My 2017 Reading and Blogging Stats

2017 Reading Stats

Happy New Year, everyone! Your brains are probably on overload getting back into the swing of things at work. But, I’m still going to throw some more stats at you…at least these are fun ones (for bookworms)!

I gotta tell ya, it was a pain to manually compile all these stats. I keep track of the raw data throughout the year, but I didn’t total everything up until the bitter end. That makes for a lot of work come December 31.

BUT, next year will be so much easier because I’ll be using my “Rock Your Reading” Tracker, which automatically tallies all your stats for you (and even sticks them into pretty pie charts) throughout the year. You can see how you’re doing with your stats as the year progresses and have all the totals (and Summary Charts) at your fingertips come year-end. The Tracker will be available for purchase next week, so you too can avoid all the end of year tallying! 

Reading Stats

I blew through my goal of 100 books with a final 2017 count of 114 books. Thirteen were 5 stars compared to eight last year. This is surprising because I felt like this year’s reading was dismal compared to last year’s. Maybe I feel that way because many of this year’s hyped books failed for me. I also continue to be drawn to lighter books that I can read amidst chaos (at playgrounds, sports practices, with kids running and screaming around me, etc).

% Successful Books:
I personally view a “successful” book as a 3.5 rating or higher. 43% (65 of 152 books attempted, which includes DNFs) of my 2017 books were “successful.” UGH – this is too low! I hope to break 50% next year.

Next year I’ll be using my “Rock Your Reading Tracker” (available for purchase next week!), which will automatically calculate this for me throughout the year! 

I read slightly less literary and historical fiction this year and more general nonfiction (thank you, audiobooks!) and mysteries / thrillers. I think I’m getting over my mystery / thriller burnout (loving Emma in the Night probably helped with that).

I listened to 30 audiobooks this year, 26% of my overall reading. This is up from 15% last year and was integral in achieving my 2017 Goodreads goal of 100 books.

I read 32 backlist books (28% of my reading) this year compared to 21 last year. Another area where audiobooks really helped me.

Publishers / Imprints:

Longest Book Read: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (592 pages)…also my favorite book of the year! I’m still shying away from long books. They have to be outstanding to be worth it for me…luckily, The Heart’s Invisible Furies was.

Shortest Book Read: A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen (64 pages)

Diversity Stats

I don’t set particular diversity goals, but I am interested in seeing where my reading naturally falls…

73% of my 2017 reading was by female authors (up from 66% last year) and 70% of my Best Books of 2017 were by female authors.

15% of my 2017 reading was by POC authors, compared to 14% last year. 

Blog Traffic Stats

This year, I focused on continuing to build my Pinterest presence (it’s my #1 social media traffic source), growing my email subscriber list, and spending more time on Instagram. Not surprisingly, this focus is reflected in my social media and blog traffic numbers.

I didn’t really start paying attention to Instagram until November and am still somewhat ambivalent about it. It takes a lot of time, doesn’t directly drive a lot of traffic to my blog, and it’s now harder than ever to build a following because of the new algorithm. But, I do think it helps get my blog name out there in the #bookstagram community and I am gaining followers, so I’ll keep putting some effort into it for now.

Overall Traffic Source Comparison:

Top 5 Sources 2016
% Traffic
% Traffic
Google Organic Search 49% 43%
Pinterest 17% 21%
Direct 16% 12%
MadMimi Email 1% 5%
Facebook Mobile 3% 2%

Social Media Network Traffic Source Comparison:

Top Networks 2015 
% Traffic
% Traffic
% Traffic
Pinterest 11% 69% 79%
Facebook 36% 17% 10%
Twitter 27%  8%  7%
Blogger 19%  4%  2%
WordPress   1% 1%

Social Media Growth Over 2016:

Network % Increase in Followers % Increase in Traffic
Twitter  22%  65%
Facebook  29%  16%
Pinterest  128%  102%
Email Subscribers  187%  711%
Bloglovin’  51%  43%
Instagram  80%  82%

Blog Stats

Key Takeaways

  • For the second year in a row, “Sticky content” (i.e. recommendation lists like Book Club Recommendations and Page Turner Books) performed well via Google Search and Pinterest. These pages reside in my main menu and are constantly updated with new books.
  • Lists like “Best Books of the Year, Summer Reading Guide, and my quarterly Most Anticipated Books posts continue to perform well and aren’t going anywhere.
  • My best performing book reviews were mostly Spoiler Discussions. This is illuminating for me because I don’t write many of them. I’ll look for more opportunities for Spoiler Discussions in 2018.

Pageviews / Unique Visitors

  • Pageviews increased 70% over 2016.
  • Unique Visitors increased 57% over 2016.
  • My best months (by pageviews) were February, November, October (in that order). I had a post go viral on Pinterest in February and the Fall months are generally high traffic times for me.

Best Performing Posts/Pages of 2017

Best Performing Book Reviews of 2017 (all mostly Google search)

Most Discussed Posts (determined by number of comments in 2017)

My Personal Favorites

What interesting things did you learn from your reading and blogging stats? Who were your most successful recommendation sources?

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  1. Renee wrote:

    I’ve been thinking about spending more time on Pinterest and it seems like I need to! This is such an interesting breakdown of your year, Random House turned out to be a big publisher for me this year as well. Along with Simon & Schuster

    Posted 1.4.18 Reply
  2. I love all these stats. I’ve never done much with Pinterest and may need to rethink that – I had no idea it could drive traffic to my blog.

    Posted 1.4.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      It’s been such a godsend for me! Definitely give it a try…things really took off for me when I started using Boardbooster, so consider that.

      Posted 1.4.18 Reply
  3. Love your big stats chart. (I tried to use PiktoChart, but got frustrated and gave up!) It’s really interesting how the traffic breaks down and which posts turn out to be the most popular. I’m impressed that you’ve been able to increase your subscribers by so many this year. I need to work on that. I’m happy that the new tracker is going to help me pay more attention to publishers, since I haven’t been keeping close enough track. Great year, Sarah!

    Posted 1.4.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thanks! I made that chart in 2015 and have just tweaked it ever since -ha! I think I started with one of their templates and just customized it a little.

      And I’m always fascinated by the traffic breakdown…it’s so funny which posts end up doing really well. Spoiler discussions? Who would’ve thought?! And they’ve had long tails…one of my top ones wasn’t even from this year.

      This is the first year I’ve ever really focused on increasing my email subscribers, so I’m sure that growth will slow down next year. A couple free downloads helped..something blogs in other areas always do, but had never occurred to me.

      Posted 1.4.18 Reply
  4. Kay wrote:

    I love reading stats that others share. And I love, love, love your spoiler discussions – when I’ve already read the book, of course. I will say that sometimes they encourage me to read the book so I can add to the discussion. 😉

    Posted 1.4.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you! I’m trying to think about which thriller to do my 2018 Spoiler Discussion on! Could be The Wife Between Us.

      Posted 1.4.18 Reply
  5. Love your infographic! And your ability to crunch numbers. It is not a talent I have. 🙂

    Posted 1.4.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you! I took an Excel class in grad school way back when…but most stuff I ended up just Googling. Thank God for Google!

      Posted 1.4.18 Reply
  6. Tara wrote:

    EEEEK! I’m so excited for the tracker next week; this is going to be so cool!

    Posted 1.4.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I hope you think so…haha!

      Posted 1.4.18 Reply
  7. Akilah wrote:

    This is fascinating. I love when people break their reading down so thoroughly (something that I don’t really do). I also loved the look at the info about your blog.

    Posted 1.5.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thanks – glad you enjoyed it!

      Posted 1.14.18 Reply
  8. Care wrote:

    Beautiful! and you’ve tempted me with that Tracker thing…

    Posted 1.6.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Good 🙂 It’s now for sale under “Rock Your Reading Tracker” on the menu bar of my blog!

      Posted 1.14.18 Reply
  9. What great stats! I’ve done a pretty good job tracking my reading stats this past year (although I still need to sum everything up), but I’ve not done any tracking of my blog traffic. I’m curious if one social media site is my biggest source of traffic and something I could focus on too! I’d also love to write more of the sort of content you describe as ‘evergreen’. I’ve noticed a lot of the posts you’ve been writing this year seem particularly helpful and shareable.

    Posted 1.7.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Thank you so much! Google Analytics makes tracking the traffic sources super easy! I didn’t even realize that kind of content was evergreen when I was writing most of it, but it’s definitely helping my traffic! Will be excited to see what you do!

      Posted 1.14.18 Reply
  10. Catherine wrote:

    I want to comment on your stats but my head exploded! Are you sure you’re not a CPA or some other numbers whiz?! I love stats but you have stats here I would never even think of compiling. You should be an actuary!

    Seriously, I am wildly impressed. I think the traffic numbers are particularly interesting. I know I should get better at Pinterest, but, hell…I’m lazy. It takes all my energy to write the reviews, but I need to give some real thought to what I’m doing.

    Posted 1.10.18 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      Ha!! My husband would die laughing…seeing as I’m definitely NOT the math person in the family.

      You need Boardbooster for Pinterest…it does everything automatically for you.

      Posted 1.14.18 Reply

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