Raising Memories: Thursday Thoughts (Blog Stats vs. Interaction)
  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thursday Thoughts (Blog Stats vs. Interaction)

Today I laid on the couch A LOT.
Yesterday I laid on the couch A LOT.
I'm so, so sick & so are my girls.

For some reason, during my on-the-couch-when-will-this-end days, I have found my mind wander a fair bit to blogging.

Maybe because there are things I had planned to blog about, blogs I had planned to schedule, photos I had planned to edit... etc. that haven't been done.

Once I got to thinking about blogging, I got to thinking about blog stats and things that come along with those.




Stats are weird. They help you judge what's going on with your blog. They tell advertisers what they want to know. They put a stamp of level of "popularity" on your blog. They urge you to compare yourself with other bloggers and your blog with other blogs.

They're kinda awesome for some reasons.
And they kinda stink for others.

When I first added the "Google Friend Connect" widget on my blog, I dreamed of getting to 100 readers. Now I've passed 1000 feed burner subscribers, and there is a part of me that longs for the day that I'll hit the 4 digit number on GFC... but really, deep down, how much do I honestly think that's important?

Sometimes I think it is & sometimes I think it isn't.

I think it comes down to interaction. It's so nice to know that people are actually reading what I post! So, those stats tell me that people must be reading what I write... but really?

I think as bloggers, it's just great when readers take the time to leave a comment so we know they really are reading & getting something from our posts. Interaction is the best. :)

Do you have a blog?
What "stats" do you use to judge your blog by?
Do you ever feel like you're getting sidetracked into caring about the wrong thing when it comes to blog stats?

27 comments:

  1. Advertisers care more about the stats, and for that reason they are important, but I personally care more about the interaction and engagement!

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    1. That's exactly it! It's a challenge sometimes to keep things balanced when you're trying for both :)

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  2. I just found your blog the other day through Ginger Snap Crafts. It's always fun finding new blogs. =) I've blogged for about 3 years on a private family blog. It has always surprised me at how many people I know (in real life) that read, but never comment. It really offended me at first, but after a while it was just enough to know that they were reading and keeping up with our family. I think with a public blog it would be so different. It just seems like some kind of feedback would be more appreciated since you don't acutally "know" who is reading. Anyway....I read your post in my reader and I thought it was great! =)

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    1. Hi Shatzi, I'm glad to have you here! That's true, it is nice to know someone's reading even if they don't comment- but even better if they take the time to say something! (Lets you into their head, so to speak, and opens things up for conversation & actually getting to know your readers!)
      Thank you for taking time to comment! :)

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  3. It's cool to see numbers when it comes to stats, but I like comments waaaay better!

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  4. I, too, really appreciate the comments I get on my writing. Just recently, I have started to receive more, and it just makes me feel good to know that I am not talking to an empty room of sorts. :-) I love this community, and it's really wonderful all of the support we can provide each other. Thanks so much for this post. I hope you feel better! xx

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    1. So true. The "empty room" thing is no fun! :) It is a great community full of support when people take the time to reach out a little.
      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Maria!

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  5. I read your blog too! It's in my reader so I don't often comment either. I like comments on my blog also so I am trying to comment more on other's blogs.... Mom always said, "To have a friend, be one!" :-)

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    Replies
    1. Ah, the struggle with readers. I wish they had a built in commenting feature! :) You bring up a very good point- the whole "kindness begins with me" factor! ;)

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  6. I think it is so easy to get caught in the numbers: followers, page hits, etc. Of course, advertisers care most about that stuff because it is an indication of how wide their reach will be if they advertise on your blog.
    BUT, while I have advertising on my blog, I don't blog for them. I blog for me so the interaction is way more important. Comments mean the absolute world to me...so much that I, like many others, strive to respond via email and a blog visit to each and every comment that gets left on my blog.
    So for me, the interaction far outweighs the stats when it comes to the blog. Although, admittedly, seeing big stats aren't bad for my self esteem ;)

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    1. I agree. The stats are important and it's difficult not to get 'sucked in' to them too much. But what really "feels good" is the interaction! :) (true, the stats don't hurt ;) haha

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    2. I love what you said about blogging for you, not your advertisers. That's just the way it's gotta be, right? Because if we didn't, then we sure wouldn't be happy.

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  7. I'm interacting!!

    I had an AWESOME Feb. according to my stats, and now they've been down and I'm kind of bummed. Oh well.

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    1. Thanks for interacting!! :)
      I have had months like that too! Generally, the stats gradually go up each month, then you get a month with amazing stats, you get excited, and then they go back to normal, & you're bummed! That's when stats stink- they play with your emotions if you don't stop them from it! ;)

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  8. I love the interaction and engagement with readers so I'm always totally pleased by comments on my blog and/or facebook. It's great to know that people enjoy what I'm posting. On the other hand, advertisers want page views and opportunities come with that as well so it's hard not to be consumed by that at times. Like all things, there's a balance.

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    1. That balance thing seems to be so much trickier than it sounds ;) (in so many things!)

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  9. Such a good point! You have to find a good balance. People are busy though and don't always have time to comment. I used to take it personal, but try not to be so sensitive to it anymore. For example, yesterday my Rio Pre-K Pack came out. I only received 2 comments all day, but it has almost been downloaded 450 times. I get joy in knowing that so many homes are enjoying the pack, even though I didn't receive a ton of comments! You have to blog for you - if your readers like it then they like it! If they don't, then that's fine too. My blog is for me... and if it can help or bless others - then great! If someone enjoys my posts enough to want to Sponsor the blog, then that is great. But, I think if you start blogging for stats or for sponsors then it makes it more of any obligation and can take the fun out of it.

    Don't get me wrong though - I love good numbers and I love sponsors! But, I find when I get fixated on them, then it takes the fun out of it!

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    1. Very, very true. Stats are a great tool, but they definitely have potential to take the fun out of blogging if you let them be "in charge"! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Pam! I totally agree with you :)

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    2. oh, and a good point, too, about people being busy. And in times like your example, it sure is nice to have that stat, to let you know that 450 people liked your download, even though you only heard from 2!!! :)

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  10. Sorry you are not feeling well and I hope you are back up to par soon. I love writing and sharing our life and interests with others, but I don't like feeling self-concious about the stats. I don't write for stats. I write from my heart. I know it matters for advertisers and marketing, but it doesn't matter to me.

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    1. Thanks Melinda. I agree. I enjoy this blog very much, and I enjoy the community of bloggers, but focussing too much on stats starts to take the fun out of it! You make a good point- maybe we ought to think less about "stats" specifically & more about having fun & doing a good job (then the stats should fall into place anyway- and if not, how much does it matter??) Interesting to think about. :)

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  11. Watching my blog's stats quickly became addictive. It is so exciting to see increasing numbers of people are excited by what I've created and are flocking to my site to learn how to make my recipes. I know people are busy and don't often find time to comment, I'm guilty of that too. I find more people Pin my blog posts and make comments there, so I visit Pinterest every day to see what people are saying. Once Blogger made it possible to Reply to my reader's comments, I began replying to them all, but quickly realized that was taking up so much time in my day that I had to stop and just reply to those comments with questions or really important matters. I want to communicate with all my readers and am so grateful for everyone who reads my blog and love getting comments, but understand there are only so many minutes in a day.

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  12. I care a lot more about engagement and interaction, but I don't know the first thing about actually getting it going. My website was "static" for many years, long before blogging became the "in" thing. I had *great* stats, but had absolutely no interaction. That was just the way things were back in those days. And that's actually why I walked away from it and just let it sit for so many years... and now that I have come back I am overwhelmed by this "new" world of interaction... engagement, social networking, blogging. And I'm trying to figure out how to fit into that world because I knew that's what I wanted all along. Sometimes I don't think I'll be able to do it. Sometimes I think I'm too hard-wired to the old way of things and just won't be able to catch up.

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    1. I know, with so many different "social media outlets", it can become too much! I think you have to decide how far you want to go. There are so many things you can become involved in as a blogger and you have to experiment & figure out how much of it you want to get into- being willing to draw the line somewhere, and to keep a balance between the great world of blogging & the "real world".
      You can do it!! ;)

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  13. I just hit 100 followers via GFC this weekend and was over the moon excited. Then I started laughing at myself for being excited about something like that. I read an article recently about people pinning your items but never commenting on your posts and it really got me thinking about that so I'm trying to comment more on posts instead of just pinning things. :-)

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    1. Congrats on hitting 100! ;) Even though it seems silly sometimes to care, it is exciting to see your blog growing. :) That's true- sometimes I'm in disbelief when a certain post gets a ton of pins. It's hard to believe that many people "care" when you barely get any comments from anyone!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne

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