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So, how do you deal with it?

  1. I started blogging to create something beautiful out of my writing skills and amazing human experiences. And now, it is more about that bar graph on the 'site stats' page, the deep senseless urge to get more and more readers, the near obsession about the future posts...Like HB said in a previous post of his, blogging is becoming draining.

    If this didn't/doesn't happen to you, have a good laugh but be nice and don't comment. But if it did, how did/do you deal with it?

    The blog I need help with is findin42.wordpress.com.

  2. Oh girl. It happened to me and it lasted a while. I'm not sure exactly when it got better, but I think it was around the time I realized I had those loyal readers I could count on to come back and give their support. I stopped focusing on the numbers and instead enjoyed the blogging relationships.

    I still look at the stats page, but now it's more out of curiosity and not an obsession. But I still celebrate the milestones. Looking forward to 15,000, 20,000....It's human nature. :-)

    Have a look at invisiblemikey's blog. He has the right attitude about the whole thing and he inspires me to focus on the quality of my posts and remember the reason why I started a blog in the first place.

    http://invisiblemikey.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/the-post-less-challenge/

  3. I know that sometimes we can get caught up in the metrics. How many people are reading? How many comments? Any new subscribers?

    I admit that I check my stats, but I try not to put too much focus on them. I am writing because I love to do it. If anyone reads my blog, it's icing on the cake to an experience that I have already had in writing the post. If you want to "get more" out of it, try visiting other blogs and see what other people are saying. Reading absolutely enriches the experience of writing.

    Good luck!!

  4. I was commenting on the very same post. Like I said there, "when the student is ready, the teacher shall appear". Such amazing people you all are.

    Its time I should go easy on myself. There is loads I want to say, that I know people would love to hear. One day, I would reach those numbers too. But at my own pace. Till then, I'm going to follow what you did and drink myself silly over other people's blogs and make most of this journey. On my first dew days, I loved this place more for the amazing people here. Time to remind that to myself.

  5. Very very well said @daisysprouts - "icing on the cake to an experience that I have already had in writing the post". I'm writing it down and putting it on my computer table. That is something I should have learned on my own. But then, I have angels like you to step in :) Thank you so much.

  6. When I was starting I used to check the stats every hour. It's an obsession I tell you. But now I'm more concerned about the quality of my posts, the hits are merely a bonus.

    I just came back from a 2/3 week vacation, so my stats are way low at the moment.

  7. If your main purpose of a blog is to express creativity, than think of it is this:
    if you only get 10 to 20 hits a day to your creative work, thats 10 to 20 people a day that see your creativity that would not have before...

    Once you start valuing more readership (more hits), than expressing yourself, than you risk tainting creative process.

    I have one blog that I am concerned about hits and readership because it has information I want the be accessible on Search Engines.

    But as for my creative writing blog, I never worry about the hits.I know 50 hits today is more readers than the zero I'd have if I didn't put it on a blog.

    If I worry about the hits it would just take the fun out of it.

  8. Try not to focus on your stats. Write not for others now, but for your self. It may not happen right now, but some day people will read your blog and if you write because you enjoy it your writing will be good and that will get people.

  9. This is such an interesting question! My blogging began as something akin to sending a message in a bottle. The thrill of having someone find the bottle and take the time to send a reply is enormous.
    Ask yourself, without such detailed stats, would you continue to blog? What would you do with all you want to say and write?
    I began my blog as a "letter" home to family and friends. That I have picked up other friends along the way has been such a bonus.

    Remember what motivated you to start your lovely blog but also remember, there is so much noise out there, do not lose the sound of your own voice.

  10. invisiblemikey
    Member

    I began blogging as something constructive to do while waiting for a State License to be issued. I had to wait, and could not begin applying for work until I had it, and it took four months, which made me anxious. It turned out to be good therapy for my worries, and I enjoyed the process, so I just kept going. It was entirely unanticipated that this kind of writing turned into an enjoyable hobby. But I have long believed in doing creative things just for the sake of doing them, just for practice. That process of focus and improvement by repitition is good for people. You only need to find what kind of inventing pleases you to do.

  11. sayali,
    I'm confused on your blog. Are the ***** separating stories or are these connected?

  12. It's easy to try and measure your success with your stats. Of course we are all writing because we want someone to read what we wrote, but if you're not really enjoying it, then it's going to become more of a chore than anything. I've tried to start giving myself rules about not checking my stats everyday (or at least not multiple times a day), which does seem to help.

  13. I was just thinking that some joker on my site can click on every single post without reading them and those clicks will count as a Page View.

  14. They can, but they don't usually bother.

    If you find yourself driven by stats, then why not go for it? If stats interest you, do what you can to tweak them and watch the effects. It's interesting.

    If you don't want to be interested in stats, but are, why are you fighting it?

    There is nothing incompatible about good writing and stats. Gawker has some of the best writing in the world, and it gets something like three million hits a day.

  15. invisiblemikey
    Member

    That's an interesting point made by Ms. Raincoaster. However, if you write about very popular topics, you'll get more views because it's what people as a whole (herd?) are focused on. Things like sex, celebrities, current news. You don't even have to write particularly well about extremely popular topics to increase traffic, so long as you don't write very poorly. One of the most popular posts I've written contained a few sentences about Valerie Bertinelli. When she got married, I got hundreds of hits, even though the post was almost entirely about other people. Tabloid news organizations are the most widely-read media in the world, both in print and online. TMZ draws a larger audience than CNN. There is quality writing in popular outlets. I just don't think that's what drives traffic.

  16. @raincoaster, you have done it again, reminded me that I have yet to have my daily dose of Gawker!

    So if I write as "well" as Gawker I too can enjoy those big, fat stats???Never going to happen, and I accept that because Gawker is to me in the afternoon what NPR is in the early morning - news and information. I am a lonely little sausage who does not have that level of information to share. Although, when I think about it, I am surprised by how much people don't know. Because they don't read Gawker!

    Of course, Gawker would not be as much fun as it is without so many wonderful commentators. They are so sharp they make me bleed!

    As for tweaking the stats, love to know! Sheer curiosity!

    If I press SUBMIT (risking possible re-load) now and this turns up in multiples, apologies to all in advance . . .

  17. If you write as well as the people on Gawker, then you can use your blog to get an amazing job. The Online Editor of Vanity Fair just quit: that's an opportunity.

  18. I'm sorry but stats and comments are my main motivation to keep on writing. Those are the reasons I moved form blogspot to wp.com. My blogspot blog is still there, with 2 comments from readers + 2 replies from myself.
    Here in wp.com, I have 80 comments from readers + 60 from myself. What would you do if you were me?

  19. @pattikuche Raincoaster can tweak stats LIKE A BOSS. There's a thread on here somewhere where she explains how, but I can't remember which one.

    @mikey My best hits come on my cake posts, which have nothing whatsoever to do with my writing or why I blog. I like sharing my "cake art" but I wish my writing elicited as much praise. Of course, I'm learning to use the cake pictures as bait. You want to see a cake? Fine, but you're going to have to read a little something first. :-)

    @nandobase You make an excellent point. If my blog was sitting there, getting no hits and no comments, is it likely I would continue blogging? Absolutely not. I could write in a private journal if all I cared about was "writing for myself" or because "I need to write."

    I love my 1000+ comments (1/2 mine, of course) and my subscribers and my steadily increasing page views, but it was a little ridiculous in the beginning how often I checked the numbers. Posting everyday was becoming a chore, but now that I've found my groove, I've backed off a bit and the stats are steady, even on days I don't post anything new. I want good stats, but not at the expense of the best writing I can manage.

  20. I still check hits and I think I always will do. But I don't think that I could post more than once every 6 or 7 days without diminishing the quality that I try to produce, even though, by the time I publish, it's hard to tell if I have actually been funny or witty!

    At least the feedback remains positive. I guess I just want to ensure that hits stay above 1K per month at least, otherwise it seems pointless.

    I'm not sure how some blogs that are poorly written achieve high hits in the first 3 months. I guess if they are from teenagers who likely have 1000 Facebook 'friends' then that will be enough to give them extra traffic alone.

  21. @gigi - the '***" are like time portals, "end of scene 1" and/or glue to the mosaic pieces in a story. I write about meaningful personal experiences that sometimes take more than one continuous event to bring out the larger picture. hence the ***. Each post is one complete experience when viewed completely with the prelude. Read the whole post and see what I mean :)

    @ All - The site stats page is one of my favourite apps here. Like Nandobase here, I know friends on blogger spot whose posts end up being like a note in the bottle, they have no idea where it is. The key is to find a place where the stats don't start bothering or overpowering but continue to be a motivation at the same time. Yes, the stats can be so easily tweaked and high stats don't even mean good writing. But what the hell, they make me feel good :) As long as I can keep my addiction under check. Blogging is good!

  22. hi sayali,
    I see what you're saying now. I like the image this stirs: "I still preferred my coffee sweet, but I had started to like my reality bitter."

    I can relate to all the feelings you described. I love that you were there, being hopeful. Can I ask you this, though -cuz I don't understand the purpose of the word "had." It's past tense, it's not active, and it rarely ever has to be used. Maybe it's just me, tell me what you think. If you take out "had" and the comma, the sentence means the same thing?

  23. Because at that point of time I 'had' (past tense, yes) started to become a cynic. I was recalling what I was feeling at that time, hence the past tense. Fortunately I'm cured now. I like my reality with 2 tea spoons of sugar now. So I won't, and no one ever should, use the second part of that sentence in present tense.
    And..er..the comma was my way of a pregnant pause lol. Sometimes I make it obvious that English is my third language, don't I?
    I'm so glad you like it though. Always a great feeling when someone likes what you say. Thanks. Will drop by at your blog for a visit soon :)

  24. When I started I was all about the writing, then a few days in, it became all about the stats, now, im all about the writing. I noticed that I was throwing out posts without properly going over them trying to get me some readers. But I know now that a good quality post is what will be most effected, especially with what I write about, So now I focus more on my writing than my numbers, but thankfully i still have a healthy number of followers who help me along the way.

  25. One day I'm going to write an entire story on the word "had." You are right -if you want to keep the second part of the sentence in the past tense, then "had" is one way to do it. And the use of it is subjective. But "started" is past and past participle so removing "had" doesn't make the second part present; it keeps it in the past.

    But I will shut up. I am being a pain in the ass. You have every right to shoot me.

    Here's to your question... My situation is different b/c I don’t “blog.” I put up stories that were already published for people that asked me where they could find them. I never expected anyone else to find them. I didn’t know what a stats button was when I put up the site and I didn’t care. But when I saw it, it started to bug me. My theory on this is that the stats button was clearly devised by an ego. Ego's hate to be bruised but no matter what, with our egos, enough is never enough. That’s why Mark Zuckerman wants more stats and the richest person in the world still wants to make more money. IMO, they shouldn’t be calling it “stats,” they should be calling it “ego.” There is no way around it unless you ignore it or give it a different meaning. So this is the meaning I‘ve ascribed to it and now it makes me laugh.

    ;-) keep writing... you're doing magic...

  26. Did I say "Zuckerman"? I meant Zuckerberg. In my heart of hearts, I love E.B. White for "Charlotte's Web" and I must have been thinking of "Zuckerman's famous pig."

  27. Stats are a seductive thing.. they can suck you in, and distract your focus from the writing and communicating to instead obsess on a daily scoring system. That said, most of us blog to connect with others - to communicate our ideas and maybe not feel alone and insignificant. Stats are one of the few things, in this enterprise, that let us know that somewhere someone is hearing us...

    Without stats I sometimes think I hear my own words just echoing through space...

  28. I try not to focus too hard on stats. Having a full-time which has nothing to do with blogging anywhere, helps alot. So my attention is somewhere else. :)

    I look after a blog which is marketing a conference and its location. I have to remind other people not to foucs too much on the stats. 'cause it may be from readers who just bumped into our site by accident but are not interested in the main subject of conference.

    But it is just nice to know that a blog is being looked at --even if only for a few min. or less.

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