After numerous bloggers expressed interest in seeing what the “average” book blog stats might look like, I decided to conduct an informal survey and share the results. While there are things about the survey I would change if I could do it again, I hope everyone finds the results useful. That said, if anyone else wants to do a follow-up survey with different questions, I’d be interested in seeing that, too.
Altogether, 67 book bloggers answered the survey.
Most of the bloggers who answered are fairly new bloggers, with about 72% reporting they have been blogging two years or less. However, I’ll try to note where I can throughout the survey whether the age of the blog seems correlated to the stats.
It appears that 0-100 views per days is normal. Seventy-five percent of bloggers said they receive 75 or fewer views per day. About the same percentage of bloggers said they have 500 or fewer followers.
One blogger reported getting over 600 views per day and one reported over 1000 views per day. Clearly these two bloggers are outliers. Both of these bloggers have been blogging about four years. However, age of the blog is not always a factor. For instance, some bloggers who have been blogging six months reported higher page views than a blogger who has been active for three years. A few bloggers who have been active five years or more reported 50-75 views per day.
Note that for the purposes of the survey, I let bloggers define “blog followers” themselves, so there was no standard of whether, for instance, Twitter followers should be counted as blog followers. However, there is some correlation between followers and views. The blogger with 1000+ views per day reported between 5,000 and 10,000 followers, most of them blog-specific followers and not from social media
Despite the fact that most bloggers are looking at 0-100 views per day and 0-500 followers, most bloggers thought their stats were low and assumed everyone else was doing better. So the main take-away here is probably that we’re all doing just fine.
The second take-away seems to be that breaking the 100+ views barrier is hard, and maybe that’s what we should consider “unusually successful” for a book blogger. However, only about 12% of respondents thought 100-150 views would be successful, with the largest percentage (26%) expecting 1000-3000 views per day. The votes for blog followers were pretty divided, but four people thought a successful book blogger will have over 10,000 followers–which seems very hard to achieve.
Interestingly, the person with 1000+ views per day correctly predicted their views were higher than the average blogger’s, but also suggested a “successful” blogger has 1000+ views per day. I guess that makes them the only successful person here. :p (If this was your answer, I’m not picking on you! I just think it’s amusing!)
Finally, most bloggers say they have more followers on social media, than followers who are specifically following their blog using services like email sign-ups or Bloglovin’.
Does “Successful” Mean High Stats?
Of course, one of the major drawbacks of the survey is that it seems to assume a conflation of “successful” and “big.” If I redid the survey, I’d like to clarify terms to ensure we’re all talking about the same thing. However, I did collect some open feedback on whether the respondents thought there was a difference between “successful” bloggers and “big” bloggers. There were a lot of answers, so this is just a sampling:
(About seven people just said some version of “No” or “Not really,” so while there’s not much to quote here, I do want to recognize the people who said “successful” and “big” are basically the same. A few also said they weren’t sure or hadn’t really thought about the question before.)
“A big book blogger is someone people follow because everyone knows who they are, so their number of followers is way above average — doesn’t necessarily mean a substantial percentage of followers read the posts though. A successful book blogger still has an above average following but that comes with a sizeable amount of interaction from them via comments, shares on social media or link-ups on many other blogs. A successful blogger also has high visibility among publishers, authors, etc. as well as readers who aren’t involved in the book blogosphere beyond reading those successful blogs.”
“Yes, successful book bloggers interact with their readers, earn money and have readers that come back again and again. Big book bloggers don’t necessarily interact with their readers, they write to put their content out there, not to share and discuss their opinion.”
“I think a successful book blogger is someone who is happy and content with their blogs and social interactions, and in that case I do consider myself a successful blogger. A ‘Big” book blogger is someone who, in my opinion, is good at running their blog like a job- which is what I think it takes to have a large following and influence. Can the two overlap? Absolutely! For some bloggers, their idea of success *is* being a big name blogger.”
“Definitely! Even though I answered the other poll questions about stats of a successful blogger, I think a ‘successful’ blogger is more individualistic and a label that varies in definition for each blogger. In my case, I think a ‘successful’ blogger is one that interacts with their readers regularly and consistently. As for ‘big’ blogger, I think of that to be someone with a great following and/or higher blog statistics.”
“I think you can be successful w/o being big if you still have a lot of people who interact on your posts and if you are involved in the book community.”
“I think being monetized is a big part of it, primarily because it costs money to run a blog. I kind of think of successful book bloggers as the ones that have also some kind of industry background, and are in on a lot of bookish news that a lot of book bloggers may not be.”
“A big book blogger doesn’t necessarily mean they are interacting with followers and fellow bloggers. A successful book blogger is someone who interacts with the blogging community regularly, enjoys what they do, reads what they can and has fun.”
“I think it’s possible to be a ‘big’ book blogger (have many followers) but not be successful in producing unique, quality content.”
And, perhaps my favorite:
“I view “successful” as a blog who has some sort of following other than their close family and friends. I view a “big” blog as one that everyone knows about.”
I would agree that if you’re writing content that’s interesting enough that someone who isn’t forced to read it for their love of you is reading it, then you’re successful at blogging! You have a real audience!
Thank you to everyone who participated! Let me know what you think about the results in the comments!