Ah, stats. Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, WordPress will be sure to shove them in your face. You can’t avoid them, but how often do you seek them out?
I decided right from the start of my blogging life that I didn’t want to pay any more attention to stats than I could get away with. I always have a WP Reader tab and a My Sites tab open in my browser, so I don’t have that annoying business of WP opening up by showing you stats.
The stats that I look at the most, because they’re smack dab in front of my face, is in my posts list. On the average post, I get about 1/3 the number of likes compared to the number of views. I’ve never figured out what the deal is with that, but at least it’s predictable. I don’t really care enough to be disappointed by some posts getting fewer viewers. Sometimes I’m surprised by posts that get more views than usual; it’s rarely the posts that I would pick as my own favourites.
I seek out stats when I’m looking back for older posts to freshen up, as I like to focus my energy on posts that are already getting a little dribble of traffic.
I don’t actually look at the stats page all that often; I’d guess maybe once or twice a month, typically. When I do pop over to visit, I like looking at the country map because it’s fun. I look at what posts and pages have been most popular going back a few months, and I’m curious to see the referrers to my site. A while back, search engines surpassed the WP Reader, and now my search engine views are more than double my WP Reader views. Those folks are mostly invisible other than showing up in the stats.
My blog is connected to Google Analytics, but I never look at it anymore because a) it’s confusing, and b) I just don’t care enough. I look at Google Search Console about once a month, not so much because I care about absolute numbers, but because I want to make sure that posts that are getting decent Google traffic are neat and tidy and fresh.
I know some bloggers change their blogging approach based on info they’ve gained from their stats. That’s not something I’ve ever done, and I think it would take far more paying attention to stats than I have any interest in doing.
I used to pay more attention to both my own and other people’s follower numbers, but the higher my follower count has gotten, the more obvious it’s become that it means very little. For every 20 new followers I get, maybe 1 of them will actually read my blog. The rest are spammers or people just looking for a follow back. Plus, if you’ve been at it for a while, you’ve probably accumulated a whole stable full of followers that haven’t logged into WordPress for 2 years or more.
We probably all have particular things that niggle at us a bit every once in a while. For me, the odd time that does happen, it’s usually over blogs that have a lot fewer followers than I do but a lot more engagement with their posts. It doesn’t niggle very often, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that I’m very happy with the engagement on my blog; it’s just the comparison thing that goes in for a poke now and then.
Be honest, how often do you look at stats for your blog?