Stats, numbers, trends and google analytics.
Words that often scare people but I love them, helped by my background in market research and data. I can’t get enough of numbers and analysis. But even I don’t use all of the social media and blog stats available to me. If I did I’d not have the time to do anything else. Instead I dip in and out of a variety of analysis websites.
But do you really need to stress about understanding blog stats to be a successful blogger?
It’s good to understand stats because
1, Trends will provide guidance and focus.
If you know what’s working and what isn’t, you can grow the good things and work to improve the poorer areas of your blog (or choose to ignore them).
2, You can use stats to set goals
I’m slack at these, mainly because it’s tedious to set and my blog isn’t my main source of income. But if you want to make smart goals you’ll need some understanding of how you want to get to your goal, and have a way of measuring that.
3, Satisfaction and celebration
Because who doesn’t want to see growth in their blog. Stats are the tangible and easiest way to see how you’re doing.
4, To make money
Stats help prove worth to offer businesses you want to work with. Some monetisationis dependent on stats (eg advertising and affiliate links – the more views you have the more you’re likely to make from these, and it’s worth understanding what you could make dependent on your views.
Watch outs of relying on blog stats
1, Obsession and comparison
Your stats may not always go up. Especially with ranking charts, there’s the danger of becoming too caught up in blog stats, so take them as a guide only. You can get disheartened (or too big for your boots). There’s also the problem with comparing your blog to others. Everyone wonders what good stats are, make presumptions and you may not be right. You could get worried about your own blog when it could be perfectly good and successful but in different ways. Page views and DA are only one way of understanding the success of a blog. You may have a specific niche with a smaller audience but more engaged audience.
2, You can grow without knowing about blog stats.
There are bloggers I know who’ve been in the top 50 Tots100 ranking regularly without ever really looking at their stats. Readers don’t come to your blog because of how many page views you have, they come to read the content.
3, You can lose your voice if you focus too much on what the stats say
Most of us don’t start blogging to be he best of more successful. We start because we have something to say or want to write. If that’s your aim, stats shouldn’t matter.
But nowadays lots of people start blogging with the intention of making money, leaving their jobs to blog, and being ‘successful’, whatever that means to them. Those bloggers tend to be more concerned with stats straight away and know that they’ll need to prove worth in some way to make money.
I have to admit that new bloggers who go on about how they can increase their stats and DA drives me. Prior to DA when the ranking stat of choice was page rank, no-one cared as much. Rarely were people approached for collaboration and asked for their PR. But now bloggers (in the UK at least) obsess about DA. By the time DA came around mine was pretty good and it’s now around 43. I’ve done nothing to make it that way other than blog consistently, read other blogs and comment as I would normally do, and do linkies. I think I’ve guest posted once or twice in 5 years. Most of DA score is just being a consistent blogger for a good amount of time. In my opinion, bloggers need to stress less about having to guest post and increasing backlinks. Just blog and interact with other bloggers.Bloggers need to stress less about having to DA. Just blog and interact with other bloggers. Click To Tweet
Understanding blog stats (and social media stats) is about balance.
Know they’re there and what they mean.
Be able to access them if asked.
But concentrate on what you can do best.
Don’t let stats get you down about your blog.
And remember that great stats aren’t the only measure of success for a blog.
Read the follow up post on which blog stats you should know about.
How much do you take notice of your stats? What do you do with them and how do they make you feed?
Why not take a look at these similar posts.