Friday, June 1, 2012

Why you should be watching your blog stats.

I keep running across blogs that discount the importance of paying attention to your blog stats. A lot of them have the attitude that "real" bloggers should be blogging solely for the joy of blogging, and because of that, they should not be watching their numbers. I'm not going to name any names here, but it made me wonder...
Why don't they find blog stats important? It sure seems like it should be important.
There's something to be said for blogging for blogging's sake, but if you ever have any hope of gaining an actual following or even making some money with your blog one day, paying attention to the numbers is vitally important! It's no different than any other business, in that regard. You wouldn't think any less of Chevron or Microsoft for paying attention to their marketing numbers, would you?

When I notice an item in my Etsy shop is getting zero views, I tweak the tags or the title or throw out a Tweet about that item. This doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying my knitting any less, it just means that I'm paying attention to marketing. That's not a bad thing, people!
Being aware of your blog numbers is important.
Not because it tells you whether you’re good or not, but because it's a way of keeping tabs on what areas you may need to improve on. Low stats are an indicator that something needs tweaking, just as plaque is an indicator that you need to brush your teeth more. Maybe you need to learn more about marketing. Maybe you need to start writing with more conviction so that people have a point to react to (or against). Low stats mean something, so pay attention to them.

Should you count your numbers every day and sit on pins and needles because you only have 60 subscribers when you'd really like 61? No, of course not. But if you never grow and you'd really like to, take a minute to check things out:

  1. Check which posts are your most popular and make sure they have a few links to other posts on your blog. You want to make sure popular posts can be springboards to other less popular posts.
  2. Keep an eye on your subscriber count. Don't obsess over it, but if you don't gain a single follower for months on end, start making a little noise. Comment on other blogs, join a blog network, Tweet a little more. Let people know you exist. At some point, gaining followers will become a little more organic, but especially at first you need to work at getting your name out there.
  3. Pay attention to your overall monthly views. About once a month take a look at how many overall page views you received in the last month. This is the number that potential advertisers are going to want to know. Typically, advertisers will pay between $1.50 & $2.00 per 10,000 monthly page views (this is your CPM). This formula works whether you're running joeschmo.blog.com or nytimes.com, and is a good indicator for whether or not you can start asking for paid sponsors. For example, for a small ad of 125x125 pixels, charge 1 CPM (or $1.50 per 10,000 page views). For a medium ad twice that size (250x125), charge 2 CPM. For a large ad spot (let's say 250x250), you'd charge 4 CPM. As your blog grows, you'll be able to charge more per spot, but the formula is always the same.

Stats are an indicator of blog health. Don't live or die by them, but don't ignore them either. Yes, you need to blog because you love it. That is absolutely important. But just as important is paying attention to whether or not your efforts could be more effective. If you're content blogging just for you and your dog, great... there's nothing wrong with that. But don't think it makes you a bad blogger to want your stats to grow. That's really just smart business sense.

6 comments:

  1. I am wondering and wondering after going to each and every blogs. All blogs are very differnet and special. your blog is really a worthy one, I may say.
    How you get the idea of giving a new post like this. At first we think it is merely an unimportnat topic, but later it develops into a wonderful matter to consider.
    thanks for your blog...

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  2. I'm a blogger who does it for the love of it, and I am a huge fan of my stats. I get excited every time midnight rolls around and I get to go to Google Analytics and see how many hits I got today, I love getting to see what makes my traffic spike, how many hits I get on days I don't post, what sort of topics get more love than others... It's such a useful tool that I can't imagine not using it.

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  3. I started writing this blog for me but as time went on, I wanted to get the message out that even though life throws you many challenges that we can overcome and actually be better for what we went though. I love my stats, I don't obsess over them but I was so excited that I reached 10,000 views and 8000 of them were since January of this year. I constantly work on ways to get my blog out:) Thanks for the post, very well written.

    One thing, I am not sure how to link my really good posts to other posts of mine. I am open for any suggestions:)

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  4. I love watching my stats. I get MAYBE 30 views per post, so I'm not super concerned about it, but it is fun to see who is interested in what and where they're coming from. :)

    Thanks for the post. (And thanks for the tips earlier - clearly very, very helpful!)

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  5. I love checking my stats, though I have to admit, even though I get an okay amount of readers, I have very few subscribers so... maybe I should question that. I often feel, when looking at hellocotton, that if I got married and had a child, I would get a lot more views. I think there's a mommy blogger strangle hold on blogging lol

    Great post btw x

    wizardfaces.blogspot.co.uk

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