Popular Post Categories, Page Views, and Trends

Popular Post Categories, Page Views, and Trends

The idea for this post came to me when I made the claim that book reviews are not the best way to boost your blog traffic. Instead, I argued that it’s about discussions and original features. While looking through my posts on the admin panel, I decided it would be interesting to try to prove that by collecting statistics and data about the posts in each category of my blog. You can use this data to see how popular one post category is compared to another.

Page View Averages

These are the page view counts for each post for some of the most commonly posted in categories on my blog. These are not the page view counts for each days, but the total page views as of today for each post averaged out. So that means, when an old post has 1,000 page views, that doesn’t mean it got 1,000 page views in one day. It might mean it has 1,000 page views total over the span of 6 months. So I gather all the numbers like that then find the average.

The page views are displayed below, followed by the number of posts I collected data from. For example: 185 (69) means I counted 69 posts and the average page views from those 69 is 185.

Reviews WoW Discussions Bitchin’ Book Blog Stacking the Shelves Giveaways
185 (69) 61 (29) 398 (20) 957 (50) 126 (19) 393 (61)

Outliers

These outliers represent the numbers that fall outside the typical range. So if I have one post that has done extremely well on search engines, it might have an abnormally large number of page views. That page view number (and similar ones) is what’s listed here.

Reviews WoW Discussions Bitchin’ Book Blog Stacking the Shelves Giveaways
2,615 120
112
113
1,062 8,679
21,656
288 2,014

Averages Without Outliers

These numbers represent the average page views for each category without the outliers.

Below the number, in parenthesis, is how many page views the average went down from the original average (with the outliers).

Reviews WoW Discussions Bitchin’ Book Blog Stacking the Shelves Giveaways
149
(-36)
55
(-6)
364
(-34)
365
(-592)
117
(-9)
366
(-27)

Scatter Charts

These charts show all of the page view data I collected for each post in each category.

Reviews

Page View Graph - Reviews - With Outliers

Reviews – Without Outliers

Page View Graph - Reviews - Without Outliers

Waiting on Wednesday

Page View Graph - Waiting on Wednesday - With Outliers

Discussions

Page View Graph - Discussions - With Outliers

Bitchin’ Book Blog

Page View Graph - Bitchin' Book Blog - With Outliers

Bitchin’ Book Blog – Without Outliers

Page View Graph - Bitchin' Book Blog - Without Outliers

Stacking the Shelves

Page View Graph - Stacking the Shelves - With Outliers

Giveaways

Page View Graph - Stacking the Shelves - With Outliers

Observations, Trends, & Analysis

Looking at the numbers (both the averages and the individual counts), it’s extremely clear to me that discussion posts and Bitchin’ Book Blog posts do the best by far.

Reviews

Review numbers can vary pretty greatly depending on the book. The more popular and well known a book is, the more page views it will get. Books that aren’t well known might only get 80 page views, but more commonly known books can get 200 or 300.

My outlier of over 2,000 comes from my review of Requiem by Lauren Oliver, which, for some reason, gets a lot of search engine traffic.

Waiting on Wednesday

Poor Waiting on Wednesday posts, because they clearly get the least amount of page views. It’s very common for those numbers to be around 40 or 50 per post. However, I’m not pushing my WoW posts to their full potential. I used to link up with Breaking the Spine and go around and comment on other WoW posts. I no longer do this due to time constraints. But if you do do it, WoW posts have the potential to get upwards of 100 page views.

Discussions

I find that discussions do very well right away. It’s common for me to get 300 – 400 (or up to 600) page views on a discussion post in only 2 days. They’re commonly tweeted about and posted on “Weekly Recap” type posts on other blogs.

After the week ends, discussion posts don’t get many page views again. They might get a couple, but they don’t grow a lot over time.

Bitchin’ Book Blog

These posts completely dominate. The thing about BBB posts is that they grow over time. People constantly revisit these posts, use them as references months later, bookmark them, and these posts do the best in search engines, which explains my outliers. For example, my post on how to choose a good blog name domaines the search engines, and as a result, it has over 20,000 page views. People find this post on Google every single day.

Another one with almost 10,000 page views is how to add an image slider to your Blogger blog. This is another one that does exceedingly well in search engines, and as a result, it still gets regular comments even though it was posted in March 2013!

So Bitchin’ Book Blogs get good traffic immediately, but the difference between these and discussion posts is that BBB posts continue growing with time. People are always looking for help with their blog or blogging tips, and that’s something that’s very commonly Googled. As a result, they rock the search engines and continue to get page views weeks or months after publication.

Stacking the Shelves

This category is similar to Waiting on Wednesday. It doesn’t get a ton of page views, although it does do slightly better. But like WoW, I don’t push Stacking the Shelves posts to their full potential. When I used to link up with Tynga’s Reviews and visit other blogs, the page views for one StS post would soar over 200. But without linking up, my numbers sit at around 120 per post.

Giveaways

Page views for Giveaways vary immensely. If I’m giving away a book not many people know about or are interested in, the numbers can be as low as under 100. But if I’m giving away a box of popular, upcoming ARCs, BOOM! We get numbers up to 1,000. Giveaway hops are another way to make the numbers soar (up to 2,000!). But ultimately, I think the biggest thing is what you’re giving away. If it’s a super popular book, the giveaway will own Twitter and you’ll get in a ton of traffic.

Conclusion

Obviously these trends can be different for each blogger. The numbers vastly depend on how you market your blog and who you consider your target audience to be. But for my blog, I can definitely conclude that while reviews do okay, they are not the most popular piece of content on my blog.

What category are your most popular posts from?

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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21 comments

  1. Love your research. I was surprised about your numbers for WOW until you explained it. I haven’t done an extensive analysis of my blog pageviews but I know Stacking The Shelves, Giveaways, Kindle & Nook Freebies, and now my discussion posts do the best. And my reviews with blog tours do better than the non-tour reviews (unless it’s a very popular book). But I also noticed my second (or third?) Writing and Publishing Tips guest post did AMAZING. I was surprised how well it did in pageviews.

    I knew your blogging/website tips would be the most popular for you because everyone needs those. I still search for those.

  2. Such an interesting post! And of course I looked into my stats. Btw, where did you check your stats, directly on Google Analytics?

    I have three reviews that are outliner: “Rapture by Lauren Kate”, Slammed and Thoughtless. These get tons of hits, mainly because they also appear high up when you search this terms on goggle. Thanks to SEO lol!

    Then my Blog Tour Posts and special Author Posts like with KatieMcGarry usually get tons of hits. However, I have to say that I only join Blog Tours for books I am excited about which then in return also get tons of hits. Like Siege and Storm, Of Triton and the Harlequin Books. So these posts totally stand out.

    My reviews also get sadly much less views , as low as 90 and for other books which are more popular around 400.

    My WoW get around 150-400 which is I think is pretty good.

    What really amazes me and makes me happy is to see that my Super Six Sunday posts get nearly as many pageviews as WoW. This makes me incredibly excited because it’s the first meme we ever created that apparently our readers seem to like.

    Also my Discussion Posts get tons of hits, much more than any review.

    Thanks for making me look at this so closely, it made me realize that I think my blog is pretty well balanced. At least that is what I conclude. Reviews always get less pageviews but it’s not as bad as I think.

    1. I actually count page views for each post directly in WordPress because it’s a bit easier to see, but you could definitely get this information from Google Analytics too! You just search by content and you should be able to see the page views for individual posts there. But it’s easier to use WordPress because the post titles are clearer and you can more easily sort them by category when you look at the page views.

      That’s awesome that your Super Six Sundays are doing so well!!! You go girl! I have been reading all those and I like the topics you’ve been choosing. 🙂

  3. Wow! The pageviews breakdown was admirable. To be honest, I really didn’t delve deeper into what makes up my pageviews. Based on physical observation, I think my STS and FF would have the most number of pageviews (because I visit a lot of blogs for these 2 memes) followed by discussion posts then reviews. But yes, you’ve given me something to think about. Maybe, I’ll check my stat counter and google analytics to see if my observation is right.

    Charlotte recently posted: Stacking the Shelves {9}
    1. Yeah that makes sense! When I really focused on posting on StS and WoW posts, those got the most page views. I’ve just been lazier lately. 🙁

  4. Wow, Ashley, no wonder your BBB posts get so much love. It’s mostly because you’re . . . analytical . . . and very informative.

    I was actually staring a little while at your graphs for the things with outliers and whatever, and I was wonering, “How did she make those dots have shadows?” But then, when I was reading the beginning, I was wondering, “Ashley would actually do this?” Because I know I wouldn’t, haha. I know I haven’t even looked at the stats for each post at all.

    Shannelle C. recently posted: Behind the Blog Monday: This or That
  5. I’m the same, too (though I didn’t go through all that to prove it – I’m too lazy! :P). Even though my blog is still fairly new, having moved from Blogger to WordPress.com, discussions and other kinds of posts received the most pageviews as well as the most comments, compared to my reviews. Which is strange! We’re supposed to be BOOK blogs after all, right? So why aren’t the most popular posts reviews? Probably because reviews get boring after a while, if they’re all that you blog about. So this should encourage all book bloggers out there to post different content, because I’m all for discussions and posts that aren’t always about books. 🙂

    Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan recently posted: Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein
  6. Oooh, love this post! I love stats and charts and stuff. It’s really no surprise to me that your most popular categories are discussions and BBB posts! I do find it interesting that the reviews had higher stats that the meme posts, but again it’s probably because you don’t do much to advertise your memes or whatever.

    What tool do you use to get stats by category like this?

    Kelley (Another Novel Read) recently posted: Book Journals – How Do You Take Notes While Reading?
  7. Wow that’s definitely a ton of pageviews haha! I find that I usually post the same thing, so I get about like a hundred pageviews per day, (I haven’t even checked on an individual post but like in general just going to my blog) but then there’ll always be that one day where I somehow was really popular and got a lot more than I’m used to. But discussion posts definitely work wonders, as do any blog tips, since I find them super fun to read about.

    Fantastic post, Ashley! <33

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
  8. I totally agree that discussion posts and other features receives more page views than reviews. I think for the reviews, if the book is well known (like you said) then you’ll have a lot more buzz because more people can relate to it. Giveaways also depends; if it’s interesting, then of course it will create a buzz and people would come back to it if there’s an option of ‘tweet once a day’ or something like that. Great post!!!

    -leigh

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