MORE STATS AND STATS – 5,000 BLOG FOLLOWERS

5000 followersStatistics are a hot topic among bloggers. Some of us obsess over them. I don’t obsess exactly, but I’m aware and interested. I take a daily look. Usually.

Over all, things are looking up at Serendipity. There has been a slow but steady increase in readership over the past 7 months. It’s encouraging — and today I breached a threshold.

FOLLOWERS

I’ve got 5,000 blog followers, the only followers I feel I can (more or less) accurately count.

I have no idea how many Facebook “friends” check out my blog. I suppose a majority of them occasionally check out a post, but most are linked to me because we play (or played) the same game(s). A few hundred more follow me via Twitter and Tumblr. I have no idea how actively they follow. I have no idea how actively anyone follows unless they comment or otherwise make contact.

WHO IS ACTUALLY READING ME?

I’m sure at least half of my 5,000 blog followers are no longer actively following me or were never really following me at all. Some are spammers and con artists, pornographers, trolls and troublemakers. I don’t hear from the real weirdos … and there are a few of them, too. The conspiracy nuts, the ones who are planning to overthrow the government but hopefully lack the skills to do more than rant.

Many followers sign on hoping I’ll do a reciprocal follow. I don’t. Won’t.

For anyone who wants me to follow them, I often check out sites because a comment catches my interest. Don’t send your link if you haven’t read a post or two on my site. I’d just as soon you not send your link at all. If you comment, I’ll have all the information I need to find you. Sending your blog’s link as a comment is rude.

stats-9-27-14

PAGE VIEWS 

Everybody’s numbers fluctuate. They go up and down without any obvious reason. Unless it’s a multi-week nose dive, I don’t worry about it. Usually, there’s no apparent reason. Or, it can be a seasonal thing. Holidays, the weather, political stuff — all these and dozens of other factors will change what people do online. I used to fret over it, but my recent life has been so stressful, I decided to make blogging a stress-free zone.  I know if things get slow, they will pick up. Eventually. Blogging on the same site for three years has taught me patience.

And, of course, I’m a wild card, maybe the biggest wild card. Because I’m the primary writer. I post every day and have for more than two years, only missing the period when I was too sick to do it.

Even at the best of times, all my posts are not brilliant. I have inspired days and blah days. Sometimes, I think a post is terrific, yet no one agrees. Other time, I think a post is dull, pedestrian — but it gets tons of hits. Go figure. I’m definitely better at gauging my work than I used to be, but that brings me up to maybe 50%. The rest of the time, I think I’ve got it nailed, but I don’t.

All-stats-9-27-14

THE COOL KIDS

I keep hearing that there are “cool” bloggers who are hyper popular and garner all kinds of awe and adulation. Everyone (apparently) wants to be one of the cool kids. I don’t actually know who the cool kids are because I avoid extremely popular sites. They are so busy, it’s impossible to have a dialogue with anyone. Or at least, I can’t. I’m not going to line up to be heard.

I think there is a tipping point when a blog becomes an enterprise. It gets too busy, too professional. I’ve seen blogs morph from personal blogs to businesses. I wonder if the bloggers even realized what was happening.

The first symptom? They stop responding to comments … or only respond to a particular group of followers. If I comment but never get a response? I will stop reading and following. I don’t require 100% reciprocity, but I need some acknowledgment. If you are too busy to ever answer my comments, you are too busy for me.

TAKING A LONG VIEW

I prefer to take a long view of statistics. I have yet to match, much less exceed, the numbers I made in November 2012. I had a lot of help that month. We had a highly controversial presidential election and a super hurricane which conspired to make the Internet a wild and crazy place.

I’m getting back up there gradually, month by month. Statistically speaking. This time, maybe it won’t be a fluke and it will stick.

Then again, maybe not. I’m sure I won’t post every day forever. I’ll get tired someday. Not soon, but eventually. Nothing is forever. Definitely not me.



Categories: Blogging, Statistics, WordPress, Writing

Tags: , , , ,

46 replies

  1. Congrats on the 5,000 readers! I look at stats every great once in awhile, and am sometimes shaking my head that so many people liked a particular post, or that no one liked another post. Its hard sometimes to figure out what people want to read, quite hit or miss, at least for me, but I have had to come to the point where I ignore the numbers more and more. It is too easy to compare myself to a “big blog” and then feel crappy.

    Like

    • It doesn’t necessarily make sense. I often rerun posts that got little or not attention and they are hits the next time. Same post. Theoretically, same audience. Sometimes, I think it’s just who happened by that particular day. I take note of stats, but I don’t live and die by them.

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  2. Congrats! 5000 followers is impressive. I just found your blog last night and enjoyed your honest approach to blogging. I’m a real person who’s new to blogging and would prefer to develop my writing skills without performance anxiety. This inspired me. It’s not all about the numbers. Happy to be follower 5000 and something. Thanks -Gail

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  3. I think the stats are fascinating, even if hard to interpret. I have no stats or readers at my site. My readers here are actually your readers. That is why I enjoy the Sunday spot, I actually get someone to read what I write. That is all because of you, so thanks.

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  4. Wow amazing stats congrats really. I hope I get to that point one day soon. Any tips you can offer would be great. I’d love to post more often but a full time job gets in the way 😉 once a week for me but I work hard at them. Thx for any feedback, cheers

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    • I never thought I’d get this far or last this long. Never in a million years. I’m not sure what that proves except that I’m really super stubborn and don’t give up easily. Those may be important qualities for a blogger 🙂 Hang on in there. There’s a payoff if you don’t quit. Look at my numbers for the entire first year and much of the second — you’ll see what I mean.

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  5. Your short paragraph about the Cool Kids is interesting. I will always favor personal above professional, although both can be combined if done lightly. I love to feel emotions when I read a post and often, you’re right, this aspect is lost when the blogger is only seeking a growing readership. Yours is versatile and since your offer both writing and photos it makes sense that many people can find something for them. Bravo on a job well done. See you soon.

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    • Thanks. I really am doing what I do. I’ve been a hobby photographer for more than 40 years and a writer even longer. All of this started because I wanted somewhere to show my pictures and maybe get a few people to read what I write. It just grew. I’m still showing off my pictures and hoping people will read what I write — and I still have no defined goals other than those original ones. My life has been very complicated. I need this, at least, to be relatively simple 🙂

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    • I follow some professional blogs, but I don’t expect personal blogs to read like business blogs … and I dislike cliques. I try to discourage people from making me out to be more than I am — which is a pretty good writer and photographer. Who has had a fair amount of ill health and bad luck — which doesn’t make me particularly brave. I’m just a survivor. My motto, like the guy falling from the top of a very tall building, is “So far, so good.” 😀

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  6. I find Serendipity on of the most provocative and intelligent blogs I follow. I can’t even read all the post because my time is limited. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the stats. I am happy if 50 people read my blog…it is fun when a lot of interest is generated. It helps to hear from someone that has been at it much longer than I have. I feel like blogs are my window to the world. I wish I could read other languages and get an even broader perspective! Thank you for being out there and sharing!

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    • It wasn’t that long ago that 50 views on a post was a huge response for me, too. It just takes time and persistence. If you get 50 regularly now, next year, if you stick with it, it will be 100 or 200. At a certain point, if you don’t give up and you keep honing your skills, you “catch.” We may never get a million hits, but you don’t need a million. You just need people to read your work and appreciate it. Sometimes, you also can do a little bit of good in this bad old world 🙂

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  7. My followers number just over 2800 right now but that doesn’t mean much to me. When I check back to the new followers blog sites half don’t even have any posts. There are a lot of spam followers these days, trying to hawk their wares. If I catch that happening they don’t get approved and die off. I look at the stats now and then but I press on regardless of the numbers. People are fickle! In my case if they don’t get pretty animal photos they stop viewing. I am a diverse photographer/teacher. Although I go to the zoo a lot there are plenty of other venues and interests to consider.

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    • Ditto, basically. I stopped checking out followers (since I can’t do anything about them regardless) before I went into the hospital in March and haven’t done it since. I do take a look at commenters, though and probably one out of 5 or 6 is either a spammer, pornographer, or hacker. I put them on the spam list and that’s that … never hear from them again. But you don’t get to okay your followers. They can follow, but you can prevent them from posting anything and I do. Occasionally it can be hard to tell whether it’s a spammer or an actual person, but usually you can tell because comments have that “automaton” sound and usually, has nothing to do with the post about which it is supposedly attached.

      Still, 5,000 is a lot and even if I subtract 25% for spammers et al, there must be live people too. I wish they were more actively engaged, but I think I lot of folks just want to look and/or read and move on. They don’t want to have a dialogue.

      I really DON’T obsess over the numbers. I did for a while, especially when they first dropped rather low about a year ago. Then I had a little talk with me. I decided I was blogging because I like doing it. I wasn’t going to let stats ruin it for me.

      The numbers came back in the spring while I wasn’t even writing. Garry’s posts about me got really big numbers and overall, they’ve stayed up. If they piddle out again, I am NOT going to do another near-death scenario. I’ll just have to get popular by writing better posts and taking better pictures!! That “nearly dying” stuff is great for getting big numbers, but I’ll skip it, thanks.

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    • Just a mention that I don’t comment every time I read you. I think I look at every post you publish, but I don’t comment more than maybe 1/3 the time? Because I don’t have much to say except “Great picture” and that’s pretty generic. But I’m a regular, whether I say something or not.

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      • Like you I know who my real followers are. I suppose I have a few dozen that have been with me from the beginning. I actually only follow about half a dozen daily.

        Sometimes I have an interest in the topic of a blog or like their writing. If it’s a travel or fashion blog it doesn’t really apply to me so I don’t stick around long. There are a bunch of “like” people just as there are in person. In both cases the word like has lost its meaning.

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  8. Well done Marilyn. I confess to checking stats every day but I don’t obsess about the numbers. I’m happy any day that somebody visited and I have a few regulars on each of my blogs. I’m pleased about that because it gives me the incentive to keep doing it. My goal when I started was just to see if I could keep it up. I don’t post every day but I hope to work up to that eventually.

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    • I didn’t intend to post every day. I never intended to blog at all. I was just looking for some place to show off my pictures and it just happened. It has turned out to be very therapeutic for me and if I stopped, I’m sure the loss would be mine more than anyone else’s. It’s nice to have readers. I’d hate to be shouting into a void … but I don’t need the whole world listening, either 🙂

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  9. Considering all the other recent glitches, I don’t put much into page views, especially with email followers.

    That said, the follower count is probably very accurate, so congratulations! I think I have the same number of interactive followers/commenters I have now compared to when I first started, just some of the names have changed.

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    • When people sign on as followers, I’m sure they intend to follow — or at least most of them do. Then they forget, or they move on, stop blogging, stop reading blogs. Just lose interest. I go through my lists of posts I follow pretty regularly and try to clear out those that I really don’t ever read and those they have stopped posting. I suspect most people don’t do that, though, so there are a lot of “dead addresses” in there. The longer we blog, the more of those dead addresses we collect. I’m heading into three years, so there’s a definite build-up. It’s harmless and makes an interesting thing to guess about.

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  10. Reading this is motivation for me as I am a new blogger and don’t even ask my stats. No seriously don’t. I enjoy the process of blogging and take each day as a learning. Thank you for sharing your experiences (and stats, they make me feel competitive). Ciao.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice stats, Marilyn. Now I’ve got stats envy. Your worst months in 2014 are typically higher than my best. And I am (or was) thrilled that my average daily views this month is just shy of 300. But you’re way beyond that. Oh well, I’m just thankful that more than a handful of people are viewing my posts. Congrats on 5,000 followers. I’m still working on getting to the 2,000 mark.

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  12. Wow! 5000 followers! Congratulations! I don’t have nearly that many, but I am happy to say they are a pretty loyal bunch, so I guess I am happy. As long as I am helping out authors, that is what counts!
    Best,
    Leiah

    Like

    • Thank you.

      I really only have a dozen or so “regulars” … maybe a dozen more “occasional” followers who comment. Who are engaged. I’d rather have a lot of comments than a lot of hits (though both are nice 🙂 )

      Always keep in mind that a lot of “followers” are not real. They are spammers or people who clicked “follow” and never read another post.

      5,000 is a nice number. If only half that really read this blog? Great. I suspect it’s closer to 10% 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I totally understand! Like you, I have a small number of ‘regulars’ but my hits on a daily basis are pretty good. I prefer a few good conversationalists to fly-bys!

        And yes, I see the spammers . . . and (shhh, don’t tell anyone) just ignore those. And 10% is great – as long as they are involved! 😉

        Like

        • That’s just how I feel about it. I know there are more readers than commenters … probably a LOT more … and every once in a while, someone pops in and I realize …”Hey, I know this person …” It’s obvious they’ve been following me for a long time, but never commenting. And probably if everyone commented, I wouldn’t have enough time to answer them all and I like answering comments. I figure people deserve at least an acknowledgement.

          Liked by 1 person

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