Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blogging Stats--A Little Blog Weights In


I’ve had some interesting conversations in the last few weeks—some with bloggers and some with people I know personally about blogging and blogging statistics. One blogger mentioned a few weeks ago that he feels compelled to post every day partially because his stats dip if he doesn’t. Another mentioned seeing an increase in readership when she stopped participating in memes. My dad wanted to know about blogging traffic and whether bloggers advertised on their blogs to make a little side money. And then there has been recent talk about how many visitors bloggers get each day or month—many bloggers are now listing this in their “review policy” for publishers and authors to view.

I use Google Analytics to look at my statistics every once in a while, but across the board I stay pretty stable so there isn't a reason for me to look religiously. My stats aren't fantastic but they're definitely consistent. Fridays and Saturdays are always my slowest days and usually Sunday and Monday pick up. Since I haven’t been posting much lately, I’ve dipped a little bit, but I hadn't really thought too much about it until recently. After seeing some of the numbers that other bloggers have posted on their review policies, I'm starting to realize just how tiny my little blog is. I know that in certain circles my name is out there, but the book blogging world has exploded lately and really I'm just a little bitty part of that.

My Questions:
Do you watch your blogging traffic and statistics? If so do you look at the numbers just for fun or try to use them for blogging improvement (or other reasons)? Do you use a specific program to help you watch your stats? Do you do anything particular on your blog to try to boost your stats? We all want to do our best with our blogs, and some of us are fairly competitive in nature, so I’m curious how these statistics are being used by others. I’ve said before that I don’t put a lot of stock into my stats since I usually have a healthy amount of comments on my posts and because it is evident that half of the people coming to my blog are coming mostly from keyword searches for mostly classic or required school books. But, I do find statistics interesting, especially now that I can kind of see how I stack up against a few other bloggers (LOL—or don’t stack up!).

My Thoughts:
I’ll admit I’m a little clueless on what all my statistics mean, so I guess you can say I look at my stats mostly for fun. I find it fascinating that A Rumor of War is my most viewed review since I started keeping track in September, but the post itself only has 10 comments--some of which are my responses. Not sure what people are looking for with their search--maybe they think there is a rumor of war and are trying to find out more about it?! I'm rambling now. But really, it doesn't seem to matter what I do--I'm neither inclining nor decreasing in amount of visitors. Does this mean that I've become complaisant or that I'm naive about how to make my blog successful? I don't think so--I've always thought that if people are responding then I've at least interested someone. That's enough to keep my happy--I'd rather have 5 visitors and have them all comment rather than 10,000 and not hear a peep from my readers. I don't bite! Leave me comments!! :P But it is human nature to want to do better and to improve (or at least Trish nature).

But really, I'm curious what you think about stats or if you think about them at all? I'm having a difficult time even formulating what it is I'm curious about--maybe if it is difficult for a book blog, especially a new one, to make a name for itself in this massive blogosphere or maybe they're having an easier time while some of us old fogeys (i.e. me) are stuck in the past and not moving with the current trends of book blogging? Not really sure, but I do find the whole thing rather fascinating--for those sites that are getting 30,000 hits a month--where are those visitors coming from? Are they mostly other book bloggers or people curious about books or people of the industry? Would you rather have more comments on your posts or more visitors? Or does it even matter at all?

By the way, I can call myself an old fogey because I just celebrated my second blogiversary (which is still fairly young compared to you really old folks!). For some reason I had it in my head that my blogiversary was on the 15th, but my first post was actually on the 5th of June, 2007. I can't believe it has been two years already--even more I can't believe I've kept it up. I don't think I knew this was going to turn into a long-term commitment, but I'm glad it did. In the past two years I've grown, my blog has grown, my TBR has grown--and I'm not done yet!

*Before I hit that publish post button, one small plea. This is a post of curiosity, not jabbing. I love to hear everyone's opinions, but please keep it respectful. I'm sorry I have to even say that, but in the past comments have gotten a little out of hand.

40 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Happy Blogoversary!

You never know what makes a post get hits. I had a zillion (false) hits for a historical post I did on the (real) Boston Tea Party because people were looking for the protest tea parties last tax day. And recently, I needed to test my router and so the computer guy and I kept going back to one particular blog over and over using different configurations to test - we must have really shot up its stats for that day! :--) But I think they're interesting to look at even if they may not necessarily mean what one wants them to mean!

Amanda said...

I don't know how to use the Google Analytics, but I've been using Statcounter almost since I joined blogger. I find my stats fun to look at. Most of my "hits" are google image searches, but there is a pretty consistant number of regular hits in there, and it's fun to see how people came by the blog. Sometimes it's useful, too, like when multiple people search for "rachael milan" (a name I gave a character, and was talking about on Ramblings) made me do a search for her and I found out she stars in...um, adult videos. My character is now named Rachel Milam. That made all the difference in the world.

But mostly, I do it for fun. Statcount doesn't keep track of, say, how many subscribers I have or anything. Just page hits. I kind of wish I had that info, because right now I can only go on followers and frequent commenters, you know?

I'm getting pretty rambly myself...

C. B. James said...

I use Google Analytics like you do and I do check it each day. I have no idea what it all means. I do pay attention to what seems to make the number of daily hits go up or down but I also look at the average time on site per hit, and at where people are coming from. Direct hits count as someone who is actually reading my blog to read my blog so I value those more than search engine or referral hits.

I'm not looking for free books like I once was--I ended up having to read too many less than terrific books--but I guess I should pay more attention to everyone's sidebars to see how many hits people are getting. I suppose if I got more hits I would be able to get more author interviews which I really enjoy doing though they never seem to bring me much traffic.

It would be great if someone can point us towards an article or service that explains all of this. It is just for fun as far as I'm concerned, but it's more fun with an audience of readers.

Amy said...

I use both google analytics and statcounter, and I think I even still have sitemeter.

I like to see where my visitors are coming from (links and keywords) sometimes that's how I find out someone else has linked to me and I usually like to pop over and say thank you or at least see what they said. ;)

My most important numbers are my subscribers and my return visitors. I feel like these people still sort of want to know what I'm up to. :) I don't get as much search engine traffic as other blogs, but I'm not bothered by that too much.

Don't worry about comparing yourself too much. Some people don't know how to accurately interpret stats (for example hits are not the same thing as visitors) and since you definitely have a healthy comment section, you have the best kind of readers. :)

bermudaonion said...

Congratulations on two years! I watched my stats a lot when I first started blogging, but now, only look at them every few days and even then I don't spend much time on them. I'm on wordpress, so I can't use Google Analytics. I use the built in stats and sitemeter, which I rarely look at these days.

mjmbecky said...

I use stat counters too, and it seems like whenever I even mention the Real Housewives (BRAVO show that I'm obsessed with), or blog about Meg Cabot's newest book, that my random hits go up. I don't do it on purpose, but find it interesting that you get "hits," but not real readers that way. Our blogs are about the same age...old fogey range :)...and even though I didn't get really serious about it until this year, I think we're both in the category of simply wanting to read and discuss good books. For that reason, blind hits don't impress me as much as "followers" or subscribers. Even comments make me feel like I'm getting somewhere, which is what I really want. For me, it's about networking and meeting more people who have my same passions--literature, reading, blogging, books--than anything else. I want to hear about great books, hear about the world of publishing, and hear about how to increase the reading world in general!

I do advertise on my blog, but I've only earned about $1, so who cares? :) Honestly, I don't do it to earn money, but offer links to where to buy & advertise just to let it generate a few pennies here and there to go back to my giveaway & book buying fund!

Great question!

Literary Feline said...

I follow a couple of different stat sites for my blog, but not religiously. I look when I remember and for the most part, it's not something I stress over or really even care about. It's just something fun to see sometimes: like where people are coming from, the search words they use to find me, stuff like that. All that other mumbo jumbo is just a bunch of numbers to me. I don't quite understand it and so tend to take it as it is. I think my husband gets tired of me asking "What does that mean?" when I try to read my google analytics stats. LOL

I'm with you when it comes to comments. I am thrilled when someone takes the time to comment, whether it be the 1st person or the 10th or what have you. Each comment earns an equal amount of thrill. Unless it's a really malicious or spam, but that's a given, isn't it?

I don't look at other people's stats. It's obvious when they are getting a lot of comments, and early on, when no one was commenting on my blog, I couldn't help but make comparisons then. I'm not the competitive type though, and other people's stats don't mean anything to me. I visit blogs I enjoy reading, regardless of how many or how few visitors there are.

I blog for fun, and if I start putting too much stock into stuff like that, it takes some of the fun out of it for me (and I realize that stuff IS fun for some others--nothing wrong with that). It's just not for me.

J.T. Oldfield said...

My husband is an internet marketing analyst (meaning he figures out how to get more people to a website for a living), so he set up Google Analytics and taught me how to use it.

I generally see a spike on Mondays and a drop on Fridays or Saturdays, or if I haven't posted in a day or two.

I don't have a ton of visitors (BTW, my husband just told me today that nobody says "hits" anymore and technically it refers to something else, so one should say "visitors"...in case you care about such distinctions!) because I only just started my blog in April, and only just put it on Twitter last week!

Here's some tips from my husband on promoting your blog and SEO (search engine optimization) (not that I necessarily follow them all):

1. comment on other people's blogs to get them interested in yours
2. try to get blogs, especially big ones, to link to your site
3. re: #2, it is better for the search engine algorithms if when another blog is linking to yours, they link to a specific page, not just your home page (don't know why, but then again, nobody understands that)
4. re: #2, posts in comments do not count for much when it comes to SEO, but are still good for getting into a community of bloggers, and I've personally had many visitors from that.
5. Do not go days without posting. Post at least every M-F.
6. Have other content pages. The more pages (and I mean hundreds here) the better for Search engines. These might not all be posts, per se, but still content on your site.

I hope I'm getting all of this right...my husband isn't here right now, so I can't ask him. But seriously, I live in Seattle and all of my friends work with my husband and so are in the same industry. I hear about it nonstop.

Why did I just write this crazy long post? I should save it for my own blog, LOL. ;)

J.C. Montgomery said...

I've always used Google Analytics but am thinking adding another just to see if it is as accurate but easier to use.

I don't assess my blog by comments. Why? Well, because I have upped my traffic by an obscene amount over the last six months (according to the analytics), yet the number of comments left have not gone up accordingly. In fact, the only time they do is when I am having a giveaway.

Thus for me, judging my blog by the number of comments I get per post is ineffectual.

It could be that there are more readers such as I, that have many, many blogs in their RSS readers and cannot comment on every single one. I would hardly get anything else done. I could whittle down the blogs I follow, but I can't. There are so many out there I enjoy.I really do try to comment whenever I can.

The whole blogging thing for me is a hobby and way to be part of an overall community that loves and appreciates the same thing(s) I do. I look at my stats just to ensure that I am providing content that others find interesting and also, as Amy mentioned, to find out if someone has linked to me in some way and to either thank them and/or ensure they are on my blogroll.

If I were to seek advertising, then it would be more important for me to study, understand, and use analytics.

Right now, it is simply a tool to see what readers like and to keep track of how they are finding me.

Charley said...

What a great and thoughtful post. Happy 2-year anniversary!

I use the basic version of sitemeter to reassure myself that readers actually visit my blog. I don't require a massive audience, but I also don't want to be writing to the air!

I don't use sitemeter's reports to try to boost my stats. I'm easily overwhelmed by technology, and I'm not particularly good at understanding numbers and trends, so I like to keep it pretty simple.

My preferred method of encouraging readers to visit my blog is simply to visit and comment on fellow book bloggers' posts, in the hopes that they'll find something of interest on my site. So far, I think that's worked out alright for me. I'm very happy with and thankful to my small and loyal readership, and I'm always pleased to welcome new visitors to my site.

Thanks again for the great questions!

Janssen said...

I am so interested in this kind of thing!

I use sitemeter (which I check several times a day) and Google Analytics which I rarely rarely check.

Lisa said...

Happy Anniversary!

I go in spurts of wanting traffic and not caring. Lately I want traffic but not enough to do anything about it. I use sitemeter so I have an idea of how many visitors I'm getting, but I rarely go looking at the details.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I use Google Analytics and like you my stats are very consistent. I only check about once a week just to make sure that nothing crazy is happening.

I'm one of those ones that do list my stats on my review page simply because after participating in discussions on Twitter and one blog post from a particular publicist who highly recommended it if interested in receiving review copies. And I am actually going to try to take in about 3-6 sponsors through sold ad space. So I felt like it was needed. I certainly don't put them up to show off, but I think there are legit people who need to know and I'd like to make it easy for them to find the info.

My blog is set up pretty well with SEO as 80% of my traffic comes from search engines looking for a particular book or topic. I appreciate the traffic that it brings me but I LOVE the other 20% because they are the ones who leave the comments. I wouldn't trade them for anything!

I think the important thing to remember about stats is to not let them rule you. When I first started blogging I checked daily. I'm actually shocking myself that I don't check very often anymore.

Trish said...

*Rhapsody - I've noticed I've been getting a lot of visits to my New Moon post lately and I just realized today it's probably because of the movie coming out. I agree that they're interesting, but I don't know that they mean a whole lot.

*Amanda - I installed Google Analytics last September but I don't know what it all means--funny about your character's name. One of my searches was for Trish pictures in playboy--yuck!!

*CB - I don't know that many blogs have their visiters listed in their sidebars, but I've noticed that some bloggers are disclosing their visiter count in their "review policy"--I've seen anywhere from 4,500-30,000 visiters a month. I'm in the lower range at best and was quickly humbled! I'd love to learn what the different Google Analytic things mean but I haven't been able to figure it out yet (like how is "bounce rate" configured?).

*Amy - I love to see where my visiters are coming from and I've discovered some great blogs that way, but I agree that return commenters are what I like the most. Who cares if someone is continually hitting on my old posts? That doesn't mean squat to me if there isn't any interaction.

*Bermuda - Thanks! I can't believe it's been two years already. I only look at the Analytics occasionally--I've never been able to learn anything constructive from it. Just fun.

*Mjmbecky - Subscribers and followers are interesting to me because *most* of my followers have never commented on my blog! I don't follow any blogs because I use Google Reader, so I'm curious to know the purpose of following. I do show my followers as a courtesy, but I'd love if they popped in to say hi. Same thing with subscribers--I have a pretty healthy number of subscribers, but I don't think they are indicative of true readers (or active readers anyway).

*Lit Feline - And I don't think there's anything wrong with looking at stats and I do understand that some care about this more than others. I'd love to know what kinds of things they are learning from stats, though, and how they are using those stats to improve their blogs so to speak. But yes, I jump at every comment--love love love them!

*JT - Thanks for the great information! I learned really quickly when I started blogging that commenting is the best way to meet other bloggers. I love the interaction and I've formed some great friendships because of it. Great tips--and what an interesting job your husband must have!

*JC - Funny about the giveaways--I don't do them anymore because I got such little interest! Most blogs you read the word "free" and there are a million comments. :P I've never noticed that someone has linked to me through stats--how do you know? I used to use Google Alerts but every time someone who had my blog on their sidebar would do a post, I'd get an alert and it got to be too much and not helpful enough.

*Charley - I agree that networking and commenting is one of the best ways to get an active audience for your blog and this has worked fairly well for me as well (although I've been short on time lately and not commenting as much as I'd like). BUT, that method certainly isn't going to garner 10,000 more visiters a month! It's a curious thing, these stats.

*Janssen - I've never heard of sitemeter, but since everyone keeps mentioning it I'll have to check it out. I don't think Google Analytics updates throughout the day, at least as far as I can tell?

*Lisa - That's kind of my thing as well--not really caring enough to do anything about it. I'm really curious as to what people see in their stats that help them get more visiters? If I went by mine, I'd read more required reading that kids are reading for school--and classics--just doesn't seem helpful to me but I wonder what other people have found.

Trish said...

*Natasha - We were commenting at the same time. :) I've never heard of SEO until tonight, but about 50% of my traffic comes from search engines and the rest direct or from referrals. These people who are wanting to know specifics in terms of your stats--are they publishers or authors? I ended up on some mailing list for ARCs lately and it was like getting spam--2-3 offers a day. I finally asked this morning to be taken off the mailing list because it was so obtrusive. I like the personal requests, although, I haven't been accepting many lately because I haven't been reading! All this is really interesting to me, though. I hate to admit it, but I kind of thought my traffic was comparable to average book blogs and I'm learning that it isn't. :( LOL!! BUT, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. I'm thrilled that you guys keep coming back and that is what's important to me.

Nymeth said...

Two years! Happy blogging anniversary, Trish!! Does it feel like you only started yesterday? It does for me sometimes. But then again it also feels like I've known blogging friends of you all my life :)

I use Google Analytics and check it when I remember, which is probably a couple of times a week. But I can go for weeks without thinking of it. For some reason I really like looking at the geographical map, and I get really excited about things like a visitor from Samoa :P I'm a dork.

I read somewhere recently that Sitemeter gave you more detailed stats, so I signed up just to give it a try, and I have to be honest: it freaked me out a little bit. It has this feature called "Who's on" where you can see who is viewing each page on your site at any given moment (you see the visitor's IP or geographical location). It made me feel like Big Brother, so I haven't returned :P It also made me feel all naked...do people see it when I browse through their blogs? It's not like I have anything to hide, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable for some reason.

Anyway, like you I care more about comments than visitors. It's not that I don't appreciate quiet readers, but it's the interaction that means the most to me. About 60% of my visitors come from search engines, but I also have a high bounce rate (that's when people leave your blog in the first...30 seconds or something after arriving), so I figure most of those are people looking for something very specific. Something they don't even find :P

King Rat said...

I use a couple of stat tracking packages. I check stats daily, for a few reasons:

a) narcissism

b) i'm hosted on a shared server that won't handle load very well. my readership isn't even close to danger levels at the moment. but i had an instance where i got linked by the former chairman of George Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. that day I got more traffic than I had in the entire lifetime of the blog prior to that. i don't want the site to crash unexpectedly.

c) narcissism

d) if i piss someone off on the internet, this is how i know it. i've had authors take issue with my reviews before, yet noone commented on my blog. if i didn't see the traffic spike, i wouldn't know where to watch the hilarity.

e) i do let review popularity influence which books i read to some degree. I've always been interested in economics. seeing that econ book reviews got people looking, i make a point to read my econ stuff a little more frequently.

f) narcissism. the thrill of "this many people are reading my drivel" is awesome.

an acquaintance called my book blog "mental masturbation". i think he meant it as an insult. but i totally agree. i write more or less whatever comes to mind, solely because it comes to mind, and people come and read it! and i can count how many people do! that's pure awesome! not as awesome as bacon, but still pretty high up on the scale.

Meghan said...

Happy blogoversary! =)

I use Google Analytics too. I do find it a little overwhelming and I'm not sure how to use the stats, but they're good to know. Like you, I'm a small blog amidst all the big bloggers of the world. I try not to worry about it much because people are visiting and commenting and that's what I really want.

farmlanebooks said...

Congratulations! I think the stats are very confusing - unless everyone is using the same package. I have looked at several different stat sites for my blog and they all give very different readings. Google analytics seems to give the lowest number of visitors - sometimes 10x lower than the number my web hosting company say are visiting.

In general I think it is best to ignore the stats and rely on the number of subscribers/commentors you have, as they are the important ones.

Good luck!

Scrap girl said...

How bad am I! I am oblivious to it all. I didn't know you could check stats. I shall have to look into Google Analytics.

Debi said...

I'm just an oddball, I guess. I use nothing. Couldn't care less about my stats. There are lots of reasons why I blog--from just keeping track of my family's stories to chatting about books. But mostly for me, it's truly about the friends I've made...and I don't need to stats for that. Truthfully, it makes me a wee bit anxious to think that there may be other people out there that I don't "know" that sometimes read my blog...and I'd just rather not know about it. What can I say...I'm weird.

Happy two years, Trish!!! Here's to many, many, many more!

Amanda said...

Nymeth, you crack me up! That's my favorite part of statcounter, too!! I love seeing those little maps. :D

jacketsandcovers said...

Stats? What stats?

Okay, so I do notice them. Wordpress displays them predominantly on my blog’s dashboard, and I do glance at them every once and a while. They’re pretty consistent, hovering around 100, but for the most part I think people are coming in for help on school books since I get a lot of hits for books I’ve read for school. Honestly, though, I don’t really care about stats. If they’re really low, like they are this morning, it’s because I haven’t posted anything for a while. The more I blog, the higher up they go, which makes total sense to me.

Plus, like Debi, I blog for myself. I like writing down my thoughts on the books I've read, and I enjoy the comments that come from that. Stats just aren't that important.

Congrats on two years!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

No, not authors. Mainly publishers. There are a few spammy ARC lists. I've found those particular ones to be mostly self-published books. But from the articles I've read, stats are something that publishers would like to have an idea of. And like you, I only respond to individual pitches. And right now, I only take in about 1/10 offers. But ad cost is directly tied into the number of page views.. I'm about to tweek my sidebars a bit, so I can include in what I hope are some unobtrusive ads. What can I say, my LA and NYC trips were expensive!

But stats can be a good indicator of how you are doing. Like right now I've plateaued. So this helps me know that I need to breath some new life in my blog if I don't want the numbers to go the wrong direction.

Paxton said...

I'm on Wordpress and they provide a nice handy dandy blog stats tool to track that stuff. The visitor stat info is on my admin page so I see it every time I log on. I'm interested in my hits per day, and sometimes that will influence the type of article I put up, but I try not to let it rule me. First and foremost, I blog because I enjoy it. If hit count was my main concern, I would have burned out before now.

I'm not even sure what's average for visitors per day. I fluctuate between 400 - 600 hits a day. A few days ago I had an article picked up by stumbleupon.com so it shot close to 1000, but I generally stay within the earlier range.

Congrats on two years! I just realized I passed 3 years in March! How'd I miss that?!

Keep it up, Trish, I love your blog.

Paxton Holley
Cavalcade of Awesome
http://paxholley.net

Melody said...

Happy Blogiversary, Trish!

I've not much to add actually, and actually I didn't sign up for any statistics site until you mentioned Google! :P See, I've so many things to learn from you ladies! ;)

Jess said...

Happy Blogiversary! I really enjoy your blog so keep up the great work.

I have a question about followers vs. subscribers. What is the difference? To know how many people read my blog do I add them together or is a follower also a subscriber?

I have thought about looking into Google Analytics, but I decided to mainly focus on getting comments and subscribers. I wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway.

Have a great weekend!

Veens said...

oohh Trish! this is something.. i moan a lot about these days :)
i had a decent number of visitors and lovely count and i was happy with that...BUT i lost my blog and i am starting ALL OVER AGAIN..
:((
it is so tiresome!
well i dnt really worry about it anymore.. i have a few readers... and well they COMMENT and THATS more important to me :)
i m just here catalouging stuff and reading about more good stuff.. that is all :)

and a very happy anniversary!!! PARTY time :) :)

hope you gave your blog a little bash :) :)

take good care!

Chris said...

I look at my stats mostly out of curiosity but my high bounce rate does make me sad. I like it when people stay awhile. I guess quality is more important than quantity. :)

Happy Anniversary!

Trish said...

*Nymeth - Actually it feels like I've been blogging for a lot longer than two years--probably because I've gotten to know you guys so well. I love looking at the Map Overlay on GoogleAnalytics as well. I signed up for Sitemeter the other day after reading everyone's comments, but I think they're actually less detailed. I don't like the whole IP thing--and it can feel rather stalkerish.

*King Rat - Narcissism isn't entirely bad and I think that to some degree we are all eager to learn that people actually read what we write. Interesting about reading material that is more likely to get hits. For you it's econ, for me it's classics or required reading. I guess there's always going to be someone out there searching for something!

*Meghan - Comments is definitely the biggest validation for me--even if I got 10,000 visitors a month, I'd be rather lonely if none of them were staying or coming back.

*Farmlane - Interesting that you're finding Google Analytics is lower than other stat readers--perhaps my numbers aren't as dreary as I think they are. :P Even subscribers is kind of confusing for me--I have a good number of subscribers, but definitely not that many people are leaving comments! Interesting thoughts.

*Scrap girl - LOL! I hadn't heard of Google Analytics until fairly recently. They're fun to look at, but sometimes the data is a little confusing.

*Debi - I know some other bloggers who are a little leery knowing that strangers are reading their blogs--some personal friends have gone private because of it. Stats don't mean too much to me, but I've noticed a lot more people are announcing them lately.

*Jacketsandcovers - LOL--most of my random keyword searches seem to be people looking for information on school material. I've heard people say that the more they blog the higher their stats, but I just can't seem to bring myself to post more than I do now.

*Natasha - I'll be interested in how the sponsorship goes for you. My dad is convinced that I should capitalize on my blog, but I fear that I would have to change some things and I'm not sure I want to do that. I told him--the day I find out people are getting paid to review on their blogs is the day I stop reading their posts. Sad, but that's a whole other topic!! :)

*Paxton - Let me ask--what do you mean by your hits will influence what you post? Do you mean that if a certain topic is getting a lot of love you'll post something similar? I've heard people say their stats sometimes dictates what they post but no one has given any examples. Three years--how awesome for you!

*Melody - LOL! I learned about Google Analytics through Kim L at Bold.Blue.Adventure a while ago--I think she did one of those fun keyword posts and I signed up to see what it was all about.

*Jess - I've already emailed you, but it was very interesting for me to learn that when you follow a blog you automatically subscribe through Google Reader! Learn something new every day. :)

*Veens - I kind of figured you were so deep in marital bliss you forgot all about us. :P It's so good to see you back, though! I agree that comments is great validation.

*Chris - I think my bounce rate is relatively high as well--around 77-80% (not sure where other bloggers fall), but when I think that I do all my blog reading in Google Reader and pop over long enough to leave a comment, it probably makes those bounce rates go up (and the time spent on blog go down). I love when I see someone has stayed for a while and browsed through several pages. Now if I could just figure out how to get them to say hi!! :)

Paxton said...

Yes, Trish, if a certain topic I write about gets very popular, I'll post another similar post or a "sequel", if you will. For example, I had some energy drink reviews online a few years ago, they became popular so I did three sequels to them. I did an article about vintage McDonald's commercials which was picked up by Neatorama.com and Stumbleupon.com and became very popular so I did another post on McD's commercials. Same thing with an article I did about failed McD's sandwiches.

So, that's just three examples in my three years. I do let popularity sometimes dictate whether I write sequels to my articles, but I also have to have enough material to write the second article, otherwise I don't bother. I won't pander to my readers for easy blog traffic.

Serena said...

I just started checking out my stats with google analytics. So, I'm really not one to ask. I have too little experience in this arena.

I just like that people are reading.

Fyrefly said...

I just use the WordPress built-in stats, but I do check them every day. I see the same Friday/Saturday dip you do (enough so that sometimes my stats graph looks like a series of little hills, with deep Saturday valleys), so as a result, I stopped scheduling new posts for Saturdays.... which, I'm sure, has made my pageviews drop even further...

Bookfool said...

I don't really pay much attention to stats, although I like maps and it's fun to see where people are coming from, so I have one that shows where visitors have originated over a year's time (it empties after a year -- right now, it just shows 2 or 3 months' worth)and one that shows 24-hour visitors. I know it's nutty, but I just think it's fun to look at my little maps!

Otherwise, I'm kind of disinterested in stats. I don't advertise or link up to Amazon, etc., so I have no stake in bringing large quantities of people to my blog. I just blog as a way to purge, really. I wanted a place to write about books I read (casually) and sometimes just talk about life. That's why I started blogging and it's still the reason I blog. I've done a lot of book tours, this year, and I'm going to back away from that, soon. It's interesting how blogging evolves. I did challenges, for a while, and then decided I was sick of them. I haven't chattered as much, lately, because I've been too scheduled, so that's one reason I'm going to do fewer tours. I have had fewer comments since I've chattered less, I think, and I like sharing anecdotes about my life (purging, again) so I'm going to probably go back to that. I'm just happier that way.

violetcrush said...

I would be lying is I said I didn't watch my stats. I watch them everyday or atleast every alternate day. I don't blog everyday and I have observed that if I don't blog for 2 consecutive days the hits drop. But I am okay with that. I already have enough on my hands and I don't want the pressure of posting everyday just to increase my stats.

Having good stats for me is a confirmation that people do read my blog. Comments are fun, I love to read other's opinions and I love the interaction. So yes, I want both :)

Ot of all my hits,at least half of them are google hits. My review on Sybil and Empress Orchid have the maximum hits. Recently I have a lot of searches on Kate Morton and Michelle Moran. I think participating in meme's increases your traffic, but I participate in only one meme per week so I cannot tell you much on that.

I believe it doesn't matter much, if your stats are descent and you're happy with them. There will always be someone whose stats are much better than mine. So I don't worry about that. I just enjoy my blog.

Congrats on completing 2 years Trish :)

Trish said...

*Paxton - That definitely makes sense, but I don’t think I’ve written anything interesting enough to warrant a sequel. Probably my most hit on post was that one about ARCs and it wasn’t even because of what I wrote—just what others wrote in the comments. Boo! :P Maybe I need more interesting material. :D

*Serena - People reading is definitely a good thing! I like seeing where people come from and what keyword searches are used. Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot of “useful” information for me.

*Fyrefly - I guess people just don’t get on and browse the Internet much on Fridays and Saturdays, which is kind of funny to me because that’s when I usually catch up. If I didn’t have to go to a separate website to look at my stats, I’d probably look at them more often.

*Bookfool - I really like seeing where people are coming from as well. Most of my visitors come from California and Texas (hmm, although I think many of the Texas ones are me!). I love your chatter and hope you’ll do more of it. When I haven’t blogged for two weeks (like now) and have a ton of blogs to read, I usually skip the memes and booktours unless I’m really interested in reading the book. Most times I look for the chatter and gravitate to those posts.

*Violetcrush - I love hearing what people’s number one visited post is. I’ve never heard of Sybil and Empress Orchid, but I’ll have to look into it. I’ve heard different people say different things about memes—some say it increases traffic and others say they don’t. Mine never got many comments so I lost interest—plus I didn’t like being tied down to certain days since I only get to post usually twice a week. I like reading people’s Booking Through Thursday posts, though.

Susan said...

I have no idea even where to get the stats counters! I'm clueless when it comes to that. I'm just happy people read my blog! I could be really competitive, but that takes the fun out of it. I like rambling discourses about books and odd things about life, so that's what my blog seems to be becoming, too! and I do so enjoy your posts. I don't know why people seem to think what you say is aimed at them.

happy second anniversary, Trish! And the people we meet do make it all worthwhile, don't they?

Paxton said...

Trish, your material is plenty interesting. Trust me. :-p

I'm still here and I'm notoriously ADD about reading blogs.

Petunia said...

I use statcounter.com. My numbers have dropped lately probably because I was posting less for a while. Just to make you feel better about your numbers, I get an average of 400 unique hits a month. I KNOW you get more than that.

One thing I've noticed helps to bring your stats up is if you leave comments on other people's blogs. I am more likely to visit someone else's blog if they comment, especially if they comment frequently. Unfortunately I don't have the time to visit a lot of blogs. My reader is full. I have well over 1000 posts I need to read but I only end up reading the first five.(They're alphabetical so Trish's Reading Nook rarely gets enough of my attention, sorry to say.)

Trish said...

*Susan - If you go to www.sitemeter.com there's one and then Google Analytics is just through Google. They're fun and interesting but not something to live by.

*Paxton - Awww thank you. :) Glad my ramblings are ADD-proof. :P

*Petunia - Leaving comments is definitely an important part of keeping up with the community. I have my blogs in separate folders, so my favorite lower alphabet blogs--the S's and T's don't always get pushed to the wayside.