Statistics Addict

Image

I look at my blogs stats page at least ten times, every single day. I hate it. But I can not resist. A moment of spare time, some available device with internet access … schwupps … there they are, my hopefully ever growing friends in blue.

My wife complains that she always finds my stats page open on her iMac, iPad and iPhone. I waste too much time wondering about the numbers, that could be used better. I decided to do something about it. I googled for “stats addiction” and found a lot of pages providing statistics about drug abuse. I hope it’s not that bad. “stats addict” yielded better results. I found this post by Dr. Nicole on Darren Rowse’s blog.

She was an addict as well and had the “luck”, that she couldn’t access her stats page for a month, due to some technical problems. She realized that her blog flourished without constantly checking her stats. And now has ten tips, how to improve our blogs “visibility”:

  1. Stop checking your stats and stop writing for stats. I confess, I did both. And it didn’t take me far.
  2. Instead of checking stats, help out a fellow blogger! I’m already working on this.
  3. Interview other bloggers. Well, maybe I should try this. But later.
  4. Participate in discussion forums. I do this. But often it seems as I can’t get my point across.
  5. Check in on your readers instead of your stats! I do this.
  6. Sign up for a new social network each day instead of obsessing over stats. I don’t do this and will not. I’m active at Geekli.st, Github and WordPress (obviously). That should suffer. Actually I have more accounts I do remember (Google+, Pinterest, Researchgate, Stackoverflow, …) and even more I don’t. I already have a heard time keeping up with interesting things happening on the above mentioned.
  7. Write a scintillating guest post. I haven’t been invited and I don’t really know how this whole guest-post-business is supposed to work. Properly introduced I would give it a try.
  8. Reach out to new friends at Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit, and Mixx. You might call me stubborn or retarded, but I won’t do this.
  9. Keep a stats journal. I have to elaborate on this one. In a stats journal you manually keep track of new posts, marketing activities for those posts and resulting page views. Well I’m usually a maniac about stats and numbers, but that’s to much for me. An ever raising page views count and possible causes are not that important.
  10. Read Problogger.net. I guess this homage to the host blog was inevitable, but it still has truth in it. It’s meant broader, to learn about blogging on blogs about blogging. And I already do this to some extend.

But how do I stop looking at the stats? Cold-turkey? Every day a little less? WordPress.com wouldn’t mind to shut down their stats page for me for a month, I guess. That would be another feature request I would add to Rara’s list:

Provide a way to block yourself out of the stats area for a specified time.

What’s your experience? Did you ever consider yourself stats addicted? Did you already overcome it? What helped you? A self-help group?

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Statistics Addict

  1. Rana says:

    I have the exact same problem! But I have way fewer viewers than you. 😄 I’ll probably reblog/use this for the basis of a similar blog later tonight. I’d love to get more views and coverage on my blog, and I just can’t seem to make it work. Great idea on a blog post topic, though. I never really thought about it as something to talk about, but I do this every day. Drives me crazy, but I can’t help it!

    1. Dirk Porsche says:

      Thank you. Feel free to reblog/use this post, as you like.

      Actually most traffic is generated by those technical things and comes from Google. The single most popular post is “Hacking 10 Fast Fingers”. After that, the posts regarding my first keyboard project. Then the Meteor stuff.

      All those other things are mostly unnoticed. A month ago I had more then 500 views on a single day. Someone picked up my first Meteor post and spread it through Twitter.

      Afterwards the traffic normalized quickly. But in total it keeps raising every month.

      I decided to not to look at the stats for the next month. Cold-Turkey. Quit smoking worked that way as well. It will be hard but I will fight. 11 hours without stats, are over now …

      The one thing I liked most about the post I referred, is the mantra of:
      Don’t let you get down by some numbers. Keep writing from your heart and people will find and like it.

      I will stick to it. You should, too.

  2. Rana says:

    Reblogged this on Virginia the Viruliferous and commented:
    I hope to do some personalization of this blog tomorrow, but for now, I’ll reblog. Most of what Dirk had to say I agree with in my own experience, it’s just a few elaborations I’d like to make. 🙂

  3. Sarah M. Cradit says:

    I tend to look at mine a lot too…in particular, I find it interesting how people come to the blog in the first place, as I always hope it will give me special insight. Instead, all I’ve learned is that this one post I created two month ago that had a picture of the scientist cat gets 90% of my google hits 😛

    1. Dirk Porsche says:

      For me it’s the ‘Hacking 10 fast fingers’-post. I’m not proud of it and even thought about deleting it. Well, 10 fast fingers is meant to improve your typing by typing, after all. Cheating makes not much sense.

      I will keep it for now, it drives some traffic. But do those visitors have a second look?

      1. Sarah M. Cradit says:

        Yes, that’s the one 😛 I swear, I wasn’t fishing for hits with the cat, it just seemed like the best image to get my point across. If only I had known that it would generate at least 5 unique hits per day with people looking for that image. Sigh.

        I went to school with a lot of folks who were known to be underachievers but were smart as hell. It never occurred to me until later that it might be strategic.

  4. binamghimire says:

    I was just wondering about my stats and refreshing the page time and again, and here comes this article…haha..well timed and well written!!…although even I wonder a lot about increasing stats number!!

  5. camparigirl says:

    Let’s be honest. We all look at them, some more obsessively than others. It’s ok – still better than smoking, gorging on cookies or inhaling crack…

    1. Dirk Porsche says:

      Yes. You are right. But still – I’m sober for almost 3 days now – it is hard to resist the urge to look at the stats. It doesn’t feel very much different when I quit smoking.

  6. piecubed says:

    I sometimes do this unconsciously. I want to open facebook or something, yet I somehow end up looking at my stats…
    It’s terrible, have to stop!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s