I saw a story on TV about a man who posted a photo and profile online and made friends with single women. After he befriended them, he would set up a meeting, only for the women to find out the photo he posted online, and what he looked like in real life, didn’t match.

Okay, so that’s not uncommon. But, what this guy did was build what the women thought was a meaningful relationship with them, wine and dine them and then he would ask them for a short term loan, “until his ship came in”. Some of the women succumbed and gave him thousands dollars. Shortly thereafter, he would disappear and move onto his next victim. The women were left wondering what they had done wrong to cause the the “breakup”.

The women did nothing wrong. They were scammed.

Today’s Lesson

When we blog, visit other blogs and/or build community, we often assume others are who they say they are, look like the photos they post, and possess the credentials they boast of.

But is everything we “see” the truth?

What happens when someone isn’t being authentic?

Do they REALLY have 79,674 RSS feed subscribers?  100,000+ visitors a month? Earn what they say they do?

Did they REALLY accomplish all of this is a short period of time?

Or have the numbers been massaged?

Knowing many stats and photos can be manually manipulated with software such as Adobe Photoshop CS4, is what we see on other blogs giving us unrealistic goals to shoot for? Setting us up for disappointment?

Are we being too gullible? Are we, too, getting scammed?

In some cases, maybe so.

Today’s Assignment

When you look at the statistics others are posting on their blogs, does it make you feel you have a long way to go?

Does it ever make you feel inadequate? Or that you’ll never measure up?

How do you chart your progress? By what others are doing, or by your own set of standards?

Care to share?

signature for blog post.

P.S. The internet has become a breeding ground for many unscrupulous endeavors. Kathy of Virtual Impax shares the results of her research into this fast growing trend, in her post, Blogs and The Art of Deception. It’s a great read and a real eyeopener.

Photo Credit: jcoterhals

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  1. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I find I just trust what I read, on blogs, because I think that if I should find myself reading something that was actually a scam, I somehow wouldn’t be interested and I wouldn’t engage in it (and this happens often!) At the moment I’m just using my own feeling of motivation as a guide to whether I am successful (and I have cut down my posting frequency at the moment to get a change in perspective on it all). Cheers! – R

    Robin´s last blog post..Sondra Ray – Rebirthing And Physical Immortality

  2. Ulla HennigNo Gravatar says:

    I find statistics of other bloggers useful if they are combined with sharing “how they did it”. I generally mistrust bloggers when they are simply stating that they earned lots of money or managed to get thousands of subscribers in a few days. In addition to that making money is not one of my goals, so I am not too irritated by such statements.

    Ulla Hennig´s last blog post..The Beating of the Drums

  3. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    When I first started blogging I was impressed with subscriber numbers. But not anymore. Recently, I’ve seen my traffic slow due to time constraints that have kept me from visiting and commenting on other blogs. It was discouraging at first as I’ve spent a lot of time in the past, meeting and greeting online, and to see connections and comments evaporate after less than two weeks, well… I had to give my head a shake and just continue on — to not take it personally. The bottom line is that I enjoy writing and will continue to write, as long as other paying projects don’t require my attention. I agree with Robin about trusting what you read.

    Davina´s last blog post..Mindful Melancholy

  4. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    If it’s a site that I’ve landed on only for the first time and I’ve only seen like, 3 of their posts and they don’t have much substance, then I don’t really care about their numbers, whether it’s 3 or 3 million, whether it’s true or not. I just don’t care. However, if it’s some blog that I’ve been reading for a while, and they seem to be consistent, I’ll believe them. But then again, I still don’t care much.

    In the end, they are they, and I am I. I don’t particularly care about these numbers, probably because I am not monetizing.

    Kelvin Kao´s last blog post..School Pageant: Flower

  5. SamarNo Gravatar says:

    I dont think people can fool their readers for long. Sure, you can get away with a false photograph. But false subscriber numbers? I doubt it.

    A blog reader gets over the subscriber numbers very fast. You can have thousands of subscribers but if the topic isn’t of interest to the blogger or they don’t find the content helpful, then they’re not going to subscribe.

    This brings me to another thought. With today’s technology of video conferencing, people can see their bloggers easily. They can request to do a video conference with them. Infact, fellow bloggers can do that too. Sean and Eric of Blogopolis Blueprint did some excellent videos. You got to put a voice and face behind blog writers even though both had pictures of themselves as their gravatars.

    Samar´s last blog post..Learning on the job

  6. Hi Barbara – I think blog subscription numbers can be persuasive. After all, if 79,000 people read a blog, there must be something valuable, right? Ultimately, though, we alone decide value and relevance. I’m not inclined to think someone would care about 1 subscriber leaving or staying with those kinds of numbers. There are many bloggers with high numbers whose message I just don’t “get.”

    Numbers obsession occurs with more frequency on Twitter, it seems. What’s up with that? If I see someone tweeting about their number of followers, I’ll drop them. Again, it’s all about relevance and interest in what someone has to say.

    Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post..MOM, PATRICIA TAGGED ME!

  7. Nice post, Barbara! Most of the time, I try not to look at the stats on other sites. I try to remind myself that I started my blog because I wanted to write and put something out there into the world. I wasn’t looking for tons of readers or comments and I force myself to remember that. However, I can’t say that I’m totally removed. Of course I want a lot of readers. Of course I’d love as many comments as, say, Zen Habits. But it’s okay that I don’t have that. I might someday. I might not. The point is, I’m doing what I love — writing — and I am getting some great feedback from some really awesome people that, without the blog, I never would have “met.”

    Positively Present´s last blog post..who’s afraid of the big, bad past?

  8. Barbara – thanks so much for the mention.

    I think it’s important for bloggers to recognize that so much can be “faked” – even down to the comments. If you’ve got Photoshop and basic programming skills – there’s no end to the “illusions” you can create.

    Betsy’s right – people ARE persuaded by the “crowd”. If 79K people are reading – there must be something there – right? (I’m sure that someone, somewhere is working on a way to “spoof” Twitter followers as we read this right now!) Unfortunately, there are some CONSUMMATE liars out there – like the rip off artists you mention in this post.

    Those women become INTIMATE with those men – and they don’t know they’re being played. THAT is what’s scary. I know I’d like to think that I’m “smart” enough not to fall for such a thing – but truth be told, I know I’m probably as vulnerable as those women were. If I was looking for a partner – I’d be a possible target for those rip off artists. What would make me vulnerable would be my DESIRE for a relationship – not my level of intelligence or discernment.

    In my blog post – the blog I “out” is seeking people who are desperate for a way to make money- and is using a website that LOOKS like a blog to deceive readers and hopes to part you with your CC info.

    If you’re visiting other blogs looking for friends – you’d pass it by without a second thought. However, if you found it and needed money – you just might be tempted to follow the breadcrumb trails they’re leaving.

    But – that’s another great thing about blogs. Those in the know can sound a warning and educate tens of thousands with just a few blog posts.

    Kathy | Virtual Impax´s last blog post..A Day in the Life of a New Media Consultant or Agency….

  9. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I set my own standards. I certainly have not made oodles of money but I really like letting my readers know what is going on in the green world. So if I get lots of traffic, that is just plain goodness.

    Linda´s last blog post..The Top Ten Greenhouse Gases

  10. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I like the comments in this thread – agree with every one.

    Davina: Yup, less comments = less subscribers. It’s a somewhat empty metric.
    Samar: You can fool people at first, but not in perpetuity. Well said, Samar.
    Betsy: I agree. I think the obsession with Twitter #’s is ridonculous.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post..A bit easier on the eyes

  11. My ex-husband got licked in a scam like that. It was horrible. I felt so bad for him. At the same time, I wondered “How could anyone loan big amounts of money to someone they’ve never even met?” It just seems like a weird thing to do. I don’t even loan money to important people who I love very much and who I know – it is just a bad idea, in my opinion. Unless you are very willing to never see that money again then just don’t do it.

    Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl´s last blog post..TV Heroin

  12. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

    I used to be influenced by the numbers, but not so much anymore. It’s the content that drives me. If I’m not interested in the content, then I probably won’t come back or subscribe. And judging by the great comments, most of the others here feel the same way.

    LisaNewton´s last blog post..1 Trillion Vehicle Miles Traveled in 2009

  13. I almost never pay attention to other people’s stats. I have my own measurement tools for my blog and when I first guest post for someone else I take a look at monthly site visits just to get an idea of possible traffic, but the only thing that matters to me is the content – am I getting something valuable from the site? If I am, then it doesn’t matter if they person has 10 or 100000 readers.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s last blog post..The Physical Toll of Perfectionism: Emma Newman Interview

  14. I can’t imagine going out of my way to notice the stats of others. That just leads to the no win game of comparison and no matter who you are or how far you’ve come – that’s a losing game to play.

    Instead of worrying about scams and fakers. I tend to celebrate what’s good about our world. There’s a ton of folks who are who they say they are, more than enough to feel grateful for.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Back Up One Step and Choose Your Right Path

  15. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I read blogs for content I find useful, inspiring, or interesting, so numbers don’t matter. As I start a new blog, I don’t have much traffic yet anyway, so I don’t feel inadequate, just excited to be blogging again. My new site will probably have more non-blogger traffic than my previous blog — perhaps folks who don’t even know what a blog is. For them, numbers won’t matter a bit, only if my information delivers.

    As for scam artists who run cons on people, they do it for a living, with years of practice and perfection. The good ones know how to slip past your defenses, which emotions to evoke, and how to close the deal. I plan to uncover their schemes on my site as well, but the common warning sign is always, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

  16. J.D.No Gravatar says:

    How ironic … I came across that picture last night, it’s perfect.

    Beautiful post and points.

    How do you chart your progress? Great question. I think there’s so many things to measure against:
    – am I taking the right actions to grow my reach?
    – am I improving my clarity on my reader’s needs?
    – am I improving my impact?
    – am I improving my ability to execute?
    – am I streamlining my processes?
    – am I improving my enjoyment of blogging?
    – am I masterting my craft?
    – am I learning and growing as a blogger?
    – am I testing myself and experimenting as much as I should?

    Mostly I try to balance between two key things:
    1. Am I making progress on my mission? (find and share the world’s best patterns and practices for mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships and fun … help people stand on the shoulders of giants (books, people, quotes).
    2. Am I maximizing impact? (enough social media, enough SEO, … etc. and checking growth each month)

    J.D.´s last blog post..How To Design A Fulfilling Life

  17. If you blog as a hobby, statistics are not important. If you blog professionally, they are – but the only important statistic is how much you make.

    Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..10 Ways To Love Yourself As A Woman

  18. A few months ago, I used to worry about my own stats in comparison with others. Later, I figured out that many of them are faking their stats. Nowadays, I am taking my own sweet time to become rich and famous via blogging 🙂

    Usually, when somebody boasts something suspicious, I will try to verify it with available free resources. However, others’ success is not the criterion for me but what I can do within my skill levels and time I can spend online.

    Ajith Edassery´s last blog post..We have a new Theme

  19. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

    As usual, another great Monday post! I am not really into the numbers…but I will say that after moving my blog my numbers went down significantly! Not sure what happened there… At first I felt bad, but all my “regulars” came along for the ride. Then it hit me…what is more important? Big numbers or a few wonderful bloggers that really enjoy my blog? To me, less is more!

    Caroline´s last blog post..Capturing your essence…

  20. Hi Barbara,
    I’m still blogging for joy. When I see others with tons of visitors it inspires me to continue with my own plans, products and dreams. My energy goes to that!

    I track my progress with life balance. However I’m working on organzing so I can be more productive. Great post!

    Tess The Bold Life´s last blog post..Magic Mondays with Castle Baths

  21. MarkNo Gravatar says:

    You bring up a great point. One of the advantages of the cyber world is that we can morph into anyone whom we wish to be. We can manipulate picture, sport credentials and spout off stats that are not verifiable. One does have to be judicious in what they choose to believe about the unseen and unveifiable.
    In regards to stats, it is just like anything else, when we compare ourselves to others we will either feel good or bad about our stats depending on who we are using as our yardstick of success. The real measure is to only compare your stats against your stats and not to keep score with everyone else. This way you know that you are working on improving what you do in relation to what you do, this removes stress and feelings of under performance and makes room for reasonable growth.

    Mark´s last blog post..The Magic Grocer

  22. Hey Barbara,

    This is a great post. Every person is in this blogging world for their own reasons. I often question the “truth” behind some of the blogs that I have visited. I am one to often click off of comments of others to see what is written behind the signature.

    Recently I was able to meet in person a blogger friend that I have been in contact with for a couple of years. This person was the same face to face as she was via the internet. I think deep down one can see through the fake images once you have followed a blog for a while.

    Twitter is a good example of this. So many people on there are not for real. All marketing with dollars signs behind the face.

    For now, I will continue to follow those that I feel are true to character. Those that I feel I can get to know and those that I feel like I could share myself with.

    Cricket-Tammy´s last blog post..A Ride on Big Bertha…The Unexpected Journey

  23. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t really care all that much about other people’s stats consciously, although I’m sure there is some sort of halo effect around success that I’m not immune to.

    Do a lot of bloggers outright fake numbers? I would think massaging them is much more prevalent. I’ve experimented with things like contests and they do bring in a lot of traffic, but judging by the entry comments, quite of a few of those people not only didn’t read further in my blog, they didn’t even read the post!

    I think now that I know more about how traffic works, I’m no longer apt to be jealous of bloggers with high numbers.

    Tracy´s last blog post..Paying the Piper

  24. JessicaNo Gravatar says:

    I have the compete toolbar installed, you had 4,144 visits logged by them last month.

    So, I guess I just look at my browser and ignore what folks tell me about their stats.

    Jessica´s last blog post..Dr. George Tiller, Operation Rescue, Late Term Abortion Procedure doctor murdered in Church

  25. I’m not an experienced blogger. I don’t even know how to check stats. I find it interesting to go and see why a blog has a lot of subscribers / visitors. Quality posts and comments is what I look for. High stats don’t make me feel inadequate – not having a specific voice (yet) makes me feel inadequate. Consistently excellent blogs deserve high stats.

    We should always be aware there are dishonest individuals online and offline. I do believe there’s a line (is that a pun?) that shouldn’t be crossed and usually it’s parting with money.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)´s last blog post..The Last Word

  26. Chania GirlNo Gravatar says:

    I wish I could say that stat numbers don’t bring me down, but they do sometimes. I look at others sites and wonder: How do they do that? Is that possible? Yet at the same time I also know that I don’t blog solely to have a gazillion subscriptions. I blog to create and to be part of community too. I blog to, hopefully, put something out there that someone else can relate to.

    I can agree with some earlier posts like Davina’s and Caroline’s that it’s discouraging to see subscriber numbers go down simply because one is not around or cannot get around to do all the commenting and emailing one wants to do — I’ve experienced this firsthand in my own recent 2-week absence. But at the same time, I have been reassured that the tried-and-true followers really are tried-and-true: they’re still around and are welcoming me back. This is quality over quantity, and I am grateful for it.

    As for those sites with large follower/subscriber numbers, I can concur with a lot of other commenters here too. Their numbers don’t mean much to me if there content is boring or poorly written. When I first began blogging, I discovered a couple of pages that touted these larger numbers but simply did not enjoy the posts. In fact, on a couple of them I really couldn’t figure out what all the hoopla was about. Then again … someone may stop by my page and feel the same way … .

    Thanks for a great post.

    Chania Girl´s last blog post..Putting Humpty Together Again: Mending the Cracked Pot

  27. Dr. KNo Gravatar says:

    >When you look at the statistics others are posting on their blogs, does it make you feel you have a long way to go?

    Honestly, I don’t think I even notice the statistics others are posting. And I almost always feel like I have a long way to go because I’m ambitious by nature.

    >How do you chart your progress? By what others are doing, or by your own set of standards?

    I’m not that interested in having statistics posted on my blog, other than number of comments (to show where there’s heat)

    I’m trying to improve on my own record for my own satisfaction. The numbers I keep my eyes on are number of page views, bounce rate, and how many new people I hear from in a month.

    >Does it ever make you feel inadequate? Or that you’ll never measure up?

    Nah. I think writers (of books and blogs) who have plenty of experience know that you are your own worst critic, that if what you write isn’t pleasing to yourself, you shouild improve it until it resonates for you, and that giving your best is the best measure of success.

    Best wishes,

    Dr. K´s last blog post..Life Skills – Quick! Think Fast!

  28. Content, content, content…

    Blog stats impressed me when I first started blogging. I would look at these other mommy bloggers and wonder how they ended up with so many followers, and get concerned that I was “doing it all wrong.”

    Now, I am not impressed and I rarely follow those who have a high rate of subscribers/followers, unless the content is worth something to me.

    I read what I like and I have to like what I read. (I simply don’t have time to read something just because “everyone is reading it.”)

    Besides, I like to build relationships or conversations with the bloggers I read – many of the big-time bloggers are unable to find the time to respond to my questions or opinions on their topics. And no, I’m not saying a blogger needs to respond to every comment, but if someone has a thoughtful response or further questions, the blogger should be willing to continue the conversation, in my opinion.

    RC – Rambling Along…´s last blog post..Illustrating the allergy

  29. Not any longer; I’ve learned to appreciate every single comment by its depth, and do not worry about numbers a lot.

    Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Thursday Haiku: The hope of two thousand years

  30. DotNo Gravatar says:

    I think it matters more to people who blog for money. I tend to go by people’s subscribers, too. However, when you watch a new blog go from zero to sixty, so to speak, and your own blog is tootling along at 20, it can be discouraging. I just remind myself that I don’t have the energy to do all the publicity, marketing, etc. that would bring in more traffic. Maybe someday.

    Dot´s last blog post..Auntie Meme

  31. Great pic, Barbara. That’s pretty funny.

    I do look to see how many RSS subscribers someone has, just out of curiosity. A good measure of if it is real or not is taking a look at things like the site’s PageRank and the number of comments left on the articles.

    SmashingMagazine has a HUGE number of RSS subscribers, but that’s backed up by the site’s 7/10 PageRank and the number of comments he gets. Impressive.

    For me, I measure my results by how much traffic I get. My blog is a tool to help people learn (me included) and drive traffic to our site – since we offer a product 🙂

    John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..Lateral SEO Thinking: 3 Things Most People Don’t Consider

  32. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I worried about numbers at first – particularly as I figured out how far I would need to grow. Then when I could not figure out twitter, I just gave up on numbers and worked to figure out how to do my best writing and make this my blog home.

    I am just so sad that there are so many “liars” and deceivers in the world today – manipulation is such an ugly sport for whatever is gained.

    But we certainly seem to have an abundant growth spurt right now.

    Patricia´s last blog post..And The Winner Is!

  33. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Unfortunately, with the Tumblemoose avatar what you see is what you get.

    Taking donations for the photoshop suite, folks.

    Anyway, this is an interesting premise isn’t it. What if an A list blogger was really a B list poser? Really, how would we know?

    For that matter, what if an A list blogger was lurking around us bottom feeder sites, commenting and such.

    Hmmm. Must cogitate.


    Tumblemoose´s last blog post..June is children’s writing month!

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Robin – I like how you shared you’re using your feeling of motivation as a guide. When we take the time to really listen, those inner feelings can tell us a lot.

    Hi Ulla – That’s true. If a blogger shares how they gained “something” and show others how they did it (with factual documentation), it makes it more credible.

    Hi Davina – I hear you. When we’re new to blogging the numbers look pretty impressive—and can be overwhelming. But as we continue, we realize it’s really not about the numbers at all.

    I know what you’re saying about drops in your stats when you don’t have the time to visit/comment. It appears to be one of the unfortunate aspects of blogging (they only will do so much on their own). I’ll do a post on the subject and we’ll discuss it further.

    Hi Kelvin – Good point. The more we get to know a blogger, the more credibility they build up. Thus, when they are boasting “x” number of subscribers/visits/whatever, we’re apt to believe them.

    Hi Samar – Unfortunately subscriber numbers can be manually manipulated. How it’s done, I’m not sure, but it’s possible. Also, someone can Photoshop the subscriber icon and change the numbers.

    Excellent point. Video conferencing would be a great way to show others we are who we say we are. I agree, Sean and Eric did a great job with their videos.

    Hi Betsy – The counts can be persuasive, but like you said, if the content isn’t of interest to us, it’s not likely we would subscribe, just to subscribe.

    And yes, Twitterers seem even more obsessed with gaining thousands of followers. I’m guessing many of them are looking to sell “something” and want a large audience. If they keep self promoting, I drop them too.

    Hi Positively Present – Thank you. If you can keep that frame of mind – to continue to do what you love (write) and speak from your heart, like minded people will naturally find you. It just takes time. And yes, blogging gives us great opportunities to meed wonderful people.

    Hi Kathy – You’re welcome. When I was writing this I thought of Twitter and how, at this time, Twitter is the one who hold the cards – for the numbers. So far, it can’t be gamed.

    You’re right. In the above story, it was the women’s emotions he played with. To me, that’s worse than than the money they lost.

    I totally agree. With blogs, we can “out” others and spread the word to be careful. The reach of a blog can be powerful.

    Hi Linda – You do a great job of teaching others about all things “green”. Setting our own standards is the ideal way to measure our success.

    Hi Writer Dad – Like you, I also like the comments on this post. Each adds so much value.

    Hi Amy – Well put. “Unless you are very willing to never see that money again then just don’t do it.” It’s also a good question to ask ourselves, “How would I feel if the money is never paid back?”

    Hi Lisa – Yes. The content of a blog is what keeps people coming back. If it’s not there, the subscriber counts mean nothing.

    Hi Alex – I agree. A blog can be excellent whether it has 10 readers or 100000.

    Hi Tom – You’ve raised a great point. When we do start obsessing over the stats of others, we begin to compare ourselves to them. Often there are other variables we’re not considering, so the comparison becomes totally skewed.

    Hi Lori – You’re new site will be a great one. I can see why you’re getting excited about it as thus far, the posts hold tons of value. You’re right. We need to remember that old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

    Hi J.D. Thank you. I love the questions you’re asking yourself. I’m going to “borrow” them and start asking myself the same.

    Hi Vered – That’s true. There is a difference between blogging as a hobby and blogging professionally.

    Hi Ajith – Good point. Taking our time to reach what we feel is success is more important than wasting time watching other people’s numbers.

    Hi Caroline – Thank you. I’m guessing when you moved, some of your readers didn’t resubscribe. You’re right. Less is more in many instances.

    Hi Tess – Thank you. The joy of blogging can drive us to do great things, can’t it? And you’re right. Finding balance is key.

    Hi Mark – Thank you for sharing that. “The real measure is to only compare your stats against your stats and not to keep score with everyone else.” Your words bring the point home perfectly.

    Hi Tammy – Thank you. I like your story of how you met an authentic blogger “friend”.

    Clicking on the links in comments to see where they lead is a great idea as that tells us more about the person behind the words.

    Yes. Many on Twitter are marketing with dollar signs behind their face/logo. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to see through them.

    Hi Tracy – Good point. When running a contest many could care less about what you wrote or even subscribing. They just want to have a chance to win the prize. In some ways it also comes down to quality vs quantity with traffic, too.

    Hi Jessica – Using the complete toolbar is another way to judge a site. After reading your comment, I installed it and researched how they count traffic. Their matrix are different than normal statistical programs, but it will show an educated guess of the stats on what they believe are the top 2,000,000 sites – reminds me of Alexa. Thank you for sharing the great tip.

    Hi Paisley – Researching why a blog has a lot of subscribers is a great way to learn how to succeed in blogging. For example, Problogger has a lot of subscribers and by digging deeper you’ll find Darren has been consistently generating quality posts for over six years. He’s paid his dues.

    Yes, we need to be aware of the dishonest individuals both online and off. When we’re asked to part with money, that’s a red flag.

    Hi Chania Girl – You’re right. Anytime we take take off from blogging and/or visiting and commenting, our numbers will drop. It comes down to having our name/face “out there”. I don’t think it’s that others forget about us, it’s just that when they don’t “see” us out and about, they assume we’re taking a break.

    Hi RC – I hear you. “I simply don’t have time to read something just because “everyone is reading it.”

    Unfortunately many of the big bloggers don’t answer the questions left in their comment section. I can understand why they don’t have time, but yet it is disheartening when we ask a question and don’t feel we’re being recognized.

    Hi Miguel – I love your attitude. Each comment holds value, whether there’s one or 100.

    Hi Dot – Isn’t that the truth? Going from zero to sixty in “X” number of days takes A LOT of work. It all comes down to our priorities.

    Hi John – Thank you. Good point. PageRank and the number of comments can also determine if a blog is truly successful. Smashing Magazine is a great example of that. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Hi Patricia – That was a good move on your part – “I just gave up on numbers and worked to figure out how to do my best writing and make this my blog home. ” Making our blog the best it can be is what it’s all about. That, and enjoying the journey.

  35. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi George – Me, too. I’d love to have PhotoShop Suite.

    I would have guessed right from the start that what you see is what you get at TumbleMoose. Your authenticity shines through.

  36. stratosgNo Gravatar says:

    You are on a very sensitive point for blogging these days. In my opinion, most of the blogs starting out today are mostly because the owners want to make money and want it fast. This is partly blamable on the overblown stats many blogs show off. In my case though, whenever i see such stats there is one thing that pops into my mind “don’t be so gullible McFly!” 😀

    stratosg´s last blog post..Insert the post title in your “read more” tag easily

  37. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I have not looked at my subscriber count for a long time. I just focus on what I do. My writing has to resonate well with my audience first before any massive traffic can come. I have to also take into account of how much time I have for marketing my sites. I cannot expect spikes in traffic if I have not put in any affirming action.

    Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..The School of Life

  38. Hi Barbara,

    When I was learning about blogging, it seemed all the advice was about how to get your stats up. So I thought my blog would be ‘successful’ only if I achieved similar numbers.

    Today I blog when I have something to say. It’s nice when the stats improve, but since I’m not into this for big money, it doesn’t really matter except to massage my ego a little.

    I do notice other blogs’ stats sometimes. That has no bearing on whether or not I subscribe though, which depends on whether the content interests me.

    You ask some great questions today!

    Daphne @ Joyful Days´s last blog post..Energize Your Home and Life with Feng Shui

  39. I used to have a high-level inferiority complex…one of my own making. I try to no longer compare myself to anyone but myself, if that makes sense.

    And oh, yes, the scammers are there, and they “seem” so sincere. If you’re not put together that way yourself, they can be hard to spot, simply because you’re not on the lookout for such things. Once we know these things do exist, we should listen carefully to our gut instincts. I have learned this lesson the hard way, but learned it well.

    Thank you for always “teaching” something of value : )


  40. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Stratosg – You’re right. Unfortunately in the attempt to sell books or whatever, many sites are proclaiming blogs are the best way to make money fast and all you need is the book (or whatever) they’re selling. With the recession and people trying so hard to make ends meet, they may be tempted to open their wallet not knowing the truth to making money fast online is basically a fallacy. Guarding against our gullibility is very wise.

    Hi Karen – You’re welcome. Yes. We do need to be aware of the con games people play – all in the name of greed. I’m sorry to hear you had to learn the lesson the hard way. I’m guessing your eyes are now wide open.

  41. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    greetings barbara, i can’t say that i care what others are doing, what they are posting, how many of this or that they have….guess i’m a little tired of the numbers game. i will blog, when i do, and i hate the phrase, but it is what it is, or what it isn’t.

    i won’t waste too much time comparing myself to others. if they need to fudge the numbers or a photo, then it’s them that has a measuring up problem.

    the picture up top is a good one.

    Natural´s last blog post..I’m Not Dead, yet

  42. JeannetteNo Gravatar says:

    Oops, coming late to the party once again…. Well, I do sometimes feel wistful when I see that other blogs have lots of comments or followers. But I’m not going to inflate my own! I’ll stick with blogging along one post at a time…

    Jeannette´s last blog post..May Stats

  43. DietyNo Gravatar says:

    If you’ve spent more than 2 weeks on the internet you should already be aware that almost everyone lies or at least posts only flattering pics/info on themselves. Why would they act any differently? I think even all the dating sites have those warnings.

  44. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    If you looked at my numbers you would KNOW I am not doctoring them! Or if I am, I’m doing a lousy job of it. I do doctor photos, but only to remove identifiable information. Ok, that’s not true, I try to remove or reduce the dark circles under my eyes. I was blessed with some wicked shadow that looks worse in pictures.

    I’m an honest person, sometimes too honest. What you see is what you get. I’m not going to lie to get you to read my posts.

    It’s taken over a year, but I’m content with my blog and readership. No need to spiff up the numbers to get more to read.

    Debbie Yost´s last blog post..He Will Be Truly Missed

  45. I have my own standards. I’ve been online a long time and know my niche pretty well. I therefore think I know what realistic expectations are within the projects I work with. With clients too I usually set the bar to something I know I can achieve for them, and hardly ever find I undersold or over estimated too much. There’s just a lot of insecurity in this business – google is constantly changing for instance.

    Katinka – All Considering´s last blog post..Will, diet, renunciation and religion

  46. It’s really sad that scammers end up ruining it for the rest of us, or at least they cause people to approach everyone and everything with suspicion. The only thing I can do, in addition to just trusting my instincts about people and situations, is try to remind myself how miserable these people must be who can’t accept who and where they are. They face the lies each and every day of their lives, which must be an exhausting way to live. It’s difficult to do, but conjuring up some compassion helps shift my angry perspective.

    Thanks for raising this important issue, Barbara.

    Kristin T. (@kt_writes)´s last blog post..Removing the guilty from the pleasure

  47. SquawkfoxNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never posted my subscriber numbers nor really shared my other blogging stats. I figure since landing a book deal I must be doing something right, er write? 😀

  48. BunnygotblogNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I think as usual there is always someone in the crowd that has to try to ruin things for the everyone else. The thing is it is pretty pathetic, they have the need to deceive people.
    I usually follow a blog for a while before I post on it.
    You don’t always see the obvious that is why I usually ask my guy to check a site out. If he gives it the thumbs up I read it and follow it.He is more savvy then I am on the authenticity of a blog.
    I think some of the social sites would be more of a playground for fakes.
    As for the numbers game- never look at them. I could care less about how many people have subscribed to other blogs.That doesn’t interest me and for me to compare my own blog to it is ridiculous.
    The success of a blog is not only the material but the marketing.Some market more aggressively then others.I keep it simple – comment and follow certain blogs.Learn from the more experienced and be a supportive member to the community.
    Great article.

  49. TriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I’m so naive. The story about the scam artist doesn’t surprise me, but I never even considered people would fudge stats or comments, and yes, when I see other people’s stats, I sometimes allow myself to feel inferior. But it’s only in passing, and then I refocus and write again.

    Tricia´s last blog post..There’s a Pedophile at My Pool

  50. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    Good issue to raise, Barbara.

    My blog’s fairly small and new, but I write to connect and I enjoy the comments in my boxes and in other people’s. I don’t even trust my own stats as WordPress gives me different ‘views’ statistics from Google Analytics. I’ve also heard of people getting depressed and worked up about Alexa stats so I’m not even going to go there. Feedburner lost a load of my subscribers back in May and the lesson I learned from that was not to base any of my happiness on quantity. I didn’t even think I’d have subscribers in my first two months of blogging. Every reader’s a blessing; so’s every comment.


    janice´s last blog post..Back Up, Pass On…

  51. JeannetteNo Gravatar says:

    Hi again… Janice, I noticed the same thing with Google Analystics and StatCounter (a freebie you can sign up for)….I get different stats from these two, too. I think it is strange, surely they are measuring the same thing? This is rather out of my league though, technically.

    Jeannette´s last blog post..Love this….

  52. I don’t think it matters what the statistics on a blog say. Quite frankly, I always wonder why a blogger would feel the need to reveal his or her stats in the first place. Does he or she feel that otherwise the blog itself comes across unconvincing or appears less interesting? Is it merely for impressing visitors? Does the author hope to push sales through that? The point is not to get hung up about numbers, on either side. If its a good blog it speaks for itself, through quality content and design.

    DTs Flash Drive Blog´s last blog post..Tiny but Mighty