Thursday, 15 September 2016

Seeing Past The Stats

I've been blogging for just under 2 years now and one of the things I have a love/hate relationship with is stats. How many people follow you, how many views your posts get, how long your readers stick around on your site - there's loads to consider and, even if you don't set out with any kind of expectations or goals, it can be quite disheartening if you have a 'bad stat' day/week/month etc...

When I first started blogging, I was obsessed with stats. I checked my google analytics about 5x a day so I could see how many people were 'live' on my site, what keywords they were searching to find my posts and so on. Although I probably checked them too much, I think checking my stats a lot did help me build my blog. They helped me to tell which posts went down the best, what kind of titles would make readers want to click, what kind of keywords I should include in posts to help them show up organically on Google.

I had a period, last year, where I managed to grow my blog from roughly 100 followers to 1000 in about 4 months. It was a massive achievement for me as I'd literally started blogging with no real idea what I was going to blog about or anything. I'd barely even read blogs before so the whole concept of it was completely new to me. 

Over the past year, I've had other things going on that have just meant blogging has simply taken a back seat. I haven't posted as often, I haven't promoted posts on Twitter - I've just taken a bit of a haphazard attitude to the whole thing. And I can honestly say I haven't checked my Google Analytics account all year. I don't think I actually dare because I know that they won't be pretty. They will have dropped significantly from this time last year and I can completely understand why that is.

But, right now, I'm not too bothered about this. I've started to really enjoy blogging again over the past few weeks. I don't know what's given me this spurt of enthusiasm but I feel like I'm back in the game, again. And, with time, I hope that this will start to have a reflection on my stats. Like with anything in life, you get out what you put in, at the end of the day. You can't expect to suddenly get a 1000 views on a post if you haven't even let your readers know you've written something (unless you're Zoella or someone with a shit ton of loyal followers!) I know I tend to click on most posts through Twitter and it's rare I'd actually think to check someones blog to see if they've written anything new. 

And you can't expect to be getting new followers by the day if you're not giving people a reason to follow you. For me, blogging is all about having an outlet to be creative and meeting new people. It's also given me a lot of exciting opportunities and the chance to work with brands that I love. Of course there's a part of me that wants my blog to be the best it can be and to get bigger. But I know that takes time and I've 100% realised that it is virtually impossible to try and get people to read a blog that you wouldn't even really read yourself. I'd rather take a break, maybe lose some followers and views along the way, but come back better. With content I'm happy with and actually excited to share!

And, eventually, I will take the plunge and check my stats again and think about how I can improve them (honestly, it feels like I've been on a night out and I'm avoiding checking my bank balance the next day)! But, for now, it's all about producing decent content that is actually worthy of decent stats.

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