Do you need to understand blog stats to grow?

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?

Do you need to understand blog stats to grow - Bubbablue and me

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.

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18 thoughts on “Do you need to understand blog stats to grow?

  1. Good post, Emma. I know that when I look at my stats daily it impacts on what and how I write! Just subconsciously I write for the good stats not for myself, but over time I can see that the posts I do where everything just flows work best.
    I agree with you, it’s good to know what works and what doesn’t, but ultimately it’s about writing for yourself, and if the content is good people will want to read.
    Xx

  2. Just looking at some of the follow up comments on this Emma and wondering what SEO’s are? Maybe you have some older blogging articles I should look back to that might explain more? I really have a lot to learn!

    1. Ah, SEO is search engine optimisation. With branded work you tend to get either PRs who’re all about the reach and engagement, and are less worried about DA and links. The other side is companies/people who just want to get their links on good quality blogs to move them up the search engine rankings, they tend to want dofollow links rather than reach and engagement about a brand. They also generally pay less than pr work.

      Hopefully that helps. I do have a stats follow up post coming next week, but I don’t write that much about blogging. Aby at YouBabyMeMummy is the person with regular blog advice posts.

    1. I mostly get SEOs asking me to work for them, but most are turned down because a) the low fees and b) the follow links. However, I’ve rarely been asked for DA or turned down because of it. Although I suppose mine was high before everyone started getting worried about it due to the length of time I’ve blogged. Thanks for stopping by

  3. I think the balance is good to have, being aware of times that people read blogs and publishing accordingly and then publishing types of post that you know are popular but then as you say obsessing over stats and going bogged down by DA can make blogging not enjoyable, its swings and roundabouts #thelistlinky xxx

  4. I don’t understand Google analytics but I do understand when a particular type of story results in a sudden spike in stats and I try to build on it – it can all still be a minefield though! #thelistlinky

  5. Interesting thoughts. I’ve never looked at my stats and wouldn’t have a clue where to start. Maybe I should think about it. Something else to add to the list!

  6. I’m still in my first year of blogging and when I started, I didn’t even know that people could make money from blogging! I just started it as a way to connect with other people and share experiences of parenthood. Now I’ve fallen for blogging hook, line, and sinker! And I’ve done quite a few collaborations too which has been a lovely surprise bonus.

    I do check my page views far often than I should because I am so competitive with myself and want to get better all the time. It motivates me to keep going. But if I start worrying about it, I ban myself from looking for a certain period of time #TheListLinky

    1. Me either. Took ages to know that and it was probably when I was actually approached for the first time. BLogging is addictive though. Sounds like you’ve got a healthy perspective on your stats and know when to cut it down. Thanks for commenting

  7. This is a really interesting post – thankyou! I must admit as a new- ish blogger, and a person who really hates number-related stuff, I find all the stuff about statistics pretty mind boggling! I hadn’t even known it all existed till quite recently – since then I admit I have checked my DA score a couple of times, and also now pay a bit more attention to the stats on my WordPress viewer. But to be honest, I’m just trying to write good posts, read and interact with other bloggers, and keep my fingers crossed:) If I started worrying too much about statistics I think it might detract from what I initially set my blog up for – because I loved to write:) x

    1. Thanks for your comment Gail. Definitely it’s a case of remembering why you blog. The one thing I’d say is if you’ve not already done so, set up google analytics because if you do want to check it (and there are good things in there, plus it’s more relied on by pr/seo than other types of stats) then it only starts from when you add it. Thanks, Emma

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