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Blog Relationship: Give Room To Your Blog So It Can Thrive

Steven 4 responses Blogging
5

A surefire way to suffocate your blog is to hover over it, night and day, like an obsessive lover, never allowing your blog room to breathe and grow or engage with other people, trying to anticipate your blog’s every move and mold it into something it can never be. What am I talking about? Stats. Hovering over your blog’s stats, night and day, is the most surefire way to suffocate your blog and kill your passion.

Almost every new blogger becomes addicted to his stats. Some never recover and remain addicted for the life of their blog – which isn’t very long because their addiction ultimately leads to the death of their blog.

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What Stats Do They Obsess Over?

  • Social Media: They spend hours monitoring their Twitter or Facebook accounts. How many followers today? How many Tweets or Shares? Is anybody clicking on those links?
  • Incoming Links: They look to see where the links are coming from, then they trace the link back to the source to see why someone created the link. Is there anything they can do to get another one? How much traffic is that one link sending?
  • Traffic: They keep a tab open so they can check traffic stats every 15 minutes throughout the day. Where’s it coming from? Where’s it landing? What page are they going to next?
  • Comments: They obsess over comments on their own blog and they track all the comments they leave on other blogs – just to see if anybody things their comment was witty or valuable in some way.
  • Subscribers: The watch their RSS and newsletter numbers almost as often as they check traffic numbers.

As you can see, with so many stats to worry over, an obsessive blogger might not accomplish anything but hovering over his stats all day. And if that’s all you’re doing then your blog is eventually going to suffocate. Your blog needs fuel to survive and that fuel is content. Instead of focusing on stats, focus on creating the type of content that brings in readers and entices your readers to share, and you won’t have to worry about your stats – they’ll just naturally improve.

How To Maintain A Healthy Relationship With Your Stats

  1. Set aside a specific time each week to check your stats.
  2. Choose one metric to focus on at a time. For example, this week you could focus on increasing your number of Twitter followers, next week focus on increasing RSS subscriptions.
  3. Look for trends: Capitalize on upward trends and analyze downward trends to see if there’s a problem.
  4. Use Google Analytics for a more realistic picture of what’s happening on your blog.
  5. Don’t change or ignore your passion in response to your stats. Your core message is the reason readers come to your blog. Instead, use stats to help you deliver better quality content so your readers who share your passion will be able to find you and connect.

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4 Comments

  1. I tend to go the other way, in that I don’t concern myself with stats.

    I write to help other computer users on one blog, and to express myself creatively or review books on the other.

    Maybe it is because I am not trying to make any money.

  2. Matthew

    As you pointed out, stat checking can become a wild obsession, and I agree, it can stifle enthusiasm for your efforts on a day-to-day basis.

    Stats are fantastically important, but it’s really the longer term view that you should keep an eye on.

    For me, doing a deep dive on stats on a monthly basis gives me a good idea of what’s going on, allows me to make any necessary adjustments, shows a good sampling of content to compare and contrast, and keeps me motivated to see larger increments of growth (luckily in most cases!) than if I were to check every 15 minutes.

    Thanks for the post.

    Matthew.

  3. I think when you are new its a lot harder to ignore the stats your so excited that you hover its like being a new mom with a newborn you want to make sure there okay at every moment.Its not until the child grows that you realize in order for it grow properly that you have to get it room

  4. Venkatesh Iyer

    Thanks. This post just clarified some things for me. The one most important lesson I learned from it is to work on one metric at a time. I will be following that route when my blog gets going. And talking about blogs getting going, any advice on how to stop procrastinating over getting a blog going?