Bloggers in Depth: Know Your Numbers

AHHHH I am so geeking out over this installment of Bloggers in Depth because it lets me celebrate the fact that I am a numbers nerd. I seriously love everything from bounce rates to demographics, and I’m always surprised at how many of you don’t know anything about your audiences.

If you want to do a little homework after seeing the results of this portion of the survey, be sure to check out:

  • Analytics Part I
  • Analytics Part II
  • Analytics Part III


  • For my #Fitbloggin presentation on branding, I asked healthy living bloggers to take part in an anonymous survey, powered by my sponsor friends at SurveyMonkey (disc). Nearly 400 people responded and the information shared here is part of an ongoing series called “Bloggers in Depth.” The results are available for download here and I invite you to do analysis on your own blog!

    In the last Bloggers in Depth posts, we looked at “Who We Are,”  “What We Do” and “What We Make.”  Today, we look at the various ways that we measure our success.

    Analytics

    53% of you — only a little more than half — say you regularly measure analytics at all. An additional 22% say that you sometimes track analytics.

    For those that do measure analytics, you seem to be most interested in page views (66%) and comments (58%).

    (As you know from reading my post “Why I Almost Closed Comments,” the two don’t ALWAYS show the same results!)

    No big surprise here — 75% of you use Google Analytics, the big beast of analytics programs (and the one that most advertisers use when getting the most accurate information about a site).

    Blogger Stats

    I know this is the stuff that many of you have been waiting for — and it’s pretty interesting! One reminder/disclaimer: although a decent number of bloggers (nearly 400) took this survey, I can’t say definitively that it’s a truly reflective sample of the healthy living blogosphere as a whole. There are plenty of arguments that you could make that the most successful bloggers in the space didn’t take this survey and might have changed the results, or that it’s not a large enough sample size.

    But I still think it’s a provocative set of data for us to look at!

    40% of you — making the largest response — say that your blog gets between 501 and 5,000 page views a month.

    I thought that it was really interesting to see some of the write-in responses that I got when asking people about alternate ways of measuring success — that while page views and comments are important, MOST of you say that it still comes down to other motivations.

    • my blog is for me. if i am happy with the content, i win. if others are happy, too, that’s a bonus.
    • Success is that the blog, no matter the attention, is still a useful tool in my journey while at the same time, being helpful to others – not really trackable.
    • don’t try to measure the success. just like to share our happenings with family and friends
    • I don’t; my blog is just like a journal for me and if others read it, so be it! Success is just writing to begin with.
    • If I am having fun with it.
    • Just knowing someone is reading is all I need
    • Warm feeling in heart; candy sent in my readers
    • How much I’m interacting with people I respect in the blogosphere. Which is one of the nicest things about being a hobbyist blogger — if it’s not making me happy, it’s not working.
    • My blog is about me expressing thoughts and sharing them with the world. All the metrics in the world do not measure success in this manner. The success is the output not what happens to the output.

    In the next installment, I’ll take a look at technology. Are we bloggers Mac people or PCs? Do we have special cameras or not? Are we self-hosted or do we use fee platforms?

    How do you stack up against these numbers? Are you a “typical” blogger or unique, according to these demographics? How can you work with what makes you fit in and what helps you stand out?

    Comments

    1. 1

      says

      I definitely monitor pageviews on a regular basis. I like to know if I am maintaining a similar readership because I look at it as a type of feedback. If I sustain a similar number (or more) I feel like its a decent indication that people are interested in what I am posting and that’s valuable to me. Sure I could say I blog for me and in many ways I do but I also enjoy knowing others are reading and engaging in some way with my thoughts and experiences. Whether Im an inspiration or someone to give advice to, I like that I can interact with people through my blog as well.

      Thanks for sharing some of the averages. I like seeing where I fall in these categories.

    2. 2

      says

      I look at Google Analytics every day. While I don’t get a ton of pageviews, (I’m in the most typical category some days, slightly under that others), I like to see which posts get a lot of views and how people got to my blog and stuff.

    3. 3

      says

      Again i think it’s another thing that comes with time. The longer you write, the more content you have, the more pageviews you have. I remember my first year hardly ever (probably never) making it past 5,000 a month and a couple years later it’s 10 times that with many times more content and readers. Longevity of a blog makes a difference in money and in pageviews (and probably everything else). So interesting!

      I love the write-in responses. That kind of stuff really does matter almost more than the other metrics!

    4. 4

      says

      I find that I check my analytics a bit too frequently. Since I’m newer to the blog scene, I’m not hitting big numbers daily, but it seems I’m average compared with other blogs. It is definitely interesting to see what posts are getting a response and how people are finding me.

    5. 7

      says

      I check in on my pageviews a few times a week, but lately I just don’t care too much–it’s become more of an outlet for me and less about money. Good thing since I don’t make much. ;) I think it’s fine to know your stats and use them as feedback, but too many people get caught up in them and lose the fun that blogging can be.

    6. 9

      says

      You know I am loving all of this data! We should talk sometime :) I am officially a conference evaluation geek.

      I do check analytics every day. I also use StatPress and those numbers never line up. I figure it’s an average.

      My numbers have slowly been creeping up – yay! And I think I’ve finally surpassed “newbie” status. I think I have mostly lurker readers – but they seem to be consistent with their lurking. Hee.

    7. 10

      says

      I absolutely LOVE this series of posts – such great stats to look at! The funny thing is that while numbers are great, once I stopped focusing on the numbers and instead focused on the content fo my blog, the numbers started skyrocketing. Very interesting!

      • 13

        says

        Amykinz,

        The nice thing about Google is that for the most part — its products don’t suck. Obviously they make Google Analytics, and even with other spendy options out there, GA really is the gold standard.

        The only major difference I know of is that Blogger Stats counts admin page views (unless yo uncheck that option) while GA does not. For accurate stats, you do *not* want your own traffic counted. Also, I believe Stats is real-time, while GA is not (although that may have changed — I heard whispers that GA was trying to return results faster).

        Again, I would still use GA over Stats whenever possible.

    8. 14

      says

      i like the series too. i thought the bulk of monthly page views would have been higher, but think 500-5000 is really broad.
      i don’t really get many comments, but know popular days based on page views and I like to know where people come from.

    9. 15

      says

      Thank you!! I’m FASCINATED by the numbers. Not so much as a measure of how I’m doing (but I do think about that), but more because I love learning about the trends: what works, what doesn’t, what kind of behaviors readers demonstrate. Every so often I have a “big day” (well, big for me) and I still don’t necessarily understand why it happened.

      My blog is very small pototaoes, but I was surprised at how quickly I went from “oh, it doesn’t matter if anyone reads this” to “oh my god, I have readers in Australia?!”.

      Love this, and would certainly be interested in further posts/conversations on this topic…

      • 16

        says

        Alison,

        I love tracking down my referrals and traffic sources whenever I get a big spike. Plus, it’s fun to see what people search for that leads to your site!

    10. 17

      says

      I totally dig this series! I am a numbers geek, too. I’m very surprised that I am actually “normal” numbers-wise. I always assumed most bloggers had way more traffic than my blog, but I fall into the 501-5000 page view per month. Fun!

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