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.
- Numbers don't measure everything.
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.
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?