You know that blogger that obsessively tracks their stats? Yes. I am that blogger. I have an awesome spreadsheet with cool graphs that helps me keep track of my "real" daily stats.
Blogger and Google Analytics both do a little bit of double-counting that I do my best to remove, and there were a couple of HUGE spikes in views that I'm pretty certain were bots and not real visitors. I removed all of those. Yes. I know I'm a big nerd.
I partly do this spreadsheet stuff to help me keep track of the blog stuff, but I also do it in part to help me stay sharp on my mighty Excel mastery. You should see some of the epic spreadsheets I was responsible for when I was still working. They were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!
Here are some things that poring over my spreadsheet has let me in on:
In the last five(ish) months, I have gone from averaging 1 hit per day (thanks, Mom), to averaging in excess of 8 hits per day. All without the assistance of me deliberately sharing on Facebook.
I'm getting better! My total page views each month has increased. I went live on 11/22/14. These monthly figures reflect total page views in a rolling 30-day window, the one for April ended yesterday.
Yes, I know. I'm a big nerd.
Consistency really is important. I've been using an editorial calender, to help keep me on track with posting regularly.
Since I started, with only a few exceptions, I have posted twice each week.
If you participate in something regularly (like, say, 7 Quick Takes), it really does help. You really do start accumulating more regular readers.
I've been doing 7QT for seven weeks, and I am starting to see an obvious change in the number of views I get on the other days that I post. Truly, it's getting hard to tell, in my graphs, which days are Fridays. In fact, yesterday - a THURSDAY - was my biggest pageview day ever. I got 26, and I was very excited about it.
Having to cancel posts unexpectedly really does make your views take a hit.
For this reason working ahead is really helpful. I am trying to establish a rotating stock of ten "extra" posts that are going to be interesting regardless of current events or liturgical seasons.
That way, when my toddler gets sick, I can take fifteen minutes to double-check my proofreading and schedule my post instead of having to cancel it all together to look after my little girl (Which is TONS more important than blogging!).
"Slow and steady" does work to grow your blog. The only thing I've been consciously doing has been reading and commenting on other blogs (when I have something meaningful to say).
I'm willing to bet that social media works faster... but I'm just not ready for that kind of pressure in front of everybody I know.
I'm really proud of the work I've done. Really, I am, and I think there's good reason to be.
I'm usually the kind of person that spends endless time redoing draft... after draft... after draft, and publishing twice a week (most of the time) has really required that I get out of that pattern.
A very happy birthday to my mom, whose birthday is next week.
I hope you have an amazing day, Momma! :-)
For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain't the Lyceum!