Hey y’all! If anyone’s been paying attention to this blog in the last month, you likely will have noticed that you’ve been pretty much bashed over the head with book reviews. I moved away from my usual more varied book related content and posted only book reviews in December 2022. There was an actual reason for this! In late November, I went a little crazy and felt very motivated for some reason and decided that I would finish the year strong by reviewing a bunch of books that I had not yet done for the year. So many in fact, that I would post a review every day in order to catch up!
Well, in a manner that is both shocking and not I did actually end up posting a review every day in December. Also shocking yet not, is the fact that I did not prepare most of them ahead of time (despite my intentions) and was usually writing a review each day to post that same day. And yes, there were at least two or three days where it got to be about 11:00 PM and I was exhausted and then realized I still had to post a review. But hey, I got them done!
I will now celebrate this in the best way I know how: with data and insight!
Below is a brief summary of some of the things I learned through posting a book review every day in December and how I’ve changed since the start of it. That feels kind of ridiculously grandiose to write that it’s changed me, but there were actually some pretty noticeable differences after doing it.
🎙 I narrate my reviews now
I finished an audio book in early December, and I liked it so much that I decided to write the review for it by using voice to text dictation software. And then I was surprised by how much I liked doing that voice to text review! And now I’m almost always voice to text writing my reviews and posts. It feels like I’m talking to a friend about it. If you happen to have noticed that the reviews have gotten a little bit wordier and longer, that would be why! It’s a lot harder to track how long the text is getting when I’m speaking since it just feels natural. And yes, if you were wondering, I am currently voice narrating this as well. 😊
🎭 I am a mood reviewer
(Funny voice narration note here: it originally recorded the word mood above as nude which cracked me up!!) I think the idea of being a mood reader is well known, but I’ve learned in December that I’m also a mood reviewer. By that I mean that sometimes I’m in a specific mood to write about a book I really liked, or a book I really didn’t like, or a book that made me feel inspired, thrilled, tearful, etc. It varies a lot, but there were definitely days where even though I loved the book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, I just did not have the energy to review it until the very end of the month (and it’s still not as good as I wanted). I think this happens a lot with books I really liked, because I want to write a review that perfectly conveys how excellent the book is which ends up being a lot of pressure on myself, so I end up putting it off.
🔁 I built a habit
As annoying as it got some days to be sleepy and ready to get cozy in bed and then remember I had to go write and post a book review first, it quickly became an enjoyably part of each day. I thought that on January 1st I would be thrilled to not have to publish anything or think about writing any kind of blog content. And while I didn’t end up posting a post on January 1st, that’s only because I forced myself not to for a break and to see how I felt after. I was frequently thinking about writing that day. I came up with many ideas about what to write and thought about which book I should review. I’m just so accustomed to doing it now that not doing it didn’t really cross my mind.
🤸♀️ I feel extra creative
Doing something in the same format every day, especially something as somewhat rote as a book review, can really stifle creativity. It doesn’t require any thinking about the format since I have that set already. It’s just talking about each book independently, but after a few years with this blog I have a natural voice for those as well. So I was a bit shocked on January 1st when I was thinking about all those things I could be writing and posting, to realize that writing in the constrained similar format every day for a month made me burst open when that restraint was lifted. I had so many ideas for topics to post and write about, and the energy and excitement to do it, too!
📈 My stats were fine
I did a smaller test earlier in the year where I posted a book review every day for a week. I was curious to see how that would impact my stats at the time, and the answer was that it didn’t. However, a book review every day for a month? That is a lot! There’s always talk in the book blogger community about how book reviews don’t perform as well as others types of book related content. I don’t think we’ll ever have a true answer to that but here’s what I got based off a month of posting daily book reviews and no other kind of content. Compared to November:
- Nov published 16 posts; Dec published 31 (one per day)
- Nov. had 156 likes; Dec had 323
- Nov. had 29 comments; Dec had 79
- Nov. had 3290 unique visitors; Dec had 3224
- Nov. had 4204 views; Dec had 4193
So if you’re not interested in numbers, my view and visitor counts were each under 100 apart and yet December had FIFTY MORE COMMENTS. Views and visitors are great, but it’s generally acknowledged (and backed up by stats in Pages Unbound’s survey of book bloggers) that comments are the agreed upon indicator of a successful or large blog. When people are interacting with your content, you’re onto something!
So the big question now is if I’ll do this again in 2023! Luckily, I’ve got eleven months before I have to decide. 😁 Have you ever posted a full month of reviews or done another review-based challenge? Let me know how it went in the comments!
8 thoughts on “I posted a book review every day in December. Here’s how it went…”
That’s pretty interesting that posting regularly gave you more engagement while maintaining a similar view rate. I would’ve thought it’d be the opposite. I’ve always wanted to try posting more than once a week, but have not found the drive to. Am curious what it’d do to my stats though. Thanks for sharing!
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Yes, I was really surprised as well! I assume it means that folks came back more regularly instead of attracting in new folks. You could always try doing more for a single week or month if you wanted, but no real reason to force it. 🙂 I think being consistent is probably more important, even if it’s not every day.
Interesting data! I personally am not interested in the one-post-a-day blog post schedule, but that’s my personal preference. I like the schedule I’ve got going for me now, and so I’ll stick with that. Though I am looking forward to a month or two from now when the end of year / start of year posts are done and I can post more book reviews. (Reviews are the post type that tends to get bumped on my blog when I have a wrap-up or specialty post to publish.)
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It’s certainly not for everyone, and not for all the time. I did a post a day for a year to prove to myself I could, and I’m all set with that now haha. I don’t have any kids and I work from home so my obligations are pretty easy to fit time in most days.
I’m surprised reviews are what get bumped for you! I find that they’re often my go to if I’m feeling uncreative or stuck for a post. I can always talk about what I thought of a book. 🙂
Though of course… I also noticed towards the end of last year that I had posted like 4 reviews a month (and read 10 a month) so December helped me catch back up. xD
This seems like such a huge goal–massive achievement, well done! I find it so interesting that you’re voice narrating your posts. I definitely find it easier to write, but it seems lovely to think of it as talking out loud to a friend! 🙂
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Thank you, I surprised myself with this one too haha. I was also surprised by the voice preference because I’m usually a writer for sure, since it gives the room to consider each word and sentences as a whole. I find myself doing a lot more editing after voice narrating to get my thoughts to convey exactly what I wanted. 😊
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If it speeds the process up and provides fresh enjoyment though, win win!
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