.

1. Mention your blog in your bio

The first step in marketing your blog content on Goodreads is to actually let people know you are a blogger, and the best place to do that is in your bio. In fact, you can do this two ways:

  1. Share in your bio that you are a blogger and be sure to mention what you blog about.

  2. Add your blog link to your profile and possibly within your biography text as well.

2. Make use of Goodreads reviews

If your blog is related to your activity on Goodreads, you can take advantage of the reviews option to attract people to your content. However, you need to be strategic about this in order to not violate any Goodreads rules or create duplicitous content on the web. The idea is to write a full book review and post it on your blog. Next, write a shorter version (don’t copy and paste) of the review and post it on Goodreads. In this summary or review introduction, add a note that says something like “Check out the full review on my blog” with the corresponding link to the article. Ideally, you want this review to be no longer than a paragraph. If it’s too long, the message and link back to your blog may not be shown, and not everyone will click on “see more” to find out what the rest of the text is saying. If you can’t avoid going over a paragraph, you can place the invite to visit your blog at the beginning of the review.

3. Participate in Goodreads groups

While it may be a bad idea to post blog links and reviews in groups on Goodreads, being an active participant can attract more people to check out your profile. This can easily lead to users finding out about your blog, which may result in traffic.

4. Reach out to other bloggers

There are plenty of bloggers on Goodreads, including some of the authors and readers. Of course, some may not be visible (because they may not be using the tips outlined in this article). However, as a social network, Goodreads allows you to connect with other users and find out more about them. Interaction will help you to discover the users who also blog and then you can share with them that you blog as well and invite them to view your content. Keep in mind that you should first try to build relationships with your friends and followers on Goodreads (it’s a social platform, after all) before trying to market yourself.

5. Use your blog name as your Goodreads username

When setting up your profile, it is a good idea to use your blog name as your username. This makes it easier for people to get acquainted with what you are about, rather than if you just use your correct name. Moreover, having your brand name on your account may result in your Goodreads audience feeling more comfortable to check out your blog, and maybe even subscribe, because they can make the link between your Goodreads activities (reviews, comments, etc.) and your external work

Goodreads position as a website that brings readers together means it is possible to gain traffic to your blog by simply being a member and being an active participant.

Until next time!


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