When I started blogging, I joined WordPress without knowing the difference between a blog and a website or what a header was. I found WordPress very user-friendly and it didn’t take me long to start posting my little thoughts to the world. It was awesome.
Then I found the stats page.
WordPress presents the amount of people that visit a blog in a neat graph with all sorts of stats from what country they came from to what post they liked. Any and all activities get recorded and counted as they happen. It’s not only incredibly informative, it’s very precise.
As a math nerd, I loved the stats page on sight. I went on the page over and over until it became an obsession. I knew checking that page over and over wasn’t a great idea but the temptation of knowing how many people had visited was too great and back to the graph I went.
I’ve always wanted to write for me, for the joy of it and because I enjoy it. The blog was an extension of that idea and checking those stats over and over changed that focus for me. I don’t want to write with the sole purpose of trying to generate traffic. I want to do it for the joy of sharing my two cents with the world.
So, I’m trying to stop.
I’m a big believer in ‘baby steps’, so I started by only checking the stats page once a week. A few months later and those graphs have already lost a lot of their attraction. I post but I don’t find out how ‘successful’ the post is until the weekend. By then, I’ve posted other things or I’m thinking about next week’s post and, slowly, my focus is changing.
How about you? Do those stats tempt you? Do you check them often or can you resist?
Keep resisting the stats Taylor or they’ll drive you INSANE 😀 😀 😀
The main thing about blogging is that you have FUN doing it 😀
Sooo wise! You’re so right. The fun part disappears as soon as I look at those stats! Thank you for that excellent comment!
Been there, done that, got the tee shirt and video, now moving on with my life 😀 😀 😀
I used to be all over the stats, but now, after having a break over Christmas, I’m pretty much thinking the same as you. I enjoy my blog and writing posts, it doesn’t matter how many hits I get or visitors, as long as I’m enjoying it and others like to read them, then that’s what matters 🙂
You’ve hit it on the head, Mishka!
I follow the stats way too closely but I don’t let them influence what I post. I don’t say, “Well, that didn’t do so well, so no more posts about x,” or, “Wow! that did great! We’ll be seeing a lot more posts about y!”. I will say there have been times I’ll wonder why my stats did something, like a huge nose dive in November or huge increase this month. My content hasn’t changed, so why? Oh well, as you say, paying too much attention will drive you crazy.
It certainly did me. Sounds like you keep your focus off them without trouble, Trent and don’t give them your power. Good for you!
I love the stats! But I can see it taking over!
They did with me. Don’t give in to them. Stay strong! 😀
‘Precise’ and ‘accurate’ aren’t words that apply to our stats according to longtime WP bloggers. They are neither. 😉 That said, I do love the global map and the amazement that someone from a country I’ve barely heard of is a ‘visitor’ to my blog.
I occasionally look at the stats page, but it’s less useful than the prior version. I know how my posts are faring from the quality of comments my readers write. Those are far more satisfying and meaningful.
I love that you jumped into blogging feet first (i, too) and you are enjoying your experience!
Thanks so much, Sammy! And they’re not accurate? Man alive! All those hours pouring over them and they’re misleading! There’s a lesson for me! 🙂
Sorry to burst your bubble 😊 lies and damn lies. Uh, I mean statistics !! They’re ‘probably’ somewhat accurate. Good enough for government work. I really have to stop with these stupid cliches… But at least ONE of your followers (me) is a real person. I can vouch for THAT statistic 💥💥
Awww! Thanks, Sammy!
You’re certainly not alone. But this addictive type of behavior can happen with anything online, I find. I used to have 5 email accounts for a number of reasons, one of them being that I was doing two masters and each program required that I check their separate emails for messages from profs. It used to drive me insane, then it quickly became a habit, and when the programs were over, I missed checking and getting emails. I didn’t even have stats but had simply become accustomed to getting messages. If those had had stats on how much they liked my emails, let’s say, I think I would have been in serious trouble. : )
That’s too funny! I get annoyed at how much junk my email gets (I only have 3 accounts one for work, one for the blog and one for me. When someone asks me for my email, I say no and guard it with my life! No spam for me! 😀
When I first started blogging I was all about the stats and how many visitors were coming to my blog on a daily basis. I also wanted to be featured on Freshly Pressed and tried to tailor my posts to suit that.
It all became very counter-productive and now I just write posts for fun and if I feel as if I have something to say and hey, I’ve been featured in your ‘Posts I Loved’ section a number of times, so I must be doing something right! 🙂
You SO are!! And that’s the key, at least for me, it’s going with what’s true for me.
I don’t look at the stats, but that’s probably because I have an aversion to planning and studying statistics smells an awful lot like planning to me! I know I should, I keep saying I will, but baby steps 🙂 I plan more in my work, which is improving my writing, and my organised friends are rubbing off on me, so there’s hope for me yet!
I find your attitude very healthy! Who says you have to be a statistician to blog? Besides, according to some feedback I just got, those stats aren’t even accurate. You’re doing awesome with what you’re doing, so I’d so encourage you to keep going. I loved your books!
Thanks, Taylor 🙂 Your encouragement means a lot.
I… uh… might check stats occasionally.
I admit there was a time I was stat-hooked. Every once in while I still take a peak, tho. Just can’t resist:)
Oh, I do more than peak once in a while. I still check once a week…but only once a week. It used to be once every five minutes!! 😀
I click on them maybe once or twice a week, just to kinda check in and see what’s up. Like Trent, I don’t worry too much about them guiding my content, since I write what I want and people can suck it up if they don’t like it. I like to look at where people are being referred from and what countries they live in.
Gotta say, I HATE the new stats page though.
Me too!! And I kept trying to tell them in those feedback survey questions they set up but they certainly didn’t seem to listen.
Not at all. I haven’t met a single person who prefers the new stats page–something should be done
You’re so right! I’ve thought of emailing them or telling them but I have no idea where to do that or if they’d even listen.
I don’t look at my stats that much unless I see an hour spike. Too depressing, generally.
Hang in there, D. Emery! I love your posts!
Every two or three days I check all the stats I have access to. The stats are feedback. I don’t look at them every day, but if I am promoting something, I look at them every few hours. Or if we happen to luck up and post into a trend, like David’s first Agent Carter post, I’m pretty much watching the stats all day.
The stats don’t influence what I personally write very often. I write what I want, and I blog for the fun and to make friends. But the stats very much influence things like scheduling and approving topics for contributors to Sourcerer. And I do things like drop a link with a provocative headline into a Facebook group, then see how many Facebook referrals I get in the next 48 hours.
So, not constantly checking them (at one time, I was spending way too much time checking them), but, constantly thinking about them.
A very scientific approach. I completely understand it. Sounds like a really great way to see if a new idea works too.
Pingback: Top 10 posts for January | Taylor Grace
Pingback: Top 5 Posts for February | Taylor Grace
I rarely, if ever, check my stats. Unless, I have a really special post, like the undercover operative interview. Then I’ll go and see how it did. Other than that I barely know it’s there.