No real post today, just a futile attempt to keep things ticking along. I would like to say that this was inspired by my desire to stay engaged with my readership, to strike out once again into the big, bad world (wide web). But no. My motivation is that damn site stats page WordPress offers us. If I post something then I’ll (hopefully) get a spike in my stats and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
I deal with web stats as part of my job, and can justify to myself that finding out the habits of thousands of visitors is compelling. Where do they come from? Where do they go? When do they leave?
Yet, here for my blog, I have no such excuse, just vanity. As much as this might surprise you, dear reader, I am not troubled by thousands of visitors daily. My readership is small yet (naturally) perfectly formed.
Yesterday was a good day, but today nobody seems to be stopping by. This troubles me. However, it doesn’t trouble me as much as the fact that a graph of my visitors motivates me more than any artistic or creative yearning.
I just long to see those stats. I probably spend more time looking at the site stats page than actually writing blog posts. It is addictive. Now, is that because I want to make a human connection, I want to know there is someone ‘out there’ reading my work or is it just because I like pretty graphs and collecting things – even if what I am ‘collecting’ is pageviews?
Can you relate, fellow bloggers? Are you as shallow as me?
I’m a stat fiend, too. I don’t really care about how big the number is, but it always makes my day to have a few page hits and outbound clicks.
More than the numbers, I’m drawn to the search engine terms that draw people to my blog. It’s a real joy to consider why someone was interested in, say, “Valentine’s Clearance Sales”, even in mid-March.
I love the crazy search engine terms too. I may well craft a post around them sometime soon. Sure, it’s been done to death already, but it will keep me amused.
“Valentine’s Clearance Sales” in March conjures up quite the scenario. A cheap date, perhaps?
Yes, I completely identify with this! Hitting the stats page and seeing a healthy peak does raise the pulse a little! Personally, I try to ensure I’m adding things that interest me, rather than appealing to a popular subject just to get the readership up – it helps me not post things just because I think they’ll get me better stats. I don’t care how many people read my output, but I do care about whether they get something useful or fun out of it.
Difficult not to get carried away by the pretty numbers and charts though!!! :o)
“I try to ensure I’m adding things that interest me, rather than appealing to a popular subject just to get the readership up”
Absolutely agree. As much as this place is a mess thematically, it keeps me entertained, and I get a real kick when it entertains somebody else too. I know if I concentrated on a particular area for maximum traffic and wrote “pillar posts” and all that stuff How To Be A Successful Blogger -type sites recommend, I’d probably get more visitors, but that doesn’t seem nearly as much fun as just blurting out whatever comes into my head and seeing what happens.
“I don’t care how many people read my output, but I do care about whether they get something useful or fun out of it.”
That certainly seems a good principle to work towards.
Thanks for stopping by!
Pretty much in agreement.
First and foremost, I always write about stuff I like, not stuff I think will be popular. Given that most of my writing is done between the hours of 10pm and 2am, I couldn’t really do it if I didn’t feel passionate about what I write. If it’s popular, great. But I’ve quite happily continued on with series of posts which I know full well hardly anyone reads. Cos it’s my blog, and I’ll write if I want to.
And I also spend far too much time glancing at the stats pages for my two blogs – in fact, they’re two of the home tabs which open up on my browser first thing every morning. I try not to worry about fallow patches (easier said than done), and am happy to celebrate good patches, even though they’re not the reason I do things.
And, yes, aren’t the search engine terms hilarious? In many cases, I have no idea how these have led to my blogs, but they’re always good value.
[…] the worrier and general stats hound that I am, I can certainly relate. Also, being halfway through Jonathan Franzen’s book of […]