I love numbers.

In fact, my real job is all about numbers.

Whether I’m bidding a job, pulling measurements off of blue prints, balancing check registers, costing out jobs, billing customers, preparing payroll or compiling governmental reports, I’m surrounded by numbers.

I’m in my glory.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, one of the first things I noticed was how numbers play such a big part in blogging.

With the ability to sign up for numerous statistical programs, we not only get to observe the growth of our blog, but we can also learn and improve our blogs based on the numbers.

Statistics can tell us:

  1. How many visitors we have each day/week/year
  2. How long someone stays on our site
  3. How many pages a visitor clicks on
  4. If our advertising campaigns are working and making us money
  5. The time of day our posts generate the most traffic
  6. How many subscribers our blog has
  7. How many visitors we get from different countries
  8. How many comments our blog posts generate
  9. How popular our blog is with Google (page rank)
  10. How many posts we’ve published
  11. How we’re doing in comparison to previous days or months
  12. The number of inbound links we have
  13. How many comments our spam filter has caught
  14. How we rate on Alexa
  15. Plus much more

As much numbers can be beneficial in our real lives and in blogging, they can also play havoc on our emotions.

Whether it’s the fact we gained a pound in real life or lost subscribers to our blog, numbers can easily make a good day bad.

Although I try not to over analyze nor let my blogging numbers affect my mood, when I check my stats, I can’t help but think I could do better.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

If you look at any of your blogging numbers and they’re not meeting your expectations, what’s your first reaction?

How do you keep your blogging statistics in the proper perspective?

Care to share?

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  1. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    I look at my number, too, to see how things are trending. And sometimes they are going in a direction I like, and sometimes not. Perhaps ego is involved a bit, but I know that I do feel good when I see these numbers improving, and then I wonder what I’m doing wrong when I see them stagnant of slipping.

    It all, too, makes me think – what is it that really matters? Am I concerned that I have x number of {whatever the statistic is}? Or is is more important to me what kind of connection I am making?

    I guess…there is something about believing that what I’m putting out there is of value and offering something to other people. In that vein, I try to both take them with a grain of salt AND see that they might also be an indication of the material I am sharing.
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      I agree. Our ego gets in the way and when our numbers rise, we do feel good. Then on the flip side, if the numbers slip, we can easily start taking it personally.

      I like what you said about asking ourselves if what we’re sharing is helping to build better connections. Although higher numbers can boost us up, it’s those connections that can truly make us “successful”.

  2. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    When the intention while blogging is to gradually improve the quality of what we post we need some parameters to measure how are we doing and since I am still new to this “addicting” trade I don’t have yet the luxury of other’s opinions (comments) very often, so relying in numbers is the best next thing to have an overview of how things are going so far.

    But together with continually observing the numbers (statistics) comes the part of making sense of what’s in front of me; what all those numbers means and what are the implications of raising some numbers while others go down. Still is a fun part of the whole process!

    Let me confess something: At first I felt guilty of selfishness for checking those statistics to see if I was getting some response, but later opted to think that if I want to improve my writing, the best way to see if I’m in the right track is to “listen to the numbers”

    So when the numbers drop I tend to get alarmed and immediately think of where are my mistakes, what am I doing wrong, and how can I fix it.

    Still, numbers are numbers and with that, just a reference to more easily see where we stand at this point, so if they don’t tell me “beautiful” things, I won’t get depressed; I will just keep learning and trying to improve with the idea that in the near future those magic numbers will tell me a better story.

    I too love numbers!

    Raul
    .-= Check out Alien Ghost´s awesome post: Eternal Life as a Tale =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      With you being a new blogger, it may take awhile to begin to make sense of the ups and downs of your numbers. Due to a number of variables our numbers can rise or fall, often with no explanation. But…as we get more time behind us, the numbers begin to take on more meaning.

      For example, during the recent holiday season, my numbers dropped considerably. Reason being, most bloggers were taking time away from their computers to spend time with family and friends. For myself, I’ve also seen variances in my numbers depending on which day of the week I publish. The time of the day can affect how soon readers show up and comment.

      Although you felt selfish for checking your stats, it’s a known fact our numbers can tell us A LOT. It will take time to figure out what all of the numbers mean, but in the meantime, if you have a question, please do not hesitate to ask. (Also, different statistical programs report numbers differently so you’ll find if you use more than one, chances are the numbers will not be the same).

  3. Jay SchryerNo Gravatar says:

    I used to be obsessed with my numbers, but not so much anymore. I don’t let the daily, or even the weekly fluctuations bother me or excite me, I try to stay focused on the monthly numbers. Did I do “better” this month than last month? Are my numbers higher, bounce rates lower? That’s my main focus.

    Whenever the numbers are better, I think back over the month to all the things I did right. Regularly scheduled postings, good content, etc. Whenever the numbers slip from the previous month, i try to think about what I did wrong. Fewer posts? More erratic schedule? Posts that didn’t “speak” to people?

    The way that I keep the numbers in perspective is by balancing them out against the comments that I receive. I’d rather have 5 really great, thoughtful, helpful comments than 5000 visitors who never say a word.
    .-= Check out Jay Schryer´s awesome post: Acceptance =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jay,

      What you’re doing, I learned the hard way. Our daily stats can be influenced by so many variables, it just takes us on a roller coaster ride if we let those ups and downs affect us. By waiting until a month has passed, like you said, we can reflect back and recall our actions. Some will be worth repeating, others, not.

  4. Jim GaudetNo Gravatar says:

    I’m with Jay. I try not to check my numbers daily, but still glance at the top posts, which are always the same…

    Some posts have a short life span and other live for a long while…
    .-= Check out Jim Gaudet´s awesome post: Erupting Volcano ready to Spit Magma on Costa Rica =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jim,

      That’s true. Some of our posts, for whatever reason (but often SEO) will live for a long time. Sadly, others will land in the archives, possibly never getting much traffic at all.

  5. Hi Barbara. I’m analytical, but numbers as entities elude me. I like seeing them go up if up is the direction I’m headed for. I do check my WordPress Stats regularly. But still, it’s just a number. I want to see where people are coming from and what they’re coming to see. Or read.

    How long is something? Well, if I’m up close it may be as long as my arms outstretched, finger tip to finger tip. If I’m several yards away it could be an inch long — again, measured by spacing of my fingers and thumb.

    So you see my problem?

    Ha!

    I know, for instance, my Comment Luv doesn’t work, no matter how often I email Andy, nor how often I deactivate and reactivate the plugin, or retype the feed address. This is not a number, but a menace for me — I want to give visitors a place to be found on my blog.

    So my analytics are more like, is the thing working? And if not, how come? And how can I fix it?

    Since I love this blog, I watch how fast your comments come in after you’ve posted. And I watch what you’re doing here. (A whole lot, by the way!) But while I’m beginning to get a sense of how you’ve succeeded so well, I can’t recite specific numbers.

    I DO use numbers in doodles — especially the curved ones. They’re pretty.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words Barb,

      I hear you. It’s fun to see where people are coming from, or what keywords they used to find us. Often it’s that part of our stats that tell us more than the numbers themselves.

      CommentLuv problem? I’m thinking of what could be the problem, but can’t think of anything off the top of my head. As soon as I have a chance, I’ll look behind the scenes of my blog and see if something jumps out at me. If so, I’ll send you an email.

  6. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve seen people write really excellent, thoughtful,original posts. Personal stories, or original fiction. Where the crickets are chirping, and nobody shows up.

    On the other hand, a Cool Kid could write something blatantly obvious (like reminding us to breathe oxygen to sustain life). And they’ll get 100 comments and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    This can be frustrating if you’re a newbie.

    But you just have to remind yourself that Blogo-Land is a big popularity contest. And that the numbers and the quality of writing often have nothing to do with each other.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      THAT is SO true. In fact, it’s worth repeating,

      “…the numbers and the quality of writing often have nothing to do with each other”

      Too often a new blogger will see those high comment numbers on silly posts and think that’s how they need to write, too. When in fact, the secret lies in being true to ourselves.

  7. I too don’t check my stats everyday, but I suppose I should. It all depends on what your goals are. If your goals are to make money with your blog, you should be on top of your stats and constantly tweaking for improvement.

    I’m getting about what I expect out of my stats for what I do, but like you, I know I could do better.
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: John’s Top 5 Crash and Burn Blogger Mistakes Which Keep You Poor =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      Good point. Those who are running ad campaigns and trying to make money need to be on top of their stats and like you said, tweaking, repositioning, etc.

      Yes. We will get out of a blog what we put into it, and although our stats can teach us how we might be able to do better, it also entails us taking the time to analyze them. Priorities, you know…

  8. Hi Barbara,

    I view blog stats like I view watching the scale when dieting. Both cause unwanted stress and anxiety. Both deprive any sense of joy especially if the numbers are not what you would like or love.

    To me, what matters more is the intention and style with which someone blogs. It is obvious to me when someone is writing from the heart or from the mind. I do not waste my time on blogs that are written without any passion.

    If you love what you do and pour your heart and soul into it, then the numbers will reflect that at some point. Patience and hard work always pay off.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: Forgiveness in a Paper Cut =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      It is obvious when someone is just posting to post, isn’t it? In fact, the posts can sound awfully cold.

      I love your reminder that “patience and hard work always pay off”. In blogging the time frame might be longer than for some goals in real life, but if we truly want to “make it” (what ever that means), it’s possible if we keep keeping on.

  9. Avani MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I find numbers in blogging to be very interesting. They make me take a look at things and decide whether it’s important or not, and how much to weigh what (especially when the numbers go downstream). When numbers go up, it’s another reminder to just enjoy and learn am I doing right without letting the ego rise too much. – It kind of helps to put to practice what we already know theoretically.
    .-= Check out Avani Mehta´s awesome post: 10 Fabulous Motivators That Inspire You To Take Action – Part II =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Avani,

      That’s true. Some of the numbers may not be important to us. For some, they may want higher comment counts, but aren’t as concerned about the number of visitors, whereas for others it might be all about getting “X” number of subscribers. “Good” numbers can mean something different to each of us.

  10. The best part of cutting back to once a month posting and no longer basing any income from the blog, I don’t care about stats.

    It’s taken a huge burden off of my shoulders. I never thought that mere numbers could represent such stress in my life.
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle ¡ Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: Resolving to Be Happier: The Happiness Project =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alex,

      What relief you must feel to have that stress behind you. Although many bloggers won’t want to cut back to once a month posting, I’m happy to hear you found a technique that works for you.

  11. Sometimes we get so caght up in the stats that you lose focus. Some benefits are of blogging can’t be tracked by stats.

    Stats are important , but don’t over analyze
    .-= Check out John Paul Aguiar´s awesome post: Just Released: New Twitter Dummy Guide =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John Paul,

      You’re right. Over analyzing can make us lose focus. And, I’ve also noticed along with a decrease in stats can come a decrease in my creativity. That’s not good, either.

  12. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    As others have said, I use stats to see if I’m tweaking my writing enough to offer the best, most practical, and actionable information. Although I find myself getting caught up in some stats emotionally, I just have to remind myself that I’ve already helped a lot of people. One life saved or one relationship dumped early to avoid a user or abuser is worth it all.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: Go beyond Think Like a Black Belt to being one =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      I agree. We do need to stop and remind ourselves how we’ve already helped others with the words we’ve shared. And that’s something statistics don’t measure but is far more important.

  13. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    I check my numbers daily and pretend not to care :-) In my experience, the posts that I spend the least amount of time on are the ones that make the biggest splash. They’re tweeted and stumbled and the numbers spike. Then I have to deal with the fallout when the numbers slide back to ‘normal’.

    I’m happier to see regular weekly commenters and would rather have that interaction than higher traffic numbers and less commenters.

    I’m becoming more curious about where readers are referred from and what links they are clicking on, rather than how high the numbers get.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: This Effortless Brilliance =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      You’ve raised an excellent point. When our posts get Stumbled, Tweeted or linked to, we can witness a HUGE spike in traffic. Although that spike in traffic is great to see, like you said, after the initial spike we’re left to deal with the fallout, which normally means a HUGE decrease.

      Those spikes will affect our monthly numbers as well, which in turn can affect our mood when we start comparing month to month figures. Aurghhhh! :)

  14. This is one area where I finally managed to let go. I used to care a lot about numbers, but I don’t care as much anymore. I have a pretty good idea now of what my main blog can do in terms of traffic and revenue, and I don’t think it will do much better or much worse unless I drastically change things, which I don’t plan to. I’m happy with where I am – but it took me almost two years to get to this place. I used to check my stats multiple times each day which was miserable!
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: High Heels Sexy? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      “I used to check my stats multiple times each day which was miserable!” I know exactly where you’re coming from. And I don’t know about you, but if the numbers didn’t change, I’d check them again to make sure. Although that can be a maddening cycle to break, with time we learn our time is spent better elsewhere.

  15. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    I no longer look at my numbers or stats. I don’t even know how many subscribers I have on Green and Chic. I’m not fighting to be #1 in the blogging world. If one person reads my posts, I’m happy.
    .-= Check out Carla´s awesome post: Drowning =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      You’re smart not to get involved in checking subscriber counts. Not only can it put a person on a roller coaster ride, the time spent doing so, can often be labeled as “non productive”.

  16. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi. My Name is George, and I’m a Numbersaholic

    I’ve been numbers sober for about 4 months now, which is to say I quit looking at and stressing about my analytic numbers. if I was making a lot of money at my blog I would probably be more concerned but since I’ve realized Adsense will not fill my coffers, I’ve mellowed about it significantly.

    This is not to say that I’ve stuck my head in the sand, it is to say that I’m just focusing my efforts elsewhere.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Flash Fiction The Good Knight =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George, aka the “numbersaholic”,

      I’m happy to hear you’ve come to that realization and are focusing your efforts on what really matters.

      You’re right. We shouldn’t put our head in the sand, either. Although our statistics can make us feel like we’re addicted, if we put them into the proper perspective, there is a benefit.

  17. I’m experimenting with many things right now and I have always watched stats but for me, getting feedback on the blog is the most important. I would rather know someone read it through a comment on the blog or by taking an action than just see the stats spike. Overall, I like writing in general and though as a resume writer, I write all the time, I like blogging for different reasons. I can’t stop telling stories, resumes are supposed to tell them too, but it is a different kind of writing. Blogging lets me be more creative. So when I get comments or know through Twitter that someone took the time to read my words, I am pleased.
    .-= Check out Julie | Resume Services´s awesome post: Moving On… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      That’s very true. The numbers we see in our statistics are just that – numbers. But when someone comments or tweets about our work, we know we’re really being heard. That’s one thing most stats (except comment counts) don’t tell us.

  18. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    I hardly check my stats in detail anymore. I used to check them almost every day when I first got started with publishing a site. I believe that the Universe supports and directs me to areas where I need to evolve. So my posts reflect more about my journey. If readers are drawn to them, then so it will be :-) It doesn’t mean that I don’t do the necessary things like promoting my blog, getting my posts published and so on. I do what is needed but let the Universe take over!
    .-= Check out Evelyn Lim´s awesome post: Planting Seeds of Intent: Creation. Creativity. Gratitude. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      That’s true. Often our time and energies need to be focused on more important things in life than analyzing our statistics. And if what we share resonates with others, the numbers will follow.

  19. MitchNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting question. I had to learn how to back off and stop obsessing over the numbers. There’s always a certain point at which the numbers aren’t going to move as dramatically as they once did, and then you start getting crazy and being stupid in your mind. These days, I’m much better, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still check a few numbers on a daily basis.

    Of course, if that money number was better, I’d at least be smiling when I did it. lol
    .-= Check out Mitch´s awesome post: Some Random Sunday Things =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mitch,

      You’re funny, but what you said is true. For those of us who have monetized blogs, we smile more if we see our efforts are paying off. If not… :(

      I hear what you’re saying about being stupid in your mind. It’s like we’re letting our statistics dictate our lives and/or our worth, when that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I’m happy to hear you’ve learned how not to obsess, too.

  20. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! Unlike you, I don’t work with numbers. I avoid them. Be it age or weight or stats. My blog isn’t a business/income thing so the stats are a curiousity/amusement and nothing serious to me.
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Love and Friendship =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      You don’t know what you’re missing. LOL. Just kidding.

      I’m happy to hear you can find numbers to be amusing and not addictive. You’ve got a very healthy approach to them. Maybe I will someday, too. :)

  21. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    I have to honestly admit that numbers do have an emotional effect.
    I do check them once a week to measure change and to see the results of new things we are trying. AND before I can do that analytically I have to calm down my feelings and my ego tripping and the feeling that nobody loves me, arrggghhh.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: Learning to observe my Little Voice, my ego. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      WHAAAAT? Didn’t anyone tell you we all love you?

      I like your idea – to first put yourself into the right state of mind BEFORE checking the numbers. At least that way you’re prepared for anything. I need to try that.

  22. JulieNo Gravatar says:

    Numbers.

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch them. I blog to communicate. When I get a lot of people reading what I write I know I’m getting through to more people.

    The numbers game reminds me of having a scale in your house. You can get obsessed if you let yourself. I’m with George. I’m going to have to get myself into a statsaholic program soon.

    Still I think numbers are a good way of watching the growth of your site.

    Julie

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      I hear you. As a blogger, we want to know our work is being read, and how else can we tell if we don’t check out stats?

      And that’s true, via our stats we can monitor the growth of our blogs.

  23. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t focus that much on the numbers, since I don’t really control them.

    I focus more on the things I control:
    – the content I write
    – the topics I choose
    – the relevancy, scope, and impact

    When I do focus on numbers, it’s more like a sanity check or quick feedback to see if I need to change strategies or direction.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Dancing in the Rain =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      I truly admire your discipline and healthy attitude about blog statistics. I could learn a lot from you.

      I like how you put your focus on your content, it’s relevancy and potential impact. You’re right. Those are things we can control.

  24. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I went over to the June post – How to capitalise on your blog stats .. which I found extremely interesting .. and the four points I’d like to make –
    1) Blogger – I don’t ‘own’ my blog and so haven’t worried about stats, also my situation has kept me not worrying ..however in the future as I up the ante with blogging, then stats etc will be important.
    2) I noted that someone said if his numbers went down then he needed to find out why
    3) Another commenter said if he got a lot of traffic for a post – he looked to see if he could capitalise on that topic
    4) NB: JP Hoff’s .. reminded us to filter out our own IP address in Google Analytics

    Thank you – very interesting ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: A bet on the Eleven Cities Tour or the Winter Olympics being held? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      I’m happy to hear you found that post helpful. And that’s true, when a post gets a lot of traffic, it’s a good idea to find out why. If we used SEO (search engine optimization) maybe we used a phrase that others aren’t using, or it may have been one others are linking to. Once we have an answer to the whys, then we can try and duplicate it.

  25. I love looking at and analysing the numbers; devising strategies for improvement; seeing what works and what doesn’t. I love it when a new strategy is successful and I see those numbers go up!
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: Weekend Reading: My fav’s from this week: 1/22/10 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      Isn’t that great when that happens? Your comment reminded me of something I read which says not to try too many new strategies at one time because if we suddenly get a boost in traffic, we may not be able to tell which strategy to contribute it to. Makes sense.

  26. Hi Barbara,
    I have never been good with numbers..but i guess I am a bit inquisitive about the blogs numbers…:)
    When they go up I feel like i should check what am i doing right…and if they are going down..then i must check what it is that didnt go right.
    In doing so its helping me become a better blogger/writer and I understand my readers better.
    Ofcourse the higher the numbers the happier i become…somehow I feel like my passion to reach out and help people is becoming a reality. But i dont let it get to me if they go down….i am hopeful they will go up for the next post for sure 😉
    For me helping people and just being sure that the blog is reaching people who need it most is enough. Even if my numbers are down…and i get one little comment or email saying how much a post has helped them…i feel like I have done my part.
    But, i guess you cant become problogger in a few months na…so persistence and determination need to be part of every bloggers dictionary :)
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Footprints In The Sand =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      That’s very true. All of the probloggers started out just like we did – with one visitor. And like you said, if we practice persistence and determination, success can be ours, too.

  27. BKNo Gravatar says:

    I do check the numbers and do feel a little down when I see the numbers going down. I will try to see what goes wrong and try to rectify. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Just have to keep on trying and doing more of what works.
    .-= Check out BK´s awesome post: How Do We Know We Have Found the Right One? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi BK,

      I hear you. A decrease in our numbers can be a downer. But, if we take the time to analyze why that’s happening, it usually doesn’t take long to rectify the problem

  28. DotNo Gravatar says:

    For me, it’s always been about the relationships. I’m very aware of the comments, whether they indicate enjoyment or being drawn in, or whether they’re perfunctory or absent. I didn’t even know how to check stats for a long time, and don’t check them on a regular basis. I do check my subscriber number every few weeks, and occasionally I find a surprise in the numbers, but I’m not sure what it’s about because I haven’nt been tracking.

    I guess I’d care a lot more if I was trying to make money, but as long as I’m gaining and not losing subscribers, I don’t care much except as a matter of curiosity.
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on Dollop by An Idea to Ponder – patriciaswisdom.com =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      You’re right. If we are monetizing our blogs, knowing how our stats are doing is very important.

      Thank you for bringing up the relationships we form in blogosphere. Like you, it’s the people I get to interact that mean more than the numbers. Although it’s good to know what we’re doing is getting noticed, it’s the friendships we make which mean the most.

  29. EvitaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara

    Yes, you got it right on, numbers when it comes to blogging can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day…a successful one and a failure…

    That is of course if we let it.

    I have to admit I was bothered by numbers for a while into the first year or so of blogging, but what a great lesson that was. It allowed me to take another giant leap in the state of my consciousness and personal spiritual evolution. Am I going to be dictated by the numbers? Heck no.

    My success and my happiness come from within me, not from any numbers. Naturally having high numbers of readers, etc can make a person feel better and vice versa. But I always say, if we are in blogging to add value, than at the end of the day it should not matter if we reach 1 person or 1,000. The point is we made a difference to someone out there and that is a great gift on its own.
    .-= Check out Evita´s awesome post: Hope For Haiti – You Can Help =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evita,

      You put that so well. And you’re right. If we’re blogging to help others, there should be no difference between 1 or 1000. In our hearts we’ll know what we’re putting out there is serving the purpose we intended.

  30. Big question Barbara ….. my reaction usually is disappointment and then I have a sense of not working hard enough.. The what next question then pops into my head..I generally integrate whatever comes to mind into my week goals .. I constantly remind myself of the importance of patience and learning more .. And just added you to my recent watch list 2010 post below..
    .-= Check out Fatibony{self help wellness}´s awesome post: 62 More Personal Development Blogs – Watch List 2010 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Fatibony,

      Like you, that’s my first reaction, too. It’s hard not to be disappointed when we see a drop. But, as you said, if we ask ourselves what we can do better, and do it, we’re bound to see those numbers go back up.

      P.S. Thank you for adding me to your Watch List. I truly appreciate it.

  31. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Numbers are so hard for me to deal with since I have dyscalcula…I got a bit of a scare when my weeks stats fell to 37 readers in September after my big trip. I average about 400 readers a week now…

    It does take me a great deal of commenting to raise up the readers on my stats page. I can not say that I know how to do anything different…except now I am job hunting again to work on making money and I hope with age I will not need 500-1000 rejection letters before I find work….but there is nearly nothing to apply for…
    I think of my blog as more a communications vehicle …
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: An Idea to Ponder =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      What happened to you, is quite normal. When we step away from our blogs or stop spending time in blogosphere, we’re often forgotten about. I don’t think it’s because people stopped caring, but unless we’re “in their face”, they’re less apt to drop by for a visit.

      I wish you well on your job hunt and I pray you’ll find the perfect job straight away.

  32. Dennis EdellNo Gravatar says:

    My stats are real simple. As long as my subscription numbers and comment counts keep on the rise, I’m doing something right. 😉
    .-= Check out Dennis Edell´s awesome post: The Time Has Come. The Deal Is Done. It’s Time To Move!! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dennis,

      That’s a great way of measuring success. And you’re right, increases tell us we’re on the right track.

  33. Karl FoxleyNo Gravatar says:

    I love looking at the numbers and seeing what I can do to improve upon them. That being said, I do not make the numbers an obsession. Long gone are the days of checking my Alexa rank everyday (although ultimately flawed it’s still nice to watch the curve going up rather than down). Truth of the matter is, most blogs will go through a rise-and-fall, rise-and-fall flow on their stats until (hopefully) it picks up traction.

    Of course, it’s always better to see a great (numbers) day rather than a bad one.

    Regards,

    Karl
    .-= Check out Karl Foxley´s awesome post: Guest Blogging For Fresh Content And Optimised Backlinks =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Karl,

      That’s a good point. Most blogs will go through the hills and valleys. All we can hope is the lows don’t stay low, and eventually we end up with a decent “average”.

      P.S. I hear you about Alexa being flawed and I’m guessing most statistical programs are to some degree.

  34. RyanNo Gravatar says:

    Although numbers might not mean anything, it is really satisfying to wake up and see a jump in Alexa Rating, Pagerank, or Visitors. Even if it doesn’t benefit drastically in the financial sense, it’s a feeling of accomplishment.
    .-= Check out Ryan´s awesome post: New England Barn In The Winter =-.

  35. Ching YaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara, I must admit that numbers scare me at times, tracking stats was once a hectic task for me that later I ended up checking once every 2 months. Only when I reviewed past year performances I realized there’s a need to be reasonably keeping a record if we wish for improvements. I stick to Analytics and check it at least once-twice per week to find out traffic source and content popularity so I can plan ahead for post ideas. :)

    If the stats failed to impress, apart from disappointment it’s best to stand right up and work on modifying and adjustments. Will try not to freak out though. lol..

    Thanks so much for this brainstorm, Barbara. I’m happy to be here.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Check out Ching Ya´s awesome post: 7 Productive Things To Do When You Can’t Blog =-.

  36. Hi Barbara!

    I have not really looked at my Analytics for numbers in maybe 2 months, but I have checked it for those strange SEO words folks land on my site by.

    I do smile when my Alexa number goes down, and frown when it goes up. But — am I really doing all I can to get it lower?? I think not. Blogging can become a full-time (with over-time) job if you really want to work it. How bad do I want to better my numbers? Am I dedicated enough to get to a higher Google Pagerank? How big a reach would I like to have? How important is this to me in my life?

    And, I’m not sure if you know it or not, but I have set myself on a blog-posting schedule of MWF, (started it last week, with Wednesday being mostly for photos with a short commentary,) and will see if or how a schedule affects any numbers — kind of an experiment, if you will. I’m not sure if I’m shooting myself in the foot with that or not, in terms of how often people come back to my site. Maybe when people do not know when you’ll be posting, they like it better. I’m not sure, and hopefully it cannot do too much damage to experiment with it. I’ll try it for a couple of months and see what I see. Then see what I see a couple of months after that.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: (And I Thought “Leaven” Was Just A Bread-Baking Thing!!) =-.