What Does a “Huge” Book Blog Look Like?

I started thinking about this after seeing a Facebook conversation about “huge book blogs”. Those people were referring to “huge book blogs” as ones that have 20k+ likes on Facebook. I thought it was really interesting how the focus was on Facebook rather than on the actual blog (number of subscribers/page views/comments).

Why judge a blog by its Facebook page?

When I think of a big blog, I think of numbers on the blog itself—not on its related social media sites. If someone has 20k Facebook likes, I’d think, “You have a big/successful Facebook page.” But I wouldn’t necessarily think they have a big blog. Why would you judge a blog by its Facebook page?

It’s definitely possible for a blog to only get 50 page views per day, but for the Facebook page to have 20k likes. AND, it’s certainly possible for a Facebook page to have 20k likes but VERY little interaction. A great example of this is why Copyblogger deleted their Facebook page.

Copyblogger is an extremely popular site. Their Facebook page had 38,000 likes. However, they were only getting an average of 25 likes per photo and 3 shares per photo. That’s not a huge amount. In fact, Copyblogger was seeing such little success from its Facebook page that they decided to delete it completely.

What makes a book blog “big”?

How do you judge a book blog? What makes it “big”? Is it the Facebook page? The number of page views? The number of comments? The number of email subscribers?

Personally, I think it’s a combination of blog-related activity—not social media. My opinion is that if you have a wildly successful social media account (Facebook/Twitter) then it’s not related to your blog unless it drives traffic to your blog. And if it drives traffic to your blog, then that will be reflected in your blog’s page views.

So in the end, I think the size of the blog should come from the number of page views (reach) and the number of comments (concrete proof of reach and interaction).

What do you think?

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  1. I don’t really pay attention to popular book blogs because their contents are mostly all reviews, book tours and memes. I personally think it’s kind of repetitive, so honestly I have no idea on what base I have to judge a big book blog.

    Since you can buy followers/likers nowadays, I ignore the number of followers/likers completely.

    Comments? I think it just shows how interactive the blog is. The only one who knows the real stats of the blog is the blogger.

    Oh, I think big blogs post daily! yeah, that’s how I judge them lol

  2. I pay more attention to their blogs than their facebook page, but I do know one facebook page that I have fun on and it’s Herding Cats and Burning Soup..it’s also the name of her blog and she is on there all the time making off the wall comments and has over 2000 likes and she drives a lot of traffic to her blog, so it works for her..my facebook page has not many likes but then I don’t concentrate on it like I do my actual blog. When I think of successful blogs I think of them in terms of how many followers they have and how many comments they get per post.

    Stormi recently posted: The Week In Review #13
  3. I’ve been considering just deleting the Facebook page for my book blog. I don’t find it useful myself, and don’t think it drives any traffic. I rarely post anything original there, and it feels kind of like wasted space.

    Sarah recently posted: November 2014 in review
  4. I think we all know who the big players are in each of our respective genres. But to me it doesn’t even come down to followers because MOST followers are other bloggers. I know as much as I want followers, all the followers, the fact that I can’t trace many of my hits tells me that people outside of the blogosphere are bookmarking the page. Ultimately I would love to be someone that fans of the genre know despite not being part of this blog scene on their own.

  5. Personally, the blogs I like the most are not the big ones, since they tend to have a lot of canned content, memes, and other not-so-helpful information.

    But in terms of my own blog’s success, my favorite metric is email subscribers and the email click-through rates. I’ve been pushing it harder than social follows/Likes since day 1, and it shows more loyalty. If someone subscribed, and stayed subscribed for at least a month, that shows that they really do like my posts. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be opening and clicking on my almost-daily emails.

    People get way more click-finger trigger happy on like and follow buttons than subscribe buttons, so you know that the click is a much bigger sign that they’re a member of your community.

  6. It’s sad that I’ve seen some bloggers who blog for the chase of the traffic because of these metrics. I think social media following does reflect the blog’s reach if the blogger uses the social media not as an extension of the blog, but as something integrated with the blog’s contents. There are many facebook pages out there that post very little to no original content just to see higher engagement.

  7. So in the end, I think the size of the blog should come from the number of page views (reach) and the number of comments (concrete proof of reach and interaction).

    I completely agree Ashley – popularity is how many people view and interact with your site; and, like you said, Facebook likes don’t really measure popularity accurately.

    And, for example, if two people submit an ARC request, most likely the publisher isn’t going to give it to the person with the highest social media count, they’ll give it to the person with higher page views and stats, right?

    Fantastic post Ashley! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted: This Shattered World
    1. Yeah that’s what I’d figure. I’d think that a high Facebook reach would be better for promos (advertising cover reveals, new releases, deals, etc.). But for actual reviews and blog posts, you’ll want to focus on page views and comments. And if your super popular Facebook page actually drives traffic to your blog, then that will become evident in the page view number!

  8. I have so many thoughts on this post…
    Question: were the ‘huge’ blogs you were talking about YA or NA/Indie blogs? I’ve noticed that NA/Indie bloggers are a lot more active (and popular) on Facebook than their actual blog. And most YA bloggers focus more on their actual blog. Of course, I’ve never had a facebook so I don’t even know how that works honestly. But from what I’ve seen and talked to with friends, NA/indie book blogs have a bigger presence on facebook. I think it has to do with the fact that they push (aka, shove in your face) book sales so much to get commissions. I looked up a lot of blogs last month to see what makes a ‘huge’ blog because I wanted to write a post about it. I came up with no answer. Some of the ‘huge’ facebook blogs that has over 30K facebook likes rarely have any comments and their bloglovin followers are in the low 100’s range. But their email subscriptions are a crazy high number though. Is it because people want to read your posts, or because they want to read all the sales posts? If you like a post, wouldn’t you want to interact, leave a comment or something?
    Then I’ve seen blogs that have like 30-40 comments for a post (non giveaway) but their follow count is really low. Is it because they comment a lot on other blogs?
    Then I looked up some of the top followed book blogs on bloglovin and most of the ones with over 10k followers barely even have 5 comments per post.
    I think a big indicator of how many comments a person gets (for most blogs) depends if the person comments back or replies to comments….
    For me, a successful blog is one where people really pay attention to what you have to say. They read a book because of you, check out a post because of you, or comment on a review or discussion (and not just because you commented on their blog).
    Great post! Sorry for my super long comment.

    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted: 25 Days of Book Boyfriends: Madoc from Rival by Penelope Douglas!
    1. Some of the โ€˜hugeโ€™ facebook blogs that has over 30K facebook likes rarely have any comments and their bloglovin followers are in the low 100โ€™s range. But their email subscriptions are a crazy high number though.

      Honestly, if they have a ton of email subscribers but very few comments, then I’d guess they host giveaways that have an extra entry asking you to subscribe via email. Then people subscribe with junk emails they don’t care about.

      That results in a large number of subscribers, but very few people who ACTUALLY read (and thus comment) on their blog.

      That’s always my suspicion when I see a blog with a huge follower/subscriber number but very few blog comments. :/

      Thanks for your input!!

      1. I do it myself, I subscribe but rarely read the emails, and when I do I don’t always feel like clicking on the link to go to the actual website and comment. Since most of the time I check my email at work, and no one minds, but if I open a web page they might. lol so I don’t comment unless I’m at home.

        weronika recently posted: REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  9. I don’t really pay that much attention to how other blogs are doing… I keep doing my thing in my little corner of the internet, and I’m the most happy when I get comments on my posts. I guess different bloggers see things differently, and that’s good with me ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have noticed that I don’t get much action on my FB page, though, and have started wondering if it’s really worth it to keep adding content there at all.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted: 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge sign-up
  10. I’m inclined to agree with you Ashley. I’ve also been considering stepping away from my Facebook page. The algorithm is entirely diminishing to lead generation.

    I will defend RSS/Bloglovin type of feeds though, I read through and clear mine out every 2 days or so. Nice headlines and photo previews become key here. I read almost every post for the blogs I subscribe to but I rarely leave comments. :/ I guess I need to be a better blog reader and show some love, if that’s how we’re being judged on comments as the ultimate engagement meter.

    Great post Ashley!

  11. I really like this article. I’ve had similar problems with facebook. I’ve had about 2 million hits for my blog posts from my google+ page and almost no success on my facebook page. I considered deleting it, but I haven’t b/c I have friends who liked my page and continue to follow it. I think the problem seemed to happen when FB started to try to get people/companies to pay to “boost your post.” I also think most people go to FB to see what they’re friends and family are doing, not to interact on public pages.

    Msmariah @ASpaceBlogyssey recently posted: 'Nightcrawler' Review - Heavy Spoilage
  12. I don’t think Facebook likes matter in the least, but I keep my page because well, it doesn’t really hurt to have it there, nor does it take any time or energy. And I have a few non-blogger friends who prefer to use Facebook, so I figure I’ll try to be as accommodating as possible. I do dislike the way Facebook basically forces pages to either buy ads, or be ignored. No page I like ever, ever shows up in my personal newsfeed. It’s mostly worthless, but it doesn’t take any effort, so it can sit there forever for all I care ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for what makes a “big” blog, I haven’t a clue. I think there are different types of success. Some bloggers may only care about numbers, so if they just have a lot of giveaways and generic posts, they don’t care because the numbers will be high. Others couldn’t care less about numbers as long as they have a core of active, engaged followers. Ideally, I would probably like a combination. I’d like to say it’s only the core followers that matter, but to GET said followers, you have to get the word out somehow. It’s tricky, and I don’t think I will ever be sure which blogs are the “big” blogs.

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: So You Want to Break Up With a Book
  13. I’d call a book blog “big” based on actual site traffic and email/RSS readers. FB and Twitter mean little as far as I’m concerned. I have page to reach people who aren’t on Twitter or don’t subscribe by email (yet). And I use Twitter to keep up with blogs I don’t subscribe to and to pick up new readers. But I don’t define success that way. So I’m completely with you on FB likes being largely meaningless in defining how “big” a blog is.

  14. I tend to judge based on how many different people comment, and how many page views it gets. With all the giveaways I’ve seen where you get entries based on following the blog, I always wonder how many of the listed followers are ‘real’ followers and how many are just following because of whatever giveaway was done last.

    Some of those might turn into ‘real’ followers because the giveaway brought the blog to their attention. Totally not looking down on giveaways, I just did my first myself! *grins* But I would imagine a lot of the people you get that way never actually come back. So I consider comments and page views as better indicators.

    Silvara recently posted: Fantasy Creature Friday
  15. I don’t even have a Facebook page for my blog- I think it’s completely irrelevant to how my blog fares, success-wise. Sure, it could help drive traffic. In the end, what makes a successful blog (or a ‘huge’ one as you put it), at least for me, is how many supporters you have. Not just followers or viewers but supporters who may or may not comment often, but who you know absolutely appreciate your blog. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hazel @ Stay Bookish recently posted: Hello, Goodbye: November 2014 Recap
  16. This is a tough one. True, statistics are a good way to measure the success of a blog, but they can lead you astray too. Let’s say you consider comments to be the measuring stick. If there’s 250 comments on a post but 200 of them are variations of “Great post!” then how do you measure that? If it’s page views and 100 of the 300 are 5 second views, do they still count?

    I actually have given up the race for stats or deciding how “big” a blog is. If the content is good I stick with it.

    Stephanie @ Once Upon a Chapter recently posted: Alexa’s Dec TBR and Reading Goals
    1. Well with regards to the comments one, I think that’s just the difference between a “huge” blog and a “successful” blog. Even if all the comments are thoughtless, I think you can still objectively say the blog is pretty big. Whether or not it’s really successful or promotes discussion or is a “good” blog is another matter. I don’t think the success and value of a blog have anything to do with size at all.

  17. Everyone has mentioned what I think makes a big blog already. My blog doesn’t have a FB fan page. We have a FB group and that is where we get all our comments interaction from. It does well because we allow very little promotion from our members who are authors or bloggers. We post links to our posts, book freebies/deals we find and stuff we think our readers would be interested in.

    We do a lot of tours/spotlights but only for books we know our readers will be interested in. I did a survey a while back and our readers love the spotlights, reveals and such because it is how they find out about new books. We also tend to come up with the topic for guest posters so we know the content will be original and targeted for our readers.
    Just found your blog through the Social blogger FB group I’m in ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks like a great place to get information ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks!

    Sharon Stogner recently posted: Sunday Swag: Gods Gone Wild
  18. I would judge a huge book blog based on how many readers/page views it has and also on how well-known it is. That said I don’t really know who the big book bloggers are so I’m probably not qualified to comment! I would love to have thousands of page views per day but if people weren’t interacting with the content then it wouldn’t really be worth it would it?
    I ignore anything to do with Facebook and I don’t use it personally or for my blog. I really don’t think social media followers count towards a blogs size. I have more Twitter followers than Bloglovin followers and I’m pretty sure most of them don’t read my posts!

    Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc. recently posted: MINI REVIEW // Night of Cake and Puppets // Laini Taylor
  19. I completely agree with you! Just because someone has a large Twitter following of a lot of Facebook likes, that doesn’t make their blog popular or successful! I have encountered blogs that have thousands of followers of Twitter, Facebook etc. but barely any actual engagement on their site.
    To me, the stats that count are the email and Bloglovin’ followers to an extent, but mainly the comments on the blog. Though I must say, Twitter especially generates quite some traffic for our blog, even through we don’t have many followers on there.
    As a side note, I nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, so if you have the time and the will to, check it out ๐Ÿ™‚ http://bookshelfreflections.com/cait-paper-fury-trying-destroy/#more-2964

    Karolina @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted: Have you seen the INSURGENT trailer? No? Good!
  20. As a book blogger I have learned not to judge, we all struggle in some way. I look for blogger that have similar likes and dislikes. I want new books and I don’t want to buy something I don’t like, so that is why I follow certain blogs because they have my taste in a book. This is the biggest reason I stated my blog so I could find others with my book interest. So, I can careless about numbers, comments or stats. I care about finding the next book love.

  21. I agree with you; social media reach doesn’t necessarily correlate to blog reach. For instance, my combined social media reach is only just under 5,000 (actually, less than 4,000 now, since I had to create a new Facebook page and went from 1800 to 300 as a result), whereas I was seeing 25,000 unique visitors a month on my blog in December (down to 14,000 now, with no new posts since New Year’s). By social media, I’m a small blog. By unique visitors, I’m doing alright.

    Alena Belleque recently posted: Hello, 2015

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