I (Briana) ran a book blogger stats survey in 2016 (results here), in 2018 (results here), and in 2020 (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. After doing the survey three times, I figured this is apparently a thing I do every two years, so welcome to the results for 2022.
There were 90 responses this year, an increase from 56 responses in 2020, so hopefully that will give us slightly better data, although it is, of course, still a limited sample size as there are thousands and thousands of book bloggers.
I generally kept the questions about stats the same, so people can look back and compare with the past two surveys, but in 2020 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.
This year, I added TikTok as an option for where people consume the most bookish media, and I changed the lowest daily page views answer from 0-50 and divided it up into two answers, either 0-25 or 26-50. I did this because most people picked 0-50 in the previous three surveys, and I thought people might find it useful to parse it out a little bit.
First, I asked how long people have been blogging. The results are pretty varied, although a much larger percentage said 10+ years this time than in 2020. I ask this question mainly so I can look at individual answers and see if there’s any correlation between blogging for a longer time and having higher stats. Often, yes, but it’s not always the case. Some people can blog a long time and have lower stats and some people can blog for 6 months and have pretty high stats.
Next, I asked about average daily page views, which is probably the metric most people think about when they think about blog stats. The answers are pretty varied here, too, though you can see that about 50% of bloggers answered either 0-25 or 26-50, which tracks fairly well with previous surveys.
There were some unusual outliers this year, however. Someone said they have 2000+ daily views, one person said 1300+, and two people said 1000+. If you were any of these four people, please feel free to share your secrets in the comments below.
Looking through the individual responses, I would say the people with particularly high page views have 1) been blogging for a couple years at least and 2) recommend utilizing SEO. Someone also commented that if you want the high traffic and perhaps to monetize, you are going to need to think about posting what people want to read and find value in, to get traffic, and not just post whatever you feel like as you might if blogging is just a hobby.
How many blog followers do you have?
Again, high followers don’t necessarily correlate with high traffic or lots of comments.
The answers about comments were very interesting to me because nearly everyone answered they get 0-5 comments per day, regardless of how many followers they have or how many page views they get.
Again, if you were an outlier here and tend to get a lot of comments, feel free to share your secrets in the comments below!
At Pages Unbound, I’d say we get closer to an average of 10 per day, and I don’t know for *certain*, but I think it helps we post a lot of discussion posts, and I also try to comment on other blogs a decent amount, so some of those people come to our blog to comment back.
Not a lot of Booktubers here, which makes sense, as people probably focus on one platform.
There are more people on Bookstagram, and there’s again some variability in stats.
I think I need to stop adding an open-ended response option to this question about where bloggers get the most traffic because people answer incredibly specific things that apply to no one else. Obviously the top answers are search engine hits, the WordPress Reader, and then social media. I was intrigued by the one person who answered Flipboard.
This question is always fun because someone with triple the traffic of everyone else will inevitably say they think their traffic is average or worse than everyone else’s. :p But the general trend is still that most people think other bloggers are more successful than they are, when this is generally not true, so we can all stop feeling bad about our stats now. 😉
Bloggers often have more social media followers than actual blog followers.
I added BookTok as an answer to this question, and not a single blogger said they spend the most time on BookTok. I do think publishers should take note of this. On the other hand, over half of bloggers said they spend more time on other platforms than on following book blogs, which I always find intriguing.
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. I’m loving the comments this year because, while there is some overlap with the answers from 2020, I also think there are a lot of new perspectives this time around.
What do you wish people would to in order to better boost and support book bloggers?
Trends: Share posts on social media, comment, actually read the posts, be transparent about what is working or not working on your own blog, read older content, reciprocate when others are commenting on or sharing your posts.
Share book bloggers and their posts on their blogs, especially the newer blogs. It’s hard enough to find new blogs to fall in love with, so, instead of sharing some perennial favorites, I wish people would share the newer bloggers to bring notice to them.
I wish people would acknowledge book bloggers’ hard work and the countless hours spend on this a little more. A simple retweet to share a blog post goes a long way already, or a tweet, or a share on another form or social media, for instance. Blog comments are such a great, underrated way of showing your appreciation for a post as well. If you have the means to, tip book bloggers on their ko-fi account. And no matter what, if you appreciate a book blogger’s work, never ever refrain from telling them so!
Comment on blog posts. Engagement makes a huge difference in motivating bloggers (it’s nice to feel like you’re not just talking to yourself ;)) but also helps improve the overall SEO of the blog and increase it’s ranking in search results.
Just actually use book blogs and comment on posts…I put in effort and then I get super few views – and those I do get don’t engage AT ALL. On Insta, the only comments I get are those AI ones ‘promote it on x’. I get that blogs build up over time and it takes a while, but it feels discouraging. I feel like most people just go straight to Goodreads so that doesn’t help either.
And an interesting perspective from someone who doesn’t think other bloggers really owe you anything. (Which I think is completely fair! I like supporting bloggers, but I also like supporting bloggers when I actually enjoy their content, as I’m sure we all do.)
I don’t think it’s people’s job to boost book bloggers. If you are creating value, people will come (assuming you do some marketing). It’s not about people helping you, but about you finding a way to help your readers.
What do you think the most challenging thing about book blogging today is, in terms of followers, engagement, etc.?
Trends: Getting engagement, getting comparable attention as influencers on other platforms, standing out from the crowd of other bloggers, finding the time to keep up with all the work that goes into blogging, getting people to engage on the blog itself instead of social media
I think that most people nowadays aren’t engaging on book blogs themselves. Yes, we’re getting traffic and yes, we can’t say that book blogging is dying. Yet, in terms of engagement and connection, it is a little bit. We’re not sharing conversations as we used to on book blogs, because most people turn to social media more, nowadays and it’s harder to create a real connection with the community if you’re not on social media at all.
I feel like my engagement has been slowly decreasing and I’m not sure why. It’s also really time consuming of come up with original ideas and also cross-post/market posts on social media
I used to get a lot of comments, but now it seems other bloggers expect me to comment on all their posts in order to get one comment back; even if they post 5-10 times to my one. I spend so much time commenting that I don’t have enough time for my own content.
Engagement. It’s the one thing that I’ve tried to increase for years, but no matter how much effort I put in, I rarely get more than a handful of comments a month. I am, of course, so grateful for those who do reach out.
Staying relevant when you’ve got no interest in making videos (either BookTok or IG Reels)
What advice would you give to someone looking to increase followers, engagement, etc.?
Trends: post original content, post consistently, comment on other blogs, have genuine conversations with others, just enjoy your time blogging the way you want (Also: a lot of people saying they don’t know!)
Social Media gives quick wins, but visitors from search engines make the blog feel relevant
Not to worry too much about it, honestly! Otherwise, be consistent. Find your niche and friends and enjoy it.
Don’t care about follower numbers – it’s really obvious when you specifically want to increase your stats and it will turn people off. Keep creating original content that you enjoy, comment on other blogs, make friends in the community and the right people will find you and stick around.
Learn SEO. It’s a game changer!
I am honored by this comment that thinks Pages Unbound is a big blog! Thank you! But, yes, I have ALSO used this method to blog hop in the past! Find a blog with a lot of comments and go visit and comment on those blogs. These people are usually active bloggers, and this approach helps you find new blogs to check out if you aren’t getting a lot of comments on your own blog that you can use to blog hop yet.
My method to the above issue was to find some of the cornerstone blogs (paper fury, the quiet pond, pages unbound, drizzle and hurricane, etc) and see what challenges they hosted to join, or find new blogs by seeing who was commenting on those sites and then going down the rabbit hole to find new people on THAT blog, and so on.
Thank you to everyone who participated! I’ll see you all again for the survey in 2024!
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