Discussion: Being Open About Blogging Statistics

As you guys have obviously realized, I’m very open about my blogging statistics.  I’ve been doing my monthly “The Best and Worst of…” series since September 2012, about 9 months after I first started blogging.  I don’t think statistics are something to brag about or be embarrassed about.  They simply are.  Why I publicize them is mostly because I like to analyze them and hear other people’s thoughts and commentary on said analysis.  It’s nice to share ideas about why some posts are more popular than others or why my views spike/drop in a particular month.

Another reason is because when I started blogging I was looking into what book blogging statistics typically looked like and came up with zero information.  I want to help new bloggers have some more realistic expectations about how many hits they’re going to get in the beginning as well as how their monthly stats aren’t going to grow at a consistent rate.

With that said, not every blogger is as open about their statistics.  Some are even more open about their statistics and go so far as to do fancy pie charts and graphs about their traffic.  It all seems to come down to the individual, which makes sense.  Some people like me are a little bit more focused on their stats than others.  At the same time, there are people who don’t care about their stats at all.  Neither approach is better than the other; they’re simply different.

What I want to know now is: Are you, as a blogger, open about your stats?  Why or why not?  Do you enjoy it when bloggers share their stats or do you think it’s more of a bragging thing?  And, do you think bloggers in general should be more open about their stats?

42 comments

  1. jennyinneverland

    I love this post, I was thinking about writing a blog post in the near future about whether stats are important as I asked my Twitter followers and had very mixed opinions!

    I personally, check my stats on a regular basis. I like to know what posts are doing well because it helps me prepare for future posts. However, I’m not really too ‘open’ about my stats because I don’t know, I just don’t really like to share it. Especially when someone will pipe up that they get ‘20,000 page views on average’ every day because then in make me feel rubbish! Haha.

    • Carrie Slager

      Yes, that’s pretty much why I check my stats (besides the occasional ego boost). I like knowing what posts do well so I can do those posts again because obviously my readers are enjoying them. That’s okay that you don’t like to share your stats, it’s just that I think there’s very little information out there for beginning book bloggers about stats and I want to do my part to help out. Hearing someone else has 20,000 page views every day doesn’t bother me because I don’t think of it as a competition; it’s more of a learning experience.

  2. Jay Dee

    I often check my stats. Actually, everyday. I want to see a growth in number of views, but more importantly, a growth in the number of followers. It’s interesting to see which posts are popular and which don’t get many views.

  3. Tammy Sparks

    I have never shared my stats on my blog and I never will. For some reason, I equate bragging (or just telling) about your stats with telling people how much money you make. It’s one of those things that feels private to me.

    Also, every time bloggers talk about their stats, they are usually much higher than mine, and I feel bad that I don’t have as much time to devote to my blog as others.

    • Carrie Slager

      That’s fair enough; we’re all unique in that respect. I suppose blogging stats can be a little more personal but I don’t equate them with telling people how much money I make. I guess it’s just all perspective. 🙂

  4. patricksponaugle

    I started blogging late last year, so I personally won’t do much with my stats until after a full year goes by, so I can make a stab at understanding them.

    I think your attitude that stats are stats and not try to put a meaning on them is a good thing, particularly if you are offering as benchmarks for other people to do their own analysis.

    I do like checking my stats (perhaps too much) because it’s fun to see what activity might be there.

    I guess if someone posts their blog stats, I don’t interpret it as bragging unless they make it obvious. LOOK AT MY AWESOME STATS, YO or something like that.

    • Carrie Slager

      Yes, definitely! I hate when people obviously brag rather than just post about them in order to share information. Stats aren’t indicative of the quality of the blog and once you learn that it’s easy to let go of the stress and just have fun blogging. It’s nice to see your stats increase, but they’re not the be-all, end-all of blogging.

  5. Author Unpublished

    I’ve never shared my stats, in part because I don’t think anyone really cares what my stats are. LOL, but I do check them daily to make sure the numbers are heading up–not down–and to get some idea of which days are my busiest or what book reviews may have turned out better than others.

    • Carrie Slager

      The funny thing is, even if no one cares about them in the beginning, if you post about them regularly people will care because it piques their interest. I’m under no illusions about how many people read my first “The Best and Worst of” but I do know that a fair bit of people have read my posts in 2014. 🙂

  6. estyree

    I haven’t ever shared them on the blog…although I do randomly share them on the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes) in order to thank my fans/followers and let them know what’s happening on that front. I don’t really feel like I have an entire blog’s worth of statistics at the moment, however, because I’ve been blogging less than a year.
    I do enjoy seeing someone’s statistics as a learning opportunity however, so thank you!
    http://alaynabellesmom.wordpress.com

    • Carrie Slager

      No problem! Yeah, I don’t think most bloggers share their statistics in a systematic way but for me personally it’s nice to have a regular monthly feature to add some consistency to my life. 🙂

    • Carrie Slager

      Exactly! I share my stats so at least the information is out there, but on a more personal level I get far more excited about my commenting community than I do about my statistics. It’s nice having contact with people I never would have met otherwise, especially authors. That’s definitely one of the many benefits of book blogging.

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  8. Tanya Patrice

    I don’t share mine either, and I think it’s because it’s not where I would like it to be yet to be honest. I don’t mind other bloggers sharing theirs, but don’t expect them to either. As someone mentioned, it does seem like a personal thing, though I’ve never considered it bragging.

  9. Lucy @ Queen of Contemporary

    I don’t shout about my stats because I know a lot of people who wouldn’t like it, but I wouldn’t have a problem with telling someone if they asked. Public stats are different, like Twitter and YouTube followers, but I do keep my page views to myself a bit.

    • Carrie Slager

      That’s good that doing it that way works for you. I’ve probably offended the occasional person when I post about my stats but that doesn’t really bother me. I don’t think stats are indicative of the quality of the blog. 🙂

  10. Nathan

    Sure I will. Yesterday was 169 unique visitors with 292 page views. Day before that was 84 UV and 132 PV.

    My stats jump up and down an amazing amount. They have consistently grown, but still have me thinking I am pretty small time as a blogger.

    • Carrie Slager

      Those are some pretty good stats. I don’t really see why I should be secretive about my stats on a personal level, but I do respect that some people like to keep theirs more private. It all comes down to perspective, I guess.

    • Carrie Slager

      There’s definitely that factor too! My blog is not just about books but also about the actual blogging of books so I think sharing my stats is something my audience is interested in. But as an author there’s really no demand for stats-sharing in general.

  11. Jemima Pett

    I might share mine as a case study of what can happen when you change your blog platform, even if you keep the same bog url (or it looks like you do) – but the most interesting part is my journey to recovery… Maybe I’ll post something one Monday in June – or leave it to the year end 🙂
    Jemima
    #Team Damyanti
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April!

    • Carrie Slager

      That’s also a good reason to share! If you ever do a post like that, let me know. It’ll be an interesting case study to see just how much stats change when you change blogging platforms. 🙂

  12. Rabindranauth

    Well my blog is strictly book reviews and never going to be more than that, so if I get 2 visitors and maybe 5 total views on a day when I haven’t posted anything, I consider myself lucky. Its usually mostly 1 visitor, 1 view, and thats someone looking for something in particular, based on search terms. That being said, I think I pretty much advertise my stats.

    The first widget up on my site is the hit counter, which is followed by all the various follow buttons, and then the follow via email which displays my total followers on WordPress (44), Facebook (5), Twitter (15) and email (4). Then there’s the Top Posts widget which displays my posts that have the most likes in descending order. Its all there, lol. The most views I’ve ever had in one day is when my girlfriend came on and read everything I’d posted after the first two weeks, and that’s a whopping 31 Views in one day, lol. I don’t think I’m doing bad considering I’ve been around 11 weeks now 🙂 I dont have any statistical proof of this, but as a book reviewer I’ve noticed the posts that draw the most notice are all for books that are extremely popular, or ARCs that I’ve received.

    I check my stats every day before they reset, which occurs at 8 PM my time, its nice to keep track of things. But I place absolutely no stock in those figures because a large number of them are people who followed my blog expecting me to follow theirs. This was more blatant on Twitter than anywhere else; when I first joined, I had near 35 followers, and now I have 15 because I didn’t refollow said individuals.

    Thing is, I’m blogging for fun, not for anything else. If I were trying to build stats up, I would follow back those guys, etc, anything to gain more followers. Im here for the discussions about books I like, so instead I basically go looking around WordPress for blogs that feature books I’m into, follow them, and do what I enjoy; talk about books. Most are kind enough to follow me back and drop the occasional comment if I post something they’re interested in or have read. A fair amount don’t. Which is fine by me. I guess you can say I’m building a particular quality of followers, instead of amassing a quantity. It depends on what you want from your blog when you set it up.

    And then there’s the biggest factor; the genre of books you’re going to take an interest in. If you’re covering contemporary books like book club novels, thrillers, young adult, that sort of stuff, you’re probably going to get ALOT more hits and follows than I do; there are plenty book blogs younger than mine that focus only on these books and have more followers as a result, that I’ve come across. I mainly post about fantasy and historical fiction, with the occasional thriller, so not very many people are interested in following someone new starting that focuses mainly there.

    When I first started out, I posted multiple times per day, and this helped build up a quick following. And entirely the wrong sort I ways looking for. Now, I’m posting maybe every other day, and I find that the folks that do follow me are people interested in the sort of books I read. So like I said, depends on what you want from your blog.

    Hopefully that long rant is helpful to someone now starting up that takes the time to read it, lol. If bloggers are more open concerning their stats, it can help the analytical person figure out the best way to have their blog succeed based on their expectations.

      • Carrie Slager

        You should really do a post about this rather than ranting on my blog because I guarantee a lot of people will find it helpful. Thanks for sharing the bits of wisdom here, though. I hope it does help someone! 🙂

          • Carrie Slager

            I’m not mad/irritated at all. I just think it would be far more beneficial for you to post this on your blog as well so you can get all of the hits stemming from it rather than handing them over to me. 🙂

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  14. jelliefishie

    Searching about blogging stats is what lead me to your site in the first place, a few months ago 😀 I really like that you do post about them, I find it very interesting to read about it as well. My blog is just a personal one; although I’ll sometimes post reviews or document my “journey” through things (recently my health issues…), really it is still just my personal blog. Not targeted like other people’s are, so I do not expect my stats to be high at all. I mean, the biggest hits I get from search engines are probably for “Fire Emblem porn”, which prompted me to write a wtf-reaction post to that…which got me even more hits for “Fire Emblem porn”, haha!

    I did notice that my stats go up when I post more often; unfortunately working on the weekends this year has left me unable to do that. The review posts I have in mind are difficult; it takes me like 3+ hours to write out…..does it take you that long? I start and end up not finishing/publishing them…time management issues.

    But I don’t mind the lack of traffic. Keep up with the blog stat posts, I find them so interesting!

    • Carrie Slager

      That’s cool! It’s kind of nice to know how people come to my blog, so thank you very much for sharing that. 🙂

      I can definitely see where a more personal blog isn’t going to get the hits that my niche YA/general book blog is going to get. You’re absolutely right that your stats will go up the more you post because then you’re getting a) more search engine traffic because your archives are bigger and b) more people have incentive to visit regularly.

      No, it doesn’t take me three hours to write but then again I’m only writing 3-5 paragraphs + formatting for my review. Some people do great big long reviews where it would absolutely take 3 hours. As it is with buy links and formatting and actually writing the post it takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to write a review. It helps that I type very fast.

      Thanks! Tune in tomorrow for the March 2014 installment. 🙂

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  16. Angie@Angela's Anxious Life

    Honestly I would be fine about sharing my stats. Not that I have on my blog but that’s because it just hasn’t come up. Really though what is important to me on my blog is comments. I want to interact with people… I want people to have a lot of fun and get information out of it. I used to use Blogger for my stats for like a year… then I found out how wrong those were and switched to google analytics. What a difference!

    • Carrie Slager

      The problem with WordPress.com accounts is that you can’t use Google Analytics but I think their stats are fairly accurate. I’d have to agree with you that comments are way more important because they show people like your blog enough that they want to interact with you. 🙂

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  18. stephswint

    I have literally had my blog for a total of four days and I’m still making sure the formatting and posting is correct. I feel like this post was specifically for me (I know it wasn’t) but I fit the new blogger demographic. Thank you for the great information from both you and your community. I am learning about the statistics currently.

    • Carrie Slager

      Statistics are an important part of blogging, but as I said in my post they shouldn’t be the most important thing about your blogging experience. Basically, blog for your own enjoyment and when you write good content the rest will fall into place. 🙂

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