5 Things My Favorite Book Bloggers Do

5 Things My Favorite Book Bloggers Do: What Makes Me What to Read Your Blog
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Write Informative Reviews

I’ve posted about how I think it’s possible for a book blog to not have any reviews at all, but I’ve also written about why I think book reviews really aren’t going away and personally…I like reading reviews on book blogs. Specifically, I like reading medium to long reviews that really get into the heart of the book, what’s working and what’s not and why. I also like to know about the themes or any interesting questions the book raises, since that’s the most interesting thing to me, not necessarily whether the plot is fast or the characters are witty. Reviews that are actually mostly summary or that are too short to really help me decide whether I’d like the book are less interesting to me.

Write Discussion Posts

I think unique and thoughtful discussion posts are what really help certain blogs stand out and brand themselves. Specifically, I love blogs where the discussions go beyond common topics like “Do you comment back on other blogs?” and “How many books do you read at once?” to address questions I might not have thought about myself or that I haven’t already seen a dozen other bloggers discuss.

Include Evidence in Their Posts

This is apparently a bit controversial, as the one time Krysta talked about including evidence in blog posts and backing up claims, a lot of people disagreed and said blogging is just a hobby and not an academic endeavor, so they didn’t need to do research. However, “evidence” is a broad term, and mostly what I mean is that I like to see bloggers support what they’re saying. In a review, this is as simple as giving an example or explanation of why, “The main character is whiny.” If the reviewer gives a quote or explains a scene where they think the character is whiny, this is helpful to me.

For discussion posts…more research might be necessary, and I appreciate bloggers who put in the time to do that. There’s a lot of incorrect information on the Internet and that can bleed into the book blogosphere. A blogger who does research is less likely to make incorrect claims like, “Children’s books are not priced cheaper than adult books” or “Libraries don’t pay a lot of money for ebooks,” and I love following bloggers whose posts I can trust.

Elaborate on Their Lists

Books lists are a really fun part of the book blogosphere, and I love when bloggers go beyond simply listing titles to explain more about the books they have chosen for the list. For example, has the blogger read the books on the list and what are their opinions on them? Or was the list mostly curated by Googling something like, “Books set in Antarctica,” and the blogger doesn’t really know much about them or whether they recommend them?

Write Posts They’re Passionate About

I’ve seen some complaints that (in particular) big bookstagram accounts and big booktubers often seem to be more about marketing than sharing a love of books, and while I think this is less common in book blogging, I do think readers can tell when someone is writing posts they love and when they’re writing posts they think will get traffic. My favorite book bloggers write about topics they’re passionate about, even if those things aren’t the best for getting page views, and it helps their blogs seem vibrant and unique.

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I think a common theme among these points is that I like following blogs where I feel I am getting valuable content. For me, blogs are about reading, learning, and discussing, and my favorite bloggers give me robust information that I can think about, form an opinion about, and engage in conversation with them about. Again, this does not in any way mean I am expecting book blogs to be academic blogs with a bunch of sources and a Works Cited at the end, but I do appreciate blogs where I feel I’m getting unique perspectives and voices and informed content that might not be getting elsewhere.


How I Increased My Pageviews From Pinterest by 1600% in 2019

In 2018, Pages Unbound received 523 pageviews from Pinterest referrals. In January 2019, I decided I was going to take Pinterest more seriously.

While I was skeptical that content from book blogs could really take off on Pinterest, many bloggers in general swear by the site and say it is their single largest source of traffic. After I stumbled across a few actual book bloggers, including The Uncorked Librarian and Lovely Audiobooks, saying they receive a reasonable amount of traffic from Pinterest, I figured I had nothing to lose (besides maybe my time).

The result: In 2019, Pages Unbound received over 8,000 pageviews from Pinterest.

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Concrete Steps I Took to Increase Traffic from Pinterest

Honestly, if you read any article or blog post on how to get traffic from Pinterest, the ideas are generally the same: set up a business account, set up rich pins, post appealing graphics, make sure the graphics are vertical, etc. and so forth. I did all this, but here are some of the more concrete steps I took:

I created uniform board covers.

Pinterest board covers screenshot example

I don’t think there’s any actual need to create uniform board covers to succeed on Pinterest, but a lot of the “serious” Pinterest users have them. Board covers with the title of the board make it easy for people to see what each board is about, and your profile looks professional and attractive to potential followers. It’s an easy thing to do to update your profile.

I created a book bloggers group board.

(Good) group boards are important to help get other users repinning your content so it gets more visibility. The general rules of a group board are that for every pin you add, you must pin one other person’s pin. Other rules might include not spamming the board with your content and posting only vertical images, not horizontal or square ones.

I noted in an earlier post that I had trouble finding book or book blogger group boards, especially ones that are accepting new members, so I started my own. (You can request to join the book blogger group board here.) I’ve since found several boards hosted by others to join, some of which are great and some of which are a bit spammy. Some of them also trend more towards romance books, so I more recently started a YA/MG specific group board here that I’m hoping to grow.

I started pinning every day.

Advice on how much or how often to pin each day to “succeed” varies, but my basic rule in 2019 was to attempt to pin something every single day. I pin my own post of the day to a minimum of two boards, and then I log onto Pinterest and repin others’ content there, even if it’s only four pins or so.

I missed some days, and I wasn’t always consistent. Some days I pinned a lot, while others I pinned practically nothing. This is definitely not the “ideal” strategy. But since I had NO strategy for Pinterest in 2018, pinning at least a little each (or most) days in 2019 noticeably improved my reach and my traffic.

I created more pinnable images for the blog.

Of course, in order to pin things, I needed content to pin. In 2019, I made it a point to try to have a vertical pinnable image with the title of the blog post for any discussion post or book list posted at Pages Unbound.

(I have made some graphics for book reviews, and I see other book bloggers who have pinned images for reviews, but my experience is that these do not do nearly as well as discussion posts or other features–especially any type of list. If you have time, promoting your book reviews on Pinterest is worthwhile because you’ll probably get some traffic, but it’s not where you should put your focus if the time you can commit to social media is limited.)

I signed up for the Free Trial of Tailwind

Tailwind is a paid service that lets you schedule pins, join tribes to get your pins shared, see analytics on your pins, and more. It is fabulous because you can take an hour or two and schedule pins (at suggested optimized times!) for basically the whole month and then forget about them. You can also use features to ensure that you are pinning a single pin to all the boards you want, without overlap, and at staggered times–so I can pin something to 13 groups boards but schedule it so it only is pinned to one board a day. (People who are serious about Pinterest but don’t have Tailwind seem to get the same result by keeping elaborate spreadsheets detailing what they pinned, where, and when; without Tailwind, I just wing it and miss the opportunity to pin my content to all relevant boards.)

I wrote more about my experience with Tailwind in this post, and I really liked it while I had the trial. I just struggle with the idea of paying for it month after month when I make absolutely no money from this blog. But if you are monetizing your blog, or if you simply have the disposable income to spend some money on your blog, I would recommend checking it out.

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Insights for Book Bloggers on Pinterest

  • Book lists do particularly well. If you think of Pinterest as a search engine more than social media, this makes sense. People go on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, not necessarily for book reviews or even bookish discussions. If you have limited time to promote your content on Pinterest, start with any lists you have.
  • Seasonal content does well. Similar to the first idea, people like lists of books related to holidays, seasons, etc. Books to read in winter. Picture books for St. Patrick’s Day. Whatever. Make sure to start promoting the content early though. I’ve seen recommendations to start promoting 45 days before the actual holiday.
  • Think of content that will do well with a “general” audience. The people visiting your blog from Pinterest are not necessarily other book bloggers. This is exciting because most of us know other book bloggers are usually our main audience. But this also means you have to think about what will appeal to readers/visitors who might not even know what a book blog is, much less be interested in the usual book blog discussions and debates.
  • Pins with lots of covers do well. This is probably related to lists doing well, but if I create one pin for a list with a lot of book covers on it and one pin that has a single image, usually the one with tons of covers does better.

Secrets to Blogging Success: How to Schedule Ahead

Running a blog can be a struggle.  There’s so much to do, from writing content to taking pictures to commenting around to handling social media.  Here are some of our strategies to keep everything on track.

Pick a schedule and stick to it.

Our general schedule is to post reviews on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  We used to do memes like Top Ten Tuesday when we first started out, but have since stopped, leaving room for other days to have discussion posts and recommendation lists, or more reviews if we have them.  Having this schedule means we don’t have to spend time figuring out how or when to post.  We simply fill in the dates with posts as we write them.

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Fill in the most important dates.

To make it easier to stay ahead, however, we don’t typically fill in the schedule one week at a time.  Instead, we schedule weeks ahead.  For instance, we might fill in all the Mondays and Thursdays with reviews first.  If we have a several discussions ready, we’ll start filling in all the Tuesdays.  This has two advantages.  The first is that, should we find ourselves unable to post for awhile, we have content scheduled to go up for weeks, not just one week.  The second is that this leaves us room to add in time-sensitive posts.  We can fill in empty days with reviews for new releases, ARC reviews that need to be posted at a certain time, etc.

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Look ahead to events and holidays.

When we know we want to do an event (such as our celebrations of L. M. Montgomery and William Shakespeare) or recognize a season or holiday, we save posts for those events.  For instance, we typically feature reviews of spooky stories in October.  However, we don’t read all those books at once.  Instead, if we read a spooky book a few months in advance, we just schedule the review for October.  Then, we don’t have to rush to find and read ghost stories suddenly when fall comes around.

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Keep running lists.

Sometimes Briana and I have ideas about lists of recommendations we could post, such as YA books featuring male protagonists or YA books with little to no romance.  However, we may not have ten titles to recommend at the time we have the idea.  So we create a draft and add titles to it as we read them.

What are some of your strategies for success?

7 Ways to Revive Old Blog Content and Drive Traffic to It

How to Revive Old Blog Posts and Get New Traffic

If you’ve been blogging a while, you probably have content you posted months or years ago that you think it is awesome and valuable to readers but that hasn’t gotten much traffic since you initially posted it.  That’s always disappointing, so here are some ways you can try to bring visitors back to your old blog posts!

1. Share on Social Media

The fastest way to remind people of old posts is to promote them on social media: add links to the posts on Facebook and Twitter.  Keep in mind, however, that the engagement with such links might be low, so be strategic about picking posts that have engaging headlines or interesting graphics that might get readers to click the link and go to your blog.

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2. Share on Pinterest

Sharing old posts on Pinterest has been one of the most effective strategies for me personally.  Making a new Pinterest-friendly graphic and promoting the post on Pinterest can open your blog up to new visitors, particularly if you pick posts on topics that are things people tend to search.  (For instance, discussion posts and book reviews often work less well on Pinterest than lists and “how to” posts.)  You can read more about my advice on Pinterest here.

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3. Link Back to Old Posts

If you write a post that’s related to an older post or reference an idea from an older post, be sure to link back to it!

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4. Do a Post Round-Up

You can also write posts that are just round-ups of posts on similar topics.  For instance, you can do a post of featuring your “best blogging advice” or “every post I wrote on Harry Potter last year.”

For instance, we did a round-up of blogging advice to help readers start the new year.

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5. Write a New Post on a Similar Topic

If you had a great idea that you still have more to say about, write a new post AND link back to the old one!

For instance, we’ve written about:

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6. Update Old Content

Finally, if  you’re trying to drive traffic to old blog content, make sure it’s worthwhile for your readers.  Check the blog post and see if you can make any updates.  This could mean expanding the content of the post itself to make it more useful or more in-depth, or it could mean reformatting the post to make it more readable, adding images, updating the title to be more engaging, or improving the SEO.

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7. Make Sure You Have Archives

Listing all your reviews or all your discussion posts or all your blogging advice in one place helps readers access it and find some of your new content on their own.

4 of the Most Important Things I Learned about Using Pinterest to Get Blog Traffic

4 Ways to Use Pinterest Marketing to Get Blog Traffic

I noted in January that one of my blog goals for 2019 (actually my only goal) was to start using Pinterest more to actually drive traffic to my blog.  I’ve had a Pinterest account for years but always assumed that the site was better suited to things like cooking, lifestyle, parenting, etc. and that getting traffic to a book blog from Pinterest was probably not going to happen. (Here are the initial five steps I took to improve my Pinterest profile.) Now that we’re a couple months into 2019 and my Pinterest experiment, here’s what I learned about using the site and what seems effective–or not.

You can follow Pages Unbound on Pinterest by clicking here.

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1. Vertical Pins Do Best

This is obvious, and you will find this advice on any post about how to succeed at using Pinterest, but since I wasn’t focused on pinning my posts for a number of years, many of our posts did not have Pinterest-optimized images.  This included anything from lists and dicussions (horizontal headers) to reviews (square Instagram images).  I had to make new, vertical graphics for any post that I wanted to add to Pinterest AND delete any old, non-vertical pins from my existing boards.  A lot of book bloggers also do not have vertical, pinnable images on their posts, and best practices for Pinterest suggests that you do not pin others’ graphics if they aren’t good for Pinterest either.

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2. Book Reviews Get Some Traffic–But Not a Lot

You can post book reviews to Pinterest, and they do get a small amount of traffic. Lovely Audiobooks even started a group board specifically for book bloggers to share book reviews that you can join to promote your reviews.  However, book reviews do not get as much traffic as other book-related posts, so if you’re just getting started out on Pinterest, I would suggest focusing on other content before reviews.  If you do want to promote your reviews, consider using a Canva template that you can quickly customize for each review, instead of simply posting the book cover as your pin.  Here’s what I use:

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3. The Most Successful Posts Are Ones that Are Already Getting Search Engine Hits

Reviews don’t necessarily do as well as other posts because, as people have pointed out, Pinterest is more of a search engine than a social media site.  Users log onto Pinterest often looking for specific things, like recommendations for recipes, make-up tutorials–or lists of books to read.  This means that if you have a post that is currently getting good traffic from Google, it will probably also get good traffic from Pinterest if you promote it correctly.  Lists of books and blogging advice (or reading advice like how to read more or read quickly) will probably do well.  This does mean, however, that discussion posts–which tend to generate a lot of traffic on book blogs–might not get a lot of traffic from Pinterest simply because the topic might not be one that users are actively searching.  Here is an example of a pin that did well for us:

If You like this classic, read this middle grade book

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4. Pins with Lots of Book Covers Do Well

Finally, I learned that pins with lots of book covers tend to do better than pins with a single large image.  People like books lists.  This also, unfortunately, means that our branded Pages Unbound pins in purple and gray don’t always do as well as I’d like, so I often make a couple pin options to see what will do better.  For example, the pin with the covers performed better than our original heading image with just a background picture of a hobbit hole:

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Do you use Pinterest, either for your blog or for personal use? What kinds of pins do you post? What types of pins do you find yourself drawn to saving/repinning?


What I Learned about Getting Traffic on Pinterest from My Free Trial of Tailwind

How to Boost Blog Traffic with a Free Trial of Tailwind-min


A  week ago I wrote about Five Steps I’ve Taken to Improve Pinterest Traffic to My Blog, where I noted that some of the things I’ve done increased traffic, but I saw the biggest increase (about 60 views a day) from my free trial of Tailwind.

For background, Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler for pins that has other features like “looping” your pins, analytics, and tribes, which I’ll explain in a minute.  The free trial is for 100 scheduled pins, rather than a specific time period, but you can also get a credit for a free month (about a $15 value by clicking the link above–and I get a free month, too.)  So basically you can get two free trials, the first 100 pins (no credit card required) and then a free month (credit card required).  This post is about the free 100 pin trial.

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How the Tailwind Free Trial Helped Me Increase Blog Traffic

As I said, Tailwind is primarily a pin scheduler; you pick pins and add them to your queue, and the program will schedule them at “optimized” times when it believes your audience is most likely to see them.  However, most Pinterest advice suggests pinning anywhere from 30 to 100 times a day, so since the free trial is only for 100 pins, I scheduled about 5-7 pins daily to make the trial last and did most of my pinning manually.

So what was the free trial good for?  Tailwind Tribes.

Tailwind tribes are groups of people with similar interests who share each other’s pins.  The general rules are that for every pin you add to the tribe, you must schedule one of someone’s else’s. (Tailwind itself, in the basic package, allows you to join 5 tribes and add 30 of your own pins to a tribe each month, unless you upgrade for more tribes and pins. You get the 30 pins with your free trial.)

In the sense that you are supposed to leave a pin and then repin someone else’s to boost it, Tailwind tribes are kind of like Pinterest group boards. (You can join my book blogger group board here.However, Tailwind tribes are better than group boards (or were for me) for a couple reasons.

  1. People on Tailwind are serious Pinterest users. Remember that they’re paying about $10-$15 a month to belong to Tailwind.
  2. This means they are likely trying to follow the rule of pinning 30-100 things per day.
  3. Tailwind tribes give them a quick place to find content specifically related to books and book blogging that they can schedule in bulk.  They want to share your pins because that helps boost their own Pinterest profile and pins.

Group boards for book blogging, in my experience, do not necessarily get 30 pins a day that one can share to one’s own boards, whereas tribes have a much better selection of content to share, and I had far more success with people actually repinning my content from tribes than from most of the group boards I belong to.

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A couple days after joining some book blogging tribes, my pins began getting shares (remember that people are scheduling them, so they might not be repinning your stuff immediately but rather a few days in the future), and I began getting much better blog traffic from Pinterest.  When things first took off, we got 60 page views just from Pinterest in a day, which is about as many views as we got in a whole month previously. It was obvious to me that the pins that were taking off and bringing traffic were specifically the ones I had added to tribes–not ones I tried to promote by adding them manually to my profile or group boards.

So am I joining Tailwind Permanently?

At this point, probably not. I definitely think it works, but the fact of the matter is that I make absolutely no money from blogging and I, therefore, try not to spend money on my blog.  If you do make money from your blog or you simply are willing to spend money on it as a hobby, I do recommend checking Tailwind out.

You can follow Pages Unbound on Pinterest by clicking here.


Steps I’ve Taken to Improve My Pinterest Account This Year and Get More Traffic

Steps I've Taken to Improve Pinterest

I noted at the beginning of the year that I wanted to improve the blog’s Pinterest account this year.  A lot of bloggers credit Pinterest with giving them a large amount of traffic and page views, and I want to make sure I’m not missing out.  This is with the caveat that these bloggers are not in the book blogging niche; they have blogs devoted to other topics that already get far more traffic than book blogs: parenting, lifestyle, finances, blogging advice, etc.  The one book blogger I saw do a post on how Pinterest has helped her (The Uncorked Librarian) has a blog dedicated to both books AND travel, and when I commented asking if she saw more success with her travel pins than with her book pins, she said yes.  Still, I’m jumping into the Pinterest world with some gusto here, just to make sure I’m not ignoring a source of potential readers for my blog.

I know a lot of people (like me, really) are not sure how to best use Pinterest to point people to their blog posts and gain traffic, so I’m going to discuss some of the things I’ve done so far and whether they seem to have had any success.

You can follow Pages Unbound on Pinterest by clicking here.

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1. I created uniform Pinterest board covers.

Pinterest board covers screenshot example

While I was researching posts on how to improve my Pinterest profile, this advice from My Twenty Cents stood out as an actual concrete step I could take (as opposed to vague advice like “pin a lot” or “pin at the right times”).  So I went on Canva and created graphics to use for the featured photo for each board that matched the Pages Unbound blog branding and that clearly stated the purpose of each board.

My Twenty Cents noted that nice board covers have no direct impact on traffic, but they make you look professional and make it easier for other people to follow your boards, and she says that she saw an increase in Pinterest followers after making nice board covers.

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2. I created a group board for book bloggers.

You can request to join the book blogger group board here. (Also it wouldn’t hurt if you left a comment on this post telling me you did, so I know to check to approve you.)

A lot of Pinterest advice boils down to “join group boards,” but I couldn’t find a ton of book blogger group boards, and the ones I found were  often closed to new members. So I started my own.  Because the board is new, it’s smaller than the more established ones, but I’m hoping it will give book bloggers a board to join that’s actually open and that, in time, it will continue to grow.

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3. I started pinning every day.

The advice I’ve read also suggests that Pinterest really values consistency in pinning.  You must pin every day in order for your account to be seen as credible by the site and for your pins to be more visibly featured in the feed.  Before, I used Pinterest sporadically, whenever I thought of it or when I particularly needed it for something like a specific project I was working.  I don’t have a set amount of pins I pin every day (some people recommend 100, and some people only do 15), but I do try to pin a couple things every day, specifically focusing on other book blogs.

As I said in my post on reasons to focus on blog images this year, however, a lot of bloggers do NOT have pinnable images on their posts, and I, therefore, cannot share their content on Pinterest.

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4. I started experimenting with the pinnable images on my own blog.

We’ve had verticle, Pinterest-sized images for our discussion posts for awhile, but I thought I could make them more visually interesting, so I tried some different templates from Canva.

Unfortunately, most people say that colors like red and orange do well on Pinterest, and cool colors like blue, green, and purple do not, but I’m sticking with purple since it matches our branding.

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5. I cleaned up my Pinterest Profile.

I deleted boards I wasn’t using. (Some people would probably argue I should delete all boards that have nothing to do with books/writing/blogging, but I like my baking boards and am too lazy to have a blog account and personal account or even to make the boards secret.)  I also tidied up or added board descriptions and some pin descriptions.  Finally, I deleted old pins that were not good quality or images that had never been repinned.

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These initial five steps had visible but marginal results on blog traffic that came from Pinterest, about a consistent 5-10 referrals per day. That’s more than we usually had, but it also is not necessarily worth the time I put into Pinterest. I’ve started to see more traffic after signing up for the free trail of Tailwind, a Pinterest scheduling service that also has other features like “tribes” that share your pins, and I will write a more detailed post on my experience with that in the future.

Do you use Pinterest for your book blog?  What strategies do you use? Have you seen any traffic for your blog from Pinterest?


5 Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Book Blog

drive traffic to your book blog


Krysta and I started blogging at Pages Unbound in 2011, and I like to think that we’ve been pretty open about our stats and growth over the years. (In 2016, I shared actual screenshots of our stats, which were pretty low when we first started but started to kick off more that year.)  In my 2018 end-of-the-year wrap-up, I noted that we surpassed 100,000 page views for the first time, which I was excited about.  (I also recently read a post by a book blogger turned lifestyle blogger who had similar stats to us and actually gets paid sponsorships, though for lifestyle stuff.)  We’re not the *biggest* book blog (there are several with very, very high stats!), but I think we’re doing quite well (and I should hope so after eight years!).  But I want all of you to do fabulously, too, and increase your stats if that is something you are interested in, so here are some of my best tips to gain blog traffic.

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1. comment on Other Blogs

This is always my number one recommendation for gaining and keeping new followers.  I saw a noticeable increase in traffic a couple years ago when I started commenting more on other blogs instead of just lurking.  I’ve also read a number of posts about traffic from other bloggers, and even “big bloggers” generally attribute much of their success to commenting around.

Of course, you want your interactions with others to be genuine.  Follow blogs you like, comment on posts that interest you, actually read the post instead of skimming it and awkwardly leaving a comment that’s unrelated to what the post says.  But, at the end of the day, people can’t visit your blog if they don’t know it exists, and commenting around is one of the best ways to let people know you exist and that you have interesting things to say.

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2. Write Discussion Posts

It’s old news in the book blogging community that discussion posts generally get more views than reviews do.  (For a lot of reasons, the primary one being that they’re of more general interest than a review, which someone might read only if they’ve read the book or heard of the book before.)  However, to get the most out of discussion posts (in terms of traffic), you need to post a lot of them.  I noted in 2016 that we were posting two discussions a week, and our page views went up.  Some readers even said they associated our blog with discussions, which made them more likely to visit our blog or to recommend our blog to others. (Read our list of discussion post prompts.)

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3. Write Round-Up Posts or Feature Other Bloggers

People love round-ups, whether it’s a list of interesting posts you read in the blogosphere, a list of bloggers you recommend following, or a feature post about one blogger you recommend following.  They love being featured in them, and they like reading them to find other blogs to follow or posts to read.  I also think sharing things you love about other bloggers is a great way to build community and bring positivity to blogging.

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4. Write Posts that are Useful to Readers

Blog posts about blogging (like this one) are popular, of course.  However, you can also share information that is valuable to people as readers, not just bloggers.  Reviews are one example, since you’re providing information about whether someone else would like to read the book and why.  Lists are also useful.  For example, one of our most popular posts is a list of YA books with male protagonists because many people are interested in such books but don’t know where to find them.

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5. Have nice graphics.

This sounds ridiculous, especially as I think I’m fairly vocal about the fact that the number one thing I will personally follow a book blog for is well-written and interesting content, and I don’t really care about design.  However, the fact remains that people are attracted to graphics, and experts constantly mention how visual readers are and how visual (or even video) mediums are the future of the Internet.  There’s also the fact that having strong graphics makes readers think that you’re serious about blogging and can give the impression that you’re a blogger with a large audience, even if you’re not (currently).  People are more likely to notice your blog and will stick around longer if you have strong visual elements.  Personally, I notice that posts with more visual elements  do better for traffic, and that reviews where I have an original photo of the book often do better than reviews where I use a stock image of the cover. (Read more reasons to focus on graphics here.)

What are your suggestions for increasing blog traffic?



Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook

4 Reasons to Focus on Your Blog Images in 2019

1. Bloggers frequently say they consider graphics when deciding which blogs to follow.

If you dig deeper, most people will admit they don’t follow a blog only because of the design or the images and that the written content does matter to some extent.  However, nearly every time I see someone write a “things that make you want to follow your blog” post (read mine here!), they mention blog design.  A beautiful theme or unique photos that you take yourself can be the first step to getting someone to stay on your blog long enough to read your posts and become a follower.

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2. It helps with branding.

There are a lot of blogs on the Internet.  Having a recognizable theme or imagine style can help you build your brand, as you’ll stick in people’s minds, and they’ll be able to recognize your brand if they come across an image of yours on social media.

(This doesn’t necessarily mean that all your images need to look the same, but having a unique photo style or using similar colors and fonts on images can help you build a brand.)

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3.  Images Catch People’s Eyes in the WordPress Reader

If you use the WordPress Reader, you know that it tries to pull at least one image from every post to display next to the review. If a blogger has unique images (such as an image customized with the title of the post), this is much more attention-grabbing than a generic image (imagine the reader pulling my star/moon divider as the “featured” image ).

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4. Unique Images Are Easier to Share on Social Media

I’m trying to up my Pinterest game because people keep telling me of the wonders of getting blog traffic from Pinterest, and part of that is pinning other people’s images (because you don’t want to be a spammy person who only pins your own stuff and only promotes your own posts).   To this end, I’ve been trying to pin images from book blog posts I find interesting, and I have learned quickly that…not a lot of the book bloggers I follow have pinnable images. (Which would mean something like an image I have at the top of this post, one that has the title of the post in it.)  A lot of book bloggers barely have images at all.  These people are missing out on my attempts to give them free promotion because they don’t have images I can share.

(If you are a book blogger and want to join my new group Pinterest board to help promote some of your own stuff, as well, you can here.)

Similarly, posts that have unique images are more attention-grabbing on other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, since they (like the WordPress reader) try to grab an image to display with any shared links.

How do you use images on your blog? What do you notice about others’ images?


Book Blogging Resources for Reaching Your Goals in the New Year (2019)

Blogging Goals

Happy 2019! I know a lot of bloggers have goals and resolutions they set for themselves each year, so today I’m rounding up some of our best advice here at Pages Unbound to help everyone get off to a fabulous start!

If You Don’t Yet Have a Book Blog, Here’s Why You Should Start One

Two years ago, I wrote a whole post with 8 reasons you should start a book blog in the new year.  Krysta and I started in 2011, and it’s been such a fun and enriching experience (mentally enriching…we all know book bloggers don’t actually make money…) that I can’t really imagine stopping.

And here’s my guide on how to start a book blog.

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9 Book Blogging Resources You Might Not Know About

In 2017, I rounded up 9 book blogging resources that are very in-depth and very helpful that you might not know about, even if you’ve been blogging for awhile.

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Discussion Prompts for Your Book Blog

I’ve written two posts with discussion prompts for your blog, if you’re hoping to focus more on discussions this year.  Find 30 Discussion Post Prompts here and 52 More Discussion Post Prompts here.  You can also check out our list of prompts for our previously run feature on classic literature: Classic Remarks.

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Spread the Love to Other Bloggers

Last January, I shared 4 ways to spread love to book bloggers in the new year, and I think the same tips apply now!

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Rock Bookstagram in 2019

If you’re thinking about joining Bookstagram this year, here are my tips for doing Bookstagram on a Budget and my thoughts on Using Library Books on Bookstagram.

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Check on Your Stats

I did two informal surveys on stats for book blogs, one in 2016 and one in 2018, so if you’re a stat-watcher yourself, you might want to see how you stack up against the people who responded to the survey.

What are your goals for 2019?