I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I do a mixture of reviews on my blog, and I sometimes feel what types are the most effective. So, I decided to do a little analysis. WARNING: I make no claims here about my scientific skills. I tried to crunch some numbers, but I did this more as a fun exercise than a scientific query. Keep that in mind!
I looked at all the reviews I posted in 2017 and did a little comparison.
First off, let me tell you what types of reviews I compared:
- Bite-Sized Reviews: This is where I review four or five books in one post, and each review is (relatively) short. I don’t use bullet points or anything. I just talk about my impressions of the book. (I never have a giveaway with these.)
- “Regular” Reviews: One review per post (sometimes two, if the books are in a series). I use bullet points to show the things I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy about the book. These reviews are generally longer and more thorough than the bite-sized reviews. There are two types of these:
- Reviews with Giveaway: These are usually for a blog tour and include a giveaway.
- Reviews without Giveaway: Just what they sound like. Usually not tours (though occasionally there’s a tour that doesn’t have a giveaway).
- “Special” Reviews: This is where I included something interesting, like a poem or a storyboard. I also included dual reviews in this (where I reviewed the book with someone else). I only had a few of these, but I thought it would be interesting to check them out too.
I looked at comments initially. At first glance, I thought that my bite-sized reviews were actually getting more comments than any other type of review. But then I realized those results were being exaggerated by the fact that my replies were being counted too. And when I averaged out comments over the past year, I found that they were all relatively even.
Then I decided to take a look at views for each type of posts. Once I got over my sadness at the small number of views that reviews get in general, I took a look at the numbers and found that the variance was a little different in terms of views than it was for comments.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
- Reviews with giveaways get the most views and almost the same number of comments as the other types.
- Bite-sized reviews get more views and very slightly more comments than regular reviews (so I shouldn’t feel bad about putting a book that I receive for review into a bite-sized review post!).
- My “special” reviews tended to get more comments, but a little less views than a regular review (but there were so few of these that I don’t know that these numbers mean much).
Now, of course, the type of book makes a HUGE difference for these stats and I couldn’t figure out an easy way to crunch numbers for that.
- I found that self-pubbed or indie books got way less views and comments when posted on their own, especially with no giveaway (and they probably brought the “regular” average down). These books are probably better off when I put them into bite-sized reviews.
- New releases with lots of hype get more views and comments in general, with or without a giveaway. Putting these books into bite-sized reviews along with lesser known books will probably bring more attention to those lesser-known books as well, at least theoretically.
- At first I was going to separate out my posts with “Top Ten Addiction” lists from the author, but when I did the averages, that didn’t seem to change the stats really, so I decided to ignore that factor. (I still think they’re fun, even if they don’t bump my numbers!)
One type of review I didn’t include is my Spoiler-Filled Discussions of One Dark Crown. If I had done my two charts including that one post, they would have looked like this:
And, actually, my Spoiler-Filled Discussion of Three Dark Crowns (which I didn’t count because it was posted in 2016) got over 100 comments (a lot of them in 2017) and over 10,000 views!! Why haven’t I done more of these? I have no idea. Obviously, I need to.
Take what you will from all of this. I thought it was an interesting exercise. The only thing I might change based on this is not worrying so much about doing full reviews instead of bite-sized reviews. It doesn’t look like people engage with them more, so I shouldn’t worry I’m giving a book the short shrift by not giving it its own post!
Have you ever looked at which types of reviews are most effective on your blog? Do you think your results would match mine? I want to know!
This has been linked up to the Book Blog Discussion Challenge!