One of the first things new bloggers get addicted to is their stats.

In fact, many bloggers admit they are stataholics and may even need a 12-step program.

When we look at our stats and then start comparing  AWStats vs Webalizer vs Google Analytics vs Woopra vs SiteMeter or another favorite of ours, not only can watching the numbers drive a blogger crazy, if they’re watched TOO closely, it can be a total waste of time.

Take for example the graph which shows the pages views for The Blog Boutique in the last sixty days.

The numbers go up and down like a yo-yo.

Do I care?

No!

I’ve learned there are too many variables that can affect my blog traffic.

Today’s Lesson

When we’re new to blogging it’s easy to think our statistics are a reflection of the quality of our blog posts, when in fact, there are so many factors that can affect our statistics, we may never know for sure.

Listed below are FIFTY SEVEN reasons our numbers can vary from day to day.

  1. What’s the age of  your blog?
  2. With new blogs, stats can stay or drop to zero on a regular basis. Older blogs will see drops in their stats as well, however, due to loyal readership, the dips may not be as dramatic.

  3. Have the search engines found you?
  4. Until the search engines find a blog, traffic may be low. Once your blog gets found, you’ll begin to see more traffic coming from search engines, however this will vary from day to day.

  5. Are you using your URL in your email signature?
  6. If you start using your URL in your email signature, you may see on increase in your stats. This, of course, is dependent on who you send emails to.

  7. Did a blog post get Stumbled (on StumbleUpon)?
  8. If another bloggers “Stumbles” a post of yours, you may see a spike in your traffic. Unfortunately “stumblers” rarely become regular readers of blogs, so after the initial spike, your stats will probably return to normal.

  9. Was your post tweeted (on Twitter)?
  10. Twitter can be a great resource for sharing our work. If those who follow us on Twitter also like our post(s), they may “retweet” it to those who follow them which can affect our page views.

  11. Or maybe you showcased your blog post on Facebook?
  12. Facebook is another great place to showcase blog posts. It lets your friends know you have updated your blog, thus possibly gaining a visit or two.

  13. Did you guest post on another blog?
  14. While guest posting on another blog, we may see an increase in our readership since we’re being exposed to new readers.

  15. Or, do you have a guest writer on your blog?
  16. Based on the comments on the “Guest Posts – Yea or Nay? post, some of our readers may skip over posts if they’re not written by us, thus resulting in a drop in our visitor count.

  17. Or, is your statistical program inadvertently counting your own visits to your blog?
  18. Each statistical program has their own matrix for counting visitors and pages views. Check with your favorite program to ensure you understand their terminology. Sometimes a visit is really not a visit.

  19. Did failing to add code from your statistical program code lead to a decrease in visitors when you changed themes?
  20. See the first dip on the graph I shared? That’s what happened to me. I forgot to add the statistical coding into the new theme. The second drop to zero is because I did a screenshot of my stats right after midnight when the count was starting over.

  21. Was your blog linked to in a fellow bloggers post?
  22. If a fellow blogger links to us in their current post, we often see an increase in our stats. Check your referral traffic if you’re in doubt who linked to you.

  23. What day of the week is it?
  24. Many will say different days of the week can affect the traffic to our blog. Although I have seen this in my stats, I’m not finding a definite pattern.

  25. What day of the week are you publishing?
  26. Some say by publishing on certain days of the week, it results in a greater influx of traffic to a new post. This may be true if we’re posting on a daily basis, however, I’m not certain if applies to those of us who only post one or two times a week.

  27. Is it a holiday?
  28. One thing I have found is most bloggers either go on hiatus for the Christmas holiday, or spend considerably less time online. Less bloggers online mean lower numbers. On the flip side, if your blog is set up to capitalize on holiday traffic, the reverse could be true.

  29. What season is it?
  30. I read blog traffic dips during the summer. This makes sense since more people are spending time on outdoor activities instead of sitting at their computers. Those with families may have less time to spend online since their children are home for summer vacation.

  31. What’s your niche?
  32. Different niches can greatly affect our stats. If our niche is very specific, it becomes more important to use SEO (search engine optimization) to attract those with the same interests as us. Broader niches may get more hits from a wider audience.

  33. Are you spending more or less time commenting on other blogs?
  34. When we spend less time commenting on other blogs, we may see our traffic counts drop. Although we shouldn’t take on a tit for tat attitude, reciprocating comments is a great way to insure those in our community know we care about their blogs, too.

  35. Was a post of yours submitted to Digg?
  36. I don’t hear as much about Digg as I once did, however, if your blog post hits the front page of Digg, it can mean a huge influx of traffic, as well as more subscribers. Again, like having a post Stumbled, the spike of traffic may be temporary.

  37. Are you having a contest?
  38. Contests seem to draw in more visitors. However, once the contest ends, our stats may reflect a lack of interest in our blog.

  39. Did you get press about your blog?
  40. Can you imagine what would happen to our blog if Oprah talked about it on her show? It would go through the roof. Although this doesn’t happen to many, any type of press can affect our stats.

  41. Have you started advertising your blog?
  42. Advertising our blogs is starting to become a new trend. Paying for an ad on a high traffic blog could help to get our numbers up if others are clicking.

  43. Have you submitted your blog to blog directories?
  44. If you’ve recently submitted your blog to blog directories, you may see small increases of traffic.

  45. Have you changed your publishing schedule?
  46. Changing our publishing schedule can make a big difference in our stats. Publish more and you may see more traffic. It’s not a guarantee, but some swear by it. Keep in mind, you’ll also be spending more time on the blog. Publish less, and the reverse may hold true.

  47. Are you using more guests posts on your blog than normal?
  48. Although guest posts may not initially hurt our stats, if guest posts become the norm on our blog, many may unsubscribe. Hence, we’ll see a dip in the numbers.

  49. Has the statistical program had internal issues which affect how the numbers are reported?
  50. It’s not uncommon for a statistical program to encounter server issues which results in visits which are not counted. Sometimes they will notify you, but often, not. Here’s where using more than one statistical program comes in handy.

  51. Are you asking others to subscribe to your blog?
  52. If we want more readers, sometimes all we need to do is ask. Asking others to subscribe to our blogs will often also help our numbers.

  53. If so, is your RSS feed easy to find?
  54. If readers don’t see our invitation to subscribe to our blog, we need have our RSS button clearly visible.  Those who subscribe may come back on a regular basis, thus increasing our numbers.

  55. Are you making it easy for others to tweet/retweet, Stumble or Digg your posts?
  56. I’ve tried many plugins for this. The Sexy Bookmarks plugin worked for awhile, but now I’ve switched to “Share It” plus added the “TweetMe” button. I like these two plugins as it makes it easy for my readers to share my posts with others. If we don’t make it easy for our readers to share our posts, our stats can reflect that.

  57. Is your statistical program reporting visits from bots and spiders?
  58. Some statistical programs count visits from spiders and bots. Be careful which numbers you’re looking at. Obviously if visits from the search engine bots are counted, we’ll be looking at an inflated visitor count.

  59. Did you recently start offering a newsletter
  60. Newsletters are a great way to help increase our readership. If you’ve recently added a newsletter to which others have subscribed, your newsletter may be resulting in additional traffic.

  61. Did you write an ebook which you are offering for free?
  62. As we travel through blogosphere, we see many bloggers offering free ebooks. When they’re written about or reviewed, we may see small increases in our numbers as visitors come by to download the book.

  63. Is you blog the landing page for your business?
  64. Some bloggers are combining their business with their blog. Depending on which page we link to when we advertise could result in showing an increase in blog readers when in fact, those visitors are clients who will be contacting us for business reasons.

  65. Did you participate in a group project?
  66. Occasionally group projects are started and the “host” will list all of the bloggers who are involved. Having our name on the list may inspire others to click through.

  67. Has a part of the world  experienced severe weather?
  68. We often don’t think weather can affect our blog traffic, however, if there is severe weather in different parts of the world, our fellow bloggers may be dealing with the fall out from that instead of spending time online.

  69. Or a catastrophic event?
  70. Just like severe weather, a catastrophic event can affect how much time others are spending online. Some may be blogging or tweeting about it, but they may not be in a position to be visiting others.

  71. Even economic conditions can affect blog visitors
  72. The economy can make a huge difference in blog traffic. During the current economic downturn we may see less spending online, however, we may see more individuals turning to the internet as a way to supplement their income. Blogs are often the vehicle used for this purpose. More bloggers online can result in higher numbers for us.

  73. Who is your target audience?
  74. When we think about our target audience, we also need to think about how they interact online. Some target audiences may spend a lot less time visiting blogs than others. For example, if our target audience is fishermen, chances are instead of spending time online, they’ll be out fishing.

  75. Is the information we’re sharing outdated?
  76. We often hear what we write should be timeless. That’s true for many blogs, but for those who share current events, we need to be at the top of our game. If we’re continually sharing information that’s outdated, chances are visitors will find a better source for their data.

  77. What attitude are we projecting on our blog?
  78. So much can be said with words. If we’re angry, chances are our readers will know. If we think we’re better than others, they know that, too. The attitude we project online can make a huge difference in our readership.

  79. Do we answer comments?
  80. Although there’s no “rule” we have to answer comments, letting our readers know they are being heard can help to increase our visitor counts.

  81. Is the font you use, easy to read?
  82. We talked about this before. If the font on our blogs is so small or too fancy, those who have problems with their eyesight may not return.

  83. Are ads or badges distracting our readers
  84. Readers who spend a lot of time online are often annoyed by ads, banners and badges. They’re there to read the content. If our site begins to look like “the strip” in Vegas, chances are our readers will begin to avoid our blog.

  85. Is your blog loading too slow
  86. Using too many plugins, ads, banners, and/or badges can slow the loading time of our site down to a crawl. With the attention span of online searchers being short, if our site doesn’t load fast enough, new visitors may never even see it.

  87. Are you using the CommentLuv or KeywordLuv plugins?
  88. Plugins like these two are a big benefit to those who comment on our blogs. Utilizing them can mean more repeat visits and comments.

  89. Do we give our readers more than one post to read?
  90. It’s one thing to get a visitor to read our current post, but are we sharing more of our work, as well. Showing related, random or recent posts is a great way to show our visitors more of our work, plus increase our page views.

  91. How easy is our blog to navigate?
  92. Blogs don’t come with a GPS, thus we need to make it easy for our readers to find their way around. If they want to know more about us, our “about me” page should easy to locate.

  93. Is the name of our blog memorable
  94. For most established bloggers it’s too late to change the name of our blog, however, we can make it memorable. In case a reader doesn’t remember how they found our site, hopefully they’ll remember the name and search for it if they want to read more of what we share.

  95. What is our reputation in blogosphere?
  96. Our reputation off of our blog is just as important as what we share on our blog. When we walk our talk, chances are those who follow our blog will continue to do so, but if we project something else outside of our blog, we could easily lose readers.

  97. Do you use obscene language or show nudity on your blog?
  98. With blogs we do have freedom of speech, which includes foul language. Although we may blog “the way we talk”, some may be offended and not return.

  99. Are our posts too negative?
  100. Blogs raise issues of all types. Some are more delicate than others, however if when we write we’re all doom and gloom, we could easily drive readers away.

  101. Or confrontational?
  102. Controversy can increase readership to our blog, however, it’s a fine line. Those who are continually confrontational might turn off their reader base thus resulting in lost visits.

  103. Or too redundant?
  104. Anyone who has blogged for any length of time knows it’s easy to write about the same topic for the second time. Although we may be putting a different spin on it, rehashing the same topic too many times can make our readers yawn, and maybe unsubscribe.

  105. Have you created pillar posts?
  106. Pillar posts are those posts that continue to get new visitors. Usually they are also the posts which attract search engine traffic. Creating more pillar posts could help to increase our readership.

  107. What are you showing “above the fold”?
  108. Look at your blog as others see it. What do you see before you have to scroll down? That’s the area considered “above the fold”. If it doesn’t attract a readers attention, they may click off and never come back.

  109. Are you male or female?
  110. Some claim men are better at attracting readers, however, I think the jury is still out on this. Obviously. 8)

  111. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  112. Getting found online takes a lot of self promotion. If we believe the description of introverts vs extroverts, it would appear extroverts may find it easier to promote their own work, thus increasing readership.

  113. Have you been, or are you on, a blogging hiatus?
  114. When we take time away from our blogs, unless we have someone blog sit, our blogs can remain dormant for an extended period of time. Without updates, our visitor counts can suffer. (This  may not be the case if our blog traffic is predominantly from search engines.)

I realize this post is considerably longer than my normal lessons, so I understand if you felt the need to skim the variables which can affect our traffic. Having said that, I’ll move to…

Today’s Assignment

What variables do you think affect your stats?

Where are you in the stat checking process?

Still addicted or moving forward?

Care to share?

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  1. Hi. Loved this.

    I’ve blogged now for seven months. I’ve had three peak days. Two of them were when I got mentioned by experienced bloggers and the other was when I put up a video giving away one of my paintings.

    I also had a great day with my guest blogger you can see here.
    http://julieangelos.com/2010/05/25/run-the-hill-yeah-my-first-guest-blogger-michele-lace-up/

    Have a great day. I think asking good questions like the ones you have above help a lot.

    Julie

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for sharing how different circumstances affected your blog traffic. Yes. Having our name mentioned by an experienced blogger can help to get noticed. And when that happens, hopefully a few of those visitors will turn into regular readers.

      I’ll be by later to read the guest post, plus catch up on your blog.

  2. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Something recently happened that basically DOUBLED my blog traffic.

    One of my older posts (not even a particularly good one) got “Stumbled Upon”. And for whatever reason, it keeps getting stumbled upon, apparently in an endless feed-back loop.

    So now, even though I’m writing less, my traffic is skyrocketing.

    Huh. Just goes to show you how much B.S. there is, regarding blog stats.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      How cool is that? It’s not often an older post of ours will get Stumbled, and…re-Stumbled. Hopefully your blog stays in the loop and the traffic continues to show up.

  3. Thank you x infinity for this, Barbara. First, I’m a bit of an introvert so putting myself out there in a BIG way is harder for me than perhaps others. I don’t want to come across all “Look at MEEE” but if I don’t start putting my blog out there, it will languish and die. I consider this one of my bigger challenges from the Universe.

    I wrote down many of your suggestions (target audience, commentluv, pillar posts, etc) to check on today while I’m futzing around online and plan to implement them this week. This is really all new to me (despite having an 8 year old personal blog) so I’m like a little sponge, just soaking it in.

    Really, really appreciate the time you put into this (and really, all your other posts) and also the many comments and thoughts from your readers.

    Peace to you,
    Lisa

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Linda,

      Like you, I am also an introvert. (Many bloggers are). And I agree, it is hard to self promote. However, if we don’t learn how to do it, we could end up talking to that imaginary audience we spent so much time with in the beginning. Baby steps. :)

  4. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I’m disappointed that you only came up with 57 reasons.

    If you really tried, you probably could have gotten 80. :-)

  5. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I love the list. When I first started blogging it was somewhat a mystery to me, but I can see all of your points, and know I do something about most of them, those I don’t are on my task list now! I took blogging seriously from the outset, which I know made a big difference to others on the same IM course. My stats were so much better than anyone else’s as we shared them on a forum. One thing I know I did differently is always looked for something to support what I might be saying and pop a link in. It gave incredibly good results in terms of traffic as the other person or people mentioned always visited and commented, then spoke about or linked to my blog in their own post. Brilliant strategy! Must be the PhD training, always look for supporting evidence!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Mandy,

      I remember when you shared your story earlier and said how you also went in a different direction than the others in your course. I think that’s a big part of it; learning to follow our heart and daring to be different.

      And yes, by linking to your resources, you’ve gotten your name out there, and those you link to are coming back to see what you’re all about. Smart move, indeed!

  6. Barbara,

    These are great pointers that really make you think. I try to update the blog on my site at least two times a week and, as you know, every Friday I have a “Weekend Reads” post I publish which highlights my favorite posts that I stumbled-upon that week.

    To comment on a couple of specific points you mentioned:

    #54 What are you showing “above the fold?” – I recently read a post by Mack Collier on this topic – here is the link to it: http://bit.ly/dBmJYv He described how he increased his email subscribers by 650% where he describes moving his subscription box “above the fold”.

    #44 Are you using the CommentLuv or KeywordLuv plugins? – Huge! This is the easiest way to gain traffic to your site if you are a good commenter. Or bad, I suppose. I mean if you are one to comment on a lot of posts then other people commenting and reading those comments may find the name of your post catchy enough to take a look – like it – comment – and the pattern keeps going!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Heather,

      You’ve highlighted two of my favorites.

      I also agree what we show above the fold is VERY important. Thank you for sharing the link to Mack’s post as that’s another example of how what we show above the fold can change our results.

      And CommentLuv. That is my all time favorite plugin. I think it was brilliant of Andy Bailey to come up with the idea as, like you mentioned, it’s “Luv” that keeps giving.

  7. Dear Barbara, WOW, what a big beautiful, comprehensive, thoughtful post — a real gift for bloggers trying to gain traffic! I will go back over these again and take action on some of them.

    And wow Friar is tough. :)

    I have not paid much attention to my Analytics lately, except for collecting those “Funny Searches” from the keywords folks type to land on my site — in fact I’m due to post the latest ones, just need to take a silly photo to go with it.

    I remember at one point I’d put in a bit of code taught by John Hoff on my Home Page php. I wonder what additional steps I could be taking for my blog to load faster? I admit I have stepped way back from my frequency of visiting blogs that take a long time to load — ones with a lot of flash, especially.

    Again, wonderful list!

    xo

    • FriarNo Gravatar says:

      I wasn’t putting down Barb’s post… She’s all right. :-)

      I was just pointing out how we shoudln’t put so much emphasis on your blog stats…what they mean might not have anything to do with how often we write, or the quality of our writing.

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Friar,

        I know you weren’t putting me or the post down. 😉

        What you’ve said is true; it’s not necessarily the quality of our writing that drives traffic to us. With so many factors influencing those who are online, visitors may come and go for dozens of reasons.

        P.S. With regard to your other comment. I was hoping you’d provide 58 through 80. 😆

        I’ll be back later to answer the rest of the comments.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      That’s true. Blogs which take a long time to load can be frustrating. Although I visit some which are slow, if I land on a new one (where I don’t know the blogger) I often get frustrated and just leave.

  8. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I think you’ve pretty much hit all the reasons I see for my stat fluctuation. I found it interesting, though, that even when I went on a hiatus and almost stopped blogging I would still get hits. When I began blogging, I was obsessed with stats and would check them several times a day. But now, I use them differently. I don’t always get a lot of comments so I check to see if people are reading. I don’t have a huge following and I’ve learned to accept that. It’s funny what you think may be a good post and get lots of comments and what actually does. I try not to look at the actual numbers, but just to see if people are dropping by.

    I’d love to get stumbled upon and become the next big mommy blogger, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of competition, and I just don’t seem to have what it takes. I write for me now, and my few followers and enjoy the camaraderie I’ve created there.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Deb,

      Isn’t that the truth? That which we think is good, turns out not to be well received, and the reverse holds true, as well.

      Although we can waste a lot of time just looking at our numbers, in our statistics is actually tons of valuable information. Like what keywords others are using to find us, where our traffic is coming from, how long readers are staying on our site, etc. That’s the statistical data we can really learn from.

      P.S. I always enjoy reading your posts about Peanut. She’s such a doll and from your last post I see she’s making real progress.

  9. Wow! What an amazing list. I did become addicted when I first started out, but now I’m far too busy. I check stats once a week, but I’m not even sure why I do, since I don’t really plan on changing anything… I guess it’s out of curiosity.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Vered,

      I hear you. In those early days I thought I would see visitors come streaming in, only to find no one visited me on some days. I think the more we blog, the more we realize it’s best to concentrate on getting good content out there and building our brand instead of worrying if our stats will rise.

  10. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    @Barb

    I dunno if I can come up with another 23 reasons. But here are at least a few.

    (Not referring to “you” specifically, but to “you” in general!) :-)

    58. Um…mabye your writing SUCKS?

    59. Mabye you write well, but you’re just BORING.

    60. You didnt’ suck up to the Cool Kid Bloggers, didn’t visit them every day and didn’t tell them how great they were.

    61. You’re the current flavor-of-the-month, which expires in 2 days.

    62. You’ve taken the proverbial dead horse, and beaten it down to the bones. And beaten the bones into ash. And pounded the ash into the ground.

    63. Mabye you’re stating the blatantly obvious, which you’ve just paraphrased from all the other blogs you read?

    64. You write original material, and offer discussion on topics which don’t follow Blogo-Land’s status quo. (In which case, you’re DOOMED and there is no hope for your blog). Quit now and take up Tai-chi or yogurt-making.

    • Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

      Barbara’s post is more like “Fifty-seven reasons that don’t hurt your feelings”. But then, (part of the) truth hurts.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      Seven down, 16 to go…… 8)

      I agree, (63) – paraphrasing other bloggers, or worse yet, plagiarizing other bloggers, can be a bloggers worse nightmare. Even though there are millions of blogs out there, blogosphere is very small. Word gets out!

  11. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    Okay… EVERYONE COME AND READ MY BLOG! It’ll make you RICH and SUCCESSFUL and SUPER SEXY!

    Okay, that’s my advertising quota for the rest of the century. 😛

    Seriously though, this was an excellent post, Barbara. And surprisingly, most of the factors you have listed were ones I obsessed over with Trottersville v.1, and look where that obsessing got me! 😛

    I do still do the Facebook and blog directory listing thing, and I frequent other folks’ blogs all the time, but that’s about all I can stand these days! Who wants to be bitter about the traffic they feel they’re not (but should be) getting? Not me. Not any more. :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Tony,

      Ooooooh! I like you ad. I’m on my way……. :)

      As you know, as a blogger, we could waste tons of time beating ourselves up because the traffic doesn’t show up or isn’t what we were told it could be. All the more reason to just enjoy the blogging journey and treasure the readers we have.

  12. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. that is an amazing post & I highly value what you’ve written there – as you’ll see in a few weeks over on my blog – end of July time.

    The one thing .. I can’t see you mentioned is the hosting platform .. as there are issues with Blogger and stats – I think I’m right in saying … we did discuss this on your blog since I’ve been around?! Can you find it – please? I had a look a while back and frustratingly couldn’t find it – but it may come out in the wash here as I sort paperwork in the coming few weeks before I leave this house.

    Thanks Barbara .. ! & I’m still not getting the email comments coming through .. never mind = a funny somehwere .. have a good week and weekend .. Hilary

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Hilary,

    I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but do remember a few discussions about Blogger. I’m guessing it was something discussed in the comments and not in a post.

    Re: Email notifications. I changed the plugin I’m using for comment subscription, so hopefully the new one will work for you now.

    Have a great week, too. :)

    P.S. I’ll send you an email and hopefully we can figure out that which you’re in search of.

  14. ColleenNo Gravatar says:

    Wow! What a list. I’ve emailed this one to myself as a self-check, and also source in way to increase traffic.

    We attended a webinar the other day on Google Analytics. And our takeaway was the number of folks that find us that are not in our area. The map for that stat is pretty cool!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Colleen,

      Isn’t it interesting when we dig deeper into our stats and find stuff like you did – where your visitors are not even from your area even though you write a blog which has a tight niche?

  15. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara
    Not got into stats yet.
    I’ve heard that Google analytics is difficult to understand so I might try one of the lightweight plugins.
    Question is… will I end up checking it twice a day?
    Perhaps I’ll skip the stats for a while.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      That’s probably good you’re not into stats yet as they can be very time consuming. That said though, other than just the numbers themselves, statistics do tell us a lot.

      I run/test five different statistical programs, but Woopra is the one I like the best and is the one I check the most. I love their interface. In fact, I plan to write a review post about them in the near future.

  16. Bill BeanNo Gravatar says:

    Comprehensive list. Impressive. I’m one of those easily addicted to stats (and introspection). Might need to avoid doing that with my blog. Great advice, though.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Bill,

      It’s easy to get addicted to checking stats, isn’t it? I remember when I first started I would check them many times a day. Looking back, I realize how much time I wasted, but at the time I didn’t have quite as much on my plate, either.

  17. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    I do check stats from time to time, but only Awstats and Google Analytics and just as a reference. If the numbers go up or down I understand it is a normal thing and don’t worry too much about it.

    Due to lots of work lately I haven’t had the chance to dedicate much time to the blog and that definitely has reduced the number of visitors.

    I didn’t know there were so many variables related to traffic! Thank you for all the information.

    Raul

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Raul,

      Yes. When we take a break from our blogs, our stats have a tendency to decrease, but I’m sure you realize when you do get back to publishing regularly, they’ll climb right back up.

  18. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    Was your blog linked to in a fellow bloggers post? Yes. Because of one of Vered’s most recent links, one of my posts was stumbled a couple of times and weeks later it’s still being stumbled. Thanks Vered. Having said that, I guess just because someone has clicked on it, doesn’t mean they’ve read it.

    I find the day of the week makes a difference *and* the season. I wrote a post last year around this time about dive-bombing crows and this year search engine traffic is sending tonnes of readers back to that post, lol. The wee baby crows are learning to fly again, apparently.

    As much as I appreciate the traffic spikes, I prefer the comfortable traffic plateaus. The spikes are way too distracting :-)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      That’s true. A click does not mean a read, but a click does equate to a visit, so it’s not all for naught. And…we never know, maybe one or two of those Stumblers will become regular readers.

      I know what you’re saying about the spikes in traffic. They’re actually deceiving. Once everyone is done Stumbling, the numbers drop back down and it is almost like a let down. *sigh*

  19. MartinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi,

    Although I make a cursory check my stats daily, I really only take notice of longer term trends in the aggregated figures. Peaks usually occur as a result of organic links from high traffic sites (I have had a few from the BBC and busy forums) and soon taper off.

    But you are right, it can be obsessive, particularly at the outset.

  20. Unique again! I am very bad in the opposite direction; if I check stats a couple times per year, it is a lot. LOL

    This is an excellent resource type post. With my blog network going into effect soon, I’ll have to get much better at checking on things. :)

  21. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Wow! Your experience is starting to show. Great list and yes at the beginning I was a stats nut. But now that I have been at it for a while, I probably look about once a week just to see if it is up or down.

    If we tend to follow some of the tips mentioned here, sooner or later we will get noticed. Good Luck to all who are trying them out! 😀

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      It is funny, isn’t it? What we learn from experience?

      Like you, I was also a stats nut. Although stats can be beneficial, checking our counts too often can end up not only affecting our mood, but also wasting precious time.

  22. ManishNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara

    First of all I would like to congratulate you on coming up with this idea of Promoting a Blog.This is definitely going to work for bloggers like us.

    Well I have been writing articles for newspaper and magazines .
    Although it used to be a small one , but it used to give me a sense of satisfaction. So i thought Why not spread the word to whole world. And that is the point where i came up with my blog
    http://yyysooseriouss.blogspot.com/.
    As the name suggests, Its a more of fun feed.In Todays world where everybody has plethora of issues to take care off. they can take their time off , and visit my blog for a smile. Well I am also open to questions related to personal and proffessional life.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Manish,

      I like you idea of taking your writing to a larger platform, i.e. a blog. Like you said, this way you can spread the word to the whole world. Isn’t blogging great? :)

      • ManishNo Gravatar says:

        Of course Barbara, and People like you are a great Motivation for all of us. To let you know I have started blogging effectively.
        I make sure that , even if I have busiest of my day, still I write something on my blog.

  23. Carlos CavaNo Gravatar says:

    FIFTY SEVEN reasons are too much reasons. Time and seasonal variations are the most often variations.

    If your keywords appears on some tv program you can see a fast peak.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Carlos,

      That’s another great one. If we blog about a topic or keyword which starts to get mentioned on TV, we can potentially see a huge increase in blog traffic.

  24. ManishNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All

    Dont worry and be happy.
    Check my blog for more details.

  25. ManishNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All

    Its Time to forget your worries and be happy.
    Check my blog for more details.

  26. DominiqueNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the handy list.
    I’ve done many of the things listed here with good results…like putting the “Subscribe in a reader” button near the top of my page and increasing the size a smidge, linking to related posts in my articles.
    There are a couple of things I’m still meaning to get to, like installing something like Comment Luv at Midwest Guest.
    My numbers tend to increase a bit mid-week as I post most often on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and/or Thursdays, although much of my traffic comes through on searches for specific topics.
    I’ve also had good results with a monthly “link love” post, an annotated list linking to 8 to 12 articles from other blogs writing about my niche (Midwest travel/destinations).
    I also occasionally participate in two different carnivals where I’ll often see an extra hit or two.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Dominique,

      Those are also great traffic drivers – link love posts and blog carnivals. I had forgotten about the carnivals even though I participated in a few in my early blogging days.

      It sounds like your blog is growing at a steady pace. By continually testing and making little tweaks, we quickly find out what works and what doesn’t.

  27. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara
    I have been blogging for little over nine months now.I am intrigued by the factor”write something controversial”it does seem to work.This will act as a checklist for me in the future.Always nice to have a checklist to compare whether we are on the right track or not.

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Linda,

    Yes. For some reason being controversial in our writing does seem to help, however, the downside of being controversial is that it can also bring out the trolls.