I must confess that I am an absolute stats addict. It first began when I discovered that there was a statistics section on my blogger blog. I loved to watch the numbers rise and see the weird and wonderful search terms that would land people on my blog. Although checking stats isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
From the blogger stats, it moved onto Google Analytics. This opened a whole different world of terms. This was were I learned about unique views vs page views and how these were different. Part of me wishes I had added GA from the start so that I could see the growth, but there is another part of me that is glad this preoccupation with the numbers was delayed for a little bit longer.
It’s interesting that I found a range of similar feelings to the up and down nature of the stats as when I was weighing myself daily. My day can be either made or broken depending on that number. In the case of the stats it’s an increase. I know logically that there is always going to be a natural fluctuation of the stats on a daily basis. Especially when I participate in link ups.
However, just because something is logical doesn’t mean that an anxious mind will believe it. At the start of the year I watched in horror as my stats went lower and lower. There didn’t seem to be less comments on my blog and I just felt completely hopeless. It really started to have an impact on my desire to blog. I was ready to give up, I felt like I was being left behind and there was nothing I could do about it.
It was at that moment that I realised that things had to change. I knew from previous experience that a cold turkey *no more stats checking* ban was not going to be helpful. I had to change the way that I approached the numbers and the way that I thought about them. The numbers are what they are, stressing about them won’t change it.
So I set about doing things that I knew could have an impact on them. I focused on making sure that I was doing everything I could manage to ensure that people were clicking through to my blog. I worked on the guilt, and I put the numbers into perspective. Breaking the numbers down really helped me because I was able to see that while the numbers weren’t improving in the way I wanted, there were parts of those stats which I was proud of.
I still check my stats daily, I have tried to cut it down to once a week, or even 2 times a week but my fear of missing out is too strong. At the moment I am happy to work on one of the sources of anxiety (especially when working on that area has seen an increase in my stats!) because I no longer feel trapped when I see a drop in the numbers. I use that as a place to grow, rather than become stagnant with fear.
Are you a stats addict? Do you feel trapped by the numbers or do you make them your bitch?
Linking up with Kirsty for I must confess!
I used to be so addicted to them. I still check my blogger stats daily simply because I log into blogger to do editing or write a post and they’re there. I used to check google analytics all the time, but now I only really check it if I’m asked for my current stats. It really shits me though if Ive commented on heaps of blogs and done link ups and then my stats are still crap.
Hahaha. No, I don’t check them all the time. I like to go in every so often and get a surprise. It surprises me that whether I blog once a week or three times a week my stats don’t change that much. I guess I’m not motivated by the stats. I just like making my blog. If I worry about the numbers I become paralysed and can’t write like I want to.
I aim to update my stats on my advertising page monthly so that is when I check my numbers. Still, I often forget. I am not blogging for the numbers. I am blogging for the community. So what will upset me more, is if people stop chatting to me on social media. I notice when the regulars have a day off or whatever. I miss them.
I have no idea how to check stats except for the number of page views that blogger tells you when you log in. That number is abysmal so there’s no point in me checking any further. Sigh. I’m glad you’re no longer trapped by the numbers. After all, you’re definitely making a difference with this space and connecting with others and that’s the main thing. xo
I love that you wrote that you get the same feelings weighing yourself as you do looking at your stats, because I was just thinking the exact same thing myself a few days ago 🙂 Actually, I hardly ever weight myself or look at my stats anymore, because I like to be oblivious to the truth! I’ve never actually looked at my unique views vs page views … I’m not even sure if I know what that actually means! I was scrolling through my page views in blogger the other day and realised that one of my posts had actually completely vanished … so I guess it is helpful to check these things every now and then. I remember when I first started blogging, I’d get so excited to see that ANYONE at all was reading, but then when you have a good run of lots of posts with lots of page views and then all of a sudden they drop and you can’t work out why, it can feel really demoralising. I went through a period earlier this year where I thought I must have stuffed something up really bad because my page views had dropped significantly but then I thought about it and realised it probably had a lot to do with me blogging sporadically and infrequently. It also really surprised me sometimes which posts get a lot of views and which ones get quite low numbers. Sometimes it’s completely opposite to what I would have thought.
I think we have been conditioned by things like Google, Facebook and Twitter to check, compare and re-check stats. Last week I had a bit of a crisis when I realised I had lost three twitter followers (three!). What had I done wrong? How will I fix this catastrophe? Ahhhg!
I think it is a good idea to try reduce the amount of time we spend checking stats, though I haven’t found a good way to do this, yet!
Yes I must confess: I check my stats most days! I have Stat Counter AND Google Analytics installed which confuses this issue even further because they can be quite different!!!! But in another way I’m glad – my Stat Counter stats took an unexplained nosedive in October last year, dropping to about half – but GA stayed the same. I have no idea why this happened, but it just goes to show to take all stats with a grain of salt, I think …
I rarely check Google Analytics but I do check my Jetpack site stats each day. I try not to concentrate on the numbers too much as it just messes with my head!
I was doing a lot of stats research when I first started blogging and I must admit, it’s a huge relief to not have to check on them so often now and a big buzz when once I month I do check in.