Pet Blogger Bares All

With apologies to my readers who don’t blog and are wondering what they ever did to deserve this, I’m getting naked today.

The robe comes off to let me reveal what nearly all pet bloggers hide.

So with no more delay, off go the clothes and I show you my… stats.

Honey the golden retriever looks puzzled.

Look out folks. I think the woman is going to place random pictures of me being cute to distract you from how long her post is.

[But first a quick apology to my non-blogging readers for once again writing a post they won’t find very interesting. Please come back tomorrow to see Honey showing off some lovely frozen waterfalls.]

Pet Blogger Anxiety

As a five-timer in the annual Pet Blogger Challenge, I’ve seen a lot of community feeling, love of animals, and anxiety. Yep, anxiety.

Everyone wonders how they can get more traffic. What they can do better with social media. And why they don’t have the results of other bloggers.

And it’s the last one that bugs me. Because I’ve done it too.

Haven’t you looked at a random stat in someone’s sidebar and wondered how they got so many subscribers? Or been shocked by the number of Facebook followers by someone who has been blogging a shorter time than you have? Or been amazed by someone’s millions of “hits” when you’re still trying to crack the low hundred thousands although you’ve blogged for the same number of years?

C’mon, admit it. We’ve all had those thoughts. And they make us feel awful.

I feel even worse because I should be happy for the success of bloggers I love who are doing great work instead of worrying about myself.

But I have a suggestion that might help us all. And it might surprise you.

Honey the golden retriever sits in front of a lion.

You mean like I’m going to be surprised if I turn around a find a lion stalking me?

Pet Bloggers, Share Your Stats

As bloggers, writers, web content creators, whatever you want to call us, we have highs and lows. We’re good at some things and less good at others.

Thank goodness. Wouldn’t it be a dull world if everyone did the same thing and got the same results?

But it’s hard to have that perspective because most people share few or none of their stats. So we see one number that’s better than ours and let it make us feel bad instead of seeing the whole picture of success and failure that’s part of any creative activity.

Honey the golden retriever with a dinosaur in the park.

The man insists this is going to be a really cute shot.

It’s time for pet bloggers to share our stats. Here’s why:

Community

Lots of people in the Pet Blogger Challenge talked about the supportive community of pet bloggers.

They’re right. We share ideas, sympathy, and the occasional tech solution.

But we don’t share stats.

Do you know what community does share stats? Financial bloggers.

Financial bloggers are united in wanting to make money from their websites. That’s not the case for pet bloggers.

But pet bloggers also need traffic to stay motivated, share important causes, and yes, sometimes even to make money.

One financial blogger set up The Yakezie Network so bloggers could support each other in reaching their personal goals. One way they do this is by supporting each other in meeting targets they set for their stats.

Just imagine how helpful pet bloggers could be to each other doing the same thing. But we rarely share our stats.

Honey the golden retriever looks at a dinosaur.

So what do you think? Was it as cute as the man said it would be?

Whole Picture

When we only see glimpses of each other’s stats, we focus on the parts that make us feel bad about ourselves. And we don’t get enough information to think about what works and doesn’t work when we pursue our own goals.

I have a small audience of really thoughtful people. According to Alexa, S’Waggers are far more likely to have graduate degrees than the average internet user.

That makes sense. When readers come here, I make them work.

I use words like omphaloskepsis. I write long posts. And I take horrible pictures that barely make up for the effort of reading my meanderings.

I have a small audience. But what’s there is cherce. (Oh, and did I mention the weird and obscure film references?)

So if you want to attract a broad, general audience that will share  your posts on helping animals or want to sell thousands of copies of your witty and light-hearted story, do the opposite of what I do.

But you might not know that if you didn’t see my stats (which I will show you; but I’m going to make you work for it first).

Honey the golden retriever with lighthouse.

If you look at the whole picture, you’ll see a lighthouse in the background. But I bet no one will see anything but me.

Support

We don’t mind admitting that spam bots are making us crazy and asking for the best plugin to defeat them. But when was the last time you heard someone ask, “I haven’t gotten a new Facebook like in two months. Can you tell me how you got your follower numbers so high?”

I think pet bloggers are happy to support each other in reaching our goals. But it’s easier to be helpful (and to ask for help) when we’re specific.

Fair Comparisons

I’m sorry I can’t remember who on the challenge talked about how important it is not to compare the beginning to the middle, but they’re right.

If you’ve been blogging for six months, you’re lucky to be getting comments at all. You’re a mere pup. So don’t compare yourself to a seven-year old blog and wonder why you aren’t getting the attention they are.

I’ve even read comments from people who referred to me as one of the big bloggers. Unless she was referring to my weight, she was way off.

But wouldn’t it be nice if we had enough information that we could find reasonable benchmarks when we’re trying to grow our blogs?

Powerful Secrets

Secrets create a stranglehold on us. Worry about keeping them hidden gets in our way.

But when we stand up and say, “I have a tiny handful of subscribers and people unsubscribe all the time” (true for me), we take the power away from things that we allow to make us feel bad. And we can figure out if we want to do something about it. Or if we just don’t care.

Maybe the reason we feel anxiety about stats is because we keep them hidden. Perhaps standing up and saying, “I only have 13 followers on Feedly and I don’t give a damn” is just what we need. And maybe it would even cause someone else to stand up and say, “Yeah, most of my readers don’t use Feedly. But I’ve a had lot of luck with Bloglovin.”

I’ve made worrying about my stats too powerful a secret.

Mike at Ithaca falls.

Remember those frozen waterfalls the woman promised you tomorrow? Well here’s a sneak preview.

What Do Stats Mean?

Stats mean different things to different people.

If you’re writing paid posts for companies, you need to justify your fees. People who are writing about important causes want to be sure their messages gets out. And some of us just need a little encouragement that the hours we spend each week writing and taking pictures have value for someone and don’t end up lost on the wind.

But stats can also tell us something about who we are and who we want to be.

If a hugely popular dog blog is Lady Gaga, then my blog is Dar Williams. (Look her up. She’s great but she doesn’t fill arenas.) So for me, stats are a way of letting me know if I’m staying true to my voice. Or helping me compare my efforts over time.

In the end, stats are mostly about how well you’re reaching the audience that exists for your work. And the audience for Something Wagging This Way Comes is small. And quirky.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Honey the golden retriever at slide.

Just how far do you think I’m willing to go to keep your readers interested?

Take It Off; Take It All Off

Okay, you’ve been patient through a thousand words.

I track a few stats in a spreadsheet each month so I can see my progress (or regress) over time. Plus I pay attention to the WordPress stats package. I avoid Google Analytics for the most part. It’s too complicated for me to bother with.

Here are my latest numbers from my spreadsheet along with some notes:

Facebook followers: 1,343 (I enjoy Facebook but I’m not very good at using it. Can’t force myself to spend the time posting that it requires. And I’m way too serious for the crowd that gathers there.)

Twitter followers: 3,035 (It probably won’t surprise you that Twitter isn’t my thing. Can you imagine me loving something that limits me to 140 characters per post?)

Alexa ranking (U.S.): 272,248 (This ranking shows how many other websites are more popular than mine. Low is good. Obviously I’m doing something wrong here since my ranking has been as low as 75,458 in the past.)

Technorati pets: (I’ve stopped tracking this since Technorati changed their system. I never understood it anyway. I have been the #1 pet blog just to sink to 182th place the next month. Bizarre.)

Email subscribers: 268 (I don’t promote subscriptions much besides having a sign up in the sidebar but I must admit it always makes me feel bad when someone unsubscribes. Not that I blame them since I hate email too and my posts really are a lot to read every day.)

WordPress subscribers: 45 (Rock steady for years but it definitely doesn’t grow.)

WordPress average monthly views for 2014: 14,008 (Thanks to a popular post on getting rid of dog poop and other old content my views are rising slowly.)

WordPress total views for all time: 379,386 (WordPress doesn’t count my own visits to Something Wagging or they’d be much higher by now.)

WordPress total comments: 12,951 (I definitely have fewer comments than many blogs the same age. But I’m very pleased at how thoughtful and interesting my comments are. I wouldn’t trade a single one for all the “nice post” comments in the world.)

WordPress average daily view: 448 (Now if I just posted every day, I could really get my stats up.)

WordPress best ever views in one day: 1569 (Many years ago one of my silly and not terribly good posts was “Stumbled.” I’m more likely to see views over a long time than to get a big hit in one day.)

I started Something Wagging This Way Comes on March 26, 2010 as a WordPress hosted site. I moved to self hosting in the fall of 2010.

Okay, I’m naked and I’m dancing around in blogville. I have nothing else to show.

Honey the golden retriever smiles.

Wow, we’re coming down to the end. I guess I can relax and smile now.

Learning From Stats

Some of you are looking at my stats and saying, “Gee, I would have thought they’d be better than that after all these years.”

I hope no one is seeing anything that makes them feel bad. That’s not my purpose.

When I look at my stats I see growth over time as I’ve learned more. I see that I have written useful posts that people come back to year after year because of a search.

And I see a body of work that, while I’m very proud of it, is not going to attract thousands of followers.

A common piece of advice in last week’s Pet Blogger Challenge was to stay true to your voice. And looking at stats I see that staying true to my voice will appeal to a limited audience.

And I can’t say I mind that one little bit.

Your Turn: If you’re a blogger, do you pay attention to stats? Why or why not? And are you willing to get naked with me in the comments?

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for posting this – my blog is a whole 13 days old – I did have another less cared for blog with my work website – but I decided this year to challenge myself a little more. I don’t really understand the stats – but I do keep my eyes on them. You’re right, you’ve got to be proud of what you do – as long as you have that – the rest should surely fall into place (I wonder if I’ll be saying that in a year’s time 😉

    • Wow, Cora. I knew you were new but I didn’t realize you were that new.

      Welcome to Blogville.

      With your lovely photographs I’m sure you’ll get plenty of attention in no time. And to folks coming afterwards, click on Cora’s name above her comment to meet beautiful Willow at her new blog.

      • What wonderful compliments! Thank you so much – I’m enjoying Blogville – but have much organising to do! (lists…lists are good ;))

  2. I really don’t worry about stats all that much. To get numbers way up there is just too much effort and not worth the time. Let’s face it, my blog will never spawn the next Grumpy Cat. I tried integrating Google Analytics once, and the next time I changed my theme on the blog, all my hard work was gone. So now I just look at the “cheapy” stats Blogger provides w/o any work from me….

    I’ve had approx 265,000 pages views since starting (I subtracted out the highly spammed posts),

    My FaceBook page is really my personal page ( I didn’t know about Fan pages at the time) with 359 “friends”, the vast majority of them corgi people, followed by dog bloggers, followed by agility friends, and them finally maybe 10 real life family/friends.

    I don’t do Twitter as I can’t imagine having another time sucker!

    9888 comments to date.

    I don’t know how to look up the number of email subscribers or if you even can with basic Blogger.

    I wasn’t familiar with Alexa but I looked it up……you are doing much better than me at 976,004 :-)

    The true reason I started my blog was so I would remember the day to day life with my dogs. Our memories are so faulty, times fades away all the fun details. My blog will save some of those moments for me. In the end, that is all that is really important to me.

    • I share your reason for starting Something Wagging. After losing my last dog, Shadow, after only two years, I really wanted loads of pictures and stories about my next pup.

      And I bet Jimmy and Wilson are thrilled you don’t obsess over stats and your blog. After all, it gives you more time to enjoy with them.

      Thanks for joining the naked party. :)

  3. I will admit, I feel the same way. There have been so many blogs that have their numbers on the sidebar that have been blogging the same amount of time as me, and have double the amount of followers. It bothers me yes, but I do my best to just keep going and doing my part to grow.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    • Look away from the stats in the sidebar. Who knows what they’re counting. And what’s the use of looking for something to feed bad about?

      Just today I was thinking how amazing it is that we have any readers at all. Think of all the competition for people’s attention: other websites, television, radio, podcasts, books on tape, online dating, porn…

      And yet we touch something so that people take time to enjoy our words and photos. Amazing!

      Give yourself a big husky hug and celebrate every follower. :)

    • One way you can make your stats look bigger than they are is to link your social media sites to your blog.

  4. We only look at stats when someone asks us for our numbers. Mom is always afraid of being disappointed. We never checked our Alexa score before, so for fun we did it just now and our ranking is 162,087 which we thought was pretty good for a silly blog. We have fun doing our blog and we know our readers love us which is all that really matters. Sure we want more traffic, but it will come in time we hope. We are doing more with social media Twitter is easy for us so we have 5551 followers there, Facebook is tough, but still have 2237 likes, the others are in the growing process. We don’t obsess over the numbers thing and if someone asks, we will tell, no shame in it, but it isn’t the most important thing for us.

    • It sounds like you have a balanced idea about stats. Good for you.

      And that is a great Alexa ranking. I have no idea exactly how it’s calculated. But isn’t it amazing that there are only 162,000 websites in American more popular than yours?

      Thanks for joining the naked fun. :)

  5. I try to not get wrapped in stats, because mine are not that great. I am having a galloping start to 2015 for some reason however. I would have to look at my old blog, and my new to get all the stats, and that requires math, Too early for that.

  6. Judith Gouveia says:

    Not a blogger, but I do read yours whenever I check my email. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed and start deleting email, I keep yours to read later. Maybe even a month later. Overall there are only a few blogs I follow. Don’t remember how I came across your, but you are one of two I never skip. Thank you for your continued writing as it has been a pleasure following your (and hubby and honey’s) journey. And for the “cherce” reference, it is not obscure to Hepburn fans.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Judith. Frankly, I’m stunned and amazed you didn’t just delete this post when you saw the topic.

      And I’m very happy to connect with another Katherine Hepburn fan. :)

  7. Wonderful post, Pamela! Not that I’m surprised … you have a wonderful way of interpreting a common theme that runs through the Challenge each year, and providing such a thoughtful prospective on it. Getting naked (statistically speaking) has never been difficult for me. I have a page on my blog that I update each month that shows my traffic, growth, page ranks, and social media audience. (Anyone interested can click on “Advertise with Us” in the footer of my blog.)

    More important than the straight-up numbers, though, is the level of engagement people have with their readers. I think this gets lost a bit in the Pet Blogger Challenge. Writing this comment made me realize I had a lot to say on the topic, so rather than write a 16 paragraph comment here, I’m going to post about it on my own blog. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • Loved your post, Amy.

      Perhaps we’ll be seeing some excellent questions on next year’s Pet Blogger Challenge about engagement?

  8. I ignore the Pet Blogger Challenge because I hate talking about blogging, social media, stats, etc. Maybe the naked feeling is why… I prefer to hide behind my pets. They don’t care about blogging goals and lessons learned! :)

    This post is well timed for me, so thank you Pamela. Since last year brought extremely difficult times for my family, I basically stopped putting any effort into blogging. My previously very high page views (1500+ according to Google Analytics) plummeted to less than 200 per day. I used to rank in the 100,000’s on Alexa but the last time I checked I was dumped to some million and I vowed to never check again. I struggled with whether or not I cared about losing so many readers when a few days ago a name came up as having pinned a bunch of my Pinterest photos. It was the name of the person I consider to be my first fan. She filled in my contact form when my blog was brand new (I think I still have the form but I believe I was only a month in.) She gushed about how much she loved my blog and I had inspired her to take her three dogs camping. I was so touched. I had reached my “write for one person” goal. So seeing her name on Pinterest the other day reminded me of that plus I learned something new. Since she is still reading and still following my blog, Cascadian Nomads is perfect just the way it is. I threw away my overwhelmingly long blog to-do list. I don’t need to post more often. I don’t have to catch up on comment replies. I don’t need to spend more time figuring out social media tricks or SEO secrets. I don’t need to change my theme or update my pages. I have one reader who has been with me and stayed with me since the beginning. I need no other stat than that.

    • Wonderful. I smiled the whole way through your story about your “one reader.”

      I find pet blogging a miraculous concept. You have thousands of people taking pictures and telling stories. And thousands of people ignoring many other things competing for their attention to read it. And it all happens in a virtual space.

      I hope you and your family have a less challenging 2015 than 2014. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

  9. Our Alexa rating is 240,618 – I think that might be the first time I looked at. We have a pretty good Twitter following at 3,539 and FB is slowing catching up at 2,697. We’ve had a couple of huge traffic spikes with our Fat Lab posts – one day reaching over 15K sessions…but that’s an anomaly. Our daily visits average around 500. We don’t pay that much attention to the numbers – we love our readers and appreciate anytime they spend with us.

    • I’m hoping those Fat Lab posts are being shared to the people who need to see it. Because those pictures made me so sad.

      Thanks for shedding your clothes on Something Wagging. :)

  10. Of course! I can’t pass a chance to dance naked with you :)

    Facebook followers: 1,013 on my page and 1,037 on my profile (hmm wonder why they look alike)

    Twitter followers: 4,016 (not my thing – anymore – either)

    Alexa ranking (U.S.): 1,557,800 (ouch! I will never check that one again!)

    Technorati pets: ? (never heard of it)

    Email subscribers: 81 (and that’s after December’s giveaway, before that I only had 20)

    Blogger subscribers: 112 (stopped growing years ago, probably no one is using it anymore? :) )

    Blogger average monthly views for 2014: around 70,000ish (Blogger isn’t good at showing monthly averages for a year, so I had to guess a little.)

    Blogger total views for all time: 1,748,741 (totally happy. I show the counter off on the blog so visitors know somebody is actually reading.)

    Blogger total comments: 2,622 (add a handful from the new FB comment box we have.)

    Blogger average daily view: 2,000? (again, blogger doesnt give a lot of average stats. Yesterday it was 2,000)

    Blogger best ever views in one day: no idea (that’s something blogger stats absolutely can’t tell me)

    But cutting to the chase, I loved your post. What I took away from it is, stats don’t reflect who our readers are is the issue. And as a blogger we want to know who they are, so we can meet in what “we” like to write about, and what “they” like to read. However small or large that group is, it is the group that gets us up in the morning and write. Beat that, stats!

    • Your making me wonder if WordPress’s excellent stats package isn’t my downfall. :)

      Your last paragraph has me wondering if we don’t use stats as a stand in for our actual readers? After all, out of thousands of people who stop by our blogs, we only actually get to know a small number of them. Maybe looking at stats is more about looking for a way to connect with those lurkers we don’t hear from?

      Thanks for making me think. And for the naked twirl around the dance floor. :)

  11. Being pretty much simple-minded, I only look at StatCounter which for the last two weeks shows 622 to 780 pageviews and 572 to 595 unique visits depending on the day

    Typepad shows 497-884 pageviews for the same period. That is the only statistic they give.

    Kicking and screaming, I joined Facebook and Twitter with a personal account, but I just share each blog post automatically when I publish and seldom go there to interact with anyone. Someone set up a Pinterest account for me, but I don’t know how to get to it.

    See simple-minded above.

  12. A spreadsheet for tracking stats is right up my alley (numbers are easy, words are harder), yet it has not been on my radar. Now it is, thanks for the idea!

    My 9-month old blog audience is small. I could strategize better ways to pimp clicks and wrangle more lovin’. But, frankly, I’m looking for True Love. Am I in denial about the need to be kissing more frogs? Probably.

    It appears you have many True Loves. That warms my heart :->

    • “Number are easy, words are harder?” Not in Pamela land. :)

      My 9 month blog audience barely existed. So I think you’re off to a great start. And you’ve found some love here. :)

  13. I’ve tried to stop looking at my stats because I find myself comparing them to other blogs which is usually disappointing to me. Even though I try to remember that I don’t offer some of the same things other bloggers do.

    I have 200 blog subscribers and I don’t know how many through feedly or blog lovin.
    I just checked my Alexa ranking (whatever that is) and it’s 150,919 for the US and globally it’s 1,108,052. I have an average monthly page view of 3,856 and my best month was August of 2013, which does not surprise me considering we were running the dogs of blogville calendar contest and those collies are competitive. I have 695 Facebook followers and 826 Twitter followers.

    I think a lot of the reasons that people focus on their stats is because of sponsorships or advertisements. Most companies that want to pay bloggers what they are worth are going to want to see what kind of return they can expect from their investment. Just my thoughts.

    • You know what a lot of bloggers with big stats don’t have? The Sampson and Delilah super fans who get all into every saga of chick peas, stolen chicken, and snow boots. :)

      And that’s where it sponsors have a lesson to learn. Because thousands of followers don’t translate into big sales unless those followers know and trust the blogger.

      • I agree. IMO there needs to be a degree of trust, I won’t just buy any treat. I will look to those I trust and see what their experience is.

        I just don’t know how to get sponsors to see that. :-)

  14. I don’t pay attention to stats. I just blog to record my life with Blueberry – it’s fun for me and sometimes fun for readers. Even if no one read it – I think I’d still keep doing it for myself. I do, however, enjoy thoughtful, often funny, comments that some readers leave – sometimes the comments are funnier than what I’ve posted and I love that. I admit I am probably the one that visits my blog the most often. Sometimes I really amuse myself with my own posts (pathetic, I know) and so I will reread them – sometimes with a critical eye and sometimes just because I find it highly entertaining (I think I am hilarious, hehehe). I’m very private about the fact that I blog. My friends and family know nothing about my blog and I keep it that way because I think if they knew – it would be less fun for me and I’d feel judged. Blogging is a little weird – especially blogging about a dog – and it just feels more natural to share it with other bloggers rather than those that just wouldn’t understand. I deactivated my FB page (someone mentioned my blog on there and I shut it down before anyone noticed, at least I think so…) and I’ve never used Twitter and never heard of those other things you mentioned in your post. When I did have FB up – I have a whopping 14 friends on there. I’m selective. For me it’s about quality, not quantity.

    • I also started Something Wagging to be a record of my life with Honey. Over time, knowing Honey has driven my musings in different directions. And my musings have affected my relationship with Honey.

      I also enjoyed the anonymity of blogging for strangers. It was kind of scary to think anyone who knew me IRL would know about the blog. But I’ve since discovered that some of the volunteers and staff at the SPCA I foster for read the blog. It makes me a little self-conscious (what if I write something that makes them decide I’m an unfit foster parent?).

      But heck, life is too short to worry about things that may never happen.

  15. I know off the top of my head, I’ve got only about 700 Facebook ‘likes’ (pathetic, really) and about 2200 Twitter followers (hate that term), but that’s only because I also follow about 2200 people. Had to look up the rest. I’m just over 1M on Alexa. (eeesh.) I’ve had something over 200K page views on the blog, but most of those are probably spammers since Blogger doesn’t filter out the spammers and I don’t know how to read my G.A. info. I’ve had 9000+ comments on the blog, which is really the only part I care about (cuz I like the interaction and it’s why I do the bloggy thing in the first place). 9000 comments isn’t a ton considering I’ve been doing this for 4+ years, but the first 18 months or so it was just a chronicle of Abby’s cancer so it was really just friends and family and I didn’t pimp the blog at all. I mostly define a successful post now by people leaving a comment with their own answer on whatever topic I brought up, or just saying it made them laugh. That’s a serious dopamine hit to the brain when someone says they “LOL”d at a post.

    I have no idea how many folks get my posts via email cuz Blogger makes it a multistep process to find out and I’m lazy. (But I know 276 people are signed up for my quarterly author newsletter, and that’s a number I’m happy with. Of course, higher would be better. But… whatever.)

    Now…. I have to admit, I’ve been meaning to stop my email sub. to S.W. for some time now, since I also follow on Bloglovin… but I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. :) So, if you see me pull the plug, it’s just cuz I’m seeing the headlines twice. I’m not leaving! (Figured this was a good time to bring this up…)

    • Oh yeah – and I forgot to say – love those old Hepburn/Tracy movies. Of course, having a degree as a librarian, Desk Set is my fave!

      • You go right ahead and cancel that subscription, Jackie. I’ll still love you. :)

        Life’s too short to drown in emails.

        As for making people laugh–don’t you assume that some day we’ll have computers where we can physically hear the laughter of readers? That would be such a rush.

        I also adore Desk Set.

        My husband does not see the appeal of Spencer and Hepburn (but he really hates people who cheat on their spouses so I guess that’s it). I borrow their movies from the library whenever he goes out of town. :)

  16. This is an awesome post!
    I don’t look at stats with too much interest, aside from wondering how the heck people keep up with the social media they have for their blog. I like to watch how many viewers I get, since Blogger isn’t tracking my own views either. I’ll admit to feeling great yesterday when I passed 400,000 hits. I really like to see how many comments I have, but only check that every few months or so because I honestly forget. When I do see them though, I feel great (22,000 currently!). I didn’t check my email subscribers until a few days ago. I view stats are more of a pick me up than something to feel down about. I blog for me, and if people like it it’s a bonus.

    • I think it’s awesome that you take encouragement from your stats. Sounds like a sign of a mentally healthy person to me. :)

      Thanks for stripping down with us. 😉

  17. This is so great. Keeping better track of my stats is something that I really need to work on. I’m new, I’m small, but I’m having a blast :) I try to stay away from researching other bloggers’ followings as I tend to be too hard on myself and get disappointed. I can only dream to have your following one day.

    • You have the best following of all: two furry, bear-like creatures. :)

      You’ll find no end of advice about how to increase your readership. But in reality, for most of it, it just takes time. Just keep posting.

  18. Thanks for breaking the ice on this subject and your feelings that I understand all too well. We started our blog shortly after you did and those first couple of years were great, then all of the sudden I stopped getting comments-AT ALL. I was so hurt and angry and I didn’t understand why. After being in the hospital two years ago my husband said that I started writing different because of fears of my abusers reading my blog. I don’t know, but I now I shut down for a while. I never understood why others that started even after me got tons of comments and I didn’t. I hated stats! It felt so unfair. Comments were my stats and whether I was getting anywhere. I eventually recluded still posting 3x a week and quit commenting on others. I just didn’t have the energy to do much more than read.

    In that time I realized watching my blog and others that their comments were less or had gone down, but they were still getting a ton of traffic. Now I can safely say I’m stat free, PLUS my husband, being the extrovert he is flourishes on FB so he sends all traffic to the blog and that has really helped. Now stats are just something fun to check in on.

    I don’t have any stats to show because Blogger has confusing stats, they can give you three different numbers for the same day. So I’ve never really known what my real stats are. All I follow is the view # for each post and I’m satisfied.

    Thank you again for sharing your feelings! I’ve wanted to say something but was too embarrassed to show how I felt and what was eating me up alive.

    You come up with the best subjects!

    • I’m glad you came out of the dark with your feelings about comments and stats. You’re certainly with friends here.

      One of the tough things about living in a dark world is that our thoughts tip toward the negative. My comments are definitely much fewer than they were a few years ago and I let it make me feel awful. But when I looked at the old comments I realized that many of my regular readers were no longer blogging and following blogs at all.

      And on Saturday, I get very few comments. I eventually realized that Saturdays (especially in the summer) were when people took time away from their computers to spend time with their families. And how is that anything to feel bad about?

      I wonder what it would take to get us to look at the stats and see the positive side?

  19. You know how you are a really talented writer, and can conjurer pictures in my head from your words alone? Two words naked dancing… and I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet! So while I disrobe my vital statistics are:
    Blog stats:
    Followers 110
    Total Views: 8,356
    Best ever views: 478
    Yesterdays views: 37
    Then the social media channels which are rubbish:
    Facebook: 13 likes
    Twitter: 43 Followers

    • Oh Lauranne. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to conjure up that image before breakfast. It’s just too scary.

      However, as I age, I realize that when I raise my arms my tits still look great. So I’d probably be doing Scottish dancing (it’s Scottish dancing where they dance with their arms raised, right?). :)

      Isn’t it just amazing that we can toss out words on a screen and people come to read it?

      Thanks for not making me hang out naked all alone. :)

  20. This was a very good post, I had to pin it! I actually don’t follow or worry about the stats on my blog mainly because I am doing this for my own “diary ” on my pets and to have a place for puppy buyers to go to to see the going on’s with Sand Spring. I see the stats at the end of the year when the WP monkeys tell it to me and I am surprised by it all. In the beginning I used to wonder how to get more followers and such but I’m happy where I am at. I was more concerned on getting more followers on FB and this year that has really shot up I think with the help of the FB blogger support group.
    WP Followers 87
    WP views 50,811
    WP comments 11,768
    Instagram followers 230
    Pinterest followers 291
    Bloglovin followers 33
    Twitter 1205
    Facebook 1021

    • My, you certainly get lots of comments.

      And I think keeping a diary of your pups is what makes visiting you so fun. It’s sort of like stopping in for cup of coffee with a neighbor.

      Thanks for getting naked with us. :)

  21. I stumbled across your post after seeing it on Go Pet Friendly. Love your post, and while growing stats is important (to earn money, reach more people & create a larger “community”) – I don’t think you necessarily have to have HUNDREDS of followers to make a difference. I strongly believe content is the key here, because if you are writing about something that keeps people captivated, coming back, and interested in what you have to say, then having a few hundred people that read your every word verses several thousand visitors that just skim your posts….you’re far better off. I’ve been blogging just about as long as you – and while I haven’t checked my stats recently (I hate getting caught up in the numbers), I think my monthly visitors are about the same as yours. And while I would love to have more (wouldn’t we all), I’ve still found a way to attract sponsors, and pet businesses that have found value in the content I can provide. I certainly don’t come close to making a living from my blog (and probably never will), but it does help pay for my hosting fees & other blog expenses. But most importantly I enjoy working with companies that I feel strongly about their products and generally want to share them with my readers. Anyway…..sorry for the long comment, hopefully you get the gist of what I’m trying to say. And I just wanted to say thanks for sharing!

  22. I agree, on one hand, that sharing our stats might might help people see that some people do good in areas in bad in others (that we aren’t that different on the whole). However, I think that some bloggers keep those numbers secret precisely because they know people are comparing themselves to others and they don’t want to make others feel bad (I know…you can MAKE anyone feel bad, but….). Right or wrong, it’s also a factor of the “fake it til you make it” mindset. A few bloggers have side businesses based on their “blogging success” and they want to appear as successful as possible. Therefore, talking about “how good my numbers are” might give the intended impression but sharing your actual numbers numbers might lead to potential clients saying “oh, they are not that great. Why would I hire them?”. You are right about pet bloggers being an incredibly supportive group of people while also being a group (at least some and certain times) who can fall prey to making themselves feel bad my comparing themselves to others. I think, regardless of the sharing of numbers or not, the spirit of your post is true – we need to recognize our talents and what we have to offer the world as paramount and only compare ourselves to our own goals, ideal and progress.

  23. You never cease to amaze me. Love this post. I think this is part of a larger issue, the collective versus competitive approach to this industry. I’m in the process of assembling all my numbers (I can’t figure out a few weirdnesses in Analytics… why can’t it be easier?!) and will post when I have it all together in a downloadable media kit. Thank you for the inspiration!

  24. So, here’s the thing. Looking at stats does bad things to me. It depresses me – probably because I always internalize the numbers, and lose focus on why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m really looking forward to BP 2015 because I need to sit in a few classes and get a better understanding of it all – Alexa / Google Analytics / etc….

  25. This is so awesome! Nice job. I love your Goldie and it’s great to see different blogging communities rally together. Perhaps I’ll see y’all on Financial Samurai one day too! :)

    Best,

    Sam