Hi. My name is Victoria. I am a blogger, and I am a stat junkie.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s important to keep an eye on stats as a blogger. You have to manage stats if you want to build an audience and maintain the audience you have. To me, “managing stats” implies various things:
- Putting out new content regularly, so that your following will keep returning.
- Watching how your totals compare from week to week, month to month to make sure you aren’t dropping the ball.
- Promoting your content via social media and in places online where your target audience congregates.
It does NOT imply:
- Linking your mood and sense of self worth to how many people have dropped by your site.
- Panicking, and allowing your day to be ruined, when your numbers sink below average or stop “growing” for a while.
- Checking your hit counter/stats page every few minutes rather than being productive.
If you find yourself thinking things like this:
“Dang. It’s Wednesday, which is usually a good day. And I’m well below average. I usually have double this number of hits…. Friday and Saturday are always slow so this whole week is going to be a bust”….
Then like me, you might be a stat junkie.
APPLYING THE SERENITY PRAYER
The problem with worrying about stats…. and investing in stats…. is that like many things in life, you as the blogger can’t really control them.
You can’t force people to come to your blog.
- Of course, you can take action to market your blog in a deeper, better, or different way.
- You can study up on SEO, and keywords, and link building.
- You can forge great relationships with other bloggers.
- You can adjust the length or subject matter of your posts
- You can experiment with posting more or less often
- You can really devote yourself to putting out quality content
But you can’t force people to come to your blog.
Me, I’m a worrier. I am a very anxious person, and as much fun as that probably sounds…. It’s a lot less enjoyable than you think it is 😛
I am also a person of faith, so personally, I like to adopt the serenity prayer as a model of judging when to focus on letting anxiety go. You might be familiar with it. It says:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Whether or not you have a religious or spiritual bent, everyone can agree that wasting time and energy on things that are out of our hands isn’t really a good idea.
It’s not healthy. It’s not productive. And the thing about stats? Like I pointed out above, a blogger can’t control them. That means they aren’t worth worrying about.
There’s no point focusing on how much it stinks when you feel like more people should be coming to your blog. What DOES make sense is being proactive: research blogging strategies, make adjustments, and then see what happens and whether more people start coming.
Spending time stewing in a funk won’t bring more people to your awesome blog. Far better to get writing, reading, and marketing. Then you just might start seeing some changes for the better.
Now, I’m not saying to IGNORE stats completely. You should know how things are going so that you can keep a baseline to judge trends.
I’m saying not to obsess over them.
I tend to put a bit too much attention and too much value on stats. I’ve read that a handful of followers whom you really get to know and really connect with are worth a thousand “fly-by” hits. And that’s BEYOND true in my experience.
That said, this post is really just to remind myself to chill out and focus on what really matters. 🙂
Also, it is a wonderful opportunity to thank all of you who take the time to stop by and interact with me here. I really appreciate it, and I have enjoyed getting to know you more than I can say!!!
So, do you tend to be a stat junkie? If so, how do you handle the impulse to attribute importance to something that, in the grand scheme of things, is rather trivial?
Are you a junkie in terms of book stats: sales, rankings, etc?
If you dropped by my blog to study up on how to blog, you might enjoy these other posts about blogging. You can also sign up to follow my blog by email, so you don’t miss future posts of interest (top right of page.)