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.”
26 thoughts on “Book Blogger Stats Survey Results: 2020”
Thank you for doing this!! I’m not super surprised people aren’t on booktube (it’s a very different medium after all), but for some reason I thought there would be more people on bookstagram!
Yes, I think it’s really hard to balance both a blog and booktube, even without taking into account totally different tools and skills required for both! I do think some people might be leaving bookstagram? We’re technically on it, but I barely post anymore, partially because I don’t have time to take pictures and partially because I never really get the engagement I’d want to make it worth the time investment. (And I actually just read an article suggesting that to really get engagement you need to post consistently, use all the features, post reels and stories in addition to normal photos, etc. and I have no time for that.)
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This is a very good point: social media is highly competitive, and there are many ‘secrets’ to getting engagement. Honestly, it gets tiresome.
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Thanks for compiling this! 🙌 it’s interesting!
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
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Thank you so much for doing this! As a newbie book blogger this really helped me and gave me great tips on blogging and the community in general.
I’m glad you found in interesting! I do think a lot of people commented with great advice!
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Thanks a lot for sharing the results!
Regarding the question about blog traffic, it seems that we, WordPress bloggers, are in some kind of bubble – we are writing and consuming our own content. We have to find a way to get more traffic from “outside”!
I like a lot the piece of advice about engaging with smaller blogger (less than 500 followers) – as a “small blogger” myself, I totally agree that I want to find people to talk to! It’s such a joy when I discover a new blog and I comment to more than 5 posts just because I find so much common ground with that person – read same / similar books, agree/disagree about a bookish topic, and so on!
Yes, I think about that a lot, and it’s one of the reasons I started getting more serious about Pinterest last year! Our traffic from Pinterest passed our traffic from WordPress this year, although unfortunately outside traffic doesn’t usually lead to comments, which a lot of bloggers really value.
I thought that was great advice, too! When I first started blogging, I followed fewer blogs and engaged with them a lot. Now I follow hundreds of blogs, and it can be hard to find the time to comment on them all!
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Yes, that’s so true! Book bloggers often want to know why they don’t get as much attention from publishers as booktubers, and I’ve been saying for awhile now it’s because we don’t have the same views and all our traffic is driven by each other! I think the key is, as you said, to find a way to get outside traffic, though that’s certainly be difficult for us here. I think the most success we’ve had getting outside traffic is from using Pinterest.
Of course, the flip side of outside traffic is that we do get higher views, but those outside visitors don’t really comment or engage with the content. And, when they do, I’ve found that they are the ones who tend to leave nasty comments–the kind saying our post was stupid, and that sort of thing. That’s not to say that all outside traffic is mean, but certainly our regular readers have never left mean notes!
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That is super interesting!
I feel although a big amount of followers comes from fellow bloggers on WordPress, the majority of readers come from search platforms such as Google in my case.
Thanks for taking the time to put all this together!
The majority of ours come from search engines and now Pinterest, which WordPress coming in third. I think the fact that our blog is 10 years old probably helps, so there’s a lot of content that *can* be searched. Unfortunately the search engine traffic doesn’t usually lead to comments though!
Thanks for sharing the results!
I can’t say that I’m too surprised that book bloggers have really low comments. Looking through my feedreader, I see lots & lots of review or meme type posts. Those don’t really invite conversations between the reader & blogger. What is there to say beyond ‘Great review’ or something similar?
Looking forward to 2021, I would love to see more bloggers posting discussion posts. Good discussions & conversations will naturally lead to more comments. You two always have the best discussion posts over here.
I actually love reading reviews! It gives me an opportunity to discuss specific books with other people who have read them, which is the primary reason I became a book blogger. I don’t see the comment as me specifically replying to how well-written the review is, but me engaging with the content of the review. Did they love the characters as much as I did? Were they also shocked by the twist ending? Are they excited for the sequel? Of course, if I haven’t read the book yet, I can’t really do this, but I can maybe talk about the author’s other books or something like that. Otherwise, yeah, I’ll probably end up saying, “Great review”….
I do agree, though, that the number of discussion posts I’ve seen has gone down dramatically in recent months. It seems to me that they used to be everywhere and now I almost never seen one in my feed.
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this is so interesting! I write my book blog for fun so I haven’t put that much effort into growing a following, but I definitely agree that it’s challenging to build an audience on WordPress since many people spend more time on social media and YouTube. I’ve been posting for about 9 months and most of my views come from the WordPress reader. glad to know I’m not alone!
Yes, I don’t think I’d ever start a Booktube, but the idea that you can get far more views this is very tempting. I do blog for fun, but I also like to feel as if someone is actually reading what I am writing!
This was amazingly detailed post and really interesting. I wonder why book bloggers have more followers on social media than on blog? I have same thing.
Personally, I’m less “picky” on social media. I follow anyone who looks vaguely interesting, and I follow people on Blogger and other platforms where it’s hard to actually follow their blog. It takes me more time and effort to go follow a blog itself.
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Yes that is good way and reason to have more social media following.
Really fascinating information especially about the prevalence of the WordPress reader. I suppose I can finally stop feeling (moderately) guilty about giving up my Twitter.
Comments or lack thereof is a tricky one though I’ve been thinking about that one for awhile it would be interesting to delve into this deeper over the holidays. Thanks for putting it together it really helps put a lot of things in perspective 🙂
I’ve never been “good” at Twitter. I don’t have thousands of followers, and I’m lucky if 2 people a day come the blog from a Twitter link!
We’ve had fewer comments this year, but someone else told me she had more, so…who knows? I think a lot of it comes down to whether bloggers have time, and a lot of bloggers are just spending time on other platforms, like discussing books on Twitter rather than on blog posts.
This is so interesting, thanks for doing this and sharing the results!
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you for sharing these results! I’m not surprised that there aren’t many people that have both a blog and Booktube. I’ve considered Booktube many times in the past, but between keeping up with the blog and all of the work that goes into making videos, I think it would be so hard to do both! I’m on Bookstagram so I may try out some videos or reels there if I want to get a feel for making videos, but I couldn’t imagine maintaining a blog and a YouTube channel, especially as one person!
Really interesting topic and results. I used to blog on another topic and would get 1,000 views a day, and sometimes my posts would go viral in the community I was in. One post received 34,000 views over two days. Now that I’ve been book blogging, for seven months, I realize that I’m not doing so bad after all after looking at the stats. I’m getting more views every month. I use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn because they can be automatically shared through Word Press. I also use Pinterest and Bookstagram and get a fair amount of likes on each post, but the people rarely visit the blog post itself. I would say most of my readers are other bloggers, which I don’t mind. At least they comment once in a while, and I reciprocate.