Do you guys ever check your blog stats? I do quite often.
I’m not obsessed with getting new followers (although thank you for following me), but I find the data deeply fascinating. It’s so cool when I have a view from another country, especially if it’s one I’ve never had before. Most visitors here come from the United States, but I’ve had people from Malaysia, Japan, India, Uganda, Sri Lanka, France, Indonesia, and more.
The lifetime stats for each individual post are also very interesting. Weirdly, my most popular post by far is Lion. It took me a while to figure out why – my guess is that not so many people have read and reviewed that book? That post has more than four times the views of any other post or page other than the home page – which is so funny to me as it was a somewhat random pick I didn’t consciously choose to read and a quick review I dashed off between classes.
I’ve also reviewed Hidden Figures and Simone Biles, but others (including more popular blogs) have reviewed those books too, so less traffic is directed here. They still are among my top posts, simply because many people have read or heard of those books.
How People Find Me
Most of my hits come from followers using the WordPress reader, but after that the Read Diverse linkup, and then the Diverse Children’s Literature linkup send a lot of people my way – and I love reading other people’s reviews from those linkups also, it always leads me to discover new books or think about a book differently.
A good number of people find me on Google, usually when they are searching for a particular book I’ve reviewed that doesn’t have that much information available. That’s part of why I review some older or out-of-print books. Some had nothing listed which made it hard for me to decide if I wanted to buy it online. Several people found my blog by searching for book club discussion questions, which was interesting to me because I don’t provide those, but sometimes mention items I would discuss with students.
The early readers, early chapter books, and children’s fiction series tend to be more popular than most other book reviews, but my board book posts get very few hits. Web Wednesday is another unpopular category, but I’ll keep doing them – half the reason I make those posts is to save websites for my own reference later. I also don’t like to overload a book review with too many outside links.
Several people have come here trying to find children’s mystery books featuring black characters, and I can understand the frustration. The kids love mysteries, and finding good mystery books that feature characters like them has been challenging at best.
I review far more fiction than non-fiction, even though I originally started this blog for non-fiction picture books. However, it doesn’t seem to matter, because with the exception of When the Beat Was Born, the only non-fiction reviews that get any traction are biographies. I think that particular one has a more interesting cover, so people are drawn to click on it!
Since starting this blog, I’ve written 57 reviews over a variety of genres from board books to academic literature. I would love to post 100 reviews this year – it’s been a slow reading year but I’m confident that I can read that many diverse books.
Do you track your stats? What is your most popular post versus your favorite? Does audience response change how you blog?
Sometimes I prioritize items I know others are waiting for, but I still post reviews even if I think they’ll be unpopular. (Lots of people viewed my post on Everything, Everything, but comparatively few liked or commented.)