Stats Appeal: My New Obsession

Hit me baby one more time …

I haven’t just been bitten by the blogging bug – I’ve been seduced by stats. That’s right, WordPress statistics. They’ve become addictive. I publish a post and then sit back to see who it will reach, using the stats that are built into WordPress. I love watching the column of the graph climb and climb from one hit to three, maybe four if I’m lucky!

I check it before I go to bed and then rush to boot up my laptop as I’m getting ready for work, hovering over my keyboard whilst spooning cereal into my mouth. Who’s been reading my blog while I’ve been sleeping? How many hits did I get overnight? Where are they from? Did anyone like me? Did anyone feel compelled enough to leave a comment or follow me? How did people find me: through WordPress, a link on someone else’s blog, after I’ve visited their blog and left a comment, or through a search engine? It’s all completely fascinating.

Now I get why it’s called the web

When I first started blogging two months ago, I likened this experience to being a drop of water in a very large ocean called the blogosphere. Now I feel more like a busy little spider, spinning a web. My tiny web gets a little bigger with each post, reaching out over the internet. I am connecting to others, busily spinning their own webs. We link to each other’s webs and so we help each other grow.

Flogging and Lost Mojo bring people to me

I get a kick out of the random search engine terms that bring people to my blog. It’s funny that at least one person a day is typing in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and ‘flogging’ which leads them to me. I really hope they aren’t too disappointed that my Fifty Shades of Grey post isn’t actually a ‘how-to’ guide. There are also quite a few people searching for their lost mojo which again brings them to this blog. Even a spammer told me that’s how they found me. I guess spammers can have mojo issues just like the rest of us.

Hey, do you think I just increased the likelihood of even more people who are googling ‘flogging’ and ‘mojo’ coming to my blog? I think my next book purchase will be Search Engine Optimization for Dummies

Blogging All Over the World

I love seeing which countries visitors are from: USA, Canada, Australia, India, Italy, UK, Turkey, the Philippines, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Iceland, one lone hit from New Zealand etc… Words and books really can unite the world.

If you build it, followers will come …

I enjoy checking out the blogs of people who ‘like’ one of my posts. I’ve found some really cool blogs to follow this way. And it just feels nice that someone out there paused long enough to click the ‘like’ button. Hopefully, they read the post as well!

It’s also exciting to see my followers grow from 1 to over 60 in the past 2 months. Of those, only three of them actually know me in real life (hi sisters and dad). I get a real thrill when someone decides I am worthy enough to follow. I can only hope that they will come back now and then to say hello.

BTW, I always feel like a cult leader when I talk about ‘my followers’. Now if only I could get non-WordPress people to follow me as well …

But the way I measure my blogging success is not through followers, it’s through comments. Out of all the stats, comments are what give me the biggest high. I like it when someone has read the same book and feels compelled to respond to something I said. Or people just drop-in to say they liked a post or they share the same thoughts as I do on a particular subject. This two-way communication is really what it’s all about for me. I guess it also gives me a bit more confidence in my writing ability. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually call myself a ‘writer’ or a ‘blogger’ instead of a dabbler. But there’s still so much to learn …

Are you an avid stats watcher? What funny search engine terms bring people to your site? How do you measure your blogging success?

16 thoughts on “Stats Appeal: My New Obsession

  1. girl Contraband June 3, 2012 / 10:25 am

    I’m a blogging stats fanatic, which is ironic, given that normally I shy away from number crunching like the plague. The capacity to cross-platform share blogs now via sites like Facebook and Pinterest make me happy, because it’s instant gratification to see a post pop up on Facebook and know it’s being passed around my circle of friends and readers.

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    • janereads June 3, 2012 / 9:00 pm

      You sound like you’re a real pro when it comes to stats. I’m still too much of a chicken to promote my blog on my facebook page.

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      • girl Contraband June 4, 2012 / 4:10 am

        My secret: I feel kind of absurd doing it, so I just link over to a post when I like it, and hope no one realizes I wrote it.

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  2. Titillating Thoughts June 3, 2012 / 11:29 am

    I had someone search for Cabaret. Which, on it’s own is not too weird, but in one day I managed to get ten to twelve hits from Cabaret, none since.

    I love looking at my stats and get highly disappointed when I notice people are not perusing through my blog.

    Likes and comments are where it is at though. Comments more so, I try to comment a lot because likes often give me the impression that you skimmed my blog and did not READ my blog. I know some people who just like everything.

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    • janereads June 3, 2012 / 8:59 pm

      Wow, twelve hits from ‘Cabaret’. Now I’m intrigued to read that post. Thanks for your comment by the way!

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  3. on thehomefrontandbeyond June 3, 2012 / 8:02 pm

    And i thought I was the only one. Love this post, and you are such a good writer – I give you permission to use the term. (Who am I to give permission–someone who gave herself permission over twenty five years ago–and by that time I had been writing for years). I love the stats page–my husband thinks I am addicted–and I guess i am. I like “likes” but i love comments.

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    • janereads June 3, 2012 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you for giving me permission to call myself a writer 🙂 And thanks for coming back to visit my blog – and comment. I will be posting a comment on your blog in the next day or so …

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  4. Heather June 3, 2012 / 8:52 pm

    Too funny. I have been thinking that exact same thing about myself lately. My blog stats are the last thing I check at night and the first thing I check in the morning. I have been late leaving for work on more than one occasion due to checking my blog. It is completely addictive. I think that we pay so much attention to the stats, is because it’s to do with something that we take a lot of pride in.
    Today I more than doubled my “views on your busiest day” thingy, and have been dancing around the house like a complete lunatic because of it. Numbers can be funny things sometimes!

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    • janereads June 3, 2012 / 8:55 pm

      Yes, I have been checking my stats all day. Love seeing the column climb! Also, I am composing a response to the award you gave me so some of your hits are from me! But it’s really nice when people comment, isn’t it?

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      • Heather June 3, 2012 / 8:59 pm

        I agree – when people comment, it means that they really have read what you have written.
        And hey – a hits a hit. I had 30 in the space of one afternoon last week, after having none all day. Then I remembered that I’d told my aunty about my blog that afternoon, and I realised that all 30 were from her. Oh well!

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        • janereads June 3, 2012 / 9:03 pm

          I like to think that the each ‘hit’ is from a different person, but of course that’s not the way it works. Still it’s nice when you see that someone, somewhere has read all your posts.

          Comments are the best though because you can clearly see how many actual people have read what you’ve written and responded with their own views.

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  5. bundleofbooks June 8, 2012 / 2:35 am

    Haha, this post is great and very truthful – I think all of us fellow bloggers are exactly the same with our stats!

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  6. Mom Meets Blog June 8, 2012 / 11:40 pm

    I’m such a stats whore, never missing an opportunity to refresh the page to check the progress! It’s fun to see the search terms in different languages. 🙂

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  7. hisandherscene June 19, 2012 / 4:01 am

    The stats page is far too addictive…. I find myself spending ages looking at the numbers and definitely the best is people leaving comments I feel you can get to know other bloggers a little bit more x

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  8. nochildrenwhatnow December 27, 2012 / 10:08 pm

    This post made me laugh! I am new to blogging, and I have become a stats nutter. I didn’t even start writing my blog for views, it was just supposed to be a journal for me to get stuff off my chest. I haven’t even told my husband I am writing it. Now, I can’t get enough of looking at views, visits, clicks, referrers. I’ve entered a whole new world!

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    • janereads December 28, 2012 / 3:53 pm

      Thanks for sharing. Welcome to the world of blogging 🙂

      Like

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