One question I recently received is:
“I FIND THAT I’M ALWAYS CHECKING MY BLOG STATISTICS AND WORRYING ABOUT THE NUMBERS. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THAT?”
Ah. The double-edged sword of blog statistics.
It’s true that programs like Google Analytics can be an awesome tool and resource for bloggers; it’s one that I rely on to help me figure out how I can wisely make use of my blog. But it also can be a snare, in that you can get bogged down in numbers and clicks and visits and fretting over why there aren’t more of this or that.
I have felt that way, too. And I imagine most bloggers who desire to see their blog grow do, too.
But I think that it’s important—for our own sake and our contentment—that we not linger in this place for too long. Doing so can sap the energy and enthusiasm out of blogging if all you’re concerned about is who is or who isn’t reading along.
Like with almost anything else, it’s important to find a healthy balance in between, where we use the statistics for the good they provide without leaning on them so much that we get hung up on the numbers.
One of the things that has helped me the most is to limit how often I check my statistics.
For instance, a couple times a week, I’ll log into my analytics and check to see if any other sites are linking to my blog. If so, I might go and leave a “thank you” comment on their post or, if they’re sending lots of traffic my way—which happened a couple months ago when Etsy linked to one of my craft projects—then I might update the post with a little “welcome” message, like this.
For me, knowing where traffic is coming from is important so that I can do these kinds of things.
But other than that? I don’t really pay attention to my numbers too much.
That’s because I’ve realized that sometimes, ignorance is bliss. If I’m not ticking off every subscriber, then I don’t have the chance to worry about whether a few drop off or if the number stays stagnant. If I’m not reloading my daily traffic report, then I’m unaware of how many people came today versus yesterday or last week.
Because if I spend too much time looking at statistics, it can get overwhelming and almost burdensome. And for what? It’s just a bunch of numbers—and what can you really do with that? Not much, methinks.
Instead, if I’m not fretting about those things—which, really, I can’t do much about anyway—then I can instead focus my energy elsewhere, like creating quality content. And you know what? I have paid attention enough to know that when I write more, people read more—and then my statistics reflect that.
So really, when you look at it that way, if I am going to worry about my statistics, then I ought to stop looking at the numbers and start writing! Isn’t that funny how that works?
This post is part of my Better Blogging series, where I respond to some of the most common questions that I receive about blogging. Feel free to read all of the posts in this series here.
Why I Started This Blog
My Advice About How to Improve Your Writing For Your Blog