I ran a book blogger stats survey in 2016 (results here) and again in 2018 (results here) to help create some transparency around “average” stats for a book blog, as many bloggers dislike talking about their own stats and often seem to assume that other bloggers’ numbers are much higher than their own. I also think average stats can shed some light on questions of why book bloggers don’t get the same paid opportunities as other influencers in the bookish community. I initially was not going to do an updated survey this year, but then I thought…why not? It’d be interesting to check in on whether things have changed.
There were 56 responses this year, which is comparable to 2018 but about half as many responses as 2018 (when there were 107). So do keep in mind this is a limited sample size– although I would say that the numbers this year align pretty closely with the numbers from the past two surveys.
I generally kept the questions about stats the same, so people can look back and compare with the past two surveys, but I eliminated the questions asking what people thought other people’s stats looked like. At this point, having people guess that doesn’t make a lot of sense, when they can just look at the results of the previous surveys. A few of the questions were not marked “mandatory,” so a couple of the questions were not answered by everyone, but you should be able to see that information by the pie chart for each question.
I started by asking how long people have been blogging, to see if there is a correlation between how long people have been blogging and how high their stats are. Frequently, the answer is yes, though there are people who have been blogging a short time who have high stats and people who have been blogging a long time who have lower stats.
Next, the question people might be most interested in: how many page views a day do you get?
64.3% said 0-50 views. A total of 84.3% answered 100 or less.
There are some outliers. One person said 401-600. One said 600+. And one person said 2000+
What are these bloggers doing? First, they get a lot of views from search engine hits, not just from other book bloggers. And for blogging advice, one recommends: “Consider what other, regular readers are looking for, not just what you’re doing in your own reading life.”
Next, I asked about number of followers. This seems to vary widely and not necessarily correlate to page views.
It looks as if a lot of us are getting 0-5 comments per day, so if you want to brighten a book blogger’s day, leave a comment!
Basically no one who answered the survey is also on Booktube.
Nearly 39% are not on Bookstagram either. 18.5% have 101-300 followers there.
Over half of people said the majority of their traffic comes from the WordPress reader. This means their audience is likely mostly other bloggers.
Most bloggers still think other bloggers have higher stats, even though that is not the case.
Most people have more social media followers than blog followers, even though the majority of their traffic is not from social media.
Finally, I asked a new question this year: where do you spend most of your time following bookish content? Interestingly, almost half of bloggers said they follow most of their content not on other blogs.
Finally, I asked three optional open-ended questions at the end of the survey. It would take A LOT of space to list all the answers, but I will note some trends I saw in the answers and provide some representative quotations.
What do you wish people would do in order to better boost and support book bloggers?
Trends: Comment more, share posts, find new bloggers to follow, actually read posts instead of “liking” them
“I wish people commented more. I love good conversations more than a high follower count.”
“I’m torn between sharing their posts (as it increases circulation/exposure) and being mindful about leaving comments (as it creates a welcoming environment for new readers when they show up).”
“Be kind. I’ve only been in the community for five months but I read a lot of articles regarding the disrespect book bloggers receive from publishers, PR companies. Most of us work really hard on making our posts engaging, fun, and we deserve credit. So if you read a book review or any other post that you like, be loud about it by sharing it on social media and consider subscribing/following that particular blog.”
“I wish people outside of the blogging community (i.e. booktubers, bookstagramers) would share blog posts more often.”
“Interact with the social media posts I put out to share my blog posts, comment on my posts.”
What do you think the most challenging thing about book blogging today is, in terms of followers, engagement, etc.?
Trends: Finding time to blog, finding followers, standing out, getting engagement
“Finding book bloggers that are like minded as in reviewing a wide range of books and have unique content.”
“I would say kind of what I said before that more people are flocking to YouTube and Instagram and not as many people read and follow book blogs so it is harder to grow a platform there”
“For me it’s not knowing how to promote my blog. I don’t know what makes a blog popular, or how to post things that will give it visibility. All I can do is post my reviews and hope they resonate with people in some way.”
“Just keeping up with everything! Many platforms, etc. Also aligning what I read with what other people will want to talk about.”
“For me, it’s time. When I first started I had so much more time to read other blogs and comment on other’s pieces. I used to do it daily. Now I read far less than I used to and I tend to do it in spurts. On the one hand, this is necessary for me to keep blogging. It has to be sustainable and I have to enjoy it. On the other hand, I do miss that interaction.”
“Finding the time to write for my blog whilst also juggling my health, school, work, family, and other personal projects. It’s really hard to find the time, energy and inspiration to create new and original content on a regular basis.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to increase followers, engagement, etc.?
Trends: Engage with other blogs, use social media, create original content, keep going (and a lot of “I don’t know” answers)
“Don’t just copy what other bloggers are doing content-wise. Create weird, niche content that actually matters to you, rather than just doing the same stuff as everyone else. Followers want unique ideas and perspectives, not the same cookie-cutter content. Also, social media is a great way to direct followers to your blog – I think people see platforms like Instagram as completely separate from their blog, and it’s it’s “own thing” but I’ve found that by being active on Instagram (and creating unique content there) has directed a lot of people to my blog.”
“Be genuine. If you’re fake or trying to be something you’re not, people will know. Rather than having different social accounts, have one that you maintain consistently. I haven’t done this(yet) but I think that’s going to aid in better results than if you promote everywhere half-heartedly.”
“Blog hop! Sometimes you’ve got to give to receive. Just get out there and talk to other bloggers and around book Twitter. Make yourself seen.”
“Follow other blogs! Properly engage with them, talk to those people on social media and boost their content. Put out content that matters to you.”
“Think about why you started a book blog in the first place. I was getting annoyed by the fact that I didn’t have as much engagement and views on my blog while others would get loads. I was tempted to create a Twitter and Instagram page just to get more traffic. However, I reflected on why I had created this blog: it was to keep track of my thoughts on books in a more orderly fashion. It had never started with the need to have lots of views. So, I decided that I didn’t really mind just lurking around in my own corner of the Internet. :-)”
“My biggest advice is to interact with other bloggers. Look for more people to follow, yes, but actually read their posts. Comment something meaningful and kind. You would be surprised how many followers you can gain that way, not just from the owner of the post you are commenting on but also from other people scrolling through the comments”
“Be consistent and on a schedule that works for you. Graphics are important but don’t need to be difficult. (Canva is a great free option). Remember to socialize with others.”
“Find smaller bloggers (less than 500 followers) to interact with. It will not get you a lot of followers, but will increase the number of comments you get because they are most likely just as eager about finding someone to talk to as you are.”