I’ve had my own book blog for over two years and it’s actually taken me this long to come to the following conclusions:
1. Followers are way more important than daily views (generally).
On a more emotional level, it’s nice to know that currently more than 750 people enjoyed my blog enough to hit that follow button. But what I’ve found in my two years of blogging is that followers really are more important than daily views. Your average person stumbling across a blog isn’t going to leave a comment, but a follower might. Followers are the more engaged, active members of your blogging community and for me that’s why they’re more important than the number of daily hits I get.
Aside from that on a purely marketing standpoint, blog tour companies, authors and publishers seem to be far more concerned about follower statistics than daily hits. When signing up for blog tour companies I’ve only been asked once about daily hits (and I’ve signed up for 6 companies). And publishers/authors are generally not all that concerned about daily hits as long as you have a decent number of followers. I may only average 200 hits per day, but because of my 752 followers I get approved for a lot more review requests than I would if I had only 100 followers and 300+ hits per day.
2. Book reviews suck statistics-wise.
I’ve written nearly 500 book reviews but those are not what bring people to my blog. No, it’s my rants and articles that bring that most traffic. With season 4 of Game of Thrones coming up on April 6 my traffic has experienced an enormous spike because I’m suddenly getting nearly one hundred hits per day on my rant Why Girls Hate Game of Thrones—A Rebuttal. They’re not from people getting mad at the author for the initial ignorant article. They’re from people searching things like ‘map of westeros’ and ‘game of thrones women’. It’s sad to say, but for book bloggers, book reviews are not going to get you very far stats-wise.
3. Blog tours rarely boost traffic.
I haven’t actually taken place in many blog tours yet but I can say that the ones I have taken part in have done absolutely nothing to enhance my traffic. They’re a great promotional tool for authors to get their work out there and noticed in the blogosphere but for us bloggers they don’t really do much. Sure, the host-only giveaways are sometimes a great incentive as well as the fact that you’re getting more free books to read, but if you’re only in it to increase your stats you’d be better off writing a book review.
That’s not to say that blog tours don’t benefit bloggers as well. They’re good at helping you find awesome new authors. Thanks to blog tours I have some new favourite books in Andromeda’s Fall by Abigail Owen and The Collector of Dying Breaths by M. J. Rose. So if you’re not a big statistics fanatic, blog tours can be very beneficial by bringing books you otherwise never would have heard of to your attention.
If I had to give any advice from this article I’d say to my fellow book bloggers: don’t worry too much about statistics. Sure, keep an eye on them if you want to be approved for those popular ARCs, but don’t let them run your life. The internet is a fickle place and although one week you may have a huge increase in traffic the next week you’ll have a 50% decrease in traffic. Worry more about building your community and getting some dedicated followers and you’ll do just fine.