A Blog Reality Check
“…my blog stats increased by 500 views in the last day, week, month, year…”
Says almost everyone these days.
Big fucking deal, I say, that means absolutely nothing!
Here’s the thing…
I can stay in the house one day and no one sees me. No views of Steve. Fine!
The following day – I go for a little stroll down the high street and over a thousand people see me. Lots of views of Steve!
They saw me, yes – but did they talk to me? Did they ask me questions? Did they tell their friends how fabulous I was?
Did. They. Fuck!
They just walked past without giving me so much as a backward glance. I might well have just stayed at home again – lying on the sofa wearing my Cookie Monster onesie watching Netflix while drinking a nice Semillon Chardonnay for the amount of difference it actually made.
For that increase in physical views of me, Steve, in the street to mean anything at least half of those people would have needed to take it further.
It’s not good enough for them to ‘see’ me. They have to ‘notice’ me. There’s a big difference, big difference…HUGE!
They need to see me, stop me and at least say Hi.
Let’s push the boat out here and perhaps they could say something like:
‘wow, you smell awesome – what’s that aftershave?’…
it’s Versace Dreamer if your interested
…or ‘I love your hair who cuts it?’…
her name’s Laura and she’s ace by the way
…maybe even ‘cool skinny jeans, where did you buy them?’…
Yeah, the last one would never happen, as there’s a certain age where skinny jeans on men should just never happen but that’s another story altogether…you get the point though, right?
A Blogging Analogy
However obscure this sounds to you – it’s my analogy (you’ll come to love these, I promise) for blog views and blog traffic.
An increase in views of my blog or how many times one of my posts has been shared, re-tweeted, reblogged, repinned or whatever the fuck you do on Instagram – doesn’t mean an increase in my blog’s success (disclaimer: sometimes it does).
In me, Steve, terms, it means someone has saw me, Steve, while we both happen to be walking down the same street – big whoop!
Maybe they were originally on the opposite side of the street. Maybe they saw something that made them cross to the same side of the street as me, they crossed, saw me there but kept walking without giving me another thought.
Are People Noticing Your Blog?
Your stats may be as sharp and just as impressive as this guy’s suit & tie outfit but is that where the story ends?
In blog, Steve Says, terms perhaps someone was on Twitter, saw a tweet from Steve Says or a re-tweet of one of my posts by someone else.
They’ve clicked on the link to see my blog and even went as far as re-tweeting it before they fucked off without reading it all without reading anything other than the post headline perhaps? Without giving a fuck about who I even am.
Oh! Here comes another, they do the same and another and another and another….The views are all registered and counted to my stats – yaaaay heaps of new views!
“WordPress tells me my stats are booming – woo hoo, I’m going viral!”
I might have just tried seeing how many times I could write the words ‘douche’ and ‘bag’ in one minute and hit the publish button – NONE OF THE ‘VIEWERS’ ACTUALLY READ IT!
Don’t get me wrong, seeing stats increase is still a buzz for me but I want to have some kind of reassurance that people read what I’ve written and enjoyed it.
Like! Yes, someone can ‘like’ my posts but that too falls under the ‘click and I don’t give a shit’ category.
Comments? Sure, they’re a great way of the reader confirming their engagement with me.
I will hold my hand up here – honesty is the best policy, right? I’m not talking about the ‘great post’ or ‘good advice, thanks’ type of comment because they are just a “Turd in a text box” as far as I am concerned.
I’m talking about the falsies now – the comment left on my post with a specific reference to one thing within it.
“Oooo, someone’s really read it, I’m so happy”
Well. I hate to burst the bubble here although I will because I love the noise it makes and I’m also, just for future reference, the type of guy who enjoys giving other people a fright while recording it on my iPhone for shits & giggles. This time, as well as a loud pop, there’s also going to be a whole heap of poop falling out of the bubble.
In the case of the falsie comment they have done nothing more engaging than skim my post, focussed on a particular sentence or paragraph and made a comment on that part only.
“I’ve done it. Maybe we all have? Hands up, baby, hands up!”
I don’t do it now as there’s no point. There’s not enough time in my day to play ‘blogging games’. I read all of a post if it all appeals to me. I click and leave if it bores me or offends my eyes. There’s no rocket science from Steve McSteveface.
I like it because I like it and I leave a comment if I feel the need to. I sometimes read an entire post and neither like nor comment.
“I sometimes read blog posts while on the toilet taking a dump so be warned!”
There’s no right or wrong and we all do things differently.
So what is ‘right’ here? An increase in views doesn’t always mean an increase in readers!
There’s not a ‘thing’ available to the average blogger I’m aware of that will prove if someone has read my post from start to finish. I, as a ‘writer’, can only do the next best thing.
Write Posts People Want To Read
Not just want to read but enjoy reading, revisit and share with others.
I’d rather have 100 views per day knowing that everyone of those 100 had properly read my post than have 500 views per day with only 1/5 of people properly reading my post.
I could go down the route of writing a ‘how to write a successful blog post’ just as I could write a ‘how I use Reddit to boost my blog traffic’ or some other ‘look at me, I’m fucking awesome’ type of post…
I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years and learned a lot along the way. Picking up numerous hints, tips or best practices and (now, I’m usually quite a modest person so it’s unusual for me to say this) become reasonably okay at it.
I don’t think that means I should dish out advice on those topics (but think of the views those post might get! Ssssh stats monster – get back in you cage!).
If you wanted a blog post on “how to be an excel ninja” or “how to achieve inbox zero using Outlook” – I’m your guy! That’s my official area of expertise and I could talk to you about the wonders of Windows and the Magnificence of Microsoft Office until the cows came home. For information – I would still be talking about it long after Bill had locked those cows behind their Gates for the night.
There are people who make a career out of copy writing, content marketing and the like – they are far more capable of producing a ‘creating a perfect blog post’ article than I am. They have done this – lots of them!
There’s no point in me ‘reinventing the wheel’ simply for traffic. Just go read theirs instead!
That’s all I’ve done and I’ve found at least 10 great posts by Googling questions such as:
‘how can I prove that people are actually reading my posts?’
I will read and learn from them, trying my best to make sure most of my blog posts (not all as I still want to post some shite too – hey you’re at Steve Says not Monica’s) are of a format that makes you want to read start to finish at least. Bonuses would be that you like, comment, keep visiting and sharing my content from Steve Says.
Check out the posts for yourselves by clicking the links at the end of this post.
Hopefully now – when I walk down the street (or write a blog post) people will have no option but to notice me more…
Enjoy and learn from these articles – I know I will!
What do you think? Are you a stats monster? How do you produce the perfect blog post?