Today we’re going to talk about numbers. Not just any ‘ole numbers, but the numbers related to your blog. If you are a serious blogger, I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about. Most of us like to keep track of our blog numbers, don’t we? Just to be clear when I talk about blog numbers today, I’m referring not only to page views and visitors tracked in Google Analytics, but also to the number of followers on your social media accounts.
So tell me, how often do you check your blog’s numbers? Is it monthly? Maybe weekly?? Perhaps daily??? Uh…several times a day???? Alright, we need to talk! Today I’m here to tell you to stop the insanity! It’s time to stop focusing on numbers and focus on what really matters.
I remember when I first started my blog and figured out how to check my Google Analytics. I would check it several times a day, and get excited with every visitor. I’d check my social media accounts, too, and shout a cheer as I gained each new follower. But what started out as fun during my early days of blogging, eventually became a chore. If my numbers were up, I was happy. If my numbers were down, I’d start to worry, then I’d start to question myself.
What am I doing wrong?
Why aren’t people liking my Facebook posts?
Do people hate my writing?
I’ll never be a successful blogger like…so and so.
Self-doubt would creep in and steal my confidence until the next time I checked my blog numbers and saw a spike. Then one day I received an excellent piece of advice from a very successful blogger. She said to stop looking at my blog numbers so often to gauge my success and instead focus my time on making my blog the best it could be. Hmm…at first I thought she was crazy, but I decided to take her advice and I’m so glad I did!
Let’s think about what draws readers to you site. Is it any of the following?
- Readers look at the number of followers you have on Facebook.
- Readers notice how many people are following your tweets on Twitter.
- Readers are impressed with your Instagram followers.
- Readers notice you’ve hit 1K followers on Pinterest and decide to visit your blog.
- Readers see that 200 other readers have looked at a particular post this week and decide to check it out.
No! Why not? Readers are not looking at your numbers, and neither should you!
Now let’s look at some of the real reasons readers are drawn to your blog.
- Readers see a great project from your site on Pinterest and visit your blog to see how you made it.
- Readers check out your photos on Instagram and want to learn more about you and your blog.
- Readers see a post on Facebook that sparks their curiosity and they decide to find out more.
- Readers follow a tweet to your site to learn more about a topic.
So, what do all of these reasons have in common?
That’s right! It is great content that actually draws readers to your blog. You need a great project tutorial to inspire others on Pinterest. You need an interesting article to create interest on Twitter. You need a unique perspective to spark curiosity on Facebook. You need a great photo to draw readers from Instagram.
Bloggers need to stop playing the numbers game and focus on creating content that will intrigue, engage and inspire readers.
Once I stopped focusing on my blog numbers, an amazing thing happened. My blog started to grow, without me even realizing it! Why? I wasn’t focused on numbers, but instead I was focused on developing my writing skills, planning out my posts, connecting with other bloggers, learning new photography skills and interacting with my readers.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should never check your numbers, because I do. I have a monthly chart I use to track my blog’s growth through social media and Google Analytics. I need to know what’s working for my blog and what isn’t, but my ultimate goal should be to gain followers that come back daily to my blog, follow my posts, and leave genuine comments. I don’t want just numbers…I want loyal followers! How about you?
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Let’s stop putting so much emphasis on the amount of followers we have on our social media accounts and stop checking our Google Analytics so often to see how many visitors we’ve had to our blog. We are wasting valuable time that could be spent creating amazing content for our readers. Without great content, readers will not continue to come back to your blog. What good is 3K likes on Facebook if only 100 of those are engaged readers tuning in to your blog each week?
Will you join me and stop playing the numbers games with your blog?