A blog post for bloggers: all about stats

Posted on April 11, 2011

Due to the exhausting morning I spent sitting in the sunshine at my friend G’s picture-perfect farm, surrounded by endless green fields, being serenaded by clucking chickens, eating cake, I have decided to make this one of those questioning Fibro posts. You’ll notice from my (carefully keyworded) head that I’m wondering about stats. Specifically blog stats. Specifically, how much notice you take of them.

When I first started blogging I was obsessed by stats. I mean, obsessed. Google Analytics told me whether anyone besides my ever-supportive Mum and Dad had popped by to read. They told me which countries my visitors were zooming in from (nowhere particularly exotic as it turned out). They told me which keywords people were using to reach the Fibro (um, Alla Hoo Hoo was one noteworthy example). They told me… stuff. I was, to use the technical lingo, a Stats Whore.

Now? Not so much. Perhaps because I’ve realised that I don’t have any reason to use them. I don’t advertise, monetise or any of the other -ise words, so my stats are neither here nor there. And while it’s fun to try to work out why so many people in the world are currently googling The Outsiders and therefore visiting the Fibro, it’s not going to have a long-term effect on what I choose to write about. In short, to me, stats are like chatty neighbours – nice to know, but you don’t want to encourage them in case you get pulled in too deep.

So now I’m wondering – are you a Stats, er, Lady Of The Night? Why? Why not?


  1. thepowmill

    Actually , I like the map . Right now,I am hoping for a viewer hit from each continent . If I can keep this up for a few years , maybe I can hope for someone from each country…Wow !


  2. MultipleMum

    I was definitely a stats addict in the early days but I couldn’t tell you how many people stop by my blog these days. I should probably check that x

    PS Thanks for the nomination for the Sydney Writer’s Centre but I am not going to follow through the process xx

  3. Jodi Gibson

    I’m not into stats for my personal blog at all. Business blog & website is another story, but my personal blog is just something for me to enjoy doing. I love to write, I love to share and I love to explore my mind through writing. I do hope that others are enjoying & sharing with me, but it is not the be all and end all.
    P.S. If you don’t follow my blog I’d love you to, you know…for the stats (http://www.jodigibson.com.au)

  4. Bodacious Boomer

    Being as I’m in the process of trying to moneytize my place, I do usually check my stats a couple of times a week.

  5. Glen

    I was absolutely obsessed for a while – but now I’m down to two checks a day.

    I could give up – if I wanted!

  6. Seana

    Hello, this is interesting, I don’t think I really understand stats yet. Just got Google Analytics for new blog, so different to the Blogger stats and I think it counts my own visits.

    Interested in what Lucy wrote as I have been startled at how short average visits are… Note to self, must write more interesting posts!

  7. Maxabella

    My control-freak tendencies will always mean I am interested in the ‘Came From’ stats. I like to visit people back when I get the chance. I pop in from time to time. x

  8. ♥Beryllium Lithium Class of 2011

    I still count myself as new to blogging… so of course I love my stats 🙂 it shows that people are actually wondering about what I have to say –> motivation to keep blogging. I don’t really get many comments so I rely on my stats (pageview counter).

  9. Penny

    Nope don’t care about stats. I don’t blog for hits…maybe I should care more?

  10. Looking for Blue Sky

    I know that I now look at my stats too often. But that’s because I wrote a post a couple of months back that was very successful and I got used (very briefly) to lots of hits. Now I miss them, and the only way to get them back is to write another piece that people will really like *oh the pressure!*

  11. InkPaperPen

    ahhh, it was a Hindi song

    how very strange

    Gill xo

  12. InkPaperPen

    not at all now, i did when we first started out, but i found i was wasting a lot of time analyzing our stats when I could have been writing or blogging

    Prefer to see comments that stats nowadays

    I remember your post on Alla Hoo Hoo bringing you visitors from somewhere rather exotic? Doesn’t it mean something in another language? Spooky. Better click on your link to that post now, my curiosity has got the better of me

    Gill xo

  13. River

    I’ve no idea what the stats would mean, or how to read them, so I’ve never looked. I’m just happy to have readers and commenters.

  14. Donna

    Being a bit of a numbers girl I am fascinated by stats. But I’ve only got access to the basic blogger one and it suffices the itch I need to scratch. I wish I didnt check as often as I do (feels a bit desperate!) but I am always looking to quantify everything in my world, painfully!

  15. Stacia

    I try not to be a stats person, but it’s hard not to look and then read a whole bunch of things into the numbers. Why didn’t they like that post? Who unsubscribed today? Twenty-seven people came to my site today by searching for “quick pee”?? Yowsa.

  16. Jacki

    I don’t look at stats, mainly because I have absolutely no idea how to use google analytics! I tend to look at the comments I’m geting and judge my success from that!

  17. therhythmmethod

    I used to look at my stats like a life support machine – will this little blog make it through the next week? But it was making me a crazy lady, so I weaned myself off.
    I was looking at traffic and trying to figure out how to improve it, but ultimately I was just looking for reassurance that people were reading and not just being referred by spambots.

  18. allison tait

    Great comments everyone. Thanks for taking the time to give such clear thoughts.

    @KimH – you can buy the ‘barny’ image by following the link! It’s gorgeous, isn’t it!

  19. Ms Styling You

    I’m going to be the odd one out here and say, yes, stats are important to me. They’re one measure of my blog’s success – and my blog is my business – so I can lever those to attract advertising dollars and sponsorships. The stats don’t determine how I write but if I notice that a particular type of post gets great stats and great comments, then I’m definitely going to serve up more of the same. I come from a media background where we actually had a “readers’ first” policy. Everything we wrote was about the reader and this helps me in this format as well.

  20. _vTg_

    I also used to studiously scrutinize the stats. What they told me was that people were coming to my blog for things I only wanted to write about occasionally- my most popular post was how I made a cardboard kitchen, and it was enough of a saga that I won’t be doing it again any time soon!

    It is fun to occasionally see what paths people follow or to find out when people link to me (about never!) but I’ve concluded that I’ll write what I want and people will read what they want.

  21. Amelia {Weddings, Babies... Everything}

    All about comments for me too. 🙂
    As a relatively new blogger I much prefer people to leave a comment rather than just pass by. There’s more of a social interaction with comments which to me is what blogging is all about. 🙂

  22. Sarah

    It’s all about comments for me. LOVE them. I try to visit any and all blogs that leave a comment. Stats mean zero to me. Initially they were interesting, but these days I wouldn’t have clue. It isn’t going to change how I blog anyway.

  23. Melissa

    I use Stat Counter, and for a while there I checked every day, and obsessed about why one day I would get over a thousand and the next day I would get 50.

    But in the end, I found it actually kind of depressing. The number of hits as opposed to the number of comments – such a disparity..

    I’d much rather actually be connecting with my readers enough for them to leave a comment, if you know what I mean.

    I don’t think my blog is ever going to be big enough or structured enough (as in, I don’t think I have a niche) to monetise.

  24. A Farmer's Wife

    I only have the basic stats that are in blogger – I do look at them but like you have no use for them so it is an intellectual exercise only. I love comments though, and love it when I get lots of comments…

    Also – the word monetise makes me laugh each time. Am I the only one who thinks it is a bizarre word?

    Loving your title and how you are obviously now an SEO guru. I salute you!

    Take care.

  25. Francesca

    I have recently begun my blog so yes, at the moment I check my stats but just the basic ones. The others kind of do my head in. I never was a good statistician! I can imagine though, that it’s going to get quite boring quite quickly because I’m not really sure how to interpret them. Ie does it matter?

    At the moment, I do like knowing that people are ‘finding’ my blog. It’s endorsing and motivating to know that they are.

  26. cjtato

    I have a stats counter that someone told me about. I have checked it though never very often. I have set one up for my work website though which, once I am ready to market and take on more work, I will probably keep an eye on.

    My blog though, I’m more excited to get a new follower than how many people visit. Plus, like just about everyone else, I don’t really have time (and more often than not forget that it’s there).

  27. Lucy

    I get a report emailed to me. I have no idea how I set that up, as I did it in a fit of organsation some years ago. Now I have no idea how to get back there! So, yes, I do look at stats, once a week, when “they” (whoever “they” are) send me my email. But I like stats. I find them interesting.

    For me, they are an objective way of seening whats going on “out there”. Maybe I am a geek girl – I am fascinated by the mechanics of it all.

    I have a post brewing, Al, about the nature of hits versus engagement, which has been a real eye opener for me….

  28. Kim H

    I love that barny image, Allison. Love it!!!! And your friend’s farm sounds really lovely and totally exhausting;) lol

    I check my stats from time to time but they don’t have any influence over my blog posts. I do love seeing my followers grow, though. It’s not about popularity for me but more that I’m not here on my own. It’s that community feeling that blogging gives me. Love that.

  29. Kelloggsville

    I watch stats. The main reason being I run a technical blog and ive never had a single comment. But that’s how it is. You lift the information and move on. So the stats are the thing that helps me know what I’m writing is being used and is worthwhile. Particularly the length of visit. It says my information wasn’t useful if someone hits the site via a search engine but immediately leaves. My day to day blog I watch stats because I am nosey. I like to see what ISPs people are using and browser version etc. I also don’t get many comments do again it’s nice to see visit length sometimes to see if anyone I’d actually reading it!!

  30. Deer Baby

    To be honest, no I don’t look. Mostly because I don’t know how – I know I ought to teach myself Google analytics etc but I haven’t got round to it. Maybe I get people looking for stuff about deer – who knows.

    I do look at my site report every so often to see where people are coming from and at what times of day they come and how long they stick around for but I don’t adjust anything accordingly. Maybe I should.

  31. kris10na ☮♥☺

    I just started my blog so I’m still on the stats checking once in a while just to see if there are actually people who waste their time on my ramblings and I was amazed and feel grateful even if there’s only 1.

    I won’t be coy of course I wanted more visitors, followers and tons of comments. I always wanted to know other opinions even different from mine though I never let this dictate what I should write however to be honest when you already have followers for me it is just a show of gratitude to write things that’s making them check my blog and stats made me realized it isn’t my poetry (and I thank heavens for that…hehe) but I’ll still be posting poems but not on a daily basis.

  32. Jo

    Had to laugh as we are currently mid the 24hr wait for google analytics to upload on the BIG blog! Hilarious timing. I would have to say virgin on this one – though anticipation is a great place in itself! Will have to answer this one down the track…

  33. Susan @ Reading Upside Down

    Every now and then I look at my blog stats, but generally I’m struggling to find time to post let alone analyse all those numbers.

    I’m starting up a new blog soon and as I am planning to monetise this blog in some form, I will need to keep track of stats for a media kit, etc. I guess that means I’ll have to actually work out what all the different numbers mean and which ones are significant.

    I do like reading the Google search terms people have used though. I can only assume that the person who found me by googling ‘fashion conference’ was incredibly disappointed.

  34. Marion Williams-Bennett

    Ah, stats…I must admit to a hungry curiosity about stats – who, how many, from where. A bit of a stat slut rather than a whore.

    But while I find it interesting, nothing matters more to me than one comment that says “this spoke to me” or “this post made me think in a different way”

    In the end, it’s the comments that matter most to me.

  35. EmmaK

    I suppose stats are interesting in that they are so totally arbitrary. Like sometimes when I don’t post for weeks I get very high stats and when I post every day I get diddly squat!

  36. Jodie at Mummy Mayhem

    Same. Used to check once I realised what stats were all about! Now, I only check if I think a post has attracted more hits than norm just out of curiosity. I don’t advertise either, so whether 1 person or 10,000 hit in one day ( and for the record, the latter has *never* happened – i know, you’re shocked! ) means nothing.

  37. Sydney Shop Girl

    Great comments, Allison. I’m still weaning myself off ‘The Stats’ at the moment.

    I am fascinated though by how my blog comes up in Google search terms. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go Google free as Russell Brand proudly claimed himself to be this week.

    Take care

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  38. Kate

    I look at them out of interest… I had another blog for years and assumed no-one read it aside from those who commented, but when I stopped writing it discovered it did have a nice little readership going. So I check it out to remind myself that this is the Internet and God only knows who is really reading what I write.

    Also, I love seeing the search phrases people have used to find me.

    Current fave: appliances to avoid when your asleap (sic)

    Truly. That is gold to me 🙂

  39. Tenille @ Help!Mum

    I’m not quite at the ‘couldn’t care less stage’, though I think I’d like to be. I haven’t ever really changed anything significant about my blog because of them (read: used them), but I just can’t stop looking.

  40. thatblogyoudo

    He he stats i noticed that page lurking in the back there of blogger and checked it out once and realised that i click on my blog more than anyone else ever would!
    I don’t monetize, advertise, but i did toy with the idea for a day then deleted it… Nah I think its nice to have people stop by check out what I’ve read and leave a comment just so i know i’m not talking to well nobody. My aim really is to get to know some women out there global village style… Stats Whore (giggles behind hand).

  41. Suz

    I haven’t got a clue how the stats stuff all works and frankly I am flat out just trying to get posts written and make sure everyone gets fed and cleaned. I guess I might pfaff around with stats when i have a bit more time on my hands in the next twenty years or so. I love having new followers but for me, right now, its all about expressing myself and building connection. PS: the farm sounds lovely!

  42. SM Johnston

    I’ve signed up to get the google stats but am yet to work out how to see who has visited my blog. Friends of mine use it A LOT to see if publishers have visited their site.

  43. Thea

    Like you, I was for awhile.
    Now…couldn’t care less.
    The only stat I actually look at is blog followers, but not religiously. I do get excited to see new followers. And that’s about it.


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