The truth about book blogging statistics

It seems to be a sort of taboo in the book blogging community. You hear the word and you shiver, wonder, stress out about it all of a sudden. You don’t really talk about statistics when you’re a book blogger, or at least, I haven’t encountered a whole lot of people talking about them a lot.

I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind this. We’re nervous, we’re shy, we don’t feel like we are doing enough, or maybe a mix of all three. The truth is, you’ll rarely see people sharing their monthly, daily, weekly stats for a blog post or their blog overall. As of today, and I’ve been blogging for quite a long time now, I can count on one hand the number of posts I have read dealing with book bloggers’ stats.

If you ask me, I think we’re all a little too into numbers and what they tell us. (me included)

This day tells me that I haven’t been posting and therefore, that my views aren’t as high. This day tells me that I haven’t answered my pending comments and blog hopped and maybe people will forget about me. This day tells me I haven’t promoted anything over on twitter and therefore people most likely think I haven’t anything interesting to share today.

We can’t help but link numbers to success.

Reaching 10, 100, 1000 followers seems massive every single time. Getting one, ten, a billion comments on an article warms my heart like nothing else. Seeing that your blog is growing, view after view, day after day, this feels good. I’m not going to deny it. I’m also not in the business of telling you that statistics do not matter, because they do.

They help us feel like we’re growing. They help us receive ARCs, sometimes (though I wish I understood how and why and what stats really matter, for them). They help us feel like we’re not shouting into the void when we write a blog post, but that people actually come to read what we have to say and even better, want to react to what we have to say, too. They make us feel EXCITED too, let’s not deny it.

So yes. Statistics and numbers matter, in a way.

Statistics tell me what you like to read and see on the blog.

We book bloggers already heard of it multiple times and already noticed it on our own blogs, too. Reviews aren’t what works best and what draw people to book blogs the most. At least, for me.

If I’m taking my 2018 book blogging statistics out for you… on the entire year, the 10 first blog posts that drew more traffic were not book reviews. They were blog posts… about blogging and book recommendations posts. The very first review that drew the most traffic is in 17th position. 17.

πŸ”ŽRelated blog post: On book reviews: unpopularity, comments and other struggles

Thanks to my statistics, I found out that you all really like talking about book blogging and, from my early 2019 stats as well, are having fun with book recommendations kind of posts, too.

Honestly, this makes me thrilled and happy and I know I’m unbelievably lucky, because these kind of posts are some of my favorite to write and, seeing these numbers, I feel like it shows.

Yet, statistics also tell me things that sometimes, I don’t want to hear.

Like, if I posted more, I could get more views and therefore, more “success”. It’s only mathematical, really: on the days you have new blog posts, people are coming to visit your blog more. If you’re not posting for a week, stats plummet rapidly.

Like, if I used social media even more and even better, got a blog’s pinterest and an instagram along with my twitter, I could see numbers growing even more.

I don’t want to think about this, though it is always in the back of my mind. The truth is, I know I can’t do it. I know I’m already spending countless hours on this unpaid hobby because I adore it, but I can’t do more.

πŸ”Ž Related blog post: How to stay positive while book blogging.

I don’t want to create content for statistics. I want to create content that makes me happy, as often as I can and, if I need to take a break, it’s okay. Wednesday, for instance, is usually a posting day for me and, last week, I skipped it because I was on a train, because I was away from home, because I didn’t have time to prepare a proper blog post and did not want to deliver something I wasn’t entirely proud of. So I skipped it. My stats, as promised, were lower than usual on this day.

Does a tiny little part of me cares and feels sad and disappointed? Yes. Yet, another part of me knew I couldn’t do more than I already did without serious anxiety coming to me and, you know what? I think this matters more than anything else.

Statistics do not define me or my worth, at all.

Numbers change, grow, plummet down, grow again. People aren’t always there to read your blog, life gets busier and you can’t post, you just need a break because you’re tired.

Numbers and statistics are a great tool and, I know we’re all deep down spreadsheet and statistics nerds and that’s very cool, too.

I pay attention to the number of views I got on a certain day. I watch the kind of blog posts that work best, I pay attention to what makes you react whenever I post something new, watching nervously every time a blog post goes live. I care about comments, I care whether or not you enjoyed this or that.

Yet, I also know that it’s important to care about what I put out there, more than any kind of number. Statistics change and we sometimes can’t quite explain them well. I also don’t want to let them dictate the way I feel about my blog.

Honestly, I love writing book reviews. They aren’t the most viewed blog posts, or the most commented on, but I love sharing my thoughts on a particular book and promoting it that way. I love spreading the love for books and in the community, too, it is one of my favorite things to do, ever.

πŸ”Ž Related blog post: How to blog hop, why I do it and think you should, too

I love writing this kind of post and, when I hit the finish line, feeling proud of what I’ve wrote.

As soon as people find out we’re bloggers, in real life, their first question always is about statistics. How many followers do you have? How many pageviews per month? It’s okay to ask that, it’s only human to be curious about the numbers and I’m not really blaming them.

I just wish that, sometimes, they asked if you’re having a great time blogging instead. I know I am and that’s what makes me log onto my blog every day with a smile on my face.

πŸ”Ž If you’re looking to read more about book bloggers statistics, I recommend:

Are you a statistics nerd? Do you enjoy looking at your stats, analyzing them and so on, or does this stress you out? Or a little bit of both?

Do you wish we talked about stats more openly? I would love to hear your thoughts in comments!

I’m also taking suggestions, if there is any blogging topic you’d like me to talk about or give advice on, please feel free to let me know!

 

 

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

149 thoughts on “The truth about book blogging statistics

  1. thank you for this honest post! i love to hear about statistics from other bloggers (and yes, check in on my own), it satisfies the number nerd in me lol i agree so much with you. statistics are great for encouragement but the hard part is when it just OVERCOMES everything and clouds the joy of blogging

    fantastic post, i seriously love your discussion posts so much (how are you so eloquent with your ideas?? teach me plz)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I completely get that, I was never a really good friend with numbers overall, but I get the satisfaction they can bring, too, that’s for sure πŸ™‚
      Thank you ahhh, you’re way too sweet, thank you so much, this means so much 😭😭

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, love! πŸ’• Until this year, I was absolutely obsessed with statistics. I would check them constantly, and eventually realized that many of my posts were written without much heart in them. I was writing short posts that frankly, didn’t feel meaningful. Although some of them (weekly memes, for instance) gained a decent amount of traffic, I didn’t enjoy writing them all too much.

    After self hosting my blog in January, I’ve taken a bit of a step back in the number of blog posts I write. I’ve chosen to focus more on quality over quantity, and I’m so thankful I did this! The number of views on my blog have decreased but that’s ok with me. I’m just glad that my blog feels more personal and authentic now! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that so so much. I used to do weekly memes just as well, and, if they gained a lot of traffic, I didn’t really love doing them all the time and it felt more like an obligation or something… that’s when you know you need to stop, haha πŸ™‚

      I’m so happy to hear you’re feeling better about all of this now, Kelly! Your blog looks incredible and all the content you put out there, too ❀ ❀
      Thank you so, so much for sharing your thoughts! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. THIS IS AMAZING !

    I think bloggers should talk about this a bit more often because it does matter in a way but the most important thing isn’t to have more likes it’s, at least to me, to be proud of what you’re doing haha.

    Also keep ! on ! doing ! book ! reviews ! They are amazing πŸ˜‰

    Sending you loads of love ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you, you’re always way too sweet with me, thank you so much!! 😭 I’m so happy you enjoyed this blog post and to hear that you like my reviews, ahh, thank you! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a fantastic well-written post πŸ’• Iβ€˜m very glad that you talk so openly about stats, because I do struggle with them as well! I actually rarely look at them, because it makes me anxious and doubt myself, but reaching milestones is still nice though 😱 I feel like Iβ€˜m happiest when I try not to worry about my stats because that’s when Iβ€˜m at my most creative πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Caro, you’re so sweet ❀
      I agree with you, I feel like, when I'm not worrying too much is when I feel the most inspired and just, the most… myself I can be with my posts and this makes me happier, too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I only post once a week because it’s all i can manage. I’m definitely focusing on prioritising myself this year, and that means posting less and posting content I love. When people share their stats, I ALWAYS compare mine to theirs…and obviously mine are lower because I post less than the average book blogger. If I posted more, and blog hopped more, and promoted posts more, then i would have higher stats. But I can’t always keep up with those things. I’m learning not to care about numbers too much, but rather on the people actually enjoying my content and me enjoying writing. This was a great post marie ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this is so great that you can, little by little, focus on that and on what makes you happy. It’s definitely a process and I know we are many still comparing ourselves to others, when we all don’t have the same blogging rhythm. It can quickly get frustrating and annoying, and it’s so important to focus on the people there, enjoying our content and us enjoying what we put out there, too ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Like

  6. I love this! I’ve only started to track my stats this year because I realized I can’t adequately compare myself to other bloggers, only myself. (Plus, graphs are so fun!) I’m sure that part of the problem is that data is just so easy to use as a barometer of success: posts, comments, link referrals… everything can be quantified. Whereas the feeling you get from writing a post or receiving a comment… not so much. I’ve also learned that the more active and engaged a blogger is, the more time they’re spending on their blog, which is something I’m not sure I really want to do. Like, am I okay with way fewer stats if it keeps me creatively fulfilled and not overwhelmed or burned out? It’s definitely a fine line, but I’m happy to hear you’ve found some sort of balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree with everything you wrote here! ❀ Stats, comments,views, are so easily quantified while we can't really do that with feelings. And yes, it's true that being active and engaged a lot can help you grow maybe quicker or/and get more views if you post every day, but like you said, will that creatively fulfill you or will that just make you feel burned out? We're not here for that, we're here to be fulfilled and happy after all πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Rachel! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “Reaching 10, 100, 1000 followers seems massive every single time. Getting one, ten, a billion comments on an article warms my heart like nothing else. Seeing that your blog is growing, view after view, day after day, this feels good. I’m not going to deny it. I’m also not in the business of telling you that statistics do not matter, because they do.”

    I 10000% agree with this so much, and I am glad that your post doesn’t pretend the numbers don’t matter but you also don’t place all of your worth on them, either. I look at my stats to look for trends, but I don’t let my stats rule or dictate my posts. I am just a statistics nerd and like maximizing my efforts by seeing what works & tweaking accordingly.

    I’ve been working on my own stats transparency post since vicky’s post last year… and I am really nervous about it. I think it is important that bloggers demystify stats and stop having it be such a taboo topic. It’s hard to not want to compare ourselves with other bloggers, but it might also help people realize how well they are actually doing.

    Great post, Marie!

    Like

    1. Oh thank you so, so, so much for such a sweet comment, I’m so happy this post resonated with you, thank you! ❀ Oh this is very exciting! I get the nervousness, but I am certain so many people would be curious to read this post. It's important, like you said, for people to talk about it and demystify these stats, too πŸ™‚
      Thank you!! ❀

      Like

  8. Oooo very interesting topic Marie! You are so right, you almost never see book bloggers talking specifically about statistic, despite the fact that they are a big part of blogging.

    Are you a statistics nerd? Do you enjoy looking at your stats, analyzing them and so on, or does this stress you out? Or a little bit of both?

    I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t look at my stats and that they didn’t affect my mood. Of course it is disappointing when a post flops that you put a lot of time & effort into… I used to be much more statistic obsessed, but these days I don’t really put too much stock in them. At the end of the day, I am still going to post for myself first, so it really doesn’t matter how well a post does.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Amanda, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚ I agree that stats can definitely affect my mood, too, but… well, we are not paid for this and, really stats do not matter as much as our enjoyment of it all πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your comment! ❀

      Like

  9. So it’s definitely nice to feel like you’re not shouting into the void and followers and stats are an indication of that and that your blog is growing, but honestly some of the things you need to do in order to gain these stats and followers can be a) exhausting and b) take the fun out of blogging. As you said with memes – when it starts to feel like an obligation, what’s the point?

    I always want to blog to share my thoughts and as a creative outlet. I also want to write the best I can. I have noticed that more popular bloggers than me might post content more regularly (and power to them) but it’s clear that they’re not always spending a lot of time per blog post.

    Thanks for talking about this, it’s definitely opening up some interesting conversations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I 200% agree with you here, if you have to do things that are just NOT fun for you, then what’s the point? Blogging shouldn’t be an obligation at all πŸ™‚
      I get that and, I guess it’s all a matter of what you want to do versus what they like to do. I’m just like you, I can’t post every single day because I spend hours just on one post haha. πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!! πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. Last year was my first full year being a book blogger and I think I checked my stats less than 10 times. The only times I started checking them last year was when I decided to compile the data into a spreadsheet for later use. This year, I do check up on my stats as I fill out my spreadsheet for this year but overall I tend to keep the view point of “they’re just numbers and they don’t define anything”

    I really wish the book blogging community can get to a point, where we’re all able to talk about stats, comfortably and learn from one another. The less you talk about, the more uncertainly lies about on the topic and people can come to the wrong conclusions. Particularly newbies who have no idea if they’re actually doing well or not, but stats shouldn’t define how well we’re doing…they can go a ways to help reassure us that this hard work, time and energy was well spent. That people do enjoy the content we produce.

    We’ve all started from 0 and we’re all at different stages in our blogging journey, with different numbers, I think as long as you’re getting views you’re doing something right in my mind. Lovely post Marie! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s amazing that you managed NOT to check your stats at all, Clo, I admire that so much.
      I agree that it would be great to talk about these more, to understand where everyone is at but, most importantly, to show that we’re not alone either.
      Agree, I think that as long as we enjoy what we do, really it’s all that matters.
      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. hehe I definitely hear the word and shiver πŸ˜‰ I really agree that they can be a good tool, but that they shouldn’t dictate what you post- I actually avoid looking at them at certain times so that they don’t sway me too much (or make me too disappointed after I put more effort into a post than usual, in case it doesn’t get much traffic- I know avoiding things is not very mature, but sometimes it’s all we can do, right? πŸ˜‰ ). Fortunately very few people ask for my stats in real life… because I barely ever tell anyone I’m a blogger (which begs the question- what do they think I do with my time? πŸ˜‰ ) Anyway great post- I really relate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree, sometimes we can – and should! – just avoid these numbers, because if we don’t, they can be so overwhelming and somehow, rule how we blog, and that’s not what we want now, we want to write what makes us happy πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much!! ❀ ❀

      Like

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