Friday, April 6, 2012

Let's Talk: How 'bout those blog stats?

Question: What are your opinions on the importance of blog stats?

I've been blogging for nearly two years and just recently began to think about my stats. I read countless blog posts about SEO, page views versus unique visitors, bounce rate and blog stats. Some of it made sense, some of it...just sounded like gobbledygook to me. I mean, seriously. This is supposed to be fun, little talkin' about books, little visitin' with authors. Not working a second job.

While my blog's doing pretty well in my mind--I've got some bloggy and reader friends I chat with about great books, people stop by and read my posts and enter my giveaways--stat-wise, it's just okay. I'm sure there things I can do to improve my stats but that's not the primary reason I blog. Sure, higher numbers would get the attention of more publishers and, really, it's so flattering and fabulous when someone subscribes to my blog (someone wants to hear what I have to say! Holy cow!) but I just don't have that kind of time to devote or, frankly, the inclination. I'm happy with my blog. I like the people who visit and comment, and I don't want it to become overwhelming or be a burden to me.

In my "real" job, I'm a teacher, and we're judged by our test scores, which, in my opinion, have not much of anything to do with what goes on in the classroom. But the politicians and taxpayers have to have stats to hang their hats on so a-testing we go. I see blog stats as the same kind of thing. The stats don't really show the whole picture, just like a test score doesn't show a whole child or teacher or school. Still, it's a necessary evil until something more comprehensive comes along.

I do love my blog, and I want it to continue to grow and flourish. But I'm not going to stress about "upping my stats" or ranking versus other blogs (so I tell myself...). I'm just going to do my thing the best I know how.

So, what do y'all think of blog stats? Are they an accurate measurement of blog quality? Do you stress over them? 

If you're interested in participating in "Let's Talk", you can link up HERE on Melissa's blog.


  1. I agree! This is my hobby. I'm a teacher too. Who has time to worry about stats.


  2. Well, you much more succinctly and reasonably explained what I was going for with my post o'craziness Mary! Well done you:) This is pretty much exactly what I wanted to say - the stress I have over stats is not an every day thing, otherwise I would have stopped blogging long ago, but every now and then when rejection strikes I have a rather dramatic confidence breakdown. Then it passes and I remember that I didn't start the blog that day in June 2 years ago going "I shall build a blog that gets 30,000 page views a month!" :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mary, I love your blog and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  3. You're much more rational than myself, Mary :)

    I totally agree with you, though I seem to find myself all roped into the stress, and both Jenny and I freak out like crazy when we have rough bloggy days. At the end of the day, I blog because I love it, and my blog is not simply a number...I think I need to focus on that more often :)

  4. Yes - thank you for putting it all into perspective! It's always good to remind ourselves why we blog, and to not get caught up in the numbers. Those of us who have primary jobs (teachers FTW!) should be doubly proud of ourselves for maintaining blogs out of what is really just a desire to share our love of reading. I'm bookmarking your post right now for when I need a wake-up call that reminds me why I do this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently!

  5. "The stats don't really show the whole picture, just like a test score doesn't show a whole child or teacher or school. "

    YES! THIS! I've slowly tried to teach myself that the connections and bloggy friends I make are far more important than how many people stop by my blog in a single day. There are way to manipulate your stats (want more hits and followers? have a lot of giveaways and require a follow) to make it seem like you have more reach than you actually do.

    I recently added my blog's mission statement (of sorts) to my welcome widget. I want everyone who comes to my blog to know what I'm here to connect with bloggers, talk about books, and have fun.

  6. Blog stats drive me a little nuts.
    There is the competitive witch inside of me that usually is blanketed by a thick layer of "lazy" and "I don't care", but that does emerger from time to time and it's the devil on my shoulder making me compare myself with other blogs. I hate when it happens but it does.

    Thankfully, more and more I'm just enjoying the ride. I even took the SEO rating thingy I used to have on my blog because it just depressed me. now I'm just trying to write good content and happily visiting the blogs I love and sharing the books I love.

    And when the green-eyed monster arises, I remind myself I'm not doing this for stats and numbers of followers but because I love books and this is a great way to talk about them.

  7. I love your answer! And I totally agree as well! I started blogging for fun, just to share my bookish thoughts with other bookish people. I love each and every follower that I have though, and appreciate them taking time to follow my rambling. lol! :) SO glad to have found your blog, Mary. You are awesome!

  8. I very much agree with your thoughts. This is my fun! Not my job. I'm intrigued by SEO, and have done a few things to increase traffic, but I'm far from hard-core. If it takes away from my reading time, it's not worth it to me. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your blog.

  9. Ive had ups and downs about my stats. Sometimes I care and want to boost them, but then I don't really care that much. What I love is comments. And when I don't get many that's when I stress. But I think I obsessed over it too much. Now that I'm on a break I really miss them but I think its good for me. Its great you're able to not stress about those stats too much. ;)

  10. So I have been gone this last week LOL

    A) I love you :)
    B) I love you :)
    C) I will share my wine!

    I know that stats are important to them but I honestly just don't give 2 figs about them. The rejection thing stings and I bust out my wine :) I am kidding somewhat about the wine, I don't do it if I am rejected during the week---darn early morning work times!

    I do think it is funny how important stats are so important to some publishers, authors, events and yet there are others that never ask for that information at all. It doesn't appear to be a size thing (of the pub, author, events)--it just seems to be what their goal is :)

  11. You're right. I always love getting comments and new followers, but I mostly blog because I love to write about books :) It's nice to get appreciation for my time and effort, but overal, I'm doing it because I like it..

    And I know that the chances to get real books from publishers is very small for me (since I live in The Netherlands) so there's no goal I need to reach :p