There Are Two Main Ways to Increase Traffic As a Book Blogger

Knowing Your Blogging Goals Can Help You Pick Which One to Pursue

After 11 years of blogging here at Pages Unbound, reading tons of blogging advice, and asking other book bloggers what they recommend to boost stats, I have come to the conclusion there are two main ways book bloggers in particular can increase traffic:

  1. comment prolifically on other book blogs
  2. focus on improving SEO.

These tactics bring in traffic from different sources, however, so knowing what you most want from your blog can help decide which to focus on. (Or, of course, you can dedicate time to doing both!)

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Commenting on Other Book Blogs

If you value engagement and are hoping to get more people commenting on and interacting with your own blog posts, commenting on other book blogs is a valuable strategy.

Of course, you want to be genuine and leave comments that add to the discussion and try to make real connections with other bloggers. You don’t want to simply pop by and leave a short, “Nice post!” on something you barely even read, nor do you want to just leave a link to your own blog.

However, commenting and blog hopping is valuable because people can’t really find and read and (hopefully) comment on your blog if they are not aware it exists. Commenting frequently on a wide variety of blogs is likely to bring other bloggers back to your own site to check it out, and some will naturally become followers. This is great for engagement because other book bloggers are the readers most likely to actually leave comments on a blog, unlike more casual followers.

Improving the SEO of Your Blog Posts

If you are interested in getting a massive increase in page views, focusing on improving your SEO in your blog posts is a good bet. A lot of book bloggers report that the vast majority of their traffic comes from search engine hits (which is definitely true here at Pages Unbound; our second highest source of traffic is from the WordPress reader and app, and it doesn’t come close).

The only caveats here are:

  1. visitors from search engines generally do not leave comments, so this is a good source of traffic but not engagement
  2. sometimes when they leave comments, search engine visitors are more aggressive than book bloggers
  3. you might have to think about writing “the type of posts people would search for,” as opposed to writing and posting whatever personally interests you.

In regards to point #3, you can, of course, try to optimize SEO on nearly anything. Some bloggers put a lot of effort into utilizing SEO on their book reviews, for instance, and these can end up as a significant source of traffic. Alternatively, you might simply think of things people are likely to Google, which are often lists (think: Books Set in NYC) or informational articles (ex. How to Write an Amazing Book Review).

If you are a book blogger who has written a post on SEO for book bloggers, feel free to leave a link in the comments below!

Conclusion

Both strategies will take time, but a lot of book bloggers have found they have paid off. If you only have time to pursue one, think about which you would enjoy more (engaging with other readers/the technical puzzle of good SEO?) and about what you want in return (possibly more discussion on your own blog/views from the general public using search engines).

Happy blogging!

Briana

27 thoughts on “There Are Two Main Ways to Increase Traffic As a Book Blogger

  1. Adrian says:

    Thanks for the this. The eternal question of attracting more blog traffic, all answers on a postcard please! I really should comment more, but sometimes I find I’m spending more time on blogging than reading, so there’s a balance to achieve there. SEO continues to be a minefield.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ali@abookishlife says:

    Interesting post. I definitely blog for the engagement so probably follow the first more, commenting on other posts I see on the WordPress reader. Most of my traffic does however seem to come from search engines although I’ve found it’s the most unexpected posts that do well. Bizarrely it seems to be the really niche book reviews, I think possibly because not many other people have actually reviewed them so my site pops up on the first page of the search results. I’m not sure I’d want to write posts based on what I think will get me search engine hits. I think it’d feel too much like work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yeah, I actually don’t do a lot of specific SEO stuff in my posts, and I also find some weird stuff gets picked up by search engines! I do think there’s a spot where somethings popular enough that people are searching it, but not popular enough that anyone else has reviewed it, so then you get all that traffic!

      Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Honestly, I sometimes think it’s that, on one end, people don’t have a lot of traffic themselves so don’t want to give advice and, on the other hand, they DO have decent traffic but don’t want to look like they’re bragging by talking about it, so then a lot of people just don’t talk about traffic/stats at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rosie Amber says:

    Thank you for this post and the reminder to try to keep on top of blog traffic. I get a bit bogged down with some of this but I do try to understand it – I refuse to allow the fact that computers only came into my life after becoming an adult to slow me down – but sometimes it’s a challenge! And it all moves and changes so fast! Most of my traffic comes form WP reader and twitter, although I now do a gardening post on a Saturday. The traffic from that comes from the link that I drop on the hosts blog post for the day and because I love learning about gardening I comment on all the other posts who drop links on the day. It’s a fun alternative to books and doubles my daily traffic for that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thebookofthinkpieces says:

    Great! Even though I am not a book blogger, I think this is really great advice. Trying to increase traffic. I think the algorithms have not been in my favor lately, still taking a chance at triggers to see what works

    Like

  5. Rafael Rodriguez says:

    I know that most of the people here are happy just writting, but the cruel reality ia that the blogger era its over, there is a massive migration to the apps and the videos on different platforms

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Our stats are actually higher than ever. I think that while many bloggers are leaving to do thinks like TikTok, there’s still an audience for bloggers. Most of it is search engine traffic, that’s all.

      Like

  6. Katie | Doing Dewey (@DoingDewey) says:

    Thanks for laying this out! I think you make a really good point about thinking about what you want out of your blog and trying to increase engagement in a way that matches your goals. I’m definitely more interested in generating discussion on my blog than lots of page view, so this post has given me some renewed energy for trying to comment on new-to-me blogs.

    Like

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