"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stuck on Stats? 4.5 Reasons to Move Beyond Them!



Numbers count.
Few would argue that in our society and culture, numbers serve as a qualifier for success metrics, standards of beauty, levels of excellence, and even taboos that govern how we live.
For example, a woman who is rated a "10" by members of the opposite sex is perceived to be a real "man magnet."  There are "7 deadly sins" we should all strive not to commit, and the age of 21 is considered the entry to adulthood.

So, it stands to reason that we would obsess about figures.
And blogging tends to be no different.
We agonize that our numbers may not be impressive enough.
Or even worse: that they're stagnant.
We fret over our followers or lack thereof.

As a result, we monitor our stats daily. Sometimes multiple times a day.
We check to see if our visitors are increasing. If our bounce rate is good.
We count are comments. We track our traffic.
We peek to see our peak periods of the week.
We ponder why one post was more popular than the others.

Here's a reality check: Stop the madness.
I admit, that I sometimes check my Google Analytics more often than a new mother checks in on a sleeping baby. Crazy, right?
Well, I've gotten better. And you can too.

HERE'S WHY...

  1. Numbers don't measure everything.
What I mean here, is that even when your stats are down, you should keep your head up
If you've remained consistent, week after week, month after month, year after year, you should be proud. Blogging is hard, and many folks are falling by the waist side. If you're still at it, there's reason to celebrate!

2. Sometimes, it's not how many people are reading you that's important, it's "who's" reading you that can make the difference.

Here's a case in point. My numbers don't always meet my hopes or expectations when I check my Google Analytics, but even with a modest following, I've garnered some recognition that I'm pretty happy with. Last year I was honored as a "Top 100 Blog for Modern Writers," and in January this year, received "The 25 Top Writing Blogs" designation.  Keep being excellent despite obstacles and disappointments. Your work may matter to more people than your stats capture.

3. Numbers can be fickle.

They fluctuate. Despite our best efforts, readership can decrease during holidays, during the summer months, or any number of variables we can't control.

4. The more we stress over stats, the less time we have to produce quality work that changes lives.

I was listening to an interview recently with Lee Daniels (The Butler)When he was asked if he's sometimes frustrated with the lack of recognition his films receive from the awards industry, he stated that when you create with the wrong reasons, you lose your passion for the work. He also commented that he shares the stories he wants to tell, in his own way...without seeking approval. Not a bad idea for bloggers either.

4.5...And

Because growth takes time. That you can count on.


So, keep in mind that it's okay to look at your numbers to assess and address...just don't stress!

What's your story?




15 comments:

  1. I see some parallels between this and weighing yourself every day. :) This is why I do not do either daily! :)

    It also reminds me of standardized tests for students, how they don't always accurately measure what a student knows. They cannot measure character and a student's heart and willingness to learn. They are merely a gauge to measure certain things, as are our stats. I agree with you, we shouldn't put all our eggs in the stats basket! They help, but don't show the whole picture.

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    1. Great points here, Karen; thanks for pointing them out. :-)

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  2. Thank you for the pep-talk, Jennifer. I unplugged for a few days, actually about a week. I received my stat report yesterday and my number of visits seemed to stay about the same.Actually, it seems I had five less per day. I know not to get uptight about these numbers.

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    1. quietspirit,

      It's not always about the numbers. Sometimes it's about the impact. Keep going. :-) Good to hear from you today.

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  3. I think we become a little insecure if we are not doing as well as 'the next person' because our lives are built on comparisons. I love this proverb - if I am to be like her, who will be like me? Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Maribel,

      So true. And I think that sometimes comparisons can be helpful and healthy, depending upon how we use them. Thanks so much for your feedback. :-)

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. I keep tabs on how many submissions I send out. I am always in competition with myself. I am waiting for the clock to move an hour ahead. Then, I will be happy and my numbers will improve as I come out of this winter funk. Something's got to give, soon.

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  6. Linda,

    Me too. I'm always trying to beat my own best--to strive for greater heights, to expand my horizons. This winter has definitely not been any help. Keep warm thoughts! :-) I appreciate your time and comment.

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  7. Thanks for your post Jennifer,

    Compared to previous years - while the amount of unique visitors did increase - the amount of Return Visitors did not seem to be growing at the same pace.

    Because of that I took a closer look at all the possible reasons you as a visitor could have for (re) visiting my writing blog.

    Since those reasons now are communicated more clearly on my blog, looking at the numbers up till now, I does seem to have a positive result.

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  8. The most heartening thing for me is to have someone tell me, in person, that they love my blog. It's nice to have lots of readers, but it's better to touch a life. Like you do, Jen.

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    1. Wow! That was powerful and thoughtful. I am humbled. :-)

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    2. But I am pleased to report that the numbers are getting better each month. And it feels just a little tad better than when my only readers were my relatives and my Avon lady. LOL

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  9. Jennifer,
    If it helps the winter blues...may I send you and your readers some sunny greetings from Australia to chase the wintery blues away...catch!
    Oh yes, and time? how to extract extra minutes from our 24 hours - got any tips?
    Thanks again...Maribel

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    Replies
    1. Your warm thoughts from Australia are definitely a day brightener! :-) Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, Maribel. We must do this again
      soon. :-)

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