Blogger Bites: On Numbers And Statistics

Blogger BitesI know that this certain matter of contention encompasses dangerous territory, as statistics, after all, is a subject quite sensitive. However, I do have my own thoughts regarding the moot point, and have, for some time now, been wanting to share them with you– so yes, I am totally going to go there.

Many book bloggers like myself have been around for much longer, and are familiar with the gradual, somehow excruciating process by which blogs gains estimable readership. I, myself, have once or twice been discouraged by my blog’s statistics enough for me to second guess myself and consider quitting. However, this happened during the genesis that was my first week of blogging, and most auspiciously since then, I haven’t been pushed over the edge or daunted enough to give the idea a second thought. Within the confines of the blithe haven that is the blogosphere, and in the company of incredible co-bloggers, life is an endless party, and its recently been hard to feel even remotely crestfallen. However, the same cannot apply to all of us. Some people value their site stats more than others, and feel downcast with the most nominal decline in viewership. Unsubscribes and unfollows become their archenemies. Continuous blog promotion has turned into a first priority. Such should not be the case. Whether or not you agree that statistics are paramount but not all that, I’m going to ignore your sentiments in the mean time and continue divulging on the why’s and why not’s of this particular concern.

Design A

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

1. The purpose of blogging is defeated without an audience.

Common sense dictates that there is no one point in posting entries when no is available to read it. This much is true– no one should waste time and effort on posts that get zero attention. For a time, nevertheless, some newbie bloggers don’t get lucky and find it hard to promote their blog’s content. I myself felt lame at first, as it seemed as if I was talking to a brick a wall. In this light, I do believe that it is important to follow other bloggers and sign up for various social media sites to allow for some exposure. It doesn’t hurt to follow back, to reply to comments, to cross-post reviews to Goodreads, to tweet links to your posts, create fan pages on Facebook, et cetera. After all, you’d want people to feel your presence in the online community, and in the process compel them to pay your blog a little visit (and maybe a follow or two). Trust me– it feels hugely rewarding to receive comments and compliments from readers, as it lets you know that your existence on this sphere of being is genuinely appreciated.

2. We want to share our reviews to as many viewers as possible.

Book bloggers review books for reasons apart from free speech and self expression. This of course, is a critical factor that leads many to the blogger path, but this isn’t the only thing that drives the need for a regular review post. Whether or not your review is negative, your honest opinions matter to people with interest. There is no author, publisher, or fangirl/boy on this planet who wouldn’t do with a little more love for their book. When it comes to ARCs, bloggers have to meet certain criteria for publishers to approve of their requests to view or receive them– this is when the importance of statistics kicks in for many. Of course, we generate more buzz with a greater following, and consequentially get approved for more popular titles. In this way, bloggers, publishers, and authors are made happy (unless of course, bloggers choose to abuse their capabilities, and request for countless ARCs they won’t even care to send feedback for. Otherwise, all is well).

3. It’s great to meet new people.

Blogging shouldn’t always be a “me me me” experience. Sometimes, it feels more rewarding to make a friend or two, rather than gain a hundred followers that won’t even Β bother to talk to you. I, of course, have my own share of blogger friends, and creepers that come around once in a while, but never tell me that they do so. Truthfully, I am appreciative of both, because a simple click on the follow button is enough to make me feel all giddy. However, I honestly would not trade Flip That Page for anything else in this world because of the many friends I’ve made in the process. Likewise, it feels great for many bloggers to meet people they can converse and share opinions with, friends who visit them regularly, make them laugh, make them smile, make the entire experience worthwhile (I like rhymes). On the other hand, if you prefer keeping to yourself, it never hurts to receive follows either.

But for the readers and co-bloggers who have been putting up with my relentless chatter, I think you guys are amazing, and I love you.

Thankyou

Jack Harries loves you too.Design A

WHY IT’S NOT THAT IMPORTANT

1. You want a huge audience, but you don’t need it.

You don’t have to be the king or queen of the blogosphere to be happy around here. It’s not wrong to want your blog to receive countless awards, thousands of followers, or tens of thousands of page views daily– I myself am blogging for a similar, endless dream. However, I make it a point to remember that an extensive readership is never a necessity. Being quite the newbie blogger myself, I can admit that my statistics are none too remarkable or impressive. I don’t expect them to grow exponentially over the year (though that Β is a thrilling prospect), but of course, I am happy and sit contented with the few people who make it a point to regularly stop by and say hi. Truth be told, I am more appreciative of meaningful comments, because I love reading and replying to every single on of them (my mom and auntie have expressed their disapproval, but I honestly don’t want to pass up the chance to start a proper conversation. Sorry, I’m not sorry). I’m not demanding for other bloggers to adopt a similar mind set (because many of them have huge audiences, so kudos!), but of course, I find it infinitely more effective to feel appreciative of the people who follow, rather than keep vying for those who don’t. They’ll come along, eventually. You’re that good, so believe in it.

2. Blogging is not a competition.

I know it’s hard not to notice how many followers or page views a certain blog has, but seeing a display of numbers greater than yours shouldn’t necessarily spur a determination to top it. The way I see it, the book blogosphere is a friendly community where people work with, not against each other. I don’t think its wrong to feel a certain sense of achievement when you realize that you’ve got better statistics than a certain blogger X, but that should never be the point. If you’ve got many followers, then that’s good for you, and if you want more, that’s good for you too. There’s also nothing wrong with hosting giveaways for reaching a certain following and I honestly love getting to congratulate and beam at those who do, because in that moment, they have all the right to go all like,

Bragging

Yes, yes. Werk it.

However, it’s an instant aversion for me when it comes to bloggers (even famous ones, unfortunately) who do little more than advertise and go on blog tours, never really posting anything with any real connection to the readers. I don’t blame them for not having the time to reply to comments, but if they rarely post anything with substance, it feels as if the statistics have taken control, and I don’t believe that’s the way to go.

3. A small but dedicated following is better than an extensive, but distant one.

I don’t think it’s wrong to want to gain better numbers to put on display, but I’m honestly a big believer in appreciating a small, albeit dedicated following. I don’t have that many readers, but I love how many of them take the time to visit Flip That Page regularly. In much the same way, I enjoy visiting their blogs regularly. In case you’ve gotten the wrong message, I’m not against gaining follows (I would love them. *wink wink*), nor am I against an extensive readership– both are entirely ideal. It’s fine to feel bad about declines in your blog’s statistics, because of course that tells me that you’re human. Β However, I do believe that statistics aren’t as important as you may (or may not) think they are, because even a small following is enough to make a blogger happy (like me!). However, if you think that there is a perpetual need to gain follows or subscribes, and a small following is never enough, dedicated or not, then you’re probably never really happy or content, and quite frankly, that’s your problem. Otherwise, I heartily approve of you (and most likely, that means YOU.)

Design A

Now it’s your turn! I’d like to know more about your own views on numbers and statistics when it comes to blogging. Do you think they’re important, but not all that? Or do you believe that they will and forever will be the point of blogging? Sound off in the comments!

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34 thoughts on “Blogger Bites: On Numbers And Statistics

  1. Okay, stats also matters sometimes. As on my FB page hardly anyone bothers likes the posts but they do see them becuase Fb shows how many people saw the post ;P (So, that thing keeps me going on to post stuff on page)

    While reading the post It seems like you were pointing me out πŸ˜€
    I love when someone follows my blog and comments on it, but stats do let me feel my blog is alive and breathing. Breathing is necessary to live apart from food. :]

    • HAHA of course they matter. I do think there’s no point in blogging if no one’s around– you do need the numbers to keep your blog alive and breathing. HAHA, no, I wasn’t pointing anyone out in particular πŸ™‚ But at least I made you feel like I was talking to you! πŸ˜„ Thanks for stopping by Sana~

  2. I definitely don’t think they’re that important. They definitely can make you feel good, and that’s great, but they’re not worth stressing over. Because of Kat @ Cuddlebuggery mentioning me in a post a week or two ago, my page views went up like crazy and I got an influx of visitors (that was also partially due to the Bloggy Awards I think). But, now that that’s all settled down my page views have dropped. I don’t mind though, because I’m appreciative for the attention I got when everything happened and am happy with those who stick around. I’m definitely with you on wanting a small following that interacts a lot than a large gathering that doesn’t say anything. I’m here to talk, be friends, and have fun! I can’t do that if no one announces their presence!

    So if I pay attention to anything, it’s comments. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate those who lurk in the shadows, but if someone is taking the time to leave a meaningful comment I feel like they are actually reading my content and want to interact with me (which is why I, too, respond to all comments on my blog)! I always keep track of what posts get comments and take that into consideration when creating my content, but in the end, I just try and do what makes me happy. If I’m happy and some of my readers are happy, then there’s no need to worry about everyone else!

    Something like that πŸ˜‰

    • WOW I love your thoughts on this one! πŸ™‚ I always did think that you always had a large amount of views, but yeah, I definitely think the numbers aren’t worth stressing about, especially if people still take the time to comment and read your content. And you DO get a crazy amount of comments on your blog, which is one of the amazing things about it. I actually started my blog not to gain exposure but to get to interact with people, make them happy. That on is definitely the best part– it makes me happy, too! Thanks for stopping by and telling me all that Asti πŸ˜‰

  3. I made my blog just about three weeks ago so I can’t say about my stats being impressive or anything. What I can say is that I made the blog because I wanted to interact with people with similar ideas and make some friends with which I could talk about books, since the number of people around me that read equals zero. Which again doesn’t mean that I don’t take the stats into account because every comment makes me incredibly happy, because it shows that someone is actually reading something I wrote in sweat and blood (well, okay maaaybe not in blood, just maybe) and makes me want to carry on writing. x

    • Well, I’m not as new as you are, although like you, I made a blog so that I could interact with people πŸ™‚ I do take my stats into account, but I don’t stress out over them much– it’s a defense mechanism, because I’m bound to feel bad if I do HAHA. And comments make me incredibly happy too, whether or not they agree or disagree with my post! I don’t think I had to spill any blood (fortunately!) though I think I did sweat out over many posts. Blogging has been a hugely rewarding experience. Hope you’ll like the blogosphere even more Sandy! πŸ˜€

  4. Amen!!!! I might just sing Alleluia right here because boy oh boy does this post preach. Getting a huge number of followers is ideal, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter much to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my blog out there, especially since Stay Bookish is so new.

    The thing is: I’ve done blogging before, with my personal photoblog. After three years, I finally had a four digit follower count. That should make me ecstatic and more eager to blog but it doesn’t. I miss my ‘quality readers’- people who took the time to message and talk to me and seemed like they wanted to get to know me. Anons who tell me they like my blog, even those who kept asking me such curious things. Interaction and appreciation are what truly matters to me.

    Aside from that, I really love making friends (Let’s all just be friends please). I sometimes feel like my blogger friends get me more than my actual friends. So yeah, friends>followers.

    Okay, I just realized I’ve been babbling off. I guess what I’m just saying is that stats aren’t important.

    • Haha glad you agree Hazel! And I never knew you used to have photo blog! During my sophomore years, I used to look at lots of those on tumblr πŸ˜„ And yeah I like that term, “quality readers”– I do think that the people who take time to get to know and me and let me know they read my content are the people I love best to have around. But of course, every follower is much appreciated! πŸ˜„ I love to make friends too, and I guess the reason why our blogger friends seem to know us better is because we’re more open to them in the way that we have to be secretive with real friends. They’re less judgmental on the average, but that probably applies a whole lot more to me. Haha! And no, it’s fine to babble on this post. It was great to know what you think of the topic! Thanks for being one of those “quality readers” Hazel. I can definitely be your friend πŸ˜‰

  5. I’ve been blogging for a year now and my blog is still pretty small. Of course it’s discouraging as it often feels like I’m talking to a wall but everything comes slowly and situations are always different for each person. I acknowledge the fact that I’m not the best commenter and don’t post as much as other bloggers – things that do help you increase your readership – and I accept that. I started blogging because I love it and even though it’s a pain to have to list my stats when requesting ARC’s, I’m happy with where I am. I know that I have people who do read my blog and that’s enough for me. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like more readers but I think I’m in a pretty comfy spot right now too!

    • YAY I’m glad you think so Annie! πŸ™‚ I used to get discouraged a lot of the time, and it’s quite a pain for me too to have to list down my stats on my NetGalley profile because they’re not that impressive. But I try not to overthink it, really πŸ˜„ I’m fine with people who don’t comment regularly on other people’s blogs, because our schedules vary, and all that, but I greatly appreciate those who take the time too! And it’s great to know that you started blogging because it’s something you enjoy– I think the fact that we love what we do is something we should embrace more often. We all just need to calm down and be happy in each other’s company πŸ˜„ Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Interesting post, I think stats is something everyone stresses about sometimes. When I was on Blogger, I remember being quite obsessed with GFC followers. Switching to WordPress was great because I no longer focused on stats so much. Then I started using Edelweiss and still have not even had one approval so I became mildly obsessed with stats again LOL

    • HAHA thank you! Once or twice I couldn’t help but think about them– I don’t remember, but it may have been a steep decline in my numbers, which was disheartening. Fortunately enough, I have slowly begun to just forget about externalities and focus on posting quality content for the readers. I’ve never used Blogger so I don’t know much about GFC, but I guess the fact that WordPress doesn’t automatically display your count is something of an advantage. I’m quite happy that I initially chose this platform! πŸ˜€ I’ve never tried Edelweiss either, but that’s because it scares me to do so. I get declined for requests just as much as I get approved (because my first day on NetGalley was spent just about requesting everything on sight), but of course it makes me feel bad to an extent when I get rejected D: Still, I’m quite happy with where I stand πŸ™‚

      • Yep, I think the fact that WordPress doesn’t exactly have a true follower count widget it is beneficial to those of us who tend to watch that number a little too closely πŸ™‚ Edelweiss is pretty intimidating…but they have so many amazing books! xD It’s great that you feel that way πŸ™‚

      • Yes I think it’s beneficial too! I think I chose WordPress because the themes looked cleaner though (HAHA), but I do visit quite a lot of Blogger blogs, even if many of the people I follow have been thinking of making the switch. But each one to his own devices, right? As long as the content isn’t purely promotional πŸ˜„ Yeah they do! I think I’m just too scared of Edelweiss at the moment. Even NetGalley has begun to intimidate me! The books are real tempting though πŸ˜€

  7. When I first started my blog I was CONSTANTLY checking my stats/followers, but now I might check them once a day. I finally came to realize that the reason I started blogging was to express my feelings and while I do love for people to see and comment on my posts, I’m not going to get depressed if they don’t because then I might stop blogging all together, and I love it to much to do that!

    • HAHA we ALL do that I think. Even I had some sort of obsession with my numbers on the very first week, and every time it grew one digit I’d jump for joy, literally. Haha! I don’t check every so often now, but of course, I appreciate every single person who cares to follow. I don’t mind if people don’t comment a lot on my blog. People have been commenting quite a lot, and I’m grateful for that really πŸ˜€ And I hope you don’t stop blogging anytime soon! I love visiting your blog too πŸ˜€

  8. As a newbie,I feel a bit disheartened when I have views lower than I expected. But deep inside,I know it doesn’t matter as much as I think it is. Anyhow,I feel bloglovin and memes are now helping those who aim for higher numbers.
    Also,are you a jacksgap fan? *swoons* Which of the twins do you prefer?

    Lillian
    Xxx

    • Yeah, of course it doesn’t feel nice, but I don’t care so much now as I did before. As long as people keep visiting I guess! πŸ™‚ Bloglovin and memes are definitely big helps, though I don’t participate in many memes now, so as to preserve originality πŸ˜€ And YES! YES I am a Jacksgap fan! I know so many people prefer Finn Finn the better twin, but I just think Jack is so much more charismatic, and just as flawless! Finn just has the sexier voice. HAHA! I’m more for Jack Jack the better chap πŸ˜€ And thanks for stopping by Lillian πŸ™‚

  9. I think numbers are both important and not so important. It matters more who stops by your blog and leaves a comment, but when it comes to requesting ARCs (mostly) numbers do matter a lot – some publishers have the rule “(insert number)+” followers for approval. It kind of sucks because you can have a 100 followers and get 50 comments on a post, but that wouldn’t matter to them…

    I think at some point in the beginning everyone who starts a blog is a little obsessed with numbers. I mean, like you said, you want to know you have an audience, that someone is actually reading and appreciating what you take the time to write. You want to know that people do care about your opinion. It’s always such a sweet feeling when you respond to comments ❀ Especially by new followers. Of course, if they take the time to leave a comment on someone's blog, the least the owner can do is do the same (it's not necessary, though – it's not a chore, but it's still a nice gesture and makes you seem friendly).

    Anyway… in some situations numbers matter and in others, they don't. Only, though, I couldn't understand – your mother and your aunt don't want you responding to comments πŸ˜• (You don't have to answer! I'm just being my usual nosy self : D)

    • HAHA NO. I shall answer because I love you ❀ Oh, my mom and aunt just think I'm burdening myself by having to answer aaaaall the comments, but I guess they don't know that it's something I actually really enjoy! Not a chore at all πŸ˜€ And yeah agreed! I guess when it comes to publishers, we have to care a whole lot more about our stats because they care about them. In the beginning, I cared quite a bit because it still seemed lonely, but now that I have a set of bloggy friends, I feel real happy! I don’t have that many followers, but I love all of them, commenters or not πŸ™‚

  10. I don’t look at my stats much, largely because I can be obsessive and that is just something I do not want to obsess over. I have to admit though, sometimes I find myself trying to write more of the posts that I know will gain the most attention (based on comments I receive, which of course I can’t help but notice), which is not altogether bad, but it’s not good for me to focus solely on that and not on what I want to say. Sometimes I’m wary to post something because it’s “different,” but usually I am pleasantly surprised to find several people who enjoy the post, and then I am glad I included it and could experience the comradery with those who did comment on it.

    And I have definitely decided in the last several months since starting my blog that I would rather have a smaller, more dedicated following that I can connect with that a giant, more disconnected following.

    • Oh yeah, definitely– I notice which types of posts get the most comments too, though of course, I don’t do it solely for the comments either πŸ™‚ I mean, I love a good discussion, but I try to focus on creating quality content πŸ˜€ Yeah, posting something different is a risk, because you have no basis on viewer reactions yet. Although I do love many of your features and new posts! So creative πŸ˜€ And I’m glad you agree– I love being able to connect with viewers as well πŸ™‚

    • HAHA I see. Sometimes the fluctuations are hard to provide an explanation for, so I don’t bother πŸ˜€ And yeah, comments are the things I look forward to the most on my blog. They make me really, really happy πŸ™‚ So thanks for making me happy Lexxie!

  11. I’ve been blogging for a year and a half now and for the longest time my stats were at a standstill. I didn’t lose followers, but nor did I really gain a whole lot either. Sure, I was disappointed. I mean, I created my blog to make friends, but I can’t do that if people hardly know I exist. Over the past 6-9 months though, my followers have definitely increased and while that makes me happy, I’ve stopped caring about the numbers. I only care about the meaningful interactions with those who spend the time to get to know me and who comment on my posts. This is one of the issues I have with Tumblr. I can’t spend a minute on there without seeing at least 20 blogs asking for promotions or ranting about needing more followers. What’s the point of having so many followers if they’re all so distant? It’s like you said: I’d rather have a lovely group of people following me and befriending me, than have thousands of followers who never talk to me. Like the numbers on a weigh scale, at the end it’s only numbers and we have to stop pinning our happiness on them.

    • Amen to that! πŸ™‚ I guess at first, we all can’t help but be a little obsessed with our stats, because we’re not that comfortable with them yet. And when they’re at a standstill, somehow it’s always disappointing, but once we’re able to make lots of friends around the blogosphere, I guess our view point can change πŸ˜€ Mine certainly did, since now I only really care about getting to converse with and befriend my co-bloggers! It’s the most rewarding part of this experience, actually! And YES– stats are only numbers, so our happiness never has to depend on them. Thanks for your opinions Lauren πŸ˜‰

  12. The numbers thing is weird, and I’ve come to the conclusion that some people will obsess and some won’t and neither is right or wrong. I prefer not to obsess, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the stats. I’m just not obsessive about it. I’ve moved past the point where I participated in memes that weren’t me (ummm … not really into “book boyfriends” or sharing books I’ve gotten), and settled comfortably into writing exactly the posts I want to write. I’m not big into social media, so I quit trying and spend my time commenting on blogs which I prefer. Will that make my blog traffic decrease? Maybe – but I’ll be happier, and more productive.

    • Oh this is some great thought! I do agree that people shouldn’t obsess about their stats, but neither should they stop caring. And it’s great that you’ve started to post the things you really do want to post about πŸ™‚ That would definitely make me happier too. Traffic and stats will decrease when they do, but nothing beats the feeling of being able to share your real thoughts with others, if you ask me! Thanks for stopping by Tanya~

  13. Yes! I agree with all of these points. One thing I hated about Blogger was the stat counter right at the top for me to see every. time. I. opened. it. On WordPress, it’s not as visual, which may bother some people, but I’m glad to not constantly be assaulted with my numbers. I don’t blog for numbers, but I do blog to interact with other readers and bloggers. I think the most important point you made was a small but dedicated following is better than a large but distant one. I live for thoughtful comments, conversations, and recommendations from my little blogging community. I also feel like the bigger your blog gets the more you start to second guess followers and commenters. Kind of like when you win the lottery; you think – Do these people only like me for my money? I certainly rejoice every time I get a new follower, but I prefer to have followers that I interact with too.

    • EXACTLY! I’ve never been on Blogger, but I’m happy that I decided to choose WordPress πŸ™‚ I don’t blog for follows either, although I admit that my stats are important to me. I just don’t have it in me to obsess and overthink them too much πŸ˜€ I guess if I had loads of followers too, I’d start second guessing. But now that I still don’t, I’m happy πŸ™‚

  14. This is an awesome and thoughtful post! I try not to look at my statistics very often cuse it can be rather…discouraging sometimes, especially since I changed my blog name..I realize that my statistics isn’t as good as it used to be. However, I am very excited to read comments! Especially the thoughtful ones! I reply to every comment on my blog although I don’t have the time to do it recently – but I will definitely catch up with all of them πŸ™‚

    • HAHA yeah, I started reading yours when you were still The Pansycake Reader, but I think your new name is so catchy and adorable πŸ™‚ I love receiving comments too! It makes me feel all happy and giddy πŸ˜„ And thanks for stopping by! πŸ˜€

  15. I hardly look at my stats to be honest. The only time I pay attention to my amount of followers is when I attempt a review request or when I edit my Netgalley account. I don’t think stats matter, it’s more about comments for me. I always feel like: I’d rather have 10 close bloggers I talk with then high page views with no comments. It’s not about being popular for me, it’s about making friends and having conversations.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    • Really? Wow you have control! I look at mine from time to time, but I never let them bother me πŸ™‚ And yeah, it’s all about the comments for me too. I don’t get bothered if I don’t get any, but it’s always so gratifying to receive them anyways πŸ˜€

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