Your (Blogging) Stats Matter, But YOU Matter More

POSTED ON January 14, 2018 BY Austine IN Discussion

Dear Teen Me,

Get off Google Analytics. Close that tab with your page views. Stop checking your Twitter notifications every 5 minutes to see if someone new followed you (or worse, unfollowed you). You’re hitting a blogging slump, I can feel it. Time to step back and re-evaluate what’s important to you.

This blog series is not intended to be what I think ALL (teen) book bloggers should do or know, but what I wish I could tell myself. But I hope that these posts are helpful to some of y’all (or at least start a decent discussion).


As a new book blogger, I thought that your stats defined your success. If I didn’t have XXX followers or XXX page views a month, I was a failure. Somehow I was insignificant compared to other book bloggers.

Note that word “compared.”

None of it was true, mind you, but in this case perception is key. This community makes claims that your stats shouldn’t matter to you, that you should blog because you want to, that it’s better to ignore the numbers. And there’s truth to that.

But when you request a book, the publishers want your stats. When you apply to be part of a book blog tour, they ask for your stats. They do matter, but it’s about putting things in perspective.

Blogging success is not defined by a magic number.

How do I know this? There’s no designated number of followers or views under the definition of the phrase “blogging success.” And honestly, there’s not much consistency when it comes to things more relevant to us book bloggers like book requests and tours. I’ve heard “1,000 followers” tossed around a few times but if you go to a publisher’s media page, you’re likely not going to find a list of stat requirements.

There is a lack of transparency between bloggers and publishers which I think really hurts a lot of people. How are we supposed to know what publishers are looking for? If you have the connections, you can ask someone in the industry for specifics but many bloggers don’t have that kind of access yet. And this feeds a sense of competition.

You might not notice it. You might not even care. And that’s great, truly. For me, when I was a newer blogger, I felt like I was competing with other bloggers for books. That I had to be “better” than the next person or I’d be looked over. I’ve learned since then but it is SO EASY to fall into that trap of comparing yourself to other bloggers.

Your blogging experience will never be the same as someone else’s.

This is an individual hobby when it comes down to it. Sure, we have a great community but YOU are running your blog. YOU are posting content and sharing it. It’s on YOU. Which means that your growth as a blogger won’t follow the same path as someone else.

I think this is especially hard when looking at social media followings. You can excel at one platform and struggle using another. Perhaps you have a preference for Twitter over Instagram, Tumblr over Pinterest, etc. You’re going to put more time and effort into the platform that you enjoy which means you might not have as high of a following on a different platform, so is it really fair to YOU to compare that to someone else’s?

Comparing yourself to others is only going to add more stress.

It’s okay to care about your blog stats. They’re a great way to watch your growth as a blogger and can be “easy” to set goals for. Just remember that your stats may matter to you, but YOU matter more. 

Don’t let the numbers get in the way of doing what you love. You don’t want to fall into the trap of constantly worrying about gaining/losing followers, of not receiving “enough” comments on a post, of the changing tides of page views. Doing that can really suck the creativity out of your blogging and put you in a slump because you’re not doing as well as you think you should be doing.

There’s no right or wrong way to blog. Be you. Be authentic. You will be successful for that alone. Everything else will fall into place whether you realize it or not.

YOU determine your success.

Blog stats aren’t the only measure of blogging success, and to be honest, they’re not a very good one unless you’re personally working on improving/changing them. Think of success as achieving a goal. If your goal is to post once a week and you do it, you’re a successful blogger. If you want to write at least 2 book reviews a month and you do it, you’re a successful blogger.

It’s your blog. It’s your space. YOU are the master of your own success.

So where does that leave you?

Should you care about your blog stats? Should you toss them to the wind and say “screw you?” I think it honestly depends on what you do as a book blogger. If you’re requesting books for review, participating in blog tours, or doing anything else where your blog stats might come into play, then don’t ignore them. Just don’t let them rule your blogging. And if you don’t do anything that requires sharing those numbers out, ignore them!

Your blog stats are not a measure of how good of a blogger you are. They are numbers, plain and simple.

Do you keep track of your blog stats? Have you ever had tracking stats impact your blogging?


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34 responses to “Your (Blogging) Stats Matter, But YOU Matter More

  1. I do keep track of my stats but is not the thing that I am concerned. Didn’t ask yet to authors or publishers for books to review, I am just starting now and do it for pleasure. However, the stats are curious and I just like to see who I am reaching and if it makes sense to continue blogging. I do blog for myself but also for a community. It helps me to improve my reading and writing as well. I just started less than a month ago and I feel really good.

    🙂

    The book worm

  2. Ah this post hits so close to home right now! I feel like you took my thoughts and worries straight out of my brain 😂 After a year of blogging, I decided to start requesting ARCs for the first time. It’s been … not very successful. I even wrote my own post just like this recently, http://www.penandparchment.org/why-numbers-dont-always-tell-the-whole-story/. I really do want to get into the reviewing game, but I don’t think my stats are there yet. But that’s okay! Because not every blogger follows the same path or grows at the same rate. Thanks for writing this post ❤️

  3. I’m in a kind of weird spot because I don’t really want to connect to publishers, I don’t want to receive free books (they’re okay? but definitely not my goal) so you might think that I don’t care about page views. But I still get sucked into over-analyzing my Google analytics or setting up artificial barriers (my blog will be better if I just get X more page views a month). I like the idea of reaching more people, but there’s definitely a balance to being happy with what you are currently achieving.

    • I don’t think you have to care about getting books/connecting with publishers to care about your stats! Those are common reasons but definitely not the only ones! And I don’t think it’s bad to want to set goals for yourself. It’s a great way to track improvement and we are all constantly learning, but definitely good to find that balance 🙂

  4. Occasionally, I’ll look at my stats. Or my Klout score. But mostly not. I have more ARC’s than I can deal with, so I’m not trying to get in with publishers. It was never my intention to strike it rich by gaining followers, so that isn’t a motivator either. And the truth is, I’m sensitive. It actually used to hurt my feelings (that’s weird, right?). Like, why doesn’t anyone LIKE me? That’s totally how it feels. So stats don’t mean much to me right now. Ultimately, I think I’d be happy with more connection, more discussion, and since that’s content driven, that’s on me.

    Loving this series of posts!

      • It’s definitely an “individual” thing! Some people care (or cared in the past) and some don’t! I totally envy those who went into blogging and didn’t care because I SO needed that as a new blogger lol.

  5. I’ve never understood the arc obsession. I do some book tours through companies (that I don’t remember asking much about stats) because they have books I like. Other than that, I read myown books and library books. I think the pressure to compare yourself is less if you aren’t focused on the YA community. I read mostly adult books and that blogging community is way more laid back and less comparison driven than the YA one.

    • I’ve worked with a few tour companies that usually ask for stats in some form or another but not all of them do so just depends. And I’d agree. I’m someone who floats between the YA and adult communities based on what I read and talk about online and you definitely see more of the competitive edge in YA (from my perspective) which I’m sure can be attributed to a number of factors beyond stats.

  6. This is definitely something that needs to be talked about more. I wrote a blog post back in November 2017 about my experiences with blogging anxiety, precisely because of the issues you’ve spoken about. I got so sucked into constantly comparing myself to other ‘successful’ bloggers, and obsessively checking my stats all day, every day. Rather than focus on the content I was creating, blogging more consistently, and just enjoying the act of blogging, it became all about the stats and it absolutely ruined blogging for me for a few months. In the end, I had to completely step away and only come back when I had worked on having a more positive relationship with blogging.

    Since I stopped obsessing over stats and started enjoying myself more (and as a result, posting more), surprise, surprise my stats have gone up! It can be a hard lesson to learn but a good one to learn.

    • I think it’s just one of those things where you won’t really learn until it happens to you, where you hit that slump and finally realize that it’s time to just do it because you enjoy it. I haven’t heard a story where someone hasn’t had success in just letting go and being themselves which is great that so many people have found what works for them!

  7. Wonderful post! I don’t read ARCs, so I don’t care too much about my stats, but I have looked at really successful bloggers and thought, “How did they do that? Why can’t I be successful?” Comparing myself to others just makes me unhappy, so I try not to do it.

    • It can really get you down comparing yourself to others so it’s nice to remember that we’re all on our own individual journey! 🙂

  8. I don’t think I’ve spent much time over analytics. I only keep track of the number of followers, likes & comments I get. I have some goals but I’m also happy to take things at my own pace and develop my ability as a blogger gradually…

    • That’s great! Some people don’t worry about analytics and I used to envy them a little lol before I figured out I didn’t need to worry about them either. As long as you do you, you’re good ^_^

  9. Great post Austine 😊 I started my blog in July last year so it has been almost 6 months. In the befinning I was tensed about the numbers. I saw many fellow bloggers reaching to more number of followers and stuff just within the sam time period. But slowly, as I spent more time in the community, I realised that it is not something that I can totally control. And truth to be told, I try to involve as much as I can within the limited amount of time that is left after my full time job and mangaingbhome. So yeah, I don’t care about them any more. In fact, I haven’t checked my google Analytics since I made my account?

    • That’s great! And yes, I was there too. You see someone have more success than you and they’ve been at it for a shorter time, but honestly a lot of times stats can come down to luck. You can’t always know what will do well and what won’t but as long as you enjoy it, that doesn’t matter 🙂

  10. Love this and great reminder for new bloggers. When I started I was so nervous my blog wouldn’t be liked but now I’m like who cares? I do this bc I enjoy this so much and it brings me joy and now I’ve noticed I am getting a lot more interaction since I’ve let go of obsessing over it. So, this is an awesome post

    • Oh goodness SAME! I was so worried no one would read my posts and I’d just be stuck shouting into the internet void. But I found, like you, that the interactions increased once I stopped caring which is such a great feeling.

  11. This is a great reminder! I’m a very new blogger, I just started in November, and I think I haven’t been worrying too much about my stats mostly because I know I’m not putting in more effort than I think I should…? If that makes sense. Either way, one of the most important aspects to blogs I follow is they’re always individual and they’re genuinely here to blog because they like it, and I think that’s really important when it comes to following people you want to be inspired by.

    • It can be super easy to get caught up in the numbers! But as you’ve found, if you’re yourself then people will want to follow anyway whether it’s you following others or others following you, and those numbers slip away 🙂

  12. I look at my stats every now and then. It amuses me. I’m glad that I started blogging way into my twenties though where I was at the point in my life that I didn’t feel the need to compare myself to others as much. If I had been a teen when I started that would have probably tripped me up quite a bit.

    • It was a big part of blogging when I was a teen but I definitely grew out of it, mostly do the same as you, check every now and then to keep certain things updated like my NetGalley profile, etc. That’s about it and it’s much less stressful lol

  13. Such an insightful post! I do keep track of my stats, but I don’t obsess over them like I used to. You do have to learn that your experience will be different from others so although it still gets me down when X has more followers, I realize that it’s alright because my blog is a different journey from others. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I honestly don’t keep a track of my stats, I look at my follower count now and then to see how its doing but the others? only when I need to update NG or I sign up for something that requests them

  15. Ha ha, are you spying on me? I do look at my stats, especially if I’m working on something new, like increasing my reach on a social media platform. I try to use them to motivate me rather than depress me.
    I care more about what readers of my blog / tweets think than what any publisher thinks, but then I work with a lot of indies, so my view is different to others.
    But good advice to anyone feeling in a blogging slump.

  16. This is great advice and something we all need to keep in mind. I used to stress myself over stats. Now I barely glance at them. Now, I know that’s easier to say now that I’ve established myself as a blogger, but it would still be easy to fall into the trap of always needing MORE or comparing myself to everyone around me. I’ve figured out that doesn’t get me anywhere—it just adds stress.

  17. this is all great advice for new bloggers. It’s very easy to get discouraged when you visit other blogs that list or talk about their number of followers and you compared them to yours. Many bloggers have quit because of that! it’s hard not to but stop comparing is the best blogging advice!

  18. Hurrah to this post! I have been carried away by stats drama a lot too, although it’s tougher for me, cause I’m international – so my stats sometimes need to be 5-10 times higher than anyone else’s because it’s just that way if you’re international. But in the end… it’s definitely not worth murdering yourself over. I’ve had a crisis because of that quote recently, actually.

    I’ll be sharing your post, and you might not know, but I have a chat group specifically for new bloggers, and a post series for them. They need to hear this.