Ah, yes, blogging stats. The two words that seem to make all book bloggers freeze up immediately. I can’t really say I’ve been in the community forever, but I have noticed that stats seem to be kept hush-hush around here, which I’ve always found strange.
Every blogger when you mention blog stats
Taboo #1: “I never check my stats!”
I’ve seen SO MANY book bloggers say this, but I feel like it’s sort of a lie (does that sound accusatory? Probably). Mainly because I feel like you can’t go years and years without looking at your stats at all; you have to notice what posts get people liking and commenting and discovering your blog, after all. And, two, because most of these bloggers request physical ARCs or are on the Netgalley website, and you can’t do either of those things without looking at your stats and basically listing out your follower numbers and monthly page views and daily page views and your social media following…Basically, the list can go on forever, but we, as bloggers, eventually cave and look at our stats. It’s inevitable.
Also, I’ve noticed that it seems like book bloggers put people into two different groups: people who obsessively track their states and are destroyed at a dip or people who have never glanced at their stats since Day 1. I’ve never really understood why there isn’t a middle group, because I love checking my stats to see what features are working and being looked at, and what makes some of my reviews more popular than others, but I also don’t think my entire blogging legacy is based off of the stats I gain or lose. People seem so set on putting people into these two groups, and I’m sure there are extremes out there, but I feel like the majority of us are in the middle.
Taboo #2: “I don’t care about my stats.”
I feel like people feel bad or guilty if they ever admit that they care about their stats. I know I certainly care about my stats, but it seems like there are some people who think that someone caring about their stats = they ONLY care about their stats, and I think that’s completely false.
I mentioned earlier that I analyze my stats, and that’s true! When I join a social media site, I like to see if people are actually coming from that site to my blog, or if it’s completely useless advertisement. When I start a brand new feature that I’m excited about, I want to see if my readers are as pumped about it as I am. When I post a review of a book, I like to see if I can compare it with other book reviews I’ve published, and wonder how this review got popular, but this one did average. It doesn’t mean I obsess over them; I just like to see how people are finding out about my blog, and if people are reading and commenting. And nothing makes me more happy than seeing fantastic stats.
Also, every month I like to set my own personal goals. It’s not me trying to be extremely competitive against myself or anything, it’s just so I can see if my blog/Instagram/Twitter is growing, or if I’m stuck and nothing’s really changing, or if things are declining. It won’t kill me if I don’t reach those personal goals, but I do like to observe how things are going month-to-month, and it’s always nice when my stats are better than the previous month’s because it obviously means I’m doing something right (or I think I am).
Also, probably the most fascinating thing about stats for me is how people find me. Lots of people find me through search engines, which has always interested me because I don’t even know what I’m doing regarding Search Engine Optimization. Because most of those search terms are protected under Google, I signed up for Google Analytics to see some of the words/phrases that got people finding my blog. Sometimes, it’s total BS because I’ll be told I got clicks from six search terms, and Google will be like, “LOL whut” and say I got zero clicks that day, but it’s nice to see how people are finding my blog! Funnily enough, it’s mostly because of the fact that I reviewed some underrated novels back in January that don’t have too many reviews, so I pop up near the front page. #NailedIt
Taboo #3: “I don’t have anxiety over my stats.”
I think we can all admit that we sometimes get upset if our stats aren’t up to par. Nothing’s more disappointing than working your ass off on a post and being super excited to share it, and it doesn’t do as well as a post you didn’t really care about too much. Or if you really loved a book, but that review doesn’t get as good stats as a review for a book you thought to be meh.
I don’t know about you guys, but since I post in the mornings, I always get so nervous to look at my stats. I usually check my stats before my notifications just to see if there’s a lot of comments that I’ll have to respond to and if I have time to respond to them all, and I get so nervous because what if the post doesn’t go over well, especially if it’s a brand new feature that I’m really excited to introduce to you guys.
Really, that’s the crazy thing about blogging. You can never tell what post is going to be popular or not no matter what you do, it’s really all up to how many people find your post interesting enough to read, like, and comment (which can definitely be extremely frustrating).
Taboo #4: “I don’t care about anyone else’s stats, just my own.”
I’ll admit it, I’m nosy as all hell. When I see big book bloggers that I admire talk about how their stats were really good that month, or see people who have over 1,000 followers and continually seem to get lots of comments and likes on their posts, I can’t help but wonder what their stats look like! I will say, this old survey from Pages Unbound about stats was really interesting, because it seems like the stats that I have are pretty much average, and the big book blogger who took part in the survey had stats that were definitely the outlier.
But, I do get curious about big book bloggers and their stats. Are mine low compared to theirs? Are mine higher compared to theirs? How many views do they get on their reviews compared to mine? How many views do they get on their discussion posts? What are their monthly page views like? Maybe I’m just super weird, but I honestly get very curious, and I don’t know why people feel bad for admitting that.
So, really, I think as a book blogging community, we shouldn’t feel ashamed to have good stats or like looking at our stats, and we definitely shouldn’t feel ashamed to be curious about anybody else’s stats. I just really think we need to take a step toward getting rid of this whole taboo about blog stats, because we’re so weirdly uneasy about them, and why should we be?
How do you feel about the taboo of blog stats? Do we share any of the same feelings about blog stats? How do you feel about your own blog stats?