Since I entered the blogging world I’ve read quite a few posts — mainly not from my regular Notes from the Bluegrass readers–in which the writer seemed lost in angst over their blog statistics. From in depth critiques of whether “like” really meant like to hand-wringing over why some people quit subscribing to rants about people who visit and comment in order to get return visits, a lot of people seem to spend a lot of time worrying about the minutiae of stats on their blogs.
I’m a little fascinated by all that maybe because I’m missing some understanding of why it’s so important (I tend to lag behind in the blogging/techno world…). When I began the stats were important to me because I’m shopping a book around and these days you have to provide your own market before anyone wants to take a look. I figured blogging might be a way to produce some numbers that would give the book a boost. I’ve never reached any heights that seemed helpful so that aspect I’ve kind of set aside.
But I know enough about stats to know that the only things some agent or publisher is going to care about are raw numbers like 10,000 subscribers (HA!) or 250,000 hits a day (HA! HA!). They’re not going to hang around analyzing whether your readers really like it or whether your subscriber list goes up and down as long as your overall stats are big enough to suggest you have a market for your work. Same thing if you’re hoping to attract advertisers. They don’t give a crap about why people are reading, liking or commenting, they just want to know how many people are showing up each day.
I feel pleased every time I get a “like” on one of my posts and I don’t care to dig deeply into why someone clicked that button. For feel good quality and fuel for gratitude a like is just a like to me. As I’ve noted a number of times on the Bluegrass blog, people are who they are and they do what they do. So I figure readers are going to drop in and out, click “like” for a variety of their own reasons, comment based on who they are, etc. and I don’t take any of it personally. I occasionally feel a brief soupcon of distress when I see my subscriber numbers have gone down by one or two but I also know that people close accounts, change their minds, decide to cut down on reading blogs, etc. and, again, that’s all about them and just about nothing to do with me. After the numbers go down they always go back up again and keep slowly growing so I stay detached from the nuances.
For me, this is a nice practice in mindfulness and in letting go of attachment. Since my numbers haven’t come close to the range that would net me my original goal I’ve even quit paying much attention to the overall figures. I’m enjoying the writing and the friends I’ve made and the great blogs I’ve found to read and the rest is just a bunch of numbers.